Ever held something REALLY expensive?
I happened to be visiting California recently and brought my modern (cheap-ish) Martin ukulele in to McCabe's in Santa Monica. It's a great shop and I just wanted them to re-string the uke for me. Sort of like getting a haircut even when you don't need one, just because you're at a famous salon.
Well, I got talking Martins with the nice lady, and she walked me over to the glassed-in case in the corner to show me their collection.
I had been researching vintage Martins, and I was shocked to see how LOW their prices were.
I asked to try one and she unlocked the case and handed one over. Because it was “only” $1000, I handled it casually — strummed it, plucked, plunked it, plinked it. It sounded great.
“Why only a thousand?” I asked.
“What?” says she. “Oh, honey, you're misreading the decimal point.”
It was not a one-thousand dollar ukulele.
It was a TEN-thousand dollar ukulele.
I immediately stopped plunking and gingerly handed it back, gulping inwardly, and thinking about my credit card limit.
I managed to get out of the store with a sixteen dollar bill for the string change and a huge sense of relief that I hadn't over-plunked, nicked, dinged, or dropped their $10,000 Martin.
Driving home, I realized I was very happy with my cheap, modern Martin. In fact, I'm happy with my extremely cheap, plastic-feeling Mahalo.
Turns out it's PLAYING the ukulele that makes me happy. Not the ukulele itself.
And that's today's lesson, kiddies. Now off to bed!
PS: In case you're curious: here are the most expensive ukuleles currently available over at Amazon.