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Thread: Best ukulele for beginners...Wirecutter

  1. #21
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    Jun 2017
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    You can buy a ukulele on ebay

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
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    Twin Cities Area, Minnesota
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    You can, but there is a risk in doing so. While some UU members are focused on the quality of the instrument for the beginner (and yes, I have seen the suggestion of a Kamaka as a first instrument), one of the more common bits of advice is to buy a ukulele from a dealer that sets up the instrument for a common string action, rather than getting a ukulele from a big vendor.

    Higher action means harder to play. Higher action due to a high nut means that beginner chords on the first fret are harder to play. And theoretically, an instrument that is set up right should play more closely in tune.

    So the suggestion to not buy from eBay or Amazon as a first instrument is generally good advice. That said, Mim's store front is via eBay...and she is one of the best out there.
    Playing ukulele since January 2016.

    Have you participated in the thread, "How the Ukulele Found You?" If not, please consider adding your story--they are just fun to read.

    http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/...lele-found-you

  3. #23
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    Nov 2009
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    5,407

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    Quote Originally Posted by Choirguy View Post
    So the suggestion to not buy from eBay or Amazon as a first instrument is generally good advice. That said, Mim's store front is via eBay...and she is one of the best out there.
    I'd qualify that suggestion as "do not buy a ukulele on eBay from someone who does not know ukuleles." I've never bought from Mim, but I'm sure she's great. I did, however, buy two Kamakas from private parties on eBay when I first started playing, and both were a bit disappointing. The combination of an inexperienced player plus an inexperienced seller is pretty likely to have lackluster results.

    So I'd go so far as to say that the best ukulele for beginners is one that is in their budget, that feels comfortable to them, and that an experienced ukulele player or dealer has helped them select, either from a trustworthy online retailer like Mim or HMS, or in-person at a local shop that is ukulele-knowledgeable.

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    Brown County Indiana
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    About half way through, I started to wonder if the article was sponsored by Amazon.
    http://www.youtube.com/user/hoosierhiver

    UWC: no shirt, no shoes, no problem..

    Ukes questions should be emailed to mike@mainlandukes.com

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
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    Tampa Bay, FL
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    Jane,
    Kamakas that were Disappointing? Wow....I had no idea that could happen.
    It amazes me.
    "Those who bring sunshine and laughter to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves".

    Music washes from the soul, the dust of everyday living.

  6. #26
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    Salt Lake City, UT
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nickie View Post
    Jane,
    Kamakas that were Disappointing? Wow....I had no idea that could happen.
    It amazes me.
    It can happen - wood is a variable material. If you ever get a chance to play several of the same mass produced instrument back to back you'd be surprised (I got to do this with three "identical" mandolins - there was a definite hierarchy in sound quality). And part of the problem is that if you haven't played the uke in question, you don't know if you'll bond with it. And just because others like it won't mean you will.
    Blackbird Clara
    Concert Flea
    Pono MB
    Deering Goodtime Banjo Uke (concert)
    Hadean Uke-Bass
    Deering Goodtime Special (5-string banjo - currently with 4 strings...)

    Buckle Up

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    5,407

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nickie View Post
    Jane,
    Kamakas that were Disappointing? Wow....I had no idea that could happen.
    It amazes me.
    Kamakas are just another uke manufacturer, subject to all the same manufacturing variations as just about anything else. I like them, but will be the first to admit that no factory uke manufacturer is perfect 100% of the time. I'm only familiar first-hand with Kamaka, Koaloha, and Kiwaya ukes, and I've seen variations in tone and playability across all three.

    But I think the problem arises when you have others to compare them to. If one bought a Kamaka on eBay, and lived in an area completely devoid of other ukes and had no way to compare, then one might not have cause for disappointment.

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
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    Oak Park, Illinois
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    2,699

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    If everybody wanted peace instead of another TV, then there would be peace.
    -John Lennon-

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Ukuleleland
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    Quote Originally Posted by stevepetergal View Post
    Should be good enough for the serious noob.
    Sole uke: Soprano Flight NUS310, nut end and fret ends a little set up (I sanded) for comfort
    Chromatic tuner Korg CA-40, surprised I needed one

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Santa Clara, California
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    Quote Originally Posted by ripock View Post
    As a relative beginner, I can attest to that. When I caught the bug, I just saved $20 from every paycheck for a few months and then bought a beginner's ukulele, a $200 Oscar Schmidt. It served me well...and it still does as my dedicated amplifier-uke. However my mind was blown by the difference in quality when I upgraded to a $700 solid wood Cordoba. Everything was easier to play, the action was lower, the fret wires were filed down, the fluoro-carbon strings felt much better than nylon. In a way getting that cheaper uke has been a very integral part of my career. If I had started off with a koolau I wouldn't have the perspective and the memories.
    Actually I started with a Pono MT strung low-g and then I got a Cordoba 35T-SE strung high-g. I'm pretty sure it's still just nylon strings (Aguilla) on a Cordoba (I contacted them about this before I bought) although I suppose somebody could put flurocarbons on them but they don't come from Cordoba that way. By the way, I assume you got yours setup because I've heard that Cordoba's often need a nut high adjustment.

    -- Gary

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