The Lab



Is this the ukulele of the future? No, almost certainly not. But some of the thinking that went into it’s design might be.




The Happy Ukulele & Iriguchi Ukuleles are teaming up to design and build the perfect ukulele. It is called the IDeale™. Wonderful tone, well-designed ergonomics, beautiful, sustainable, affordable…perfect, in every way. Our design will be respectful of tradition but at the same time be willing to break away from it, as needed, in order to improve the species. Of course this begs the question, “Perfect for whom?” since everyone is different. And the answer is… me. While it may sound like it, that’s not entirely selfish (although admittedly, it is at least partially so). It’s just that I’m the only one available in the shop for testing at all hours of the day or night. So by default, we’ll be optimizing for me. Then I’ll take what we learn and apply it to ukuleles for others, perhaps even for you. The idea is to design and build the ukulele you would choose if you could only have one ukulele for the rest of your life. Horrifying, I know, but think about it.

Imagine the fortified bunker where you store your ever-growing collection of ukuleles suddenly begins to flood. In the ensuing chaos and pandemonium you only have time to save one ukulele. And for the sake of this discussion, some twist of fate will prevent you from ever getting another. Which ukulele would you save? If you had an IDeale it would be a no-brainer!

So what would the perfect or IDeale ukulele be like? My guess is that my “Ideale” ukulele will be unlike any of my current ukuleles and yet will share some aspects of all of them. Is this viable? Or will we just end up with an ukulele that is a jack-of-a-trades and a master of none? We shall see. If we succeed, you should be able to donate all your current ukuleles to the nearest school and just get one IDeale. Don’t go doing that just yet, but definitely stay tuned. What we’ll probably end up with is a design that continues to evolve over time, as materials, building methods and our own building skills develop. At the very least it will be a good adventure.

Smile when you play that!™