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Posted - 10/20/2012 :  03:09:02 AM  Show Profile  Visit alika207's Homepage  Send alika207 an AOL message  Click to see alika207's MSN Messenger address  Send alika207 a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
Iaorana! / Aloha!

For any of you who may not have read my occasional posts here, I'll tell you that I mostly just strum my 'ukulele when I sing Hawaiian songs or any other popular songs that I think sound good on it. I don't really see myself as ever becoming a finger picker, but who knows?

Anyway, as a lot of you might remember, I got the instrument re-strung with a low G string. I had a high G when the instrument was given to me for my birthday and hated it because I prefer having the top string be the lowest note of the chord like Braddah Iz did. No offense to high G strummers.

If I ever want to strum using a Tahitian sound, would I have to completely re-string it so that the three lower strings are an octave up, or will it work to tune them as they are?

He kehau ho'oma'ema'e ke aloha.

'Alika / Polinahe


928 Posts

Posted - 10/20/2012 :  07:01:29 AM  Show Profile  Visit Konabob's Homepage  Send Konabob an AOL message  Reply with Quote
Hi Alika,
Looking forward to seeing you here in Kona in the near future!

I am no expert on the Tahitian 'Ukulele, but Dennis Lake has a nice one. It's distinctive sound comes not only from the constructions technique (it is more or less a short banjo with a thin wooden head, and an open back), but also from the type of strings that it is strung with. Again, I am only going from things I have read and seen, but all eight of the strings are fishing line. (Abundant in Tahiti, and probably in New England, right?)

This web site has a lot of great info on the instrument, including string information


Konabob's Walkingbass - http://www.konawalkingbass.com
Taropatch Steel - http://www.konaweb.com/konabob/
YouTube - http://www.youtube.com/results?search_type=&search_query=Konabob2+Walkingbass
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2368 Posts

Posted - 10/20/2012 :  07:09:32 AM  Show Profile  Visit Retro's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Konabob

...It's distinctive sound comes not only from the constructions technique (it is more or less a short banjo with a thin wooden head, and an open back), but also from the type of strings that it is strung with.
And the playing technique - the speed and style of strumming is related to the Tahitian drumming beats.
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96 Posts

Posted - 01/03/2013 :  06:56:49 AM  Show Profile  Visit berean_315's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Hi Alika,

You don't have to restring. A number of Tahitian bands have a regular uke player as well as one with a tahitian uke. I think the main thing is the strum pattern. It's more of a continuous type strum emphasizing certain beats. Check out the video below as well as others on YouTube.


I recently posted some Tahitian songs I've been working on playing a regular uke. It has a low "G" string and the "A" string is monofilament fishing line.

Tamari'i no Tahiti


Te Tama Maohi

Te Akakino


How to Play the Tahitian Ukulele PDF: http://www.box.net/shared/jz0219v8ec7bitu2h3mb
Tahitian Ukulele, Music & Language PDF: http://www.box.net/shared/7xdrebqoulugrvehf43l

Edited by - berean_315 on 01/03/2013 06:59:38 AM
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