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Thread: Guitar vs Ukulele

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
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    Austin, Tx, USA
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    29

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    So I wonder whether youíve tried a guilele. I bought a guitar and promptly returned it when I realized how much harder it would be to learn. Plus having to give two names to chord shapes. Bleeyuckech. My decrepit old mind has a hard enough time with one name. But I wonder about guilele. I canít seem to abide linear tuning on any of muh yukes. I think if I had a guilele Iíd be there. Linear tuning plus more bass muscle. And.. the same chord shapes. It canít be that simple, can it.
    Play uke, live long, and prosper. Coupla Kamaka Sopranos (koa and mango), Suh-weet! Concert Cocobolo, Martin concert, Pono Pro Classic tenor, Kala Elite Tenor, Monkey Wrench tenor electric, (umm, lemme see, Risa travel, Enya soprano concert & tenor, Eleuke travel, coupla Caramel Sopranino, Lanikai Sop & Bari). Man, I really need to go on a diet!

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Michigan, US
    Posts
    178

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    I've played guitar for almost 50 years but switched to ukulele about six months ago due to hand issues. Ukulele is more comfortable due to the smaller size, and surprisingly I *love* reentrant tuning. I've learned the new chord names and notes on the fretboard ... or so I thought....

    Yesterday at Mighty Uke Day, I attended an ukulele big band workshop taught by James Hill. The workshop was fantastic, btw. I did fine playing chords, but when he divided us into four sections playing different (single note) parts, my guitar muscle memory completely took over. Suddenly my fingers thought the strings were D-G-B-E instead of g-C-E-A. It also didn't help that my aging eyes had trouble reading the small print (four sections of four staves to a standard letter-size page). I had to keep moving my music stand!

    Anyway, it was a shock to find my fingers suddenly had a mind of their own! Needless to say, I'll be working on my sight reading with tenor ukulele in hand. That is, new tenor in hand. I visited Mainland Ukes and came home with a new uke. NUD coming soon!
    Last edited by twokatmew; 05-13-2018 at 01:41 PM. Reason: fix typos
    Margaret, classical guitarist gone uke crazy

    Concert: Kala ziricote, KA-ZCT-C
    Tenor: Mainland red cedar/rosewood; Kala solid mahogany, KA-SMHT
    Baritone: Kala solid cedar top acacia, KA-ABP-CTG

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    New Jersey
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    65

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    Quote Originally Posted by DownUpDave View Post
    When I bought my Taylor GS mini a few months ago I thought it would not be long until I sold off most of my ukes. Guitar has THE SOUND I have always strived for with my linear tuned ukes, deep, full, resonant. I also bought a used Taylor 512e 12 fret, cedar and mahogany. This thing is like angels singing when finger picked, unbelievably good.

    Then I went away on vacation a couple weeks ago and took my Kimo tenor, I always take a uke on vacation. Spending one week with it got me to re-appreciate the lovely sound a ukulele produces. No it is not a guitar, not even close, but it sounds nice anyways. Then I played my Kamaka super concert, one of my few reentrant strung ukes. Holy Cow a great reentrant is wonderful for strumming and singing.

    There appears to be room in my musical life for uke and guitar. Sorry to fellow UUers if I got you excited about a huge sell off of excellent ukuleles. I am spending 80% of my playing time with guitar now because of the learning curve. I will sit on my stash of ukes for one year than have an honest assesment of where I am headed and what I should keep and or sell.

    There is a big disadvantage to playing/learning both uke and guitar when you are at my level. It can be very confusing and slows down the learning curve on both instruments, espiecally muscle memory. Some people would scorn this approach but I play for my own enjoyment, I don't do this for money. I just LOVE the sound stringed instruments produce, it always makes me happy, no matter how well or poorly I play at times.

    Anyone else in the same boat as me?????
    Dave

    Is it a difficult transition to go from Fingerstyle on the fluorocarbons to steel strings, assuming you are playing Fingerstyle?

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    CH
    Posts
    1,406

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    After years of mediocre guitar playing, finding the uke was an epiphany in simplicity: four fingers, four strings, and an instrument that feels like cradling a baby instead of shlepping a piece of furniture. This simplicity finally made me understand the nature of a stringed instrument. So what I find is that I am a much better guitar player now then I was ever before, thanks to the ukulele. But the uke also made me realize that a regular guitar is just too big for me and makes me feel uncomfortable, which was another reason that stopped me from getting better at it.

    So now, my interest is all about big ukes and small guitars of the guitalele/guilele type, and tenor guitars for the induplicable sound of steel strings. My preferences range from 17" to 21" in scale. I guess what I'm mostly interested in is a crossover of the two instruments, not settled on either uke or guitar.

    I find it helpful to switch between different sizes, scale lengths, numbers of strings, and string materials. Adjusting blindly to these differences keeps my brains and muscles flexible.
    Enjoying instruments by - Beau Hannam - Jay Lichty - Jerry Hoffmann - Luis Feu de Mesquita - Kala - Kamaka - Kanile'a - KoAloha - Ko'olau - Moore Bettah - Pono - Romero Creations - and others

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
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    Pickering, ON, Canada
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    4,495

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    Quote Originally Posted by andy2353 View Post
    Dave

    Is it a difficult transition to go from Fingerstyle on the fluorocarbons to steel strings, assuming you are playing Fingerstyle?
    I do play finger style and funny enough going from florocarbon to steel strings was not an issue. My guitars have low actions and are easy to fret, the top four strings seem to require the same or less effort to push down then my low G tenor ukes. I am playing all my ukuele chord melody pieces on the top four strings of my guitars as well as new easy fingerstyle pieces from "Guitar Nick's" website. That is a great site with LOTS of tabs, different difficulty levels and very good videos

    Edit...........I am adding to this reply because it needs clarification. Looking at it from 6 weeks of concentrated practice going from floro to steel didn't seem like an issue but the first week or two it was. The tight spacing between strings caused all kinds of problems with flubbed and muffled notes. I also committed to a change in fingerstyle method of using my ring, middle and index fingers for strings 1,2&3 with thumb taking care of 4,5&6. With uke I use middle and index for 1&2 and thumb for 3&4. My ring finger, that never did anything was/is really dumb, weak and uncoordinated. This has taken alot of effort and dedication but its coming.
    Last edited by DownUpDave; 05-14-2018 at 12:48 AM.
    Ukuleles.............yes please !!!!

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Ames, Iowa/San Juan, Puerto Rico
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    2,937

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    The ukulele speaks to me, the guitar doesn't. I have trouble trying to rationalizing things. I just go with what makes me feel good. I've always liked guitars and all my life I went into music stores and pawn shops looking at them and thinking that someday I would learn to play the guitar. I even had two in the basement at one time, one being my wife's that she played when she was in high school and one that belonged to my daughter. But it just never moved me enough to take it up. I just looked at them. I even went so far as to hang around with guitar players for a couple of months, but I could never get enthused enough about it to actually learn to play. But then I saw a ukulele and it spoke to me. I wanted to play it as soon as I saw it and I can't quit. Guitars still don't do that for me. Like I said, I can't explain it, that's just the way it is.
    Last edited by Rllink; 05-14-2018 at 04:17 AM.
    I don't want to live in a world that is linear.

    https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_n...tective+Agency

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Toronto , Canada
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    In my experience - once you spent a couple of hour on guitar, everything come super easy on ukulele. I look forward to playing Dave's two Taylor(s) day after tomorrow.
    Brenda

    Please participate in our Mike Lynch tribute thread :
    http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/...Tribute-Videos

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
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    247

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    As if I didn't have enough of a challenge learning chord melody on my ul40 and low g tenor (and various baris), now I've got to go get my guitar out of the closet, clean it up, and put a new set of Elixar lights on it. Browsing this thread makes me remember the goose bumps I got just strumming an open E on the 6 string. I'm not giving up on the ukes but I sure miss the resonance of those big steel strings.

  9. #19
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    Mar 2014
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    Pickering, ON, Canada
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    Quote Originally Posted by bariukish View Post
    As if I didn't have enough of a challenge learning chord melody on my ul40 and low g tenor (and various baris), now I've got to go get my guitar out of the closet, clean it up, and put a new set of Elixar lights on it. Browsing this thread makes me remember the goose bumps I got just strumming an open E on the 6 string. I'm not giving up on the ukes but I sure miss the resonance of those big steel strings.
    Atta boy. I know how much you like your Pono UL40, but there is just something guttural about those two bottom end wound strings. Open E chord indeed.
    Ukuleles.............yes please !!!!

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    San Pedro, CA
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    3,913

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    I just recently started playing the guitar after years of only uke, and I have to admit, (at least for the moment) I am preferring it. I am specifically learning slack key from Keola Beamer’s online instruction, and love the full, rich sound as well as seeing progress in my abilities. I gave probably tapped out on my skill as a uke player, and without intensive work won’t improve. I play instrumental arrangements and am happy with my ability, but will never learn to be Jake or Daniel Ho now. But on the guitar, I can’t wait to pick it up again as I am progressing from standing, to crawling and walking. The improvement is a huge emotional lift.

    I got a Taylor GS mini e-koa, and am pimping it out. I am getting new Gotoh 510 minis installed on it this week, and already added a koa truss rod cover and ebony/abalone bridge pins - the ebony/abalone strap button goes on this weekend. Since it is not as easy for me to see the small white dots, I also added abalone fret dot stickers that are much brighter and bigger, so easier to see. Going to the dark side has quickly become an addiction...

    19EA2E23-4E73-4CDD-AB6D-B632D38FD1F6.jpg
    PO`IPU NO KA OI!
    Moore Bettah Kauai Dreams undersea inlay tenor "Hui Nani"
    Moore Bettah slothead offset soundhole tenor "Kula Leo"
    KoAloha KTMS-00 "Wiwinani"

    Building and Owning a Bettah Ukulele: The story of Moore Bettah Ukuleles
    Listen With Your Heart: The KoAloha Ukulele Story
    Listen With Your Heart: The KoAloha Ukulele Story e-book edition

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