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Thread: Acoustic Guitarist interested in the Ukulele but feeling uncertain

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Blaine, Washington


    I've been playing guitar for going on 59 years and uke for around 6. If anything, the uke has taught me how to really run the top 4 strings much better.

    I thought I would give up the guitar after starting with the uke, they were just getting too cumbersome playing while sitting down. Then I bought a Steel string Pono baritone. It showed me how much I missed the steel string sound and especially the two bottom strings of a guitar. So now I'm having a custom parlor guitar made by George Thomas. The build started last week.

    It took me maybe a 1/2 hour to figure out the chord structure. A chord shape is a chord shape; they just have different names depending on the key it's tuned or played in. Don't worry about various styles; you either have soul or you don't. Main thing is get out there and play. You'll find your lead riffs will be better defined on your guitar after a few months playing a uke. I don't play my tenors much lately; mostly a couple high end baritones.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Florida Space Coast


    For some interesting reading, Google search "ukulele for guitar players"

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Los Angeles, near the Beverly Center.


    I played rhythm guitar for almost 50 years before playing the uke, which happened kind of by accident. A little over 4 years ago I was leafing through a Musicians Friend catalogue and came across a ukulele that looked like the Fender Telecaster guitar I bought not long before. The uke was only $60, so on a whim I bought it to hang next to my Telecaster just for fun. A couple of weeks later I received a postcard from the Los Angeles Music Center for their annual summer Play-Along seminars, which I attended for guitar a few times, but this time it was for ukulele. Hey, I thought, I have one, so I signed up.

    I did a little research online for chords and found them to be straight forward, and also was incredibly impressed when I viewed Bros. Iz, Jake and a few others, wow, this little thing can be virtuoso. I did a little practicing, but had a lot of trouble forming chords, then discovered about the sizes. I didn't know mine was a soprano, so I went out a day before the Play-Along and bought a tenor, much better for me.

    I attended the first of the three day Play-Along (of which there were about 300 participants) and I was hooked. When I got home I joined The CC Strummers, a seniors group that meets twice a week, and the Westside Ukulele Ensemble (from which I dropped out a year later, not the right fit). I also took up the bass uke. The end of the story is, I took to the uke world so well, I HAVE NOT TOUCHED MY GUITARS SINCE.

    Member The CC Strummers:
    Donate to The Ukulele Kids Club, provide ukuleles to kids in hospital music therapy programs.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    The U.K.


    Played guitar for forty seven or eight years; got a ukulele
    and haven't really touched a guitar since.So much better
    to work out chord progressions and melodies on, and so
    much more portable! Gave away all my guitars after a few
    months uke playing!
    All power and respect to you Concert,Tenor and Baritone players, but Soprano is what does it for me every time!

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2017


    Quote Originally Posted by LNW View Post
    Hello, all. I've played acoustic guitar for around 15 years and am interested in maybe getting and learning to play a Uke. I've played several in some stores, and my initial thoughts are that I like the sound, but that learning all the chords will take a little mental-readjustment.
    I'm also a guitar player first. I would say your worry about learning chords isn't really a concern. The ukulele is tuned like the first 4 strings of the guitar, so the chords are actually the same! They are just in a different key. Since you know guitar the learning curve isn't very daunting, you'll be playing songs on day 1.

    One thing that drew me to the uke is that they are really fun and addictive to play. I think its size makes it extra easy to pick up and hard to put down. I got hooked right away.

    And an added plus is that I feel that uke playing has improved my guitar playing as well. I don't know why, maybe it's finger agility.
    Last edited by sbanacho; 11-17-2017 at 09:12 AM. Reason: added more reasons

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Morgantown, WV


    I played Cello for 10 years, then discovered ukulele. They are very different yet similar in some ways. I love my cello when I want some serious musical outlet, but I found myself picking up the uke way more often. It is just plain fun to play an Uke. I feel like the sound of an Uke just perks all my cells and make me feel alive. My cello and Uke don't contradict each other, I think each make me a better player for the other. To me it all comes down to time management...
    Mya Moe Classic Koa #2052

    Hoffmann ML Style Cedar/Ebony, LoPrinzi Nova MS-C Mahogany/Spruce, , Knaile'a KPA C Premium Koa, Kiwaya KMC-K Koa, Pono RC-C-PC Cedar/Rosewood, Kala Waterman KA CWB Green

    Long Neck Soprano:
    KoAloha KSM-02 Koa

    Lanikai LU-21 Laminate Mahogany (My Very First Uke!), Kamaka Pineapple 100th Anniversary Koa, Maui Music SK-41 "Pre-Fire" Koa, Romero Creations XS Soprano Spalted Mango, Ohana SK 50G Cedar/Rosewood, Kala KA ASAC-S Acacia

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2017


    Been there my friend. For me it was curiosity. A friend that was a long time guitar/bass player in a band shoeed up once with a ukulele and performed over the rainbow (of course). But it got me thinking. Four strings, nylon, hmmmm. So I built two ukuleles. One a soprano and one a concert using the cigar box guitar method. Each time, the sound drew me in, I learned more on here and other places, a bigger tone became an obsession. So I bought a cheap china (but good sounding) tenor Uke from Donner. I struggled with the lack of bass, but discovered many artists sing the bass register and uke the snot out of any style you can imagine. Changed it to a LOW G.

    The killer? I have carpal tunnel that limited my guitar time. But the uke has nylon strings, sweet! I still have my guitars and will get back to them after the holidays (too many requests for Ukulele Christmas stuff now) and really decide if it is only uke or not. Then there is the perception that uke players are descendants of Tiny Tim, the uke is a toy, that's cute, yada yada. Treat it like water off a duck's back, let it roll. Then wow them with Hendrix! Google James Hill's version of VoodOO child!

    The ukulele in linear tuning is similar to the first four strings on a guitar fretted at the fourth or fifth fret! Then you can see the uke "C" chord is part of the guitar G Chord, etc. It's all connected man!

    You will pick it up super fast as a guitarist, it may consume you though! ATB

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    St. Louis, MO


    I've been a guitarist for 26 years and picked up ukulele about four years ago. I love the simplicity and clarity of the instrument. I rarely play guitar anymore, but I play ukulele every day. Consequently, my fingerpicking on lead guitar has seriously improved as a completely unintended result.
    -Kamaka HF-3 tenor
    -Koaloha Koa Tenor Classic (KTM-00C)
    -Big Island KXXX-TRC w/ passive pickup
    -Pono Mango Tenor Pro Classic
    -Ovation Le Koa Tenor A/E
    -Luna Tiki Resonator "Uke-nator"

    Kamaka forever.

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Bozeman, Montana


    I'll add my voice to the others who gave up guitar after discovering the uke. I traded my Ibanez and Peavy amp (plus a little $) for a Martin C1K.

    The difference between me and those other guys is that I truly sucked at guitar. Horrible. I tried to teach myself, on and off, for years and never progressed. Then I borrowed a friend's uke on a camping trip and just started plucking strings. My wife said, "wow, I can actually stand listening to you on that thing". After a reading a few books and becoming "ok" my wife offered to buy me lessons. That plus some of the UU and other videos and...

    I'm now passable uke player. In fact, I was playing on the back porch this summer and overheard my new neighbor say, "he's good". I think he just caught me at the right time but, for me, the uke has been way easier and thus fun (or vice versa?).

    I do have a guitar playing friend (actually a drummer first and foremost) who says he struggles with uke because of the reentrant tuning but I don't think he's given it much chance - cause he's good at guitar. And I suck.

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Michigan, US


    Long-time-classical guitarist here. Check out The Ukulele Kings. I see someone's already suggested James Hill. I recently got a baritone and a (reentrant) tenor and play both!
    Last edited by twokatmew; 12-06-2017 at 05:44 PM.
    Tenor: Kala solid mahogany, KA-SMHT
    Baritone: Kala solid cedar top acacia, KA-ABP-CTG

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