Ukulele & Languages

Different countries,
Different cultures
one common language... the ukulele.

Ecuadorian ukulele played by Peruvians

28 2009

Zac Steimle, a ukulele maker based in Ecuador, contacted me last week to mention some videos he has made of two Peruvian friends of his, Wilfredo and Paul Hermoza, playing his own ukulele. So we get to carry on our tour of Latin America with the sound of a handmade Ecuadorian ukule from Oceana ukuleles.

Here is Zac‘s description of his ukulele, which you will see featured in the videos :

“It is the first uke I built; it has a Bolivian Rosewood back and sides and a Western Red Cedar top (sinker Cedar). It has great tonal qualities bright and bold but not overly so, cedar helps maintain some warmness in it’s tone.”

Listen to what Wilfredo Hermoza, a guitarist from Abancay in Peru, makes out of his first attempt at playing a ukulele :

And this is Paul Hermoza, another guitar player from Peru having a first go at the ukulele :

Thanks to Zac for pointing me to these videos. For more videos of Oceana ukuleles, visit their site.

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  1. Acilius on the 28th of October 2009 @ 23:03

    I’d say they have made excellent beginnings! In fact, I’d say a good deal more than that.

  2. Armelle Europe on the 29th of October 2009 @ 19:02

    Acilius : I am amazed at the fact that playing a uke seems so naturally easy for guitar players.

  3. Acilius on the 29th of October 2009 @ 19:23

    I’m amazed too. If you did not know that it’s easier to play the four-stringed ukulele than the five string guitar, and easier to play the five-stringed guitar than the six-stringed guitar, you might have expected it to be the other way around. The fewer strings the musician has, the fewer tools s/he has to produce the tune.

  4. Armelle Europe on the 29th of October 2009 @ 19:38

    Acilius : so we can conclude that to be a good uke player you have to display more creativity to try and translate music to a more limited amount of possible combinations.
    Playing a uke is not just about technique (though it can certainly be a great help) but also about a greater sense of musicality and imagination… or is it just what I’d like to think, having never played the guitar ;)

  5. Acilius on the 1st of November 2009 @ 00:41

    Dunno. But it does seem like a puzzle that the uke is easier than the guitar. Maybe scientists could find out something important about the way the brain works by trying to solve that puzzle. Maybe not- I don’t actually know anything about it. So I’ll bring it up next time I talk to my neighbor the neuroscientist.

  6. Armelle Europe on the 1st of November 2009 @ 09:29

    Acilius : let me know if you reach any conclusion!

  7. Acilius on the 1st of November 2009 @ 13:34

    Will do!

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