As this is my initial Cosmo blog post, let me first introduce myself. My name is Andrew James Hobbs, and I am a member of the guitar department at Cosmo Music. I could be described as a “born again” Cosmonaut, as I took a 2 year sabbatical from my previous tenure here in the guitar department. Why did I come back you ask? Was it the glory? The fame? The money? No, the real catalyst for my return was the popular resurgence of the diminutive four stringed wonder…The Ukulele.
Now, let’s get down to business. Why are these small instruments gaining such immense popularity with the youth and aged alike? Many point to Israel Kamakawiwo'ole's medley of the Louis Armstrong classic “Wonderful World” and “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” as a starting point for the Uke revival. In my opinion, this new collective consciousness was incited by pop icons playing Ukulele, and making it cool again through traditional popular mediums. Eddie Vedder’s latest record entitled “Ukulele Songs” features grunge rocker Vedder solely accompanied by the Uke. The instrument gained recognition globally in a more serious light when a Youtube cover version of The Beatles’ “My Guitar Gently Weeps” in Central Park by Ukulele virtuoso Jake Shimabukuro was posted online. The popularity of this viral video lead to Jake’s international success, and his performances with the likes of Yo-Yo Ma, Ziggy Marley, Levon Helm, Marcus Miller, Stanley Clarke, Les Paul, and many others. Jake can be credited with synthesizing Ukulele culture with a diverse variety of global genres, accessible to all.
Currently at Cosmo music, we carry many Ukulele brands in various shapes, prices, colours and materials that diversely fit our customer’s needs. With each entry in The Hobbs Ukulele Corner blog, I will be featuring a specific brand. It is no coincidence that my initial brand featured is a personal favourite of mine.
Their description from their website:
The FLUKE is slightly larger than concert size with 15 frets and an overall length of 23 inches. A solid maple neck and Australian pine top are combined with a molded body and fretboard creating a full, bright tone…the tenor FLUKE has the same body size as the concert but has a scale length that is 1 1/2 inches longer. Like the concert, the tenor easily accommodates GCEA tuning but can also handle the lower DGBE tuning (high D). Both sizes can be ordered in a variety of colors and designs as well as with pickup options. All Fluke models come standard with Aquila strings. Proudly made in the USA!”In my personal opinion, these Ukes are highly playable, and sound fantastic. The tuning pegs are friction pegs, so it allows for ideal sensitive tuning that is incredibly consistent. The fretboard is synthetic, which I was skeptical of at first, but after spending some time with the Fluke, I found it to rival the likes of any rosewood fretboard I’ve played.
Check them out the next time you are in the store. The pine top in combination with the molded back makes these instruments some of the loudest Ukuleles I have ever heard, which is perfect for a jam setting. Ukulele jam sessions are popping up all over the Greater Toronto Area, (see http://torontoukes.com/ for example), and this instrument would be a perfect option, that combines playability and flair.
Should you have any questions about Ukuleles, guitars, or basses, feel free to send me an email or call the store. We will make sure you find the instrument perfect for your musical aspirations and needs.