Goodbye from Ukulele Guy hello from Adventures in Nerdery

Howdy gang.  So, it's officially been a  year of making videos for Adventures in Nerdery so I've decided that it is time to retire Ukulele Guy.  This will be the last video that I add to the YouTube channel and probably the last blog post as well.  It's been a fun ride and I met lots of rad people, heard a lot of rad songs and learned a lot about Ukuleles.  But, dry your eyes friend!  I'm making more videos than ever over at Adventures in Nerdery so  you should come check it out.  In case you aren't convinced, dig on this video that explains what I do over there.  I bet you are gonna like it!

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Where have you gone?!

Yeah, I get it. I understand that I pretty much dropped off of the face of the earth. But, it's only because I've been doing important work. That's right, I've been making a difference, y'all.

I've been playing VIDEO GAMES!

No be fair, I've also been crazy busy with work, my old heavy new wave band (VOLUMEN) had a reunion show at the last Total Fest, here in Missoula and I still occasionally play ukulele with Jerry in our novelty act.

But, fret not, ukulele-loving folk, because Jerry and I have been making recording our Tuesday video game sessions and the results are (sometimes) hilarious. Also, each week we switch instruments to play the theme song, so there is still some ukulele up in this piece.

Here, check out the outtakes for this week's episode and you'll see me playing my Kala Pocket Ukulele while Jerry pretends to play bass.

If that tickles your fancy, you should watch the full episode. Or, if 17 minutes is too big of a commitment (believe me, you won't regret it), then check out this 7 minute episode featuring Chicken Lady!

The premise of "Who's Better?" (that's the name of the series, by the way) is that we challenge each other (and occasionally a guest star) to a video game battle. The winner gets bragging rights for the week. I designed the contest because I figured it would just legitimize all of the Jerry-bashing I already do. But... so far it hasn't been going my way.

Ok, well, I hope you join us. I promise to keep putting ukuleles up in there.

Kickstarter for a rugged, durable, plastic ukulele

I've said it before. Sure, everyone loves a beautiful, handcrafted and high quality ukulele. But, when you play an instrument as portable as the ukulele, it seems like a shame if you aren't actually taking it anywhere. In the past, my favorite portable ukuleles were my Mahalo Economy ukuleles. I mean, if they get crushed or warped or I accidentally drop it in the river, it only cost me like $20 to begin with. So, it's not the end of the world or anything. Well, if traveling with a ukulele sounds appealing to you, then you should check out (and FUND) this Kickstarter campaign. High quality, plastic ukuleles, yo!

The Plastic Ukulele Kickstarter

I'm going to donate $145 because then you get one with geared metal tuners (assuming they reach their funding goal).

To Pick or Not To Pick (the Ukulele, that is)

Now, I don't want to start a big ole flame war with regards to the best way to strum your ukulele.  Especially considering that I definitely don't do it the "Right Way" myself.  As you might have seen from my videos, I play the ukulele by whipping my hand around and having my fingernails strike the strings.  This is actually how I play guitar as well.  The reason for both of these things is that I was originally a bass player who never learned to use a pick.

Many people will argue that the "correct" way to play the ukulele is to hold your hand flat, over the strings (as if you were waving hello to the ukulele or something) then bend your index finger to point it towards the strings.   Now, I guess you are supposed to use that finger to do most of your strumming.  Nuts to that, I'm too old to learn a new thing.

Or so I thought.  You see, I took a little break from ukulele to play bass in a Cure cover band.  And, as it turned out, there were two Cure songs that are picked so fast that I couldn't approximate it correctly using my "hand whipping" method.  Those songs were Primary and Hanging Garden.  You wanna see what I mean?  Check out this live footage of the actual cure.

Good grief!

So, it was settled, I had to teach myself to use a pick and so I did.  Well, now I'm wondering if I can't translate some of this to ukulele?  Especially considering that they only picks I could really make use of were the .50mm versions of the below pick.

I guess I need my picks to be floppy.  So, I was stoked when I found out about these leather ukulele picks!  I'm going to get a few of them and see how they go.  I'm hopeful that the leather pick will translate to a softer picked sound as well.  I'll let y'all know.

Rare breed of the ellusive Swagerty Treholipee (black and red?!)

So, I got an e-mail from a nice person asking if I had ever seen a Treholipee in black and red.  If they hadn't included pictures then I think I might have misunderstood them to mean the dark orange Treholipee that's one of the common colors.  As far as I knew, Swagerty only made the following colors of Treholipee:  Orange-Red, Yellow, Green and Brown.  With that in mind, I opened the attached pictures and had my mind blown!  Look at how rad this thing is.

Red and Black Swagerty Treholipee - Check out that Fretboard!
Red and Black Swagerty Treholipee - Check out that Fretboard!
Red and Black Swagerty Treholipee - Check out those pegs!
Red and Black Swagerty Treholipee - Check out those pegs!
Red and Black Treholipee - Another Fretboard Shot
Red and Black Treholipee - Another Fretboard Shot
Red and Black Treholipee - The whole package
Red and Black Treholipee - The whole package

Have any of you guys ever seen one of these?  What's the deal?  My guess is that it was a custom or limited run that Swagerty did?  I highly doubt that someone did this on their own because the pegs and fretboard look to be plastic (like all of the Treholipees I have ever seen).  Any idea on what these would sell for now?  I would say that Treholipees go for around $150 or so, but I would expect this to fetch more than that.  Anyway, neat!  Let me know if anyone has more information.

If you are looking for Treholipees on eBay, then check out these auctions.