Nalu Hokua, Kimo Jones #228, Kanile K2T, Kala FMT all Tenor Ukuleles
by Bob DuBos
(Tacoma, WA. USA)
I played guitar some as a kid and am sure we also had a ukulele around as well. I had not played my guitar in many years and was listening to a youtube video of "IZ" playing Somewhere Over The Rainbow, that version made me tear up, he had a beautiful voice and I loved the sound of the ukulele. I decided to pick up one and learn some kid songs to play for my grandkids. I found a dealer Sound Ukulele near the Tacoma, WA. area where I live. Ray Alonzo Sr. the instructor was was able to demonstrate what they sounded like when a experienced ukulele player used them. I decided on a middle of the level Nalu Hokua model (it has an electric pickup but since I have an amp already that would be good). I saw and fell in love with the Kanilea K1 at that time, but it was about 50% more $ than my budget allowed. The Nalu is solid Mahogany. My next purchase was off EBAY I found a Kimo Jones (#228)tenor with solid Koa sides and back and a spruce top. Last month I then came across a lightly used but perfect condition Kanile K2T that I picked up at a reasonable price. The internet is wonderful with lots of great people sharing how to play instructions and it is a continuing pleasure for me. I have now had 2 professional lessons with Ray. Last week before my lesson I saw the ukulele from the ukulele festival held on Vashon Island and it was for sale. I bought the Kala FMT because of the maple wood pattern. It is easy to see a shaggy dog head and deer head with antlers in the grain on the back of it. I thought someone had done it on purpose, but am told it's all natural. I have decided I like the sound quality of a uke with the spruce top. I still plan on a travel uke but that should hold me for a while. Now I need to spend some time practicing and getting better. Thanks to all who provide us beginners with free instruction via youtube and the internet. Here is a picture of the maple back of the Kala FMT.
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