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View Full Version : How difficult is it to play guitar vs. ukulele



mariegan7
02-08-2015, 03:54 PM
Hello everyone. I would like to know how much more difficult it is to play guitar vs ukulele. I mainly enjoy playing fingerstyle ukulele and now am curious about playing guitar mainly fingerpicking classical guitar. I like the full bodied sound of guitar. I mainly want to try out guitar because there is more fingerstyle sheet music written for guitar than ukulele. Any input is appreciated.

bnolsen
02-08-2015, 03:58 PM
depends. I'm pretty sure guitar can be more advanced than ukulele since there's more strings. You can probably find plenty of picking tabs that are on par with ukulele tabs in difficulty.

katysax
02-08-2015, 04:05 PM
Classical guitar is quite a bit more demanding. You need to learn proper technique. I started on guitar and on the guitar your technique is much more important because you have further to reach and more strings. There is an awful lot of fingerpicking music for ukulele - I got 800 songs from Colin Tribe and have hundreds from other sources, books and on the internet. I have found it easier to find fingerpicking songs for the uke than I ever did for the guitar. There is more formal repertoire for guitar. I have also adapted some things that I learned for guitar for ukulele. With guitar you are adding in the bass line too. When I first started playing ukulele I played far more guitar than uke because I was familiar with it and missed the bass notes on the uke. Now I've completely reversed and almost never play guitar. The reason is that sometimes less is more and I find I can do more with the four strings and shorter neck than I could do when working with six strings.

kissing
02-08-2015, 04:32 PM
Classical guitar is quite a bit more demanding. You need to learn proper technique

And so does an ukulele. But how many of us are self taught and are doing fine?

Guitar is not intimidating. Its just a big ukulele with 2 more strings. I crossed from ukulele to guitar. Now i play guitar more than ukulele and play it for the church band.

I play acoustic, classical and electric guitar. The chords take a bit of getting used to, but it doesnt take long to get familiar with it.

If you are not sure whether you want to take the plunge yet, try a Baritone ukulele first. It is tuned as a guitar (dgbe) but without the 2 extra bass strings

Mxyzptik
02-08-2015, 04:32 PM
I do not play the guitar but the way I see it a Ukulele is exactly 33% easier to play than a guitar.

kissing
02-08-2015, 04:41 PM
I do not play the guitar but the way I see it a Ukulele is exactly 33% easier to play than a guitar.

I think that depends on what perspective you look at it from. 4 string chords are easier than 6 string chords..

However, beyond that, I think guitar is an easier instrument to play in nearly every other aspect.

Even though I have played ukulele for longer than guitar - i find it a LOT easier to play accompaniment for singing on a guitar. The bass end gives you that "security" of rhythm..whereas sometimes with ukulele with the lack of sustain and bass, you sometimes feel like you're on a plane running on low fuel...

Furthermore, chords to popular songs, eg: key of E, I find easier on guitar than uke.

Another thing to point out is that larger fretspacing on guitar can make some chords a degree easier.

When it comes to playing instrumental melodic pieces.. the difficulty is about the same. Unless of course you are using re-entrant tuning on the uke, which in my opinion, makes it harder! I prefer having my ukes tuned linear to play instrumentals.


Given I have about equal skill with guitar ans ukulele, if I am requested to play some accomanpiment unexpectedly, I know for a fact that I will find guitar the far more easier instrument to utilise than ukulele.

So there you have it folks - ukulele is a harder instrument to play than guitar!

janeray1940
02-08-2015, 04:54 PM
I'm no guitarist by any stretch of the imagination, but I've attempted to play guitar on and off for years and always get discouraged. My little hands have a hard time with those 6-string chords, and something about my posture with a guitar on my lap always triggers back pain. So I stick to uke.

Physical discomfort aside, I think kissing said it pretty well about the difficulty of playing instrumentals. If you "get" it on uke, you'll probably get it on guitar.

As for amount of fingerstyle sheet music for uke - one suggestion would be to learn to arrange your own.

deschutestrout
02-08-2015, 05:02 PM
Go for it! Knowing the uke will help you along your journey, but don't compare the two...they are two totally different instruments. You know what strings are, what chords are, how to strum, how to pick, you're already 3/4 of the way there! Don't be intimidated at all ... buy a decent guitar and sit down and start messing with it. Go for it, I say.... GO FOR IT!

Andy Chen
02-08-2015, 05:06 PM
Physically, it is definitely easier to play the uke since, like others have mentioned, there is far less stretching needed on a smaller instrument.

Also, like Katy, I find I can do more with fewer strings. The guitar was good for me for strumming but beyond that I was stumped.

Diamond Dave
02-08-2015, 05:57 PM
Hmm...different, not necessarily easier or harder. If you've been playing ukulele you'll have the finger dexterity to transition to guitar well.

Not that people haven't done extraordinary things with ukuleles, but I think the biggest difference between guitar and ukulele is the size of the world you're entering. The guitar universe is much more vast, owing to guitar having a greater number of practitioners, whether they be players, builders or writers.

kohanmike
02-08-2015, 08:21 PM
I played rhythm guitar for almost 50 years before taking up the ukulele 18 months ago. My nephew and a very close friend are extremely accomplished guitar players, especially finger style. I never felt that guitar was all that difficult, but at the same time, I didn't apply myself to it all that seriously. I was competent, but since playing ukulele, I haven't played guitar and the occasional moment I pick up one, I find it so big, I just put it right down.

Going to guitar from a uke, I would say is more difficult, you have to spread your fingers and move over the fretboard more. But saying that, it really depends on how much effort and time you want to put into it. If I'm not mistaken, Daniel Ho started with classical guitar, then added ukulele, and he's extremely accomplished on both.

westcoast
02-08-2015, 08:38 PM
I'm no guitarist by any stretch of the imagination, but I've attempted to play guitar on and off for years and always get discouraged. My little hands have a hard time with those 6-string chords, and something about my posture with a guitar on my lap always triggers back pain. So I stick to uke.

Physical discomfort aside, I think kissing said it pretty well about the difficulty of playing instrumentals. If you "get" it on uke, you'll probably get it on guitar.

As for amount of fingerstyle sheet music for uke - one suggestion would be to learn to arrange your own.

If you want to try learning guitar, I suggest looking into the smaller bodied guitars. I used to have a dreadnought but now have a GS Mini which I really like and find very comfortable.

elliottauk
02-09-2015, 12:23 AM
I have a slightly different take on more difficult - I started playing uke a few years back and it became a sort of gateway drug to acoustic guitar, then electric guitar. Now I'm back exclusively on uke simply because I can sit on the sofa and quietly strum without offending my family, I can pack the uke into a full car or on a plane without too much hassle, etc. The guitar, for me, is more difficult to just pick up and go and so I got discouraged by lack of improvement due to lack of practice and I headed on back to the uke and I'm getting my 30 minutes or more in every day again, and I love it.

Papa Tom
02-09-2015, 01:44 AM
"....sometimes with ukulele with the lack of sustain and bass, you sometimes feel like you're on a plane running on low fuel..."

Very well said. Have you ever recorded yourself playing uke, then played it back only to realize that those bass notes you thought were coming out of the instrument were actually only in your head?

To add my two cents, the last time I played guitar, I was about 16-17 years old. Then I became a drummer for about twenty years. I picked up a soprano uke after that and used the little bit I knew about guitar to learn it very quickly. However, when I tried to pick up a guitar again, I couldn't play it at all. The neck was too wide, the strings too close together, and the whole feel of that huge, clunky instrument against my body was overwhelming. I've tried on a few other occasions to play guitar with no success. I just long for my tiny little uke every time.

On the other hand, I just bought a 17" pocket uke and now, when I try to play my soprano uke, it feels just as humongous and intimidating as the guitar did. So perhaps it's all just a matter of getting yourself acclimated to whichever instrument you choose to make your #1?

Jon Moody
02-09-2015, 02:24 AM
And so does an ukulele. But how many of us are self taught and are doing fine?

That's not a valid argument. There's a huge difference between "self taught and doing fine" and "classically trained," which since the OP is very interested in learning classical guitar (specifically citing the literature available), the former isn't going to help him nearly as much as the latter will.

To the OP, it's all in how you approach it. Uke and Guitar share some similarities, but if you approach it as a different instrument, I think you'll find it's not nearly as hard as you may think. As with fingerpicking on any instrument, it's going to be technically demanding, so I would encourage you to learn the proper technique from a teacher, specific to that area (and not just a guitarist who also happens to have a classical guitar). That will provide a firmer foundation for you to go off and learn on your own as well.

deejayen
02-09-2015, 02:36 AM
I started playing ukulele when I was 4, but changed to guitar when I was 5. I’ve only just bought (but not yet received) my first ukulele since then.

I love the guitar – it’s a fabulous instrument, and very versatile. I’m just getting a uke for a bit of fun, and for reasons of nostalgia. I don’t intend to cut back on my guitar playing.

I was obviously young when I made the transition from uke to guitar. The renaming of chords wasn’t too much of a problem. I was playing a full-sized classical guitar, and I remember it feeling huge at first, but I must have grown into it! I think the most difficult thing was finding that I had to ‘extend’ a lot of chords onto the bass strings. For example, I think an F on the uke is a C on the guitar, but instead of playing it with two fingers, you often need three or four fingers to fret it on the guitar. I remember starting off with three fingers, but after a few years realised four were often better. Similarly, C on the uke is G on the guitar, and that usually requires three fingers instead of one. G on the uke is D on the guitar, and it often demands four fingers (five ideally!)

It’s just a case of getting your fingers ‘programmed’ to the different shapes, but it could take some time before changes are fast and smooth.

Right hand technique will obviously be a bit different when fingerpicking, but being able to play lower notes with the thumb is great.

xyz
02-09-2015, 03:01 AM
I guess it depends on what you want to play. I play instrumentals mostly on both the uke and guitar (and have played cello for 20 years).
I started to learn guitar (with an excellent teacher) after he successfully taught me how to play Jake's Bohemian Rhapsody at good speed.

It took me 2 years to finally get comfortable with fingerstyle guitar playing... and I'm just scratching the surface.
There are certainly more gifted players than me... though I'm not bad.... but the fingerstyle guitar universe is far more difficult. Which doesn't mean uke playing cannot get ugly too...

Olarte
02-09-2015, 03:17 AM
It depends what kind of guitar music you want to play and to what degree of complexity and perfection.

I'm a classical trained guitarist, and after 6 years, while I'm happy with my progress, it is much more demanding and difficult to play because of the extra strings, bigger size, but most of all because classical music is much much more complex. Most of the time you are playing 3 different voices at the same time.

Even casual playing demands a bit more because chords become more complicated and the extra two strings add more complexity to everything you do from a simple 3 chord song to playing Bach. By the way if you want to learn to play classical or even finger picking, I suggest you find a qualified teacher and take weekly lessons for at least year. The foundation and technique needed to understand the subtleties of this type of music are a basic requirement for the most efficient path to playing and\or mastering this style of music.

They say it takes about 10,000 of practice to master something. well that is certainly true for classical instruments, and unfortunayle I only have about 3000 hours logged in ;)

I would not recommend a smaller guitar, I find it actually harder to play because it's too crowded, yet I can play from an Iuke sopranino to a baritone uke with out any problems.

If you want to check out some of what I have accomplished in 6 years of classical guitar vs. 3-4 years of casual Uke playing I invite you to check out my youtube channel at http://youtube.com/user/olarte99/videos

IN any case all string instruments have a lot of common so that makes things easier, but out of all the ones I play I find them in varying degrees of complexity from Uke being the easiest, to classical guitar pretty demanding and Violin totally demanding.

For me I decided to only play classical on guitar due to it's demanding nature, and everything else (including a bit of classical) on the Uke.

The benefit of playing both is that my training in classical guitar makes it much easier to play finger picking and melody lines on any uke, and my hands and fingers have developed independence (the bible on this is a book & dvd called Pumping Nylon) so I feel quite comfortable playing any size uke and stretching my hand up the fretboard....

But I have fun with all of them and vary the degree of focused practice needed for them and for the kinds of music I play.

Have fun and Good luck.

stevepetergal
02-09-2015, 04:06 AM
I had a classical guitarist friend who used to say the guitar is the easiest instrument to learn to play and the hardest to master. I never had reason to challenge that thought. I, (currently learning classical) now say the same thing about the ukulele. It seems a bit easier to play, and perhaps a bit harder to master, in some respects.

kypfer
02-09-2015, 04:44 AM
There are so many levels of competence that one can play many instruments at I find it difficult to disagree with any of the recommendations and suggestions made by most, if not all of the above posters. However I'd like to possibly expand on one idea :

Bill1 wrote:
If you can spare around $150, pick up a Yamaha CS 100 guitar

My only reservation about a "proper" classical guitar is the relatively wide fingerboard, which may be a bit of a struggle coming from a ukulele. If I might suggest a Yamaha JR-1, slightly smaller than the CS 100 and at a similar price point, which is usually delivered with steel strings, but which plays very nicely with a set of nylon strings (and an appropriately adjusted nut).

My JR-1 sits alongside my armchair, on the other side to my tenor ukulele, and is my "goto" guitar for when I want a little more bass under my thumb ;)

janeray1940
02-09-2015, 04:45 AM
If you want to try learning guitar, I suggest looking into the smaller bodied guitars. I used to have a dreadnought but now have a GS Mini which I really like and find very comfortable.

Mine's a 1940s Regal parlor guitar and it's really on the small side - probably smaller than a modern parlor guitar. I've tried the little Taylors and little Martins and they're nice, but the one I've tried that's really more comfortable for me is the Gretsch Jim Dandy - which is on the wish list when the time comes that I have a few extra pennies to dispose of (and the time to devote to another instrument!).

Kevdog
02-09-2015, 04:54 AM
One of the options to consider if you play uke and want to learn the steel string guitar is look at the "tenor" guitar. It's a four string guitar that uses the top four strings of a regular 6 string guitar. They are commonly tuned to DGBE or "Chicago" tuning- the same as a baritone uke. This allows you to use the EXACT same chord shapes you use on the ukulele. The scale is a little longer than a baritone uke at anywhere between 22"-23" so the fret spacing is a bit wider. It's a great way to transition to steel string guitar without the need to learn a whole family of new chord shapes.

The tenor guitar was very common from the 1930's through the folk era of the sixties and into the early 70's. Go to YouTube and look up the Kingston Trio. One of the guys played a 4 string tenor guitar. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KPCJV-o5BWA

There is currently somewhat of a resurgence in the popularity of the tenor guitar and this website has a lot of information about them- http://www.tenorguitarfoundation.org


Here as a picture of a Kinnard Tenor Guitar that was just introduced at the Palm Springs Uke Festival. I know Pono and Ohana are both offering tenor guitars now also.

75904

deschutestrout
02-09-2015, 05:42 AM
old yamaha fg 75 is a great one too if you find one where the top isn't sinking...common ailment for them, but great players are still out there! awesome little bodied guitar!

Lori
02-09-2015, 07:31 AM
If you are really motivated, I think the transition should be fine. I started with the classical guitar as a teenager, and picked up the uke decades later. I have just as much enjoyment playing classical pieces on the uke, as I had on the guitar. Because of finger and hand problems, I find the ukulele easier on my challenged fingers. If you don't have those kind of issues, give the guitar a try. You will love the extra low bass strings. If you have small hands, you could try the Kanile'a Islander Guitarlele. http://www.theukulelesite.com/islander-gl6-guilele-w-uke-crazy-gig-bag.html

–Lori

Jim Yates
02-09-2015, 02:21 PM
Some others have said the same thing, but the definition of "play" is what determines which is more difficult. It is certainly easier to make a C6 chord on the ukulele than on the guitar. I guess it depends on the level of competence you want to obtain. You could say that to play the guitar at the competence level of Taylor Swift would not be as difficult as learning to play the ukulele at the competence level of Jake Shimabukuru. Taylor does a fine job of backing her vocals, but would not be able to pull off a full program of instrumental music, while Jake would have no trouble doing this.
On the other hand, I don't think we'd sit through an evening of Jake singing while strumming chords on the uke, but Taylor seems to be able to pull it off.

I must admit that I've never heard Taylor play a complete instrumental and have never heard Jake sing, so I may be all wrong here...and I'm pretty sure they aren't competing for the same fan base.

bonesigh
02-09-2015, 03:11 PM
I do not play the guitar but the way I see it a Ukulele is exactly 33% easier to play than a guitar.
I like this answer and really that's why the uke is my instrument. I want to relax when I play music. It's my down time, wouldn't want to have to work too hard. LOL (:

Cfiimei
02-09-2015, 05:19 PM
I have a steel string Breedlove that is the same scale length as a baritone uke but tuned higher.... GCEA on the bottom four. I play the hell out of it and it sounds awesome. Nice to have the extra range six strings provide. Easy transition from the ukulele. That being said, I play my Ukes more. But then, I also dabble in hammered dulcimers, mountain dulcimers, and I think my next build will be a Celtic harp.

Recstar24
02-09-2015, 05:33 PM
I will add that a good setup is so crucial, even moreso, on guitar than the uke for ease of playability. A crappy in setup uke is still pretty easy to jam on. A poorly setup guitar is physically painful - a high action can make it extremely uncomfortable to play even the most basic of chords.

Jim Yates
02-13-2015, 12:49 PM
I do not play the guitar but the way I see it a Ukulele is exactly 33% easier to play than a guitar.

I don't feel the number of string is proportional to the difficulty. If that were true, the violin would also be 33% easier than guitar and the Autoharp would be 600% harder.
We have to take into consideration the ease/difficulty of pressing different material strings, the ease/difficulty of playing with fingers/picks/bow, The size of the instrument. I have much more difficulty making some chord shapes on the uke and others on the guitar. Some chords are impossible to get on the Autoharp. Playing more than two strings at a time is difficukt on the fiddle...

Nickie
02-13-2015, 01:08 PM
If you take the bow apart and place the stick under the fiddle, then wrap the hair over the strings, and hold it tightly in the bow hand, it is easy to play all four strings at once. But it sounds weird. An autoharp weighs more than a guitar, forget it. The damn thing looked daunting so I gave it away.
I too find the guitar big and cumbersome. I'd rather play a Ubass, and it feels big, too. I have a friend who plays tenor guitar, has for about 60 years, and has no desire to play the 6 string. Kala just came out with a tenor guitar option too.
I can't wait to have time to learn the hammered dulcimer, or hammer harp, as I like to call it. If I can keep the damn thing in tune, that is. Stinking cold weather!
If I tried to do the same things on a guitar I do on an ukulele, I'd probably develop some really bad arthritis or carpal tunnel syndrome....I think unless you start young and are very talented, the guitar is more difficult. Guitar players that take up the uke learn it so fast I wanna puke just watching em.

deschutestrout
02-13-2015, 02:44 PM
Reading through these posts I see a fair amount of discouragement coming from those WHO DON'T PLAY GUITAR! Or never took the time to learn. It would be like me discouraging someone from learning how to fix motorcycles when I know nothing at all about motorcycles? Two more strings, more versatile, and a very fun instrument to learn and play. If you want to have FUN with a guitar, you will. And possibly next you'll consider mandolin, banjo, fiddle ... the OP is already leaps and bounds ahead of someone who has never played a stringed instrument. Nothing but encouragement from me. Go for it. If you decide it's not your thing (after giving it some time), sell it and consider trying something else. I don't know a single guitar player who is upset because they learned to play guitar. Too many nay-sayers in this thread. In my opinion anyway.

Nickie
02-13-2015, 02:54 PM
Reading through these posts I see a fair amount of discouragement coming from those WHO DON'T PLAY GUITAR! Or never took the time to learn. It would be like me discouraging someone from learning how to fix motorcycles when I know nothing at all about motorcycles? Two more strings, more versatile, and a very fun instrument to learn and play. If you want to have FUN with a guitar, you will. And possibly next you'll consider mandolin, banjo, fiddle ... the OP is already leaps and bounds ahead of someone who has never played a stringed instrument. Nothing but encouragement from me. Go for it. If you decide it's not your thing (after giving it some time), sell it and consider trying something else. I don't know a single guitar player who is upset because they learned to play guitar. Too many nay-sayers in this thread. In my opinion anyway.

Well, it's all about opinions! And you are correct too! I DO wish I'd learned guitar or piano at a young age. I certainly DO NOT regret learning to play the ukulele! The OP, and the rest of us, are entitled to take up whatever instrument we choose. I just say what I say because I tried the guitar twice, but it just isn't my instrument, as unfortunate as that may be. I just never connected with it. My apologies if I sounded negative in any way.

coolkayaker1
02-13-2015, 03:08 PM
A guitar is more difficult to play than a ukulele.

CeeJay
02-13-2015, 03:22 PM
How difficult is it to play guitar vs. ukulele

It isn't ......it's just different and don't be put off...any musical instrument is learnable...that's why so many get played ....I have taught myself uke , guitar , mando , accordion : diatonic single row button and chromatic piano ,harmonica had piano lessons and carried on afterwards , banjo , balalaika and I used to say well sort of ....but now ...no sod it......all to a fairly listenable level...and only because I wanted to and I loved the instruments.........if you WANT to play the guitar , of whatever discipline , you will....simple .

Hippie Dribble
02-13-2015, 03:44 PM
How difficult is it to play guitar vs. ukulele

It isn't ......it's just different and don't be put off...any musical instrument is learnable...that's why so many get played ....I have taught myself uke , guitar , mando , accordion : diatonic single row button and chromatic piano ,harmonica had piano lessons and carried on afterwards , banjo , balalaika and I used to say well sort of ....but now ...no sod it......all to a fairly listenable level...and only because I wanted to and I loved the instruments.........if you WANT to play the guitar , of whatever discipline , you will....simple .

Very much agree with this. I love both instruments. And I love music fullstop. Where there is passion and desire there will be success on some level. No harm in trying and experimenting. You an easily get a playable guitar for no more than a mid-low range uke. Just do it!!!!!! Have fun and see where it leads. Interestingly enough, playing uke to a decent level of proficiency has considerably improved my guitar technique and open-ness to try new things I had previously avoided, and I'm a better musician for it.

deschutestrout
02-13-2015, 03:45 PM
How difficult is it to play guitar vs. ukulele

It isn't ......it's just different and don't be put off...any musical instrument is learnable...that's why so many get played ....I have taught myself uke , guitar , mando , accordion : diatonic single row button and chromatic piano ,harmonica had piano lessons and carried on afterwards , banjo , balalaika and I used to say well sort of ....but now ...no sod it......all to a fairly listenable level...and only because I wanted to and I loved the instruments.........if you WANT to play the guitar , of whatever discipline , you will....simple .

Thank you CeeJay ... and I'm sorry if my previous post seemed harsh. It was just bumming me out to see so much discouragement wrapped into what I believe should be encouragement for the OP to explore something new. A foundation from uke playing WILL lend itself to learning ANY other stringed instrument. And Nickie, it wasn't you...it's 4 pages of mixed posts, many of which appear discouraging. Carry on.

kypfer
02-13-2015, 09:44 PM
CeeJay wrote :
.........if you WANT to play the guitar , of whatever discipline , you will....simple .

Exactly right!

My self-taught instrument list is similar to CeeJay's, minus the keyboard and plus a few woodwind, all because I wanted to :)

Just find the time to do it and DO IT!

Cfiimei
02-14-2015, 04:22 AM
Guitar was an east transition for me; more of a relief in having the lower notes when needed. When fingering the common "cowboy chords" that so many songs and melodies use the fingers almost naturally fall into the right places on the lower strings. Don't be intimidated, just go for it. There is a reason the guitar is the most prevalent instrument in most music stores, and it isn't because they are intimidating or hard to play.

Dan Uke
02-14-2015, 04:30 AM
guitar is harder than uke. You see people who play guitar instantly shred on a uke but they play it like a mini guitar. Not as easy vice versa since the frets are much wider and adding the bass strings.

HBolte
02-14-2015, 04:46 AM
guitar is harder than uke. You see people who play guitar instantly shred on a uke but they play it like a mini guitar. Not as easy vice versa since the frets are much wider and adding the bass strings.

I can't say if it would be difficult because I came to the ukulele after playing guitar for about 15 years, my guess is that guitar is more difficult. I can say that going to ukulele from guitar is extremely easy.

If you have a pretty good foundation on the ukulele you would certainly be way ahead of a total beginner in learning guitar. Try it, they are both fun instruments!

MarkAJohn
02-14-2015, 07:17 AM
Playing the ukulele at a casual level is easy, which is part of its attraction for me and a lot of other people. But to be a great player on any instrument--uke, guitar, clarinet, sitar, you name it--you have to climb the mountain. There is no aerial tramway to the summit.

Dan Uke
02-14-2015, 07:58 AM
Playing the ukulele at a casual level is easy, which is part of its attraction for me and a lot of other people. But to be a great player on any instrument--uke, guitar, clarinet, sitar, you name it--you have to climb the mountain. There is no aerial tramway to the summit.

Yeah but expectations are so much lower on the uke than guitar. You hear an average guitar player fumbling thru a song, people will pass by with disgust, same situation with a uke and people will smile at the cute little mini guitar player. :p

CeeJay
02-14-2015, 08:22 AM
guitar is harder than uke. You see people who play guitar instantly shred on a uke but they play it like a mini guitar. Not as easy vice versa since the frets are much wider and adding the bass strings.


Sorry, but no it isn't ..... Tuned EADGBE they share the same upper string intervals merely five frets different . Pluck the upper four strings on a guitar and you will hear a familiar little tune ...My Bum Is Green only slightly lower. Five frets lower to be precise. Baritone guitarists....sorry Baritone Ukulele -ists will have no problem whatsoever ............all you need to do is assimilate in two extra strings that give a bass bite and hey presto....

The chord shape for D on a guitar is the the same as G on the Uke . Put a capo on a guitar at the 5th fret and you can play exactly the same as a Ukulele just with a low G ........the basic guitar chord shapes in first pos of G , C and D should give no ukulele player a problem ...A , D and F shapes are very familiar to uke players......the reach between frets will be different and you will have to re -learn some of the tab you play as a ukulele player because you may not be able to make the stretches ....

So , it is not harder to learn than a ukulele , it is different than a ukelele , there is a greater range of tonality than a Ukelele , you can do a definite " Boom - Chicka " on a guitar.......the steel strings may ,nay will, give you a need to develop callouses on your left finger pads...no problem ...persevere and the pain will go .......and those callouses will be as useful on the uke for longer playing......


As to the original quote...this is exactly how a lot of the UU Ukelele heroes play the uke ...like a mini guitar ...without the bass.....nothing wrong with that, apparently I have adapted a similar style as an alternative to the more traditional strumming that I am familiar with .

So , no harder , just different tone wise ....and as rewarding.......IF you want to learn to play guitar....if you don't want to...why even ask....you may as well say is it harder to play the piano than the uke ...the answer would be the same....
PS
Probably the only instruments that are going to be harder to learn are the so called "proper instruments " (raise eyebrows lol) ...brass , reed
and bowed where you have to develop embrouchres , and differnt mouth shapes and other techniques to get a sound out of them before you can start learning to play them .....and even then ..you can theoretically learn the fingerings etc....but on the whole they are considered harder to start off on . Some people will never easily play them...wrong mouth shapes which make it hard..

I cannot get a sound out of a reed instrument at all ,never have been able to ...can't make a sound of anything smaller than a trombone because I cannot get my lips the right shape for trumpet etc mouthpieces....would love to have a go at a trombone ...missus says no.....whoa ..thread drift ...sorry....

Rllink
02-14-2015, 09:35 AM
What constitutes classical guitar? I realize that a classical guitar is a particular type of acoustic guitar, but what makes playing that type of guitar classical? I ask, because my friend has been studying classical guitar for two or three years. He is very proud that it is "classical guitar", and he is really focused on it. He studies under some other classical guitar player, and I'm assuming that means that he is taking instruction, but I don't know if that is what "studying under" means. Can someone play something other than classical guitar on a classical guitar?

My second question, is there any such thing as classical ukulele, and if so, what makes it classical? I think that I've heard that term "classical" ukulele before, but I'm not sure in what context. Also, as long as we are discussing the classical aspect, if there is such a thing as playing classical ukulele, is there such a thing as a classical ukulele?

CeeJay
02-14-2015, 10:03 AM
Playing pieces exactly as written in a prescribed manner and in a prescribed style . All very formal .

Music in a strait jacket for academics , with little scope for freedom of expression or experimentation . Some might say.

Disciplined and rigorously applied , strictly adhered to and demanding techniques and methods of play . Others might say .

There are those who are trying to apply classical music techniques to the Ukelele .

Personally I wish they wouldn't , but then who am I to deny freedom of expression and experimentation with music and musical instruments...

I 'll leave that to the Classicalists .:biglaugh::rock:

Please read this with a wholly appropriate amount of tongue in cheek applied .

Although the first line is spot on . As a definition in one line .

philpot
02-14-2015, 10:11 AM
CeeJay, looks like you basically said "guitar is sort of the same, except you have to build callouses, and learn two bass strings, and re-learn some tabs, and learn some tough barre chords." I think that's what most of us would call "harder" ;)

CeeJay
02-14-2015, 10:28 AM
CeeJay, looks like you basically said "guitar is sort of the same, except you have to build callouses, and learn two bass strings, and re-learn some tabs, and learn some tough barre chords." I think that's what most of us would call "harder" ;)

No ...it 's not harder ...it's different ...but it's not harder ...but I can see where you're coming from.....and we are talking basic geetaring ....I never mentioned barre chords .....I said use a capo at the fifth fret to illustrate the similarities in tuning ...then take it off and relearn new names for the shapes ....

Put it another way then ...two people, one starts guitar at the same time as the other starts ukelele...they should ,given ability, drive and commitment be about level in terms of progress (unless we're talking classical guitar ...but then we'll make the uke player a classical uker:o)

Going from uke to guitar will be different and certain needs will have to be addressed..bigger , two more strings and thus may seem more daunting , but it is all in the grey cells and the heart... trust me ....My first instrument was the uke ...soprano , strumming only ....I went from uke to guitar ....I have two arms two legs and a head ....no brainiac genius......they complement one another too.

:D

I may also be guilty of experience.

deschutestrout
02-14-2015, 10:49 AM
Case in point. My 13 year old son a couple months ago started messing with my ukes. Caught on very quickly, memorized several chords, got faster at changing chords, found songs to learn from me and the internet. A couple weeks ago said "dad, can I see one of your guitars?" in less than 5 minutes he was playing a 4 chord song. Can he currently do more on his uke? At this time I'm not real sure as he's progressing nicely on both instruments. Is he a "natural" ... I'm beginning to believe so ... was uke a "smart" instrument to start with? I think so. Did he find guitar "more difficult". NO. (next I'll hand him a violin and see how quickly he passes it back to me) :cool:

deschutestrout
02-14-2015, 10:56 AM
Ya know, just scanned posts and the OP hasn't chimed in ONCE since he/she started the thread. Head-scratch and apathy setting in :deadhorse:

mariegan7
02-14-2015, 11:26 AM
Don't worry, I have been in the background reading everyone's responses with rapt attention. I really appreciate all the varied opinions and viewpoints. I check this post everyday. So I went down to my local Guitar Center to try out some of the guitars. The regular sized classical guitars are way too big for me. I started messing around with a baby Taylor guitar and although it took some getting used to I was easily able to form some of the most basic guitar chords. I also loved the deeper sound with more bass and I could also hear chord progressions a lot better vs. the ukulele. The baby Taylor isn't a classical guitar but on the internet I found that they are making smaller classical guitars for children, females and individuals with small hands. I finally settled on the Cordoba Dolce guitar which has gotten good reviews. It has much smaller scale than regular classical guitars (630mm, 50mm). I found one on ebay for $200 which includes free shipping. It should arrive next week. I am very excited!

deschutestrout
02-14-2015, 11:31 AM
Don't worry, I have been in the background reading everyone's responses with rapt attention. I really appreciate all the varied opinions and viewpoints. I check this post everyday. So I went down to my local Guitar Center to try out some of the guitars. The regular sized classical guitars are way too big for me. I started messing around with a baby Taylor guitar and although it took some getting used to I was easily able to form some of the most basic guitar chords. I also loved the deeper sound with more bass and I could also hear chord progressions a lot better vs. the ukulele. The baby Taylor isn't a classical guitar but on the internet I found that they are making smaller classical guitars for children, females and individuals with small hands. I finally settled on the Cordoba Dolce guitar which has gotten good reviews. It has much smaller scale than regular classical guitars (630mm, 50mm). I found one on ebay for $200 which includes free shipping. It should arrive next week. I am very excited!

yaHOO! I think you're gonna love it! Keep us updated, and feel free to PM me if you have any questions, issues. (I thought you'd been scared away :-) )

Jim Yates
02-14-2015, 02:57 PM
Playing the ukulele at a casual level is easy, which is part of its attraction for me and a lot of other people. But to be a great player on any instrument--uke, guitar, clarinet, sitar, you name it--you have to climb the mountain. There is no aerial tramway to the summit.

You've got it MarkAJohn. How do you compare which is easier? It depends on the level at which you want to play.

CeeJay
02-14-2015, 03:11 PM
You've got it MarkAJohn. How do you compare which is easier? It depends on the level at which you want to play.



What does that actually mean ?

Jim Yates
02-14-2015, 03:13 PM
What constitutes classical guitar? I realize that a classical guitar is a particular type of acoustic guitar, but what makes playing that type of guitar classical? I ask, because my friend has been studying classical guitar for two or three years. He is very proud that it is "classical guitar", and he is really focused on it. He studies under some other classical guitar player, and I'm assuming that means that he is taking instruction, but I don't know if that is what "studying under" means. Can someone play something other than classical guitar on a classical guitar?

My second question, is there any such thing as classical ukulele, and if so, what makes it classical? I think that I've heard that term "classical" ukulele before, but I'm not sure in what context. Also, as long as we are discussing the classical aspect, if there is such a thing as playing classical ukulele, is there such a thing as a classical ukulele?

What folks generally mean when they describe an instrument as being a classical guitar is a fan braced (as opposed to X or ladder braced) instrument with a slotted headstock and 12 fret neck. It has nylon strings that are tied onto the bridge, similar to a ukulele. While musicians like Julian Bream, Andre Segovia and Liona Boyd play classical music on the guitar, the same instrument has been used by South American musicians like Joao Gilberto and Baden Powell to play Samba and Bosa Nova music and Charlie Bird to play jazz.
Flamenco guitars are similar to classical guitars, but often don't have slotted peg heads and have pick guards and different bracing.

Perhaps someone with a bit more understanding of flamenco could explain this better. I realize that flamenco guitarists don't use picks, so probably they don't call the top protectors "pick guards". My apologies for any names of musicians that I may have mis-spelled.

CeeJay
02-14-2015, 03:24 PM
What folks generally mean when they describe an instrument as being a classical guitar is a fan braced (as opposed to X or ladder braced) instrument with a slotted headstock and 12 fret neck. It has nylon strings that are tied onto the bridge, similar to a ukulele. While musicians like Julian Bream, Andre Segovia and Liona Boyd play classical music on the guitar, the same instrument has been used by South American musicians like Joao Gilberto and Baden Powell to play Samba and Bosa Nova music and Charlie Bird to play jazz.
Flamenco guitars are similar to classical guitars, but often don't have slotted peg heads and have pick guards and different bracing.

Perhaps someone with a bit more understanding of flamenco could explain this better. I realize that flamenco guitarists don't use picks, so probably they don't call the top protectors "pick guards". My apologies for any names of musicians that I may have mis-spelled.

In the UK and probably across the continent we call those "pick guard " things " scratch plates " covers all eventualities , plectrums (" picks " to you) finger nails or plastic/metal finger picks .


Jarvo
To protect the varnished finish from ...scratches.....:)

Rllink
02-14-2015, 03:28 PM
What folks generally mean when they describe an instrument as being a classical guitar is a fan braced (as opposed to X or ladder braced) instrument with a slotted headstock and 12 fret neck. It has nylon strings that are tied onto the bridge, similar to a ukulele. While musicians like Julian Bream, Andre Segovia and Liona Boyd play classical music on the guitar, the same instrument has been used by South American musicians like Joao Gilberto and Baden Powell to play Samba and Bosa Nova music and Charlie Bird to play jazz.
Flamenco guitars are similar to classical guitars, but often don't have slotted peg heads and have pick guards and different bracing.

Perhaps someone with a bit more understanding of flamenco could explain this better. I realize that flamenco guitarists don't use picks, so probably they don't call the top protectors "pick guards". My apologies for any names of musicians that I may have mis-spelled.Yes Jim, I got that off the internet that the construction of the guitar is "classical" in design, but that really doesn't explain what my friend is doing. I'm pretty sure that it goes beyond the construction of his guitar. But actually, where beyond that, I am not finding a definitive answer to what exactly classical guitar playing is, other than they are obsessed with technique. So that is why I ask. Early on, my friend tried to get me to study classical guitar too, but I found it to be so ambiguous in nature, and ended up drawn to the ukulele instead. And it remains so.

CeeJay
02-14-2015, 03:56 PM
Yes Jim, I got that off the internet that the construction of the guitar is "classical" in design, but that really doesn't explain what my friend is doing. I'm pretty sure that it goes beyond the construction of his guitar. But actually, where beyond that, I am not finding a definitive answer to what exactly classical guitar playing is, other than they are obsessed with technique. So that is why I ask. Early on, my friend tried to get me to study classical guitar too, but I found it to be so ambiguous in nature, and ended up drawn to the ukulele instead. And it remains so.

The definition seems to be that Classical Guitar music is music that has been written exclusively on guitar by those proficient in guitar for the guitar to be played solely by ..er ..those proficient with a guitar....of course only Classical Guitarists are proficient in guitar and other exponents of genres are simply bending strings in a totally un - musical fashion.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Classical_guitar_repertoire

This as opposed to playing classical music ...generally seen as baroque , 1750 to 1820, anything that isn't rock pop blues etc.the definitions on google ,wikipedia are anything but helpful .

So , stick to the instruments you love , play the music you love , whatever it be ...I was working on "Air on a G String", Bach on a Soprano the other day...and then "Sugar Baby Love", The Rubettes , both were great fun and challenging . and treat anybody who poo poos what you do ,as a music snob....works for me and I get into all the trouble that I can for saying so ....Stuff 'em.:smileybounce::stop::wtf:.....Too Much ???

Nickie
02-14-2015, 04:00 PM
What folks generally mean when they describe an instrument as being a classical guitar is a fan braced (as opposed to X or ladder braced) instrument with a slotted headstock and 12 fret neck. It has nylon strings that are tied onto the bridge, similar to a ukulele. While musicians like Julian Bream, Andre Segovia and Liona Boyd play classical music on the guitar, the same instrument has been used by South American musicians like Joao Gilberto and Baden Powell to play Samba and Bosa Nova music and Charlie Bird to play jazz.
Flamenco guitars are similar to classical guitars, but often don't have slotted peg heads and have pick guards and different bracing.

Perhaps someone with a bit more understanding of flamenco could explain this better. I realize that flamenco guitarists don't use picks, so probably they don't call the top protectors "pick guards". My apologies for any names of musicians that I may have mis-spelled.

I think Willie Nelson's Trigger is one of these Classical geetars....it looks like hell, but I think that's what it is. But he plays strictly Cowboy music on his...gawd did this thread ever get highjacked!

CeeJay
02-14-2015, 04:08 PM
I think Willie Nelson's Trigger is one of these Classical geetars....it looks like hell, but I think that's what it is. But he plays strictly Cowboy music on his...gawd did this thread ever get highjacked!
Lowjacked ....if you means me Missus ...;)......and is that the name of his geetar ? ...super ...

I was working on "On The Road Again" today with a pro bass player ,cor I am honoured ,he heard me play at an open mic coupla weeks ago and thought he'd like to hook up and have a uke / bass duo...

I never played at an Open Mic before ....or outside the bedroom except for vids on YT .....

Sorry ..Drift ..I 'm talking to Nickie 'cos I'm like a big girls blouse with excitement ....it 's great.....

Liquidayno
02-14-2015, 06:13 PM
I actually find it harder to play uke in some ways. My brain is so used to guitar that it takes extra effort to mentally remove two strings and deal with transposed chord shapes. Also, quite cramped for the fingers, a 25.5" scale guitar is ideal for me.

That said, uke is not hard.

Jim Yates
02-15-2015, 01:08 AM
You're right about Willie's being a "classical guitar", but he plays more than "strictly Cowboy music" on it. I saw him a couple of years back and he played a solo guitar version of a Django Reinhardt song that blew my socks off.
76130 76131 Trigger is covered in battle scars today, but hasn't always looked that weather worn. He and Willie were once quite pristine.

Jim Yates
02-15-2015, 01:21 AM
" Originally Posted by Jim Yates:
You've got it MarkAJohn. How do you compare which is easier? It depends on the level at which you want to play.


What does that actually mean ?

I meant that to play the ukulele at the skill level of a James Hill or Jake Shimabakuru (sp?) would certainly be harder than playing guitar at the level of the average bar band guitarist, but to play guitar at the level of Herb Ellis or Tommy Emanuel would certainly be harder than playing the uke at the level I play at.

Rllink
02-15-2015, 02:17 AM
The definition seems to be that Classical Guitar music is music that has been written exclusively on guitar by those proficient in guitar for the guitar to be played solely by ..er ..those proficient with a guitar....of course only Classical Guitarists are proficient in guitar and other exponents of genres are simply bending strings in a totally un - musical fashion.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Classical_guitar_repertoire

This as opposed to playing classical music ...generally seen as baroque , 1750 to 1820, anything that isn't rock pop blues etc.the definitions on google ,wikipedia are anything but helpful .

So , stick to the instruments you love , play the music you love , whatever it be ...I was working on "Air on a G String", Bach on a Soprano the other day...and then "Sugar Baby Love", The Rubettes , both were great fun and challenging . and treat anybody who poo poos what you do ,as a music snob....works for me and I get into all the trouble that I can for saying so ....Stuff 'em.:smileybounce::stop::wtf:.....Too Much ???Actually that is a better explanation than any I have gotten thus far. I think that I've told the story before, but my friend retired and took up classical guitar. So I hung around with him a little, but most of our time was spent in music stores talking to other classical guitarists about classical guitar, which was a foreign language to me. Which is fine, I'm not saying that to minimize it in any way. But the vibe just wasn't right for me. Then I found the ukulele, and the rest is history, as they say. But I still wonder exactly what he is doing. We talk a bit about our journeys, and he seems to practice scales a lot. I tend to play and sing easy songs with three or four chords. I do practice scales a little, and that is what we generally talk about most, with him doing most of the talking. He knows a lot more about them than I do, as he is constantly working on them. But beyond scales, he hasn't talked about it in that much detail. He will say that he has been working on a particular piece sometimes, a piece that I do not recognize the name of, but he doesn't go much beyond saying that it is hard, and he has been working on it for a long time. I guess we are both enjoying ourselves in retirement, and that is the bottom line. We've talked about getting together and playing, but I think that we are so far apart in what we are doing, that is never going to happen.

All that said, I think that if I took up the guitar, I would just want to do the same thing that I'm doing with the uke, and I don't think that it would be all that much more difficult. I do know a few guitar chords that I picked up early on, when I was thinking about playing the guitar, and they did not seem to be particularly more difficult. And also you have more range of notes with those two extra strings, but I feel like having to play within the limitations of the ukulele and the re-entrant tuning is part of the challenge. It seems to me that the uke might be harder to play in that regard. For me it is mostly about portability, and not about the instrument itself. And as I said, the re-entrant tuning sort of captured my interest. I like the sound of it as well. I think that the discipline that comes with classical guitar would be a problem with me, as I'm not really that disciplined in general. I don't think I have that kind of commitment.

CeeJay
02-15-2015, 03:40 AM
Scales are a tool to get you to know how the notes in a song or piece of music will generally fall to finger if written in that scale . They also help to create dexterity and "muscle memory" .

If you are going to play fingerstyle and pick the melody then you need to have

some knowledge of scales.....

A strummer need know no scales ,other than from academic interest or the

ability to "build " your own chords from scratch ...but if the

strummer is happy to rely on names and chord box/charts then fine............it's all

horses for courses and what you WANT to play ....the only

thing that ticks me off....and really ticks me off is when you get the odd

individuals who are Classically Trained and they look down their nose

at other genres citing that their way is much more hard and disciplined.......well

get a reality check....most of us don't want " hard and

disciplined "in our lives , and certainly not as a bragging chip..( if I did I'd take up a Martial art ;)...)

..and then ask them if they want to jam.....that's a sure fire way to get rid of the sort I am on about.....

I have nothing against Classical Guitar Music..I have to admit though that eventually it bores me rigid ..it sounds stiff and formal and I do not get it ...however I acknowledge that there is a lot of dedication , hard work and practise to achieve this level of virtuosity go into it and if that floats your boat sail on .

But a word to the wise ....just because you have been Classically trained ...don't assume that the kid ...or the old guy busking away in the corner DOESN ' T know his scales or a variety of them ....and they may well know and use 9ths and 13ths and other "difficult" chords...or they may be so naturally gifted or experienced that they can make a three chord tune sound like a rhapsody......

And the same with Ukulele's ....;)

Rllink
02-15-2015, 04:00 AM
Scales are a tool to get you to know how the notes in a song or piece of music will generally fall to finger if written in that scale . They also help to create dexterity and "muscle memory" .

If you are going to play fingerstyle and pick the melody then you need to have

some knowledge of scales.....

A strummer need know no scales ,other than from academic interest or the

ability to "build " your own chords from scratch ...but if the

strummer is happy to rely on names and chord box/charts then fine............it's all

horses for courses and what you WANT to play ....the only

thing that ticks me off....and really ticks me off is when you get the odd

individuals who are Classically Trained and they look down their nose

at other genres citing that their way is much more hard and disciplined.......well

get a reality check....most of us don't want " hard and

disciplined "in our lives , and certainly not as a bragging chip..( if I did I'd take up a Martial art ;)...)

..and then ask them if they want to jam.....that's a sure fire way to get rid of the sort I am on about.....

I have nothing against Classical Guitar Music..I have to admit though that eventually it bores me rigid ..it sounds stiff and formal and I do not get it ...however I acknowledge that there is a lot of dedication , hard work and practise to achieve this level of virtuosity go into it and if that floats your boat sail on .

But a word to the wise ....just because you have been Classically trained ...don't assume that the kid ...or the old guy busking away in the corner DOESN ' T know his scales or a variety of them ....and they may well know and use 9ths and 13ths and other "difficult" chords...or they may be so naturally gifted or experienced that they can make a three chord tune sound like a rhapsody......

And the same with Ukulele's ....;)I do practice scales a little, and I'm working through a fingerstyle book right now, and that is all good. And I'm studying a little music theory, nothing serious, but helpful sometimes. But I'll admit that I'm a strummer, and when it comes down to it, I strum. But as I said, I work on other things as well. I want to improve overall, I'm just not on a mission. I try not to push it, I like to let it all come naturally, at its own speed. It will come eventually.

As far as people looking down their noses, isn't that just human nature for some people look down on others in order to give what they are doing more importance? People like that do not bother me. I just let it go. They are into their thing. That's fine, I'm into mine. There are all types in this world, and that is just one. I say that, because I have a pretty good friend who does that all the time for almost everything.

CeeJay
02-15-2015, 04:57 AM
I do practice scales a little, and I'm working through a fingerstyle book right now, and that is all good. And I'm studying a little music theory, nothing serious, but helpful sometimes. But I'll admit that I'm a strummer, and when it comes down to it, I strum. But as I said, I work on other things as well. I want to improve overall, I'm just not on a mission. I try not to push it, I like to let it all come naturally, at its own speed. It will come eventually.

As far as people looking down their noses, isn't that just human nature for some people look down on others in order to give what they are doing more importance? People like that do not bother me. I just let it go. They are into their thing. That's fine, I'm into mine. There are all types in this world, and that is just one. I say that, because I have a pretty good friend who does that all the time for almost everything.

True , too true..you have more patience than me then and good on you for it ;)

Lets not knock strumming , I strum , it is as fancy and fine an art as anything ...ask Messrs Smeck ,Formby and ilk...it's all babay steps....


Anyhoo that's me done on this topic ...fascinating it has been...:rock:


Cheers Mate

wendellfiddler
02-15-2015, 05:15 AM
I don't feel the number of string is proportional to the difficulty. If that were true, the violin would also be 33% easier than guitar and the Autoharp would be 600% harder.
We have to take into consideration the ease/difficulty of pressing different material strings, the ease/difficulty of playing with fingers/picks/bow, The size of the instrument. I have much more difficulty making some chord shapes on the uke and others on the guitar. Some chords are impossible to get on the Autoharp. Playing more than two strings at a time is difficukt on the fiddle...

Well said. Instruments like the uke and the 5 string banjo can be a little easier for beginners than guitar - and certainly easier than the violin. However, mastery is another issue. The challenge of four string instruments is that once you get beyond basic triad chords and get into extended harmony - i.e., 9ths, 13ths, b9's, #13's, etc. - the four string instrument becomes extremely challenging (this true of mandolin as well as uke) because every chord you use can be utilized in so many different ways - you find it necessary to master substitution in order to play jazz on the uke. Whereas, on the guitar, you have more options and a longer fingerboard which allows you to move what you know up and down the neck - so you can actually get by knowing fewer ways to make each chord. So as you become more advanced, fewer strings and a shorter fingerboard becomes more of a challenge than an asset.

DUK

CeeJay
02-15-2015, 01:45 PM
Well said. Instruments like the uke and the 5 string banjo can be a little easier for beginners than guitar - and certainly easier than the violin. However, mastery is another issue. The challenge of four string instruments is that once you get beyond basic triad chords and get into extended harmony - i.e., 9ths, 13ths, b9's, #13's, etc. - the four string instrument becomes extremely challenging (this true of mandolin as well as uke) because every chord you use can be utilized in so many different ways - you find it necessary to master substitution in order to play jazz on the uke. Whereas, on the guitar, you have more options and a longer fingerboard which allows you to move what you know up and down the neck - so you can actually get by knowing fewer ways to make each chord. So as you become more advanced, fewer strings and a shorter fingerboard becomes more of a challenge than an asset.

DUK

Not according to Mr Hal Leonard and his book of 1000 chords ....some 13ths and 9ths and 6 s 7 s and ........oh no 8s :p . are pretty straightforward......and contained within 12 frets...which is fantastic and amazing ....until you consider that the guitar has exactly the same 12 fret arrangement ....

Fiddle is more difficult ,as would be any fretless string instrument ...even fretless banjos (except of course you do not bow the banjer)..

Do you know , I am beginning to fail to actually see what the point of this thread really is ?....:D...fretted ,strung instruments in courses should be no more difficult learn than each other ....perhaps a bit confusing ..as in going from geetar to mando because the tunings are mirrored ...but then that is also an advantage because if you play geetar you can mirror the chord shapes for a basic sound and work out refinements from
there .

I thought Autoharps (shiver ) were pre chorded ? and the bigger the more chord bars....?? I'll stand corrected.

CeeJay
02-15-2015, 04:19 PM
Everyone has their favourite form of music recreation. A lot of classical guitarists love to be technical and play "difficult pieces". And they love to learn their scales and technical music knowledge. They rarely have time for anyone who does not enjoy a challenging recreation musical activity. It is their recreation time and they are allowed to spend it how they will.
Most ukulele players are the exact opposite. They just want to get on and play and sing and don't put a priority on learning any technical music stuff. They rarely have time for anyone who does enjoy a technical musical challenge like sight reading standard notation or learning scales.
As it is human behaviour for opposites to attract, I suspect that given a little ice breaking, classical guitarists and ukulele players would get on like a house on fire, even if there is a little looking down the nose at the start.
Returning to the topic, a ukulele has four strings, exactly the number of fingers we are born with. Its musical range is close to the average human singing and talking range. So it fits like a glove, which makes it comfortable to learn. A guitar has a bigger music note range and two more strings, so it starts out like an oversize glove, a bit cumbersome, but still useful when you grow into it.

You are a true diplomat Bill...:shaka::shaka::shaka:

Lori
02-15-2015, 06:36 PM
First of all, let me mention that you need more than 12 frets on a classical guitar. It is usually 12 frets to the body, I believe but you do use the higher frets for some pieces. The neck of the classical guitar is flat and wider than acoustic guitars. That means more space between the strings. The strings are usually 3 non-metallic treble, and 3 wound bass. The technique usually uses a foot stool for your left foot (if your right handed), and a more upright neck position than the acoustic guitar players use. Alternating fingers are used for repeated notes on a single string. Thumb and 3 fingers used most all the time. Picks are usually not part of the technique. Fingernails are carefully groomed on the right hand for picking, and kept very short on the fretting hand. When I took lessons, I was learning to read musical notation. The early stages for that has the student playing something simple (to learn how to read the notes) and the teacher plays a duet with a more complicated part so that it sounds nice. Since then, I studied 5 string banjo and uke, and found learning notation over again for another stringed instrument too confusing, so I like to use tabs for those instruments. Once you love one stringed instrument, chances are you will love to play another stringed instrument. You can use elements of the classical style on almost any style of music.

–Lori

wendellfiddler
02-17-2015, 08:40 AM
Not according to Mr Hal Leonard and his book of 1000 chords ....some 13ths and 9ths and 6 s 7 s and ........oh no 8s :p . are pretty straightforward......and contained within 12 frets...which is fantastic and amazing ....until you consider that the guitar has exactly the same 12 fret arrangement ....


I think you miss the point. It isn't the shapes of extended harmonic chords that's difficult, it's knowing how to use them effectively on the instrument. Keep in mind that 9ths and 13ths are 5 and 6 note chords, all dominant chords that are not 7ths have more than 4 notes in the full chord. That's why so many chords you form on a uke (or a mandolin) have so many different uses - which is useful, but confusing. Jazz chords are often used in gradual motion, you might say - each chord following another in the same range with minimal movement, rather than jumping around from one octave to another. Easy to manipulate, but difficult to "design". It's like choreography. So a 9th or 13th can be played many different ways. Thus my point. And as the 12 frets being the same - really? Only in number of frets. On the tenor, where you have the longest fretboard (the baritone is different animal), chords above the 7th or 8th fret are of limited use for most folks - too high, too little space - but, of course, there are exceptions to everything.

Duk

CeeJay
02-17-2015, 12:08 PM
I think you miss the point. It isn't the shapes of extended harmonic chords that's difficult, it's knowing how to use them effectively on the instrument. Keep in mind that 9ths and 13ths are 5 and 6 note chords, all dominant chords that are not 7ths have more than 4 notes in the full chord. That's why so many chords you form on a uke (or a mandolin) have so many different uses - which is useful, but confusing. Jazz chords are often used in gradual motion, you might say - each chord following another in the same range with minimal movement, rather than jumping around from one octave to another. Easy to manipulate, but difficult to "design". It's like choreography. So a 9th or 13th can be played many different ways. Thus my point. And as the 12 frets being the same - really? Only in number of frets. On the tenor, where you have the longest fretboard (the baritone is different animal), chords above the 7th or 8th fret are of limited use for most folks - too high, too little space - but, of course, there are exceptions to everything.

Duk

CAVEAT * READ THIS TONGUE FIRMLY IN CHEEK

Dear Mr W /Fiddle

Sorry to be brusque , but I don't appreciate being lectured as if I was some sort of music dummy...Dummy ...well fair enough , but not about music

It may not have been how you meant it to be read ...but it is how it comes over .

So no , I don't miss the point .....and I disagree entirely with your new point , but nicely , it's just sorry to me it is as clear as mud.........

What has writing a dance routine got to do with how you play your instrument ?:confused:

Any chord can be played many different ways , triad , 7th , 9th whichever....... I play them where the music tells me to or the spirit moves me...depending on how I feel that day..or where I can fit them on a sop.....re-entrant...Musoes eh? awkward cusses...

If you have only four strings you then make the chord as best as you can ...compromising..

" And as the 12 frets being the same - Oh really? Only in number of frets. On the tenor, where you have the longest fretboard (the baritone is different animal), chords above the 7th or 8th fret are of limited use for most folks - too high, too little space - but, of course, there are exceptions to everything. "

Yes , "Oh, Really" the 12 frets are exactly the same ..in intervals ...( I had assumed that I would not have to be so specific , so my apologies for my mud applied assertion ) the Ukes merely starting at a pitch 5 tones higher than the guitar....except for the Baritone ,which as far as I am concerned is the most pointless and misnamed "ukelele " in the world

(sorry, Bari Players ...nothing against you ..oops , there will be letters... I do like to hear them played ...I just don't want one)

as a proper guitar comes with the same high string tuning and two really nice bass strings . As we know. And then there is the Tenor guitar ......

I play Soprano , Concert and have just acquired a Tenor...and very often above the the 7th and 8th ...the 12th fret a makes a delightful..if tricky little turnaround start point ..A Triad D and E at 9 and 11 respectively , barre A (9) and full A at 12 scream beautifullyand that's off the top of my head ...

But then that's the Blues for ya......
I must be one of them there exceptions...there I have vented and my steam is spent....

Looking at your list of goodies...

I'll raise you 5 guitars , 1 5-string Banjo , a Mando , a Balalaika, 2 Banjo Ukes , 2 Soprano , 3 Concert , 1 Tenor (jury is out)
2 Piano Accordions ( You bow .. I pump..), 1 Cajun 4 Voice Castagnari Accordion , ACDEG Diatonic harmonicas , and my missus's snare drum (very much early baby steps)....oh and home made Tea Chest Bass (odd)....:D


PS
Uhru sounds interesting and about as limited as a Balaika.....three strings tuned EEA ..how is the Uhru tuned...?

deschutestrout
02-17-2015, 12:36 PM
Play nice folks. :deadhorse: This thread has been rather screwed up from the start, in my humblest of opinions. Competing over music knowledge, theory, uniformed discouraging opinions .... blah, blah, blah. The OP bought a guitar. Yea! A new, exciting instrument to learn and enjoy. Will he/she find it more difficult? I have no friggin' idea. Will he/she enjoy it? If he/she wants to and puts some time in, yes.

CeeJay
02-17-2015, 12:41 PM
Play nice folks. :deadhorse: This thread has been rather screwed up from the start, in my humblest of opinions. Competing over music knowledge, theory, uniformed discouraging opinions .... blah, blah, blah. The OP bought a guitar. Yea! A new, exciting instrument to learn and enjoy. Will he/she find it more difficult? I have no friggin' idea. Will he/she enjoy it? If he/she wants to and puts some time in, yes.

I'm not being nasty ...merely playful :o;)

...and you know very sadly ..since I was able to get out and mix with other musos I have found that it ain't all buddy buddy ......and can be very competitive and at times nasty and hurtful as well....... I think some times the egos take over from the music ....I never want to be like that.

I would sooner stop playing. so my above comment to Wendell is quite tongue in cheek .....better put that ...

wendellfiddler
02-18-2015, 04:22 AM
CAVEAT * READ THIS TONGUE FIRMLY IN CHEEK

Dear Mr W /Fiddle

Sorry to be brusque , but I don't appreciate being lectured as if I was some sort of music dummy...Dummy ...well fair enough , but not about music

It may not have been how you meant it to be read ...but it is how it comes over .

So no , I don't miss the point .....and I disagree entirely with your new point , but nicely , it's just sorry to me it is as clear as mud.........

What has writing a dance routine got to do with how you play your instrument ?:confused:

Any chord can be played many different ways , triad , 7th , 9th whichever....... I play them where the music tells me to or the spirit moves me...depending on how I feel that day..or where I can fit them on a sop.....re-entrant...Musoes eh? awkward cusses...

If you have only four strings you then make the chord as best as you can ...compromising..

" And as the 12 frets being the same - Oh really? Only in number of frets. On the tenor, where you have the longest fretboard (the baritone is different animal), chords above the 7th or 8th fret are of limited use for most folks - too high, too little space - but, of course, there are exceptions to everything. "

Yes , "Oh, Really" the 12 frets are exactly the same ..in intervals ...( I had assumed that I would not have to be so specific , so my apologies for my mud applied assertion ) the Ukes merely starting at a pitch 5 tones higher than the guitar....except for the Baritone ,which as far as I am concerned is the most pointless and misnamed "ukelele " in the world

(sorry, Bari Players ...nothing against you ..oops , there will be letters... I do like to hear them played ...I just don't want one)

as a proper guitar comes with the same high string tuning and two really nice bass strings . As we know. And then there is the Tenor guitar ......

I play Soprano , Concert and have just acquired a Tenor...and very often above the the 7th and 8th ...the 12th fret a makes a delightful..if tricky little turnaround start point ..A Triad D and E at 9 and 11 respectively , barre A (9) and full A at 12 scream beautifullyand that's off the top of my head ...

But then that's the Blues for ya......
I must be one of them there exceptions...there I have vented and my steam is spent....

Looking at your list of goodies...

I'll raise you 5 guitars , 1 5-string Banjo , a Mando , a Balalaika, 2 Banjo Ukes , 2 Soprano , 3 Concert , 1 Tenor (jury is out)
2 Piano Accordions ( You bow .. I pump..), 1 Cajun 4 Voice Castagnari Accordion , ACDEG Diatonic harmonicas , and my missus's snare drum (very much early baby steps)....oh and home made Tea Chest Bass (odd)....:D


PS
Uhru sounds interesting and about as limited as a Balaika.....three strings tuned EEA ..how is the Uhru tuned...?

I don't know exactly what you mean by tongue in cheek - but in a serious nature, yes, designing chord movement is like choreography. There are many ways to move through the harmonic structure of a song, and especially in the complex structures of jazz tunes the design makes a huge difference. The idea is to make it smooth, or rough if you choose, by design rather than the necessity of only knowing one chord option.

I'm sorry if you feel lectured to - I'm just discussing the limitations and challenges of the uke. But, that said, I still think you missed my point. But that's fine, there's no reason why you have to get it or accept it.

You certainly do have a lot of instruments around. I like to keep to a level where I can get them all into one car and still have room for some clothes.

An urhu has only two strings. It's bowed. The bow is between the two strings and you play by pushing or pulling against each string. You stop the notes by moving your fingers on the strings. It has no fingerboard.
DUK

CeeJay
02-18-2015, 09:05 AM
I still do not get what you are saying about " designing chord movement "...what does that mean ?

Are you talking about making alternate chord shapes in different places on the fretboard / keyboard ?

And deciding which variant / alternative structure sounds better at a given moment ....?

Although you also mention Jazz ...and I have to declare a lack of interest ...well maybe some Kenny Ball , Acker Bilk , Grapelli / Reinhardt ..but not a mahoosive Jazz fan.....sorry ......

Nickie
02-18-2015, 11:50 AM
Ha, I love this conversation, the dallying back and forth with a display of knowledge spewing all over my screen. CeeJay, you tickle me, but not everyone knows how to take you. I'm quoting you,
"....except for the Baritone ,which as far as I am concerned is the most pointless and misnamed "ukelele " in the world

I've got rid of two baris, I think they suck, as far as me playing one, but have you ever heard Ken Middleton or any other really good players play one? OMG, give it a listen....

wendellfiddler
02-18-2015, 12:03 PM
I still do not get what you are saying about " designing chord movement "...what does that mean ?

Are you talking about making alternate chord shapes in different places on the fretboard / keyboard ?

And deciding which variant / alternative structure sounds better at a given moment ....?

Although you also mention Jazz ...and I have to declare a lack of interest ...well maybe some Kenny Ball , Acker Bilk , Grapelli / Reinhardt ..but not a mahoosive Jazz fan.....sorry ......

Ok, good question. There are at least two levels of designing chordal motion on a fretted stringed instrument - probably more - but the two basic ways that I consider most are convenience of hand motion (dance like) and harmonic movement. Sometimes you have sacrifice one for the other, but ideally you can make peace with both. For example - say you have a chord change Gm7 to C7 repeated. You could play 5-3-5-3 to 3-3-4-3 and repeat that - or you could play 1-1-2-0 to 3-3-2-0 and then 5353 to 3343. That's a simple example. To me, that's like fingers doing dance moves on the fingerboard! From there, it can be complicated to figure out sometimes, but ironically, can often (but not always) result in less strenuous hand positions as well as interesting music.

duk

CeeJay
02-18-2015, 02:52 PM
As I suspected , it's playing chords in different places on the fretboard , in plain speak . :o

In actual fact paraphrasing your description comes out as exactly what I said ...get a good chord book and learn the chord shapes in different positions , they are not frightening and sometimes are actually surprisingly easier to play because of posture , rotation of wrist ,fingers .

Learn the relationship between chord shapes ...the best way to play any musical instrument is with the least work input ..so play in clusters of chords ...simple example ... C and G7 and D at around the 7th and 9th fret (or 3rd position as some Ukers call it ) and then again at 3rd and 2nd fret (first pos)........saving a leap from 1st to 3rd or higher for emphasis and dramatic effect .....and the same with the fancier or harmonic chords.....

deschutestrout
02-18-2015, 03:01 PM
As I suspected , it's playing chords in different places on the fretboard , in plain speak . :o

This is starting to get entertaining. Nickie...yer purdy funny. :cool:. Wouldn't it be fun if we could snap our fingers and all be together with instruments, a keg of good beer, case of wine, and notepads? :cool: (notepads looked weird when I added it...we could always sketch funny pics of each other).

wendellfiddler
02-18-2015, 03:56 PM
..we could always sketch funny pics of each other).

Good idea!

duk