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Home Ukulele What’s So Great About a Bamboo Ukulele? A LOT!

What’s So Great About a Bamboo Ukulele? A LOT!

Find out why a Bamboo ukulele is such a great asset to your ukulele arsenal!

by Marialejandra Araujo

Can you believe it? Kala did it again! This time they have surprised everyone with their bamboo ukulele, made entirely of bamboo ‘wood.’ How is that possible? Isn’t bamboo grass? How on earth did they do it and why? Quick answer: Bamboo ukuleles are the most eco-friendly instruments you will find out there!

Before we dive into the details, let me tell you a nice story that involves bamboo to understand how important this type of ‘wood’ is:

A short story about bamboo

Once upon a time,” there was a couple living in the deeps of a mountain. They were very happy with their small house, and they had everything they wanted except for a child. As they grew older, they decided to sell the wood they got from the bamboo forest. One day, while cutting bamboo, the husband found a mysterious, shining stalk of bamboo. He cut it open to discover a small infant the size of his thumb inside. When he went back home, he and his wife decided to raise her as their daughter. Long story short, she grew into a famous beauty, and she attracted many suitors, including nobles. From this point on, the story goes into detail about how she rejected them all, one by one. Eventually, she had to reveal that she came from the Moon, and that was where she belonged. That was the reason why she had to reject all of her suitors. This story is very popular in Japan, and the moon beauty is known as Nayotake no Kaguya-Hime (The Shinning Princess of the Young Bamboo). The tale is called The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter.

This story underscores the importance of bamboo in Asia; not only in Japan, but also in China, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Vietnam. Even in Hawaii, it is thought that the body of Kane, The Creator God, is made out of bamboo. Why this much of attention on bamboo? There are many reasons, but for now, let’s focus on wood production.

How much time can it take to produce wood?

Producing wood takes a lot of time, it can even last a whole lifetime! Take the oak tree for example: this wood is well known for its density and durability. However, from the very moment an acorn is planted until its wood is harvested, many decades can pass depending on the oak species.

That’s because they grow slowly. Nuttall Oak, for instance, can grow three feet a year while Post Oak only grows about two inches. This slow pace often finds itself at odds with our fast-paced world’s constant hunger for wood. That, my friends, is where bamboo comes in!

Read more: Is the ukulele from Hawaii? Find out now!

Super Bamboo Ukulele to the Rescue!

One of the many reasons why bamboo is so loved has to do with its fast-growing cycles. An oak growing 3 feet a year? Some bamboo species do that in a day! That’s pretty fast all right!

But the good news doesn’t end there. While oak, or any wood harvesting for that matter, requires replanting, bamboo simply stems new sprouts and regenerates. That has positive consequences for the environment as it prevents soil erosion.

Because of its rhizome-dependant system, they grow really fast as we mentioned, making them available for harvesting after 3 or 4 years. In addition, bamboo’s density is actually similar to oak, when speaking of Calcutta bamboo (Dendrocalamus strictus).

Okay, so let’s talk downsides: there is a wide variety of bamboo species you can find on the market, but honestly that’s only an issue if you are planning to buy bamboo wood for building. But if you are looking for, oh, I don’t know. . . maybe getting an eco-friendly bamboo ukulele? Well then, Kala has got you covered with their bamboo ukuleles!

But wait! There is more! Yes, Kala bamboo ukuleles are some of the most eco-friendly you can find on the market, but this wood also produces a surprisingly bright and crisp sound with fantastic projection! And as with all solid wood ukuleles, it will loosen up the more you use it.

But, of course, as we mentioned earlier, bamboo is not a tree but grass. Then why can someone call it solid ‘wood?’ That’s because bamboo is so dense, it can be used in the construction of buildings, flooring, and, yes, bamboo ukuleles.

In short… 

Using bamboo ‘wood’ is a great option to satisfy quickly the demand for wood while preventing soil erosion. In the ukulele world, it can be used to craft beautiful ukes with a strong, bright sound while, at the same time, being eco-friendly and gentle with the environment. 

Fascinating, don’t you think? Want to keep the discussion going? This is a good time to consider joining our lovely ukulele community. There you will find a bunch of like-minded uke players sharing their experiences! And, trust me, some of them have their own bamboo ukuleles! 

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