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Thread: My advice to beginners is: get 2 ukes. Why? . . . .

  1. #1
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    Default My advice to beginners is: get 2 ukes. Why? . . . .

    So, playing as a beginner, I am constantly coming across ukulele music in both low G and high G.

    I am really glad that I have both high G sopranos and a low G tenor. It must be frustrating for beginners to come up against music and can't really play it as notated because it is not written for their setup.

    So, my advice for serious beginners is to have 2 ukuleles. A soprano in typical high G and a tenor or concert, or baritone in low G.

  2. #2
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    another reason also is that if you prefer to tune and play in something other than a variant of GCEA tuning, like Bb or A6 for yourself when alone or for suiting your vocal range without transposing to different chord shapes in another key...

    YOU will STILL need a GCEA tuned uke for following along with video tutorials and/or playing at your local uke club, unless you plan to use a capo, and IMHO, using a capo on smaller than a baritone seems kinda pointless to me, when I have ukes in all the other scale lengths - yes I have quite a few ukes, and only 3 of them are currently in GCEA or DGBE tunings...others are Bb, A6, G6 and in variations of fifths tunings...

    But a hi-g and low-g are useful as you had said, otherwise get a five-stringer, that has both and you have it covered in one instrument with the octave already installed.
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  3. #3

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    If the problem is trying to figure out how a song's melody goes and notes go below C, it can be really frustrating sometimes, not always, with a re-entrant uke.
    Usually you can play an octave higher, but then certainly other difficulties with such high frets to find right notes. I am talking about regular musical notation from songbooks.

    So for that the low-G uke can really help as songs seldom go below it's low G.

    But there is also another for many already available solution. If you have a guitar and a capo. Put the capo at the 5th fret and then you can use it for the job.
    Last edited by Jarmo_S; 10-17-2017 at 01:32 PM.

  4. #4
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    I have a different perspective, because this is what I did and it backfired.

    It caused confusion, made me feel torn and unfocused, and slowed down the whole learning process as I was bouncing around between resources, tunings, and songs, and exercises. I also "had" to upgrade multiple ukes, experiment with strings for both tunings, and it made it harder to get used to re-entrant tuning. The lack of focus really hurt my learning and negatively impacted my enjoyment.

    I would rather get a twice as expensive ukulele for one tuning than two cheaper instruments for two different tunings. There will be an occasion to explore other tunings and other instruments (it's almost inevitable, especially if someone hangs out on this forum: if someone really wants to learn and not spend a lot of money, not coming here would be the genuinely best advice I have to offer, but it's a fun place!), but the beginning is not the best time to do this.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyber3d View Post
    So, playing as a beginner, I am constantly coming across ukulele music in both low G and high G.

    I am really glad that I have both high G sopranos and a low G tenor. It must be frustrating for beginners to come up against music and can't really play it as notated because it is not written for their setup.

    So, my advice for serious beginners is to have 2 ukuleles. A soprano in typical high G and a tenor or concert, or baritone in low G.
    I see there are quite a few people that disagree with you, but FWIW, I agree.

  6. #6
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    I'd advise beginners to get a nice Concert to start and then learn to play chords, Key Chords and strumming. The sound is full and less plinky than a soprano and you can switch out the G string Hi/Low to experiment. Don't get crazy with UAS until you can play most of the major and minor key progressions, at least I, IV, V/V7, and VI. You save a lot of time and money if you learn to play one instrument and learn how to sing a bit better.

    Ask me how I know, said the man with nine Ukuleles and still can't read the treble staff.

  7. #7
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    Do what keeps you motivated to learn more. It helps to have a plan, but it won't ruin your future professional ukulele playing career to have two ukuleles. Not everyone is motivated by the same thing or learns the same way.
    Last edited by Ziret; 10-17-2017 at 10:33 PM.
    Kiwaya KTS-6
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  8. #8
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    To me the main reason to have more than one uke is in case something happens to one, you have another to play. That's exactly what happened to me the first week I had a uke, it had to go in for repair, so I immediately bought another as back up.


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  9. #9
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    Having both High G & Low G is a very useful way to go about learning to play uke.

    For instrumental/melody playing the low G has more notes, giving you more options

    For sing & strum, the high G is the uke way.

    (Nearly all of mine have low G. )
    Trying to do justice to various musical instruments.
    Formerly known as uke1950.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by uke1950 View Post
    For instrumental/melody playing the low G has more notes, giving you more options
    ... but it removes the option of playing campanella style, and you end up playing simplified guitar songs without the bass strings.

    (Tongue in cheek! I just mildly disagree with the sentiment that high-G equals strumming and low-G fingerpicking. I think tenors with low-G sound better strummed than they do with high-G, and Wilfried Welti, John King, Sam Muir, etc. have shown that re-entrant tuning is great for fingerpicking complex pieces.)

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