We are passionate about ukuleles and our mission is to spread the joy far and wide. Be you a starter or an expert, we'll have what's best for you, but if you're not sure what you want then please call us on +44 (0)1202 430820 for friendly advice. Rob, Alex, Guns, Phil or Sam will be delighted to help you. And with over 1000 ukuleles in stock at any one time, from £35 to well over £1000, we'll have something to tickle your fancy.
Here at the Southern Ukulele Store, we are taking our responsibilities during the Coronavirus outbreak very seriously.
We are all washing our hands regularly, and have implemented distancing policies to minimise contact between staff members as much as possible. Each member of staff is very well aware of the latest government advice, and is only coming in each day if they are symptom free.
As of today, Monday 23rd March, the showroom will be closed until further notice. We have to minimise the risk to our customers and staff as much as possible during these difficult times. Thanks in advance for your understanding.
Website and Telephone
The website and telephones are open for business as usual. Over the last fortnight, an increasingly large proportion of our business has been by phone or website. We are very skilled and experienced at getting instruments to customers all around the world in top top condition, and in a timely fashion.
Please, call us on +44 (0)1202 430820 for any advice if you are unsure of an online purchase. And if you need anything, from an in hand description of the smell of a uke, or a sound sample of your shortlisted favourites, we'll do our best to accommodate this.
Our Youtube channel features hundreds of detailed sound samples and we will endeavor to generate new content and samples where possible that may help you so thankfully, it has never been easier to shop from the comfort of your own home.
If you are keen to try a particular instrument then we would be happy to hold it with a refundable £50 deposit until it is safer to travel again.
Emails, and contact through socal media, will all be answered as you have come to expect from us.
Courier and postal services around Europe are currently still operating normally, although we are monitoring developments daily so should this change suddenly and we are unable to guarantee a delivery to you, we will be in touch immediately following your order to let you know. There are some slight delays in UK postal services, but items are still getting through within 2-3 days.
What we do....
Every instrument is checked upon arrival from our suppliers for faults, and any that fail our Quality Check are rejected. Instruments are then stored in our humidity controlled stock room. Before any instrument is dispatched, it undergoes another quality check (visual inspection, tuning to pitch, play test, adjustment of the nut, saddle and frets in our instore workshop) to ensure that the action, playability and intonation are good.
Every instrument, regardless of price, undergoes this procedure. Even educational orders of 50 starter ukuleles are all checked, tuned, played and adjusted. This does not guarantee that they'll be in tune by the time they get to you, mind, as the strings will doubtless have slipped a little - but they all will have been checked and adjusted!
Any problems that mean that we cannot dispatch any part of an order will be reported to the customer, and options like alternative instrument choices, future order fulfilment dates or full and immediate refunds will be discussed.
What we do not do....
We do not automatically set all ukuleles up with the lowest possible action. A low action does not suit all playing styles, and can cause problems such as a loss of volume, projection and sustain as well as string buzz. A high action can cause intonation problems and not be comfortable to play, but might be preferable for certain styles of playing. There is no such thing as "the perfect setup", just what works best for you, and what works for you might not work for the next person.
We can set your instrument any way that you require - please email or call us to let us know how you would like it. In the absence of any specific instructions, your instrument will be set up to have a medium height action (around 2.5 - 3mm at the 12th fret depending on scale length). If you would like the best advice on what action would suit your playing style, please call us to discuss. Please bear in mind that if you ask us for a very low action, then strum very vigorously, you may well suffer the dreaded buzz!
A very good thread on ukulele action can be found on the Ukulele Underground forum:
Advice on String Choice
All string brands are very different. Some are synthetic gut, some fluorocarbon, some nylon, some composite fibres....they have different tensions, different thicknesses, different characteristics, different feels and different sounds.
Certain brands of strings will not work very well on some instruments. Some brands of instruments are designed at the factory to take thick diameter strings, meaning that the nut slots will be carved quite wide. If you then put a thinner diameter string on the instrument, the strings will rattle in the nut slot causing a noticeable buzz.
Some types of string do not work with some playing styles. For instance, a wound C or Low G string will almost always sound boomier and ring for much longer than an unwound plain string. This can unbalance the sound, and on some very responsive or electro acoustic instruments can sound quite obtrusive.
Some brands of strings are very good at making the starter laminate instruments sound more lively, but can absolutely ruin the intonation on some of the more expensive models.
Changing the brand, tension or material of a string set on any ukulele will affect not just the sound, but the feel, the intonation and possibly the action as well.
For the best advice on which strings would suit your instrument and playing style, and also give you the sound that you wish to achieve, call us or email for free advice prior to your purchase.
Fitting Pickups to your instrument
This is a bit of a minefield! Certain pickups will not work well in some instruments, either for logistical reasons such as the pickup element is too wide for the narrow saddle slot, or because the pickup is so sensitive that it can sound microphonic in a very small bodied instrument like a soprano or sopranino. We can advise you on the best match for your instrument, and can fit all styles of pickups in our instore workshop. Please call to discuss details!
We take trade-ins all the time. We are only able to offer around 50% of the new price of your instrument, subject to inspection, with a view to selling it at around 70% of the new price.