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View Full Version : When do you decide it's time for a new uke?



cmaj7
09-20-2014, 01:03 PM
Hi gang, this is my first post, but I've been lurking for a while. :) I'm a beginner (I play a cheap little Kala soprano) and have been thinking a lot about my next uke.
I'm curious to know, when did you decide you wanted a new one? Did you make a conscious choice on a particular size/model because it filled a need? Did you just get tired of playing the same 'ol uke? Was it a gift? Share your story!

Jim Hanks
09-20-2014, 01:04 PM
Yes :p :p

SteveZ
09-20-2014, 01:19 PM
Curiosity, and the quest for "the" sound. At my age - old enough to remember the days before FM radio and enjoying them - the fun is in the experimentation, and life's too short to leave questions unanswered.

DownUpDave
09-20-2014, 01:46 PM
Oh this is going to be a fun thread. Most will answer, if honest, it is always a good time to buy a new uke. As for why one decides to buy a new uke the answers can be many and varied. I started out with a decent all laminate tenor but one month in I knew I was hooked and wanted an all solid koa tenor for the looks and the sound. Later I decided the concert size needed exploring, just because. I came to realize I also needed a car-uke to have handy so I bought a soprano. I have been having fun with the different sizes and increasing the quality of the instruments purchased.

Shady Wilbury
09-20-2014, 02:19 PM
Once you succumb to Ukulele Acquisition Syndrome, and/or the dog/kids/wife/yourself (delete as necessary) have been fed, bills paid, etc....there is never a "time" for a new uke. It happens at the right moment, hopefully with all prior conditions having been satisfied. Last new uke I bought was a head/heart wrangle.

I was itching to try cedar, and found a steal on a blemished Omega Music signature model. It's now my go to uke.

PhilUSAFRet
09-20-2014, 02:21 PM
When the "right uke" rings your chime, you'll know it's time. (sounds like a good verse that should be in the UAS song)

Peterjens
09-20-2014, 02:23 PM
when did you decide you wanted a new one?
When the new 'ukulele decided for me.

hollisdwyer
09-20-2014, 02:51 PM
Curiosity, and the quest for "the" sound. At my age - old enough to remember the days before FM radio and enjoying them - the fun is in the experimentation, and life's too short to leave questions unanswered.

The reason for my first uke was just like SteveZ's. Then I really started to listen to/watch other ukuleles/players and knew that just like guitars (which I have played since I was 15) there were really substantial differences in sound/playability/build quality.

Once convinced that I would really like to explore this instrument, I decided to purchase a luthier made quality instrument. That was my MP tenor. The next level of discoveries were the variants. so the next purchase was a MM 6 string and then a Beansprout. I have to admit that there were other instances when I happened to see other instruments for sale and said, "Wow, that looks great and I can afford it so why not" which closes the decision making loop and brings us back to SteveZ's rationale "life's too short to leave questions unanswered".

Freeda
09-20-2014, 02:57 PM
I look at the calendar. If it's a day that ends in Y, a uke purchase is possible.

hollisdwyer
09-20-2014, 02:59 PM
I look at the calendar. If it's a day that ends in Y, a uke purchase is possible.

That works for me also.

Patrick Madsen
09-20-2014, 03:38 PM
Yes like Freeda says or if Brian Griffin is making a new tenor will do it for me. He's making three now and I have dibs on the redwood top with rosewood sides and back. One in one out. Now to decide which one goes; or at least, that's what I tell my wife.

Welcome CMAJ, The UAS never ends.

Ukulele Eddie
09-20-2014, 03:40 PM
I look at the calendar. If it's a day that ends in Y, a uke purchase is possible.

Ha! So, true. The only thing that keeps me from buying more frequently is having to sell one to keep to my stock to two. In fact, despite my two uke limit, I'm starting to think I may be more of a uke "collector" than player because I seem to be spend about 10x researching and admiring ukes than practicing/learning to play. Regardless, it's all about enjoying oneself, right?

Uk3player78
09-20-2014, 03:56 PM
Good question. 'Upgrading' from your first uke to maybe a fancy uke eg, solid wood is fair enough. Already having nice solid wood ukes and buying more is another thing.

I am a one acoustic guitar, one electric guitar guy. if i 'upgrade'/change thats fine. Perfectly reasonable. However...

Just getting back to ukulele's after a few of years off i have fell into the same swap/change/add/replace habit i had.

Something about seeing several ukes on the sofa ready to be played/enjoyed/compared. Its impossible to stick to one or two... or three....

Al logic goes with these little things. Don't save me i'm fine... save yourself... if you want to. :D

Rick Turner
09-20-2014, 04:13 PM
Get a new uke when your significant other isn't watching what's coming in the door. A trench coat is a good thing... No kids are a good thing for UAS; that's how my pal Sandor wound up with 431 of them...or so...

Larry D.
09-20-2014, 04:14 PM
I look at the calendar. If it's a day that ends in Y, a uke purchase is possible.
This pretty much sums it up for most of us!
Thanks for the laugh my friend....:D

kohanmike
09-20-2014, 04:27 PM
In my first six months of playing uke, a little over a year ago, I bought 8 ukes, yes, UAS had me good. I always choose tenor cutaways with electronics, and bought online for looks and wood. They were all between $100-200 and reasonably ukes, but when I started feeling a need for a better uke, I heard that the Kala cedar/koa was especially good sounding, so I went and played one, then traded in three of my ukes for it (and quite happy with it).

Then the bug hit me again, but decided to order a custom from Vietnam at half the price of local luthiers. Turned out beautifully. Now I'm caught up in mini bass acquisition syndrome, bought one, ordered a custom from Vietnam, and converted a small electric guitar to a mini bass. Look what can happen to someone who was just going to play uke at the Music Center Ukule-Along last year.

Ukejenny
09-20-2014, 04:41 PM
My first real purchase was from need of a better instrument. I had started on a very cheap and badly made instrument. The next purchase was something that I dearly wanted and felt I needed. My third purchase was because I just had to have it. My next purchase is based on need, but I can't really say that, since I have what I need now. But I really do want it and really do need it. So that's my story and I'm sticking with it.

VegasGeorge
09-20-2014, 04:59 PM
An honest answer? Well, I seem to have gotten the itch for a new Ukulele on an average of once every other day for the last couple of months. I mean seriously, I joined UU on July 15 this year. That pretty much identifies the date on which I decided to get serious about Ukulele again after a 15 to 20 year break. Since then I have acquired no less than 13 new Ukuleles, 3 of which haven't been delivered yet. And, yesterday I started thinking about another one I want. So, if my math is correct I'm acquiring new Ukuleles at a rate slightly greater than one a week. My wife is perplexed, and my dog is beginning to feel displaced. Not to mention the fact I'm running out of storage space. But the bottom line is, I'm loving every minute of it! :p

WCBarnes
09-20-2014, 05:26 PM
For me it started rather simple... I got my first uke (laminate mahogany soprano) as a kind of bonus from work. It didn't cost me anything and it was something I wanted to try. I was hooked and played at least an hour every evening. Once I determined this was something I really liked I started searching the UU marketplace and reading reviews. I new I wanted a quality solid wood uke. The rest didn't matter (size, type of wood, pineapple). I did not look specifically for a KoAloha, but the right one showed up at a very nice price, so I bought it. Best decision! The sound is so much better it makes playing that much more fun, and I didn't think that was possible!!

Now my UAS has taken control! I have one custom being made (mahogany/walnut pineapple) and I am getting ready to work with another luthier on a custom electric. Finally... Going to get a dolphin to be my car uke. Do I need any of these? Probably not. I absolutely think upgrading to the KoAloha was the right thing to do, but the ones after that... I tell myself that they will all sound/play differently so I need them, but the truth is I would be quite happy for a long time with what I have.

DownUpDave
09-20-2014, 05:28 PM
An honest answer? Well, I seem to have gotten the itch for a new Ukulele on an average of once every other day for the last couple of months. I mean seriously, I joined UU on July 15 this year. That pretty much identifies the date on which I decided to get serious about Ukulele again after a 15 to 20 year break. Since then I have acquired no less than 13 new Ukuleles, 3 of which haven't been delivered yet. And, yesterday I started thinking about another one I want. So, if my math is correct I'm acquiring new Ukuleles at a rate slightly greater than one a week. My wife is perplexed, and my dog is beginning to feel displaced. Not to mention the fact I'm running out of storage space. But the bottom line is, I'm loving every minute of it! :p

THIRTEEN ukes since July 15th............I love you man. You sir are a shining example of how it is done. I have been playing 6 months, have in my possession 6 ukes with another in transit and a custom due for delivery in December. I feel like a total light weight compared to you.

To the person asking the question, it's been answered.............just buy another, and another and :music:

Icelander53
09-20-2014, 05:35 PM
No really logical reason at times. Just want to hear something new. But my last two have been Ponos and both thrill me everytime I play so I have no further plans for new ukes at the moment. Plus I've blown my budget several times over. That's how it goes with UAS. And intervention might help. HELP!

kvehe
09-20-2014, 05:41 PM
I bought my first uke, a soprano, when Amazon "suggested" it to me. I then started reading about ukes and among the many fascinating things I learned, two things stood out: (1) there are different sizes and (2) they don't all sound the same. I ordered a Kiwaya concert two days later. The rest is history.

cmaj7
09-20-2014, 05:54 PM
Thanks for all the replies, they are great stories. :)

VegasGeorge
09-20-2014, 05:55 PM
To the person asking the question, it's been answered.............just buy another, and another and :music:

So many Ukuleles, so little time! :drool:

Steveperrywriter
09-20-2014, 06:42 PM
Your next uke will call to you, just like in a Jack London novel.

Listen ... hear that?

It's your uke ... It's lonely ... It needs you ...

Doug W
09-21-2014, 04:39 AM
It is time to buy a new uke when you determine that your cheap one is limiting your progress. Although I do still pick up ukes I find in thrift stores and occasionally nab a cheapo from CraigsList, I keep those around for birthday presents or simply a tool to convert the unsuspecting masses to ukuleleism. I really only play my Mainland tenor and I have this fantasy that my wife and I could leave behind all our stuff, walk out the door with backpacks and one ukulele each over our shoulders as all our other possessions go up in flames behind us.

The truth is that I have a nice guitar, mandolin, charango and ukulele. We have one other uke that I take on canoe trips or if I have to travel for work.I have too much stuff already.

Get one uke that you really like and play it all the time.

ksiegel
09-21-2014, 04:57 AM
Well, let's see...

My late father-in-law gave me my first uke* around Thanksgiving 2010, and I ordered my 2nd (Cordoba) about 2 weeks later. While waiting for that one, I ordered my Kala from MGM...

My UAS has slowed down considerably. Sure, I see ukes I like, but rarely does anything scream "YOU NEED ME!!!!" since I got the Donaldson Concert last year, and the National Triolian this year.

There are a few exceptions to the rule, of course, but unless and until I have a few thousand lying around unused and unspoken for (which is really difficult when the other main hobby is Fiber related, and that means spindles, spinning wheels, looms, roving, sheep and wool festivals...) I probably won't be buying another for a while. On the other hand, if I can get a few gigs, I need to start getting some more audio equipment...

Of course, when I can afford it, I have my wife's blessings and encouragement to get a ukulele from Rick Turner (after playing his personal Koa and Cherry tenor ukes, she said I should start saving for one) or John S. Kinnard. She was impressed with Mike DaSilva's ukes as well, and said that I should save for one of those, also. (As a 2nd Generation Native Californian, dragged kicking and screaming to NY, she has a preference for California-made stuff. She was also really impressed with Rick as a person, after we visited his shop a couple of years ago.)



-Kurt


*Okay, my first ukulele was really the 1920s Stella Banjo Uke, but I didn't know that - I bought it around 1979 at a pawn shop in Auburn, NY for $30, as wall art. After I joined the Electric City Ukulele Club, and one of the other members walked in with a very similar model/vintage Stella, I realized it was actually playable. Just needed the tuners tightened.

Doc_J
09-21-2014, 05:42 AM
You don't decide on the new uke, the new uke decides on you. When it does, that's it. ;)

mm stan
09-21-2014, 05:54 AM
Buy the most expensive you can afford and you wont have any more money for another impulsive buy for a while...he he

DownUpDave
09-21-2014, 08:26 AM
Buy the most expensive you can afford and you wont have any more money for another impulsive buy for a while...he he

Awesome logic Stan. The only fly in the ointment is when you order a custom and have to wait 6-12 months for it. There can be a lot of tempting ukes that show up during that time frame:drool:

Doug W
09-21-2014, 08:29 AM
Buy the most expensive you can afford and you wont have any more money for another impulsive buy for a while...he he
I like this advice. Since the OP already has one that he feels he needs to upgrade, no sense in holding back on the next purchase.

Steveperrywriter
09-21-2014, 09:43 AM
As I understand it, there is a formula for the ideal number of ukuleles in a given collection:

HMYH+1=IN

Where HMYH stands for "How Many You Have," and IN means "Ideal Number ..."

Kayak Jim
09-21-2014, 09:54 AM
As I understand it, there is a formula for the ideal number of ukuleles in a given collection:

HMYH+1=IN

Where HMYH stands for "How Many You Have," and IN means "Ideal Number ..."

I use the same formula but in mine, IN means "I Need"

Rllink
09-21-2014, 10:29 AM
This is a good thread, because I'm still deciding what I want, and when to get it. I think that I know what I want, but I'm almost afraid to get it until I'm sure. I'm kind of set it at the one year mark, which will be next April, but we will have to see what happens at Christmas.

kwall
09-21-2014, 10:35 AM
Well Ive been playing ukulele for like 2 and a half years. my fender (the first) is perfect so i never really has a need for a new one..... But then kijiji (Canadian's craiglist) a pono came up for dirt cheap, and it was right after Christmas so I had money from my grandparents just sitting there saying buy the ukulele.

Then I just graduated university and the ukulele kept me calm throughout the stresses of school so I thought I would treat myself to a banjolele. My bday falls around the same time so I had a lil extra spending money to use.

When the itch comes I look to see if I can make an excuse I have a list of ukulele's on my dream list so I will look on kijiji and craigs to see if they ever come up. The fortunate thing about being in Canada is most stores just sell entry level and I have a rule that I have to try it in person before buying it, so my itch is always there but I have some control :P.

Though saying that... I am feeling like a new one so who knows.

Rick Turner
09-21-2014, 11:00 AM
When does a uke decide it needs a new owner?

Or victim...

Come the next full moon...watch out for WereUke!

If you hold up your new uke in a mirror and can't see it...beware.

kypfer
09-21-2014, 02:04 PM
I thought I was OK ... got a nice Kala concert which I play a lot, a couple of sopranos and a banjolele ... even made a little rack/shelf for them all ... sorted, I thought, but there was this poor lonely baritone in the guitar-shop window, no one seemed to want it, even it's price-tag was fading ... so now I only "need" a tenor. ;)

mm stan
09-22-2014, 03:38 AM
When does a uke decide it needs a new owner?

Or victim...

Come the next full moon...watch out for WereUke!

If you hold up your new uke in a mirror and can't see it...beware.
Rick my new uke has a blue moon inlay on the headstock to signify that I get a good uke once every blue moon...however long that is... :)

VegasGeorge
09-22-2014, 04:05 AM
Stop! Stop posting in this thread! Please, I beg of you, stop! :bowdown:

Every time I see a new post here, I get the urge to buy another Ukulele. :drool: So you've got to STOP!

actadh
09-22-2014, 04:43 AM
I got a forever ukulele in my KoAloha Opio in August.

I thought I was in UAS remission until I went fishing this past weekend. I didn't want to subject my Opio to the water spray while on the boat or the heat of the truck cab if I left it on shore for a day of fishing. I took a very basic ukulele that was ok to play - it is comparable in sound to a vintage Harmony. But, after using it for three days it left me wanting a little better durable ukulele.

Then Philip K wrote about his Bugs Gear issues and unauthorized vendors, and now I want one! Mostly to support his products from a legitimate vendor, but also because it is a perfect one to take fishing/boating/car-truck riding and also sounds pretty decent. Wonder if it floats if I put some fishing bobbins on it?

molokinirum
09-22-2014, 06:25 AM
When I see one i want, thats when it's time for a new uke!!! lol

mds725
09-22-2014, 09:39 AM
Buy the most expensive you can afford and you wont have any more money for another impulsive buy for a while...he he

Great advice! Just remember to cut up the credit cards first.

Jon Moody
09-22-2014, 10:14 AM
For me, I view my instruments as tools. I have a number of electric basses that, while all of them are technically the same instrument, do different things tonally for me. So, any time I am either in a music store trying out instruments or looking online, I have that same mindset, that being "What will this do for me?" as opposed to just collecting another instrument. Especially with my day job being what it is, having more ukuleles allows me to put on different types of strings, keep different tunings, etc..

So yeah, any time is a good time to get another instrument, really.

VegasGeorge
09-22-2014, 12:52 PM
Stop! Stop posting in this thread! Please, I beg of you, stop! :bowdown:

Every time I see a new post here, I get the urge to buy another Ukulele. :drool: So you've got to STOP!

71115

See! See what can happen if you don't stop. I think y'all are trying to kill me!

DownUpDave
09-22-2014, 01:13 PM
71115

See! See what can happen if you don't stop. I think y'all are trying to kill me!

My prediction about this thread being a lot of fun just came true. Pure brilliance George................had a great laugh, Ukulele Anonymous or UA is too scary close to UAS, just saying

Pueo
09-22-2014, 01:42 PM
Love the clipping Vegas George! :biglaugh:
For me, my first ukulele was a Lanikai laminate - then I needed a better one, so I bought a Pono Koa.
Then I wanted a Hawaiian-made ukulele, and I wanted a concert sized, and I wanted Milo wood, so I had one made by Oahu luthier Emil Bader.
Then when I went to pick that one up, I wanted a six-string tenor so I ordered another one from Mr. Bader.
After that it calmed down noticeably. My wife's grandmother gave me her late husband's Baritone.
Then I bought the most beautiful Koa ukulele I had ever seen.
Then I bought a Mainland Gecko to have a worry-free ukulele.
Then I bought an Epiphone Les Paul because LES PAUL!
Then I bought a Kamoa because it had amazing purple tiger maple.
Then I WON a kala concert!
So, yeah, I have trouble letting go of things.

mm stan
09-22-2014, 03:03 PM
when I get extra money in my wallet....:)

Nickie
09-22-2014, 04:56 PM
When my credit cards are paid off, and I see a good deal. And when I see a thread like this, or one that says NUD! Geez....

Redeyejedi
09-22-2014, 05:54 PM
I use the same formula but in mine, IN means "I Need"

i have to agree here also, as the symptoms of this UAS that's spoken of seem to be presenting; i have a concert size on the way, making for a second uke-uisition in a month.

HokuBray
09-22-2014, 07:58 PM
You know, I think if it is in your budget to get another uke, you should try it! The inexpensive Kala's are great, but just the fact that you are posting this, kind of tells me that your ready to get another uke:cool: What ukes have you been looking at?

VegasGeorge
09-23-2014, 04:15 AM
OK, OK, already! I have one Ukulele scheduled to be delivered today, two on custom order, and I just ordered another last night. But that's it. I've stopped. I'm going cold turkey. - - - Oh no, I'm starting to feel the pangs of withdrawal already. My hands are getting shaky, and I can't sit still. I feel like I might throw up! What am I to do? 71134

Sabantien
10-02-2014, 12:16 AM
My first was an impulse buy. They had a bunch of colourful mahalos in the window of the local music store so I had a look. Got recommended something a little better for not much more.

Went to buy new strings to improve the cheapie, and they had so many wonderful ukes on the wall, and I walked out with a new one. Luckily when I finally did go in and get new strings, nothing really grabbed me.

Today I went to another store I'd heard about. Very little range, but still nearly bought a cheap plastic KeAloha uke. Fortunately none of the designs caught my eye.

coolkayaker1
10-02-2014, 12:23 AM
Hi gang,
I'm curious to know, when did you decide you wanted a new uke?!

When I realized that I was not immortal.

Uncle Leroy
10-02-2014, 12:35 AM
You only live once! So, anytime you want. hahahahahahaha

bobinde
10-02-2014, 06:51 AM
Every time I go to Hawaii, I leave my Ukes home so I can rationalize buying another Uke. Usually at Aloha Bowl. There are a bunch of "cheapie" vendors there, but I usually find a local who's just starting out as a maker, usually at a great price. I bought a Mango Super Concert from a guy last year, paid $160.00, it was great! I gave it to mu new son-in-law before we left.

But I'm going back in April, so I'll buy another Uke. And I just might buy something between then and now.

I can stop any time. Any time! Just watch me!

bobinde