News

  • "The Canadian" Baritone Resonator Ukulele

    This Resonator Uke was built for Ukulele Bluesman, Manitoba Hal. Another project off the bench and out into the real world.This build was first conceived approximately 16 months ago. It's so nice to finally have it out there being enjoyed by Hal and his friends on Facebook. I was inspired to build this uke for Manitoba Hal because he takes himself, his music and a little piece of Canada with him as he travels the world. From Australia to Europe and the United Kingdom, he has traveled Canada from coast to coast, performing aboard the Via Rail, Toronto - Vancouver...

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  • Let There Be Harps!

    The first collection of Novice 26 Harps, built by Bytown Instruments under the wise tutelage of Don Peddle of Random Sound Musical Instruments, is now complete. They've even taken their first road trip to the Northern Lights Harp Festival in Cornwall! We're delighted to be building Novice 26 harps and look forward to offering them to the harping community.  Background Just a little background on this project for those of you who may be wondering how a couple of ukulele builders wound up adding so many more strings to their instruments. Don Peddle, an experienced and well-known harp maker, recently decided to...

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  • MANITOBA HAL WORKSHOP & CONCERT

    MANITOBA HAL and an awesome ukulele afternoon - Saturday, March 21! MANITOBA HAL will be joining us at the Clocktower Brew Pub for an afternoon of ukulele fun! There's going to be a workshop, there's going to be a concert, and there's going to be BUG jams!! You'll have lots of opportunity to talk with Hal about all things ukulele, including his travels to perform at uke festivals and to teach workshops to groups all over the world! Hal is the most amazing ukulele bluesman, a talented teacher, and a really down-to-earth friendly guy! Check out Hal's website to see what workshops he has to...

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  • DO IT DIFFERENTLY

    This is a copy of a Facebook post from Ken Middleton, owner of Living Water Strings. DO IT DIFFERENTLY If you perform or record a well-known song, why not try to really make it your own? Don't try to imitate the original - you are unlikely to succeed. Do it differently. Here are 10 tips that may help: 1. Change the tempo. You can usually slow down any song. Speeding up is trickier and often sounds hurried. 2. Change the mood. Make it more thoughtful or pensive, for instance. 3. Change the character of the accompaniment. if the original is...

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  • Holiday Assembly @ Museum of Nature

    Bytown Ukuleles was juried into the Spins and Needles 'Holiday Assembly' show at the Museum of Nature. It's rare for us to have to go to work in a jacket and tie. We're so happy to have had the opportunity to participate in this Dance Party/Craft Market. What a great event. Thanks to Jessica Dare for making it all happen.                

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  • Ottawa Guitar Show 2013

    Bytown Ukuleles had a table at the Ottawa Guitar Show that took place on June 16th, 2013.  Here are some pictures:   Thanks to all those who came out, checked out our instruments and took home some vintage sheet music.  Cheers.        

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  • Grassroots Festival 2013

    Mark and Joel did a one hour workshop outlining the construction process of ukuleles for Festival goers at the Grassroots Festival.  Here are some pictures.  Amazing lighting!       And some wonderful black and white shots thanks to Jessica Dare:        

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  • It began as an experiment...

    Ottawa, Ontario - June, 2012 - It began as an experiment that grew out of a shared passion for ukuleles. Surprised that there were no locally made ukuleles available to Ottawa players, Mark Rogers and Joel Jacques decided to make ukuleles themselves. The two immersed themselves in researching classic ukulele designs, studying actual instruments as well as photos of vintage instruments long forgotten. That research, along with their combined four decades of woodworking and instrument building experience, has yielded a series of unique ukulele designs and the birth of a new company, “Bytown Ukuleles” - a 100% Canadian owned and...

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  • Ukulele History

    The Ukulele is commonly associated with music from Hawaii where the name roughly translates as "jumping flea," perhaps because of the movement of the player's fingers. Legend attributes it to the nickname of the Englishman Edward William Purvis, one of King Kalākaua's officers, because of his small size, fidgety manner, and playing expertise. According to Queen Liliʻuokalani, the last Hawaiian monarch, the name means “the gift that came here,” from the Hawaiian words uku (gift or reward) and lele (to come).Developed in the 1880s, the ukulele is based on several small, guitar-like instruments of Portuguese origin, the machete, the Cavaquinho...

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