The 2019 Palm Strings Ukulele Festival is in the books and we’re finally getting a chance to write down our thoughts about it. It was a very good festival for us and we loved being able to reconnect with so many of our ukulele ohana. We debuted our latest micro bass “Groovin’.” It was definitely a hit with many people and it actually went home with one of them.
As with all of our shows, we came away from Palm Springs with new creative energy and an even more refined direction for the upcoming year. Every show teaches us more about what ukulele players want and need in their instruments. And now we try to translate those conversations into new ukuleles.
After talking with our ukulele ohana, here is a list of our key targets for the upcoming year.
- Semi-hollow, Acoustic/Electric, Micro Bass – We got a great deal of feedback on the new bass and we certainly feel we are heading in the right direction with it’s development. We’ve gotten our intonation spot-on all the way up the neck with our proprietary, hyper-adjustable bridge and we’re looking at ways to streamline our production to keep the price where we want it. Our micro bass is a major development goal and we have two currently underway.
- The wBass – This is a concept instrument to be built based on feedback from Jake of the English band “Deadman’s Uke” It will be a micro bass that can be played not only like a normal micro bass, but also like a tiny, stand-up, double bass. It’s our “Double-U Bass”, get it? With a tightly radiused, fretless fretboard and a collapsible peg, this one will be a strange one built for a very specific style.
- New Soprano-size Keystone – Our first soprano-sized Keystones will be done this year. Our smaller ukes have been gaining a lot of attention so we’ve designed a new bentwood soprano. That one will debut at the 2020 Reno Uke Fest.
- 5-Strings – This is another uke that sets us apart. Our 5-strings can really sing and this year we’ll be doing our very first semi-hollow 5-string. It’ll be interesting to see how the semi-hollow body projects the 5-string sound.
- Chopsticks Bracing – Time to build another ohashi (chopsticks) ukulele… perhaps a 5-string tenor or even a soprano. Or perhaps even a semi-hollow with ohashi bracing.
We’re back from vacation; tanned, rested and ready to make some sawdust in the workshop.
Smile when you play that!