I started building ukuleles for myself.  I was interested in the effects that various
woods have on the sound and particularly, the cutaway style since to realize the
potential of the instrument, you should push your playing to the fourth position and beyond.  Only individuals with unusual finger length can do that on the traditional shape.

I have since settled on two different wood combinations and shapes.  The design is a tenor size and specific to a low G.  I have no idea how it would work with a high G string?  Since I prefer melody  which uses the lower registers,  the low G suits my biases.  The sound of the instrument is equally outstanding with a high G.

That being said, and as you can see, I have built traditional shapes of Mahogany, and under duress, I would do so again; the preference is as stated above.

The two combinations I recommend are koa back and sides with a spruce top, and myrtlewood back and sides, again with a spruce top. The neck on the koa uke is mahogany while the myrtlewood is rock maple.

These instruments have very different voices.  The myrtlewood is mellow and
reminiscent of the older Martins.  The koa ukulele has a more forceful sound,
obviously with a different set of harmonics.  Both instrument styles project well.

The cutaway shapes are a matter of personal preference.  I don’t hear a difference that can be attributed to the cutaway shape.  That part of the ukulele top is relatively “dead” compared to the other top regions.  Perhaps I just don’t hear it?  Perhaps the differences in the voice are the result of the shape and not the wood.  I doubt it.

Here is a photo gallery of some of my ukuleles.
Here is more information on the sounds of my ukes.

I am not building custom ukes at this time.
© 2002-2011
All rights reserved