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Review: The Ukulele by Denis Gilbert & Ukulele Design & Construction by D. Henry Wickham

Review: The Ukulele by Denis Gilbert & Ukulele Design & Construction by D. Henry Wickham

Reviewed by John Calkin

Previously published in American Lutherie #86, 2006

The Ukulele
Denis Gilbert
Windward Publishing and Press, 2003
ISBN 0-9728795-0-1
available from Stewart-MacDonald, $24.99

Ukulele Design & Construction
D. Henry Wickham
Trafford Publishing, 2004
ISBN 141203909-6

I hear that there’s a ukulele revolution going on out there. Maybe rebirth is a better term, I’m not sure. I live such an isolated life that major cultural changes pass me right by, but I hear in the wind that there’s a ukulele tsunami out there.

I hope it’s true. It’s not like Hawaiian music automatically melts the stress off my bones. Heck, I’m a guitar maker and as such I don’t suffer any stress, right? But as a guitar maker I’ve sort of settled into my mold. It’s life-as-usual the year round. I’m ready for some excitement, for the next Big Thing. If it’s going to be ukuleles, so be it.

That Gilbert and Wickham’s books came out within a year of each other suggests that something is happening. That their books are so much alike suggests that they know each other, or perhaps one taught the other. I don’t know and it doesn’t matter to me, but their books are enough alike that I decided to review them together.

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