Search Amazon.com:
Register a SA Forums Account here!
JOINING THE SA FORUMS WILL REMOVE THIS BIG AD, THE ANNOYING UNDERLINED ADS, AND STUPID INTERSTITIAL ADS!!!

You can: log in, read the tech support FAQ, or request your lost password. This dumb message (and those ads) will appear on every screen until you register! Get rid of this crap by registering your own SA Forums Account and joining roughly 150,000 Goons, for the one-time price of $9.95! We charge money because it costs us $3,400 per month for bandwidth bills alone, and since we don't believe in shoving popup ads to our registered users, we try to make the money back through forum registrations.
«64 »
  • Post
  • Reply
TapTheForwardAssist
Apr 9, 2007

he's the one who gives his body/
as a weapon of the war/
and without him all this killing can't go on


The ukulele is a greatly underrated instrument that was one of the top instruments of the early 20th Century, but faded into obscurity due to numerous junk instruments on the market and novelty "musicians" like Tiny Tim. However, the uke is now experiencing a resurgence. This is partially due to a good supply of quality ukes on the market, as well as word-of-mouth and YouTube clips showing what the instrument is capable of.

Why you should learn it
  • A ukulele is essentially a small guitar with four strings (based on a small Portuguese guitar introduced to Hawaii by sailors)
  • If you can play guitar, you can play uke in about three minutes, and it's also easy to move from uke to guitar.
  • Uke is even easier to learn than guitar, with fewer strings, easier chords, and lower string pressure for reduced finger fatigue
  • The uke is the easiest string instrument to carry around or travel with
  • Everyone already plays guitar, but uke has an esoteric cachet that will cause you to stand out from the crowd.

What does real uke playing sound like?

I'm sold, what uke should I get?

Good question. The first issue is what size to get: soprano, concert, tenor, or baritone.



The smaller three are all tuned the same (GCEA), while the baritone is tuned like a guitar missing two bass strings (DGBE). So far as which to get: if you want to brightest/plinkiest sound and don't have huge hands, that's soprano. Also most-all of the <$50 ukes are sopranos. If you want the richest sound but still in uke tuning and mid-sized body, get a tenor. Concert is a compromise between tenor and soprano. Again, these three all play same note, same pitch, so tenor isn't any "lower" than soprano, just a rounder, fuller sound because the strings have more body to echo in, and the strings are physically longer.

I'd avoid baritone unless you are almost entirely using uke as a stepping-stone to or from guitar, in which case baritone is great. So if, say, you're a small female who can't reach your fingers around a guitar neck but want to paly something about the same as guitar, or you're a guitarist and want a slightly different sound but don't want to transpose for uke music.


What brands and price options are there?

Like most things, you get what you pay for. Fortunately, you can get decent ukes at prices far cheaper than even the junkiest guitars. Probably because ukes use less wood, and are under less pressure. I strongly advise against just buying whatever happens to be $30 at your local shop, unless you have the guitar knowledge or savvy friend to cherry-pick a good one. Another vital issue with the cheaper ukes is "set up", a proper tweaking prior to sale. See "Dealers" below for explanation.

Here are a few of the more popular and reputable brands:

Under $50 -- Makala, but buy one that has been tweaked by the shop.

Under $99 -- Kala (improved action/tone on laminate body), as low as $59 for soprano

Under $250 -- The Ohana brand of solid-mahogany ukes can be found in the mid-$100s when on sale, and as far as I've seen are the best uke in that range, basically equivalent to the Bushman Jenny but at a lower price. Also Fluke/Flea (solid spruce top, US-made), and Ovation/Applause (electric pickup for $20 more) are decent, if quirkier, options; both of these have plastic backs like an Ovation guitar.

$250-400 -- At this price-point, there are a large variety of Asian-made ukuleles made from solid woods (mahogany, koa, acacia, etc), many of which are said to be on-par with all but the best of early 20th C ukuleles. Some of the best-selling brands are Ohana, Bushman, Hamano, Mele, Pono, etc. Note too that Kala just got into the all-solid game as of late 2008, so they're player with all-koa ukes. Definitely do some reading-up before deciding on a uke in this pricerange.

$500 and up -- various high-quality Hawaiian and Mainland-made ukes start to become available. The classic-and-going champ here has been Kamaka, which start around $800 or so, but there are plenty of competing brands like G-String, etc. By the time you get to this price range, you probably want to be trying out the uke in person to make a decision.

Variants: In addition to basic four-string ukes in the four main sizes, there are also banjo, resonator (Dobro), and both solid-body electric and electro-acoustic ukuleles. The are also 6-string (plays like a 4-string, just two sets of strings come in pairs like on a mandolin) and 8-string (each string is a doubled pair) tenor ukuleles, which add some extra echo/resonance and richness of sound. Not to be confused with the 6-sring is the guitalele, which is a uke with six separate strings just like a guitar, but a tiny guitar that's about a 4th higher in pitch than a regular guitar.

Goon-recognised dealers

Looking through the first few years of the thread, you'll see a lot of praise for MusicGuyMic, who was the go-to guy for ukes on eBay and one of the greatest online dealers in general. He moved so many Kalas they had the man help design their new product lines. He also pioneered the marketing of "set up", that is doing a Stateside QC of affordable import ukes instead of just taking them out of the shipping crate from Asia and chucking them in a box. Set up makes a huge difference, and thankfully has become more and more common with serious uke dealers. Tragically, Mic got hit by serious illness and was out of the game for a while, and has returned a member of The Ukulele Site, which is now the first go-to for generic goon uke-shopping.

A good dealer for Ohana and a few other brands is Elderly Instruments.

[more dealers pending]


Ongoing list of ukulele links first compiled by Beasticly, much thanks

Discussion forum
http://www.ukuleleunderground.com

Chords
http://nfo.net/usa/uke2.html Chord Chart.
http://www.sheep-entertainment.nl/ukulele/ - You can use the buttons on the bottom to form any chord and strum the virtual ukulele to hear what each one sounds like.
http://www.alligatorboogaloo.com/uke/chords/index.html Chord Chart.
http://www.gootar.com/folder/ukulele.html Allows you to 'generate' chords.

Tabs
http://www.ukulele.de.vu/ - Only a relatively small collection of songs, but they're all finger picking arrangements that are great for performing if you don't want to sing. Really nice arrangements.
http://beatlesite.info/ - Lots of Beatle's songs that you can play along with and sing. Some songs are kinda tricky, but the animated moving chords are pretty awesome.
http://www.alligatorboogaloo.com/uke/tabs.html - Mostly chord stuff.
http://ukulelehunt.com/ - Bit of everything, sorted well too.
http://basikuke.tripod.com/ukulele_tab.htm - Small collection of songs and a few rifts.
http://www.giantflightlessbirds.com/ukulele/ - Chords.
http://www.ukeland.com/pages/media/music/ - Some nice arrangements.
http://dominator.ukeland.com/index2.shtml Large collection of tabs.
http://www.akulele.com/tablature.html Small collection of classical type stuff.
http://www.ezfolk.com/tabs-tutorial...-tutorials.html Bit of everything, very useful cause you can choose the difficulty level for different tabs.

Lessons
http://ssrsbstaff.ednet.ns.ca/wdobson/lessons.htm
http://www.ukeschool.com/
http://www.ukulelestrummers.com/ - Lots of music theory type stuff.
http://www.ezfolk.com/uke/Tutorials/tutorials.html


Frequently asked questions

1) I just got a brand-new uke, and I tuned it up and it keeps going out of tune!
A: Nylon strings are stretchy when new. When you first get a new uke, or add new strings, they will stretch and go out of tune quickly. Simply tune them up, and keep tuning them up, and tune them up before you set the uke down. After a few days, they'll start holding steady, and once they're fully stretched they'll often stay in tune for weeks at a time.

2) How do I tune my ukulele? Not the names of the notes, but like how do I know if I'm tuned right?
A: Tuners can be "active" (they "hear" your note and tell you what it is and/or how close it is to the right pitch) and "passive" tuners (they produce a note and you try to match your instrument to it). Active tuners are quite a bit easier for a beginner: if you have a smartphone of some sort there are a bunch of good active tuners, some of them free. I really like like the $2.99 app ClearTune, which is both a good basic active tuner, and has a buttload of extra features if you ever feel like using them. If you want active but don't have a smartphone, the Intellitouch PT10 runs about $20 on eBay and is a great tuner for the price (watch out for ripoff brands like "Intelli", etc). There may be active tuners online that I don't know, but Fleamarket and Get Tuned have free passive tuners. If you want a portable passive tuner, there are pitchpipes and tuning forks, both of which are pretty old-school and not particularly easy to use for most beginners. Overall, definitely get a smartphone tuner if you have a phone, failing that use a passive on your computer and just sacrifice portability if you don't want to drop cash, or spend $20 on a PT10.

TapTheForwardAssist fucked around with this message at Oct 9, 2012 around 00:04

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

Mu Cow
Oct 26, 2003



TapTheForwardAssist posted:



I saw a metal-bodied ukulele when I was in Seattle that I really wanted, but it cost more than buying a full-sized metal-bodied guitar.

Satellite
Aug 31, 2001

your kiss goes everywhere

I just got a ukulele and it's great! I can sit on the couch and strum fun little songs without a big bulky guitar. It's easy to learn, lotsa fun.

TapTheForwardAssist
Apr 9, 2007

he's the one who gives his body/
as a weapon of the war/
and without him all this killing can't go on


Mu Cow posted:

I saw a metal-bodied ukulele when I was in Seattle that I really wanted, but it cost more than buying a full-sized metal-bodied guitar.

At Dusty Strings in Fremont? Tons of good ukuleles there, definitely worth a look-see.

You probably saw a National, which are running around $1200 for a resonator uke now. The pic above is an Australian Donmo ($700ish), and the New Zealand Beltona uke runs around $500.

Resonator ukes are notably more expensive than the usual ukes, as are banjo-ukuleles.

AvidAvatar
Jul 13, 2003

Dimethyl Mercury – Good tasting and good for you!

Fellow Uke player checking in! If anyone ever wants to talk Ukulele just give me a PM or whatever.

My question: What websites do you use for tabs, music, and the like? What good forums are you on?

Zuph
Jul 24, 2003
Zupht0r 6000 Turbo Type-R

So exactly how difficult is it to learn Ukulele as someone with no string instrument experience? What resources exist? How difficult is the Soprano Ukulele to play for someone with big hands?

Implosion Factory
Dec 13, 2006

Dude, high five!

I happen to have a uke hanging on my wall because a friend gave it to me when he moved back home and couldn't take it with him. Like Zuph, I have no string instrument experience. Additionally, when I try to learn chords, it is exceedingly difficult for me since I seem to have no finger coordination.

However, I got this cute little uke looking down on me and I'd really like to be able to play it. Plus, for all the reasons listed in the OP (Easier to learn, more unique) I feel like I'm really squandering an opportunity to take up a cool little hobby at not too much cost to me (I already have a uke and I'm soon to graduate from college, so I'll have more free time).

So I'm just curious how you'd suggest to a complete newbie to go about starting. Also, are there any similar activities that playing string instruments could be compared to, since I tend to grasp things better when I have a point of reference.
I'm not ready to be a uke enthusiast just yet, so nothing too fancy. I just don't wanna sound like a chimp bashing chords if I ever do break out the li'l guy.

Redbeard
May 12, 2005

by Fragmaster


Voted 5 simply because the slight bizarreness of the thread title made me laugh just when I needed to.

Ahem. Tell me, TTFA, just how cool can the ukulele make me? I am genuinely interested.

c0ldfuse
Jun 18, 2004

The pursuit of excellence.


How dare you talk about the uke and not mention Israel Kamakawiwo'ole in the same breath. Voting 1 accordingly.

purity control
Jan 2, 2005

i look better in real life. seriously.

c0ldfuse posted:

How dare you talk about the uke and not mention Israel Kamakawiwo'ole in the same breath. Voting 1 accordingly.

He's why I want to learn!

I would love to learn the ukulele, primarily because I have tendinitis in my wrists and elbows, and playing a normal guitar is very difficult and painful. I would hope it would make it easier for me to play a smaller instrument.

bromplicated
Mar 28, 2003

Mur-ur-ur-ur

How is a Ukulele different than a Mandolin? Which one is harder to pick up?

mofolotopo
May 10, 2004

TICK STAMPEDE!!!!

I bought my first uke about four months ago because I wanted something to travel with, and I'm absolutely in love with the instrument. Although it has a bit of an image as a novelty-ish instrument, it's extremely versatile and has found a place in a surprising number of my recordings. For anyone out there who's a fingerstyle guitar player, I can't recommend the ukulele highly enough - the reentrant tuning of the ukulele turns those old fingerpicking patterns into a completely different sound.

I'm thinking that I'm going to upgrade my uke when I get home - I got a $99 Kala that's great, but now I'm really wanting one that's a bit louder and, preferably, has a pickup.

NattyBumppo
Feb 28, 2006

President's Quest '08: To Hope Is Human

I love playing my uke, and chords are ridiculously easy to learn on it. It's relaxing to play and very portable, so you can take it anywhere and bust it out whenever you feel like it. In short, I agree with this thread entirely.

Though I'm not sure why it's in Ask/Tell.

presidentnixon
Sep 12, 2005

No, the other Nixon.

I got a Hilo uke for XMas 2 years ago. I recently tuned it for the first time since the following New Year's, and downloaded a chord chart from this site.
http://nfo.net/usa/uke2.html

However, I've only tinkered around with it a bit, and I notice that it de-tunes very fast. Any hints on how to keep this little bastard in tune?

Alek
Apr 11, 2007
my hovercraft is full of eels

bromplicated posted:

How is a Ukulele different than a Mandolin? Which one is harder to pick up?

Narf. I've been playing the mandoline since i was 9 and never touched an ukulele or guitar, but rest assured of one thing - mandoline strings (metal, double strings = essentially an egg cutter) hurt. Apart from that, i don't think theres a huge difference when starting from scratch.


Anyways, having said that i play the mandoline - what would trying to learn the ukulele do to me? (uku GCEA vs mando GDAE, both 4 strings) Would i most likely pick it up naturally or end up not being able to play either?

Also, is the gripping system the same as on mandoline/violin?

Zaxxon
Feb 14, 2004

Wir Tanzen Mekanik

bromplicated posted:

How is a Ukulele different than a Mandolin? Which one is harder to pick up?

the mandolin is probably the more difficult of the 2 as you have to learn to fret octave paired strings, and play with a plectrum (pick.)

MyNameIsJorma
May 10, 2007
The sensitive one.

I'm a guitar player who loves finger picking, I saw this thread and had to pick up the little uke my friend gave me for a gift all those years ago.
I guess what i'm getting at, is how did you seasoned uke players get good? there's not many resources out there...

mofolotopo
May 10, 2004

TICK STAMPEDE!!!!

^^^ I don't know about anyone else, but I just sort of figured out the chords and then started trying to develop fingerpicking patterns that sounded good. The great thing about the tuning of the ukulele is that I can whip out really fast arpeggios that I couldn't come close to on a guitar. For instance, fret a really simple C chord, which is just the third fret on the A string. Now pick the 1st (highest, the A) string with your middle finger, 3 with your thumb, 2 with your index, and finally 4 with your thumb. Repeat ad nauseum. You'll immediately see that you've got a fingerpicking pattern that is pretty typical of folk guitar (although with the downbeat on the middle finger instead of the thumb), but what comes out is a lot different because of the re-entrant tuning (the G string being an octave higher than it "should" be from a guitarist's perspective).

If you take the same pattern but switch which string your thumb is playing so that it's 1-4-2-3 instead of 1-3-2-4, you get an arpeggio in the opposite direction. Once you've got that down, it's pretty easy to get an up-down run going in 3/4 time by picking 3-2-4-1-4-2. These patterns work with a whole lot of chords, but go best with those in which you're not fretting the same note on 1 and 4 so pick your inversions accordingly.

presidentnixon posted:

I got a Hilo uke for XMas 2 years ago. I recently tuned it for the first time since the following New Year's, and downloaded a chord chart from this site.
http://nfo.net/usa/uke2.html

However, I've only tinkered around with it a bit, and I notice that it de-tunes very fast. Any hints on how to keep this little bastard in tune?

The first uke I bought was a cheapie $40 Lanakai, and it had this problem. I think it has to do with the cheap tuners on the low-end ukuleles, but I'm not 100% sure. I bought a super cheap one because I wasn't at all sure that I'd really like the uke, I was thinking of it as just a travel instrument. I took it back two days later and got a considerably nicer one for $99. It still doesn't hold a tuning as well as my good guitars do, but will hold up well for a couple of hours of play time as opposed to a couple of minutes like the cheap uke I initially had.

mofolotopo fucked around with this message at Nov 21, 2007 around 02:11

NattyBumppo
Feb 28, 2006

President's Quest '08: To Hope Is Human

MyNameIsJorma posted:

I'm a guitar player who loves finger picking, I saw this thread and had to pick up the little uke my friend gave me for a gift all those years ago.
I guess what i'm getting at, is how did you seasoned uke players get good? there's not many resources out there...

There are plenty of chord sites for picking up the basics and learning how to strum along to just about any sort of music. This is a good site for chords (just make sure to set it to your particular type of uke before looking up a chord).

However, there are very, very few resources for learning how to do cool fingerpicking stuff on the uke, besides a smattering of tab here and there made by people just fiddling around. I think courses you could buy would be a good bet (even Jake Shimabukuro's DVDs like Play Loud Ukulele have very useful instructional segments). Besides that, there are lots of people out there that teach uke lessons; I'd say that would be the next logical step.

withak
Jan 15, 2003

F != m * a

bromplicated posted:

How is a Ukulele different than a Mandolin? Which one is harder to pick up?

Mandolin is tuned in fifths like a fiddle, i.e. the intervals between each string (set of strings, really) is the same. Uke is tuned at non-even intervals like a guitar. Uke is easier to pick up, but not as cool.

If you play guitar already then playing uke will be exactly like playing guitar using only the four higher strings on the guitar. Except your playing will come out in a different key, of course.

FlyingCheese
Jan 17, 2007
OH THANK GOD!

I never thought I'd be happy to see yet another lubed up man-ass.


I'm a bass player and I've been thinking about picking up an uke for a few years now. I like the fact that I'm going from one of the largest stringed instruments to one of the smallest.

Are there any tips that would apply to a bassist?

Anne Whateley
Feb 11, 2007


- How is a ukulele different from a mini-guitar? If I want music for a song -- tab charts or whatever -- how easy will that be to find for a uke? Or will I be playing almost entirely by ear?

- I've played piano for years (lessons started in kindergarten, that kind of thing). I'm not bad, but my theory is not up to par. Is my experience going to make playing ukulele easier at all, or would that take a better grasp of theory?

- I am a fat chick. Is a fat chick with a ukulele going to be automatically hilarious (e.g., "No no, that actually is a real guitar, it's just in her massive paws...")? You don't have to be a uke expert to answer this one.


vvv You definitely have a point; I've been listening to a couple of his CDs for awhile, and he was undeniably badass. But I feel like he might get a pass on the lolfatuke issue because he was ethnically Hawaiian, whereas the small island my ancestors came from is on the other side of the world.

Anne Whateley fucked around with this message at Nov 21, 2007 around 03:52

FlyingCheese
Jan 17, 2007
OH THANK GOD!

I never thought I'd be happy to see yet another lubed up man-ass.


Anne Whateley posted:

- I am a fat chick. Is a fat chick with a ukulele going to be automatically hilarious (e.g., "No no, that actually is a real guitar, it's just in her massive paws...")? You don't have to be a uke expert to answer this one.

Become as good as IZ and people wont care. People didn't for him and he was tipping the scales at near 800 pounds!

NattyBumppo
Feb 28, 2006

President's Quest '08: To Hope Is Human

Anne Whateley posted:

- How is a ukulele different from a mini-guitar? If I want music for a song -- tab charts or whatever -- how easy will that be to find for a uke? Or will I be playing almost entirely by ear?

If you're playing the chords, just play the uke chords instead of the guitar chords. If a song's chord progression is G, C, D, for example, you can play that on any instrument, so long as you know how to do those chords. If the tab is actually fingered notes, you'll have to transcribe them, and that could be hard.

Anne Whateley posted:

- I've played piano for years (lessons started in kindergarten, that kind of thing). I'm not bad, but my theory is not up to par. Is my experience going to make playing ukulele easier at all, or would that take a better grasp of theory?

I honestly don't think that it will make it much easier at all. The two experiences are very different.

Anne Whateley posted:

- I am a fat chick. Is a fat chick with a ukulele going to be automatically hilarious (e.g., "No no, that actually is a real guitar, it's just in her massive paws...")? You don't have to be a uke expert to answer this one.

If you're at all self-conscious, maybe this isn't a very good idea after all. Unless you're playing around friends, it will probably look a little silly and you may get made fun of.

Toastmaker
Jul 12, 2004

crazy as a fish with titties

Important piece of information about the ukulele: it's pronounced "oo-koo-lay-lee." So the thread title should read "Why YOU should get an ukulele." :hawaiian101:

NattyBumppo
Feb 28, 2006

President's Quest '08: To Hope Is Human

Toastmaker posted:

Important piece of information about the ukulele: it's pronounced "oo-koo-lay-lee." So the thread title should read "Why YOU should get an ukulele." :hawaiian101:

No, in Hawaiian it's pronounced more like "oo-koo-lay-lay." (Your last syllable is wrong.) But people in most of the English-speaking world don't pronounce the name of the instrument that way. Where do you get off acting like a pronunciation authority anyway?

Toastmaker
Jul 12, 2004

crazy as a fish with titties

NattyBumppo posted:

No, in Hawaiian it's pronounced more like "oo-koo-lay-lay." (Your last syllable is wrong.) But people in most of the English-speaking world don't pronounce the name of the instrument that way. Where do you get off acting like a pronunciation authority anyway?

Just because it's accepted doesn't mean it's correct. People say "kwess-a-dilla" for "quesadilla," but that doesn't make it proper. Why did you have to bring confrontation into this? I was throwing in a happy little tidbit in a happy little ukulele thread.

jediBAMF
Jun 2, 2006

many money
break-it fruity
earl-gray drinking
harmony croquis
crisis fruity boy

I want a uke REAL BAD... Because I idolize these girls: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U1ufBkSnmRk

Petty Booka ftw


That being said, for a beginner, is it worth getting one of the cheap kinds? They're only about 30 dollars on Amazon. I'd like to buy one with my own two hands though. Do you think Sam Ash / Yamaha stores have them?

NattyBumppo
Feb 28, 2006

President's Quest '08: To Hope Is Human

Toastmaker posted:

Just because it's accepted doesn't mean it's correct. People say "kwess-a-dilla" for "quesadilla," but that doesn't make it proper. Why did you have to bring confrontation into this? I was throwing in a happy little tidbit in a happy little ukulele thread.

Sorry, I was just annoyed that you were coming in acting like an authority and spreading erroneous information.

CountZeroThreepwood
Dec 18, 2006
I'm a quitter. I come from a long line of quitters. It's amazing I'm here at all.

Yet another ukegoon here! An awesome site I would suggest for beginners is http://www.alligatorboogaloo.com/uke/index.html , especially the songbook page.

FlyingCheese posted:

Are there any tips that would apply to a bassist?

I went from uke to bass and theres basically no similarity at all. I strongly advise against playing bass then immediately (literally seconds after) going to play uke, because I've broken innumerable strings that way. Same thing with banjo. The uke is a fragile lover

Does no-one else here play BF#DA any more? I live in Scotland and when I took a trip to America over the summer Inoticed that most Americans play in GCEA whereas most Scots (brits?) play BF#DA. Can anyone back this theory up?

Does anyone here gig with their uke? I've done a couple with my friend and it was pretty awesome.

Oh wow I asked a lot of questions there. Sorry.

Johnny Future
Jul 22, 2007

Saving the cosmos one powerchord at a time



Here's a cheap little uke that I bought for $30 and painted. I can't play it that well, but it's fun to tool around with when I get bored playing guitar.

Edit: And yeah, I tune it GCEA. It seems to be the standard tuning here (Canada)

Johnny Future fucked around with this message at Nov 21, 2007 around 10:25

The Dregs
Dec 29, 2005

Nothin' but lint.

I got a bit of an odd question. I had an injury to my left hand few years ago. My pinky and ring fingers were crushed (the pinky acually was crushed off, but reattached). So now they are a bit weak and very sensitive. I tried to learn guitar, but it was just too painful. I couldn't muster up the pressure in my pinky.

Would a uke or banjo be easier for me? Is it possibe to play without your pinky finger at all?

Fucktard Idiot
Oct 8, 2007



The Dregs posted:

I got a bit of an odd question. I had an injury to my left hand few years ago. My pinky and ring fingers were crushed (the pinky acually was crushed off, but reattached). So now they are a bit weak and very sensitive. I tried to learn guitar, but it was just too painful. I couldn't muster up the pressure in my pinky.

Would a uke or banjo be easier for me? Is it possibe to play without your pinky finger at all?

No doubt with three fingers you could play barre chords on a uke. Banjo would be trickier because you're playing more fingerpicking type stuff instead of chords, harder when you're short a digit, but you might be able to get by on a banjo also since you have some use of the pinky.

Al2001
Apr 7, 2007

You've gone through at the back


I've been thinking about getting one for a while, the price certainly is attractive, plus one day maybe I can be in The Ukulele Orchestra Of Great Britain (http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=UxCj2...feature=related).

TapTheForwardAssist
Apr 9, 2007

he's the one who gives his body/
as a weapon of the war/
and without him all this killing can't go on


jediBAMF posted:

That being said, for a beginner, is it worth getting one of the cheap kinds? They're only about 30 dollars on Amazon. I'd like to buy one with my own two hands though. Do you think Sam Ash / Yamaha stores have them?

As mentioned above, the cheapies can be really hit or miss.

Main cheapie problems:

-low quality strings (replace with decent strings, like $2.50 online)
-low quality tuners (if you live near a real music shop (not a big-box shop), you can maybe buy better tuners for a buck or two each and drill them in)
-poor action (height of strings over fingerboard) and intonation (proper intervals of frets to get in-tune notes). If these are off, you fix it using your luthier skillz and files. If you don't have said skillz/toolz, you're just SOL and will never play quite right.


Accordingly, I would advise you spend $5-10 more and get a uke which has been "set up" by a reputable shop, meaning that they've actually opened the boxes, played the ukes, filed bridges/nutes where needed, put on proper strings, etc. I know the aforementioned musicguymic on eBay has $39 Makala ukes with settup and gig-bag. If there are similar deals online that goons have had good luck with, definitely post them here.

A further $20 to upgrade to a $59 Kala soprano would definitely be advisable if you're semi-seriously interested in this. I and mofolotopo both have $99 Kala tenors that we're pleased with.

Re: the "Flying V" shaped uke a couple posts above: they look really cool, but most folks have really bad luck with playability on those models (currently made by Mahalo). If yours plays well, you're a fortunate goon.

Thread is turning out quite well, have to dash right now, but will be back tomorrow to cover any questions left uncovered by the other ukegoons dropping in.

bees everywhere
Nov 18, 2002



I picked up a Lanikai soprano ukulele for about $50 or $60 a couple months ago, and in that time I have gone from having almost zero musical experience to being able to play about a dozen songs pretty well, and about a dozen more not-so-well. I tought myself using only the internet, since it's a little hard to find ukulele lessons in this part of the world. It's a lot of fun. I don't have any other ukes to compare mine to, but my Lanikai is definitely great quality for the money.

Here are some of the tab sites I use:
http://www.ukulele.de.vu/ <-- My favorite
http://dominator.ukeland.com/index2.shtml
http://beatlesite.info/ <-- Good for tuning if you don't have a pitch pipe
http://www.akulele.com/tablature.html
http://www.alligatorboogaloo.com/uke/index.html
http://www.chordie.com <-- On the right, change guitar to ukulele

http://www.alligatorboogaloo.com/uk...hords-GCEA.html <-- Chords chart

fischtick
Jul 9, 2001


I've been *this close* to picking up a Fluke for... 3 years now. At some point I'm going to have to buckle and pick it up for myself.

Has anyone here ever picked up one of Fleamarket Music's song books? Are they any good? I've been thinking about picking up their campfire book (along with the Fluke), what with me finally getting old and having a kid and all. Oh god, I'm going to be That Dad, the one that bring his ukulele places... my poor, poor daughter.

mofolotopo
May 10, 2004

TICK STAMPEDE!!!!

TapTheForwardAssist posted:

I and mofolotopo both have $99 Kala tenors that we're pleased with.

Mine's actually a concert. I'm thinking whatever I upgrade to will be a tenor, though - I really want those extra frets!

logistik
Sep 11, 2001

I'll give you a TKO from Tokyo!

I have a baritone that I found in a closet in my house one day. I had always just tuned it EADG. Shows what I know. Which is nothing.

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

Phayray
Feb 16, 2004


Can anyone give some general information on the baritone uke and how it compares to the others? I love lower instruments (euphonium player checking in) and I'd be interested in picking something like this up.

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • Post
  • Reply
«64 »