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Home Articles What Ukulele Does Jake Shimabukuro Play?

What Ukulele Does Jake Shimabukuro Play?

Find out which brand of ukulele the Grammy winning virtuoso plays

by Kevin Rossi

Wondering what kind of ukulele Jake Shimabukuro plays? You’ve come to the right place! Hoping to get a uke just like his? Well, you might be out of luck there…

Listen, it’s an understandable thing to want. When we are learning an instrument, or even once we’ve played one for a while, I think we all want to know which make/model is the best (and to dream of getting our hands on one). So what do we do? We look to our idols, or to the biggest names out there who play said instrument. I get it, in my teenage years I once spent several months trying to figure out how to get the same custom guitar as Matt Bellamy, lead guitar/vocalist for the band Muse, convinced it was my ticket to playing just like him.

When it comes to the ukulele, it’s hard to argue that there is any name bigger than Jake Shimabukuro – also known as the Jimi Hendrix of ukulele! And actually, Jimi Hendrix – the Jimi Hendrix of guitar that is – being an early influence of Matt Bellamy, I have to wonder if Matt ever spent a summer in his teenage years trying to get one of his guitars? But I digress.

While I can tell you what kind of uke Jake Shimabukuro plays, I also feel the need to remind you that it’s not the uke that makes him the astonishing Grammy-winning musician that he is, it’s the years of practice and dedication he put into it! Just as it’s not my lack of a custom guitar that kept me from selling out stadium tours…

But enough about me!

Kamaka Ukuleles

Jake’s instrument of choice is a custom tenor ukulele made by Kamaka Ukuleles. One of the “Four K’s” – a group of Hawaiian ukulele makers famed for their quality – Kamaka ukuleles is actually one of the oldest surviving makers of ukulele out there! You can read more about Kamaka, and the other 3 K’s in this article if you are interested!

Jake (and many others out there,) consider Kamaka ukes to be the best of the best when it comes to feel and playability, something that becomes increasingly important the better you get at an instrument.

Read more: Which Ukulele is the smallest and the Largest?

And while his particular instrument is a custom piece you won’t be able to find in stores, you can still find a wide variety of Kamaka’s ukuleles in our store. So if, despite my advice, you are still bound and determined to try and buy your way into sounding like Jake, you can try!

If those prices scare you off, don’t worry. Remember that the uke isn’t what will make you sound like Jake, the practice is. And, if they don’t, and you find yourself dissatisfied with your purchase after discovering I was right, shoot me a comment down below and I’ll send you my address so you can send me the uke…

Now, let’s watch some videos with Jake Shimabukuro!


For more lessons on chords, techniques, and songs to help you along on your own uke journey, make sure to check out our site We offer you a bunch of great ukulele content that comes hand-in-hand with an awesome ukulele community that will support you in this journey.

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