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View Full Version : FYI: a First Act guitar has the same scale length as a baritone uke



JessicaM
07-24-2016, 11:14 AM
Well here's something interesting:
A suuuuper cheapo "First Act" kids' guitar has the same scale length as a baritone ukulele.

I'm just running around this afternoon measuring fret boards and thought I'd share! This isn't meant to be actually useful information.

The guitar is very cheap & sounds exactly like you'd expect, even with decent strings.


92855

Booli
07-24-2016, 11:49 AM
would you be so kind as to measure the width of the NUT (the white plastic rectangle with little grooves in it, that the strings rest on before going to the tuners) width as in from the outer-edges perpendicular to the strings...?

thank you kindly :)

JessicaM
07-24-2016, 02:24 PM
would you be so kind as to measure the width of the NUT (the white plastic rectangle with little grooves in it, that the strings rest on before going to the tuners) width as in from the outer-edges perpendicular to the strings...?

thank you kindly :)

Will do (once the kid is asleep)!

PhilUSAFRet
07-24-2016, 02:57 PM
would you be so kind as to measure the width of the NUT (the white plastic rectangle with little grooves in it, that the strings rest on before going to the tuners) width as in from the outer-edges perpendicular to the strings...?

thank you kindly :)

The one I have is 1 5/8" +

JessicaM
07-24-2016, 03:02 PM
would you be so kind as to measure the width of the NUT

1 5/8 in

92858

JessicaM
07-24-2016, 03:23 PM
Phil, you beat me to it!

Booli
07-25-2016, 07:57 AM
The one I have is 1 5/8" +


1 5/8 in

92858

Thanks both so much for the info!

bonesigh
07-25-2016, 10:42 AM
I've collected a couple of these guitars cheap and plan to turn them into bass ukes, or something (:

JessicaM
07-25-2016, 03:27 PM
I got mine for $1 at a garage sale. I got to practice reglueing a bridge and replacing tuners. $12 later, including new strings, it still sounds awful, but my toddler doesn't seem to mind. And it has me eyeing parlor guitars!

Teek
07-25-2016, 08:26 PM
I have 19" scale Tacoma Papoose, 1.75 nut. They aren't cheap but they are a kick! You have to haunt eBay, Reverb and Guitar Center. There's one on eBay right now. Steel strings however.

I also just got a used 2004 solid koa top and back mahogany side Mele guitalele, a honey, with a 20" scale. Nylon string, sweet.

I have that First Act in yellow with a pink flower sitting on an old buckboard seat in my patio. Found it in the alley. Give it a good setup and put extra lights on it (the one I have is a steel string). I can pick it up and tune it by ear and noodle around, even with it having been outside (under a roof) for gosh, 3-4 months.

Ukejenny
07-26-2016, 10:49 AM
I've had band kids get First Act wind instruments and it has been a total nightmare!!!

bnolsen
07-29-2016, 05:47 PM
here ya go: 4 string open tuning! this isn't me btw...


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0A-yd0Xukhw

bnolsen
07-29-2016, 05:57 PM
here;s playing a first act like hacked guitar:


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

actadh
07-30-2016, 06:40 AM
I have that First Act in yellow with a pink flower sitting on an old buckboard seat in my patio. Found it in the alley. Give it a good setup and put extra lights on it (the one I have is a steel string). I can pick it up and tune it by ear and noodle around, even with it having been outside (under a roof) for gosh, 3-4 months.

That yellow one was my very first ukulele back in December of 2013. Got it for the grandkids, ended up not giving it away, started playing it on Christmas eve, and learned three songs off of the Internet by morning. I still use it with two Mickey/Minnie ones with the grandkids, and it has gone on boats, and in cars. I have Martin strings on it.

JessicaM
07-30-2016, 07:24 AM
here ya go: 4 string open tuning! this isn't me btw...


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0A-yd0Xukhw

Interesting idea, using it as a slide instrument. The frets on mine are really laughably awful. The first fret is approx 1 cm from the nut & it works better to play it as if that first fret IS the nut -- but seriously, how is that an ok way to build an instrument?

BlackBearUkes
07-30-2016, 12:54 PM
Once in a while, people will bring these things into my shop to see if I can make them playable for the kids, I can't and won't. They are toys, nothing more IMO.

JessicaM
07-30-2016, 03:21 PM
Once in a while, people will bring these things into my shop to see if I can make them playable for the kids, I can't and won't. They are toys, nothing more IMO.

Well toys AND perfect instruments to practice fixing simple stuff! I'd never reglued a bridge or changed out tuners until this guitar. Given that it was basically garbage (only 2 tuners still worked) I had nothing to lose except the $8 for new bottom-of-the-line tuners. And the bridge was scary (compounded by the fact that I discovered t was screwed down), but there was literally nothing to lose! It was a fun little project :)

Booli
07-30-2016, 04:29 PM
Well toys AND perfect instruments to practice fixing simple stuff! I'd never reglued a bridge or changed out tuners until this guitar. Given that it was basically garbage (only 2 tuners still worked) I had nothing to lose except the $8 for new bottom-of-the-line tuners. And the bridge was scary (compounded by the fact that I discovered t was screwed down), but there was literally nothing to lose! It was a fun little project :)

also, the end result of the project in the fixed-up pink guitar made your daughter happy - which seems priceless, no?

JessicaM
07-31-2016, 07:23 AM
also, the end result of the project in the fixed-up pink guitar made your daughter happy - which seems priceless, no?

Exactly! Turns out a 2 year old doesn't care about intonation;)

Booli
07-31-2016, 08:50 AM
Exactly! Turns out a 2 year old doesn't care about intonation;)

OMG - can you imagine if she came to you and said,


'Mommy my guitar is ok with open strings, but when I play pressing my fingers down, and up the neck it sounds sour, and I don't like it'


You'd likely have a musical prodigy on your hands, a sort of savant...might that alter your future plans for her? (at least where music lessons came into play)

Croaky Keith
07-31-2016, 09:05 AM
Exactly! Turns out a 2 year old doesn't care about intonation;)

Anything like kids I know, all they want is to make a noise! :rolleyes:

Ukejenny
08-01-2016, 09:08 AM
Exactly! Turns out a 2 year old doesn't care about intonation;)

Not trying to be a purist or a snoot here, but even a 2 year old being ear-trained, whether it is on an instrument in tune, or out of tune. You know how their little minds are like sponges? It turns out, their ears are as well.

And that can last on into adulthood. My husband, who was never musical, never sang, and listened to the radio, couldn't match pitch. Now that he has been playing ukulele and getting close to the chords and strings and sounds, his pitch is improving. I have been amazed.

JessicaM
08-01-2016, 03:48 PM
Not trying to be a purist or a snoot here, but even a 2 year old being ear-trained, whether it is on an instrument in tune, or out of tune. You know how their little minds are like sponges? It turns out, their ears are as well.

And that can last on into adulthood. My husband, who was never musical, never sang, and listened to the radio, couldn't match pitch. Now that he has been playing ukulele and getting close to the chords and strings and sounds, his pitch is improving. I have been amazed.

I hear you. That's valid. But she can't fret yet -- or isn't interested anyway. So unless I put in in an open tuning (which isn't a bad idea) we're still in the "everything is percussion" stage. She does have a decent little uke, but it's not pink so it's dead to her. Luckily she hears the rest of us playing passable music so there's hope. And she can carry a tune which I think is precocious nearing on genius ... But I'm biased ;)