The Ultimate Guide of Bamboo Ukuleles

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Bamboo Ukuleles
Bamboo Ukuleles

Introduction:

Bamboo is the flavor of the month

It seems that just about everything is being made out of bamboo. Yet, there is a good reason for that material to be used. It is strong, good looking, and for ukuleles it helps produce a very bright sound.

This is good if you do not want to have that bass note as a part of the music you make as you play your ukulele. To learn more about bamboo ukuleles, just continue to read our article. This instrument is rare when made from this strong and good looking wood.

Why bamboo over mahogany

One reason you are seeing bamboo ukuleles is that the preferred wood for this instrument are not as sustainable as they should be. That means that ukulele makers need alternative wood or laminates to make this musical instrument.

There are lots of plastic materials that can be used or laminates but bamboo is a natural, sustainable and in the length of time it takes to grow one good hardwood tree, you can have a myriad of bamboo crops that lets ukulele construction continue unimpeded.

Then bamboo is easy to harvest, lightweight and this grass is already being used to replace different woods in different aspects of life including bedding, flooring and so on.

The bamboo ukulele sound

If you are wondering if a bamboo ukulele has a good sound or not, do not worry any longer. This material, when made into the instrument, holds its own and makes sure you get top quality sound when it is made correctly.

The only difference you may find is that it will be hard to tune the G note as bamboo produces a higher, tenor sound that is chirpy in essence. In other words, it has a unique sound that may help you or your band find that unique sound that sets you on the path to fame and fortune.

There is a concert version of the bamboo instrument and it is said to produce some nice fat lows to off set those great high notes you can get form this instrument.

Bamboo ukulele sizes

Some ukuleles come in only one size and one example of that is the chocolate burl. That version of the ukulele come sin the tenor size only. But the bamboo version comes in 3 sizes. You have the already mentioned tenor version, then there is a soprano model, and do not expect great low notes with that option.

Finally, there is the concert model which should give a full range of sound that is superior to other ukuleles made from different wood materials. Every component of the bamboo version is made from bamboo. There is no blending of materials.

Keep in mind that while bamboo does replace wood in many construction and musical, etc., uses, bamboo is a fast growing grass that is very sustainable. It is not a wood even though it feels and acts like wood.

Then while the ukulele is almost white or a very light color when made from bamboo that color can be darkened by using the right stains.

Bamboo ukulele pros and cons

Every item located on this earth whether natural or man made have a set of positive and negatives. Bamboo is no exception to this rule and while it seems like a super natural material, it does have its weak points. Here are those strengths and weaknesses:

Pros

  • Very environmentally friendly.
  • Very sustainable and quick to grow back.
  • Produces a very beautiful unique sound.
  • Can change the color of the material.
  • It has a unique blond look.
  • Resists humidity.
  • Comes in different sizes.
  • The concert size is made with a 15 scale.
  • Has durable connections.

Cons

  • Stalk of the bamboo is not that large- this means many pieces have to be glued together.
  • Because of the nature of construction bamboo ukuleles have many weak spots.
  • This construction process makes the bamboo prone to cracking.
  • Extreme hot temperatures in a car can cause the glue joints to come apart.
  • Short sustain interferes with finger picking.
  • Not good for those who want nice low tones
  • Not as durable as hardwood ukuleles.

Bamboo Ukulele FAQs

#1. Are concert bamboo ukuleles made from all bamboo?

Generally, no they are not. There are a combination of woods used with bamboo reserved for the body of the instrument.

#2. Are the ukuleles made from bamboo expensive?

They are about the same price as ukuleles made from other woods. Although we have seen a concert bamboo version for as high as $4,000. Generally, you will see these ukuleles in an $80 to $200 price range.

#3. Do I have to use a strap when playing a bamboo model?

This is something that is left to your playing preference. The tradition is that you do not use a strap when playing a ukulele but you are free to use one if it helps your playing.

#4. What accessories come with this ukulele?

The most important accessory is the carrying case. These are usually well padded and how much padding you get depends on the different manufacturers. Some versions have nice backpacking like straps to make carrying the instrument easier.

#5. Are all ukuleles made from bamboo top quality?

That will depend on the manufacturer and you should do some research first and shop around to make sure you find one that is made from top quality bamboo.

Some final words

When you want to create a unique sound for your music, then you should consider the bamboo ukulele sound. In all versions of this instrument you get the quality of sound that only bamboo can produce. Some will like it and others will not.

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