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Thread: Acoustic Guitarist interested in the Ukulele but feeling uncertain

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
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    8

    Default Acoustic Guitarist interested in the Ukulele but feeling uncertain

    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.

    My hesitation to get one is just not being sure if I'll really like it. I mean, I love playing chords and singing, so I know it'll be a good fit in that sense. But my question is related more to the fact that I know very little about the instrument in terms of its various styles and what all else there is to play on Ukes besides just some simple chord progressions. (But, granted, isn't all music chord progressions?)

    It'd also be helpful to hear any guitarists on here share what drew them to the Uke (what they especially like about it...what things you may like about Uke vs Guitar in some music...etc).

    Any music/artist suggestions to hear more examples of Uke music would be appreciated. I did skim the table-of-contents of the Ukulele for Dummies book and saw that it had sections on fingerpicking, combining melody and chords, blues, rock, jazz, etc - that was helpful for me to know.

    Thank you!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Whidbey Island, WA
    Posts
    208

    Default

    You can play just about anything on a uke. Here are a few videos to show you some possibilities:

    John King playing Bach: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=935ExOpT5bI

    Surf rock by Taimane Gardner: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xAnFEsozP_o

    Led Kaapana playing slack-key style: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vBv2O3L0btk

    Go for it!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
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    8

    Default

    Thanks for the youtube links, Gary! I also just ran across Cynthia Lin's album "Ukulele Days" which I'm listening to for more musical exposure for myself to the ukulele.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    West Midlands GB
    Posts
    1,239

    Default

    Look on youtube for Wilfried Welti. I think you will find his music interesting.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    Pennsylvania, USA
    Posts
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    @LNW - Just get one! You can own a very nice quality laminate ukulele for about $150. If that's too hefty, cheaper ones can be had for much less. The risk is small and if you are into making music(it sounds like you are) there is a good chance you won't be sorry you got it, even if it turns out uke isn't gonna be your new main thing.

    To address your questions:
    - If you know chords on an acoustic guitar, you already know chords on a uke in standard tuning. There are two fewer strings to fret, so it is actually easier once you get used to it.
    - Most styles that can be played on an acoustic guitar can be played on a ukulele. Of course, there will be some adjustments to accommodate the strengths and weaknesses of the instrument.
    - I dabbled around with steel string acoustic guitars for about 15 years before I discovered the ukulele. I like dabbling in ukulele because I find it to be relaxing and fun.


    Get a uke! What could go wrong!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Detroit, Michigan
    Posts
    63

    Default

    ahoy

    also see youtube
    James Hill Voodoo Child
    also
    anything by
    Jake Shimabukuro

    have a few friends who love playing Uke and Guitar
    they seem to transition between them easly

    yours truly
    mac

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    Upper Hale, Surrey/Hants border, UK.
    Posts
    4,197

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    There's lots of ex guitar players on here, they found the uke a better 'fit'.

    A baritone uke normally comes tuned D G B E like the top four strings of a guitar, a normal uke will be in re entrant g C E A, you can fit a low G to have it linear tuned, or you could have a tenor uke & tune it to D G B E - lots of options.
    Trying to do justice to various musical instruments.
    Formerly known as uke1950.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Posts
    27

    Default

    This may help, or it may hinder...
    If you use the same chord shapes on a uke as you do on guitar then they are transposed 5 frets up...so a c shape open string guitar becomes F on a uke, a G shape on guitar becomes C on a Uke. What I am trying to say is the chord shapes are the same patterns, they just become 5 frets higher, does that help, or hinder??? :-)

  9. #9

    Default

    I treat ukulele not as a mini guitar, but as a different instrument. So I would not go into much analogies like a capo put on a guitar 5th fret.
    If I were you LNW, I'd get no baritone uke with strings as the top 4 strings of guitar.

    Instead get a re-entrant ukulele and learn play it in traditional way, no pick like that Taimane girl in above video, looked wierd. She maybe should get a guitar lol.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Sweet Home Osaka Japan
    Posts
    602

    Smile

    Hi, LNW!

    I love playing chords and singing too. I play both guitar and ukulele. You are lucky to find Cynthia Lin's album "Ukulele Days". She is great musician and ukulele teacher. I loves her voice and ukuele.

    If you like such ukulele accompaniment style, I recommend you Uncle Rod Higuchi. He is my ukuele hero. Just go to his ukulele boot camp page.
    http://ukulelebootcamp.weebly.com/

    There are many nice his ukulele mp3 files up there. I download them all and make 4 albums by myself and put them into my iPod. His vocal and ukulele accompaniment is great. They smell Hawaii and sound very happy ukulele. His holiday songs are very good in this season!
    Kamaka HF-1 100

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