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.
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.
The ukulele has quickly got me to a standard where I can play along with a group of people in a pub, something which, when I first picked up a uke, was my goal. Now, my goal is to keep having fun with 'me little ukulele in me hand'.
I have been playing since 2011, and I am a teacher.