I bought this sweet little number new, back then in 12/2000, when I had to bail a ship in Hawaii, after a knee cap to hip bruise/contusion. The overnight spell in Honolulu gave me the opportunity to visit the shopping mall of my childhood. There, I found the Ala Moana Ukulele Shop kiosk--and this all koa wood soprano ukulele. Apparently, back then, one could buy such a uke for under $400. Nowadays, there's no hope (except for an Ebay score), to get such a perfect example of a Hawaiian koa ukulele. Tone? I just visited Dusty Strings, in Seattle's Fremont 'hood today. There was this $4K Martin uke that paled in comparison. Sure, that little flea was a very sweetly crafted instrument, but it didn't have the volume and clarity of my Kama'aina flea. Wasn't there a band by the name of "The Screaming Fleas"? That's my uke!
So what have I been doing with the dancing flea? For only the last two years, after the previous eight? Hey now! The first song I figured out was Bob Welch's (formally of Fleetwood Mac) Sentimental Lady. The second was the folk song, Wayfaring Stranger. Those two took me, together, about one year. More recently, I figured out Minnie The Moocher. That probably took me about three weeks to memorized. My latest project is Mac The Knife. It's coming along.
The first version of MacHeath I heard was Bobby Darin's. His take has been the definitive version for me, for decades. However, I have to admit that Sting's slow rendition struck me as something that might have roots to the original stage production. What made me think that? Well, if you grab a uke and start slow, soulfully, staccato-raking the strings, you'll quickly get the sense of the difference between the two rhythms.
If I get my shit together soon enough, I'll make it a point to post some videos of my playing.
Fuuuuuuck!!!!!!! Me playing!!!!????? Scary sheeett!
Actually, the hardest thing to avoid is the sudden Foxtrot Uniform.