Tag Archives: Shop

Ukulele Shops – Southern Ukulele Store

This is another article in our occasional look at ukulele stores. Note that if you buy from a specialist store, it may cost you a little more than from a bulk supplier (e.g. amazon) online, but you get access to advice and expertise, and you can try out the instrument, and paying a small premium to ensure that this facility survives can be worthwhile.

The Southern Ukulele Store is a fantastic little store in Southbourne, Bournemouth (there is parking just around the corner on Woodside Road). Their physical shop is called ‘Music is Life’.

Due to their location, they’re more likely to be an internet stockist for many people, and their website is really well put together.


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They have quite a sizeable ukulele collection, with many options – and a knowledgeable staff who seem more interested in matching you to the ukulele you require than just ‘making the sale’ – they want you to come back.

I have been very pleased with the customer service at this store, in late 2011 I bought a hard case from them by mail order, which began to fail in the summer of 2012 – and when I visited them with the case they replaced it on the spot. When visiting, I spent some time playing with the display ukuleles – at no time did I feel pressure to make a decision to buy, and as a result I did indeed buy from them (as soon as I feel pressure, I tend to leave a store).

When, I bought a electro-acoustic uke from them that had a problem with the pickup, and they dealt with the issue with speed and efficiency. Yes, I would have prefered not to have had the issue, but that wasn’t the fault of the store. In my (admittedly limited) experience, this is a great place to go for your ukulele needs.

The Southern Ukulele Store is a good supplier of accessories, such as spare strings, cases and the like, and they are a store that I’d certainly recommend.

Ukulele Shops – Andertons

This is another article in our occasional look at ukulele stores. Note that if you buy from a specialist store, it may cost you a little more than from a bulk supplier (e.g. amazon) online, but you get access to advice and expertise, and you can try out the instrument, and paying a small premium to ensure that this facility survives can be worthwhile.

Andertons is a store based in Guildford. Though it is a sizeable shop, they have only a modest ukulele collection. As I write, they don’t stock the very cheap Mahalo/Makala instruments, though they do have reasonably priced instruments from Stagg and Vintage, both of which can make a quality instrument for a beginner – a reasonable entry on the price/quality spectrum.


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It can be tricky to park near Andertons in busy periods, there are spaces outside the store (give consideration to driving away, I prefer to reverse into the space as otherwise to leave there is a reverse onto a main road) – or on the opposite side of the road (crossing is difficult). Failing that, there are car parks in the town centre. The ukuleles are on the left hand side just past the counter.

Andertons is very geared up for the guitar, and so it has seemed to me that the ukes are a bit of an afterthought. Their ukulele collection is growing as there is a strong uke scene in Guildford, but the choice is still rather limited – however, I bought my first uke from them (a concert stagg acoustic uke) and it has served very well despite being dropped on the floor of the pub several times.

Andertons is not a uke specialist, but it is a well established music store, and the ukes they do stock are very sound.

Ukulele Shops – Macari

This is another article in our occasional look at ukulele stores. Note that if you buy from a store, it may cost you a little more than online, but you get access to advice and expertise, and you can try out the instrument. If you want your local store to survive, it’s worth paying a small premium for this facility.

Like Wunjo, Macaris are a London based shop, with branches on Denmark Street and Charing Cross Road. The main Charing Cross Road store is rather busy and has a lot of passing trade, but they have a much quieter basement.


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As you enter Macaris, immediately on the right there is a ‘wall of ukulele’. There’s a significant number of ‘novelty’ ukes there, which can be quite fun. They’ve quite a few other instruments near the entrance that could be classed as ‘impulse buys’, such as the stylophone and mouth harp. Generally speaking, if you’re more than three feet from the door it gets both more serious and quieter.

Due to their location, Macaris get a lot of people wandering in from a busy street, and as a result it can feel quite busy. I have been in there several times and I regret to report that I’ve felt it to be quite a rushed environment. As a result the staff have on occasion been a little brusque. It is understandable given how busy they can get, but regrettable, especially when one is going from shop to shop deciding between different options – this is a store to visit outside of peak hours, if you can.

They’re certainly worth a visit, and they have items in their that you would find difficult to source elsewhere.

Macaris website.

Ukulele Shops – Wunjos

This is the first in a series of posts about places to buy Ukuleles. Note that if you buy from a store, it may cost you a little more than online, but you get access to advice and expertise, and you can try out the instrument. If you want your local store to survive, it’s worth paying a small premium for this facility.

If you are visiting London, Denmark street (otherwise known as ‘Tin Pan Alley’) is a superb place to spend some time.


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Wunjos actually has two stores a few doors apart, and though they move things around from time to time, one tends to be more ‘guitar’ oriented, the other has lapsteels, mandolins etc – it is worth going into both as at different times I’ve seen ukes move from one store to the other. (Update: THREE stores, they’ve just opened ‘Wunjo Keys’ for keyboard players)

Wunjos are very friendly, and have a good range of uke from Mahalo costing a few tens of pounds up to antique ukes costing thousands. They don’t pressure sell, and are very good with advice (especially to new players). They also have a good range of hard cases for your uke, as well as accessories like spare strings and electronic tuners. I think they’re best for the ‘mid range’ uke – ukes which start to cost three figures.

Wunjos have a fantastic upstairs room in their larger shop and currently this holds their ‘folk and hawaiian‘ instruments, i.e. ukulele.

Their website (at the time of writing) doesn’t do the shop justice, I think. In terms of ukulele it often only shows a fraction of their range. Wunjos are best visited in person.

To summarise, Wunjos are, to date, my personal favourite ‘bricks and mortar’ shop the Denmark St area of London.