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Sanfe
10-25-2015, 05:36 AM
I dunno, somewhere down the line years ago, I must've read that when it comes to ukuleles, sopranos is the size. So for this, I've only paid attention to sopranos. I own a sopranino but it is not inspiring, and own a Fluke (triangle-shaped) which I think is a tenor size and requires me to stretch for certain things.

I met a guy once who was 6'2" that said that sopranos have him playing in an awkward position so he sticks to tenors. So is size mostly an issue of your physique? (I'm 5'5" on a good day.)

Just the sheer volume difference between a soprano and tenor must (all other factors being the same) have a difference in tone and response.

The compactness and portability of a soprano scream ukulele to me. Really, if I'm going to play anything bigger like a tenor or a baritone, I figured I might as well play the guitar.

mountain goat
10-25-2015, 05:56 AM
I agree. Although baritones are kinda nice for a totally different sound and playing experience and require a very different playing style. Concerts also are a nice body size in a uke- still have the bark of a sopranos but a slightly fuller, more rounded tone.

Bob-in-Alberta
10-25-2015, 06:06 AM
I've got sopranos, concerts and tenors. Each size has their own time and place. I like sopranos for the traditional sound and like a low g tenor for the fuller sound and the lower notes only obtainable from a low g string.

bnolsen
10-25-2015, 06:10 AM
I'm 6'2" with largish hands and I mostly play soprano. I do have a bari I finally started playing a couple of months ago (I use totally different material with it) and am looking to get a tenor with a 1.5" nut for reentrant picking up the fretboard. I'd stick with soprano except some chords above the 7th fret get pretty unmanageable.

Ukulelerick9255
10-25-2015, 06:14 AM
It's not just about volume it's about tone also, a tenor is much fuller and depending on the wood much warmer.

ukuleleden
10-25-2015, 06:22 AM
Agree each size has it's own purpose and voice. I started with both a Tenor and a Soprano. I found I played the Tenor most often. Therefore most of my subsequent purchases have been in the Tenor size. Concerts offer a nice balance between the two. Also, after recently playing a long neck Soprano, that configuration has grown on me too and I've been looking around for one that speaks to me the best to join my "ukulele family".

bunnyf
10-25-2015, 06:27 AM
To each his own, but for me, I've gotten rid of all my concerts and tenors. Not that I don't like to listen to tenors, I do! Seems some of the very best players choose them and they have a lovely sound but I love the tone and supreme portability of my soprano. For guitary stuff I play my baritone or tenor guitar.

igorthebarbarian
10-25-2015, 08:50 AM
I kind of agree in that Soprano is theeee true ukulele sound. I'm mostly onto sopranos now. I have a baritone for a different sound-- and a banjolele too.
I'm 6' 1" with girlish small hands so sopranos actually work well for me. I like the portability too.

ukuleleden
10-25-2015, 08:59 AM
Funny how some threads make you go back and look at things a bit closer. This one did. So I Went to my music room and uncased a soprano and started to play... 25 minutes and a big smile later, I had to come back to report that I still enjoy playing the Soprano size as much as I do the Tenors.

You mentioned size, I'm 6'2" and my big fingers work as well on the Soprano as they do on the Tenor. I noticed I may even be doing chord changes and fingerstyle picking more fluidly on the Soprano... Go figure, ha! :cool:

coolkayaker1
10-25-2015, 09:06 AM
Sopranos rule.

Tenors are louder, but that's the only "advantage" to offset their many disadvantages (heavier, longer fret spacing, non-ukulele sound, silly looking, laughable, a soundhole one can get a hand stuck in, a big fat neck like a mother-in-law, and so on).

Baritones are a different animal altogether, and concerts are in a "Jan Brady" no-mans-land that is better at nothing.

PS Anyine who says their hands are too big for a soprano does not know how to play the ukulele yet.

ukuleleden
10-25-2015, 09:19 AM
Sopranos rule.

Tenors are louder, but that's the only "advantage" to offset their many disadvantages (heavier, longer fret spacing, non-ukulele sound, silly looking, laughable, a soundhole one can get a hand stuck in, a big fat neck like a mother-in-law, and so on).

Baritones are a different animal altogether, and concerts are in a "Jan Brady" no-mans-land that is better at nothing.

PS Anyine who says their hands are too big for a soprano does not know how to play the ukulele yet.

Surely you jest....

PhilUSAFRet
10-25-2015, 09:34 AM
I have all sizes except a bari. People of all sizes, big hands, little hands, prefer one size over another. Some play them all. No one ukulele sound. Play what you like, what feels good in your hands and sounds good to your ears, regardless of size.

igorthebarbarian
10-25-2015, 11:02 AM
Haha lol- the Jan Brady of ukes - I love that


Sopranos rule.

Tenors are louder, but that's the only "advantage" to offset their many disadvantages (heavier, longer fret spacing, non-ukulele sound, silly looking, laughable, a soundhole one can get a hand stuck in, a big fat neck like a mother-in-law, and so on).

Baritones are a different animal altogether, and concerts are in a "Jan Brady" no-mans-land that is better at nothing.

PS Anyine who says their hands are too big for a soprano does not know how to play the ukulele yet.

jollyboy
10-25-2015, 11:38 AM
Total bullship, but I'm sure it was intended mainly to provoke.

Worked pretty well then.

It does seem like the OP's intention was to have people discuss the virtues of sizes other than soprano, rather than inciting out-and-out scale warfare.

I'm enjoying playing my tenor at the moment but may well go back to concert size when I next succumb to UAS. And one deciding factor will be the smallish size of my hands.

NewKid
10-25-2015, 11:52 AM
I agree with Steve that sopranos rule. No doubt about it. I have a 1920s Martin 2 complete with mojo and it's as loud as my tenors. Nothing better.

That said, tenors are my main size right now, and once in a while I'll play my baritone. One day I would like to have a Howlett Concert Vita, Earnest Concert Paddlelele, and Pohaku Koa Concert.

However, I'll never need another soprano.

Oh, and what is the OP missing? Spending lots of money buying every size of ukulele to find out that sopranos are best. That's what my buddy coolkayaker did!

CeeJay
10-25-2015, 12:02 PM
I think it all depends on what music style or genre you are playing.

I have been playing Soprano, a long time, mainly in the classic UK style of strumming . In fact didn't even know it was called a soprano or that was anything other , except a Baritone which George Harrison had . It was my first instrument and led to other stringed instruments, eventually becoming more or less neglected.

So coming to UU after coming back to an abandoned instrument was a culture shock . Finger picked ukulele ...well yes I did that ,but only as a joke, I thought, a novelty trick.....

For me the Sop IS the uke and uke music is Formby, Tin Pan Alley, Vaudeville, Old Time Music , Jug Band and similar old stuff.......but I am beginning to appreciate that it has been stretched (in size) and moulded to other styles and genres of playing .

I don't like all of them ,and in fact I seem to be pretty much out of step with many on this forum as to who and what "stars" of the Uke I appreciate. But as La Francais dit " vive la difference".

I'll take a Johnny Foodstamp over a Jake Shimabukuro thanks.

BUT I will have a go and do post concert ,tenor ...not bari...pieces so I don't dismiss them as instruments. Just prefer the plucky punchy and fast strummed Soprano.

CeeJay
10-25-2015, 12:56 PM
Coolyacker is right, sorry thst it is such an inconvenient truth. Everyone who seriously wants to play ukulele properly aspires to playing the soprano size well.

Define "properly". I dare you . Just watch as the can of worms opens . :biglaugh:

Camsuke
10-25-2015, 01:13 PM
I love all ukuleles, large or small. It's impossible for me to say that one size is better than another, each size has so many special qualities.

Ukejenny
10-25-2015, 01:18 PM
I have a soprano that I love to play, purchased from and set up very nicely by Mim.

I have a concert that I love to play, purchased from and set up very nicely by Blackbird.

Tenors are nice, but my fingers seem to naturally enjoy the soprano/concert scale. My husband prefers tenors. Each instrument has its own soul, own voice, and own feel/sound. I try not to judge anything just based on size.

Tootler
10-25-2015, 01:19 PM
My properly is (mainly) strummed accompaniment to songs. If I want to play instrumental stuff I have other instruments for that.

To say the soprano is less accurate and harder to fret seems to me just plain wrong. If anything I find the tenor harder to fret and the intonation of a decent soprano is just as good as any tenor. Agreed, tuning is more critical and this is true of any small instrument. It's perfectly possible, in fact not too difficult to tune a soprano accurately, even with standard friction tuners.

CdnSouthpaw
10-25-2015, 01:43 PM
I have one of each. I enjoy playing my soprano but I can't see that size being my go to....ever. I find the slackness in the strings on a 13" scale too lose to really dig into. When playing soprano, I have to adjust my technique for that size which I don't on concerts and tenors.

Concerts are interesting, size wise, they feel just right and hold up fairly well to my playing style, my fingers get along with the scale too. To me, concerts are perfect for uke'ing.

Tenors bring more sustain and more possibilities tonally but...they do feel more guitar'ish which I also appreciate being a guitar player before I found the uke.

Ukejenny
10-25-2015, 01:47 PM
I only play sopranos: What am I missing out on?

As for the title of your post, you are missing out on the other sizes, the other sounds, the other feels, the other subtleties in the world of the ukulele. A Blackbird Clara jumps to mind. Amazing instruments. Ukulele players who hold and play it usually have a "wow" moment before handing it back to me. Blackbird currently only makes concert and tenor ukuleles. But, if you are happy in the world of sopranos, you aren't missing a whole lot. As long as you are happy with what you are doing and hearing, it is all good.

Nickie
10-25-2015, 02:17 PM
I think anyone who doesn't try them is really missing out on the concert size. They're a great blend of the tenor and soprano sizes. There's more room on the fretboard, and a little more volume, and low end tone, without sacrificing upper end tone. Very little more weight, it fits nicely under my arm when I wanna talk with it outta my way. And I think it's the best looking size for me (doesn't make me look fat). I'm not a soprano gal, but I may try a tenor sometime soon, just to see what people are raving about (I don't play guitar so I don't get it).

strumsilly
10-25-2015, 02:31 PM
I love them all, but I play tenor the most.

Nickie
10-25-2015, 02:37 PM
BTW, I love this, strumsilly....

there is no substitute for LOVE

jollyboy
10-25-2015, 02:57 PM
I try not to judge anything just based on size.

Huzzah! :p :D :o

SteveZ
10-25-2015, 03:30 PM
I dunno, somewhere down the line years ago, I must've read that when it comes to ukuleles, sopranos is the size. So for this, I've only paid attention to sopranos. I own a sopranino but it is not inspiring, and own a Fluke (triangle-shaped) which I think is a tenor size and requires me to stretch for certain things.

I met a guy once who was 6'2" that said that sopranos have him playing in an awkward position so he sticks to tenors. So is size mostly an issue of your physique? (I'm 5'5" on a good day.)

Just the sheer volume difference between a soprano and tenor must (all other factors being the same) have a difference in tone and response.

The compactness and portability of a soprano scream ukulele to me. Really, if I'm going to play anything bigger like a tenor or a baritone, I figured I might as well play the guitar.

I've read the same "purist" argument several tmes on the mandolin boards where the argument is over which model is the "true" mandolin: flat-top, arch-top, A-style or F-style. There never is an objective answer, as there are darned few present-day instruments which haven't gone through evolutions leading to all sort of modifications and often morphing into models/types/sizes. Ukulele is no different, as its claimed Portuguese roots, technology advances and musicians' subjective musical spirit constantly demonstrate.

The Op's comment about "going guitar" is vague. Which "guitar" is "guitar?" A dreadnaught acoustic? A solid-body electric? Something in-between? Bass, six-string parlor or twelve-string folk? It all depends on genre and personal preference. Again, the "true" guitar is as illusory these days.

If someone wants to limit him/herself to one size instrument, one tuning and one genre, so be it. That's personal choice and one's right to have that choice. However, just because something is a personal choice doesn't make that something a universal truth.

CeeJay
10-25-2015, 04:07 PM
If you need a definition you are still in denial.

Sorry, what ?

That's a bit too Flower Power Hippy for me mate. It doesn't answer the question either . You said " properly ". I laughingly suggested you define properly and here is the can of worms opened and spilling ....yukkk....


Never mind.

chuck in ny
10-25-2015, 04:34 PM
this is a deceptively simple matter. in an unspoken level resonance will be pleasing or not. you play what hits your heart. sopranos are a hoot with the compact size and low string tension. they simply don't grab my heart the way tenors do. that and being a low G guy makes the larger body and higher string tension more advisable.
tenors are about right for my inner lover boy. this is about falling in love. we are all different and it's fitting that we should be attracted to different things.
we could have a more valid fight over musical preferences. i have strong antipathy to many ukulele styles. again it's about folks with varied taste and temperament and it's no business of mine what music others like.
when you see societies where they are keen to clamp down on self expression and personal freedoms and the misery they generate, you get the concept of broad tolerance of taste and opinion.

kohanmike
10-25-2015, 05:03 PM
I played guitar for almost 50 years before I started with ukulele a little over 2 years ago. My first uke without knowing about sizes was a soprano. I'm 5'10" with normal size hands, but I could not get used to the small soprano fret board. I learned about sizes and immediately went with tenor. I've been through 16, now down to 4, and find tenor size to be far more convenient, really small and light compared to any of my guitars, which I barely touch now. Then about a year ago I took up bass uke too, 21 to 24" scale so still smaller than a standard guitar and I'm loving it.

spongeuke
10-25-2015, 07:44 PM
I was well over 6' tall and have large hands and mostly play sopranos. They just sound like a ukulele. I guess it is one of those teenage mind things that got imprinted 60 years ago ago. I do play a concert because it is my best instrument (a 1943 Martin) and use a Baritone for protest songs. I tried to warm up to a Tenor but there was no chemistry in spite of it being a fine example (a Walnut Little River) I take it out and play it every couple of months but always return to the punchy sopranos. If its good enough for Cliff Edwards ….,

mds725
10-25-2015, 08:45 PM
Coolkayaker1 loves to piss people off, like those aliens on, I think, Star Trek who fed off the energy of the anger of others. It's harmless, and probably fun in some way, but don't feed the Coolkayaker1.

The statement that the "sopranos rule" is, at best, an opinion, and at worst, untrue. Suggesting that a soprano is the only ukulele is like saying running shoes are the only athletic shoes. There are also tennis shoes, basketball shoes, cleats, training shoes, etc. I would no more wear basketball shoes to a 10K race than I would use a soprano ukulele to play something that sounds better to me (yes, a subjective judgment) on a tenor.

kohanmike
10-25-2015, 08:57 PM
Coolkayaker1 loves to piss people off, like those aliens on, I think, Star Trek who fed off the energy of the anger of others. Don't feed the Coolkayaker1.

You noticed that too? I think many of us do.

Tootler
10-25-2015, 11:45 PM
If you need a definition you are still in denial. The term "properly" is a personal thing, each person has a vision when they fork out for their first ukulele, playing properley is conforming to that personal vision. If you haven't put some words and images and attributes around your own vision, and defined the term as it applies to you, you are going to live in denial and wallow around with your ukulele playing. It is only ever a can of worms when one person applies their vision of ukulele playing to someone who has a different vision.

Seems to me you're missing the point of CeeJay's comment. Properly implies doing something "correctly". What do you mean by that? Your answer above doesn't really address that. No one's in denial as far as I can see. Just a perfectly reasonable question.

mountain goat
10-26-2015, 12:05 AM
The best we can do here is to create some psycho-babble and wait for the coffee to cook.

Whoa. You sure did that brus.

pabrizzer
10-26-2015, 01:12 AM
None of my ukes are expensive.
I have all the sizes from sopranino to baritone.
I enjoy them all.
Banjo uke, guitalele.
All fun and have a character of their own.

ukuleleden
10-26-2015, 01:35 AM
This thread sort of reminds me of the Corvette club I belong to that formed "clicks" where sub-groups are divided by what generation Vette people owned. The second Generations guys, especially those who own/owned '67's said there was no need for continuation of further design as they felt that as the quintessential build. The 3rd generation guys hailed the big block 454 '69 Mako Shark design as the pinnacle of the Vette. Of course then there were those who recently purchased the latest 7th generation and hailed the performance and handling as superior to everything before and there is no need for them to ever go with anything before it again.

The truth is they are all right, but failed to realize that the attributes of each generation make them worthy and best by how they are used and enjoyed. In the same vein, I think that theory can be applied to which size Ukulele you like to play at any given moment. It's a very subjective and potentially emotional topic to some based on their degree of passion and investment into the Ukulele itself and how much it is incorporated into their life. The reality is there is a reason they all exist and practicality and tradition help keep a balance enjoyment that leaves room for everyone.

Nobody can demand which is best, best is what one prefers the most. It would be rather silly for anyone to feel they must convince others that their choice of best is a correct as the be all/end all for every other ukulele player. Isn't attempting to do that just a sign of seeking validation?

No matter the what size, brand, wood type, etc... that your Ukulele is, shouldn't it be the joy and pleasure it brings you that is paramount?

Now I am going for a drive in my '63 Corvette and I'll take both my Soprano and Tenor Ukuleles along for the ride so I can play each of them during breaks... :cool:

flailingfingers
10-26-2015, 01:53 AM
ukuleleden,
Perfectly stated. Next up: How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?; How many teeth in a horse's mouth (no fair actually counting)?

mountain goat
10-26-2015, 01:57 AM
Answer: nothing.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9qHS87L3oFA&index=28&list=PLJ2Rcszo4jjh2ue0Xi-Kas9OADnjcWYZO

keod
10-26-2015, 02:09 AM
Answer: nothing.



Thanks for mentioning Azo Bell. Didn't know about him. Amazing talent. You've made my day Jon.

CeeJay
10-26-2015, 02:13 AM
No I'm not missing the point. I am just sticking to the point of the OP. People want to talk about their sopranos and tenors in a thread that is about sopranos and tenors, that is the point.


Nah, you are still evading and ducking and diving like a cat with a long tail in a room full of rocking chairs. Got something to say ,say it.

I always say "for me" meaning that the statement is a personal .

I'm going to ask again , what is properly . How do you "play" anything "properly" which can be played so many ways?

If you mean your own preferred style ...fine ...but that's not what you said.

If I have peed you off because I said I prefer JF to JS type playing then that is silly, because we must all have preferences and likes and dislikes . JF plays a soprano in the style that I personally think is the Ukulele , the way the uke was originally played when I first heard and wanted to play it. The way and sound that I have grown up with for forty plus years ...

JS plays in a very (for ME) contrived and guitar like manner . All the fingerpicking and different sizes are interesting and valid. But,you can play that way on a guitar.

You can't get a Soprano uke strum sound on a guitar. For me ,in the uke world, the Soprano is the unique little feller because of it's bark and strum technique .

So to the OPs question if you want a definitive answer in MY humble opinion, Sod All, you've missed Sod All ,because you can't miss what you have never had .

IF you play other sizes solely and exclusively this is no denigration of that . Like Pa I have all the other sizes ,except Bari, i also play different styles and methods ....I even have a Low g on my cheapy tenor....and a guilele...I play them differently . I prefer the Soprano for the stuff that it does best .

So again,define properly . Go on , please , huh please .....:rofl::uhoh::biglaugh:I'm chuckling with you ...not AT you.

70sSanO
10-26-2015, 04:43 AM
My first ukulele was a soprano. It was a very nice uke, KoAloha, but "I" found that it did not suit my ability to fingerpick up the neck. I emphasize "I" because John King (RIP) seemed to have no issues being able to out-play and out-sound probably most of us who play larger ukuleles.

In my opinion, right or wrong, it is probably more difficult for a luthier to make an exceptional sounding and playing soprano than any other size. There is probably less margin of error.

While I don't play soprano, and am not drawn to traditional soprano strumming songs from the 20's+, I really appreciate someone who has mastered that size and can play with clarity.

John

actadh
10-26-2015, 06:53 AM
I have the majority of my ukuleles in the soprano size - 10 fret, 12 fret, and 14 fret. Love them all. But, once in a while a song works better on the concert size. My tenor was purchased because I wanted to both try that size and to have a good sounding ukulele that could withstand temperature changes (it does an admirable job of both.) But, I still love playing my little sopranos the best. I played only my tenor over a three day camping weekend, and my fingers just flew over my OXK last night once I got home - playing the tenor always helps me with playing the soprano.

PhilUSAFRet
10-26-2015, 07:19 AM
Sounds like a lot of players with small "instruments" must somehow make them seem more bigger ? :rofl:

bennyhana22
10-26-2015, 08:00 AM
You're not missing out on anything, OP!

I have an extremely 'traditional' take on this particular topic. Sure, tenor players will wax lyrically about the tone and whatnot of their bigger instruments. For me, that's not the point. the point is that it should sound like a ukulele, not a bit like a ukulele but with a modified tone and timbre brought about by having a body and neck twice the size of the design of the instrument!

Part of the reason that I only play sopranos is because that is, by its very nomenclature the standard. The challenge of creating subtlety and variation from such a small instrument, with a small scale length is part of the essence of the ukulele. So, for me, the ukulele is the soprano. Everything else is a different instrument, based on a ukulele.

Or *whispers* a small guitar...

One Pete Howlett cherry, one Toby Chennell Archtop JAzzbox mahogany. All the real ukulele I need...

;)

Ben

PeteyHoudini
10-26-2015, 02:29 PM
I prefer the soprano and the soprano sounds the best to my ears (especially on a good soprano). I wouldn't rake Steve over the coals so much. The OP was wondering if he was missing anything. Steve thought no.

I find a lot of the pro tenor players just use a lot of chunking and Spanish guitar/flamenco techniques that do sound amazing on the larger sized uke. I understand that there are some traditional soprano uke styles (i.e. Formby, Smeck) that make the uke sound unique, especially on the little uke (soprano).

I myself have also concert and tenor ukes. I do like my Martin 2k tenor a lot and have spent weeks just playing it without going back to the soprano. However, I don't play the same material on tenor as I play on the soprano. I actually find a tenor to be more difficult to play than a soprano! I just use them for different songs and purposes. The concert is much more like a soprano and it great for bringing to group jams. You are louder and still get that soprano sound.

Petey

bookoo
10-26-2015, 03:06 PM
Play whatever you want for whatever reason you want.
I play 34" scale bass guitar, standard guitars, and tenor, concert and soprano ukuleles. They are all different. When I started playing ukulele I was surprised how different fingerings were from guitar, i.e. what I could and could not do. When I got a tenor and concert, I saw the same thing. Some chords (or even just note runs), that are trivial on a soprano are impossible on a tenor and vice versa. So, are you 'missing' something? Well, maybe, but I wouldn't lose any sleep over it. If somebody only ever played tenor, they would be 'missing' something you've got on soprano. All that said, I would recommend you try different sizes just to see. It may take some time to figure out the differences, but it is definitely more than just the tonal differences.
Just my $0.02.

Sonic
10-26-2015, 03:15 PM
For me, I did own both soprano, concert and Tenor size.

Soprano is classic and tiny as most portable. Its elementary level price gave most beginner the first taste of uke (same as me :) )
Concert is comfortable and balance to play as a sitting position with picking / strumming and the tension is still easy to handle for absolute beginner. Tenor have fuller sound and projection, fingerstyle / upper neck chord holding have more spaces for fingers as advanced player. Also if you're a big guy with big hand, tenor is more comfortable to hold.

koktung
10-26-2015, 03:16 PM
Different people speaks different language, this applies to uke as well. I play soprano and tenor as well, soprano uke always give me joy due to the bright and loud sound. But it has its limitation on the number of frets. Agree with Petey , i dont really play the same material on a tenor if it sounds better in soprano. Soprano also travel-friendly as well.

Tenor is mostly used for solo as it sometimes i need a higher "GCEA" notes on fret 12 and it makes it easier to press on it. I also occasionally play concert size uke, but i don't notice big differences if compare to tenor. But i kinda of like long neck concert uke!

kissing
10-26-2015, 03:51 PM
Sopranos rule.

Tenors are louder, but that's the only "advantage" to offset their many disadvantages (heavier, longer fret spacing, non-ukulele sound, silly looking, laughable, a soundhole one can get a hand stuck in, a big fat neck like a mother-in-law, and so on).

Baritones are a different animal altogether, and concerts are in a "Jan Brady" no-mans-land that is better at nothing.

PS Anyine who says their hands are too big for a soprano does not know how to play the ukulele yet.

With me, another key factor is string tension. Soprano and concert uke tension feels just right for me.. but the typical tenor tension feels a bit too much; I find myself looking for lighter strings on tenors.

iamesperambient
10-26-2015, 03:56 PM
they all have their own sound. Soprano is the classic sound and super portable.
Concert gives you the classic sound with more volume and a little more fret room.
Tenor gives you a even more robust sound, and even more fret room to work with.
Baritone allows you to have a classic guitar tuning, or re-entrant G tuning (which sounds beautiful)
or a jumbo tenor (by getting the right strings and tuning it to gcea). they all have their place and theres
nothing wrong with owning one of each.

Ukulele Eddie
10-26-2015, 04:49 PM
Part of the reason that I only play sopranos is because that is, by its very nomenclature the standard.


Hmm. Maybe "was" the standard? The standard for how long? 99% of the professional ukulele players today play tenor. I think that's sort of like saying the Model A is the standard for the automobile.

I love soprano, so I'm not dissing on it. I'm simply questioning the assertion that the first form of something forever be held as the standard.

CeeJay
10-26-2015, 05:31 PM
Soprano was the first size. The rest followed as simply developments, for me they may as well be different instruments. Especially the way the tenors are played with a bass G string and picked like geetars.

I wonder if they have these sort of endless discussions in the bowed stringed instrument world ?

I somehow doubt it .

iamesperambient
10-26-2015, 05:35 PM
Soprano was the first size. The rest followed as simply developments, for me they may as well be different instruments. Especially the way the tenors are played with a bass G string and picked like geetars.

I wonder if they have these sort of endless discussions in the bowed stringed instrument world ?

I somehow doubt it .



total BS (no offense) kimo hussey/lyle ritz, james hill etc
all tenor uke players. Its not a different instument and not all of them
are played with a low g a lot are in fact played just like a soprano in re-entrant C. Its just a slightly longer scale and bigger body which is better for performing and also for larger people. I don't see what the big deal is there. Thats like saying an electric guitar is not a guitar, because its different from a classical guitar. its all the same instrument just as time goes on things evolve and developments are made.

CeeJay
10-27-2015, 02:12 AM
total BS (no offense) kimo hussey/lyle ritz, james hill etc
all tenor uke players. Its not a different instument and not all of them
are played with a low g a lot are in fact played just like a soprano in re-entrant C. Its just a slightly longer scale and bigger body which is better for performing and also for larger people. I don't see what the big deal is there. Thats like saying an electric guitar is not a guitar, because its different from a classical guitar. its all the same instrument just as time goes on things evolve and developments are made.


No offence taken Iames. But which part of my PERSONAL view is BS ?

The FACT that the Soprano was the original flavour and then the others came along after ?

I said that FOR ME the rest may as well be a different instrument, particularly those Tenors / Concerts that have a low string

and are played like little guitars comparative to the sparkly strummy style that the sop was played in when I first began playing.

You clearly assumed that I was dismissing or dissing them , not so ,I have concerts and Tenors. I just PERSONALLY believe that the Sop as the original IS DA Uke.

Which is what the OP queried.

Which is why your three named exponents never get listened to in Chateau CeeJay. I prefer Joe Bonamassa ,SRV and Clapton when listening to a guitar...

I'll take my Uke Soprano ....and the style that I enjoy it to hear it played in.

Jeez....Why is it on this forum that one cannot have a personal view that does not get attacked by others because it goes against the flow of the majority view?

maxmax
10-27-2015, 02:17 AM
Don't know if I'm just imagining things here, but could this also be bit of a regional thing? Looking at pictures and videos from different uke-festivals, it seems like the soprano is still the most popular size in Europe and the tenor is getting the main attention in the States (sorry I don't know anything uke-related in the rest of the world). Not sure how accurate this is, just an observation.

Since everyone else is chiming in with their favourites, I'll add that I like the sound and over all mojo of the little soprano the best. I find the concert scale a little easier to play cleanly though.

earljam
10-27-2015, 02:26 AM
I have the majority of my ukuleles in the soprano size - 10 fret, 12 fret, and 14 fret. Love them all. But, once in a while a song works better on the concert size. My tenor was purchased because I wanted to both try that size and to have a good sounding ukulele that could withstand temperature changes (it does an admirable job of both.) But, I still love playing my little sopranos the best. I played only my tenor over a three day camping weekend, and my fingers just flew over my OXK last night once I got home - playing the tenor always helps me with playing the soprano.

I'm just the opposite, when I can play it clean on a soprano, I have it down.

SteveZ
10-27-2015, 03:02 AM
tr
......

Jeez....Why is it on this forum that one cannot have a personal view that does not get attacked by others because it goes against the flow of the majority view?

It happens when folk believe their viewpoint is the gold standard and everything else is heresy. The first time I said that GCEA wasn't comfortable/convenient for me and went CGDA instead to align with my other non-uke lute-like stuff, the same thing happened.

The real thing is, does it really matter? I'm sure there's some ancestor of a 19th century Portuguese musician/sailor who argues that the ukulele is just a machete hybrid and thus not the real thing.

Instruments evolve. There was a time when frets were considered "cheatng" since most stringed instruments were made fretless, strings were non-uniform and so was tension, neck lengths varied by builder and musicians could not readily go from one instrument to another of like make due to all the variables affecting play.

Don't get me wrong. Sopranos are okay, but in the same way mandolins are in comparison to mandolas, the same way a Taylor 314 guitar is to a Fender Stratocaster. Ukulele is not a single instrument, but has evolved (just like it did from the machete family) to a title for family of instruments, just like the terms guitar, banjo, or piano. As folk go into various genres, adapting instruments to sound better in those genres has been the historical norm. No matter how hard I try, playing "Hotel California" on my 6 and 8 string tenors sounds a lot better than on my Flea soprano.

Sanfe
10-27-2015, 04:32 AM
The first time I said that GCEA wasn't comfortable/convenient for me and went CGDA instead to align with my other non-uke lute-like stuff, the same thing happened.

OMG, why didn't I think of that! I should tune one of mine to fifths too! Aren't mandolins and violins tuned to fifths? Oh wait, I still have to deal with that high-G string, and I'm too lazy to get a low-G. Still, I should try it.

I just did the math. If I tune it to EBF#C#, then my high-G string would be -1.5 steps, the C string -0.5 step, E +1 step, and the A +2 steps. I hope my top-A string can handle the +2. Alternatively, I suppose I can go EbBbF and C to save the top-A all the tension from being tuned 2 steps higher.

Cool, can't wait till I get home!

CeeJay
10-27-2015, 04:52 AM
Or you can drop the high A to a G and make the tuning open C and then play it like a 5 string banjer but with four strings using the high G as a droned or played string.......that's fun...works well on BUs but you can on a uke as well.

UkieOkie
10-27-2015, 05:05 AM
Jeez....Why is it on this forum that one cannot have a personal view that does not get attacked by others because it goes against the flow of the majority view?


Hey CeeJay, I am newer to this forum, but I have been lurking a while. I'd like to put things in perspective for you by bragging on this forum. I have been a part of several online communiities and this one is by far the most friendly and least likely to "flame" somebody than any other forum I have been on. It is an ugly part of human nature to pile on people. Overall though, this seems to be one of the friendliest places on the web. I say that now, but maybe I should re-evaluate when I say something controversial. ;-)

Trevor

bnolsen
10-27-2015, 05:11 AM
With me, another key factor is string tension. Soprano and concert uke tension feels just right for me.. but the typical tenor tension feels a bit too much; I find myself looking for lighter strings on tenors.

agreed on this. string tension is a big issue for me. I tuned my baritone down a whole step which helped some, but the action is too low. I took my concert fluke and tuned it down a whole step which seems to have helped a bit for comfort.

If I'm going to sing, I'll pull out a soprano every single time since GCEA tuning works with my voice. If I just want to pick by myself, I would like to have more options and will absolutely down tune anything else to lower string tension. I also need to work more on cutting out the death grip which really tires my hand out when I play baritone.

Sanfe
10-27-2015, 05:15 AM
I forgot I kept a Flea at work. I ended up tuning it eBF#C# because the big C string was flopping out when I tuned it down to Bb for the lack of tension. Now the top-A string is really tight.

What I really need (well not really need) is a whole new set of strings gauged for this tuning (which ain't gonna happen - I'm cheap).

But, man, this is fun! Like learning a new instrument. I was so happy when I figured out my I, IV, and V chords. Even happier when I was able to play the VIm chord.

Lovin' it!

Thanks!

SteveZ
10-27-2015, 06:49 AM
I forgot I kept a Flea at work. I ended up tuning it eBF#C# because the big C string was flopping out when I tuned it down to Bb for the lack of tension. Now the top-A string is really tight.

What I really need (well not really need) is a whole new set of strings gauged for this tuning (which ain't gonna happen - I'm cheap).

But, man, this is fun! Like learning a new instrument. I was so happy when I figured out my I, IV, and V chords. Even happier when I was able to play the VIm chord.

Lovin' it!

Thanks!

"Poor Man's CGDA" is to take a low-G GCEA set, swap the C and G, detune the E to D, leave the A as-is and you have CGDA (reentrant C) and can use all your fifths fingering.

With the Flea there is a potential problem with the low-G string. If the string is unwound, the nut slot and bridge slot must be widened (permanent fix) to accommodate the larger diamater string. If the string is wound, the string shoukd fit without any widening, but the plastic fretboard and metal-would string may result in wear marks into the frets.

Sonic
10-27-2015, 07:28 AM
I think the favour is different with each other. There are no right or wrong to choose soprano / concert / tenor.

CeeJay
10-27-2015, 07:41 AM
Nobody is saying what's right and wrong , you are correct with that , the OP asked if he had missed anything by only playing soprano.

It's only personal opinions expressed on preference for that size , and the whys and wherefores and then the "maybes" for going bigger.

Pukulele Pete
10-27-2015, 07:59 AM
Anything larger than a soprano is cheating .

iamesperambient
10-27-2015, 12:51 PM
No offence taken Iames. But which part of my PERSONAL view is BS ?

The FACT that the Soprano was the original flavour and then the others came along after ?

I said that FOR ME the rest may as well be a different instrument, particularly those Tenors / Concerts that have a low string

and are played like little guitars comparative to the sparkly strummy style that the sop was played in when I first began playing.

You clearly assumed that I was dismissing or dissing them , not so ,I have concerts and Tenors. I just PERSONALLY believe that the Sop as the original IS DA Uke.

Which is what the OP queried.

Which is why your three named exponents never get listened to in Chateau CeeJay. I prefer Joe Bonamassa ,SRV and Clapton when listening to a guitar...

I'll take my Uke Soprano ....and the style that I enjoy it to hear it played in.

Jeez....Why is it on this forum that one cannot have a personal view that does not get attacked by others because it goes against the flow of the majority view?




watch some kimo hussey videos he uses a low G tenor even has an ablum i have called 'low G' it very much has the island ukulele 'sparkle' you speak of and doesn't sound
like a little guitar. I think you need to open you mind up a little more or listen to the right player. If you play a baritone ukulele in the technique of a ukulele it will still have
the 'vibe' its all in the technique and mentality of the player.

CeeJay
10-27-2015, 02:36 PM
:uhoh:
watch some kimo hussey videos he uses a low G tenor even has an ablum i have called 'low G' it very much has the island ukulele 'sparkle' you speak of and doesn't sound
like a little guitar. I think you need to open you mind up a little more or listen to the right player. If you play a baritone ukulele in the technique of a ukulele it will still have
the 'vibe' its all in the technique and mentality of the player.

And I think you need to wind your neck in you little wanker. :uhoh::biglaugh:

I KNOW what I like and it ain't the contrived and guitar like Kimo Hussey , Jake Shake My Bureau and Jimmy Bump in the Ground...come on give me some credit for knowing my own mind I'm 57 and been playing 40 + years..

....and before anybody gets all bent out of shape at my angst and dudgeon,(whic *sigh* somebody will) this is in response to someone who has just slagged off a Linkin' Park piss take vid as the "Worst Dumbest thing I have ever seen" and another reason to "Hate Linkin Park" ..So he's a real nice guy.

http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?114721-another-reason-to-hate-linkin-park-as-a-band&p=1766139#post1766139


The sparkle I referred to was the sound of a soprano, NOT the effete and guitar like posings from the Tenor as played by the island brigade .
40 years of playing the ****ing thing I have listened to the right players. The ones that I like.

The rest are very talented but not at all of any interest to me. Get it ?

Sorry Guys ,but this gets up my nose....You folks may not like me, my playing , my posts or anything else ...that much is clear so I'll just wind my own neck in and piss off....you win ....

NewKid
10-27-2015, 03:27 PM
I like you CeeJay. I don't think one or two annoying people represent the majority, but it is amusing how "the wanker" wound you up so easily. What does that mean, "wanker?"

Like SteveZ, my tenors are tuned CGDA like mandolas, using Aquila 31Us. I love fifths tuning and I'm studying classical mandolin but with my ukes because I like the sweet sound better.

I love soprano and have a great little vintage Martin, but I mostly play my little mando/guitars.

Hope you're feeling better.

CeeJay
10-27-2015, 04:17 PM
I like you CeeJay. I don't think one or two annoying people represent the majority, but it is amusing how "the wanker" wound you up so easily. What does that mean, "wanker?"

Like SteveZ, my tenors are tuned CGDA like mandolas, using Aquila 31Us. I love fifths tuning and I'm studying classical mandolin but with my ukes because I like the sweet sound better.

I love soprano and have a great little vintage Martin, but I mostly play my little mando/guitars.

Hope you're feeling better.


Never better squire, you obviously missed the :uhoh::biglaugh:

Wanker ?...I don't know what you peeps do over there ...maybe Jerk Off ?
But the full roared ..."Yewww Wankah" is an antidote for most things that just mildly amusingly irritate. Things like the assumption that I don't know my own mind and so should go and listen to music that I don't like and go "wow". Irritating.

I also play a bit of Mando,but I do prefer it on a mando because I like the steel and brass/bronze string sound . Not Classical, but a bit of this and that .
I like to play Drowsy Maggie in folk sessions and then morph it into East of Edens Jig A Jig and then if you've got a good fiddle player with a sense of fun you can rock the pub for a few minutes....

However ,look ,much as this is fascinating ,must not because we will be accused of drifting upon the thread .

Nice to meet you NK.

SteveZ
10-28-2015, 01:25 AM
k
Never better squire, you obviously missed the :uhoh::biglaugh:

Wanker ?...I don't know what you peeps do over there ...maybe Jerk Off ?
But the full roared ..."Yewww Wankah" is an antidote for most things that just mildly amusingly irritate. Things like the assumption that I don't know my own mind and so should go and listen to music that I don't like and go "wow". Irritating.

I also play a bit of Mando,but I do prefer it on a mando because I like the steel and brass/bronze string sound . Not Classical, but a bit of this and that .
I like to play Drowsy Maggie in folk sessions and then morph it into East of Edens Jig A Jig and then if you've got a good fiddle player with a sense of fun you can rock the pub for a few minutes....

However ,look ,much as this is fascinating ,must not because we will be accused of drifting upon the thread .

Nice to meet you NK.

If folk think a soprano's fretboard is tight, try a mando with 8 steel strings. Not being a bluegrass hardcore fan and enjoying mando can be a challenge. The first time I did "Sultans of Swing" on a mando I got a few raised eyebrows.

To keep within the thread, sooranos (like mandos) are great for folk wanting less bass and more treble (yeah, poor way to say it, but it's early here right now). I've always liked a little "thump" as part of the sound.

stevepetergal
10-28-2015, 01:34 AM
What are you missing? Nothing, unless you're not making music.

ukuleleden
10-28-2015, 10:56 AM
Anything larger than a soprano is cheating .

LOL! You're so naughty...:biglaugh:

ukuleleden
10-28-2015, 11:08 AM
k

If folk think a soprano's fretboard is tight, try a mando with 8 steel strings. Not being a bluegrass hardcore fan and enjoying mando can be a challenge. The first time I did "Sultans of Swing" on a mando I got a few raised eyebrows.

To keep within the thread, sooranos (like mandos) are great for folk wanting less bass and more treble (yeah, poor way to say it, but it's early here right now). I've always liked a little "thump" as part of the sound.

I think a brilliant solution for those who want a Soprano with bit more room on the fretboard is to go the "Super Soprano" route, a.k.a. the Long Neck Soprano. A lot of decent offerings in this design out there!

Ukulelerick9255
10-28-2015, 11:55 AM
You're missing out on concerts, tenors and baritones lol

iamesperambient
10-28-2015, 03:39 PM
You're missing out on concerts, tenors and baritones lol


I love the sound of soprano currently i only own one soprano and one electric tenor
ive owned all sizes in electric and acoustic and acoustic/electric forms. I could never
decide which size i like best, i have gone through around 50 ukes since i started playing over a decade ago.
My answer is I love the ukulele in general and all of its variants, and i need more of them.

Brian W
11-02-2015, 06:58 AM
I always love these type of threads. Some of the comments are truly brilliant, and reflect how passionately people can feel about their instrument of choice. When I first started playing a couple years ago, I bought a tenor, as I thought that size would make for an easier transition from the guitar. I didn't like the feel of the added string tension--it just didn't seem natural to me, almost awkward. This is kinda funny as the string tension on acoustic guitars are so much greater. So I went down one size to a concert scale and found a happy medium. I played that instrument for a few months and started to develop UAS--quite a common of a problem for us--but couldn't justify spending more than $200 to the wife. Plus, I was also looking for a ukulele that was small enough to travel with, so I settled on an Ohana-SK35. That was it for me! The soprano is the quintessential ukulele, in terms of sound. I am NOT bashing other sizes, as they each have their place; I do think tenors are better suited for the soloist. But nothing sounds more like an ukulele to my ears than a soprano. Plus they make great traveling companions. I live on the west coast, but both my wife's family and and mine live on the east coast, so holiday travel for us is in the air. My soprano is small enough to slide under the front seat when we fly, so it is able to go everywhere with me. I do not find most chords to be difficult to play, though I did have to readjust my playing technique to account for the tighter fret spacing. But this only took a few months of practice, and now I can play comfortably up to the 7 fret...beyond that, some barre chords just don't work too well. Still I do not find that to be a limiting factor when playing songs. I later sold my concert to fund the purchase of a Kiwaya KTS-4. What a great instrument, though at some point, I hope to purchase a vintage Martin S1 or S2.

Tootler
11-03-2015, 05:59 AM
The soprano is the quintessential ukulele, in terms of sound. I am NOT bashing other sizes, as they each have their place; I do think tenors are better suited for the soloist. But nothing sounds more like an ukulele to my ears than a soprano. Plus they make great traveling companions.

Absolutely. Agreed on both counts.

I love my tenors and concerts but as you say the soprano is the quintessential ukulele.