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Joyful Uke
11-08-2016, 06:41 AM
Inspired by Rllink's "How Many" thread:

How many ukuleles do you think is the optimal number? (That might be different from the number that you actually have.)

I used to think that the "right" number would be: 3 reentrant ukuleles, (1 each: tenor, concert, soprano), and 2 linear ukueles, (1 tenor and 1 concert.)

Well, add to that, one that could be loaned out or used in settings that might be a little more hard on a ukulele.

I'm now thinking that's too many, but don't know yet what I would consider the optimal number in my fantasy world. And, I also know that if I find and can afford something that doesn't fit into my optimal number but is a keeper, then my optimal number is going to be ignored anyway. LOL.

Rllink
11-08-2016, 06:56 AM
Two, one for the beach and one for everything else.

Mivo
11-08-2016, 07:10 AM
Optimal, for me, would be one. Realistic and practical, for me, would be two or three. That is my eventual goal also.

Ukulele Eddie
11-08-2016, 07:22 AM
For me, it's probably somewhere in the 6-10 range. I don't like having things I don't use and for me personally, it is hard to play more than 6-8 with regular frequency. I'm well above that now, so must thin the herd again.

igorthebarbarian
11-08-2016, 08:05 AM
I think the ideal target number is probably 4 - one of each size, or 3 if you throw out the baritone (big/extra bulky).
I live in an apartment, so it would actually be wise for me to downsize a bit, since I don't have a lot of extra storage space.
My wife wanted to take up bass guitar but never really got around to it, so we have that taking up extra uke-space (I could fit 2 in that space!)

Gary52
11-08-2016, 10:03 AM
For me, 3. One high G, one low G, and one for travel (currently a Flea). However, I have 4, and my wife also has 4. Ukes can be hard to part with.

CheeseSandwich
11-08-2016, 10:36 AM
Good question. I would vote for two also. One in high G and one in low G. For me, I spend my time evenly playing both so that is perfect for me! :)

Croaky Keith
11-08-2016, 10:42 AM
Something like, a cedar topped bari, a solid spruce concert, solid mahogany tenor necked soprano, solid mahogany tenor necked concert, a laminate concert necked soprano, & maybe a few other laminates - oh, wait, that's what I have. :D

stevejfc
11-08-2016, 10:42 AM
3. High, low and beater.

mikelz777
11-08-2016, 10:44 AM
3. High, low and beater.

This is kind of my thinking.

Uk3player78
11-08-2016, 10:45 AM
For me? One. Worked for two years. Doesn't stop me looking. ;)

Pueo
11-08-2016, 10:51 AM
I would love to be in that "High G, Low G, Beater" situation but I also need a six-string, I just love that sound.
So I guess the bare minimum for me would be four.
I currently have 10.
I have some work to do.
I do at least have some variety in there!

DownUpDave
11-08-2016, 12:37 PM
More than one....less than 100. I'll let you know when I get there :music:

padlin
11-08-2016, 12:53 PM
3. High, low and beater.

Same here, at least that's the thought today. Only thing is I've only used my tenors, and my sons soprano which is too small for my paws. I'd at least like to try a concert which for me buying one to play with for a couple months. So I guess 3, maybe 4.

bunnyf
11-08-2016, 01:36 PM
3. High, low and beater.

I have similar sentiments, but have reduced it a bit more by combining categories. I keep my best (Pono)Bari in whatever is my current fav tuning (which is almost always low D) and the beater Bari is the opposite (currently hi d). So I'm down to 2 baris. I do the same with my sopranos. My LoPr is low g and my beater beach laminate is hi g. I've eliminated concert and tenor altogether.

PereBourik
11-08-2016, 02:26 PM
However many you have +1

Doc_J
11-08-2016, 03:07 PM
However many you have +1
....and that's the truth!

Jim Hanks
11-08-2016, 03:48 PM
However many you have +1

Beat me to it!

janeray1940
11-08-2016, 03:53 PM
For me it's three: low G concert, reentrant longneck soprano, and reentrant soprano beach/travel/backup if one of the others is in the shop uke.

2manistrings
11-08-2016, 04:04 PM
For me? One. Worked for two years. Doesn't stop me looking. ;)

+1. I've had one uke for almost 2 years. I read about and listen to others and appreciate them all. But I'm content with the one I have. :)

kohanmike
11-08-2016, 07:36 PM
When I started I had one, but when it needed to get some work done, I realized I have to have two in case one needs work. That's when UAS kicked in.

kypfer
11-08-2016, 09:38 PM
How Many is optimal?

As many as I need (three or four, maybe five including my banjo-uke), a couple of spares in case something goes wrong (this situation hasn't been fully addressed yet) plus another spare or two for when someone visits or I loan one out ... so probably less than 10 in total.

At the moment I've got eight, in various configurations and tunings and as yet I've not run short of one to play ... but I worry about it sometimes ;)

I've just taken delivery of a Seagull Merlin ... helps take the strain of strumming off a couple of my ukuleles :music:

jimavery
11-09-2016, 01:37 AM
Personally I would say just two; both sopranos (of course), tuned C and D.

Anything bigger than a soprano and you might as well buy a guitar and have done with it (in my humble opinion).

hal1001
11-09-2016, 03:19 AM
It's like my wife questioning me about the optimal number of watches as I can only wear 1 at a time (and similarly you can only play 1 ukulele at a time).

Well, I have many watches. Each for a different occasion. Some goes better with a dress shirt than others; some cannot be used for swimming; sometimes I like to wear one with a digital display or one in a certain color/design/etc.

It is an individual thing: to me, there's no right or wrong number. But my wife, who's infinitely more practical than me, may disagree (at least on watches : ) . Anyway, you have my understanding for whatever number you choose.

As for myself, I still only have 1 ukulele. I was about to buy a second one (i.e. getting the collection rolling : ) but I made a promise to myself that first I should learn how to play well (which is to complete my beginner's ukulele book) before getting a second.

Uk3player78
11-09-2016, 05:58 AM
+1. I've had one uke for almost 2 years. I read about and listen to others and appreciate them all. But I'm content with the one I have. :)

Now I'm curious as to what it is. ;)

Uk3player78
11-09-2016, 06:00 AM
It's like my wife questioning me about the optimal number of watches as I can only wear 1 at a time (and similarly you can only play 1 ukulele at a time).

Well, I have many watches. Each for a different occasion. Some goes better with a dress shirt than others; some cannot be used for swimming; sometimes I like to wear one with a digital display or one in a certain color/design/etc.

It is an individual thing: to me, there's no right or wrong number. But my wife, who's infinitely more practical than me, may disagree (at least on watches : ) . Anyway, you have my understanding for whatever number you choose.

As for myself, I still only have 1 ukulele. I was about to buy a second one (i.e. getting the collection rolling : ) but I made a promise to myself that first I should learn how to play well (which is to complete my beginner's ukulele book) before getting a second.

Hello from another Watch collector. Although I keep it minimal like Ukulele I have more than one or two... or three watches. ;)

Joyful Uke
11-09-2016, 06:17 AM
Now I'm curious as to what it is. ;)

And do you just play one style of music?

greenie44
11-09-2016, 06:42 AM
For me, there was an exploration stage, where not only would I get one of 'each' type (soprano, concert, low g tenor, high G tenor, 6 string, 8 string, electric solid body, bass), but I would typically get a low cost uke to try something out and then occasionally upgrade.

I feel like I am past that stage - pretty much tenor all the time - and have gotten a few wonderful ukes that are pretty much all I play. I still have most of the others, but am slowly divesting myself of them when the opportunity arises.

Minimum? For me, 3 - low g, high G and 6 string.

Booli
11-09-2016, 06:48 AM
3. High, low and beater.

I wish for such simplicity, but I am deep into all scales bigger than soprano, as well as many alternate tunings, and re-stringing back and forth for alternate tunings simply does NOT work.

standard tuning is 'modified fourths', and then there is 'perfect fourths' and 'perfect fifths' and new to me are also plectrum and lute tunings...so a bare minimum is maybe a dozen? I dunno, hurts to think about it...

alternate tunings open up new doors when I've been stuck in a songwriting, as the thinking and playing in alternate tunings seems to unlock parts of the brain that are otherwise unavailable or dormant when always playing in one tuning all the time - and it takes me less than a minute to remap my muscle memory to the alternate fingerings required....

tough question for me...

Uk3player78
11-09-2016, 07:07 AM
And do you just play one style of music?

All in gcea. To be fair as a guitarist since my teen apart from drop D I never alternative tuned it. Mainly a blues guitarist.

UkingViking
11-10-2016, 06:15 AM
I guess this depend on how one uses the ukuleles.
If you play a lot in a lot of different genres, having more ukes is not only for collecting.

I don't, and I probably go with one. But I want two or three.
Pretty similar to the "high, low and beater", I am thinking barking, sustainful and beater.
My reasonable sustainful tenor is also tuned high for now, perhaps it will go low one day.
I am not sure a concert is really barking enough for the critical ear, but it is better than the tenor and I like it better than soprano for handling.

Tootler
11-10-2016, 10:53 AM
I think some of the reason for UAS (or any 'AS for that matter) is part of a process of trying to find the right instrument, the one that suits you. I know that had a lot to do with many of the instruments I've bought and then re-homed. I've been through the same process with recorders and harmonicas and I've more or less settled with the ones I've got. The instruments I have may not be perfect but I like them well and I can't really afford too many more. I am considering getting an 8 string concert or tenor but just now the funds are not really there. Otherwise I'm satisfied with the ukes I have and most of them have a definite role. There's a couple I might well pass on. I rarely play my banjo uke or my U-bass and I'm considering selling them and I've a Risa (Either the soprano Uke'Ellie or a concert 'Stick') that might go in time but I've not yet decided for definite for any of them. Inertia rules!

Mivo
11-10-2016, 11:52 AM
I think some of the reason for UAS (or any 'AS for that matter) is part of a process of trying to find the right instrument, the one that suits you.

With myself I have noticed that UAS tends to flare up when I feel frustrated or dissatisfied with my progress, which then causes me to become overly critical of the instrument instead of focusing on better ways to practice and improve. I'm not sure if that is a common force behind UAS, though. In my mind, though, I feel that if I could play like, say, Corey, WS64, George Elmes, etc, I would not have gotten sucked into UAS as much as I did at times, or bounced around sizes as much as I have.

bnolsen
11-10-2016, 04:27 PM
If you care to keep tight count I think its the number you can effectively rationalize. For me really it's a soprano for strum/sing and picking patterns, a tenor for when I want to pick comfortably, and a downtuned bari for that guitar vibe. And a sopranino for travel, hike, etc. So that would be 4 basic ones. Then toss in a couple more to scratch any wierd occasional itch.

I wouldn't mind trying to see if a concert could effectively pull double duty and replace the soprano and tenor.

rappsy
11-10-2016, 05:13 PM
More than one....less than 100. I'll let you know when I get there :music:

YAY Dave. Couldn't have put it better.
:agree:

Mivo
11-10-2016, 05:17 PM
I wouldn't mind trying to see if a concert could effectively pull double duty and replace the soprano and tenor.

I tried, but it didn't work out for me. Maybe it was the wrong concert, though it was a good one (KoAloha Opio). I liked it, but I still missed the sustain of the tenor and the bark of the soprano. I think a Blackbird Clara or Famous FC-5 may do the trick, but for a little more than for the Clara I can get a Farallon, and and the FC-5 costs me €680 shipped to my doorsteps, which is also more than I want to spend right now on an experiment. :p

Ondrej
11-10-2016, 11:43 PM
It's like my wife questioning me about the optimal number of watches as I can only wear 1 at a time (and similarly you can only play 1 ukulele at a time).


You can play on more than one ukulele. Therefore, it is necessary to have more ukulele:)

Play on two ukuleles simultaneously

http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLDcJRi8rTK0EkEY2SbYUdOzT66pLQPqQs

Play on three ukuleles simultaneously

http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLDcJRi8rTK0E0yDH_2FVxcJOtNONP_jGC

WS64
11-14-2016, 02:00 AM
If you already own n ukuleles then n+1 is the optimal number of ukuleles to own.

Axemaniac88
11-14-2016, 04:05 AM
If you already own n ukuleles then n+1 is the optimal number of ukuleles to own.

I'm going to use this answer to justify every time I walk into a music shop to buy a capo and end up coming out with a ukulele instead...like on Saturday past!

Out of curiosity, I've been having a look at some tenor ukes - I currently own a cheapie soprano (that's actually quite reasonable) and a Laka VUC50 concert - is it worth getting my hands on a tenor in order to have a bit of variety? And to feed what I believe is the onset of UAS?

kypfer
11-14-2016, 08:19 AM
I wouldn't mind trying to see if a concert could effectively pull double duty and replace the soprano and tenor.

As with Mivo, it seems like a compromise that didn't work for me ... not as compact as a soprano but without the "up-the-neck" flexibility of my tenor.

Maybe if your fingers are a little slimmer than mine you might play a concert above the fifth fret comfortably, I decided I really wanted a bit more room to move if I was going to come out of first position ... try it, YMMV :)

Dan Gleibitz
11-14-2016, 02:41 PM
If you already own n ukuleles then n+1 is the optimal number of ukuleles to own.

That's the funny version.

A more judgemental but also rational version might be:

N = 1 + ((P - w) * a)

Where:

N = optimum number of ukes
w = hours per week spent thinking/talking/researching ukulele purchases
P = hours per week spent playing ukulele
a = competency (binary)

kkimura
11-15-2016, 02:12 AM
When asked, "How many wives should a man have?" someone famous replied, "As many as he can love." I'm not sure about the number of wives but am sure it applies to the number of ukuleles.

stevepetergal
11-15-2016, 03:25 AM
The optimal number is 1,964. No more, noe less.

Croaky Keith
11-15-2016, 03:39 AM
Catch 22. :D

aldwyn
11-15-2016, 02:56 PM
When asked, "How many wives should a man have?" someone famous replied, "As many as he can love." I'm not sure about the number of wives but am sure it applies to the number of ukuleles.

Some guys have 12 women and 1 uke... others have 12 ukes and 1 woman. :)

kkimura
11-15-2016, 03:51 PM
Some guys have 12 women and 1 uke... others have 12 ukes and 1 woman. :)

How do the lyrics go?

"I've got seven women on my mind,
Four that wanna own me,
Two that wanna stone me,
One says she's a friend of mine"

So seven's the number

stevepetergal
11-16-2016, 04:36 AM
Some guys have 12 women and 1 uke... others have 12 ukes and 1 woman. :)

FOOLS I say!

aldwyn
11-16-2016, 03:47 PM
FOOLS I say!

So, you prefer 6 women and 6 ukes, Steve? :D

stevepetergal
11-17-2016, 03:29 AM
So, you prefer 6 women and 6 ukes, Steve? :D

Where would I find time for UKULELES?

Django
11-17-2016, 03:40 AM
You would find time when they are all mad at you. Six against one, bad odds. I will stick with one woman and fifteen ukuleles. At least that gives me a chance.

JonThysell
11-18-2016, 07:31 PM
For me? One. Worked for two years. Doesn't stop me looking. ;)

Yeah, love them Koaloha concerts. Of the dozens of ukes I've bought and sold over the years, that was the first one that was instant perfection, and I've only ever bought one other concert, for others to use so I would have my Koaloha. (I sold that other uke eventually.)

JonThysell
11-18-2016, 07:52 PM
As with Mivo, it seems like a compromise that didn't work for me ... not as compact as a soprano but without the "up-the-neck" flexibility of my tenor.

Maybe if your fingers are a little slimmer than mine you might play a concert above the fifth fret comfortably, I decided I really wanted a bit more room to move if I was going to come out of first position ... try it, YMMV :)

I found that it was the perfect balance of fretboard room and string tension. I love my soprano with that low tension, but picking is a little cramped. Tenors have space and are loud but just too high tension.

So I got a KoAloha concert and got just about the best of all worlds (IMHO). Tension nice and light like a soprano. Joined at the 14th fret, so enough room for picking without stretching. KoAloha bracing means it's as loud as the next size up, so tenor volume. The only thing it doesn't do well at all is low-g. I've tried the best low-g strings, and it's always is too boomy and ruins the blend.

So I have my baritone for when I want more bass range, and really want to hit the fingerstyle pieces. Strumming is so-so on it, it gets the job done. Shorter scale gives me that low tension so it's not a huge burden to switch back and forth, even between songs.

Really, my optimal number is those two.

Now, I do have a bunch of other ukes. But I'm trying to sell the ones that don't get played or aren't family heirlooms.