I’ll start out with a huge thank you to all my friends and fans for the immense outpouring of support! For both the donations and the re-shares of the information on my stolen Glyph. It gave me a real Sally Fields moment (“You like me! You really like me!”) as I simply wasn’t expecting anything like it.
On that last subject, it’s probably too early in the post for a digression, but I want to give you (non-artist) folk a glimpse of my internal madness. The artists amongst you, regardless of discipline, will most likely immediately identify with it.
I’ve just finished my second read of Amanda Palmer’s book, The Art Of Asking. In it she talks about a malady common to folks in artistic pursuits, to wit: a nasty internal voice that nags at you, insisting that you’re just faking it and “the Fraud Police” are coming any moment now to bust you for your audacity.
“You suck!” says the voice, “how vain are you to ask people to pay for your pitiful scribblings/daubings/warblings, etc?” I struggle with this constantly. So seeing you folks’ generous and loving aid pouring in before I even thought to ask really shook me. Bless you all!
OK… on to the ukulele.
Hamano full front view
This is the Hamano H-100 ukulele (soprano, of course!) that I chose. It is a nearly flawless copy of a 1920s era Martin Style 1. (We’ll get to the “nearly” part soon.) It has a solid mahogany body and neck, a rosewood fingerboard and bridge, and a bone nut and saddle. It’s very light and has a really nice tone. The volume is not half shabby either, despite the rather whiffy strings it came with. I’ve got a set of my favorite strings to put on it, but I decided I’d give it at least a one day trial run before I swap them out.
Hamano headstock close-up
Except for the silk-screened logo on the headstock, it’s almost entirely bling free. This is not
a bug, it’s a feature. I like
simple. It’s often elegant. Plus I care way more about sound than I do about sparkle.
By the way… anybody have any idea what kind of flowers the three in the logo are supposed to be?
close-up of the face
Look at the rosette in the above pic. Two inlaid pinstripes of a lighter wood. You can also see one matching pinstripe around the edge of the face (under the binding). Simple.
Now, about that “nearly” thing…
Hamano fret dots close-up
This final pic shows the four inlaid “micro dot” fret markers. One at the 5th fret, two at the 7th, and one at the 9th. As a general rule (i.e. subject to exceptions) ukuleles have their fret dots at the 10th fret rather than the 9th. You mostly find the 9th fret markings on ukes built by guitar companies who’re trying to jump on the bandwagon of this third wave of ukulele popularity. An exception to that rule is Martin. If you look at an old Style 1 you’ll see that there is one dot at the 5th, two at the 7th, and the final one at the 10th fret. Just why the folks at Hamano changed that arrangement is likely to remain an unsolved mystery. Luckily, there are no side dots on this ukulele so this won’t throw me off whilst playing. And as soon as my envelope from Japan arrives I’ll be adding side dots at the locations I’m used to. It’ll throw the feng shui off a bit, but I’ll be less likely to hit a clam because of it.
All in all, I think me and the new little fella are going to become fast friends.
Thank you again!