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plunker
06-03-2015, 03:57 PM
I have decided on an upgrade of my Kala KA-T. I have decided on a PONO tenor, most likely in Mahogany. Issue is, I feel I am getting a very fine instrument, but the quality is above my playing level. Does that sound nuts? Almost like, I should get better before I upgrade. I am about four paychecks away from pulling the plug on this endeavor. I don't expect to play better with it, but I think the sound will improve. I need a shrink?

Andy Chen
06-03-2015, 03:59 PM
If you need a shrink just cos you want Pono, I need heavy medication.

I am probably no better than you and I just ordered a custom Hive.

wayfarer75
06-03-2015, 04:01 PM
Totally normal! And in good company here!

Chopped Liver
06-03-2015, 04:05 PM
I have a baby grand piano. I am not a good enough player for a baby grand. Who cares? I love that thing! Makes playing special! I made payments for a long time on that thing.

I don't regret it one bit!

Get the ukulele! You only live once!

Tigeralum2001
06-03-2015, 04:10 PM
Truth be told, only a small fraction of us* play a uke to its full potential. I think you should buy the nicest instrument you can afford and enjoy the heck out of it.

*= people who own nice ukes

Hippie Dribble
06-03-2015, 04:22 PM
Plunk it to sawdust brother. :)

4stringsinner
06-03-2015, 04:23 PM
I just bought my Kala KA-TG and now have a Pono AT in setup at HMS. I couldn't wait 2 weeks before I had to have another ukulele. The Kala is really nice and will be my High G tenor and my Pono my low G tenor. I am a hack player at best but learning more everyday. My skills barely warrant the Kala much less a sweet Pono. But if it makes me happy to have 2 tenors then you know what? I going for the happy route. Will another uke make me a better player? Maybe, maybe not. But I'll want to play more often and that is never a bad thing. Now if I can just talk my wife into letting me get a certain Mya Moe tenor that a fellow UU member has up for sale.......;)

pritch
06-03-2015, 04:37 PM
How I look at is, we all have a use by date but most of us don't know when that is. If you want it, and can afford it, go for it 'cause you just never know.

KaraUkey
06-03-2015, 04:49 PM
The more you like it the more you'll play it. Go ahead, scratch that itch and play the heck out of it.

Adrian Ortiga
06-03-2015, 05:03 PM
Very normal indeed, i started with a noname 40$ laminate mahogany concert, then jumped into a custom made one hahaha, ill soon have 3 customs

kvehe
06-03-2015, 05:07 PM
Around here, you are normal.

vanflynn
06-03-2015, 05:09 PM
A good instrument will help raise your playing level and a Pono is a great choice.

Enjoy it

Mivo
06-03-2015, 05:17 PM
It's normal, and there are two schools of thought about it:

One says that getting the best ukulele you can afford will maximize motivation to practice and stick with the hobby when you hit a plateau.

The other advocates the "carrot approach", meaning that you'll be more motivated if you have a tangible reward to chase after or work toward to ("If I practice for half a year for at least 30 minutes every day, then I'll treat myself with a new ukulele!").

There are advantages and downsides to both ways. What works best is probably dependent on the person and can't be generalized. For me, I decided that I won't get a custom instrument, or something very expensive, until I feel I am "good enough" (I'll know when that happens!). Then again, I do have decent mid-range ukes (the tenor being a $350 model), so there is also no real "pressure" to upgrade.

I tend to throw money at my lack of skill at new things that I'm enthusiastic about, probably as some kind of compensation or self-deception paired with impatience, and it's something I don't want to repeat with ukulele playing. But everyone ticks differently. :)

Recstar24
06-03-2015, 05:37 PM
Said member will gladly include door to door drop off :)

Don't feel bad, life is short. If you think you ll enjoy it and you'll put it to good use, it's worth it.


I just bought my Kala KA-TG and now have a Pono AT in setup at HMS. I couldn't wait 2 weeks before I had to have another ukulele. The Kala is really nice and will be my High G tenor and my Pono my low G tenor. I am a hack player at best but learning more everyday. My skills barely warrant the Kala much less a sweet Pono. But if it makes me happy to have 2 tenors then you know what? I going for the happy route. Will another uke make me a better player? Maybe, maybe not. But I'll want to play more often and that is never a bad thing. Now if I can just talk my wife into letting me get a certain Mya Moe tenor that a fellow UU member has up for sale.......;)

Andy Chen
06-03-2015, 05:43 PM
Btw, we're all enablers here, so beware our advice... :D

Dwjkerr
06-03-2015, 06:00 PM
How would one determine whether or not the quality of an instrument is above, or below, one's playing level.

k0k0peli
06-03-2015, 06:24 PM
My photographic motto was, "You can never have too many lenses." (My current count is just under 250.) I am at this very moment wearing a tee emblazoned with, "You can never have too many guitars." (I only own about a dozen.) I think I will build some strange ukes when I return home from my current long road trip. Do you see where that is heading? One can never have too many [your obsession here].

Accumulating stuff is tricky. Some things are in limited supply. With some, you can buy the complete set, and be done with them. Instruments, camera lenses, Navaho rugs, etc do not fall into that category. We must impose our own limits with such stuff. Or, we indulge until we go broke. Ay yi yi.

Ukulele Eddie
06-03-2015, 06:53 PM
I have four world class instruments not because of my playing ability (which is quite limited) but because I appreciate their beauty as well as their beautiful tone. Corey could put most people to shame regardless of what they were playing with him playing a $99 uke. As a further case in point, most of the working musicians have quite affordable instruments. My personal thinking is if you enjoy it and have not been fiscally irresponsible with spending the money, then go for it.

mds725
06-03-2015, 06:57 PM
I found that getting a better ukulele (I upgraded from a Big Island Honu Tenor to a Kamaka tenor) made me a better player. i don't know if it was just because I liked the Kamaka so much I played it a lot more, having an ukulele that was better than my capabilities energized me, or the added playability of the Kamaka allowed me to successfully do things I had beens truggling with, but I know I improved. It also just made me happy.

Hippie Dribble
06-03-2015, 07:12 PM
How would one determine whether or not the quality of an instrument is above, or below, one's playing level.

I agree. An instrument is an inert object. It is not a moral compass by which we need to justify our ownership or gauge our playing abilities against its relative expense. Without a set of hands and a heart and a soul to give it a voice it will be forever silent. Whether those hands are those of a professional or a beginning amateur is irrelevant to the instrument. It will make a sound irrespective of whose arms it's in. Will it feel good to hold, to look at, to play? Will it inspire and motivate? Will it bring joy for a lifetime? How can one quantify a financial cost against such things? These are the questions we should be asking.

k0k0peli
06-03-2015, 07:29 PM
How would one determine whether or not the quality of an instrument is above, or below, one's playing level. If you are literally unable to play the instrument, then it's not at your level. (Like a 4-inch-scale uke.) Otherwise, go for it -- if you can afford it.

katysax
06-03-2015, 07:46 PM
You only live once.

DownUpDave
06-04-2015, 12:06 AM
Truth be told, only a small fraction of us* play a uke to its full potential. I think you should buy the nicest instrument you can afford and enjoy the heck out of it.

*= people who own nice ukes


Jake plays Kamaka. If one had to be at such a high level of playing to qualify to own a Kamaka the company would have been out of buisness a long time ago.

Most of us own instruments that are capable of making sounds so much better then we can ever produce.

Get it, play it, love it. Life might be short but it can be really wide. Moderation is for cowards.

plunker
06-04-2015, 12:48 AM
Thank you all. I am glad to see I am not alone. I guess I will stick with my save and play plan, and not over think this so much and have fun.

SteveZ
06-04-2015, 02:10 AM
Once on a while it's nice ti treat yourself to something. it's about the smile it brings, not the sound it makes.

DownUpDave
06-04-2015, 02:55 AM
Once on a while it's nice ti treat yourself to something. it's about the smile it brings, not the sound it makes.

One of the best lines ever.............t-shirt worthy......." It's not the sound it makes, it's the SMILE it brings". Brilliant stuff SteveZ

Icelander53
06-04-2015, 04:42 AM
Yes that sounds nuts to me. If you want it get it. I bought my Pono's long before I was "worthy" (well I'm still not) but I get so much pleasure out of them that I just keep picking it up and that's how I got better.

I most highly recommend the Cedar/hog combo strung with worth browns and a fremont low G. Wow what a great sound, even with me playing.

Mivo
06-04-2015, 04:55 AM
How would one determine whether or not the quality of an instrument is above, or below, one's playing level.

This is a good question. I think, for me, the quality of an instrument is above my playing level if I cannot hear or "really feel" a significant difference in my own playing when using the instrument whose quality is superior to the one I have. But I'm not totally satisfied with that answer. Perhaps I just like the idea that there is an upgrade path ahead of me, not already behind me.

In some ways, too, I find the idea of playing a $1500+ uke to be a little intimidating and I fear I'd mostly keep it in its case and not use it for regular practice. For my learning progress it seems better to play something that I'm not in paralyzing awe of, but that I can befriend more easily, if that makes any sense at all. It's all terribly subjective, but so far I feel that the $300-400 range is a sweet spot for me where I have a good instrument that I'm not "afraid" of playing, and where I don't feel I have a world class instrument whose beauty I'm still unable to bring out.

Icelander53
06-04-2015, 05:20 AM
I have found a way to bring out the beauty of any instrument no matter what your skill level. Use your thumb to very slowly strum all the strings. Do this with several chords. Listen to each string ring out with those bell tones. Done. Now you are able to appreciate any great instrument you want to own. I think it's just dandy to have an instrument that you have to grow up and in to.

Lori
06-04-2015, 05:32 AM
I think ukes are very collectable, and the fact you can play them makes them more interesting. My only advice about buying would center around size preference. If you are sure Tenor is the size that is best for you, then go ahead. If you start to play more difficult songs, you might need a smaller scale to reach some of the notes. Just something to consider. Your needs may change, but at least, with a Pono, resale is an option.

Lori

Mivo
06-04-2015, 05:39 AM
Yep, I see nothing wrong with someone buying the best quality instrument they can afford, and there are definitely advantages to doing that. I'm just not sure it's the best approach for me personally, but that's really just me and how I feel about things right now (in danger of becoming subject to change whenever I foolishly look at the Marketplace -- Recstar's MM is just gorgeous!).

turtledrum
06-04-2015, 05:45 AM
I am so happy for you! You are exploring a new joy, a new love. Doesn't it feel great? Welcome the new uke (s) into your heart...they'll lead the way. And the joy they'll bring you in looking at them, playing them and watching yourself grow...that's really something. So happy for you!

strumsilly
06-04-2015, 05:52 AM
My motto, life is short, eat dessert first.
If I had to do it over again, I would buy the Koaloha tenor first and skip all the inbetweens.

spookelele
06-04-2015, 06:13 AM
If you can afford it, and you want it, then go ahead.
Dying of old age is a privilege and not a guarantee.
Save enough to cover your bases, and spend the rest since you can't take it with you.

A nice instrument will make you want to play more, and playing more will make you better.
Nobody is ever as good as they want to be, but a fine instrument is a joy that will help you keep playing so you can get there.

molokinirum
06-04-2015, 07:05 AM
Heck no....you buy what you can afford!! Enjoy

Pueo
06-04-2015, 07:20 AM
My first ukulele was a Lanikai (that I still have) and after about of year of that I started wanting something better, better playability, better intonation. I chose a Pono PKT-1 Koa Tenor. I still have that ukulele as well, and it is one of the better sounding and playing ukuleles I own, and it is certainly not the most expensive one I own.

I feel getting the Pono is a good idea, it will serve you many years, mine is going on 8 years now!

In fact, I think getting the Pono saved me money, because I have played many very nice ukuleles and I often say, "But is it really much better than my Pono?" and the answer is often "No" so I don't buy it! :D

UkeJordi
06-04-2015, 09:00 AM
The only money you have is the money you spend. Go for it if it makes you happy, care lovingly for it, play it and you will get better with it. If you love the instrument then the instrument will love you back.

Ukejenny
06-04-2015, 10:24 AM
I have decided on an upgrade of my Kala KA-T. I have decided on a PONO tenor, most likely in Mahogany. Issue is, I feel I am getting a very fine instrument, but the quality is above my playing level. Does that sound nuts? Almost like, I should get better before I upgrade. I am about four paychecks away from pulling the plug on this endeavor. I don't expect to play better with it, but I think the sound will improve. I need a shrink?

There is nothing wrong with getting a quality instrument! It will elevate your playing, your interest, and may give you some confidence.

Nickie
06-05-2015, 05:01 PM
We'd wonder about you if you DIDN'T wanna upgrade.

NewKid
06-05-2015, 05:06 PM
Among the bunch of nuts that we are, you're normal.

Bagaag
06-05-2015, 05:40 PM
Excellent choice - I have both a Kala KA-T and a Pono MT. The Pono plays beautifully and sounds great without being opulent. Pono is one of the best values out there in terms of bang for your buck, so look at it that way!

UkerDanno
06-06-2015, 03:20 AM
you're obviously nuts, just like the rest of us. :shaka:

plunker
06-06-2015, 03:46 AM
you're obviously nuts, just like the rest of us. :shaka:Sounds like I am nuts, but the desire for a nicer uke is normal.

k0k0peli
06-06-2015, 03:49 AM
Normality is a mathematical abstraction. It originally meant "at right angles"; a Latin norma was a carpenter's square. Statistically, it means falling within a certain range of a distribution curve. Informally, it means one is not *too*weird. But weirdness is always relative. At a collector's gathering, the non-collector is abnormal. So besides the fact that nobody is inherently 'normal' (and experience teaches that everyone is nutz somehow) we can expect enthusiasts here to be, well, enthusiastic. We're all just normal enough.

nataraj108
06-07-2015, 06:58 PM
Great question that I have been wrestling with myself. Thanks to all of the enabling from this group...I think I have my answer.

PhilUSAFRet
06-08-2015, 12:55 AM
I think it's "normal" to be a little "nuts" anyway.

or

The two aren't mutually exclusive

sam13
06-08-2015, 03:11 AM
Yes. We are all little "nuts" .... I bought a custom Ukulele recently and do not have any ability anywhere near what one might consider to need to play it.

But nice Ukuleles inspire me to play more, and provide so much enjoyment ... so I will keep buying them.

:agree:

Doc_J
06-08-2015, 04:17 AM
Truth be told, only a small fraction of us* play a uke to its full potential. I think you should buy the nicest instrument you can afford and enjoy the heck out of it.

*= people who own nice ukes

My thoughts exactly, CJ !

kkimura
06-08-2015, 07:49 AM
Nothing wrong with being "crazy" about ukulele!

matis
06-08-2015, 11:58 AM
My observations are that you get better, much better with a better ukulele. Cause you cant get enough of the beautiful sound, the good "making" makes it often easier to put your fingers right and you exercise more, that's perhaps the most important secret. So, buy is my suggestion.