View Full Version : update on my Mainland Soprano

Captain America
06-28-2015, 05:18 AM
all hog, circa 2011, a shop second.

My beef has been its thin neck (think of the Epiphone ukes from around 2000 or so) making it hard to place my thumb nicely behind the neck.

I know the take on neck thickness derives a bit from electric guitar players switching to acoustic---thin is good is the meme there. This has for some been generalized to, all thin is good. In my case, it seems to take away from good technique----I know at any rate from my days playing guitar in the band, there's a reason Hamer guitars came up with thick necks, but I digress.

I've always loved the sound. It's loud and has a good full range. I recommend the Mainlands as the Best Step Up From Intro Uke Uke to Buy.

Now, with my tendinosis, I'm having to play less. I suppose I should eat more jello, or something, in addition to exercises.

But I've decided to hell with good technique; the sound is worth it.

06-28-2015, 11:11 AM
Am I right in assuming your Kala necks are thicker? Of course, that could be because they are concert and tenor, but even so, would you say that's true?

I haven't played a Mainland sop, or many sops at all, but if I were to have one, it would definitely be a Mainland!

Another neck question, if I can ask it right... Does the neck get thicker quickly as you move toward the upper frets? My Mainland concert does not, and I like that. It wouldn't solve your problem though, if you like the thicker profile.

I don't mean to get off topic, but thanks for your help! :o

As for technique, there's something to be said when it's "good." But I figure as long as it doesn't hurt, and you take regular breaks, technique is relative. I notice mine improves as needed. When something no longer works, I find another, probably better, way to play it.

And for this soprano, have you tried a Uke Leash or similar? It would free up your left hand.

Captain America
06-28-2015, 12:52 PM
interesting point about using a strap. It might help out.

The Kala sopranos I've tried have thicker necks and I think the dimensionality is perfect for me. Necks on concerts and tenors are going to be thicker. But the Mainland soprano doesn't taper thinner toward the headstock; it's thin throughout.

This is just, of course, my taste. Martin makes necks of different dimensions to suit different players desires; different folks, etc.

I've tried Mainland concerts and tenors and think their necks are quite sufficient for me; I'm eventually likely to add a concert pineapple from there.

06-28-2015, 01:47 PM
I've found the mainland concert and tenor necks to feel and play great. Not too thin, not too thick, just about right. The tenor neck feels perfect for my size hand.

06-28-2015, 03:34 PM
I've been playing various stringed instruments for 40+ years and haven't once positioned my thumb on the back of the neck (well...for a few seconds before I said eeewww) my thumb rolls over. I find I have more control and speed ... maybe just me, but I'm me.