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JustinJ
09-03-2015, 02:24 AM
I was looking at this auction on HMS for the Devine Uke

http://www.theukulelesite.com/auction-devine-tenor.html


It got me thinking, how much a player influences an instrument's sound. This is the same uke and recorded the same way. There are different tones brought out by each player.


When we read reviews of a ukulele or hear a sample, how much should that influence our decision?

If someone is an excellent player then most ukes will sound good while they play them. But here is the opposite side, if a player is average or poor, then their sound sample may not show the instrument in a favorable light.

How much does a player contribute to the sound of an instrument?

I'm beginning to think that the player contributes much more to the sound of an instrument than most people think.

whistleman123
09-03-2015, 02:37 AM
I tend to agree. I will be following this thread with great interest.

Jon Moody
09-03-2015, 02:38 AM
On an acoustic instrument, it's going to have a greater effect on the sound. How someone frets, attacks the strings, WHERE they attack the strings, how they're holding it to their body, how they phrase a line, what chords they choose to use, where on the neck they play said chords, etc.. All of those have an effect on how the instrument is going to sound.

On an electric instrument, it's still there but not to the same degree.

So yes, if a demo video of a high quality ukulele is played by an average player, it may not show the full capabilities of the instrument that it would if a very talented/experienced player did the same demo.

However, from a marketing standpoint, having an average player demo a uke may appeal to a wider audience base. A lot of times, I see threads where someone (that is a very high level) demos a product and the general consensus from the average audience is "I could never play like that" over the merits of the product in question, whereas having one of their peers demo it might make them more open to trying/buying one.

hendulele
09-03-2015, 02:53 AM
On an acoustic instrument, it's going to have a greater effect on the sound. How someone frets, attacks the strings, WHERE they attack the strings, how they're holding it to their body, how they phrase a line, what chords they choose to use, where on the neck they play said chords, etc.. All of those have an effect on how the instrument is going to sound.

On an electric instrument, it's still there but not to the same degree.

So yes, if a demo video of a high quality ukulele is played by an average player, it may not show the full capabilities of the instrument that it would if a very talented/experienced player did the same demo.

However, from a marketing standpoint, having an average player demo a uke may appeal to a wider audience base. A lot of times, I see threads where someone (that is a very high level) demos a product and the general consensus from the average audience is "I could never play like that" over the merits of the product in question, whereas having one of their peers demo it might make them more open to trying/buying one.

As someone who is an average player (on my best days), I second this! The challenge for the demo-er probably should be striking a balance between showing off the full range of an instrument and selecting a player of such great ability that the talent overshadows the uke. Tough choice, I'm sure.

Jon Moody
09-03-2015, 03:05 AM
As someone who is an average player (on my best days), I second this! The challenge for the demo-er probably should be striking a balance between showing off the full range of an instrument and selecting a player of such great ability that the talent overshadows the uke. Tough choice, I'm sure.

I think that's more of the performer's ego over anything else. Way too many demo videos end up showcasing the players chops over actually focusing on the product, and that's more on the performer not doing their job.

pbagley
09-03-2015, 03:28 AM
Great thread, so far nothing to disagree with.

One thought - a good musician can make an inexpensive instrument sound good while a beginner needs a better instrument to produce a good tone. By this I mean that a beginner will be tripped up by a poor set-up, and they will become discouraged by their failure to produce the sound they envision when playing a "beginner" instrument. That same beginner will be more inspired by a better instrument that plays easier and sounds better, and they will progress faster. Meanwhile the better and more experienced player has a pretty strong idea of what they want the make the instrument do and the poor set-up and less than optimal sounds are just a minor obstacle to their musical goal. The better player may not even realize how they are changing their approach to an instrument, they just find what sounds best and get on with the music making.

In my own musical journey I started on the same basic cheap beginner instruments that are typical for those of us who limited our initial investment. My first bass was pretty bad. When I moved up to a "new" bass I was very picky about everything, but I was especially picky about neck profile and action. I was still pretty much a beginner at this point. Years passed and I grew as a musician. I began to learn to use the wide tonal palate that the new bass offered - it was far broader than one would expect from a single pickup instrument. As time passed I had some disposable cash now and then, and I bought a sold a few basses as I explored different styles of electric bass. Eventually that "new" bass with the skinny jazz styled neck moved to the back of the stack and my main gigging basses became 5 string with chunky necks. Even my upright is a 5 string. And one day while trying various basses in a music store I found that I could play just about anything well enough for a basic rock and roll or country gig my cover band was doing - the cheap basses sounded OK enough and the high end basses no longer inspired anything new. I began to question why I owned mid-level US made gear when I could do just as well with an entry level Affinity bass. And then I realized that the journey had brought me to the point where the instrument is not the source of the music. If you take any of my basses and give them to someone else they will not sound like me. Likewise if I take someone else's bass and play it will not sound like them. No matter how much I may want to play and sound like someone else, I still play and sound like me.

Mr Monkey makes a good point on marketing. I submit that the best players can dial in a demo that will inspire a new musician instead of frightening them away. There are many music videos where I have said I could never play like that, but when I play along I play like... me. Finding your own voice on an instrument is a great joy.

I sure hope all this made some kind of sense.

CactusWren
09-03-2015, 04:25 AM
You've pretty much said it all. A lot of gigging musicians I know use very ordinary gear. Yet people will come up and want to look at the label or ask what kind of guitar it is ("Is that a 12 string guitar?"). The instrument is just a tool, and very few can tell what kind of tool you are using when listening to the final product.

70sSanO
09-03-2015, 04:41 AM
This really demonstrates what One Bad Monkey is talking about. And it also demonstrates what happens when the best of both comes together.

https://vimeo.com/136443320

While it is truly magic I really had to think about how it would sound in my hands. I have to agree, especially when it comes to high end instruments, that an average player demonstrating the instrument makes it easier to relate to as a prospective buyer.

John

JustinJ
09-03-2015, 04:56 AM
Onebadmonkey, I never thought about the demo and selling the instrument but that makes perfect sense.

pbagley, I enjoyed reading about your story of the bass. It makes you think about how many artist begin play fewer instruments the longer they play.

cactuswren, I think you're correct. The instrument is a tool and ultimately it's the user that brings something to the tool.


If the user is the one who brings out the sound in an instrument, then why do people keep buying new and more expensive instruments?

I think there is a myth that a more expensive instrument will make a person sound better. I'm not denying that when you see nice appointments or beautiful work that it does not add to the experience. But most of us buy an instrument to play it. When you play it,then you're not thinking about the way it looks.

PhilUSAFRet
09-03-2015, 04:59 AM
I notice on my better sounding ukes that I have to be more careful I use good technique. If I play sloppily, well......you know.

Jon Moody
09-03-2015, 04:59 AM
This really demonstrates what One Bad Monkey is talking about. And it also demonstrates what happens when the best of both comes together.

https://vimeo.com/136443320

While it is truly magic I really had to think about how it would sound in my hands. I have to agree, especially when it comes to high end instruments, that an average player demonstrating the instrument makes it easier to relate to as a prospective buyer.

John

Actually, no. That's a fine performance, but it tells me nothing about the ukulele in question nor does it make me want to get more information on the uke or where to buy it, which is the ultimate point of a product demonstration video.

For that to be a solid marketing tool, I'd want to see it cut in half (2+ minutes is way too long for a demo) as well as some information on the product in question. That could be done by either talking about it (again, keeping it to a minimum) or some pop-up specs on the screen.

70sSanO
09-03-2015, 05:00 AM
If the user is the one who brings out the sound in an instrument, then why do people keep buying new and more expensive instruments?

If you look at a sport like golf... why does the average player keep buying new and more expensive clubs?

I think that it is easy for someone to convince themselves that if they only had a little better equipment, they would reach their potential.

John

70sSanO
09-03-2015, 05:07 AM
Actually, no. That's a fine performance, but it tells me nothing about the ukulele in question nor does it make me want to get more information on the uke or where to buy it, which is the ultimate point of a product demonstration video.

I think I was agreeing with you. To me that playing on that ukulele is one of the best performances in demonstrating technique and the subtleties of the instrument. But at the same time I was not moved to want to buy that ukulele for the reasons you mentioned. Apart from the affordability, after spending that much, how will it sound in my living room with me playing it. In a sense, how much disappointment would I experience after I spent that much and the sound did not match my perceived expectations.

John

JustinJ
09-03-2015, 05:16 AM
Onebadmonkey,

What you said about a demo struck home the longer I thought about it. I recently started learning Classical Guitar. I had some extra money saved.

So I was seriously looking at the Cervantes Crossover I guitar.

I watched this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KOOMTHmRtso , which is a very good performance.

I started looking at the Cordoba guitars. I looked at the Cordoba Dolce which is 1/9 of the price of a Cervantes Crossover. The video that sold me on the Cordoba Dolce was this one

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sXmVW_BMLEY

He gives the information about the guitar at the bottom.
The person plays several styles of music on it. He shows you what each string sounds like. I'm very happy with my purchase.

Jon Moody
09-03-2015, 05:25 AM
Onebadmonkey,

What you said about a demo struck home the longer I thought about it. I recently started learning Classical Guitar. I had some extra money saved.

So I was seriously looking at the Cervantes Crossover I guitar.

I watched this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KOOMTHmRtso , which is a very good performance.

I started looking at the Cordoba guitars. I looked at the Cordoba Dolce which is 1/9 of the price of a Cervantes Crossover. The video that sold me on the Cordoba Dolce was this one

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sXmVW_BMLEY

He gives the information about the guitar at the bottom.
The person plays several styles of music on it. He shows you what each string sounds like. I'm very happy with my purchase.

I agree. The Cervantes video started out promising, but then turned into a performance. The Cordoba video covered a couple of styles, kept the technical abilities to a reasonable level, and focused on the instrument.

CactusWren
09-03-2015, 05:29 AM
I used to own a handful of Lie-Nieson planes. Check out some Tool-Porn!

https://www.lie-nielsen.com/product/standard-bench-planes/no.-4-smooth-plane?node=4171

Owning one of these planes is not going to make you a good woodworker. That being said, given that they come adjusted and sharpened and the cheap ones you get at Home Depot are unusable, having one will help the raw beginner. An expert carpenter may be able to get marginally better results with a fancy plane. He may enjoy having his hands on a beautifully-crafted tool during his workday.

Or--maybe he'll pick up old Stanleys from garage sales, fix them up, and spend his extra cash on more clamps. :)

drmosser
09-03-2015, 06:34 AM
I think Kimo Hussey demonstrates this phenomenon very well in the conscious effort that he makes to find "the sound" that a particular ukulele "wants to sing".

https://youtu.be/hOiNvJFDmRA

Early on in this video he shows plain vanilla strumming with very little dynamic, phrasing, or technique applied. There is little wow factor at that point in the video except for the visual appeal of this ukulele. Then he demonstrates what a player's experience and finesse can do to bring out the best that a particular ukulele has to offer. He advocates playing to a particular ukulele's strengths. However, I think Kimo's default, mellow style is one that plays well on a broad range of ukuleles. In contrast I think a strong or more aggressive and percussive style might not translate as well across as many ukulele builds and setups. I will use this rationalization as justification for having multiple ukuleles. ;)

Jon Moody
09-03-2015, 07:18 AM
I think Kimo Hussey demonstrates this phenomenon very well in the conscious effort that he makes to find "the sound" that a particular ukulele "wants to sing".

https://youtu.be/hOiNvJFDmRA

Early on in this video he shows plain vanilla strumming with very little dynamic, phrasing, or technique applied. There is little wow factor at that point in the video except for the visual appeal of this ukulele. Then he demonstrates what a player's experience and finesse can do to bring out the best that a particular ukulele has to offer. He advocates playing to a particular ukulele's strengths. However, I think Kimo's default, mellow style is one that plays well on a broad range of ukuleles. In contrast I think a strong or more aggressive and percussive style might not translate as well across as many ukulele builds and setups. I will use this rationalization as justification for having multiple ukuleles. ;)

While I think that could've easily been a 3min video or less (Kimo could've buttoned up the speaking a bit), I really like how he built that demo. The basic chords and strumming are what many people are accustomed to (as he said) and having that type of thing is crucial. Then he starts in with some more complicated chords (appealing to a more intermediate player) and then goes into playing the melody (appealing to an advanced player). While he doesn't cover a wide range of styles, he hits enough that no matter your abilities, you can get a good idea of what that ukulele will do for you.

pbagley
09-03-2015, 07:42 AM
I think that it is easy for someone to convince themselves that if they only had a little better equipment, they would reach their potential.


I did that for a long time with basses. The last electric bass I bought was because I liked the looks of it, not because it was going to propel me to any new level of musical enlightenment.

That said, drmosser commented on finding the song the ukulele wants to sing. My new Kala has a different color to the sound from my other ukuleles, and it wants to sing differently. I like the difference and I added to the collection. This will not make me a virtuoso or even the slightest bit competent on ukulele. It will make me smile. Then the Mele will make me smile. Then the Martin, and the Kamaka, and... The all sing a little differently, and I enjoy them all.

And somehow I still sound like me on all of them.

Icelander53
09-03-2015, 07:46 AM
I was looking at this auction on HMS for the Devine Uke

http://www.theukulelesite.com/auction-devine-tenor.html


It got me thinking, how much a player influences an instrument's sound. This is the same uke and recorded the same way. There are different tones brought out by each player.


When we read reviews of a ukulele or hear a sample, how much should that influence our decision?

If someone is an excellent player then most ukes will sound good while they play them. But here is the opposite side, if a player is average or poor, then their sound sample may not show the instrument in a favorable light.

How much does a player contribute to the sound of an instrument?

I'm beginning to think that the player contributes much more to the sound of an instrument than most people think.

This is true in my case. When I play a look of horror comes to the audience's faces. I think I sound wonderful however. How can so many people be wrong?

But I agree that as a entry level intermediate player I'd much rather hear someone at my level play any instrument I'd want to consider. I never thought about it before but I surely agree.

Booli
09-03-2015, 10:45 AM
This is true in my case. When I play a look of horror comes to the audience's faces. I think I sound wonderful however. How can so many people be wrong?

But I agree that as a entry level intermediate player I'd much rather hear someone at my level play any instrument I'd want to consider. I never thought about it before but I surely agree.


Maybe it's all a matter of perception vs. expectations?

i.e., if you were to see an HMS demo of Corey, and by some odd chance his playing was just plain awful, we might all think that he'd suffered some traumatic brain injury (G-D Forbid!), however when we see a 6yr-old fumble and stumble through a barely tolerable rendition of 'I'm Yours' on a uke that needs very badly to be tuned even CLOSE to the right pitch, everyone goes 'AWW, how cute!' and 'Look at that talented youngster...'

When I started typing this comment, I had a point to make, but now it escapes me...maybe someone can finish the thought for me?

I guess I'm getting old faster now. Sorry for getting lost...

Recstar24
09-03-2015, 10:55 AM
As a music classroom teacher for junior high students, we do play the uke and the students are assessed on their playing. This could be a melody line on tablature, or a chord progression, whatever it may be. There is usually a written test with it, and I call up students to my desk in the far corner and have them play their assessment while the rest are doing the written portion. I will have one uke to use for the test by my desk, so every student uses the exact same uke for all of the playing tests, in this case a mainland mahogany concert which is their class uke. In a class of about 25 kids, I swear to you, you hear 25 very different sounds. Its amazing how each kid and how they play it makes it sound so different. Even with something like a pentatonic scale, fretting hand pressure, right hand placement, nail vs flesh part when picking, etc., all influences the sound, and each kid has a different sound. Some are warmer, some are brighter, some have a fatter tone, some have more clarity and focus in their sound, its really remarkable.

JustinJ
09-03-2015, 03:23 PM
Recstar,

This is fascinating to hear. Maybe the take away from this is do not always trust the sound sample on a uke. A good sounding uke may not be the best fit and the sample with the lesser sound may be the better.

I try to purchase instruments in a store but with ukes it's difficult.

johnson430
09-03-2015, 03:47 PM
What an excellent thread this has turned out to be.
Also, Recstar's observation as a teacher who has listened to many students playing the same uke is a great "real world" observation about how the instrument's voice is influenced by different players.

Booli
09-03-2015, 05:30 PM
What an excellent thread this has turned out to be.
Also, Recstar's observation as a teacher who has listened to many students playing the same uke is a great "real world" observation about how the instrument's voice is influenced by different players.

Yes, I agree - a most excellent thread and Recstar's students are a perfect example of all the issues we are questioning here. I'm going to be mulling this over for quite some time - it's great - definitely some food for thought!

Ukulele Eddie
09-03-2015, 05:48 PM
Unquestionably the player influences the sound. And the best players quickly determine how to get the best sound out of any particular uke. I think a shining example of this is Kimo Hussey. Watch him review/introduce any uke and he does very simple things to show its sustain, how each strings blends and so on in isolation and then wraps it up with a song at the end. His songs are generally simple but his musicianship is incredible. He knows how to accentuate an instrument's greatest attributes.

Corey and Kalei are also both amazing players and two of my favorites. And, they, too, know how to get the most out of an instrument. But Kimo has the gift of gab, to boot! ;-)

AndrewKuker
09-11-2015, 01:09 PM
Actually, no. That's a fine performance, but it tells me nothing about the ukulele in question nor does it make me want to get more information on the uke or where to buy it, which is the ultimate point of a product demonstration video.

For that to be a solid marketing tool, I'd want to see it cut in half (2+ minutes is way too long for a demo) as well as some information on the product in question. That could be done by either talking about it (again, keeping it to a minimum) or some pop-up specs on the screen.

A customer kindly just sent me this to this to consider how we could improve our videos. While there are some valid points I thought this comment was a little off. This was part of a listing. For the time it was for sale the customer could see all the specs and description at the page it was selling at. http://www.theukulelesite.com/moore-bettah-custom-spruce-macassar-ebony-tenor-hula-girl-1520.html

I didn't post it on our YouTube to sell it. It's a live performance of a unreleased song on a beautiful instrument for people to enjoy for many years. Not everything I do is for marketing. With over 2,000 video sound samples on vimeo alone I want to just give examples of models as true to it's acoustics as possible. Yes, everyone's playing will bring out different tones, so it's just an idea of the tones it can get when played by someone with good technique. It's not an ego thing. These guys aren't just shredding as fast as they can. They're making music and it inspires.

As an added bonus whoever bought that uke has true demos of songs by one of the best ukulele players out there.

I agree with the OP's observation. But just saw this post and had comment. To have this performance cut short to give some sales pitch with pop ups would just be a shame. I don't want our videos to become a cookie cutter pitch, even if it did equal more sales.

Btw, we've been selling GHS strings at our store for 10 years now. A few months ago we got the new fluorocarbons, pretty good. As the "Social Media Manager" of GHS I'm betting they would want you to keep public criticism of stores that support you to a minimum. Pretty sure that's not the "marketing" they would expect out of your time.

70sSanO
09-11-2015, 01:48 PM
Andrew,

Interesting last paragraph. Will have to ponder the not so subtle message. It is not leaving me with a very positive impression of you.

John

NatalieS
09-11-2015, 01:58 PM
I am pretty shocked to see the amount of bashing going on in this thread towards HMS's style of video demos. I always look forward to their videos, because I think they go above and beyond with their reviews. How can providing a *longer* demo be a hindrance? If you don't like the length of the video, then watch the first few minutes until you get an impression of the instrument, and move on. The fact that HMS gets outstanding professional musicians to demo their available ukes (not just MBs and customs but ukes of all price ranges, I might add) is a gift to the listener. We get to see and hear some of the most talented ukulele players out there. How in the world can that be a bad thing? Yes, we may not all sound like Kalei Gamiao on a Moore Bettah, but that doesn't mean we can't appreciate the experience anyway. I can't think of any other instrument shop that provides this service to its customers.

70sSanO
09-11-2015, 02:04 PM
I have no dog in this fight. That was tremendous playing and a great uke. I just didn't appreciate the parting remarks in that comments made will impact someone's livelihood. That is pretty taboo on most every forum I've been on.

John

cdkrugjr
09-11-2015, 02:45 PM
There's a story about kayboard player Patrick Moraz (Yes, Moody Blues...) who was Yamaha's guest clinician at NAMM one year. Unfortunately his keyboard rig didn't show up, so he had to make due with stuff pulled off of the Yamaha booth.

How'd he sound? It's Patrick <deleted> MORAZ . . .he sounded Amazing

Jon Moody
09-11-2015, 02:59 PM
A customer kindly just sent me this to this to consider how we could improve our videos. While there are some valid points I thought this comment was a little off. This was part of a listing. For the time it was for sale the customer could see all the specs and description at the page it was selling at. http://www.theukulelesite.com/moore-bettah-custom-spruce-macassar-ebony-tenor-hula-girl-1520.html

Then you have my apology, because my comment was based off the assumption that the video was standing on its own. Since it was never meant as a marketing piece, then my comments are out of place, with the exception of it being a "fine performance."



I agree with the OP's observation. But just saw this post and had comment. To have this performance cut short to give some sales pitch with pop ups would just be a shame. I don't want our videos to become a cookie cutter pitch, even if it did equal more sales.

From my side, as the "Social Media Manager" any video I make for GHS has to help dealers sell strings. After all, I sell sound and there isn't a better way to do that than sound samples and videos. So, our videos need to be short and to the point, with enough information to allow players to decide if that particular set is for them, and then go to their local dealer and request them.



As the "Social Media Manager" of GHS I'm betting they would want you to keep public criticism of stores that support you to a minimum. Pretty sure that's not the "marketing" they would expect out of your time.

I hope you'll re-read my initial comment, and understand it was not meant to offend.

AndrewKuker
09-11-2015, 03:04 PM
Andrew,

Interesting last paragraph. Will have to ponder the not so subtle message. It is not leaving me with a very positive impression of you.

John

Oh please, I would never take this up with his company or anything like. It's just forum chat. It would take a heck of a lot more than that to want to get someone in trouble. I mean no harm to anyone. I was just referring to the fact that they pay him to spend time at places like this for marketing reasons. So criticizing one of your dealers over something so trivial seems a little counterproductive.

AndrewKuker
09-11-2015, 03:09 PM
I hope you'll re-read my initial comment, and understand it was not meant to offend.

Yeah, no biggie. I read things and feel the need to state my side. We're all good. I shouldn't follow all the links I'm sent. End up coming off all grumpy. lol. Have a good weekend!

hawaii 50
09-11-2015, 04:01 PM
I have seen Corey play a waterman plastic uke....he plays all the right notes(that what makes him soo good...:) ) but the waterman sounds like a plastic uke....he can not do anything about that.....

I think if you are in the market for a high end uke 6K and up.... you would want the best sound sample you could get.....and the best players give you that....it is not fair to the builder and the buyer if I do a sound sample...:) you will not buy the uke...lol

I love watching the HMS videos and I know how hard Andrew works on them..if it was easy every dealer would have some kind of sound samples.....I know that Gryphon Strings try to have one of their professional players to do their demo.....

my 2 cents

mm stan
09-11-2015, 04:40 PM
Interesting thread and while I don't approve of pubically calling out a company on a forum here goes... I'll give my two cents
when I first started playing I blamed the ukulele for my lack of abilities, it is true as you get better you can make any uke sound good.
I think HMS does its best to put out the best product possible...even going above and beyond by doing setups free and rejecting rejects
whether it and expensive custom or basic beginners model.. each uke has their own voice like human beings ....
I don't see the HMS/ukulele site videos to be any deceptive at all... andrew really tries to do the very best with his recording equipment
I'm sure a beginner may not know the difference or have the knowledge that a highly skilled ukulele player can make the ukes sound better
but, you always can message andrew for his honest opinion.. he has always been very straight forward with me in this matter and tries his best to sastify everyone
Also may I add, any ukulele, whether it be tone, looks or feel/comfort is subject to a person personal taste, you cannot generally describe this to everyone.. best is to message andrew and tell him what you're looking for ... its the only way.. good luck finding your perfect uke.. let me say this, I had to go through several ukes and spent money to find the ukes I liked... its the same for strings or anything in general.. so it was an learning experience for me and i spent money... I didn't cry over it sheesh :)

Tigeralum2001
09-11-2015, 05:26 PM
I am pretty shocked to see the amount of bashing going on in this thread towards HMS's style of video demos. I always look forward to their videos, because I think they go above and beyond with their reviews. How can providing a *longer* demo be a hindrance? If you don't like the length of the video, then watch the first few minutes until you get an impression of the instrument, and move on. The fact that HMS gets outstanding professional musicians to demo their available ukes (not just MBs and customs but ukes of all price ranges, I might add) is a gift to the listener. We get to see and hear some of the most talented ukulele players out there. How in the world can that be a bad thing? Yes, we may not all sound like Kalei Gamiao on a Moore Bettah, but that doesn't mean we can't appreciate the experience anyway. I can't think of any other instrument shop that provides this service to its customers.


+1 :cheers:

UkeInTW
09-11-2015, 05:44 PM
If you look at a sport like golf... why does the average player keep buying new and more expensive clubs?

I think that it is easy for someone to convince themselves that if they only had a little better equipment, they would reach their potential.

John

I tend to think buying expensive ukes doesnt fit the golf analogy so closely. Golf equipment always comes out with a new feature/technology that touts more control, more distance, more consistency, etc. So, the selling points are that it will help you play better.

Expensive ukes dont tout they will make you a better player. I think most buy more expensive ukes because they love the looks, the sound, the feel and playability, the uniqueness or exclusiveness. Yes, there are exceptions of people that may buy hoping it will make them a better player, but I think this would be a very small minority. I think most know a more expensive uke will not make you a better player, except for a few areas that one might make an argument for, e.g. radius fretboard may help some with bar chords, better match of the playability to what the buyer likes, and just liking the uke more, so one picks it up and practices more.

Just my opinion

Nickie
09-11-2015, 05:48 PM
Stan, I couldn't agree more. Natalie, I really liked what you wrote too. Kimo's demos are wonderful, so are Cory's. No matter which uke they play, the real salesmanship is inspiring us all to become better players, no matter what ukulele we can afford or think we're ready for. A ukulele player who gives up because he thinks he can't get better will never buy another uke.

Ukulele Eddie
09-11-2015, 05:49 PM
+1 :cheers:

I spend sooooo much time listening to HMS videos that I feel voyeuristic. It's such a great resource!!

UkeInTW
09-11-2015, 06:00 PM
I am pretty shocked to see the amount of bashing going on in this thread towards HMS's style of video demos. I always look forward to their videos, because I think they go above and beyond with their reviews. How can providing a *longer* demo be a hindrance? If you don't like the length of the video, then watch the first few minutes until you get an impression of the instrument, and move on. The fact that HMS gets outstanding professional musicians to demo their available ukes (not just MBs and customs but ukes of all price ranges, I might add) is a gift to the listener. We get to see and hear some of the most talented ukulele players out there. How in the world can that be a bad thing? Yes, we may not all sound like Kalei Gamiao on a Moore Bettah, but that doesn't mean we can't appreciate the experience anyway. I can't think of any other instrument shop that provides this service to its customers.

Totally agree. Find it a bit baffling how can one complain about the sound samples being too long? The longer the better for me, as the more sound samples to hear the sound, the better. Agree that if it is too long for someone, they can just stop listening after they have heard enough.

I personally love HMS sound sample videos. It is a great concept and very few other sites do this. They give you the best idea of the sound of the uke you can get without being there in person and playing it yourself. I have bought about 9 ukes from HMS and all based upon their listening to the sound sample videos, and consulting with Andrew and have not been let down yet.

Maybe above is a bit off topic, so to return a bit, I agree that good players can make the uke sound better. Corey and others in the HMS vids make the uke sound better than what I can play, but I still prefer to have videos done by great players, to get an idea of the potential of the instrument. And it is also a great way to hear/find out about some great songs too, which Bertrand sometimes graciously tabs out and they put out on their website. I would not want them to change a thing.

Dan Uke
09-11-2015, 08:33 PM
Andrew,

Interesting last paragraph. Will have to ponder the not so subtle message. It is not leaving me with a very positive impression of you.

John

Come on, you've been on this site for 5 years so I'm sure you are very aware how much contribution Andrew and HMS does for the uke community. We have to look at the whole body of work vs. just looking at one line and reading it the way you want.

mds725
09-11-2015, 08:48 PM
Actually, no. That's a fine performance, but it tells me nothing about the ukulele in question nor does it make me want to get more information on the uke or where to buy it, which is the ultimate point of a product demonstration video.

For that to be a solid marketing tool, I'd want to see it cut in half (2+ minutes is way too long for a demo) as well as some information on the product in question. That could be done by either talking about it (again, keeping it to a minimum) or some pop-up specs on the screen.

I have to agree with Natalie and Stan about the enjoyment I get from watching HMS videos. I actually look forward to them, and, watching enough of them over time, I get a feel for different luthiers' and manufacturers' ukulele voices. At "worst," they're extremely entertaining.

And I feel compelled to reiterate, as Andrew said, that the video did not appear in a vacuum. It was posted on a page that included an extensive description of the instrument (including specifications, I believe). As a standalone video, it features the tone of the instrument and the technique of the player, and that's entertaining, but in its life as a demo video, it was not a standalone video.

DownUpDave
09-12-2015, 12:39 AM
I have to agree with Natalie and Stan about the enjoyment I get from watching HMS videos. I actually look forward to them, and, watching enough of them over time, I get a feel for different luthiers' and manufacturers' ukulele voices. At "worst," they're extremely entertaining.

And I feel compelled to reiterate, as Andrew said, that the video did not appear in a vacuum. It was posted on a page that included an extensive description of the instrument (including specifications, I believe). As a standalone video, it features the tone of the instrument and the technique of the player, and that's entertaining, but in its life as a demo video, it was not a standalone video.

I am also in agreement with those that have positively responded about Andrew and HMS and the tremendous effort they put forth to showcase the sound of ALL their ukuleles. There were a few members here who took things out of context, got on a personal tangent and sidetracked the main point of this thread. It can happen when so many join in the discussion. But to start bashing HMS, not cool.

Sure a player has a huge influence on sound that seems only logical. But I want the very best players demonstrating the full potential of an instrument no matter if it is $150.00 or $10,000. Everytime I listen to a great player demo a uke I am inspired, not fooled into thinking if I buy that uke I will sound that good.

JustinJ
09-12-2015, 03:34 AM
Badmonkey was not criticizing the videos by HMS for their content. I'm not sure why people are saying this. He was only critiquing them from a marketing perspective and that's is all.

Andrew said this in his post that he was not interested in just marketing.

Badmonkey's point for those who did not read from the beginning is only from a marketing standpoint. If you back and read, you will see that he says that they are "fine performances" . I would not consider this a negative statement.

sam13
09-12-2015, 03:57 AM
Badmonkey was not criticizing the videos by HMS for their content. I'm not sure why people are saying this. He was only critiquing them from a marketing perspective and that's is all.

Andrew said this in his post that he was not interested in just marketing.

Badmonkey's point for those who did not read from the beginning is only from a marketing standpoint. If you back and read, you will see that he says that they are "fine performances" . I would not consider this a negative statement.

Criticizing one of your dealers (and a world class one at that) for any reason in an open forum is a CLM (Career Limiting Move), and IMHO NOT necessary nor smart for any reason at any time.

As for Andrew and his passion to provide the very best experience whether it is HMS incredible service, selection, content, quality of content videos and their amazing production ... whether they are long or short ... I applaud him for it.

Short videos leave me longing for more if I like it.

I have told him the reason I buy from him is because from seeing the level of care in everything he does I know I will be taken care of exceptionally well and I have never been unsatisfied. His videos are a supporting reason why I buy from him. Someone that professional and yes fussy about the content on his site will take care of my order.

I REALLY WANT to hear a professional play the instrument to hear its potential and if I can some day just play half as well then I will be very happy. If I want to hear what I might sound like I can play or hit YouTube ... lots of examples.

I thoroughly enjoy the videos watching them for technique, content and entertainment value.

stevepetergal
09-12-2015, 03:58 AM
Analysis from my perspective:
In a former life, I worked for years on pianos for many serious concert artists. You'd think "Hit the keys hard, it's loud, depress the keys gently and it's quiet, immeasurable levels of dynamics in-between". After all, the hammer hits the strings and the strings vibrate as they will. But, I've experienced a few performers that could not only make a piano sound far different than another performer ever could, but could even get extremely different voices out of one instrument, simply through experienced technique. (It defies logic) Imagine if they actually touched the strings, controlled the direction from which the strings were attacked, the position of the attack on the length of the string, the actual cut-off point of the strings on each note, add vibrato where needed... did all the things players of fretted instruments do with every note played!

On a fretted instrument, I'd say the player controls more than 50% of the tone. Possibly far more than 50%.

That being said, the pianists I mention are not only superior talents of enormous skill and experience, they are playing extremely high end instruments. They could surely do the same with cheap, poorly made spinet pianos, but the effect would be utterly wasted, because a junk instrument is only capable of so much, and no more. So, there's not a ukulele player anywhere that could make the old "Brand X" ukulele I threw out sound like anything but a tin can.

JustinJ
09-12-2015, 04:19 AM
I think people are taking this way too serious. Again, he said nothing bad about HMS. He only made his opinion on what a demo of a video looks like for selling an instrument.

Andrew provides a service and has a big customer base because he goes the extra mile. The point that everyone is missing is that there was nothing negative said about HMS. But to read many of these posts, it sounds like badmonkey was telling everyone these are bad videos. He did not say this. He even complimented the performances on them. So let's keep everything in perspective.

I think everybody needs to read posts before reacting. I think badmonkey is entitled to his opinion.

johnson430
09-12-2015, 05:48 AM
I think people are taking this way too serious. Again, he said nothing bad about HMS. He only made his opinion on what a demo of a video looks like for selling an instrument.

Andrew provides a service and has a big customer base because he goes the extra mile. The point that everyone is missing is that there was nothing negative said about HMS. But to read many of these posts, it sounds like badmonkey was telling everyone these are bad videos. He did not say this. He even complimented the performances on them. So let's keep everything in perspective.

I think everybody needs to read posts before reacting. I think badmonkey is entitled to his opinion.

Agree.
There can be way too much 'cherry picking' here on the UU forum.
It has happened to me; where someone reads something out of context or doesn't read the entire thread or even an entire post.
Then they post an excerpt of a post and everyone wants to go off on that post.

Please, if you are going to respond to a post try and make sure to understand the context and read the entire post or how it was placed chronologically before "sharing your thoughts on the matter" especially if it is going off topic from the OP.

When I was working on my M.A.degree, I was taught to go to primary sources if they are available. I think many on the forum should take a note from this type of information gathering.

mm stan
09-12-2015, 06:05 AM
I think this type of thread was leading to trouble, there is something called forum etiquette and respect.
This is not cherry picking to the least.. if the op thought it out and ommited the first two lines...geez

JustinJ
09-12-2015, 06:21 AM
At least most people agree that a player does impact the sound of an instrument. I've stated all that I'm going to say about the videos.

If anybody would like to discuss the player's influence on the instrument then I'll be glad to discuss it.

This thread was about how a player effects the sound. There were two good players playing the same uke. Each person brought something different out in the uke. That was my original post. It's fascinating how different an instrument can sound in different people's hands.

NatalieS
09-12-2015, 06:21 AM
Well for me, what upset me was that two HMS videos were linked and one was criticized as not giving the listener any information about the instrument, and the other was criticized for the player talking TOO much and needing to "button up" his talking. IMO, HMS can demo their instruments any way they like, and whether a specific reviewer doesn't talk, or reviews the instrument with more of a "talk story" style, I'm happy to listen either way. I would hate HMS to feel that people don't appreciate the obvious time and effort they put into their videos, along with their extensive descriptions and photos for each instrument on their site.

mm stan
09-12-2015, 06:24 AM
You mentioned HMS and a link didnt you, if that doesn't say enough... you dont get it
Yes you did not criticize, but what the two first lines implies.

JustinJ
09-12-2015, 06:30 AM
You mentioned HMS and a link didnt you, if that doesn't say enough... you dont get it

Where did I criticize HMS in my post?

Again, did you even read the first post?

CactusWren
09-12-2015, 06:40 AM
This is a perfectly legitimate topic. Don't talk about pickups. Don't talk about practicing. Don't include HMS in your post. Don't post original songs. Is someone going to get accused of not having aloha spirit now?

DownUpDave
09-12-2015, 06:50 AM
I was looking at this auction on HMS for the Devine Uke

http://www.theukulelesite.com/auction-devine-tenor.html


It got me thinking, how much a player influences an instrument's sound. This is the same uke and recorded the same way. There are different tones brought out by each player.


When we read reviews of a ukulele or hear a sample, how much should that influence our decision?

If someone is an excellent player then most ukes will sound good while they play them. But here is the opposite side, if a player is average or poor, then their sound sample may not show the instrument in a favorable light.

How much does a player contribute to the sound of an instrument?

I'm beginning to think that the player contributes much more to the sound of an instrument than most people think.


I am a huge HMS and Andrew fanboy. I also covet and own expensive custom ukuleles that I have no chance of making sound anywhere near as good as they should sound. So on the surface I am opposed to the tangent that this thread went off on.

But in my opinion it was not the fault or intention of JustinJ. If you read his opening post and listen to the video he has a very valid point. One that I share and have noticed many times. Heck "sam13" comes over to my house and plays some delicious jazz chords wiith thumb drag on my LfdM. I then grab it and play "Old Man" by Neil Young, you would think they are two different ukuleles.

JustinJ made an astute observation but this got thread jacked and seemed to go down a different road then he intended to. That's what it looks like to me anyways

johnson430
09-12-2015, 09:29 AM
I am a huge HMS and Andrew fanboy. I also covet and own expensive custom ukuleles that I have no chance of making sound anywhere near as good as they should sound. So on the surface I am opposed to the tangent that this thread went off on.

But in my opinion it was not the fault or intention of JustinJ. If you read his opening post and listen to the video he has a very valid point. One that I share and have noticed many times. Heck "sam13" comes over to my house and plays some delicious jazz chords wiith thumb drag on my LfdM. I then grab it and play "Old Man" by Neil Young, you would think they are two different ukuleles.

JustinJ made an astute observation but this got thread jacked and seemed to go down a different road then he intended to. That's what it looks like to me anyways

I agree 100%.
Also, go back and read what Recstar24 said. That was the last nail in the coffin for me. 20+ kids on one uke. What a way to observe different player's influences on the same uke.
This post was about player's influence.
In another thread I was just reading about a Kala uke and the poster said something about the player being responsible for 90% of the tone of any stringed instrument.
I am inclined to believe the same.

On a side note, it was a video of Corey playing the Pono MGT that sold me on that model. It is the only uke I play.

AndrewKuker
09-12-2015, 12:54 PM
It’s my fault. I don’t know why I felt the need to defend myself. I apologize and I know the original post has a valid thought for discussion because when I was uploading those videos I had this same conversation with Zach. Usually when we listen to samples we hear the level of the musician bringing out the quality of tones. As if, this is what it sounds like when it’s played really well. But this is a good example that it’s just one version of how it sounds at it’s best. Here we have two equally proficient players playing the same instrument and they bring out very different tones. Both fantastic, but different. As others noted, when it comes to the sound of your ukulele, the way you play is paramount.

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
09-12-2015, 01:02 PM
:cheers:
Itís my fault. I donít know why I felt the need to defend myself. I apologize and I know the original post has a valid thought for discussion because when I was uploading those videos I had this same conversation with Zach. Usually when we listen to samples we hear the level of the musician bringing out the quality of tones. As if, this is what it sounds like when itís played really well. But this is a good example that itís just one version of how it sounds at itís best. Here we have two equally proficient players playing the same instrument and they bring out very different tones. Both fantastic, but different. As others noted, when it comes to the sound of your ukulele, the way you play is paramount.


Oh just go and enjoy your BIRTHDAY !!!!!!!:cheers:

70sSanO
09-12-2015, 01:24 PM
Andrew,

In addition to having a great birthday, just keep doing what you are doing. You guys are the best. This is just a forum thread that will come and go like thousands before and after it.

Stay true to yourself and your customers.

Happy birthday!

John

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
09-12-2015, 01:31 PM
Andrew,

In addition to having a great birthday, just keep doing what you are doing. You guys are the best. This is just a forum thread that will come and go like thousands before and after it.

Stay true to yourself and your customers.

Happy birthday!

John

Best post in this thread yet. Thank you. :)

Joyful Uke
09-13-2015, 07:17 AM
While I'll never play at the level of those in the videos, one of my favorite things is to listen to the HMS videos of a wide variety of ukuleles. I'll never see most of those in person, but can get a feel for how different they sound when played well. I enjoy both the music as well as the learning experience. The specs on all the instruments are listed, with lots of great photos. Terrific source of information, and lots of fun to go through.

I'll never play like that, but it gives me a good idea of what the possibilities are, and gives me something to strive for.

johnson430
09-13-2015, 07:32 AM
Best post in this thread yet. Thank you. :)

Firstly, I have a great respect for your work.
But I have to disagree with this completely.
I will assume you were just making a friendly comment but I feel like this is an important topic and so do others.

Chuck, if you read every post in this thread with unbiased eyes and understood the assertions by the OP then the only award for "Best Post in this Thread"
would go to Recstar24 when he confirms the OP's observations with empirical evidence: 20+ players on 1 uke. And each brought something different to the instrument.

I would like to stay on topic and ask you directly:
Chuck, what is your perception of a player's influence on a stringed instrument, specifically the ukulele?

Respectfully,
Johnson

Recstar24
09-13-2015, 09:59 AM
No worries. I'm just happy to actually contribute to a thread and it be on topic :)

Nickie
09-13-2015, 03:16 PM
Andrew, belated Happy Birthday! I hope to continue to enjoy the HMS videos for a long time. Who knows, one might inspire me to buy a uke from you guys one day when I can afford something really nice. At the very least, I'm well entertained, and educated!
Four of us gals jammed at our house for 3 hours yesterday. It was neat to hear all 4 distinctly different playing styles and sounds all at once. I'm continuing to learn and enjoy!
And HMS and UU are part of that.