Scully’s iphone/ipad futulele canjolele ukulele

My mate scully is quite the genius when it comes to electronics and biscuit tins. Here is a video we just made of his brand new canjolelel / electrolele / futulele / iUkelele / tabulele / phoneulele / ukulele hero machine.

It is made with a Cadbury’s biscuit tin, a plank of wood, an iPad 3, an iPhone 4, and a bit of masking tape. Oh… and a funky bit of software called futulele which runs on both the ipad and iphone and connects them together to act like the neck and the body of the uke.

It is possible that this is the silliest future ukulele ever built! Hooray… watch out for when he has learnt a song or two more, only on

Preamp Pedal

Piezo pickups are a great and inexpensive way to “electrify” an instrument, but they don’t have a lot of output.  A preamp is normally used to boost the signal to a more usable level.

Instead of installing a preamp on every instrument that I make, I decided to make a pedal.

I used a piezo preamp system that would normally be installed on an acoustic guitar.  I also used a heavy duty triple pole double throw(3PDT) stomp switch, an LED, a resistor, a metal enclosure, and an extra mono jack.

The piezo preamp is an inexpensive model that I bought online.

I cut out a hole for the preamp and drilled holes for the jacks and switch.  The preamp is now smaller because I trimmed off the 9V battery compartment.

This mess is my prototype to make sure that everything is working properly.

By stepping on the switch, you toggle between the two settings which are as follows:

[Setting 1] LED off. Preamp off.  Bypass preamp.

[Setting 2] LED on. Preamp on. Through preamp.

I painted the enclosure with some leftover paint from this project.

I assembled and bench tested it.

It is now the first pedal in my pedal chain.

I wired it so that it would run off of the same 9V daisy chain that my other pedals use.  (I try to avoid using batteries whenever I can.)

The preamp pedal is now a worthy, albeit somewhat bulky, addition to my pedal board.

Gibson pump polish

Just thought i’d share this little nugget of instrument care wisdom. Gibson do a non aerosol spray polish for cleaning up your instruments. I fully recommend you grab a bottle of this for the next time you change the strings on your uke. It degunks any built up dust and grim without clouding or breaking the varnish on your instruments. The polish is safe for use on all types of finishes and has no unnatural chemical propellants or nitrates.

It also gives a slinkier feeling to any fretboard. Although it is unlikely to make much difference to the sound of your uke, it is still worth a few spray shots while you have the strings off to make your uke look and feel all brand new. Anyone who has opened the case of a new Gibson guitar will already recognise the smell of it too. Smells like rock and roll. I’m not sure why, but for some reason, Gibson seem to have left the word UKULELE off the label. Bah!

Ukulele rack’s #01

I was asked today by R.C. Drake via King Uke :-

“Do I need a hook/hanger/mount that’s specific to the ukelele, or will a regular adjustable guitar hook keep our uke’s on the wall?”

Well, I gave them the best answer I have got for this :-

“search for ‘tool hooks’ in google”

The are cheap, easy to fit, readily available and screw into just about anything. Here, I have put a plank of wood against some of my ikea shelves, and screwed a tool hook through it. You can see I placed a cover over the end on one side, to stop it scratching my beautiful Kala Jazz Tenor that I keep inside the house.