Old Postcard

Music from Kawika's Ukuleles

Ho'olono ana i ke kani honehone a ka ukulele
(pause to listen to the sweet sound of the ukulele...)

Playing our ukuleles...

Many, many people have remarked on the ease with which our ukuleles are played, the clarity of tone, the sustain of the notes and the projection of the instruments. These qualities are no accident. As outlined in the Building section of the website, we take great care with each instrument to insure these qualities. Depending on the top wood and the subtleties of wood combinations within each instrument, each ukulele will have its own voice, but all of our instruments have the above qualities.

What follows is my first attempt to characterize tonal differences among Kawika ukuleles of different sizes and stringing patterns (see Sounds and Strings discussion sections). No fancy recording equipment this time around; I've just played the instruments a few inches away from the microphone associated with the sound card on my computer. On the advice of Brian and Glen at The ColorEdge, the sound files are of the *.au type. If there are problems playing these, let me know and we'll see what we can generate which will work for you.

In the first section we'll perform several strums in different keys and rhythms for each size, then in the next section play the same tune with each of them, then in the third section slowly sound the notes and a few chords of the different size instruments. The first two sections will load 2-3 times faster than the last because they're smaller in size. We also hope to have various guest artists play these different ukuleles as well, since everyone who buys from me is usually a better player than I am... Hey, feel free to come by the shop and kani ka pila for the website!

I. First we compare concert, 4- and 6-string tenor, and baritone Kawika ukuleles using different tunes and/or strumming patterns
II. Second we compare concert, 4- and 6-string tenor, and baritone Kawika ukuleles using the same song, "Shortnin' Bread"
III. Third we compare concert, 4- and 6-string tenor, and baritone Kawika ukuleles by simply plucking the strings using a slow downward strum, followed by 12th fret harmonics of the same strings in the same order, followed by slow strums of A7, D7, G, C, and G chords.

We hope that the above exercise has been a useful introduction to the sound of our instruments. If you would like the site expanded to include a more detailed section on different types of strums with strum notations or other short musical pieces, or have any other constructive comments, please contact me by e-mail at:

To explore more of the website, please refer to the Sitemap and Search Engine