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View Full Version : What's Your Least Often Played Uke?



VegasGeorge
09-16-2015, 12:32 PM
For those who have two or more Ukuleles, tell us which Uke in your collection is least often played, and why you think that is.

For me, it's my Baritone. I think it's probably because of the traditional Baritone stringing, DGBE. I just want to play the tunes I know on my other Ukes and in the same key, and I don't like the different fingerings, it messes up my memorized melody lines, etc. I plan on re-stringing my Bari to Low G Island tuning in the near future.

MickeyD
09-16-2015, 01:42 PM
My DIY ukulele kit uke by far. Simply because I am no luthier and the materials were pretty bad. The frets were placed in so badly that even a glance at it sideways would show that a few of them were much, much higher than the others. I still haven't been able to make it playable. But I'm not sure that counts because it's pretty much wall art now. I'd say my Rubin Pocket uke, because I play tenor and that thing is tiny.

Walker78
09-16-2015, 01:50 PM
At the moment I just have the one uke, but when I previously owned 3 I would always get them all out together when I played and enjoyed switching between them, so none ever really remained unplayed. Thats partly why I like to own a few at once and when looking at a new purchase I always consider how it 'fits in' with my other ukes

Booli
09-16-2015, 01:59 PM
My least played uke is the Schoenhut 'Oak Mahogany' soprano Flea copy. After 2 months the so-called 'frets' on the vinyl fretboard were nearly completely worn down up to the 9th fret. In it's manufactured state it sounded dead and had little, if any sustain.

I could not bring myself to throw it out, so I converted it to a sort of soprano scale uke bass,or sub-octave uke tuned G2-C3-E3-A3 with a worn out set of Aquila Thunder REDS, but the intonation on those giant fat strings on a 13.75" scale is really terrible past the 4th fret, even though it is kind of a fretless now, you have to compensate A LOT with your finger positions. Now it lives in the closet.

Second to that is my $30 Mahalo U30-BK soprano, which actually sounds and plays very nice since I filed the nut slots to fix the intonation, but being a soprano (and I play mostly tenors and baritones now) is a bit tight for my fretting hand, and having only 12 frets in total is kind of a problem because there are few songs that I cannot play on it because I really need 15 frets. If I buy another soprano, I'm going to look for one with like 17 frets or more.

wayfarer75
09-16-2015, 02:06 PM
My Kala KA-S. It's really a good uke for the price, but I play the Kamaka pineapple when I play soprano because it has much better tone.

turtledrum
09-16-2015, 02:32 PM
My first uke was a Lanikai spalted mango tenor. It's beautiful and I like its sound. I usually gravitate to other ukes more, though I'm not exactly sure why. Right now, I think it may be the strings. I have Worth browns on and want to try South Coast soft mediums. Thanks for this thread; I need to make the move.

deschutestrout
09-16-2015, 02:56 PM
I try and play them all. If there's one I notice has been out of the rotation for a while, and I don't really miss it .... it gets sold or traded.

janeray1940
09-16-2015, 03:17 PM
Every time a thread like this comes up it reminds me to play my soprano, which is the most neglected of my three ukes. The other two are concerts and that's become my preferred size... for now, anyway!

actadh
09-16-2015, 03:31 PM
My least played is my vintage plywood birch Harmony with a plastic fretboard.

I consider giving it away every few months.

83477But, every once in a while there is a song that only sounds "right" when it is played on the Harmony.

cattzap
09-16-2015, 04:16 PM
I only have 1 so....

sukie
09-16-2015, 04:18 PM
I don't play my....
Hilo -- I couldn't let my friend throw it away. It's icky.
Polk-a-lay-lay -- cool to look at though
Hawaiian Ukulele Company concert -- my first one. I can't get rid of it
Plastic Flamingo soprano -- hello? It says flamingo. Gotta keep it
Lori Espanol concert -- way too top heavy and not enough frets
A really old one, brand unknown -- it's just a wall hanger. But it was a lovely gift.

I occasionally play my mainland tenor and my flea.

My Moore Bettah is my workhorse.

UkerDanno
09-16-2015, 05:00 PM
My first uke, a Lanikai Lu-11, I hardly play, it was fine to get me started and plays and sounds decent, I just have others that sound a lot better. I'll always keep it though...

bnolsen
09-16-2015, 05:07 PM
That would be my fluke. The frets on the plastic fretboard aren't as prominent as the other ones I play. Makes a difference to me for finger picking. I should probably just sell it, even though it is a nice ukulele.

k0k0peli
09-16-2015, 07:03 PM
I'll also point to (but not finger, heh heh) my first 'uke, a cheap but bright Kohala KT-STPD with built-in removable tuner -- removed, its lacuna serves as a sound port. But a gCEa soprano just doesn't do it for me any more. I more often play its cheaper near-twin KD-SPI strung with Aquila Soprano Fifths set 30U to GDae or a very similar Ohana SK-10CR (but with worse intonation) strung backwards to a#FCg. Those are my mando-'ukes. My other least-played 'uke is the small-voiced Harmonia UKLL2N baritone now tuned as a plectrum banjo to CGBd. I hope it may urge me to use that 'standard' tuning on my Orlando 5-string banjo but that hasn't happened yet. Maybe next month...

Of course all my good axes are now packed for evacuation so I find I *must* play these left-behinds. Gotta play something...

Luke El U
09-16-2015, 07:30 PM
My Lanikai LAO-T. It was one of my first ukes. Looks great, but sounds like crap. It's my beater that I leave at school to play for kids sometimes.

Mivo
09-16-2015, 09:09 PM
Right now, it's actually my best (best sounding, best workmanship) ukulele, the Barron River tenor.

The reasons for that are all somewhat silly, too.

For the most part, it's simply because of its value and uniqueness, which make me worry about bumping it into something or put it on the desk unprotected (the high glass finish makes me more cautious, though I'm not sure if that concern is even justified). So I only take it out of the hard shell case when I know I won't get interrupted and I'll be able to practice for a while.

The fact that it is in the case adds to that. Much easier to pick up the KPK tenor that is in a usually half-opened padded gig bag or the KPK soprano that sits on a side table (the soprano is also playable pretty much everywhere, I don't need to sit properly, and it is tiny). I recall reading in a guitar forum that putting a guitar into a case is a sure way to skip practicing on it frequently. That applies to me.

On a psychological level (and this is the silliest reason of them all!), I also feel that my current skill level isn't where it needs to be to do justice to such a formidable instrument, so I feel "unworthy". Too strong a word, but you get the idea. It's just the thought that I should save the experience for later when I'm a better player. I know, it's silly and backwards, because practicing on a great instrument is an excellent approach.

Finally, I sometimes get the idea I should stick to sopranos, because they are the most original of the different sizes, offer the best portability, and are the least guitar-like; when that happens, I focus intently on just sopranos for a few days, until inevitably I start missing the more mellow sound of the tenor(s) and the higher string tension (makes picking more comfortable and "feels better" to me) and focus on tenors again for a while. It seems to be an endless cycle of shifting preferences for me.

I should make that custom tenor my most played ukulele. If it collects some dings, that's okay. In the end, most instruments that are actually used will.

Shady Wilbury
09-17-2015, 12:01 AM
I rotate through all the others, but my least played is my tenor. It's not really sonically what I'm looking for from a uke.

billten
09-17-2015, 12:09 AM
Definitely my outdoor uke. What a disaster that sucker was, i know some people love them but for playing classical and early music fingerstyle is was just not happening. I ended up giving it to my 5 year old and even he got sick of how horrible the intonation was (ready set go for the flame wars :) )

Ukulele Eddie
09-17-2015, 12:23 AM
Kiwaya KS5Koa. Great uke, I am just finally accepting that a "standard sized" soprano is not something I'll ever play very often. I just don't find the body comfortable to hold.

Rakelele
09-17-2015, 12:23 AM
My U-Bass. It's such a cool instrument, but I get bored playing it by myself. The "normal" ukes all get played regularly.

sopher
09-17-2015, 12:33 AM
That would be my fluke. The frets on the plastic fretboard aren't as prominent as the other ones I play. Makes a difference to me for finger picking. I should probably just sell it, even though it is a nice ukulele.


Exacty, the black plastic frets on the black plastic fingerboard are invisible and I just don't play my Fluke.

ukulelekarcsi
09-17-2015, 01:33 AM
Same as MickeyD: my DIY ukulele. From a kit. Fun to build, like a crafts project, but doesn't sound well at all.

WCBarnes
09-17-2015, 02:13 AM
My flea. I do not mind the plastic fretboard, but the shape of the neck makes it difficult for me to fret cleanly and I tend to mute strings unintentionally.

SteveZ
09-17-2015, 02:20 AM
My Amahi C-220 concert. It's a darned good uke which I got with traveling in mind. However, the travel which would include an instrument has not happened and none is forecasted for the next year.

Anyone want to trade? Good instruments should get a lot of "exercise."

Booli
09-17-2015, 02:42 AM
My Amahi C-220 concert. It's a darned good uke which I got with traveling in mind. However, the travel which would include an instrument has not happened and none is forecasted for the next year.

Anyone want to trade? Good instruments should get a lot of "exercise."

Sorry for the off-topic post - but

Maybe the Marketplace needs a sub-section explicitly for a Trade-Exchange where we can easily hand off or pay-forward our unused instruments to other members?

Explicitly for trades.

One persons wall-hanger might actually become someone else's hum-dinger...kind of thing. Not sure where to discuss this, and I don't want to mess up the existing function of the Marketplace area.

Feel free to ignore if this is a bad idea. No worries. :)

Rllink
09-17-2015, 02:46 AM
My Waterman. It just isn't an inspiring ukulele. I think that it has a niche, but I haven't been there for a while.

SteveZ
09-17-2015, 03:00 AM
Sorry for the off-topic post - but

Maybe the Marketplace needs a sub-section explicitly for a Trade-Exchange where we can easily hand off or pay-forward our unused instruments to other members?

Explicitly for trades.

One persons wall-hanger might actually become someone else's hum-dinger...kind of thing. Not sure where to discuss this, and I don't want to mess up the existing function of the Marketplace area.

Feel free to ignore if this is a bad idea. No worries. :)

This particular string is a natural lead into identifying trade/sale-eligible instruments. would not be surprised if this string initiated several PMs to posters regarding least-used instruments.

Booli
09-17-2015, 03:13 AM
This particular string is a natural lead into identifying trade/sale-eligible instruments. would not be surprised if this string initiated several PMs to posters regarding least-used instruments.


Ahhh, you are so correct. Now, after the morning coffee has taken effect and my thinking is better, I might have thought this would be obvious. Sorry to derail the topic.

Please carry on with the normal program :shaka:

wayfarer75
09-17-2015, 03:26 AM
LOL I've gotten PMs from UUers offering ukes when I was just typing out daydreams of owning some. I don't think anyone wants my Kala (and it's my first uke, it's not leaving), but I could easily imagine getting a PM with an offer if I said I were bored with one of my nicer ukes.

HBolte
09-17-2015, 03:33 AM
My low G stringed uke gets played least.

Ukejenny
09-17-2015, 04:49 AM
My cedar rosewood Ohana, which is a ukulele I dearly love, but my Blackbird Clara gets all the attention, along with my soprano Ohana which is just darn cute and a ton of fun to play.

pbagley
09-17-2015, 04:57 AM
Which uke gets played always has it's ups and downs.
For today the answer is the Dixie Banjo Uke, the RipTide Tenor uke, and the SilverTone baritone.
Each have had their time in the sun, right now others are enjoying more attention.
In a couple of months my answer may be very different.

wrestlingmatt51
09-17-2015, 06:39 AM
Technically it's my first uke, a $10 soprano, but my least played "real" uke would be my fluke. Probably because I have another uke tuned like it that I play and it's mostly a travel uke for me. Oh and I took the strings off a few months back and still haven't restringed it...

Fleapluckin_Flapper
09-17-2015, 11:25 AM
At the moment,my Gretsch reso uke,as it's been so hot & humid I don't want to sweat all over it. Now that we're cooling down,that's about to change! I'm switching my Firebrand concert uke to Dropped D tuning as I've gotten seduced by Venezuelan Folk tunes. So that will make the Gretsch my #1 C tuned uke.

whistleman123
09-17-2015, 11:29 AM
Our local library has all 3 volumes of The Real Book fake booke series. I'm slowly copying all the tunes I want to learn, and then learning them in at least 2 keys each.

musicaldavid96
09-17-2015, 11:38 AM
My least played uke is my Kala KA-S. It was my first ukulele and a fairly cheap one. It sounds pretty good for the price and it got me started, but my new Mainland Classic Tenor (red cedar) is soooooo much better. I still play on my old soprano once in a while, but I can hardly put my Mainland Tenor down now. I want to get a long neck soprano (like the Ohana SK-30L because I like the soprano sound, but I like a longer neck) and a baritone uke (because it's different and very pleasing to the ear) in the future, but for now the Mainland is enough. I've actually been playing my ukulele more than guitar and I've been playing guitar for about 7-8 years more than ukulele. I might sell some of my guitars to buy some ukuleles. They're smaller/easier to store and I really only need 1 or 2 guitars.

kohanmike
09-18-2015, 07:14 AM
My U-Bass. It's such a cool instrument, but I get bored playing it by myself. The "normal" ukes all get played regularly.

I'm just the opposite, since I started playing bass uke with my uke group, I hardly touch my four ukes. I keep saying I'm going to take the time to just practice with the ukes, but preparing for gigs with the bass keeps distracting me.

mikelz777
09-18-2015, 07:27 AM
My Lanikai LU21-C, the one that started it all. It's a distant 3rd place behind my Ohana CK42-R concert and my Pono ATD tenor which have been getting about equal time. My plans were for me to sell the Lanikai but so far I haven't been able to do it. It has such a wonderful feel when playing it and I think it sounds excellent for a starter uke, I love it. I keep telling myself it can be my out of the house, knocking around uke but I don't really do that so it's an empty rationalization so far.

Nickie
09-18-2015, 02:04 PM
I actually just sold it.
Between the two I have left, the Kala and the Ohana, about equal play. I play one till I get tired of it, then switch. I need to have a finish put on the neck of the Kala, and may put a lo G on the Ohana.

VegasGeorge
09-18-2015, 05:26 PM
My low G stringed uke gets played least.

Now, that really surprises me! I love both my reentrant and low G Ukes, and play them about equally often. I guess the notion of preferring one over the other kind of shocked me. No criticism intended, it's just that we are so different. It occurs to me that some styles of playing seem better on one or the other tuning. Ah well, "La variété plaît."

Derecola
09-19-2015, 04:52 AM
PONO AC concert.

vanflynn
09-19-2015, 04:58 AM
A Koa laminent Mahalo soprano my dear wife bought from Hammiker Schlemmer for way too much. Lots of bling but no sing.

Of course I would never tell her that.

Chopped Liver
09-19-2015, 08:45 AM
Right now, it's actually my best (best sounding, best workmanship) ukulele, the Barron River tenor.

The reasons for that are all somewhat silly, too.

For the most part, it's simply because of its value and uniqueness, which make me worry about bumping it into something or put it on the desk unprotected (the high glass finish makes me more cautious, though I'm not sure if that concern is even justified). So I only take it out of the hard shell case when I know I won't get interrupted and I'll be able to practice for a while.

The fact that it is in the case adds to that. Much easier to pick up the KPK tenor that is in a usually half-opened padded gig bag or the KPK soprano that sits on a side table (the soprano is also playable pretty much everywhere, I don't need to sit properly, and it is tiny). I recall reading in a guitar forum that putting a guitar into a case is a sure way to skip practicing on it frequently. That applies to me.

On a psychological level (and this is the silliest reason of them all!), I also feel that my current skill level isn't where it needs to be to do justice to such a formidable instrument, so I feel "unworthy". Too strong a word, but you get the idea. It's just the thought that I should save the experience for later when I'm a better player. I know, it's silly and backwards, because practicing on a great instrument is an excellent approach.

Finally, I sometimes get the idea I should stick to sopranos, because they are the most original of the different sizes, offer the best portability, and are the least guitar-like; when that happens, I focus intently on just sopranos for a few days, until inevitably I start missing the more mellow sound of the tenor(s) and the higher string tension (makes picking more comfortable and "feels better" to me) and focus on tenors again for a while. It seems to be an endless cycle of shifting preferences for me.

I should make that custom tenor my most played ukulele. If it collects some dings, that's okay. In the end, most instruments that are actually used will.

OK, I'm sorry but I just have to say this: play the #%$# uke!

1.) I had an old upright piano that I had to bang to get a sound out of. When it finally died, I bought a baby grand. Am I baby grand material? NO! Not even close! But I love that piano! It isn't about whether we are good enough for them, but whether or not we enjoy them!

2.) My mother used to get new towels every Christmas from a friend. They were beautiful, fancy towels. She never let us use them because she was saving them for the guests. We never had guests. When she died a few years back, my brother found all of those beautiful towels dry rotted in the back of the closet and threw them out.

Don't wait til your good enough. Play that uke now and enjoy it!

OK, sermon over. :p

Chopped Liver
09-19-2015, 08:49 AM
My least played is my first one - Lanikai Concert. Why? I don't know. I paid way too much for it at a local music store that is overpriced. It had a nice sound then. Maybe because of the size of it. I am pretty petite so the soprano fits me well.

However, this thread made me dig it out of the closet. I'm going to play it and see what I think . . .

My Mainland Mango is my fav, though . . .

TheCraftedCow
09-19-2015, 08:54 AM
It is an Innominata build prior to 1955. It was purchased by my mother-in-law for her daughter when she was only 5 years old ---- for $5.00. It is a solid wood soprano. I stripped and refinished it about 5 ago years ago. We had been for 32 years before she even thought about it still being in her parents' attic. 18 months ago Becky moved on to singing and playing who knows what with The Band of Saints and Angels. Its intrinsic value far exceeds anything else in The Heard in my music room called The Chorale. Value is in the memories of the beholder.

Icelander53
09-19-2015, 10:19 AM
My Moku. That thing sucks IMO, from sound to playability. Oh why didn't I get the Ohana I was considering instead. :mad: