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UkeCanDoIt!
08-08-2008, 12:16 AM
What's the best size ukulele for a guy with sausage fingers? Concert or Tenor? I imagine the sopranos are out of the question?

~ Matt

SuperSecretBETA
08-08-2008, 12:43 AM
I'd go with tenor or baritone, but baritone typically has a DGBE tuning rather than traditional gCEA. It's your pick.

upskydowncloud
08-08-2008, 01:09 AM
You may be ok with concert but I'd recommend the tenor size. I think the baritone model is trying too hard to be a small guitar for my liking!

Jacman Rasta Bicycle
08-08-2008, 01:36 AM
i too, have large hands/fingers. i usually play a concert, or a tenor. i like the concert the best.

that said, John King has fairly large hands and he plays sopranos...like few others:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q7eCz8SC86U&feature=related

salukulady
08-08-2008, 01:39 AM
You can play any size, check out an Iz video.

Plainsong
08-08-2008, 02:35 AM
I agree with salukulady. I don't have small fingers, and concert and then soprano are my favorite sizes. My hands are too stubby to have much fun with most tenors.

h-drix
08-08-2008, 04:43 AM
question, what uke did iz use? i want to say a tenor, but i cant tell. (no offence may his soul rest easy)

salukulady
08-08-2008, 05:15 AM
question, what uke did iz use? i want to say a tenor, but i cant tell. (no offence may his soul rest easy)Always thought it was a soprano.

Also, watch our own howlin' hobbit on a sopranino
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rqskh0HgQ1Q

sukie
08-08-2008, 07:58 AM
What's the best size ukulele for a guy with sausage fingers? Concert or Tenor? I imagine the sopranos are out of the question?

~ Matt


Don't tell that to Howling Hobbit!

UkeCanDoIt!
08-08-2008, 08:14 AM
One thing I've noticed is that there are different kinds of sausage fingers. There are the meaty fingers that get thinner toward the finger nails and then there are fingers that are thick the entire length. I guess, with enough practice, you can overcome pretty much any physical attribute.

NatalieS
08-08-2008, 04:39 PM
I think Iz played a soprano Martin, tuned with a low G.

Howlin Hobbit
08-10-2008, 06:35 AM
As has been hinted (ahem) I'm a big soprano fan. I have thick but stubby fingers (and almost square palms).

I think sopranos have the classic uke sound and always recommend them.

That being said... don't choose the uke because of your finger size. Choose the uke that makes the sounds you want to make. There's going to be a learning curve on any size uke. But you will be able to play it, even a soprano if that's your choice, with your "sausage" fingers.

salukulady
08-10-2008, 07:27 AM
The Hobbit's back in town. Yea! I knew you'd clear this up.

Jacman Rasta Bicycle
08-10-2008, 01:36 PM
...don't choose the uke because of your finger size. Choose the uke that makes the sounds you want to make.



yup, yup, and yup.
:worship:

UkeCanDoIt!
08-10-2008, 06:59 PM
in spite of my big hands, I've decided that I'm going to get a soprano ukulele since it'll be my first. May as well go cheap and small and work my way up as my skills increase. Just out of curiosity, are the necks wider on the concert and tenor ukes compared to the sopranos?

salukulady
08-10-2008, 07:04 PM
My sopranino neck is one and 5/16 inches wide. My baritone neck is one and 1/2 inches wide. Less than 1/4 inch difference from the smallest to the largest ukulele.

tad
08-11-2008, 03:47 AM
Another person with thick (but stubby) fingers who has no problem with playing a soprano.

e10rice
08-12-2008, 07:51 AM
I'm also new to the Uke, and have only had my Kala KA-S for about two weeks. Im not small at 310 lbs. and needless to say my hands arent small either. The biggest problem im finding is my palm touching the first string when i wrap my hand around it to reach some of the notes that involve the fourth string, and of course my fingers touching other strings. But really all this can be solved and fixed with just a little more time on the uke and practice. My friend has a tenor and I've used it sometimes, and sure theres more room and all but i dont feel like its a uke because of its size. But im thinking of asking for a Concert size uke for Christmas. That'll give me some time to learn on the the KA-S.

JoeyJr858
08-12-2008, 08:37 AM
it's probably another thread topic, but how bout those double jointed folks? I wish I could hit some chords w/ a bit more ease.

salukulady
08-12-2008, 09:15 AM
I'm also new to the Uke, and have only had my Kala KA-S for about two weeks. Im not small at 310 lbs. and needless to say my hands arent small either. The biggest problem im finding is my palm touching the first string when i wrap my hand around it to reach some of the notes that involve the fourth string, and of course my fingers touching other strings. But really all this can be solved and fixed with just a little more time on the uke and practice. My friend has a tenor and I've used it sometimes, and sure theres more room and all but i dont feel like its a uke because of its size. But im thinking of asking for a Concert size uke for Christmas. That'll give me some time to learn on the the KA-S.

Hey try this. Instead of approaching a chord from under the neck with your fingers try coming in from the headstock. Let me try to explain. You know the area between your thumb and first finger, I call it the crotch of your hand. Set it almost at the bottom of the headstock so your fingering the chords from an angle. That might keep your palm out of the way. You have to readjust when fingering an Em or B7 but it works for most of the chords on the upper neck.

e10rice
08-13-2008, 07:21 AM
Yeah i'll have to try that out. sounds like a resonable thing to pull off. mahalo

sukie
08-13-2008, 08:14 AM
Sally, Thanks for the tip. I'm getting tired of my right hand hurting so much. I think your method will help with hand fatigue.

UkeCanDoIt!
08-21-2008, 07:18 PM
Okay, I've had my ukulele for a couple days now and I'm beyond frustrated. I can't help but wonder if I made an error in my decision to get a soprano ukulele. I can't get my fingers to do anything I want them to. Maybe I need a little more patience...

Here's a picture of my ape mits around my Makala.

http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y87/mjgericke/UkeMits.jpg

salukulady
08-21-2008, 09:17 PM
Patience......oh Hobbit, we need some encouragement........

Jack33@
08-21-2008, 10:51 PM
Have you seen HH's videos? Big man, small instrument, beautiful playing.


Patience is right, I have big hands and it took me a while to get anything like a good note out of my soprano.

Just keep chipping away, you will suddenly notice it has falen into place.

Keep changing your left hand position until you get it right, Sal's advice is sound and is the only way I can play most of the chords I use. My main problem was my left hand getting tighter and tighter, more like I was trying to strangle the thing than play it.

Keep going, people tell me this is supposed to be the easiest instrument in the world to play but these are often the people who are virtuoso cellists or flautists, for me this stuff is difficult but the rewards are enormous.

Good luck

HI@heart
08-22-2008, 09:04 AM
Like what the others have said. Keep at it :D Relaaaax. Practice good form and make adjustments to accommodate the tools you have. You'd be amazed what is possible when a challenge is met with tenacity and desire.

A change in size may not be the solution. Sometimes you just have to look at a problem differently to solve it. Work with what you have and learn from it. I was helping a friend move one time. He rented a big ol' truck with a manual shift tranny. The gears would grind horribly as he tried to muscle it into the needed gear. I suggested to use a light touch and finesse it into the next gear. It worked.

Good luck and keep playing :)

Howlin Hobbit
08-22-2008, 11:52 AM
Patience......oh Hobbit, we need some encouragement........

I see there's been some good encouragement without my input. But hell, that's never stopped me before! :rolleyes:

Below you'll find a pic of my meaty ol' paw wrapped around a sopranino. Its scale length is less than 12 inches. I play all sorts of tunes, with all sorts of jazzy chords, on said lil' beasty.

It boils down to three things:


Patience. (That's been mentioned before.)
Practice. (That's been mentioned too.)
Thinking a bit differently. (HI@Heart touched on this one.)

Related to the the third thing, I've also attached a diagram of the Dm chord (GCEA tuning... Em in ADF#B). You'll note that it has three dots where you place your fingers. You're probably using three fingers.

But why, when two will do?

I play that chord with my middle finger covering both the 4th and the 3rd string on the second fret and my index for the 2nd string, first fret.

Suddenly my fingers aren't as crowded and, better yet, I have a couple of "spare" fingers to grab other notes where needed.

You can do it.

haolejohn
08-23-2008, 11:05 AM
question, what uke did iz use? i want to say a tenor, but i cant tell. (no offence may his soul rest easy)

LOL! I think IZ played many all the sizes. I got a video of Iz and Bu La'ia and it looks like a tenor but I saw a video of him doing Hawai'i 78 and that uke looked like a soprano or concert.

I own two tenors and a concert and I prefer the tenor for my fingers. The fret isn't as crowded when I try to place three fingers into one fret. But I want a soprano b/c I think it'll make me a better player.

nikolo727
08-23-2008, 11:21 AM
it's probably another thread topic, but how bout those double jointed folks? I wish I could hit some chords w/ a bit more ease.

when people say they are double jointed they are either lying or they are ignorant of the human anatomy. To be double jointed is near impossible. it may have happened like once or twice in history but the people you are talking about just have really loose joints. That would be cool to have but later on in life those people will probubly have bone problems. Im not angry I just hate the term "double jointed". :D

nikolo727
08-23-2008, 11:24 AM
Okay, I've had my ukulele for a couple days now and I'm beyond frustrated. I can't help but wonder if I made an error in my decision to get a soprano ukulele. I can't get my fingers to do anything I want them to. Maybe I need a little more patience...

Here's a picture of my ape mits around my Makala.

http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y87/mjgericke/UkeMits.jpg

if you just keep playing on it, your fingers will get used to the "cramped" conditions. I have a huge hand and I find it hard to play a baritone! I was so used to my tenor and my soprano that playing my baritone is kinda difficult. lol

so just keep playing.

nikolo727
08-23-2008, 11:26 AM
I'm also new to the Uke, and have only had my Kala KA-S for about two weeks. Im not small at 310 lbs. and needless to say my hands arent small either. The biggest problem im finding is my palm touching the first string when i wrap my hand around it to reach some of the notes that involve the fourth string, and of course my fingers touching other strings. But really all this can be solved and fixed with just a little more time on the uke and practice. My friend has a tenor and I've used it sometimes, and sure theres more room and all but i dont feel like its a uke because of its size. But im thinking of asking for a Concert size uke for Christmas. That'll give me some time to learn on the the KA-S.

The problem you might be having(im just going out on a limb here) is that your wrapping your thumb around the neck of the uke. Try putting your thumb on the middle and support the uke, dont carry it with your thumb. you should be applying enough pressure with your right hand forearm to hold the uke up in proper uke holding posistion, that you can take away your left and the uke should still be in position. :D

UkeCanDoIt!
08-23-2008, 12:40 PM
I keep my thumb at the back of the neck, so that's not the problem. I'm just having a difficult time making my fingers work in the small amount of space. I'll keep plugging away though! :)