PDA

View Full Version : Help in playing 1.375" nut ukes



DaveY
11-20-2014, 06:08 AM
The other day I realized that in limiting myself to 1.5" nut width (tenor) ukuleles when most of them are 1.375" I am limiting the types of ukes I can buy and play. I'm more comfortable with the 1.5", and make more mistakes on the 1.375" one, but my question is:

Have any of you had to learn to play comfortably on the narrower (i.e., standard) nut ukes? How did you do it?

Have any of you tried but it didn't work?

Complicating this is that my one 1.375" uke is a Pono, which also has a thick neck and higher-tension strings, which also might be factors.

I only started playing fretted instruments (ukes) about seven years ago, and my technique is imperfect at best, but that's a different topic (or is it?).

Ukejenny
11-20-2014, 06:56 AM
I would think that using just 1.375 for a while and not playing your 1.5's would help you a bit. That way, your fingers can get used to the slightly different spacing and build up muscle memory. When I first started on A clarinet (usual is Bb) my professor told me to just play the A for several days - not pick up my Bb. It really helped. The A is just slightly longer and the keys/holes are just a wee bit further apart. It is amazing what a difference it feels like when you are trying to play, though.

DaveY
11-20-2014, 07:15 AM
Thanks, Ukejenny. This make sense, and reminds me that I recently had some trouble going from a Hohner harmonica to a Tombo/Lee Oskar one (in cleanly playing single notes), because of the difference in hole spacings -- even though I'd hardly played harmonica at all in the past 30 years (and the spacings have to be a really slight difference).

I'm selling the Pono (the one 1.375"-er that I have) and getting another one, so if anyone has thoughts on Pono necks & higher-tension strings (Mahana), that would be great, too, as I'd be buying a new Pono to practice on (rolling the dice).

UJ, I didn't even know there was an A clarinet -- I thought you had mistakenly capitalized the article "a"(!).

Ukejenny
11-20-2014, 07:21 AM
Yes, the famous Mozart Concerto for clarinet is originally for A. Orchestra/symphony players usually travel with both. I have one, but rarely use it. I'd love to have a clarinet in C (they make them) so I could play off a piano score without transposing a step. They also make clarinet in Eb - a little, shrill instrument that can melt paint off the wall if not played correctly. I bet that is way more information about the clarinet than you'd ever want to know!

DaveY
11-20-2014, 07:34 AM
They also make clarinet in Eb . . . that can melt paint off the wall if not played correctly.

This might be a good way to increase attendance at classical music concerts.


I bet that is way more information about the clarinet than you'd ever want to know!

No, I like learning these things. I retired from clarinet playing after sixth grade (for no good reason), and my daughter plays saxophone (and will be studying that and music education in college).

UkerDanno
11-20-2014, 07:43 AM
I'm selling the Pono (the one 1.375"-er that I have) and getting another one, so if anyone has thoughts on Pono necks & higher-tension strings (Mahana), that would be great, too, as I'd be buying a new Pono to practice on (rolling the dice).

why not just practice on the one you have?! I second the idea to just practice with it...

DaveY
11-20-2014, 07:45 AM
why not just practice on the one you have?! I second the idea to just practice with it...

Well, yeah . . . but it's sold. I might have been a bit impulsive there.

Olarte
11-20-2014, 08:26 AM
DOnt get too hung up on the specs and numbers, if you practice enough it will become as familiar as any other instrument.

Practice builds Muscle Memory and Finger Independence. Two important\key concepts to any musical instrument.

In fact that is one of the reasons why I have ukes ranging from a Piccolo all the way through a Ubass and my Classical Guitar.

It's often fun for me to take one tune and play in all the different sizes. I have been playing stringed instruments for about 10 years, and and overtime, my hands learned to adjust accordingly to any size instrument\scale. Never tried a cello though.... uhm...

So two ways to approach this is keep playing on the instrument you want to master, and when you are comfortable switch it up and play through various sizes. IT will help you feel more loose and comfortable with any one instrument and you can then concentrate more on the quality of the sound and the music.

This takes time, patience and lots of practice... just keep at it.

DaveY
11-20-2014, 10:30 AM
Thanks, Olarte – this makes sense. I'm going to take all this as a challenge, which will require more methodical practice than I typically do.

Olarte
11-20-2014, 11:21 AM
Actually the more carefully and yes slowly you practice the better you get. There a big difference between focused practice and playing. To keep it fun try to do some focused practicing before moving on to jamming and playing.

Best of luck,
Ivan



Thanks, Olarte – this makes sense. I'm going to take all this as a challenge, which will require more methodical practice than I typically do.

DaveY
12-27-2014, 11:27 AM
I know you've all been waiting for an update . . .

Anyway, thanks again for the input; a few weeks ago I got a Pono TE-C (a/k/a "The Pants Wetter" -- see http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?82082-Pants-Wetter-Pono-CE-solid-body!, which I learned (before buying) has a thinner (not narrower) neck than the Pono MTD I had, and I've discovered that the TE-C is hardly different from what I'm used to. So now I'm playing the TE-C more than my other ukes, and enjoying it greatly. The TE-C also has Fremont Blacklines (which are familiar to me), so that along with the thinner neck probably helped. There's a slight adjustment in moving from one to another with my various ukes, but that always has been the case.

Happy ending . . . and Happy New Year 2 U