My Main Ukuleles
I have two Ko'olau CS (Contemporary Series) Model Tenor Ukuleles, amazing instruments with a cedar top and rosewood sides and backs. One delivered November 2009 and one from February 2017. These are my main performance ukuleles for everything – both with a low G. Basically a number one and a backup being groomed, in-training and backup for live broken string scenarios.
For details and nitty-gritty regarding the strings I use, checkout this Ask Curt page for my response to: What Ukulele Strings Do You Use?
- Ko'olau CS (Contemporary Series) Model Tenor Ukulele ( strings: Savarez Alliance Red Card classical guitar strings and/or Ko'olau Alohi'. • ( low-G, C Tuning ), I have two of theses. Main one thoroughly broken in for performance and one in-training. Checkout the Savarez Classical Guitar Strings on Ukulele page for more information on these strings and my current strings setup.
The Rest of the `Ukulele Gang
- Pono Pro Classic Thinline solid-body tenor and baritone ukulele. Pretty much any Pono and Pono Pro Classic instrument is better than most mass-produced ukuleles. • ( low-G, C Tuning )
- Magic Fluke Koa Tenor . • ( high-G, C Tuning ) • Great uke to travel with and my "Always on My Desk, Uke!"
A Few Past Favorites and some that are currently for sale.
- Lanakai All Koa Tenor - This is made in the USA ( Hawai`i ) ukulele. • ( high-G, C Tuning ) SOLD
- Martin IZ Mahogany Tenor. • ( high-G, C Tuning ) - SOLD • This was and is a remarkable instrument. Probably have to get another one at some time - shouldn't have let it go. Or the 2K tenor that I also had and let go. Keep trying to get Martin to let us, Funky Frets, be a Martin ukulele only dealer.
- Mya-Moe Classic Tenor. • ( low-G, C Tuning ) - SOLD ( $2700 )
My Ko'olau CS Tenor
My First Tenor Ukulele - 2003 • After a failed attempt with a cheap Soprano ukulele in the early 1980s, I gave up and then come 2003 the uke bug struck when I re-discovered the Ukulele again.
NOTE: Pretty much have stuck with Ko'olau and Pono ukuleles for over a decade.
Still do a bit, a very little bit of guitar. Mainly in private lessons and for my, occasional entertainment. Also, doing the lead-in music for an on-line show: Rock Stars of R&D , hosted by the amazing John Conway.
- Custom Funky Frets made Tele® that myself and my daughter Kelly put together ( pictured here ) with D'Addarrio .011s and a Fishman Fluence Signature Series Greg Koch Gristle-Tone™ Pickup Set .
- Takamine P1M Acoustic - Cedar top with rosewood backs and sides. It is strung with Martin Lifespan 80/20 Bronze 12s or 13s.
Here are the strings that I typically use on my guitars and ukuleles.
Checkout this detailed listing of the set of strings that I've put together and use for my Ko'olau CS Tenor user.
Both the Ko'olau, and Pono have a radius fingerboard which does make a big difference in ease of playing. The Ko'olau, Pono and Mya-Moe are all strung with a low G. For high G, C tuning I grab an American made all Magic Fluke. Other than Pono, I've only found the Godin Multiuke to have a radius fingerboard in a mass-produced ukulele.
And with our music store, ( Funky Frets, Boyertown, PA USA ) – that is, naturally, heavy into ukuleles and over 100 ukuleles in stock at all times. I'm in a position to play pretty much what I want — but it's the Ko'olau CS Tenor that gets the most action. That and a Pono solid-body are the only performance ukuleles I perform with in concert.
For amplifiers, I use an AER Compact 60 as my main amp for any acoustic instruments (guitar and ukulele) and it works great with the Tele and bass. Backups or if I need a PA include Fishman PA or one of the Fishman Loudbox series of amplifiers. Typically, no effects and for a DI I only use Fire-Eye , L.R. Baggs , Radial Engineering or Fishman .
AER Compact 60
The AER Compact 60 rev.4. Small size but powerful twin-channel acoustic guitar amplifier designed to reproduce the sound quality of your instrument in a natural manner. The electronics are carefully designed to deal with piezoceramic pick-up's, microphones and any sort of line signal and with the dynamic controlled 60 watts power amplifier provide a brilliant clear sustaining sound performance throughout all the dynamic range. Used by Robin Nolan, Angelo Debarre, Bireli Lagrene, Romane, Neil Anderson, Dorado Schmitt, The Rosenberg Trio, among many others. Includes padded gigbag w/shoulderstrap. The new 4th generation editions of all models now feature a Pre FX / Post FX swtich for the DI Out signal, allowing user to choose if their Direct Out signal incorporates the amp's on-board digital effects An 3.5mm Aux input with Level control has also been added. These ultra-portable amps still offer the same outstanding reproduction of acoustic instruments and vocals that have made them an industry standard and a favorite of performing guitarists and singer-songwriters everywhere.
I really like to keep the gear simple. No endorsements or artist models for me. I like to make my choices and not be locked in to or be put in a position to recommend a specific a brand of gear, other than Ko'olau and Pono. The same gear as I have will never make you sound like me, and I'll never sound like me by using your gear.
Checkout the Ukulele Gear pages for recommendations based on what I use.
Computer and Software
Pretty much been an Apple / Mac person since 1987 with introduction of the Mac II and the advent of Desktop Publishing (DTP) via Aldus PageMaker and Quark Express. And, now also Linux Pop!OS by System76 on a Thelio with an AMD procession, also by System76
Checkout the Credits Page for more info on the software and computers I use the most.
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Just browsing over both books, they look fantastic! I'm a guitarist and uke player for over 25 years and was thinking about writing a ukulele book but you've already written what I think are the best, most comprehensive and thorough books I've ever seen for the instrument. I just might end up buying every book you've written and I'll be giving my highest recommendation for your books to my friends and students. Thank you so much for taking the time to write such great books! — Peter Rhee
Aloha, Curt, All I can say is WOW! What you have accomplished is simply incredible! All the best — Glen Hirabayashi, The Aloha Boys
Folks, if you haven't stopped by Curt's site, do so right now! ..And get his books, they are fantastic. This guy knows his stuff and is able to pass it along too. — Alan Johnson Proprietor, The 4th Peg
I can highly recommend Curt's Uke books — I have four of them and they are excellent. — fatveg — Portland
Thanks for visiting and checking out the site!
Original Curtie Animation from 1987 for my first web site on a Macintosh II. 34 years ago. Man, does time fly.
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LearningUkulele.com has one of the largest collections of lessons, songs, and TABS, Luthiers, ukulele builders, ukulele festival and club information, and, ukulele links on the web. I’ve been on the ®Internet since the early 1990's and This site just never stops growing!!!
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