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[Apr 2012 | Comments Off | 10,202 views]
Steve Evans of Beltona Resonator Instruments

by Joe Mendel   Beltona Resonator Instruments began as a project between Steve Evans and Bill Johnson, luthier and engineer respectively, building resonator instruments for themselves using traditional styles with modern improvements. These prototype instruments were so successful that a business partnership was formed at a time when there was little other commercial activity building [...]

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[Apr 2012 | One Comment | 9,427 views]
Interview: Jay Lichty Ukuleles and Guitars from Contractor to Construction

by Joe Mendel  Outside forces affect the choices all of us make in our lives, sometimes those choices have a greater impact on our lives than we could possibly imagine. Jay Lichty has been a lifelong musician and ran a successful home building business. When Jay’s love of music and the poor economy collided, he [...]

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[Dec 2011 | 2 Comments | 9,105 views]
Tony Graziano Ukuleles

Joe Mendel Tony Graziano has been building instruments since the 1970s, He became interested in ukuleles in 1978 and built them along with guitars until 1995 when he switched to almost exclusively building ukes. He find ukuleles to be very happy instruments that bring joy to players and listeners alike, and they travel well, too. [...]

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[Oct 2011 | One Comment | 9,614 views]
Jake Maclay & Hive Ukuleles

by Joe Mendel  While looking for a builder to interview for this edition, I came across the Hive Ukulele website and was taken with the elegance of the ukes pictured there: http://www.hiveukuleles.com/  Jake Maclay was a name that I was not familiar with, I am very glad that I am now.  Jake’s background is in art, [...]

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[Aug 2011 | 3 Comments | 8,583 views]
Mya-Moe Ukuleles: Gordon & Char Mayer

 by Joe Mendel   Gordon Mayer grew up loving music, taking piano lessons as a young man and eventually buying a guitar. He carried that love of music into “retirement” from the high tech industry with a luthiery business, Broken M Acoustics, building guitars and mandolins. When Gordon was asked by the owner of one of his [...]

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[Jun 2011 | 6 Comments | 34,348 views]
Jack Clark: Submarines to Ukuleles

by Joe Mendel  Jack joined the Navy after High School and went from submarines, to college, to flying fighter planes. He stayed for over 25 years. After retiring from the Navy he went to work for Lockheed Martin, making a career of that, as well. After retiring for the second time, he and his wife moved [...]

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[Feb 2011 | 2 Comments | 14,207 views]
Getting the Most Out of Your Uke

by Joe Mendel  Several factors are at work in any musical instrument that affects the sounds we are able to hear when they are played. Materials used, method of construction, builder’s style,  strings and most importantly the player all influence the sound of an instrument.  The knowledge of the builder and their building style is [...]

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[Dec 2010 | Comments Off | 6,243 views]
Jerry Hoffman of Boat Paddle Ukuleles

 by Joe Mendel    When I think of ukulele builders, blacksmithing is generally not word that comes to mind, not at least before interviewing Jerry Hoffman, who has spent 20 years publishing the Blacksmith’s Journal, in addition to building furniture. His background is in art and design, which he has put to good use in [...]

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[Oct 2010 | One Comment | 23,815 views]
Rick Turner: Respecting the Past, Looking Into the Future

by Joe Mendel  If Rick Turner charged consulting fees, I’d be broke. I have pestered him with questions about various aspects of building instruments since asking to interview him for mandolinsessions.com and he agreed. He is quite knowledgeable and quite willing to share that knowledge. “Just passing it forward” is how he puts it. He [...]

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[Aug 2010 | 2 Comments | 6,565 views]
Introduction to the Ukulele Builders Interview Column

By Joe Mendel     I have been asked to write interview with ukulele builders by the editor of http://ukesessions.com/, Joe Carr. My first assignment is to introduce myself, so here goes. I have been building and repairing fretted instruments since the mid eighties, my first instruments were mountain dulcimers from kits, soon I progressed [...]