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Thread: Ukelele too big?

  1. #1
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    Default Ukelele too big?

    Hi!
    I have purchased my first uke. I've chosed a concert one because I like its sound more than a soporano's. But I have been trying chords and I find too difficult to play some of them. I have never played stringed instruments but I have very small hands. It is being very hard to separate my fingers in some positions. Iwas wondering if I have chosed a good size for me or if it's better return the concert and go for a soprano. I don't know if the difference in the mástil size is significant between these two sizes.
    Or maybe I need more and more practise. What do you think?

  2. #2
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    Your hand basically just needs to get used to being stretched into shapes that don't come naturally.
    (Children can play guitars. )

    My first uke was a tenor, (too much of a stretch), second was a soprano, (far too cramped), finally got a concert & learned to play on that.

    I can play any scale fretboard now, but prefer tenor scale, it is the most comfortable, for me.
    Trying to do justice to various musical instruments.
    Formerly known as uke1950.

  3. #3
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    Yeah, a concert uke is still small - it's a case of practice to get used to it rather than a fault with the instrument. As Keith says, I took up the guitar when I was 7 or 8 and my hands were very small but I could still play it.

  4. #4
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    A soprano is a bit less of a stretch, but not a huge difference from a concert. I don't think you are going to notice it much if you are just playing basic chords. But there are people out there with small hands playing tenors and baritones, and they seem to be able to do it.
    Last edited by Rllink; 01-09-2018 at 03:20 AM.
    I don't want to live in a world that is linear.

  5. #5
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    Don’t try to learn/play all the chords that you come across. Pick out a few easy chord families (C,F,G7–G,C,D7–etc) and learn them to sing with. When you got ‘em, pick out a few more. And on and on . . .

    I don’t like learning or trying to remember chords, so I play as few as possible when I sing. I think learning just any ol’ chords is a waste of time.

    Just learn what you’re gonna need for your masterpiece.
    Last edited by Down Up Dick; 01-09-2018 at 10:56 AM.
    Kala "Spalted" baritone - Lo D GBD
    Kala tenor eight string - gG cC EE AA
    Gold Tone tenor banjolele - Hi-D GBD

    Luna "Peace" concert - Lo-G CEA
    Flea "Red" concert - Hi-G CEA

    Kala "Exotic Mahogany" soprano - Hi-A DF#B
    Mahalo yellow "Smiley" soprano (Dad's Day gift) - C
    Ka-Lai Pineapple soprano (old) gift - C

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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThunderBell View Post
    Hi!
    I have purchased my first uke. I've chosed a concert one because I like its sound more than a soporano's. But I have been trying chords and I find too difficult to play some of them. I have never played stringed instruments but I have very small hands. It is being very hard to separate my fingers in some positions. Iwas wondering if I have chosed a good size for me or if it's better return the concert and go for a soprano. I don't know if the difference in the mástil size is significant between these two sizes.
    Or maybe I need more and more practise. What do you think?
    I don’t disagree with any of the previous posters. There isn’t a great difference between the actual scale lengths of the Concert and Soprano Ukes but there is normally quite a difference in overall length - I won’t go into why now - and (for the same quality of instrument) the Sopranos are typically less expensive too. Adults, with their larger hands, typically prefer the bigger scales (more finger space) but if you have small hands then you don’t necessary need to play anything bigger than Soprano. The Concerts and Sopranos do sound a little different, but a change between types of strings can change things too and the Pineapple shape (oval) Sopranos typically sound different (better IMHO) than the figure 8 type.

    If playing something bigger than a Soprano has no significant advantage to you then I’d be inclined to think about returning your Concert (if you can) and purchasing a Soprano instead - an option to think over. A well set up instrument (string heights, etc.) makes a world of difference and that’s also something to investigate and consider, if a separate topic that overlaps with purchasing Ukes.
    Last edited by Graham Greenbag; 01-09-2018 at 06:36 AM.

  7. #7
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    Don't be discouraged. Learning anything new takes time (and effort ), especially a stringed instrument. There are plenty of folks with small hands that have learned to play a full sized guitar. That dosen't mean it was easier for them than it would be for you. And leaning comes in leaps. It's not a steady progression. You keep practicing the same chord day after day with little success, then the next day that chord comes easily. Keep at it -- persevere!

  8. #8
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    Guitars have fret spacing that is nearly double that of your concert scale ukulele, and it doesn't stop people with small hands from playing. I'm with the 'keep at it and your hands will adjust' camp.

  9. #9
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    Start here:

    Mikes technique is close to what I was taught many years ago learning to play guitar.





    and here:

    http://ukulelebootcamp.weebly.com/
    This space reserved for a smart or witty comment or a famous quote. It may also be used to promote my accomplishments should I ever accomplish anything worth sharing.

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