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Down Up Dick
01-26-2016, 03:42 AM
How many of you concert and tenor Ukers actually play "up the fretboard"? Stringbean (famous banjo player) said that the first five frets was "where the money was".

I must admit that I seldom go above the ninth fret. For one thing, I don't like the sound of the plinky high notes. And my fingers don't fit the high frets well either. I suppose a soprano would be good enough for me if it was bigger and a little mellower.

When I began ukin', I worked on chords up the fretboard, but I wandered from that study into other things. I can't even imagine why someone would have a cutout to play the frets on the Uke top.

Well, different strokes for different folks I guess. I was just wondering what others were doin'. :old:

Pirate Jim
01-26-2016, 03:49 AM
I actually head up the fretboard far more than I originally expected to. I've been learning some classical pieces and some more complex guitar stuff on my uke over the last 6 months and I'm regularly up around frets 7 and 8 - it was why I ended up getting a tenor. One of my favourite songs to play at the moment (Blackbird by the Beatles) takes me up to the 14th fret a few times!

The reason I never expected to do this was because as I guitar player I generally stayed below fret 5 - I guess now I have 2 fewer strings I need to head up there for the range.

I fully agree that you get the best sound towards the nut, though - on such a short scale you need all the help you can get with resonance.

70sSanO
01-26-2016, 04:05 AM
Almost everything I play gets me beyond the 5th fret and there are enough instrumentals that get me to the 12th and beyond.

If you are playing a melody with re-entrant tuning you really only have 3 strings of range, a little more than an octave between the 3rd string open C and the 5th fret on the A.

John

bunnyf
01-26-2016, 04:38 AM
I can't even imagine why someone would have a cutout to play the frets on the Uke top. :old:
I have a cutaway for 2 reasons only. One, it looks cool. Two, the cutaway part is right where I would normally get a lot of strum wear.

pluck
01-26-2016, 04:39 AM
When I'm playing Ukester Brown style I can play the movable chords up to "bar on 5th" pretty well but above that it sounds horrible. On melody I frequently get up to the 10th fret on the A string. On the C string the tone quality (on my soprano) drops off pretty quickly above the 7th fret but there isn't much need to play melody there anyway.

hollisdwyer
01-26-2016, 04:56 AM
When playing with my Saturday Uke group I tend to go up the fretboard to add a little variation at certain parts in certain songs (e.g. Lola, the Kinks, some of the Beatles songs, etc).

janeray1940
01-26-2016, 04:56 AM
I play above the fifth fret all of the time - but then I'm not a chord strummer, I'm a fingerstyle player. Maybe I'm making assumptions, but to me, the quote from the banjo guy seems like it could be really specific to a certain style of music - but even then that seems so limiting. I mean - you've got all those notes, might as well use them! :)

I do agree though with your assessment of the notes higher up as "plinky" - at least on a soprano, which is why I switched to concert scale some time back. If my hands were larger, I'd play tenor, because I think that sounds best of all when played in the higher frets.

As for cutaways - I don't care for the look so I've never bought a uke with one. Even though my hands are small enough to be able to comfortably fret a soprano high up, I do find a 14-fret join instead of the standard 12th-fret join is useful.

Down Up Dick
01-26-2016, 04:59 AM
I have a cutaway for 2 reasons only. One, it looks cool. Two, the cutaway part is right where I would normally get a lot of strum wear.

Two good uses for it I think, and they really do look cool. :old:

strumsilly
01-26-2016, 05:24 AM
I play above the 5th fret all the time, and I am mostly a strummer. with a low G tenor, the closed chords sound much better as that open G can be boomy. the band I play with does a lot of blues with E7, A7, B7 so I start at the 4th fret . E7=4447, A7=6754,B7=8976. similar thing in A with A7=6754, D7=5655,E7. I hope I haven't reversed the numbers, I forget which way they go.

Papa Tom
01-26-2016, 05:41 AM
Let me break the pattern here and say that I NEVER move past the 5th fret. I didn't even know there was anything there until you just mentioned it.

fretie
01-26-2016, 06:16 AM
I prefer fingerstyle playing when I'm on my own and go up the fretboard for that constantly. In a group I like to change up the sound of the common chords so I also regularly go up the fretboard with moveable chord shapes. It is fun to use the whole fretboard in this way and makes me feel I have a more intimate relationship with my uke because of it.

sukie
01-26-2016, 06:45 AM
I go all over the fretboard. It was scary at first. But it got better. In fact, it's kinda fun. (But I also fingerpick.)

Dougf
01-26-2016, 06:55 AM
Here's a little tutorial I put together a while back on moving up the neck using the minor 7th and minor 6th family of chords.

http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?116872-Moving-up-the-neck-part-1-minor-7th-and-minor-6th-chords

Rllink
01-26-2016, 07:05 AM
I usually do not get beyond barring the seventh, unless I'm just really dinking around. Which I guess means that I get a note beyond that. The reason I say that is that there are several songs that I play that have a twelve bars blues progression, and I can slide those up and down the neck, and I have fun doing it, either strumming or picking. Above that, I have a hard time getting a clean chord, especially if I'm picking. I keep just playing around up there though, because I know that sooner or later I'll get it.

Croaky Keith
01-26-2016, 09:15 AM
I have re written tabs, but still need the 12 frets on the 'A' string for some of my tunes.

(I'm thinking that I may use low 'G' so that I can 'gain' another 5 fret positions, & not have to use those upper weak sounding notes.)

Down Up Dick
01-26-2016, 09:42 AM
I have re written tabs, but still need the 12 frets on the 'A' string for some of my tunes.

(I'm thinking that I may use low 'G' so that I can 'gain' another 5 fret positions, & not have to use those upper weak sounding notes.)

I agree. I really think all who fingerpick a lot should at least try low G for the reason you mentioned. I have low 4th strings on the instruments that I fingerpick, but, of course, I prefer low tones anyway.
:old:

Beau Hannam Ukuleles
01-26-2016, 09:45 AM
im thinking of making a uke with only the first 3 frets....

Camsuke
01-26-2016, 09:55 AM
im thinking of making a uke with only the first 3 frets....

Great idea Beau, that will definitely cut production costs! Will it be a 5,7,12 configuration?

Down Up Dick
01-26-2016, 10:13 AM
Somebody else had a Uke like that, but that's all I know about it.

How about a tenor Uke with just one string? It would be easy to play if you could fret up and down the fret board very fast. You could slice cheese with it too.

It seems that our boredom with uking knows no bounds. Let's all go buy a new Uke and some strings to try. :old:

kypfer
01-26-2016, 11:47 AM
I bought my tenor specifically because I wanted to play a re-entrant tuning up beyond the 5th fret without being too cramped ... and that's exactly what happens, from Aaron Keim's clawhammer arrangements to Jamie Holding's lute transcriptions, with a few jazz/blues chord progressions thrown in for good measure :)

Brad Bordessa
01-26-2016, 12:45 PM
im thinking of making a uke with only the first 3 frets....

I've thought a fretless uke would be pretty cool to try for a while now.

Down Up Dick
01-26-2016, 03:03 PM
I've thought a fretless uke would be pretty cool to try for a while now.

Yeah, me too. I posted a thread about it, but the consensus was that it wouldn't work; that Ukes were different from violins, etc. However, people pick fretless banjos, why not ukuleles?

I guess someone will hafta have one built to see if it'll work. Somebody suggested pulling the frets off of an old Uke. I dunno . . .
:old:

Brad Bordessa
01-26-2016, 06:11 PM
Yeah, me too. I posted a thread about it, but the consensus was that it wouldn't work; that Ukes were different from violins, etc. However, people pick fretless banjos, why not ukuleles?

I guess someone will hafta have one built to see if it'll work. Somebody suggested pulling the frets off of an old Uke. I dunno . . .
:old:

Do it! I'd love to hear what happens. I don't have any destroyable spares otherwise I'd have a go myself.

Camsuke
01-26-2016, 06:39 PM
That sounds like a bit of a fiddle! boom boom.

igorthebarbarian
01-26-2016, 06:55 PM
Haha, I'm still in the beginner group I guess compared to you guys! But that's ok. I'm just here for the good vibes and the good easy chords.

Mivo
01-26-2016, 07:18 PM
I bought my tenor specifically because I wanted to play a re-entrant tuning up beyond the 5th fret without being too cramped ...

That was one of my reasons to go with a custom tenor instead of a custom other-size. Of course then I got side-tracked with the longneck, but the idea is still the same. Working on getting reliably past the 5th fret, but it's a journey! :) Right now I'm focusing on the tenor again.

Bob Bledsoe
01-26-2016, 07:26 PM
Fretless uke! I've been wondering if thats been done. Im tempted to try it. I think the slides would be cool... In answer to the OP question, I have a tenor uke and my hand is often jammed into that cutaway. I'm way up the fretboard as much as possible.

Doug W
01-27-2016, 02:18 AM
This guy made a fretless:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9kygD4JeLg0

seattle
01-27-2016, 02:55 AM
On the guitar I go up the fretboard. On the ukulele and mandolin I'm less adventurous. I'm just a casual player in any event.

Down Up Dick
01-27-2016, 03:55 AM
This guy made a fretless:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9kygD4JeLg0

Ha! So it can be done! Those other UUers were wrong, and my idea was within reason. Makes me feel good. :old:

Down Up Dick
01-27-2016, 08:14 AM
Well, ubulele, I'm not completely wrong, and you're not completely correct. AND a violin's non-fretboard is much shorter than a concert or tenor ukulele's is. If one wants to play a fretless Uke (no matter how he has to do it) and works at it, it can be done. The guy in the video apparently even sold one.

So there, old adversary, Nyah, nyah, nyah. :old:

actadh
01-27-2016, 08:35 AM
My office uke is a ten fret Zither Heaven. Really don't miss the other two frets. I rarely actually play it and if I do, I only have time for a song or two before I get back to earning my keep. It works great for finger stretching exercise or practicing chord changes when I am stuck in my office - kind of like a PocketString for ukes.

Down Up Dick
01-27-2016, 09:55 AM
Lighten up, ubu, it's not a life and death matter. If I'm wrong it won't be first time. The guy still played a fretless ukulele, but, if you want it to be impossible, I'll go along with you. Therefore . . . Darn! you're right.

Do you play all the way up to the ukulele hole on your Ukes? I seldom go above the 7th fret. :old:

spookelele
01-27-2016, 11:44 AM
Sometimes I wonder.. how much faster the world would evolve, if the people that don't would stop telling the people that do, that they can't.

kypfer
01-27-2016, 11:58 AM
Sometimes I wonder.. how much faster the world would evolve, if the people that don't would stop telling the people that do, that they can't.

Like it ... :)

I've been of similar opinion for some while, but never seen it so succinctly summarised!

Down Up Dick
01-27-2016, 03:52 PM
When I first started the ukulele with an old pineapple soprano. I started it to accompany my singing. So I learned the necessary chords and away I went. But another soprano and a concert banjolele jumped in, and I decided that concerts were the thing for me. And all the time I was learning to accompany myself (really mostly whistling), fingerpicking kept trying to steal the show. Anyway, the Ukes took the reins in their teeth, and now they've thoroughly overcome me and have me playing a bunch of Ukes AND a coupla banjos!

I think I would have liked a soprano or short concert fretboard on a large Uke body. Of course, I don't know if that could be done, but I like the compactness of the soprano/concert but much less plinky--a bigger, mellower sound. I envision it to be something like the Deering concert banjolele but not quite so big.

It always seems to me that all those frets up the fretboard on my Ukes are a waste. Of course, I could probably learn to use them properly, but the singing is (was) what's important to me, and now it seems that I've bitten off more than I can chew. I don't have the time or the energy to learn all the stuff that I have now. Ahhh, well . . .

Anyway, that's why I started this thread. I was tryin' to make sense of it all. Hmm, maybe I should start over with a different instrument and stick to it this time--maybe a Harp! Yeah, an Irish harp . . .
:old:

sukie
01-27-2016, 05:05 PM
Just because there all those frets does not mean you have to use them if you don't want to. You gotta just do what's fun. My fun and your fun are probably different, and different than even somebody else.