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View Full Version : Your favorite Ukulele size -- Autumn 2016 edition



Mivo
11-06-2016, 04:13 PM
We haven't done this in a while, so I'm curious what the current forum audience's preferred ukulele sizes are. :) I included the major hybrid sizes also. If you like several, please pick the one that you enjoy playing the most.

Joyful Uke
11-06-2016, 04:45 PM
Would you consider something like the Ohta San, (and others with a 16" scale length - Ono has one, too, right?), to be a separate category?

Nickie
11-06-2016, 05:03 PM
It really buggers me that the tenor size is the most popular. I can't figure it out. I play my concert uke 90% of the time, then 10% on my Romero Tiny Tenor, which is no bigger than a concert size. Most of my friends play a concert uke.

Mivo
11-06-2016, 05:08 PM
Would you consider something like the Ohta San, (and others with a 16" scale length - Ono has one, too, right?), to be a separate category?

I didn't want to split up the poll too much (could also put 19" and 20.5" baritones in their own categories). I'd say that a 16" concert might be best counted as a longneck concert. (I can't edit the poll.)

kohanmike
11-06-2016, 06:18 PM
After playing guitar for almost 50 years, my first uke was a mail order soprano because it looked like my Fender Telecaster electric guitar and I knew nothing about uke sizes. When I tried to play it, I could hardly make the chords. So I looked at the internet and learned about sizes, dropped by my local Sam Ash, tried out each size and immediately knew tenor was for me. Since then every uke I've owned (18 in 3 1/2 years, down to 6 now) is/has been a tenor cutaway. (Nickie, why should someone else's choice have anything to do with your choice, to each their own.)

CheeseSandwich
11-06-2016, 07:37 PM
I am also similar to kohanmike. I have played guitar for about 8 years and transitioning to ukulele, the tenor size accommodated my hands the best. I have a Kala concert and I can certainly play it fine, but for me the tenor size feels best. :)

Uk3player78
11-06-2016, 07:42 PM
Interesting. Every time this thread comes up (and I'm sure I made one) the tenor always wins.

I played and still do from time to time a dreadnaught acoustic guitar. Sits in its case most of the time. When I do take it out it seems laughably big.

However a concert ukulele is my size choice. I did spend a year with a tenor but still prefer concert.

Booli
11-06-2016, 09:17 PM
I cannot answer the poll, since I now often rotate a uke of each scale length except soprano (or smaller, too small for my hands, causes cramps) and several different guitars, about every other day. Been doing this for about 6 months now.

Croaky Keith
11-06-2016, 10:21 PM
Likewise, I can't really give an accurate answer, because my latest aquisitions are tenor necked concert & soprano, which are getting equal amounts of play, whilst my concert necked soprano is still my go to 'pickup' for experimenting with new material. :)

If we go by type of scale length, then I would say tenor is my most played presently, (so I voted tenor, as in scale length). ;)

EDIT: I expect men mainly tenor, & the ladies mostly concert - we shall see. :D

DownUpDave
11-06-2016, 11:41 PM
Tenor for me all the way....followed closely by the baritone. It is a combination of a deeper fuller sound and playability of the longer fret spacing.

mountain goat
11-07-2016, 12:59 AM
Depends on the day. And the song.

Pukulele Pete
11-07-2016, 01:11 AM
Anything larger than a soprano is cheating.

Rakelele
11-07-2016, 01:35 AM
Tenor is the most obvious choice for me too, but I voted for Baritone as I find myself gravitating towards instruments that are somewhere in between Ukulele and Guitar. I really like my Pono Baritone Nui as well as their Steel String Uku Li'i (UL4), and I'm craving for a high quality Guitalele.

Doxuke
11-07-2016, 04:15 AM
I favored tenors after I became serious about playing uke, but after buying a few, I find I'm playing my first ukulele, a concert, almost all of the time. So now I have 3 tenors feeling very sad.

bariukish
11-07-2016, 05:12 AM
This is kinda like asking people to vote on which of their children they prefer.

Mivo
11-07-2016, 05:21 AM
It really buggers me that soprano is at all a popular size, given its limitations and the overly scrunchy hand positions, but to each his own tassels.

I think some of these limitations can be overcome with practice (skill) and the right instrument. Quality differences between sopranos can be huge. George Elmes (https://www.youtube.com/user/GeorgeUke/videos) and WS64 (https://www.youtube.com/user/WS64/videos) (not to mention John King or Roy Smeck) show what can be done on a soprano. Then again, when I watch videos like this one (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wo6EFpaoNhg), I realize that you neither need an expensive instrument nor play up the neck to make the most beautiful music. In most amateur/hobbyist videos I see, tenor players don't go beyond 7 or 9 frets, either.

Soprano size is the original ukulele size, so why wouldn't it be at least somewhat popular? I prefer the bell-like sound of the small size, and the challenge of playing it well. I do like my tenor(s) also, but whenever I watch videos of excellent players, the soprano performances impress me more.

Al Davison
11-07-2016, 05:29 AM
I favor my tenor but mostly because it's a lot nicer uke.
I still play my concert but it's not a very great sounding uke - I need to upgrade that one sometime.
I voted tenor but, it's a close call.

I have just never felt comfortable on a soprano but I have nothing against it. I just never play my soprano because it feels too small for my big hands.
I play just for fun so, I play what is the most fun for me.

Gary52
11-07-2016, 06:23 AM
I started with a tenor, but now play concerts. I find them much easier for the 5-fret stretches required in some arrangements by John King and Daniel Ho. Some of the John King classical arrangements go to the 12th fret and beyond. I don't have hands the size of hams, so I don't find the fretboard to be particularly confining.

KoAloha concerts also have a wider than average nut.

actadh
11-07-2016, 06:39 AM
Soprano for me. It is where my muscle memory takes me. I have to think when I play my tenors or concert.

OhioBelle
11-07-2016, 07:08 AM
Well, because I HAD TO PICK JUST ONE (grrrrr....), I voted for tenor. Tenor is what my heart tells me I would want if all other sizes of ukulele were to disappear from the planet. I own all except super soprano and super tenor, and love them all for different reasons. I've toyed with the idea of going exclusively tenor and I can't.

So don't make me! LOL

Ukulele Eddie
11-07-2016, 07:54 AM
I think you need a "More than One" option in your poll. Having said that, if I was forced to pick one size and could only play that, it would probably be a 16" concert so I voted longneck/super concert.

Iulia
11-07-2016, 08:30 AM
I've only ever played concert and soprano, and out of the two I prefer the soprano - both cos its little and cute, and I just love the bright punchy sound.

I have tiny hands and always struggled with guitar, but sooner or later I'm going to try a tenor ;) Thinking I might get one from hora as I heard their tenors were on the small size, and I visit Romania regularly ...

Mivo
11-07-2016, 08:48 AM
I think you need a "More than One" option in your poll.

But then people end up with three or more favorites. :p People like me! I constantly go back and forth between soprano and tenor, depending on the week you ask me. I overall prefer the sound of a (good) soprano, which right now to me means something like a Kiwaya/Famous FS-5 (probably the sold wood ones too, but I haven't played one) or one of those dried out, super light 1920-30s hog sops. (I really do want to try out the concert size of the FS-5, but it's not all that cheap.) The idea was just to see which one size current posters prefer. :)

aldwyn
11-07-2016, 12:07 PM
Tough call for me because I like the tone from a concert, as its closer to the classic uke tone, but the playability of the tenor... But I am going to let tone trump playability here, and I voted for concert sized.

stevejfc
11-07-2016, 12:15 PM
Concert all the way

Camsuke
11-07-2016, 02:53 PM
I don't really have a favourite, I love them all.

Inksplosive AL
11-07-2016, 03:26 PM
So-pran-o all the way my concerts and my tenor sit unused while many of my sopranos are in rotation.

I have three Risa sticks a soprano a concert and a tenor and the body size is the same for all three. The actual difference in fret spacing is so minute its laughable. Well come to think I am playing my Risa tenor a bit but mostly due to the higher tension strings handling the down tuning to E A D G better.

~peace~

cml
11-07-2016, 07:58 PM
Concert. But I like the others too.

bonesoup
11-07-2016, 11:58 PM
I started with a tenor, but now play concerts. I find them much easier for the 5-fret stretches required in some arrangements by John King and Daniel Ho. Some of the John King classical arrangements go to the 12th fret and beyond. I don't have hands the size of hams, so I don't find the fretboard to be particularly confining.

22x8, or as I call it, the John King troll chord :)

Sopranos all the way. Concerts are good too. Tenors are too big for what I like to play. Still yet to try a bari.

Rllink
11-08-2016, 02:17 AM
Concert for me, but that is what I have. Sometimes I think that I would like to get a soprano, but I don't need another ukulele laying around, so I don't ever buy one. I look at them a lot. I have never had the urge to go bigger though. If I went bigger I would just get a guitar, but I won't do that either probably. I have my hands full just learning to play the ukulele.

LimousinLil
11-08-2016, 09:22 AM
I agree with Jon, in as much as it depends on what feels right for the song. Perhaps it's because I'm still a beginner and finding out about the various sizes, but I honestly haven't got a preference; although I started off with a soprano, as I suppose most people do, and the sound that that produces must be the most "authentic" ukulele sound.

2manistrings
11-08-2016, 04:12 PM
COncert, no question. If I'd figured that out sooner and stopped searching for some kind of holy grail (i.e. different sizes, + wood combos, etc) I wouldn't have gone through so many ukes. In 13 years & 30 ukes, more than half of them have been concerts. I had a long neck soprano, but the body was too awkward/small for me, so I figured out I like concert scale and body size combined.