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.
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.
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.