So I was in a charity shop the other day in Northampton and I happened upon this interesting soprano ukulele. It is a Skylark MY 107 soprano ukulele, made in the 'Peoples republic of China'. I could tell straight away that it would be virtually un-playable, but I liked the look of it, so I handed the good shopkeeper my £5.00 and left happy with my purchase. I also like to keep a ukulele in my camper van at all times and in times of survival, I may need something to burn.
Well it is certainly and interesting little thing. The body seems to made of the worlds thinnest wood. If it was still a tree, it is not a tree that I would want to climb ! The neck is straight and the intonation is actually ok. The action is pretty high. Then we come to the tuning pegs - although that is a very generous description of the 'pegs'. These pegs and the word 'tuning' should not be seen in the same country, let alone sentence. To tune the ukulele (which is very hard) do the following :
1) Set aside about 3 hours of your life.
2) Mentally prepare yourself to not tune the ukulele.
3) Mentally prepare yourself to learn it is possible to hate and inanimate object.
If you do the above, you may, just may, come out of the whole tuning experience alive. After the above three steps, you have to take the pegs out of the hole and twist until you are in tune. Once you are in tune you then have to shove the peg back into the hole, as quickly as possible. Of course it goes out of tune immediately.
The ukulele is, as I guessed virtually unplayable. However, I still kind of like it. Its a cute little thing to look at and has a very cute box, that looks almost 1940's in style. I would guess the ukulele was made in the 1990's. It now hangs on my wall looking nice. If I had two lifetimes I may try tuning it again, but while there are diners to be cooked, lawns to be mowed and students to be taught, I think it can stay on the wall and look pretty.