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In 1950, the manufacturer, inventor and luthier Mario Maccaferri launched the polystyrene moulded Islander® ukulele with a decent success : 9 millions of his plastic ukuleles were sold in twenty years. The basic version was sold for $5.95, then reduced to $3.95. The Islander® ukulele had some brothers : Islander Semi-deluxe®, Islander Deluxe®, Islander Baritone®, a little sister called Islander Ukette®, lots of cousins, the TV Pal® series, the Playtune® Sr. and Jr., ... and a good bunch of serious rivals, branded notably by Emenee®with the Flamingo®, Carnival®, Fin-Der®, Mauna Loa®, Lisa®,...

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Numerous advantages of the Islander® and other plastic ukuleles
  • Comfort. Allow you to play a serenade under your sweetheart's balcony even by a torrential downpour. Just need to empty (the uke, not the chick) from time to time to keep a loud sound projection.
  • Price. Far much cheaper than C.F.Martibsons or Kamakulalohakaukawaiii-kikis, both participating in the precious woods deforestation, although just good enough to start BBQs when Zip lighters are out of stock.
  • Peace of mind. Neither more unending hesitations about regular or dreadnought shape, nor deep pro and cons questionings about choosing a Style 0, Style 1, Style 2 or Style 27K.
  • Recycling. When fed up with your Islander, cuddle its Styron skin with an acetone kiss of death, model it according to the Venus of Milo's shapes, and then offer it to your wife as a lamp foot.

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For a very interesting and well-documented history of Maccaferri's plastic ukuleles, take the time to read the complete Ukulele Occasional writing by Michael Simmons, Clothespins, Castanets and Nine Million Ukuleles, available in full length on chordmaster.org by courtesy and generosity of its author.

Injured at right hand in a « freak swimming accident » in 1933, Mario Maccaferri had to stop his concertising career and the invention of the Chord Master® device was undoubtedly linked to this playing handicap. As a one-buck option to the Islander®, the Visual Chord Master® is a beautifully modern designed automatic chording device, allowing the beginner to charm his dulcinea in a button click. Fixed on the neck with two rubber bands, the Chord Master® is able to perform six chords : C, C7, F, G7, A7 and D7 with a standard C tuning. It seems however that the Islander® was supposed to be tuned in ADF#B, since the Chord Master® buttons are named D7, B7, G on the first row, and D, A7, E7 on the second.
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Numerous advantages of the Chord Master® and other automatic chording devices (A.C.D.)
  • Harmony. No more harmonic mistakes, just like with a bugle. Too many available notes may drive musicians crazy. Six chords are far enough to touch celestial musical spheres. The Sex Pistols and the Army have understood that. Karlheinz Stockhausen didn't and died. Think about it.
  • Hygiene. A.C.D. avoid the disgusting direct contact with the strings, still made of hyena guts despite what is claimed on the packaging using ununderstandable chemical ten-syllabs wording. Your fingers might be useful for other purposes, keep them safe and clean!
  • Easiness. A.C.D. make ukulele playing as easy as pushing a button. If you can call a lift, you can charm your neighbourhood with a delightful sarabande.
  • Virtue. According to Plato (The Republic, III, 398e-399d) and Aristotle (Politics, VIII, 1340a-1340b), some musical modes can twist and distort the soul. Hence, Mixolydian would make young men effeminate and Ionian would promote sloth and drunkenness. With its strict prohibition of any minor chords, the Chord Master provides a beneficial guarantee for the safekeeping of our children's soul. Would you like to see this cute little Islander boy being corrupted by minor chords softness, huh ? And take a look at how turned those boys used to play without Chord Master !

Contrarywise, look at how playing Chord Master makes tough and cool guys! :

© 2010, Antoine Carolus.         This site has been made with a head, two hands and a computer but no webdesign or HTML editing software (fatto a mano).
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