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tangimango
05-09-2015, 11:45 PM
im just learning about guitalele's and wondering the reason for it.

is it for ukulele players wanting 2 bass strings? or for guitar players wanting to play a ukulele?

do I need to learn new chords to play a guitalele?

can it be tuned EADGBE like a guitar? does it sound better that way or ADGCEA?

thanks in advance, I wish to buy one and the islander one looks like a real deal. anyone try the islander version?

gregmchugh
05-10-2015, 02:38 AM
HMS is giving good reviews to the Cordoba Mini which is a baritone scale Guilele similar in spec to the Islander.

http://www.theukulelesite.com/cordoba-mini-m-spruce-top-mahogany.html

You might to stop in there and give it a try.

CeeJay
05-10-2015, 03:03 AM
My understanding is that ....hang on sorry ....presses button ...PEDANT ALERT....ummm the flasher seems to be broke ....

My understanding is that Guitalele is Yamahahas trademarked name for their guilele , and that calling guileles by this name is like calling the "suction of airstream laden with dust and dirt into a bag/or no bag machine" a Hoover;)

https://trademarks.justia.com/767/07/guitalele-76707507.html

I was advised this by Mr Andy of Omega Music in the UK when browsing for such a device ......a guilele...not a ...er Hoover.

As to the E to E tuning now see here ......no I mean see here, this link:

http://www.southcoastukes.com/013.htm

One of the two sets of three EAD or GBE is tuned an octave above a guitar, or something ....but have look at our own Dr Bekken in the vid (oooooooh he makes me so sick !!) rattling out a belting rag and I think you will agree that the sound is sooopoib... me ...I'm off to order a set or two ....I bet the postage is eye watering.

The only thing that would make it better for me would be some steel on the top strings ....but then that would probably bow it up ...
Oh I got a Kala KA Koa GL by the way ...nice

kissing
05-10-2015, 03:09 AM
im just learning about guitalele's and wondering the reason for it.

is it for ukulele players wanting 2 bass strings? or for guitar players wanting to play a ukulele?

For both.
It gives ukulele players those 2 bass strings. It gives guitar players something tuned in the same range as ukulele.



do I need to learn new chords to play a guitalele?

Sort of. The fingerings for the GCEA (4th to 1st) strings remain the same. You just have to learn which chords have the addition of the A and D (6th and 5th) strings being fretted.



can it be tuned EADGBE like a guitar? does it sound better that way or ADGCEA?

Due to the short scale length of the Guitalele, it would be difficult to find strings that give you enough tension for EADGBE tuning.
Furthermore, even if you did, it would sound awful because the lower pitch would not resonate with such a small body.
Lastly, if you're going to tune a Guitalele as EADGBE, you are better off just getting a guitar!!!



thanks in advance, I wish to buy one and the islander one looks like a real deal. anyone try the islander version?


The Islander version seems very good. I haven't tried one.

I own the Yamaha Guitalele and the Oscar Schmidt Guitalele.
I do not like the Yamaha - the string spacing is too narrow. Makes it hard to play, unless you have very very narrow fingers or something.

The Oscar Schmidt is better - a bit more spacing between the strings.





My overall opinion of the Guitalele as an instrument:

It doesn't quite play like an ukulele... yet it doesn't quite play like a classical guitar.
As the name implies, it is somewhere in between.

I think it leans towards feeling a bit more like playing a small classical guitar than ukulele, in terms of fingerpicking technique and feel. Doesn't feel as "bouncy" to strum as you would an ukulele. I play a bit differently when I have a tenor ukulele in hand compared to when I have a guitalele. I find myself doing classical guitar-style fingerpicking when I play guitalele. The string spacings are narrower on Guitalele compared to Ukulele - much like a guitar. The prescence of the two bass strings also changes your fingerpicking and arpeggio method, as well as strumming.

It really helped me in my transition to guitar - familiarising with 6-string chord shapes one step at a time.

Luke El U
05-10-2015, 03:23 AM
I love to play finger style guitar ( as well as uke ) but my hands are somewhat small, so it's often difficult for me to play the pieces I like on the guitar. The Yamaha guitalele didn't work for me for the same reasons @kissing spoke of above. Then one day I tried a Kanilea solid koa guitalele. It's about the size of a baritone uke and man it played beautifully and sounded like magic. Ribbee boutique in Bangkok was asking about $2K USD for it, so I never bought it. Later, I found out that the same instrument was being made as a laminate model in the Islander brand for a few hundred bucks. The news was music to my ears until I read here at UU that HMS had to return them all because of low quality construction. :(

CeeJay
05-10-2015, 03:37 AM
Due to the short scale length of the Guitalele, it would be difficult to find strings that give you enough tension for EADGBE tuning.
Furthermore, even if you did, it would sound awful because the lower pitch would not resonate with such a small body.
Lastly, if you're going to tune a Guitalele as EADGBE, you are better off just getting a guitar!!!






http://www.southcoastukes.com/013.htm


They say differently old bean.

Have a dekko at Dr Bekken on the vid , he might just change your mind.

gregmchugh
05-10-2015, 03:43 AM
The Eddie Freeman special strings are not standard guitar tuning, they have moved some of the strings up an octave to get good resonance on a uke sized body. The Doctor does make them sound great with his great playing in that video.

tbeltrans
05-10-2015, 03:43 AM
I have a Kanilea GL6-D, which they call a "Guitarlele". I got that on Craig's List at a substantial discount even though it is in mint condition. I almost wreck it by putting the wrong strings on it (not steel, but not the ones intended for it). Luckily I took them off before any real damage happened, and then took it to a local guitar repair person I have known and trusted for the past 20 years or so. He checked it out and said it was fine. So one thing, at least about the model I have, be careful what you string it with.

For me, the Guitarlele is another instrument entirely. I know it really is like a guitar capoed at the 5th fret, but I treat it as another instrument. I can't say I have been playing it much, instead focusing on the ukulele. However, the way I want to approach the Guitarlele is like a ukulele with two more strings. So I am focusing on getting better at the ukulele and then I will start playing around the the Guitarlele. The only reason I bought it is because I got it at an exceptional price from a local guy who seems to buy this stuff, get tired of it, and flip it. There are people like that, and they do a world of good for the rest of us. :)

I have to say that this instrument is gorgeous, being the Deluxe model of an already expensive (at least, to me) model. I got it just a few weeks after having gotten my two ukuleles. All three instruments came with decent hard shell cases. It all happened fast, getting my two ukuleles and then the Guitarlele, and then it was over. I have not gotten another ukulele or Guitarlele, or even another guitar, since.

For fingerstyle solo playing, I am really liking the ukulele because the approach (for me) is so clear. I play the melody and then grab whatever parts of the chord are available under it. It is (for me) more about knowing the notes on the fretboard than memorizing a bunch of chord forms). It could just be a third or maybe a fifth, or some other chord element or color tone, or maybe two notes with the melody. On the ukulele, it all sounds good and seems a lot less "thinking" than the guitar. I want the Guitarlele to be like that, but with the option of putting a bass line under all that, keeping it really simple.

In hindsight, I really wish I had approached the guitar like this. It is hard to "unlearn" all those memorized chord forms on the guitar and start over.

Tony

gregmchugh
05-10-2015, 03:57 AM
keep in mind that there are two sizes of guilele being discussed here...

The tenor scale Guileles from Yamaha, Kala, Cordoba, etc., that have the proportions of a tenor uke with the 2 added strings.

The baritone scale Guileles from Kanilea, Islander, Cordoba Mini, etc. that in most cases in addition to the longer scale length also seem to have a wider fingerboard similar to a classical guitar.

CeeJay
05-10-2015, 04:11 AM
The Eddie Freeman special strings are not standard guitar tuning, they have moved some of the strings up an octave to get good resonance on a uke sized body. The Doctor does make them sound great with his great playing in that video.

Yessssss , granted ....however .... they are EADGBE....or to use my little button again..... 'EAD 'GBE so that you can use standard guitar chordings . So that the G shape is a G ....even if a slightle re-entrant version of it .

I see where I may not be totally clear (in my own head as much as any where else )...the strings ARE tuned EADGBE , however ,in a reentrant manner. I presume the bass strings are lighter and tune up to keep tension and the GBE strings are of a similar dimension to "ordinary" uke strings to avoid the boinginess that Kissing refers to .

I actually recall a mate of mine tuning a travel guitar that was supposed to be A to a to E to e ....if we had six arrows we could have made the first 6 shooter bow and arrows ..it was truly dreadful sounding ..


What are they for ?....Whatever you want

gregmchugh
05-10-2015, 04:19 AM
I agree with CeeJay, they seem to be many things for many uses, configured in different ways for different preferences...

tbeltrans
05-10-2015, 04:22 AM
keep in mind that there are two sizes of guilele being discussed here...

The tenor scale Guileles from Yamaha, Kala, Cordoba, etc., that have the proportions of a tenor uke with the 2 added strings.

The baritone scale Guileles from Kanilea, Islander, Cordoba Mini, etc. that in most cases in addition to the longer scale length also seem to have a wider fingerboard similar to a classical guitar.

That is interesting. I learn something new every day.

Tony

Rakelele
05-10-2015, 05:13 AM
The point of a Guilele / Guitalele / Guitarlele (or now sometimes referred to as "Kiku") is expressed perfectly by its name: It's a crossover for both Guitar and Ukulele players. To me, Guitars were always too big and too loud for just playing at home, so a Guitalele tuned ADGCEA is just right for having that sweet Ukulele sound with two additional bass strings.

I have the Islander which is the same size as the Kanilea GL6, a supertenor body with a baritone scale. Given their price, I think they're made fairly nice (though not nearly as nice as the Kanilea, of course). Soundwise, I guess the Islander is pretty close.

As others have mentioned, Cordoba just released a line of "Mini" models which have similar specs like the Islander and appear to be a great value, since the folks at HMS are raving about them, so you might want to take those into your considerations.

If I had to choose a Guitalele again, however, I'd go for a smaller model (i.e. Tenor size). I know others have praised the wider fretboards on the Islander / Cordoba, but to me, they're too wide and almost hurt my fingers.

CeeJay
05-10-2015, 07:36 AM
This is what I do with mine ...well I've only had it since Tuesday afternoon ...be gentle...



http://youtu.be/DcMqLkyaj5U

itsme
05-10-2015, 07:51 AM
Yessssss , granted ....however .... they are EADGBE....or to use my little button again..... 'EAD 'GBE so that you can use standard guitar chordings . So that the G shape is a G ....even if a slightle re-entrant version of it .
That's all fine and dandy if all you want to do is strum chords. Who cares what octave the notes are?


I see where I may not be totally clear (in my own head as much as any where else )...the strings ARE tuned EADGBE , however ,in a reentrant manner.
And that is where it falls apart for fingerpicking like a classical guitar. Certain notes will randomly be in the wrong octave.


I actually recall a mate of mine tuning a travel guitar that was supposed to be A to a to E to e ....if we had six arrows we could have made the first 6 shooter bow and arrows ..it was truly dreadful sounding ..
I believe that was kissing's point about the tension when trying to tune a Guitalele like a guitar.

I am content to play my A to a Guitalele like a guitar, reading from standard CG notation. I just know I'm not playing in the same key as written.

Booli
05-10-2015, 08:33 AM
FYI- as far as standard tuning of EADGBE in the same octave as a normal scale guitar (24.75" Gibson, 25.5" Fender & most classical nylon), La Bella has a string set in their "fractional series", model #FG114, which is supposed to give the standard tuning, in the proper octave on a 17" scale length, which La Bella considers a 'fractional' 1/4-sized guitar.

La Bella also makes sets for 'fractional' 1/2-sized guitar, which they consider ~20" scale length called FG112, and another set each for 7/8 or 3/4 sizes.

I've not tried these strings yet myself on my Yamaha GL-1 (which I bought before ever owning/playing any ukuleles), so I'm not sure how floppy they might be. I find the 45mm nut width on the GL-1 to be quite cramped, and as such, play it very little now, and I am looking forward to trying out the new Cordoba Mini with it's 50mm/1.96" nut width to see if that's more comfortable for me.

These La Bella strings are available at almost every string seller I've found online, but if not under the 'classical guitar' section, the might be under 'specialty sets' or 'student sets'...YMMV

CeeJay
05-10-2015, 09:04 AM
That's all fine and dandy if all you want to do is strum chords. Who cares what octave the notes are? *


And that is where it falls apart for fingerpicking like a classical guitar. Certain notes will randomly be in the wrong octave.


I believe that was kissing's point about the tension when trying to tune a Guitalele like a guitar.

I am content to play my A to a Guitalele like a guitar, reading from standard CG notation. I just know I'm not playing in the same key as written.

Well jolly good for you.

You seem to forget though:

You're not the only one who can read the dots, or transpose them...why not play them as written ?

The OP's question was "can" the thing be tuned EADGBE...the answer is yes ,after a fashion.

And I did not disagree with Kissing, I merely indicated via a link that Southcoast Ukes had a set of strings that could.

I also actually endorsed the point that Kissing made about the string lack of tension.

Have I somehow upset you?

Again ?

Booli
05-10-2015, 09:21 AM
This is what I do with mine ...well I've only had it since Tuesday afternoon ...be gentle...

Thanks for sharing CeeJay. How do you like the Kala model?

gregmchugh
05-10-2015, 09:30 AM
Cordoba is currently delivering the Mini with the same set of Aquila Guilele strings used on their
tenor sized Guilele with a-a linear uke tuning. They are planning to release Mini specific Aquila string sets this summer for both e-e standard guitar tuning and for a-a linear uke tuning designed for the longer baritone scale length. One off the shelf option that should work fine on the Mini is the Kanilea GL6 string set used on the Kanilea and Islander. There are other options if course using individual strings from classical guitar sets and uke sets.

gregmchugh
05-10-2015, 09:35 AM
This video by camsuke shows the nice sound and playing of the Islander Baritone Guilele using Aquila strings chosen to get a DADGAD type tuning. This video sparked my interest in getting a Mini.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=x3z6VWz5YPc

CeeJay
05-10-2015, 09:39 AM
Thanks for sharing CeeJay. How do you like the Kala model?

It's growing on me very quickly . I think it will become my go to for Blues and composing..

tbeltrans
05-10-2015, 10:17 AM
This video by camsuke shows the nice sound and playing of the Islander Baritone Guilele using Aquila strings chosen to get a DADGAD type tuning. This video sparked my interest in getting a Mini.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=x3z6VWz5YPc

That Islander looks a lot like my Kanilea, and both are apparently called the GL6. Are the same, two different makers that coincidentally made the same thing, or ... ?

Edit: If I didn't already have one of these, I would probably want to get one after seeing this video. :)

Tony

itsme
05-10-2015, 10:30 AM
That Islander looks a lot like my Kanilea, and both are apparently called the GL6. Are the same, two different makers that coincidentally made the same thing, or ... ?
Islander is Kanilea's budget line.

gregmchugh
05-10-2015, 10:36 AM
Islander is the lower priced line from Kanilea and they appear to have used the same design as the original Kanilea version. All of the four K's except for Kamaka have lower priced lines not produced in their Hawaiian facilities. Pono, Opio, Koalana, and Islander are the lower priced lines. Check out the reviews at Hawaii Music Supply to see what is available.

tbeltrans
05-10-2015, 11:58 AM
Thanks for the information responses, itsme and Greg. That does make sense and I would think much of the quality of the higher priced line would be reflected in the budget lines. I have heard of Pono as a guitar maker. These guitars are well thought of, and it does seem the ukuleles are here too. I have not seen these or any of the other brands mentioned, but will keep a look out in case anybody local does carry them, just out of curiosity.

Tony

bnolsen
05-10-2015, 12:28 PM
I own the Yamaha Guitalele and the Oscar Schmidt Guitalele.
I do not like the Yamaha - the string spacing is too narrow. Makes it hard to play, unless you have very very narrow fingers or something.

The Oscar Schmidt is better - a bit more spacing between the strings.

online specs seem to say that both have the same nut width at 1 7/8"

bnolsen
05-10-2015, 12:34 PM
keep in mind that there are two sizes of guilele being discussed here...

The tenor scale Guileles from Yamaha, Kala, Cordoba, etc., that have the proportions of a tenor uke with the 2 added strings.

The baritone scale Guileles from Kanilea, Islander, Cordoba Mini, etc. that in most cases in addition to the longer scale length also seem to have a wider fingerboard similar to a classical guitar.

When is someone going to wise up and produce a tenor scale with a classical guitar fingerboard width?

Booli
05-10-2015, 12:36 PM
When is someone going to wise up and produce a tenor scale with a classical guitar fingerboard width?

I would LOVE that. best of BOTH worlds to me, as I'm primarily a tenor player. :)

2" or 50mm nut is REQUIRED for me for a 6-stringer nowadays.

strumsilly
05-10-2015, 12:37 PM
Favilla made a 6 stringer called a dulcette, based on their baritone body. I used the Labella requento strings and tuned it A...A. It sounded great, BUT, the string spacing was too narrow for my picking comfort. I also aquired one of their full size classical guitars. It sounded great and the string spacing was fine, BUT the neck was 2" at the nut and it hurt my hand to play it.I've gone back to uke only.

warndt
05-10-2015, 01:49 PM
I am content to play my A to a Guitalele like a guitar, reading from standard CG notation. I just know I'm not playing in the same key as written.

I've owned the Yamaha and Mele versions of the Guitarlele and was NOT impressed.

The baritone scale Kanilea GL-6 Guitarlele on the other hand, is on a whole different plane than the others. It is a Pro Class instrument in it's own rite. Expensive... but worth every penny. I sold ALL of my full size classical guitars in favor of this excellent smaller version of a classical guitar.

I am also content to play my Kanilea GL-6 in A to a...like a guitar. I too just accept that I'm not actually playing in the same key as the music is written. I use all of the the same chord shapes as the big classical guitars without all the bulk of a full size guitar.

HMS also sells a custom Kanilea GL6 string set, reasonably priced, and specifically meant to be tuned A to a.

Wm.

itsme
05-10-2015, 02:22 PM
I've owned the Yamaha and Mele versions of the Guitarlele and was NOT impressed.

The baritone scale Kanilea GL-6 Guitarlele on the other hand, is on a whole different plane than the others. It is a Pro Class instrument in it's own rite. Expensive... but worth every penny. I sold ALL of my full size classical guitars in favor of this excellent smaller version of a classical guitar.

I am also content to play my Kanilea GL-6 in A to a...like a guitar. I too just accept that I'm not actually playing in the same key as the music is written. I use all of the the same chord shapes as the big classical guitars without all the bulk of a full size guitar.
To be honest, I'm not that enamored with my Yamaha Guitalele and it doesn't get a lot of playing time. The neck is just too cramped for me.

But I was gifted a Cordoba Requinto (580 scale) last Christmas. I was pleasantly surprised that a <$300 guitar could sound so good. With high tension Savarez strings, it handles standard guitar tuning without any loss of "oomph" and is more manageable than a full-sized guitar.

tbeltrans
05-10-2015, 02:43 PM
I've owned the Yamaha and Mele versions of the Guitarlele and was NOT impressed.

The baritone scale Kanilea GL-6 Guitarlele on the other hand, is on a whole different plane than the others. It is a Pro Class instrument in it's own rite. Expensive... but worth every penny. I sold ALL of my full size classical guitars in favor of this excellent smaller version of a classical guitar.

I am also content to play my Kanilea GL-6 in A to a...like a guitar. I too just accept that I'm not actually playing in the same key as the music is written. I use all of the the same chord shapes as the big classical guitars without all the bulk of a full size guitar.

HMS also sells a custom Kanilea GL6 string set, reasonably priced, and specifically meant to be tuned A to a.

Wm.

Wow! I should give my GL6 more respect. I have admittedly not been playing it. Right now, I am relearning my approach to the fretboard on the ukulele and plan to expand that on the GL6. It will be some time yet before I am ready for that. I do agree that the GL6 is a wonderful instrument. It looks beautiful and sounds it too.

Tony

kissing
05-10-2015, 03:24 PM
online specs seem to say that both have the same nut width at 1 7/8"

The difference is apparent when you have the two instruments in person.
There are a few differences that make the two instruments feel different:

1. The Oscar Schmidt's nut is about 1.5mm wider, so the online specs are not entirely accurate.

1 7/8" = 4.7625 CM

According to my amateur measurements:
Yamaha: 4.7 CM
Oscar Schmidt: 4.85 CM


2. The nut slots are cut differently.
Although the nut length is similar, the slots are cut very differently.

The Yamaha slots are spaced more narrowly, leaving more space at the edges, whereas the Oscar Schmidt slots are spaced more widely, leaving less leftover space at the edges.

3. The Yamaha fretboard and bridge width remains nearly straight, whereas the Oscar Schmidt has a taper, getting significantly wider as you get closer to the bridge.


http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y121/pactio_kiss/Snapchat--41099766098798511511_zpsf81i9rci.jpg (http://s4.photobucket.com/user/pactio_kiss/media/Snapchat--41099766098798511511_zpsf81i9rci.jpg.html)

bnolsen
05-10-2015, 05:21 PM
The difference is apparent when you have the two instruments in person.
There are a few differences that make the two instruments feel different:
...

thanks for the clarification! Now if only I could find one of these local to try out. Perhaps I can manage with comparing between a yamaha gl1 and a small classical guitar at guitar center...

how much setup work did the OS require?

kissing
05-10-2015, 06:52 PM
The Oscar Schmidt comes with a good setup as far as I can tell.

The price/value was amazing.

I did replace the stock undersaddle piezo for a better quality Artec one (I do this on all inexpensive electrics) and lowered the action just a tiny bit. But the action is fine as is.

I did not like the Aquila guitalele strings. It sounds better with Savarez Hard Tensions classical guitar strings tuned up to ADGCEA. D'addario Pro Arte classical set works well too.

As an overall instrument, personally I think I would prefer a larger, baritone scale guitalele. But for the price, the Oscar Schmidt was irresistable.

Much more playable than the Yamaha (which is now just a wallhanger for me. Feels too cramped to play well).

Rakelele
05-10-2015, 08:51 PM
When is someone going to wise up and produce a tenor scale with a classical guitar fingerboard width?


I would LOVE that. best of BOTH worlds to me, as I'm primarily a tenor player. :)

2" or 50mm nut is REQUIRED for me for a 6-stringer nowadays.

Actually, the Koaloha D-VI guitalele is built to those specs: tenor sized body and scale length with a nut width of 2" (50mm), so there you go... :music:

gregmchugh
05-11-2015, 02:54 AM
The Koaloha does look like a great choice. If they came out with an Opio or Koalana version I would probably go for it. At the higher price range the Kanilea at the baritone size and the Koaloha at the tenor size both seem to be great choices.

Rakelele
05-11-2015, 03:02 AM
The Koaloha does look like a great choice. If they came out with an Opio or Koalana version I would probably go for it. At the higher price range the Kanilea at the baritone size and the Koaloha at the tenor size both seem to be great choices.

Same here, I'd go for an Opio D-VI as well. But I don't think they're gonna make that happen, not anytime soon, anyway... :(

drbekken
05-11-2015, 08:30 PM
Thanks for the nice comments in the start of this thread. I'd just like to say that I did not really like the guitalele at all, until I discovered the E to E re-entrant Eddie Freeman Special strings from Southcoast. They opened up the instrument and made it sing to me. I love it now.