The first ukulele I built…

…is the the only “Kitakis” uke in the world (I think).
About 15 years ago I set out to make my first ukulele. The creative possibilities had me buzzing with thoughts and pictures in my mind. I knew I knew I had to build a “regular” ukulele before I could try weird shapes or bracing. Picasso painted real before surreal. So I set out to make a regular mahogany Tenor ukulele with three fan braces pointing to the neck, the Martin style. Some would argue this as the “wheel” of ukulele building. I would mostly agree, but you can always improve.
With an artistic desire, there is a place you can go where time does not exist, and effort is not reflected upon. You can easily go there while playing music or drawing a picture because these things takes a constant focus from the creative culmination of your thoughts, and reflects sights or sounds absorbed from the time your born. Unlike these forms of expression, instrument building is a tedious process of creation. It takes alot of love to carry over that “flow” into the actual building process. I say love because it takes real work and concentration. It is nowhere near instant gratification, but the gratification is a long lived one.
There are not many things that can be passed down for generations, and actually played and enjoyed along the way. That is why a musical instrument is the best investment you can make!
I leave the bridge pin mismatched and scotch tape on my tuning key (keeps it from buzzing). This is mainly because I have to be neurotic on a daily basis, for my customers sake, forced to judge an ukulele by it’s cosmetic perfection. Something about my dings and mismatched peg makes me happy 🙂

Comments 2

  1. I learned to play on that beautiful instrument.
    Andrew, you say “love is real work and concentration.” I think you meant real work and “passion.” Awesome as always!

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