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Thread: Scale Length and Chording Difficulty?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2017

    Default Scale Length and Chording Difficulty?

    Hi! I'm a fairly new ukulele player (6 months) and started on a tenor (17"). I've decided I'd really like a bigger instrument so had been looking at baritones (19-20" scale length). I tried a few and decided they wouldn't be too much of a stretch for most of the chords I know.

    However, in looking at baritones I came across the Pono Nui models which are really big baritones with 23" scales. I haven't been able to try one out in person so I'm wondering what the general consensus is on if that's too long of a scale to easily play common chords on?

    I probably have small-medium hands for a guy, but I've seen kids playing full-sized guitars with 25" scales, so I know it must be possible.

    Any thoughts or suggestions?



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Honoka'a, HI


    Play a classical guitar and see how you do.
    Brad Bordessa
    Webmaster of Live '
    Admin for The Ukulele Way
    Author of 'Ukulele Chord Shapes

    My answers to some FAQs: How to figure out a song - High-g/Low-G - What uke should I get? - Pickups

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Upper Hale, Surrey/Hants border, UK.


    I first bought a tenor, then a soprano, but ended up learning on concert scales.
    After a while, I could play the tenor scale as well, so thought I'd try a baritone, I really love the sound/tone of my cedar top bari, but I just find the scale too big, for me.
    My mainstays are now tenor & concert scales, you may be different, but it will be a stretch.
    Trying to do justice to various musical instruments.

  4. #4


    As you say, many with small/medium hands excel playing 6 steel strings on a 25.4" scale, so 4 nylon strings on a 23" scale will be just a matter of getting used to it. I think you'll be fine should you choose that route.

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