PDA

View Full Version : Couple Uke questions



Rootbeer
02-26-2015, 01:12 AM
I'm new to ukuleles and new to music and instruments in general. I tried a chromatic harp but it didn't suit me. I think I might have more fun strumming a uke. I'm in India and wonder what models are recommended? I have a budget of 120 usd or 6000 inr. I saw Hohner ULU21s selling for that amount but if it's the same as lanikai lu21, then it's too overpriced for my tastes. The only other ukulele I saw online is ibanez iuks5 kit, which sells for that price too. I'm going to the instruments shop to see if they have ukuleles.

Also, as a classical music fan, will I find the range too limiting?

VegasGeorge
02-26-2015, 01:43 AM
I think the Ukulele is a good choice for a musical beginner. But, you need to realize the instrument's capabilities to avoid disappointment. Although it is entirely possible to play melodies and classical style music on the Ukulele, those techniques are more advanced. As a beginner, you will be producing harmony chords with your strumming, and you will have to hum or sing any melody you want to go with them. The Uke will teach you basic music theory, chords, rhythms, tempo, etc. How far you go with it is entirely up to you. As far as the choice of instrument is concerned, read the reviews on this forum. There are a number of OK Ukes available in your price range.

PhilUSAFRet
02-26-2015, 02:02 AM
Good luck. The little bit I could find regarding availability of ukes in India would suggest your price limit will also limit your choices. What you have seen is about all you can get for that kind of money. I don't know what part of India you are in, but would mail order from Thailand be an option for you?

Rootbeer
02-26-2015, 06:21 AM
PhilUSAFRet: Since you mentioned importing one, I'm assuming that the ukuleles I mentioned (Ibanez iuks5 and Hohner ULU21s) are not considered good ukuleles? Can someone confirm the quality of these two models if they're worth buying, and also, is the ULU21 a higher model than Lanikai LU21? I actually have not imported anything from outside the country before, but I know that customs can be a hassle here in India and shipping prices might be too high to justify getting one (I had looked at importing a camera before).

PhilUSAFRet
02-26-2015, 10:22 AM
There are many happy Lanikai owners here that started on that LU21. It will do you nicely until you want a nicer one, if that time ever in fact comes. Here's lots of info about that Lanikai and a question about the difference between the two you are looking at. I believe they are pretty much the same instrument, sometimes marketed by either headstock logo, depending on location.
http://ukulelehunt.com/buy-ukulele/brands/lanikai-ukulele/

If that's your budget, then I'd say go for it: https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=lanikai+lu-21+soprano+ukulele

janeray1940
02-26-2015, 10:33 AM
Also, as a classical music fan, will I find the range too limiting?

I doubt it! I play a lot of classical. It wasn't what I expected to do when I first picked up the uke, but after discovering the amazing playing by the late John King (https://www.youtube.com/user/NaluMusic), it's become my favorite thing to play. The two books of tab he arranged will probably prove to be enough to keep me busy for the rest of my mortal days :)

igorthebarbarian
02-26-2015, 06:42 PM
Hawaii Music Supply http://www.theukulelesite.com will ship to India but it looks kind of expensive. You end up spending almost as much in shipping as the uke! And then you may have other import fees on your end too.
I would be sure to get something that is properly setup so that it will be comfortable to play. That makes a big difference.
As a person who started in their mid-30s and had absolutely no background in music at all, I can recommend the ukulele a lot.

Rootbeer
03-03-2015, 02:41 AM
The music shop I went to had Pluto brand ukulele which they said was imported from china. The soprano sized one was 70$ and the largest sized ukulele from Pluto was 120$ (I assume the largest sized are the 'Concert'?). Is Pluto a reliable brand and can someone point me to any reviews of it? Thanks.

Inksplosive AL
03-03-2015, 06:22 AM
Generic Chinese brand ukulele under a name that will likely change in a year. If Google isn't pointing to anything that is an indicator of something. Not likely the company is just new.

Spend money now and get a decent instrument or spend more money later or worse decide its too hard or not for you due to an experience with a junk instrument.

Pluto either a very stellar name or that of Mickeys dog you decide.

Rootbeer
03-03-2015, 08:49 AM
Generic Chinese brand ukulele under a name that will likely change in a year. If Google isn't pointing to anything that is an indicator of something. Not likely the company is just new.

Spend money now and get a decent instrument or spend more money later or worse decide its too hard or not for you due to an experience with a junk instrument.

Pluto either a very stellar name or that of Mickeys dog you decide.

Yeah, I had doubts too that's why I asked here. I'll wait and see what my other options are before buying anything. Maybe I could go for the Lanikai/Hohner but I would feel cheated to pay a lot for something that's actually worth half.

Booli
03-03-2015, 09:06 AM
(I assume the largest sized are the 'Concert'?)

Actually no. The largest size, as in both SCALE LENGTH (length of vibrating string from nut to saddle), and body size is traditionally called 'baritone'.

There are also a few sizes smaller than soprano, such as sopranino, pocket uke, and piccolo.

There are also many variants of LONG-NECK with each body size of soprano, concert, tenor and baritone from over 100 different instrument makers.

Here are some starting points for you below, for it would help you to do some self-education before spending money solely based upon recommendations from strangers...but we are all here to help at any time...

[also these sites have lots more resources to explore to learn more, and are each run by fellow UU members (except for Wikipedia of course)]

Beginner's Guide - http://www.gotaukulele.com/p/beginners-guides.html

‘Ukulele Sizes – Soprano, Concert, Tenor, and Baritone - http://liveukulele.com/gear/ukulele-sizes/

Ukulele sizes and shapes - http://www.ianchadwick.com/ukuleles/sizes.htm

Wikipedia Ukulele - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ukulele

Inksplosive AL
03-03-2015, 12:23 PM
Yeah, I had doubts too that's why I asked here. I'll wait and see what my other options are before buying anything. Maybe I could go for the Lanikai/Hohner but I would feel cheated to pay a lot for something that's actually worth half.

If its the price something regularly costs in your country then its the price its worth. You're likely paying for all the extra shipping and tax fees to ship to your country.

vishal_b
04-21-2015, 07:01 AM
I'm new to ukuleles and new to music and instruments in general. I tried a chromatic harp but it didn't suit me. I think I might have more fun strumming a uke. I'm in India and wonder what models are recommended? I have a budget of 120 usd or 6000 inr. I saw Hohner ULU21s selling for that amount but if it's the same as lanikai lu21, then it's too overpriced for my tastes. The only other ukulele I saw online is ibanez iuks5 kit, which sells for that price too. I'm going to the instruments shop to see if they have ukuleles.

Also, as a classical music fan, will I find the range too limiting?



Yeah, I had doubts too that's why I asked here. I'll wait and see what my other options are before buying anything. Maybe I could go for the Lanikai/Hohner but I would feel cheated to pay a lot for something that's actually worth half.

Hi rootbeer,
I was in a similar situation for a while (also in India, looking for a good beginner Uke) and I came across the same limited options that you did. After much online research, and having played a friend's Lanikai LU-21S for a few months, I'm convinced that (with the possible exception of the Ibanez) it's our best bet here, unless of course you have a friend/relative who can bring one from abroad. Btw, I found this thread while looking for the difference between Lanikai LU-21S and Hohner ULU-21S...anyway, turns out they're basically the same instrument (Hohner owns Lanikai).
So, other options available here, like the Pluto, Ashton 100, and Granada are not something I would recommended, specially if the price difference between these and the Lanikai is not much. Among these, the Ashton is widely reviewed as being virtually unplayable because the strings are so high on the fretboard. As a guitar player (and window-shopper) of many years, I'd stay away from Pluto, since the durability and finish on their acoustic guitars is quite poor. Same goes for Granada, to a slightly lesser extent. Tried it at a shop once and found the sound to be too weak and 'plasticy'. I can't say about the Ibanez, but since they have a great reputation in guitars, the quality should be pretty decent.

As I said, I've been playing the Lanikai/Hohner for a couple of months, and while I don't really have a standard reference to compare it against, I can definitely say it's a great beginner's instrument. The sound is what a ukulele should be like, not toy-like. The construction is very neat and robust, which is important since this is an instrument you'll want to carry around everywhere and maybe handle not-so-delicately. And ukulele-reviewers everywhere say it's one of, if not the best and most popular choice for absolute beginners.
Also, since you say you're new to instruments in general, you will need a tuner. The Ibanez comes with one, but you can also get a cheap one for Rs.200-400 in any musical shop. It just needs to work.
Between Ibanez and Lanikai, I myself am leaning towards the latter, mostly because of its reputation (Ibanez is new to ukuleles) and because it's the one I've actually tried and liked. As for the price, I know it's annoying to have to pay significantly more in India than in USA, but there's just no way around that, specially for instruments, electronics, etc. If you go higher than Rs.6000 range, as a beginner you might not care for the improvement in sound/build quality, but any lower than this and it'll definitely affect your playing/learning, or the ukulele may not last very long (Indian climate is actually pretty rough on string instruments).

Finally, if you have really big hands, do look for a concert-sized ukulele. Otherwise, the soprano is just fine.
Hope this helps!