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Advice please!

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Advice please!

Postby seasick_sarah » Tue Sep 15, 2009 8:24 am

Okay. So now I'm SERIOUSLY considering buying a uke because I initially thought you need to have some kind of God-given musical talent to begin with (I got up to Grade 3 in piano, but haven't practised for about three years now), but according to a lot of Google searches, it's an easy instrument to learn. :lol:

They have cheap ones, but they say they're "ideal for children" or something like that, which makes me think they're not "real" or "proper" ukes. On the other hand, I don't want to pay $369, either.

If someone could look at what's available and give me some advice, I'll be eternally grateful!

http://www.allansmusic.com.au/Search.aspx?s=ukulele
http://www.allansmusic.com.au/Search.aspx?s=ukelele


"Do you know someone who is too young for a guitar but too old for a toy instrument? A ukulele could be a very special gift." LOL!

I don't think I'm too young, but I am terrible at trying to wrap my fingers around the frets of a "normal" guitar. Tried it once and nearly broke my whole ARM, while my eight-year-old cousin laughed, took it off me and proceeded to play a whole Cat Stevens song without making any mistakes. :? Will I still have this problem with a uke? Or is it a lot easier?

I'm quite excited about this... :lol:
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Re: Advice please!

Postby biscuit » Tue Sep 15, 2009 8:32 am

:cheer: yay!

Looking at those ukes the first thing that strikes me is 'maaaaan, I neeed a Flea!! :drool:... but this ain't about me :worry:

I would go for the so-called Rainbow Mahalo. That's the colourful variety you see there, which comes with a matching bag:) If you are not sure about playing this is a cheap way to find out if it's for you :nod: My McKenzie is a red Mahalo that I've restrung with Aquila strings. You could have the music shop do that for you :wink:

It isn't the greates uke in the world but it is a very decent starter and then you can save up for a more expensive one should you get hooked. (You will get hooked btw so you better start saving at once :lol: )

Buy one and join the WTFIUO :D :rock:
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Re: Advice please!

Postby LauraK » Tue Sep 15, 2009 1:24 pm

I ordered my first one through Amazon- a Lanakai soprano for $49 and it was very nice.....but it just didn't "feel" right in my hands. So I wound up sending it back and getting a Makala tenor that came with a digital tuner for $76 and it was well worth the extra money. The tuner I got goes for $20-$25 alone so I really didn't spend loads more to get the bigger uke and Big Daddy is perfect for me!

So my only advice for you is to find a music store where you can take some time and get a feel for a variety of ukes. Hold them and strum them so you can see which one is right for you. Soprano is the classic uke and smallest, then the concert, then the soprano, and then the baritone.

Oh, and the sound will be different in a baritone....I'm pretty sure I read its strings are DGBE instead of GCEA so a bit deeper sound. The tenor, like soprano and concert, is GCEA but I hear recommendations of going with a low-G string...right now I have the high-G cuz that's the classic uke "sound" but I'm going to get a set with the low G so I can see the difference.
Kelly has low-G on hers and loves it. :)
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Re: Advice please!

Postby kellysouthpaw » Tue Sep 15, 2009 2:28 pm

Laura basically did a fantastic job of explaining, sarah, so there's not a whole lot I can add that won't be repeating what she said.

However, I can't stress enough the importance of going to a music store in your area that carries ukes and just holding the different sizes. Unless you get a baritone uke, how you make the chords will be the same on soprano, concert and tenor, so don't worry about that, it's just size for those three. Just see how your fingers fit in the frets. For me, I have fat fingers so soprano ukes are almost out of the question for me because I don't have the room. That's why I went with a tenor (and now a concert too :cheer:) - because there is more room in the frets for my fingers.

And you need almost no previous musical experience to be able to play the uke. There are only four strings so the chords are much easier to form than a guitar. And if you get the right (*cough*Aquila*cough*) strings, the strings are much easier to hold down than a guitar.

I highly recommend the uke :thumb: But I'm also biased.
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Re: Advice please!

Postby mockingbird » Tue Sep 15, 2009 2:33 pm

Get a uke! They're so much fun! :D I have a Hilo, it's teeny and I think it's easier to play than the guitar except I have a bit of trouble getting my fingers positioned correctly on the frets, like Kelly said, because they're so small. I guess mine is a soprano.

Here's an online uke tuner that I find very useful and easy (and free). http://www.get-tuned.com/ukulele_tuner.php My uke gets knocked out of tune very easily. I don't know if it's because the strings are new or they're crappy or maybe because the uke itself is cheap, I dunno. But I have to tune it all the time.
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Re: Advice please!

Postby kellysouthpaw » Tue Sep 15, 2009 2:43 pm

It partially depends on what kind of tuners you have, mock (friction vs geared), and also what kinds of strings, and also how old the strings are (as you said, newer strings tend to go out of tune faster, older strings stay in place easier)
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Re: Advice please!

Postby Venus » Tue Sep 15, 2009 6:20 pm

Everyone else has basically said it all. If you can, go into a music store and have a feel for a ukulele before you buy it. I ended up getting a Mahalo Soprano ukulele made out of mahogany. It's a gorgeous uke with a great sound. It's quite similar to the $79 Mahalo Soprano uke on the website you posted. Mine also came with a DVD but my one came with a hardshell case instead of a gig bag and my one has geared tuners instead of friction ones. I also bought Aquila strings which are known to be of better quality than many other strings. I use a clip on tuner as well which picks up the vibrations for you to tune your uke. You can also use online tuners which are fine as well but a clip on electronic tuner is very easy to use, useful particularly for beginners and very practical especially if you're out and about. You definitely don't have to spend much on a uke now. I would recommend that you should get a uke for a decent price now and then when you get into it, you may think about getting more expensive ukes.

I also previously played the piano (up to Grade 4/5) and also stopped for one reason or another. Uke's are so much fun to play and quite easy to learn :nod:

I really hope you end up purchasing a uke so you can join in on the fun we're all having :cheer:
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Re: Advice please!

Postby seasick_sarah » Tue Sep 15, 2009 10:32 pm

Thanks everyone! That shop's out of my way and the soonest I can get there will probably be next Thursday :? but they should let me "try before I buy"...however I think I will just get an el cheapo one first and then see how I go. The $79 one does look nice but it's out of my price range if I'm not sure it's the right size or if I'm any good. I'll let you know how I get on!
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Re: Advice please!

Postby LauraK » Tue Sep 15, 2009 10:38 pm

8)
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Re: Advice please!

Postby nonchalant obsession » Wed Sep 16, 2009 1:35 am

Yeah Sarah! :macarena: You won't regret it! Get that ukulele! :rock:
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Re: Advice please!

Postby Venus » Wed Sep 16, 2009 1:44 am

Go Sarah! :cheer: Yeah keep us posted on how everything goes :thumb:
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Re: Advice please!

Postby seasick_sarah » Thu Sep 17, 2009 2:54 am

I managed to get into the city this morning and I bought the Mahalo U-320 Deluxe Soprano. :D I was looking at the cheaper ones but the guy told me they really are just toys and don't stay in tune. (Mock...?) Yeah, I know he's still doing his job and has to sell the more expensive one (he EVEN tried to sell me the pineapple one, though I told him I was a beginner and yada yada)...but I think it's probably true. I also bought "You Can Teach Yourself Uke". The uke and the book came with CDs...now I have to somehow smuggle them home without crushing them (my parents will probably twig that it's all Conchords-inspired, how embarrassing) and on Monday I can finally start practising!
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Re: Advice please!

Postby Venus » Thu Sep 17, 2009 3:00 am

seasick_sarah wrote:I managed to get into the city this morning and I bought the Mahalo U-320 Deluxe Soprano. :D I was looking at the cheaper ones but the guy told me they really are just toys and don't stay in tune. (Mock...?) Yeah, I know he's still doing his job and has to sell the more expensive one (he EVEN tried to sell me the pineapple one, though I told him I was a beginner and yada yada)...but I think it's probably true. I also bought "You Can Teach Yourself Uke". The uke and the book came with CDs...now I have to somehow smuggle them home without crushing them (my parents will probably twig that it's all Conchords-inspired, how embarrassing) and on Monday I can finally start practising!


Yay! Welcome to the WTFIUO! :cheer: Be sure to post pics of your uke! :D

So far I haven't really had any problems of my uke not staying in tune but I guess it does depend on various factors.
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Re: Advice please!

Postby LauraK » Thu Sep 17, 2009 3:02 am

Let me be the first to tell you that even if they think "Oh, it's just cuz of the Conchords..." wait'll they hear you playing and getting better! They'll be proud and see how happy it makes you. :)

Looking forward to seeing a pic and hearing what name you've bestowed.....

My fingers are crossed you got a better deal than this:
http://www.amazon.com/Mahalo-U-320-Delu ... B001SN7QXW
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Re: Advice please!

Postby Maze » Thu Sep 17, 2009 11:01 pm

seasick_sarah wrote:I managed to get into the city this morning and I bought the Mahalo U-320 Deluxe Soprano. :D I was looking at the cheaper ones but the guy told me they really are just toys and don't stay in tune. (Mock...?) Yeah, I know he's still doing his job and has to sell the more expensive one (he EVEN tried to sell me the pineapple one, though I told him I was a beginner and yada yada)...but I think it's probably true. I also bought "You Can Teach Yourself Uke". The uke and the book came with CDs...now I have to somehow smuggle them home without crushing them (my parents will probably twig that it's all Conchords-inspired, how embarrassing) and on Monday I can finally start practising!


Congrats on your new uke, Sarah. Hope that you'll be strumming like a pro in no time!

I'm really glad you started this thread because I'm thinking of getting one, too - and was a bit overwhelmed at how long the UKE threads are already here. I actually walked into a music shopthe other day in a suburb here called Evanston to check some out. Prices ranges from $65 for some beginner Mahalo's to over $1000.

    Specifically looking for one made in the US (The Maholo's were made in China and the $300+ ones were from Germany.) and priced between $65 - 100 as I'm about as green as you can get on strings, but want to make a decent investment, something I can pass on to a fellow beginner if I decide to progress further..

Any suggestions? Is purchasing online my best bet?
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