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24 July 2012

King Uke Ukulele Designs

Be not afraid of greatness; some are born great, some achieve
greatness, and others have greatness thrust upon them
William Shakespeare

I always knew I had it in me. I just didn't know when it was going to emerge. This weekend I decided to come to the aid of fellow ukateer AWOL. He's got the uke-building bug and is looking for ideas for his first project. We got chewing the fat and he started to tell me of his ideas for a uke that he can play quietly to practice and loudly to impress the chicks (okay, he didn't quite use those exact words).

We started talking about a uke design that incorporated an in-build speaker. It's been done before with guitars; My neighbour has built a slide guitar with an in-built amp and two speakers!

This is where it all started to get interesting. I mocked up a protype design and posted it on Google+ inviting feedback. Debate was heated at times, but I took on board suggestions from the gallery and little by little I tweaked the design until I was left with what I can only describe as something absolutely fresh and unique. It's an absolute marvel!

After the excercise, AWOL took me aside and paid me a compliment that still brings a tear to my eye. He said: "I look forward to your future endeavors of design. Not sure how many calls you will get for this one, but you have a talent that is sure to get you noticed."

Thank you AWOL for your kind words. As a result of this wonderful experience I've publicly launched the King Uke Ukulele Design Company. Right at the bottom of this post you can watch the promo launch video.

While you're on the way down to watch that, why don't you check out my first uke design. Below are the prototype pictures as they happened. There were 8 revisions in total. Enjoy.

Mark I

Mark II

Mark III

Mark IV

Mark V

Mark VI

Mark VII


Here's the launch video:

I've been asked why the theme isn't played on a uke... well, that would be too obvious wouldn't it!


  1. I'd like to order one of your
    Mark VIII's.
    Is it on the mark(8)et yet ?-)

  2. And Re:
    "I've been asked why the theme isn't played on a uke... well, that would be too obvious wouldn't it!"

    Is that because you were playing the Mark VIII all along
    in that above You Tube?

  3. I'm struggling to source parts Daz. It seems that there is a derth of Ukrainian Tug Boats! Or is that Uke-ranian?

  4. Wow! I love it! Actually I have been building ukuleles with a built-in amplifier for a couple of years now, and mine go even more than 11! Most of them go to 13 or 14, some even 15. But seriously, love your pictures! I really have been working on this ukulele with amp inside it, and it's been so much work. Just now I spent so much time trying to perfect it some more, and it's so hard to deal with feedback. So when I found your King uke it made me laugh so much. So beautifully absurd. So go to if you are interested. Thanks, Rar

  5. Thanks for commenting Rar! Ha ah... yes, I had some fun putting this post together. Yours might have an amp... but does it have a pony? I like what you are doing at LeLe. I'll be sure to check this out in a bit more detail soon ;-)