We’re often asked where there are local ukulele classes for complete beginners and more advanced players. Learn to play your ukulele at local, reasonably priced courses starting very soon. They’re run by a lovely lady called Diane who hosts them in Seaton Sluice & Bedlington. Places are limited so don’t delay, call us at enjoymuzic for Diane’s contact details on 0191 2966544. No need to read music! You will need your own ukulele but we have some great quality beginner ukes in stock now.
This time of year is a worry for many parents whose children are fired up with the idea of starting to play an instrument. There’s no need to spend a fortune however. Here’s a quick idea of the starting prices for beginner instruments at enjoymuzic this year. And remember, a bit of friendly advice is free so if you have any questions before you buy, just pop in!
Ukulele packages from £16.99
Recorders from £3.50
3/4 Guitars from £34.70
Flute & Clarinet outfits from £120 (or rent for just £36 for 3 months!)
Trumpet outfits from £135 (also available to rent)
Violin outfits from £79.99
Touch Sensitive Electronic Keyboard outfits from £139
Digital Pianos outfits from £324
There’s loads more to see instore and we’re open every day!
The BBC has it all covered. Live streams, play back features, full sets, interviews and more. Head over to the BBC Glastonbury website to check out all their coverage. It’s broadcasting on television via BBC too so do not fear if you’re not a massive fan of streaming on the computer.
Here are 5 bands we think you shouldn’t miss…
PIXIES Saturday – Other Stage 21.00 -22.00
The first return to Glastonbury for the Pioneering American Indie band Pixies since they last played Glasto back in 1989. They might have replaced Kim Deal on bass guitar but they still sound fantastic. If you haven’t heard the Pixies or watched them live they are worth it, I know I was lucky enough to see them last October. You will not be disappointed.
Warpaint – Other Stage, Saturday 15.00 – 16.00
4 piece female band who will entice you into their wonderful dizzy world of vocal harmonies and dreamy guitars. They can also pack a punch when needed. Everyone who I have spoken to said they were great. I agree with them.
Check them out here…
Mogwai The Park Stage Saturday 23.00 – 12.15
The Scottish post rock rockers are back. Experimental, majestically mind bending, well worth their headline slot. It’s one not to be missed.
Dolly Parton – Sunday – Pyramid stage – 15.30 – 16.20
There isn’t much to say as Dolly has spoken for her self in a career that can only be matched by a few. She is GOD so get your cowboy boots on, get into the mud and dance from 9 till 5 (mainly 15.30 – 16.20 though!)
Newton Faulkner Friday – Avalon Stage, 21.45 – 22.45
This man is a dreadlocked wizard on acoustic guitar. Back that up with a smashing voice and a top song writing abilities you have an hour of pure acoustic bliss.
If you want try some more of this year’s hottest bands and other artists including poets and dancers, here’s the BBC’s own pick of the crop…
So you’ve read ‘Which Ukulele Should I Buy Part One’ and hopefully you have a clear idea of what size you need to buy but there are soooo many brands, finishes and price ranges out there, so here are a few of our preferred ukes for you to consider….
Things to look out for:
Friction pegs v. machine heads – Ukuleles, like most folk instruments, all had friction pegs until relatively recently and many well respected brands such as Ozark have stuck with this tradition. If you’re new to playing a stringed instrument however, we would always recommend that you look for one with machine heads (like a guitar) as friction pegs tend to slip and require some maintenance. Ask the shop to explain the difference if you’re not sure.
Laminate v. wood – There’s nothing wrong with starting out with a cheap laminate ukulele and seeing how you get along but be wary of paying too much for one. Real wood ukes are surprisingly inexpensive and sound so much better.
Accessories deals – You will need a tuner and maybe a bag or a stand for your ukulele. Ask the store if they offer any discounts or accessories bundles.
First time players and children: If you’ve never played an instrument before and you’re going to take up the ukulele, then good on you! Keep it cheap and cheerful with a Mahalo soprano ukulele package. There are loads of cheap ones around but we really rate the Mahalo brand for good value playability. If you’re confident you’ve selected the right size for you and would like a better sounding one, Mahalo also do an entry level wooden ukulele with a smart padded bag which is available in all the standard ukulele sizes. Brunswick is a slightly more expensive but better quality brand which is worth a look. They do ukuleles in a popular shade of mahogany or the more unusual blond maple version.
For guitarists: If you or the person you’re buying for already play guitar then it’s safe to say that a soprano ukulele is likely to seem too cramped and fiddly. Go straight in for a concert or tenor size. Brunswick do some beautiful real wood ukuleles at a great low price and there is also an electro-acoustic option at less than £100. This is ideal if the person already plays electric guitar and enjoys playing through an amp.
Of course, if you want to hit the ground running, the easy thing to do is choose a baritone ukulele which is tuned like a guitar. Again, the Brunswick Baritone Ukulele is a good value buy but Ashbury do a great Baritone too.
Intermediate players: As you approach the £100 – £200+ price bracket, a whole new world of ukuleles comes into consideration. When you’re ready to pay this kind of money, you’ve probably been playing for a while so the best advice is to get out there and try as many as you can. It’s also a good idea to decide whether you think an electro-acoustic ukulele would be of any use to you, rather than finding your perfect uke and having to pay someone later to fit a pick-up for gigging or just experimenting with changing the sound through an amplifier.
Regardless of the brand, the ukuleles we really love are all made from Pacific woods like Curly Mango and Koa. The trees grown in that Hawaiian region are much sought after for ukulele building and tend to carry the specific twangy tone associated with original ukuleles.
One of the best brands at an intermediate price is Kala but you may want to look at some of the big guitar names (Martin, Gibson, Gretsch) who have all been outputting some great ukuleles recently. If you fancy something that looks a bit different, try Riptide.
There are plenty of other options including the pineapple shape and also the classic ‘George Formby’ Banjo Ukulele like this one from Barnes and Mullins which is often the first thing people picture when you mention ukes. Great sound but try before you buy! They’re heavier than they look and can be a bit awkward to keep in tune.
I recently inherited this Audition electro-acoustic guitar from my father-in-law. I knew it was a much loved instrument, not expensive but attractive to look at. What I wasn’t prepared for was the reaction when I brought it into my shop to get the electrics tweaked. There it was, just hanging by several other (much more expensive) instruments, in need of a good polish and some new strings. Everyone I saw that week wanted to look at it, touch it, comment on it and in many instances, buy it. I was offered everything from £50 to £750 for my cheap, tired guitar and heard some fabulous anecdotes from those of you who had one in the 60s and 70s.
I wanted to know more and after a bit of surfing on the net, I discovered they were Japanese and imported into the UK by Woolworths. I can’t decide what model mine is – if you can tell me more I’d love to hear from you. A very similar one sold on eBay recently for £250! If you have one, visit http://www.mark-cole.co.uk/teisco/ to find out more about it.
Here’s one of my favourite youtubers playing a couple of his own Teisco hollowbody guitars….