As I said in the last post, I’m now trying to re-format my hundreds of html articles on the site, so that they look better on various devices. While most are OK as is, some clearly need updating, while I’ve removed a few for full rewrites (I hope!). Which brings us to…

“Harp Ukuleles – What on earth were they thinking?”!

I wrote an article with that title in 2003 for the second and last issue of The Ukulele Occasional, whose publisher famously went on to create the even more wonderful Fretboard Journal. Opening my rare and valuable copy today, I remember how I faithfully included all the brand new creations I could find by modern luthiers. There were exactly three – and none had “sub-bass” strings (the third, in low G tuning, had two extra floating strings to provide the missing “guitar capo’d at the fifth fret notes” – a brilliant idea, frankly!).

After later publishing the article on, I would add new finds when I came across them. Then, as I went to re-format the article this month, I saw that I had a half dozen placeholders of instruments I’d never added. I did so, and then figured I better do a new Google search. Well, I found another half dozen, and I suspect I did not even locate them all. (Luthiers – why are you so shy about sharing your wonderful instruments?!)

With today’s update to the Harp Uke page (still under that title, even though it has become – unbelievably – almost mainstream), there are now thirty modern builders – individual, shops and factories – who have created versions of the oddball instrument. They now exist in nearly every possible form that ukuleles come in themselves. (Alas, my brilliantly designed and named “Harp Fluke” never made it into production, despite Jim Beloff’s genuine interest…see below.)

Speaking of unfinished projects…I did finally get a recording done of my own harp-uke solo of “When You Wish Upon a Star” (on my Duane Noble custom model). I’ve published this as a single that you can stream or download on my Bandcamp page.

Please check that out, and also the Harp Ukuleles article, which will take you on a journey of the current state of the art in harp ukulele design and builds. Enjoy!