The ToneWay® Project: helping people play music


Islander Guilele (uke/guitar hybrid)

I've been playing guitar for years. A few years ago I bought a ukulele and tuned it open (banjo-like tuning) similar to the original machete, and found it to be much more intuitive for me to play than guitar. However, missing what the guitar offered, I took a chance on the guitar-ukulele hybrid. I tried out a few… Yamaha, Cordoba, and this Kanile'a (Islander GL6-SA NEW Solid Spruce Top Guilele).

The Islander beat them all. It has a wider bout, and a bit longer neck, and is is tuned like a guitar capoed at the 5th fret (Tenor uke + two bass strings). All of which allow it to handle the lower bass strings beautifully.

The one concern I had was its wider classic guitar-like neck. This actually turned out to be a real plus. With the nylon strings and shorter fret spacing, the fingering is no problem; the extra space between the strings feels much less cramped than the narrower neck on the other hybrids. Personally, I like using a capo and found the Dunlop Johnny Cash Guitar Capo (flat) works superbly.

So, I've found the best of both worlds… almost. Open tuning for me on this is not for me. Another benefit was how it works out better than a normal tuned guitar for Maybelle Carter Style thumb picking with my (male) vocal range. No need for any picks either… naked fingers and thumb work great.
There! This is such a pleasure to play, I just had to tell ya'll.

PS: Oh yes, and the size is perfect. If I was still a young man hitch-hiking the globe, bringing this along would be a breeze.

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