So, the night before I went on a little mini-vacation to Wisconsin, I got my 6-string Aquila string set in the mail. So, I strung up my new OU-26T 6-String Tenor Ukulele so I could show you guys how it sounds with the proper strings on there. I think you'll agree that the sound differences between my 6-string tenor uke and my low-G tenor uke are pretty dang dramatic!
If I don't seem as perky in this video, it's because my wife and two boys had been gone for over a week at this point. So, if you have kids, then you know how that goes. It's like 2-3 days of late nights, beer, bad movies and video games and then the rest of the days are spent moping around the house. I honestly missed the sound of the boys screaming at each other. Heh.
Also, I'd thank you to not look up my shorts during the whole video.
So, yesterday was a damn fine day. Two ukulele events coincided with each other and the stars truly aligned for awesomeness. First, the mailman delivered my set of Orcas Low-G tenor strings (which I was going to use for my Lanikai CK-TEQ tenor ukulele). Next, I scored an Oscar Schmidt OU-26T 6-string tenor ukulele for a meager $45 on Craigslist. The guy who was selling it lives in Polson, MT. That's about an hour away from Missoula (where I reside), for those of you who aren't familiar with Montana geography (for shame!). But, as luck would have it, his wife was traveling to our shopping mall yesterday and he sent the uke down with her.
So, beside the fact that I was going to have to intentionally visit the mall, the day was really looking like it was gonna rule. The lady I was meeting suggested we meet at the coffee shop in the center of the mall. I'm sure she naturally assumed that since I was from Craigslist that I was murdering rapist. Heh. So, I met her and had a look at the 6-string tenor and it was in perfect condition. I played it a little bit (long enough to entertain other coffee shop patrons and not so long as to be tossed out of the mall for busking) and something sounded a little weird about it. It looked to me as if he strung it a little bit weird. But, no matter, still a fine deal.
So, when I got it home I realized what he had done. The A and C strings on the OU-26T are supposed to be double strings. But, they are also supposed to be octaves. Now, he had both strings playing the same note and not octaves. The end result being that the smaller gauge string was really "floppy". I did my best to fix it up and, sadly, snapped the C string. The A strings are a real nice octave, though. I just ordered a new set of Aquila 6-string tenor strings, though, so I'll make more videos when I get it strung up properly.
Anyway, here is a video that shows you how a Low-G tenor ukulele sounds and also how the OU-26T sounds with only 5 strings. 😉
I should probably mention, again, that these Orcas strings are really incredible. Do yourself a favor and get a set to see what I mean. And, if you have a tenor ukulele, you should definitely get a set of the Low-G strings. They sound so full and rich.
So, today I felt like I needed to do something special for my wife, Erika. I stayed up super late playing poker and maybe drinking too many beers and I slept in too late, etc. She's the center of my world and I knew I needed to remind her of that today. So, what did I do? Well, I covered some Magnetic Fields, of course!
Maybe this doesn't make sense to everyone, but Magnetic Fields are pretty much a touchstone for us. Hell, our youngest son's middle name is Merritt for heaven's sake. We're pretty rabid fans.
But, this song is something special for us. A fantastic Missoula band, The Oblio Joes, played on our wedding day and they played this song as "our song". I actually sang it with them (although, I guess I probably should have been dancing with Erika, right?) and it sealed this song in time, as ours.
Then several years later, The Oblio Joes played their last show ever in Caras Park in Missoula. Well, this last show took place on the anniversary of our wedding. So, as a surprise to Erika, I jumped up on stage and sand Strange Powers with the Obes for the last time.
Well, today I had to do it without the Obes, but I did as best as I could. There are 11 tracks in this song and they are:
Oh yeah, and I recorded it on my MOTU Traveller interface. I love it! And I used an AKG C 2000B Microphone. But, enough of all that tech jibber jabber. This one is for my baby. I hope you like it, Erika.
P.S. I need a windscreen for my mic.... I know. I'm buying one today as well as new Aquila strings. 😉
P.P.S. I'd love to make a video for this song. You know one of those rad videos that shows me playing each of the instruments as the part comes in for the first time. But, that seems like a ton of work and I'm not really sure what software to use. Does everyone do those with Adobe Premier? It seems like it has a steep learning curve (and costs about a million dollars). Any other suggestions?
P.P.P.S Crap. I just realized that I muffed the lyrics in a few spots. Hopefully Stephen Merritt never hears this because I'm not sure I could stand up to his sardonic comments and cool stare.
I've never seen a Lanikai SM-T Tenor Ukulele before. In fact, I'll go one further and say that I've never seen a spalted mango ukulele before. I love it! But, what does it sound like? Well, I did some searching on Youtube and found this video of a guy playing a Lanikai Spalted Mango Ukulele, but I couldn't verify the model.
This ebay auction for a Lanikai SM-T pretty much just got listed, so keep your eyes on it.
So, I've been pretty intrigued with the Lanikai LU-21 as one of the better choices for a starter ukulele. Heck, even at $70 it seemed like a good deal but the price is just getting cheaper and cheaper. So, I went looking for reviews and I found this great Youtube review of the LU-21.
Pretty thorough! Well, if you do want to get your hands on this ukulele, here are 3 different methods for doing so and also there is another variation you might be interested in.
Most of the Lanikai LU-21P ukuleles on ebay are around $79. You can do better than that, right? Well, you might want to bid on this auction for your Lanikai LU-21. Right now it's only $30.
Depending on the deals and specials that are running, sometimes Musician's Friend has cheaper prices than Amazon and other times they don't. However, what they do have is great customer service and a fantastic return policy. Also, if you are looking to buy more than just a ukulele (strings, mics, cords, etc) then you'll spend less time looking at Musician's Friend and overall, I'd expect your cost to be just about the same as Amazon. On the Lanikai LU-21 and LU-21P, though, they are about $10 higher than amazon.
Then look at this cute little pineapple number, the Lanikai LU-21P!
So, in this case at least, Amazon has the best deal (unless you can score that ebay auction for less than $49). Check it out: