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One small aspect of what I do is designing and building handmade tahitian-style ukuleles. These are sold via my etsy page, and after an initial flurry during the pandemic, I now generally limit myself to building one instrument a year. This approach focuses on crafting quality ukuleles for the discerning musician.


The design is an adaption of the traditional style made, sold, played, and enjoyed on the islands of the South Pacific. I first encountered these whilst touring with my band in 2015, and resolved to one day attempt to build one myself.

Key elements of the tahitian ukulele are:

-Concert (38.5cm) scale

-Eight flurocarbon fishing line strings, tuned in pairs, gg cc ee aa (the middle two pairs are an octave higher than a traditional ukulele) 

-a carved bowl, covered by a round soundboard, which helps create the unique, banjo-like, timbre


When lockdown hit in 2020, I used the time to build my initial prototype- #001. This featured a 17" tenor scale length; carved from one piece of solid obeche, with birch ply soundboard, walnut bridge, bone nut, Grover machineheads, and traditional flourocarbon 30lb fishing line for strings. Crucially, I modified one of the traditional shapes significantly, including adding a knee rest/neck cutaway to enable playing high up the fretboard while sat down, and a signature carved upper bout.

The scale of #001 didn't feel quite right, the and I was unexcited by the appearance of the obeche wood with a natural Tru-Oil finish, so for #002 I used a soprano (13") scale, an Indian Rosewood fretboard, and an experimental dyed-wood finish. For a final, classy touch, I added a tiger sycamore veneer to the headstock face.


#002 confirmed my suspicions- that the original 'concert' scale was optimum for these strings and the tuning used. For #003 I went all-in. I invested in a solid block of Spanish Cedar and used that to carve my final prototype, which would be my blueprint from then on. Finishing this one was a definite 'eureka moment' for my process!


The only real changes from the prototype are that I now include a K&K Aloha Twin pickup system, and Dunlop recessed straplock systems as standard. Also...

With the design finalised, I started taking orders, and have shipped my ukuleles across the globe to locations including Australia and the USA!

20220527_194442_edited.jpg instruments now come with their own little engraved brass 'S' logo!

At this point I took on my biggest challenge- build my own 'signature' bass guitar! I wanted something to my own spec, but featuring a unique shape that didn't look too tacky... so I adapted my design and #005 was born!


30-inch scale, laminate maple/wenge thru-neck construction with wenge wings, grade-A rosewood fingerboard, wenge headstock veneer, Leo Quan Badass Mk2 bridge, Bartolini NTMB preamp w/ 18V 3-band EQ, 2x DiMarzio Model P pickups each with series-parallel switch, additional XLR output, Boss-style knobs, handcarved brass nut, Gotoh machineheads, a custom engraved brass headstock logo, Rotosound Swingbass strings.

It's quite a rush getting to play something you've designed, carved, wired, and set up by hand live onstage! I've since used #005 at scores of gigs.


The addition of #008 rounds out my range, so I can now offer tahitian ukuleles, basses, and guitars built to my exacting specification.

An important milestone came in May 2023 with the creation of my first 6-string electric guitar! Built to 24.75" scale and featuring the same neck-through constuction as #005, this was built to be a super shredder!


 Instruments currently in stock can be ordered via my etsy shop (, or you can contact me for a quote on your very own handmade instrument at

For the latest news and build updates- @sbrandinstruments on IG

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