Ukulele cruise to the Amazon River


Not really. It’s actually a cruise to the Amazon River leaving Bristol on 5 January 2017. The itinerary is shown here:

However, a friend of mine from Cambridgeshire – Peter Crush – is continuing his cruise career (along with his lovely wife, Lynda)  teaching the ukulele to fellow passengers.

I have mentioned to him that I intend to take my Beaver Creek guitalele with me instead of the usual uke so need to get around to learning how to play it. Part of this learning entails learning the guitar to learn chord shapes as the same shapes are used on both but making different chords. For example, the G on a guitar is a C on the guitalele.

So have had to buy a guitar and chose one similar to this –

May even take this on the cruise as well.



Banjolele quest

A few weeks ago I started to look for a banjolele to add to my collection of 4 stringed instruments – but what to choose? As I play tenor ukuleles I decided to stick to the same size.

The first place I looked towards was, of course,, and the one that drew my attention was the Kala BNJ. This is, however, a concert-sized instrument and I really wanted slightly larger. There is an Aiersi tenor banjolele and the review to this was more positive than the reviews to the Kala. However, there is only one review and I’m always a bit weary of making a decision on just one recommendation.

I then looked at Southern Ukuleles (a great source of uses and all things uke) and they had a good number of ukulele banjos. I was very tempted by the Deering Goodtime Tenor – see the Youtube video.

But I just felt I wanted something different – something unique. After much searching I came across the website in Holland and the owner/manufacturer Wim Van De Laden. After looking at the videos on YouTube (search Banjoleles Wim) and reading the reviews on Ukulele Underground I decided to contact him this weekend. He is away on holiday in the South of France, but had a reply from him the same day. I asked a few questions and was happy with the replies. So – my order for a handmade tenor banjolele has been issued. It will be two or three weeks before it’s delivered and will let you know how things are going.


Banjolele built by Wim