Learning Ukulele with Curt

Mass Production Ukulele Manufactures

Finding a Great `Ukulele

QUICKPIC - Here are a few custom Luthiers to check out first: The Kitakis Family of Ko'olau Guitar & 'Ukulele Company, Duane Heilman - Black Bear Ukuleles, Mike DaSilva - DaSilva Ukulele Co., Chuck Moore - Moore Bettah Ukuleles, and Dave Talsma - Talsma String Instruments

Pretty much every major guitar manufacture has jumped on the ukulele bandwagon. Browse through the ukulele forums for players recommendations beyond my list of suggested builders and manufactures. I (Curt) personally play Ko'olau, Pono, Lanakai, and Magic Fluke instruments. I've also had a few Martin Ukes in the past, and they were always the lightest and loudest tenors I've had — GREAT instruments, and will be getting another soon.

Alvarez Guitars Manufactures

Alvarez has been one of the leading acoustic guitar brands in the U.S.A. and around the world for nearly 50 years. Its image is synonymous with quality and innovation. Alvarez instruments are known for their tone and feel and some of the most amazing artists over the last five decades have gravitated towards the brand and its guitars.

Amahi Ukuleles Manufactures

A new line of ukuleles from an establish fine instrument company.

Manufacturer/Distributor of High-Quality Ukuleles including Amahi and Snail Ukuleles. Over 40 models available with exotic woods and unique designs.

Applause Guitars Manufactures

In the early 60s, guitar virtuoso and game-changing engineer Charlie Kaman set out to find the sound he always knew but never heard. He discovered it in 1966, the Ovation guitar was born.

The story of Ovation guitars-and the ground-breaking technology behind them-begins with Charles H. Kaman, an aeronautical engineer known for his pioneering work in helicopter and aerospace design.

Aria Guitars Manufactures

Aria now has the D&rsquo;Aquisto name and is making a series of guitar based on the same original D&rsquo;Aquisto models. Here is the D&rsquo;Aquisto DQ-JZ model after Jim Halls Jimmy D&rsquo;Aquisto built guitar. [ link: <a href="http://www.ariausa.com/daquisto/index.html" target="_blank">www.ariausa.com/daquisto/index.html</a> ]

Bill Tapia Ukuleles Manufactures

Bill Tapia(tm) was celebrated worldwide as the 'Duke of Uke'. He performed with Bing Crosby, Billie Holiday, Fats Waller, Louis Armstrong, and just about everyone who was anyone in the early Hawaiian music scene.

He taught ukulele to Shirley Temple, Clark Gable and many others from Hollywood's Golden Era. In Bill's hands, the ukulele became a magical instrument.

Now, you can create magic of your own. Built to Bill's exacting standards, Bill Tapia ukuleles will take you wherever you want to go, musically. Bill never compromised with his music and neither do his signature ukuleles.

Each instrument is hand-crafted, using rigorous construction methods to ensure great sound, high quality, and sublime playability.

Blackbird Guitars Luthiers

Blackbird Guitars was founded by Joe Luttwak and Kyle Wolfe and now includes fellow designer Troy Stevens. After years searching for a compact guitar worth bringing along for the ride, all they could find was thin sounding and fragile. Eventually they realized that none of the established companies would tackle this problem so they decided to do it themselves.

Bohemian Guitars Manufactures

Bohemian Guitars is an Atlanta-based guitar manufacturer that creates one-of-a-kind electric guitars, basses, mandolins, and ukuleles, using unconventional materials such as vintage oil cans and lunch boxes. Founded by brothers Adam and Shaun Lee who grew up in Johannesburg, South Africa, the company was inspired by the resourceful residents of the local townships who re-purpose used materials into playable instruments.

Breedlove Guitars Manufactures

Breedlove Guitars was established in 1990 by luthiers Larry Breedlove and Steve Henderson, while working at Taylor Guitars. After moving to Oregon, Breedlove and Henderson began specializing in custom, fingerstyle six and twelve string guitars. In 1991 the first Breedlove guitar model appeared, after experiments with the JLD bridge truss system and various bracing techniques. Around 1994, Larry&lsquo;s brother, Kim Breedlove, joined Larry and Steve as a master craftsman. Breedlove strives to be environmentally conscious, and is &ldquo;dedicated to selecting alternatives to endangered rainforest woods.&rdquo; Breedlove has since expanded to include mandolins and ukuleles.

Cole Clark Manufactures

<img class="float-left mr-2" src="/images/ukulele/ColeClark-Uke.png" alt="" width="66" height="180" /> Cole Clark guitars combine classical construction with innovative design and manufacturing techniques to produce lighter, stronger instruments with superior acoustic performance. Made using indigenous timber and featuring Face Brace Sensor acoustic pickup systems, Cole Clark guitars provide professional quality at affordable prices.

All Cole Clark ukuleles comprise our unique 'Carved to fit' Soundboard & Backs, as well as the 'Spanish' or 'Integral Neck', that is, the neck forms a part of the construction as with our 'Fat Lady' range of acoustic guitars.

Cordoba Guitars & Ukuleles Manufactures

Founded in 1997, Cordoba seeks to guide the evolution of the nylon string guitar, blending traditional craftsmanship of the early master luthiers with modern developments. Inspired by the organic beauty and honesty of acoustic instruments, every Cordoba is lightweight, responsive, and a direct descendant of the Spanish tradition. Córdoba continues to challenge the definition of the acoustic guitar without sacrificing the authenticity of its heritage.

D’Angelico Guitars of America Luthiers

John D’Angelico was born in Little Italy, on Manhattan's Lower East Side. At only 9 years old, he became an apprentice to his grand uncle Signor Ciani, an expert violin and mandolin maker. This apprenticeship would become the basis for construction principles he later incorporated into his world-renowned archtop guitars.

Daisy Rock Guitars Manufactures

Daisy Rock Guitars mission is to provide females of all ages with whatever it takes to learn to play guitar or bass.

Eastman Strings Manufactures

In 1992, Qian Ni, who had come to the United States from China to study music, founded Eastman Strings. In the beginning, he and his two musician colleagues bought instruments from Western-trained violin makers from their home town in China, but before long, they saw that a different approach was needed.

Eastwood Guitars Manufactures

Since 2001, Eastwood&reg; has been creating some of the most exciting Electric Guitars the world has ever seen. Our RADICAL VINTAGE REMAKE series feature a variety of models based on popular sixties designs - from the classic Mosrites to our top-selling AIRLINE - they capture the excitement and style of the originals.

Eddy Finn Ukuleles Manufactures

From the distinctive soundhole resonance to the exotic woods used to hand craft each one to tonal perfection, every one has a song waiting to be played. Pick up an Eddy Finn and it's like a blast of warm sea air hitting your senses. Hand set ocean abalone, fishbone, herringbone's all here. But the truth? It has to sound great first or it's just a decoration hanging on a wall. Nobody wants that. At the core it has to be musical. It has to breathe.

Epiphone Manufactures

Epiphone is one of American&rsquo;s oldest and most revered instrument makers. &nbsp;Since 1873, Epiphone has made instruments for every style of popular music and in 2013 will celebrate its 140th anniversary. Epiphone fretted instruments, amplifiers, strings and accessories are known worldwide for offering the best combination of quality, performance and value. One of Gibson&rsquo;s most formidable competitors through the first half of the 20th century, Epiphone was acquired by Gibson Guitar in 1957. Headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee, Epiphone is part of the Gibson family of brands.

Fender Musical Instruments Corporation (FMIC) Manufactures

Fender Musical Instruments Corporation (FMIC) is the world&rsquo;s leading guitar manufacturer, and its name has become synonymous with all things rock &lsquo;n&rsquo; roll. Iconic Fender&reg; instruments such as the Telecaster&reg;, Stratocaster&reg;, Precision Bass&reg; and Jazz Bass&reg; guitars are known worldwide as the instruments that started the rock revolution, and they continue to be highly prized by today&rsquo;s musicians and collectors.

Flight Manufactures

With the lack of a strong ukulele market in Slovenia and the far corners of the European Union (EU), Flight set out to bring the ukulele to the European masses in 2010. With a model of simply focusing on what they love to do, the team at Flight has made a splash in international markets.

Gibson Manufactures

The home of Gibson electric guitars today is &ldquo;Gibson USA,&rdquo; built in 1974 in Nashville specifically for the production of Gibson&rsquo;s Les Paul guitars. Although the entire guitar industry went through a slump in the late &rsquo;70s, the spirit of innovation remained strong at Gibson. In response to a growing demand for vintage stylings, Gibson tapped its rich history and reissued the dot-neck version of the ES-335 in 1981 and the flametop sunburst Les Paul in 1982. At the same time, two legendary guitarists joined Gibson- B.B. King in 1980 with the Lucille model and Chet Atkins in 1982 with his new concept of a solidbody acoustic guitar.

Gretsch Guitars Manufactures

Since 1883, when 27-year-old Friedrich Gretsch founded his little shop in Brooklyn, N.Y., making banjos, drums and tambourines, The Gretsch Company has grown to produce some of the world&rsquo;s greatest drums and guitars over the span of four generations. With its emphasis on hand-craftsmanship and commitment to quality, Gretsch has pioneered new designs and manufacturing techniques, winning endorsements from some of the music industry&rsquo;s most respected artists, including Chet Atkins, Bono, Charlie Watts, Neil Young and Phil Collins.

Haway Ukuleles Manufactures

The history of the HOYER guitar brand began in 1874, when Franz Hoyer, son of an old German luthier family, opened his own workshop in Schönbach/Egerland (today Czech Republic). Schönbach was an important part of the European musical instrument production at that time.

After making lutes and zithers in the beginning, HOYER changed more and more to classic and folk guitars. Later, the prospering company was continued by his son Joseph Hoyer.

Hofner Manufactures

Hofner makes guitars, basses, violins, violas, cellos and double basses. We have done for a long time - 125 years! The company is situated in Bavaria, southern Germany.

<img class="float-left mr-2" src="/images/logos/Hofner-Ukulele.png" alt="" width="191" height="69" />We are most famous for the legendary Violin Beatle Bass. That’s the one played for over 50 years by ex-Beatle, Paul McCartney. But we make a lot of other great guitars and basses including the Clubs and the Verythins. Then there is the famous President 500/5 bass too, played by Stuart Sutcliffe, also once of Beatle fame.

Hoku Ukulele's Manufactures

Hoku Ukulele's is a small company specializing in Tenor and Concert ukulele's by player's for player's. They are located in Hawaii on the island of Kauai and manufacture our ukulele's in southeast Asia by a well known luthier in Vietnam, to be able to sell a quality Instrument at a reasonable price.

Hulala Ukulele Manufactures

Originally, a team of designers and ukulele specialists came together for a singular project&hellip; to create a ukulele perfectly suited to professional use with a great performance to price ratio. Their ambition was to be part of the great vintage ukulele making tradition while meeting the need of modern players. Today, active/gigging musician, recording artist or bedroom hobbyist use Hulala ukulele as a tool on their missions.

Ibanez Manufactures

Ibanez pretty much begins almost 30 years ago, when Hoshino opened an office near Philadelphia, PA for more efficiently distributing Ibanez guitars to the United States. Most of those guitars were Ibanez&acute; famous high quality (but very inexpensive) copies of just about everything&ndash;you name it, we probably made a version of it. At that time many American instruments were going through an unfortunate period of increasing prices with decreasing quality, and these copies hit a ready market.

Johnson Musical Instruments Manufactures

<span class="superscript">Johnson Musical Instruments</span> has become the industry’s premier builder of high-quality, high-value musical instruments. We began crafting guitars and fretted instruments in 1993 and have continuously expanded our line of acoustics, electrics, resonators, folk instruments and amps ever since. Our dedication to preserving the best interests of our customers by bringing to market playable instruments at affordable prices has kept us a forerunner in the musical instrument community. We have a nationwide network of dealers who have supported our mission for almost two decades thanks to our great instruments, excellent reputation and great customer support.

Kala Brand Music Company Manufactures

Mike Upton is the founder of Kala Brand Music Co. in northern California. Established in 2005, Kala builds 140-plus models of ukulele, including travel and bass variations.Kala and Makala brand of ukuleles.

Kamoa Ukulele Manufactures

Kamoa&trade; Ukulele Company&nbsp;is dedicated to building high quality bell tone instruments. Our &ldquo;One player at a time&rdquo; philosophy is the basis for the countless experiences that will resonate with you for years to come through the lifelong enjoyment of music on your Kamoa&trade; ukulele. From Exceptional student models priced around $100 up to divine custom masterpieces, we have a tailored Kamoa&trade; experience ready for you whether you are a true beginner or ukulele master.

Kay Guitar Manufactures

Koloa Ukulele Manufactures

Koloa is the maker of professional ukluleles. Introduced in early 2007, each ukulele features traditional Hawaiian styling and excellent features at incredible prices. Koloa takes its name from an area on the Hawaiian island of Kauai. The Koloa area is known for its sugar, a sweet inspiration for our traditional ukuleles. Each Koloa ukulele features the most authentic craftsmanship, the finest quality woods and a truly expressive sound.

LA Guitars & Ukulele Manufactures

In 1978, after 8-years of experience as a guitar-player and singer in several French pop and rock bands, I started on the crazy (but so exciting) project to create and produce high-end guitars in Toulouse, in the South-West of France, a city well-known for its famous artists and its really active music scene!

I first started an efficient and reliable repair shop dedicated to all stringed instruments. This shop brought a lot of knowledge and experience, as well as many different and interesting customers through our Custom Shop models! Then, thanks to many musician friends who had built a great image for Lâg guitars on stage and in studio, we introduced our first creations to guitar dealers and players; in France first, then all around Europe, with a lot of success.

Lanikai Ukuleles Manufactures

Lanikai Beach is located in Lanikai, meaning "heavenly sea" in Hawaiian is a neighborhood within Kailua, on the windward coast of Oahu, Hawaii. This small 1/2 mile beach has been consistently ranked among the best beaches in the world.

Luna Guitars Manufactures

Yvonne de Villiers, the accomplished stained-glass artist who envisioned Luna Guitars. Yvonne&rsquo;s inspiration for a line of guitars designed to maximize playing comfort came from her mother, Hilda Williers, an electric bass player for more than 40 years.

Magic Fluke Company Manufactures

The Magic Fluke Co. was started by Dale and Phyllis Webb in 1999 in the basement of our home in New Hartford Connecticut. Dale was inspired and encouraged by Phyllis’s brother Jim Beloff, an accomplished musician and guitarist who discovered the uke a few years earlier.

Manuel Rodriguez Guitars Manufactures

We are tradition and modernity, art and experience. We are exotic woods, the smell of sawdust and varnishes. We live with passion the development of our guitars, where generation after generation we have managed to perfect a century-old manufacturing technique.

C. F. Martin & Co., Inc. Manufactures

Martin's steadfast adherence to high standards of musical excellence, mixed with experienced management, has largely accounted for the company's remarkable longevity. Marketing methods and product mix have changed at Martin over the years, but the company attitude towards guitar building has never varied. In the preface to the 1904 catalog, Frank Henry Martin explained to potential customers, “How to build a guitar to give this tone is not a secret. It takes care and patience. Care in selecting the materials, laying out the proportions, and attending to the details which add to the player's comfort. Patience in giving the necessary time to finish every part. A good guitar cannot be built for the price of a poor one, but who regrets the extra cost for a good guitar?” Almost eighty years have passed since Frank Henry Martin authored this statement of policy, but it still is an accurate expression of Martin's ongoing commitment to quality.

Maton Guitars Manufactures

The Maton name is a derivative of the words &ldquo;May&rdquo; and &ldquo;Tone&rdquo;. Until the mid 1930s an Australian guitar manufacturing industry was virtually nonexistent. Good quality guitars were hard to find and at this time the best guitars came from the U.S.A. Bill May, a Melbourne-born jazz musician, woodwork teacher and luthier decided to change all that. During the early 1940s Bill established a custom guitar manufacturing and repair business known as &ldquo;Maton Stringed Instruments and Repairs&rdquo;. This enterprise was so successful that Bill was able to convince his older brother, Reg, to join him as a full time guitar maker and in March 1946 the &ldquo;Maton Musical Instruments Company&rdquo; was born.

Moku Ukuleles Manufactures

The Hawaiian word &ldquo;Moku&rdquo; means Island, which was the original inspiration for these beautiful Ukuleles. There is just something so simple and beautiful about the Ukulele &ndash;just like the Polynesian Islands they originated from. Play one yourself and bring your self back to the Islands.

Mr.Mai Ukulele Manufactures

Chinese musical instrument production and trading company.

Nalu Ukulele Company Manufactures

Los Angeles, California based ukulele company.

We've spent years prototyping and testing ukulele after ukulele to be able to make one simple promise: When you buy a Nalu ukulele, you will be buying an ukulele with an outstanding sound, a beautiful appearance, and a structural integrity that guarantees it's built to last.

Ohana Ukuleles Manufactures

Welcome to Ohana, where you will find the many hand-crafted ukulele models we offer - from soprano to baritone, mahogany to selected koa from the islands of Hawaii, conventional to vintage models, plus unique ones for those who are looking for something different.

At Ohana, our goal is to provide the highest quality product at a reasonable price. Every ukulele that leaves our warehouse is carefully inspected and set up for maximum playability. Yes that’s right — EVERY UKULELE, regardless of model and price. Should you compromise on quality just because you need an entry-level ukulele? We don’t think you should.

Orangewood Guitars Manufactures

(from their site) We grew up listening to guitar music, spending hours learning our favorite songs, and playing in punk bands. Knowing the transformative influence of guitars in our own upbringing, we questioned how we can empower the next generation of musicians and create a community of music lovers. Our answer was to build a modern guitar brand that offers a simpler shopping experience to reinspire guitar culture. After spending 3 years researching, testing, and building, we released our first collection in April, 2018.

Oscar Schmidt by Washburn Manufactures

The Oscar Schmidt Company was founded in 1871 and incorporated in 1911. By the early 1900s, the company had five factories in Europe and a factory on Ferry Street in Jersey City. They made all kinds of stringed instruments, guitars, banjos, mandolins, ukuleles, zithers, and Autoharps&reg;.

Peavey Manufactures

Peavey Electronics, manufacturer of musical equipment, gear, accessories and just about anything else you can think of. Rock on!

Pono Manufactures

Pono instruments are professionally designed and handcrafted by the Ko'olau Guitar and `Ukulele Company and on the Island of Java , with final adjustments and set-up on the Island of Oahu, Hawaii.

Here is what the Kitakis familay says about a Pono vs. their higher end Ko'olau, and I whole heartily agree.

". . . And our Pono workers have the same meticulous and conscientious attitude that we have in Hawaii. We consider our Pono and Ko'olau ukuleles similar to the duo level auto makers such as Toyota/Lexus, Nissan/Infinity, and Honda/Acura. Both are made by the same manufacturer, but made in various locations around the world, and both are very high quality."

> I've owned five or six Pono ukuleles in the past before I got my first Ko'olau and we opened our Funky Frets music store. These are amazing instruments for the cost. - Curt Sheller

Pukanala Brand Ukulele Manufactures

&ldquo;Pukana La&rdquo; means sunrise in Hawaiian. Sweeping throughthe strings of Pukana La Ukulele,and feel the warm and sunny spirit shines upon you like the morning sun. &ldquo;PUKA&rdquo;, likewise, is designed to share an image of rising and opening.

RISA Musical Instruments GmbH Manufactures

RISA Musical Instruments is a young innovative company. They design, produce and distribute small stringed instruments. Niche products with volume potential are our main focus.

Samick Guitar Company Manufactures

For almost 40 years Samick has manufactured product for the leading brand names in the guitar business. In the process, we learned a great deal about not only what goes into a great guitar, but how to produce it at an affordable price. We also realized that the ability to produce quality product at an affordable price was only half the equation. There needed to be an all out effort to develop a powerful new identity for the product and our company.

Seagull Guitars Manufactures

In 1982 Robert Godin produced the first Seagull guitars in the Village of LaPatrie, Quebec. The concept for the Seagull guitar was to take the essential components of the best hand-crafted guitars (such as solid tops and beautiful finishes) and build these features into guitars that could be priced within the reach of working musicians.

Sparrow Ukuleles Luthiers

At Sparrow Ukuleles their goal is to provide world class quality at a reasonable and accessible price. All of there instruments are designed and manufactured in Richmond, Va. Their focus on steel string, magnetic pickup ukes that sound and play wonderfully. The Alnico magnet pickups are custom designed and hand wound their our shop to provide rich, warm tone and sonic versatility. In addition to our standard models, they also take custom orders, so feel free to inquire! Be sure to stop by and check out Sparrow Ukuleles!

Suzuki Manufactures

Portuguese cabinet makers from the Madeira Islands emigrated to Hawaii in the 1880's and are thought to have made the first Ukuleles. A cross between a guitar and a banjo, the four stringed Madeiran guitar or machete, would eventually become known as the Ukulele. Suzuki Ukuleles feature top quality materials and precise assembly techniques that produce an instrument of exceptional quality regardless of the style and price range.

Takamine Manufactures

For more than half a century now, Takamine has proudly dedicated itself to the art of fine guitar craftsmanship. Its longstanding devotion to innovation and continual improvement has placed it among the world&rsquo;s premier acoustic guitar makers, with truly fine instruments that are the first choice of performing guitarists worldwide. At Takamine, we&rsquo;re artisans and craftspeople at heart. High-volume builders use production machinery to speed up their output, but speed isn&rsquo;t the issue for us&mdash;it&rsquo;s the quality of the instrument. We&rsquo;re proud of the level of our craftsmanship, and we invite you to see it for yourself by taking a close look at our instruments, part by part.

Taylor Guitars Manufactures

Taylor Guitars is an El Cajon California based luthier, widely known for their quality acoustic guitars. Taylor Guitars was established as a small shop in 1974 by Bob Taylor and Kurt Listug and has since become one of the world&rsquo;s foremost manufacturer of premium-quality guitars. Taylor is widely recognized for its pioneering use of cutting-edge technology to craft ultra-playable, great-sounding and musically-inspiring guitars.

The Rebel Ukulele

The Rebel is a small team of designers and experienced luthiers working collaboratively to create only high quality custom guitars and ukuleles. Started in 2011, with the desire to make only finely handcrafted instruments that express unique designs, well-seasoned materials, outstandingly responsive tones and playing characteristics, we have been handcrafting instruments for not only discerning musicians but also collectors who love one-off masterpiece instruments.

Uluru Ukulele Manufactures

Uluru is the <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aboriginal_Australians" target="_blank">Aboriginal</a> name for Ayers Rock in Australia With pure love and craze for the unique sounds, Ayers presents the ultimate ukulele line, Uluru. Made by the best Hawaiian Koa and decent exotic tone woods, along with the luthier shop skills, Uluru soon gets its reputation in handmade ukuleles.

Vineyard Ukuleles Manufactures

A brand name used by&nbsp;**Praiseland Music Inc. **Imported from China.

aNueNue Ukuleles Manufactures

Aloha! The aNueNue ukulele is not just another ukulele company. We are about life, music, and play. aNueNue means rainbow in Hawaiian. Pronounced as “"Ahh nu way nu way," we are a multi-national operation with ukulele enthusiasts from Hawaii, Canada, Japan and Taiwan.

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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

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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. Curt has been on the ®Internet since the early 1990's and This site just never stops growing!!!

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