Instrument Building at AMC
Big Island Luthiers Dennis Lake and Bob Gleason
Come to Camp with your hands and heart ready for an amazing experience — building your own ʻukulele! You will spend the week lovingly fashioning the parts and putting them together. And you will return home with a perfectly playable instrument!
Along with the Beamers, Luthier Dennis Lake has been a permanent and extraordinary part of Aloha Music Camp since we started in Puna, Hawaiʻi over fifteen years ago.
Kumu Dennis says, “As many of you know, I have been honored to have taught ʻukulele building classes at Aloha Music Camp for the past several years. Here is an explanation of how the Class works and what we do.”
How it Works
“For those of you unfamiliar with my Class at Camp, this is what happens: the first night, right after Opening Ceremony, we all get together and work out our schedule. Each student chooses one class period in the morning and one in the afternoon each day. This means there is a certain time commitment — this class takes up two of the five available class periods.
Monday through Thursday we install the lining on the rim, fit and glue braces, glue top and back on, fit and finish shaping neck, glue bridge and neck on. On Friday we install the tuning machines, string the `ukulele, and do a set up so it is playing by the Hōʻike on the final evening, where the class is recognized and the ʻukulele receive a traditional Hawaiian blessing.
“The applying of finish is done at home – I provide easy instructions for that.”
No previous woodworking or ʻukulele playing experience is required. “Our builders have ranged from age 12 to Auntie Irene of Lanaʻi City who built her first instrument at age 92! I am happy to say that every one who has taken the Class has completed an instrument they can be proud of.”
This is a good way to learn about how instruments are put together, make yourself an ʻukulele, and have a great week with your fellow builders and campers — all while in the beautiful surrounds of the Hawaiian islands. Everything is provided except the finish, including a nice gig bag to take your ʻukulele home in.
For the first time ever we will be doing a traditionally shaped Soprano ‘ukulele. The body will be made of very nice Curly Koa with an abalone rosette and a nice shell inlay in the peghead. As always there will be a case provided to get it home.
There is a Materials Fee of $350 in addition to regular Camp tuition.
Steel Guitar Building with Bob Gleason has a Materials Fee of $350 in addition to regular Camp tuition.