Review: Swingin’ Jazz Ukulele


By: Russ Aloha! Let's talk about jazz and, more specifically, jazz on the ukulele. The ukulele shines when you play jazz on it, both with a low G and a high G string and the reason is pretty simple: due to the relative highness of the instrument's scale and the lack of an additional two low strings (the guitar's E and A strings), the tone is brighter, snappier, and … [Read more...]

Stew-Mac/JHS Pedal Kits

Stewart-MacDonald has long been known as one of the best places to buy lutherie tools and parts. Now, they have partnered with JHS Pedals to bring some of JHS's discontinued pedals back to life in kit form. Currently, Stew-Mac is offering five different JHS pedal kits: the 808 Overdrive, the All American, the Bomb Boost, the Low Drive Bass Overdrive, and the Old School Fuzz. … [Read more...]

Keeley Dark Side


  Robert Keeley and his crew at Keeley Electronics have put out a number of interesting pedals this year, the most recent of which is the Dark Side: The Dark Side is the latest release in Keeley’s Workstation Series. The Dark Side produces Phaser and U-Vibe effects as well as a Rotary speaker and Flanger sounds that are all vintage inspired but with modern … [Read more...]

Review: The Ukulele Way

By: Russ Aloha! Let’s talk about musical goals! It’s important to have musical goals. After all, if you don’t you end up wandering aimlessly and, while Tolkien said that not all who wander are lost, the vast majority are and when you’re lost, every step in any direction feels like a mistake and a step wasted. How do you know if you’re making progress anywhere if you … [Read more...]

Standards & Gems


By: Russ Aloha! While walking through a school, I saw a group of teens sitting close together in a circle playing ukulele and singing to each other. It wasn't here in Hawaii, but rather San Antonio, Texas, and the students were all there temporarily from different areas of the country. But they played the same songs and smiled as they sang. Whenever I would jam on guitar, … [Read more...]