Tenor Ukulele Review
“Beltona Steel” by Paul D.Moore
“Keeping the Ukulele Alive in the Middle East”
The one thing I have that has real dollar value is my Beltona Tenor Ukulele. It is worth more than my 14 year old Ford that lovingly gets me from Gig to Gig. I joke with my family that as a working musician, their only inheritance will be my Ukulele’s. The ones that will rise in value (if I live long enough) are my Deveky long scale, and the Beltona (a few other ukes should pay for my funeral, well the drinks at the wakelele). I own no property, have no pension plan, and the rest of my instruments are made from junk . Ok you get the picture.
First, it was a pleasure doing business with Steve who is joint maker of the Beltona instruments. I was tempted to opt for the cheaper Blue fiberglass uke, but decided that for once in my life I would own a ROLLS ROYCE UKE. It arrived in a black soft case. I have since built a wooden case for it (it also serves as an instrument) as I succeeded to put a small dent in the side of the Beltona shortly after it arrived .
Well, most of my instruments are junk so it was too shiny and new!! I play it with my Band “The Amazing Washboard Wizards”, sit in with it in other bands, and I play it in my One Man Vaudeville Band Show.
I have it tuned GCEA. It gives a nice rich tone which suits my voice. It’s great for my repertoire of Jazz, Blues, and Novelty Music as it has a lot of guts and drive to it, and when I pick a Ragtime tune, it’s sweet too. I use it as a rhythm ukulele inside the band, and as a solo performer I finger pick, and strum. I am not a lead player.
I have a lot of other instruments on board to play, and so never developed that side of the art. However, at home I mess about playing lead runs and it responds very well for me. Nice clear notes with a lot of bendability (my word). The Solo work I do without amplification, and it sure is loud enough to cut through any background noise. It seems to match my vocal volume too. When I amplify it I use a Sure 58, or condenser.
I got the instrument made with 2 strap pegs at each end of the body so it hangs around my neck. I used this Ukulele on recording several songs on the 2nd CD of the Amazing Washboard Wizards “Musical Medicine Show”. So you can listen to it in action there. I plan on using it in my One Man Band recordings, too. The action is a dream. If I had been sitting with the maker I would have not asked for more. Of course, everyone has their own thing there, but needless to say its low and does not buzz when playing anywhere on the fingerboard. As you would expect for the price (ED NOTE: recently quoted at $1500US plus shipping), its finger board is beautifully crafted, frets all smooth and the lovely. I can fully recommend this instrument.” if I ever get my hand on some $$ again” I will get a Beltona Soprano. I have played one and that was a joy too.
One point never play this instrument with a Jean Jacket on. It scared me to death as it rattled away on the metal buttons, which took me 10 nervous minutes to find out that was causing the problem! end To Listen to the Beltona tenor ukulele in action, get Paul Moore’s Amazing Washboard Wizards Novelty Orchestra 2nd CD “The Musical Medicine Show” by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.