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Ukulele Besties: And the winner is…

Congratulations to Robert Porembski!

Robert collected a total of 569 votes in the Ukulele Besties contest on our UkeCanPlay Facebook Page, and won himself a SWEEEEET Kala ukulele package that includes all three of the best-selling BeatNik uke products! Here is that winning photo of Robert:

Robert Porembski, winner of the Ukulele Besties contest
Robert Porembski, winner of the Ukulele Besties contest

Once Robert received the prize, he immediately set out to put it to good use. He is a professional musician, and wanted to give us all a gift in return – so he recorded this amazing song, Sunset Beach, for us to enjoy:

Here are the other amazingly awesome contestants:

 This is our tribe. These are our brothers and sisters. Uke on, everyone!!

Thank you all for participating in the contest!

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Ukulele Jump Start Goes #1 On Kindle!

ukulelejumpstart_bestseller

If you’re looking for a fun way to practice and improve your ukulele chord knowledge, check out BeatNik’s Ukulele Jump Start – an interactive quizbook for Amazon Kindle.

So what’s an “interactive quizbook”, exactly? Well, this unique ebook acts more like an app than a book, allowing you to test your uke-chordsmanship with, or without, your instrument at hand. The book is cleverly designed to jump from page to page in a way that shows only certain information, for example, just the chord fingering, on one page, then reveals the “answer” on another page showing only the chord name. In addition, there is a “Jump” button on every page (hence the name of the book) that allows you to go to a random page to truly test your comprehension of the chords.

To see the book in action, check out this video:

BeatNik’s Ukulele Jump Start also includes a free, full version of his renowned chord training software, Speak Ukulele 2! This program currently retails for $35 on Revizzit, but it’s free with this companion quizbook!

UPDATE:

This unusual app-pretending-to-be-a-book skyrocketed to #1 on Kindle in less than 24 hours after it’s release!

To purchase your copy and receive the free bonus software, visit: http://amzn.com/B00GAPR1ZG

amazon-ranked

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BeatNik’s Store Is Now Open!

I’m happy to announce that there is now a central place to find all of BeatNik’s Ukulele products, bundles and now – gift certificates!

Click To Visit BeatNik's Store!
Click To Visit BeatNik’s Store!

Just click the “Store” link in the top menu, or CLICK HERE!

 

And don’t forget to share the store link with your uke-axe wielding friends!

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Get Some Ukulele Love

Okay, so I try to stay pretty up-to-date on what’s happening in the internets, outernets and even the undernets. But somehow, the awesomeness that is Scoop.it escaped my all-seeing eye until this week.

So, I’m building a cool new ukulele ‘zine there – it’s called Ukulele Love. I hope you’ll all check it out and subscribe to the feed. It’s free!

You’ll be seeing some posts from the magazine populating this blog. But to get them all, you gotta have some Ukulele Love!

 

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Ian Whitcomb – Ukulele Hero

Ian Whitcomb

Ian Whitcomb is a ukulele legend. I recently saw him performing at the Coffee Gallery here in L.A., and he was funny, charming and very entertaining.

There is a great article about him in this week’s (cover story!) Pasadena Weekly. You can read it HERE.

He also has a new book out called Ukulele Heroes, which is a must-buy for all of uke fanatics. Amazon describes it this way:

Although the ukulele has always been popular – even when cast to the grass-skirt ghetto of luaus and limbo contests – the current craze for this instrument has put the four-string cousin of the guitar into the hands of veteran musicians and young hipsters alike. And while there are a handful of books feeding the current uke explosion, this is the first to detail the stage, screen, and recording stars who pioneered the uke-those who predated and made possible its current resurgence. The book begins with how the uke came to the mainland United States from Hawaii, and the Hawaiian song craze of 1916-17, fuelled by Tim Pan Alley. The profiled stars include Ukulele Ike, Johnny Marvin, Wendell Hall, Wizard of the Strings Roy Smeck, George Formby, Arthur Godfrey, Tessie O’Shea who was a guest along with the Beatles on “The Ed Sullivan Show”, and Tiny Tim. Author Ian Whitcomb also describes how, when a British teen idol coming off a Top Ten hit, he took out his secondhand Martin uke and recorded his version of a 1916 novelty called “Where Did Robinson Crusoe Go with Friday on Saturday Night?” scoring another hit that led him to appearances on “Shindig!” , Dick Clark’s “Where the Action Is”, and “The Pat Boone Show”.

Sounds good to me! You can order it from Amazon.com by clicking the image below…

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Ukulele of the Future – Futulele?

This just in… There’s a new ukulele coming, one that can surf the web, check your email and even take your calls.

It’s called the [sociallocker]Futulele from Amidio, Inc., and it’s an app for your iPad. Or is it?

Utilizing both an iPad and an iPhone in a custom case, the Fututlele is actually an ukulele synthesizer that allows you to strum on the iPad while fingering chords on the iPhone. The app even lets you record your performance – let’s see your old-fashioned wooden ukulele do that!

Not yet ready for retail, Amidio is still looking for manufacturers for its innovative case design – but to quote the immortal words of Futurama, “Welcome… to the world of tomorrooooowwww!”

[/sociallocker]

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Ukulele Train Keeps-a-Rollin

More ukulele from Train on new album!

According to Billboard, at least one song on the new album will be blessed by ukulele:

(Pat) Monahan adds, after the success of “Hey, Soul Sister,” the new batch of material already includes a ukulele part in the track “The Least I Can Do,” though he acknowledges a bit of a split in the Train camp over whether the group should return to that particular musical well.
“The truth is that everybody has basically warned us, ‘Please don’t put the ukulele on the record,’ but I struggle with that,” Monahan says. “That song is super island-y and I love it, and (ukulele) just feels right for it. So I don’t know what the rules are going to be with the ukulele, but you put on whatever feels right.”

Couldn’t agree more, Pat!