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weeshan
11-21-2016, 12:30 PM
Hi all,

Well, my username is "weeshan" for good reason. Im an adult female blessed with my Japanese father and petite mother's size. Seriously...I know a lot of women are small but think like the size of a 10 years old. 4'11" tall with hands so small that both of my tiny daughters had larger hands than me by the time they were 9 or 10. LOL

I own sopranos and love them all. They are the perfect size for me and even with the small size, I still struggle with some chords. But I also know I want to get something larger to add to my herd at some point. Mainly so that I have one larger instrument with more volume etc.

So I guess my question is...am I big enough for a tenor? Ive heard people say some chords are a stretch. Im stuck between just going with a concert, and worried I will regret it because there isnt a lot of size difference between it and a soprano...or getting a tenor and maybe regretting it because my hands wont reach.

I live in a small town without music shops so trying before I buy is likely not an option.

Any advice would be appreciated!

Shannon

robinboyd
11-21-2016, 12:48 PM
Hi all,

Well, my username is "weeshan" for good reason. Im an adult female blessed with my Japanese father and petite mother's size. Seriously...I know a lot of women are small but think like the size of a 10 years old. 4'11" tall with hands so small that both of my tiny daughters had larger hands than me by the time they were 9 or 10. LOL

I own sopranos and love them all. They are the perfect size for me and even with the small size, I still struggle with some chords. But I also know I want to get something larger to add to my herd at some point. Mainly so that I have one larger instrument with more volume etc.

So I guess my question is...am I big enough for a tenor? Ive heard people say some chords are a stretch. Im stuck between just going with a concert, and worried I will regret it because there isnt a lot of size difference between it and a soprano...or getting a tenor and maybe regretting it because my hands wont reach.

I live in a small town without music shops so trying before I buy is likely not an option.

Any advice would be appreciated!

Shannon

There will be some chords (some of the more unusual ones) that you won't be able to play on the tenor. There are some chords that I can't play on my tenor, and I have fairly average-sized hands. However, it won't stop you from playing most things and it's nice to have the option of getting that deeper tenor-sound, not to mention the extended fret board for finger-picking. Personally, the concert is my favourite size, but if I already had a soprano and was comfortable playing it, I'd get the tenor for variety.

sukie
11-21-2016, 01:24 PM
Jake, Aldrine, Kaleo (so?), just to name a few. They play tenors. You can too. There are also excercises you can do to stretch your reach.

Joyful Uke
11-21-2016, 01:27 PM
I'm an inch taller than you, though my hands might be larger than yours, (hard to tell from your description, though.)
I can play tenor overall, but have to be somewhat selective in what I play. OTOH, I've also had some hand injuries that act up, too. (All my fingers were smashed, as one example.)

But, I find that a 16" concert size is comfortable for me, and a good compromise between concert and tenor. I'm perfectly happy with concert size, too, though, and think that some concerts can really hold their own against a tenor, maybe depending on the strings and style of playing as well.

So, I think you have a lot of options, from standard concert, to 16" concert, and tenors.

My guess, based on your description, is that you'll have more success with a concert, but could possibly handle a 16" concert, too. A regular sized tenor might present difficulties.

Joyful Uke
11-21-2016, 01:29 PM
Jake, Aldrine, Kaleo (so?), just to name a few. They play tenors. You can too. There are also excercises you can do to stretch your reach.

I don't think that Jake, Aldrine, and Kaleo are as petite as the OP, though, are they? Are they 4'11" with small hands?

WCBarnes
11-21-2016, 03:27 PM
I wouldn't necessarily go by height or frame to determine if an instrument will be too big or small for you. I am 6"+ and wear an XL glove and find the tenor scale uncomfortable. I am much more comfortable playing a concert or soprano. I would guess that many people on this site have smaller hands than I and tenor is their scale of choice. I would suggest you try to play both a concert and a tenor. I know you mentioned that you live in a small town without the ability to try before you buy, but do you ever go to a larger city with music stores? Even a Guitar Center with low end ukes would suffice to try them out and see how your hands feel on the longer scale.

Auni
11-21-2016, 03:36 PM
I'm not short, but I do have the hands of a preteen so I can sympathize! I have 3 concerts and 1 tenor. I do like the tenor as it gives a little more room (I also play guitar and sometimes wind up feeling squished on the uke), but I love the concert size! No wrestling with crazy stretches, and any chord is playable for me!

TrulyOregon
11-21-2016, 03:40 PM
I think there is more to consider than just the size of the fretboard. The body of the tenor is much, much larger than a soprano. I only had a soprano for years...and then impulsively bought a tenor. I love my tenor, but the body feels just a little too large for my right arm. I put a low g string on the tenor, and will use it mainly for playing in a group. My main ukulele is a concert which I bought after the tenor. The size feels just right for finger-picking and strumming. You might consider a concert with a low g, if you want more volume (That is what my husband has, and he loves the sound of it). But ultimately, get what you think you really want.

janeray1940
11-21-2016, 03:57 PM
Im an adult female blessed with my Japanese father and petite mother's size. Seriously...I know a lot of women are small but think like the size of a 10 years old. 4'11" tall with hands so small that both of my tiny daughters had larger hands than me by the time they were 9 or 10. LOL

...

So I guess my question is...am I big enough for a tenor? Ive heard people say some chords are a stretch. Im stuck between just going with a concert, and worried I will regret it because there isnt a lot of size difference between it and a soprano...or getting a tenor and maybe regretting it because my hands wont reach.

I live in a small town without music shops so trying before I buy is likely not an option.



Hi Shannon, I'm a little taller than you - a towering 5'2"! - but my hands are probably about the same size as yours, my ex's kids had bigger hands than mine at ages 8 and 10. Additionally I've got a weird bent-pinky thing called fifth digit clinodactyly (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clinodactyly) in which my pinky bends inward toward the ring finger, making my reach even shorter (my pinky looks just like the photo in the link!). And my fingers are short - the longest one is 2.5" from the tip to where it joins the palm.

When I started playing uke I tried a concert scale at first and actually found it too big, so I played strictly sopranos-only for years. But I always preferred the tone and sustain of a tenor, and eventually I tried that and ended up injuring my left hand trying to make a Bb chord. So tenor is out for me, but I'm happy to say that I've found the happy medium with concert scale! Once I had been playing for a while, the chords I found challenging at first on concert scale became no big deal. So yes, with practice and time you can stretch your reach a bit, but there are still limits. It's not simply a matter of "do some exercises" - even now, after playing for 8+ years, I still have to modify the way I play some chords to fit my little hands.

So my recommendation would be to go for a concert scale, and to buy from a dealer who will accept a return or exchange if you don't like it. While there are plenty of small adults who play tenor, it's not so much a matter of small stature as small hands specifically that is the problem. I'm not familiar with the hands of the aforementioned Aldrine or Kaleo, but I've seen Jake play and his hands are enormous compared to mine - not to mention he has long fingers. It's just not a realistic comparison to make.

Choirguy
11-21-2016, 04:21 PM
I have two bits of advice:

1) Is there anyone in your area that will let you play a tenor?
2) If you're really worried, and don't want to take a big risk...$39 for a shipped Caramel laminate Tenor is a pretty cheap way to find out, and chances are you could sell it for close to that on Craigslist if you didn't like it.

I wear men's size L gloves, and am pretty comfortable on tenor and concert; I own one soprano (have two more for the kids) and can play it...but gravitate towards the bigger instruments, partially because of tone.

That said, there is a Martin soprano at the local dealer that just SINGS every time I play it. There is always a risk that I will bring it home with me. There is no price on it...which is probably good.

actadh
11-21-2016, 04:27 PM
Five foot tall small handed person here:

I am almost exclusively a soprano player. I bought the Outdoor Ukulele tenor and love, love the size. No problems playing it at all.

Bought a Mainland tenor and love it, too, but have to be more conscious for fretting and the body does seem huge in depth. My muscle memory seems to default to soprano spacing on the fretboard on this uke. But, if I play the Mainland tenor for a day, and go back to it the next day without touching a soprano, then I am fine.

If it was my only uke, I would be able to play it much better. Then, I pick up a soprano and just love that size much more and love the different sizes for different sounds.

Perhaps you could try out a travel thin body tenor.

Just another perspective might be hand flexibility versus size. As a teen, I played piano and guitar. I had little difficulty fretting a guitar and could easily span over an octave on the piano - could not do that now.

sukie
11-21-2016, 04:40 PM
I don't think that Jake, Aldrine, and Kaleo are as petite as the OP, though, are they? Are they 4'11" with small hands?
Not quite, no. But they are not huge men. And man, you should see the reaches they can do. I play a tenor neck. I think it's possible to play if somebody really has their heart set on it. The frets get closer together as you go up the neck, too. But there sure is an adjustment period.

It's all personal preference anyway. Just enjoy whatever OP gets.

SoloRule
11-21-2016, 04:45 PM
Another shrimp here....Extra small gloves size!
I thought I was better suited with concert. What a mistake!
I only play tenor now. The fret height are more comfortable.
I even graduated to baritone and that's even more comfortable to fret.
I have learned to adjust challenging chords by using finger position that is comfortable to me instead of following the rule !
Tenor is really not that big ! Go for it!

DownUpDave
11-21-2016, 04:53 PM
Have you ever seen young children playing full size six string guitars.......I have......all the time. As Solorule says above a tenor uke is really not that big, go for it. The difference in sound is worth it if that is what is appealing to you.

Michael N.
11-22-2016, 12:43 AM
The standard string length of a nylon strung guitar is 65 cm's. A short scale is considered to be around 63 cm's. A really short scale is 61/60 cm's.
A tenor uke is around 45 cm's. The comparison just does not stack up. Not only that but you also have to factor in fretboard width because there is the stretch along the strings (frets) and also across the strings. It's far greater on a nylon guitar.
Now I'm well aware that some adults have tiny hands. I myself play a short scale guitar. Even the hands of the average 9 or 10 year old should be able to cope with the tenor scale, even the baritone scale. This is about learning to increase your stretch. My hands are small (for a male) but I have good stretch between the fingers. That stretch developed over many years. I didn't force it. You can develop your stretch by careful and considered practice, no need to spend hours at a time on this. In fact you should only spend a few minutes per day on it. Rather like some of those yoga exercises, a bit each day over a long period of time and you'll be surprised just how much you improve.

zztush
11-22-2016, 02:36 AM
She is Japanese ukulele singer song writer Kotori. I don't know how tall is she, but I think she is your size and her ukulele looks tenor.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ps5f76NQL10

UkerDanno
11-22-2016, 03:45 AM
Get a Kanile'a or Islander concert, the bodies are a bit larger than normal for a concert. The fret board is also a bit wider though, 1 1/2" as opposed to the normal 1 3/8".

I'm not small by any means and don't like tenors myself, concerts and sopranos for me!

spookelele
11-22-2016, 04:04 AM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CgVqX0a49HM

If a tiny Sungha Jung can play a full size guitar... I think you can handle a tenor uke :)

janeray1940
11-22-2016, 04:55 AM
Have you ever seen young children playing full size six string guitars.......I have......all the time.

I have no idea how old the OP is, but as someone who started playing ukulele in my mid-40s I'm pretty sure making the comparison to a kid learning guitar isn't really a fair one. Kids generally have both a lot more time, and a lot more physical flexibility than we do as we get older. Take it from someone whose tenor-playing experience landed her in the doctor's office (with the advice that if I didn't want to damage my left hand permanently, I'd better stop, so I did).

The advice to *try* what is appealing and see how it goes is sound, but the chorus of "you can do it if you try!" from people who have NO IDEA what it's like to be on the smaller side of the spectrum just doesn't seem all that helpful to me. Think of it this way: could all of those folks who find a soprano too cramped get used to it if they practiced and stretched and bought special snake oil?? Probably not.

As for SoloRule's ability to play tenor as a small-handed person - I am in awe and you are my hero :) Bottom line, though - some things just aren't possible, but the only way to know is to try.

PTOEguy
11-22-2016, 05:01 AM
If your primary interest is more volume, size isn't the only variable - there are ukes out there that are known for volume. Here's a few that I'm aware of:

- Blackbird Clara - this is concert size, so a little bigger, but I've heard Blackbird dealers say it is as loud as their full size guitars. Not cheap, but will last a lifetime. Mine is louder than any tenor I've played

- Koaloha Opio - no firsthand experience but Koaloha in general is reputed to be loud. The new spruce tops are likely even louder and HMS has a soprano for sale right now.

- Pineapple shaped ukes - read around first, but pineapples often have a bigger sound for the same basic size due to more internal volume.

- Banjoleles - the tone is definitely different, but if you really want to be heard without amplification a banjo is the way to go.

DownUpDave
11-22-2016, 05:29 AM
I have no idea how old the OP is, but as someone who started playing ukulele in my mid-40s I'm pretty sure making the comparison to a kid learning guitar isn't really a fair one. Kids generally have both a lot more time, and a lot more physical flexibility than we do as we get older. Take it from someone whose tenor-playing experience landed her in the doctor's office (with the advice that if I didn't want to damage my left hand permanently, I'd better stop, so I did).

The advice to *try* what is appealing and see how it goes is sound, but the chorus of "you can do it if you try!" from people who have NO IDEA what it's like to be on the smaller side of the spectrum just doesn't seem all that helpful to me. Think of it this way: could all of those folks who find a soprano too cramped get used to it if they practiced and stretched and bought special snake oil?? Probably not.

As for SoloRule's ability to play tenor as a small-handed person - I am in awe and you are my hero :) Bottom line, though - some things just aren't possible, but the only way to know is to try.

She asked for opinions, you gave yours, I gave mine. She will not know until she tries.......that is something we both agree upon.

spookelele
11-22-2016, 05:47 AM
I think you should do what you want.

Tenor is not too big for anyone really. It's just different. If you like the effects of the longer scale, then go for it. Just don't be afraid of it.

Now that isn't to say its the right choice. It may not be the most comfortable size for you. I had a concert, but having mostly tenor.. the size difference was not comfortable to me, so I sold it, and now stick to tenor. But that's me, and what I feel comfortable with with. I'm sure you'll find people that say the exact opposite and only click with concert.

Part if it is more liking what you know, than knowing what you like. But really your hands will have a preference for a size.

I don't think volume is the kicker. You can find loud concerts, and quiet tenors.

But tenors do some things better just because of the physics of the longer strings. They tend to have more sustain, maintain volume when you play up the neck, sound more full/less plinky, just because of the longer strings.

Joyful Uke
11-22-2016, 05:49 AM
I have no idea how old the OP is, but as someone who started playing ukulele in my mid-40s I'm pretty sure making the comparison to a kid learning guitar isn't really a fair one. Kids generally have both a lot more time, and a lot more physical flexibility than we do as we get older. Take it from someone whose tenor-playing experience landed her in the doctor's office (with the advice that if I didn't want to damage my left hand permanently, I'd better stop, so I did).

The advice to *try* what is appealing and see how it goes is sound, but the chorus of "you can do it if you try!" from people who have NO IDEA what it's like to be on the smaller side of the spectrum just doesn't seem all that helpful to me.

+1.

The comments in general also make it seem like there is a reason to avoid playing a concert, and one must struggle, (if small - not true for most of you), with a tenor instead of just enjoying a concert sized ukulele. There are fantastic sounding concerts, and they can hold their own against many tenors, so why not enjoy those?

Obviously, if the OP can make a trip somewhere to try out the necks on tenors and concerts, that would be the best option, although a quick session on an instrument at a store vs. extended playing time at home are still 2 different things.

And, of course, necks vary from brand to brand, so a quick session on one instrument, no matter what size, won't necessarily tell you how you'll do on a different brand with a different neck.

IMO, if the OP can't try out the ukuleles first, a concert would be a good starting place, and getting advice from Mim or Uke Republic or some other helpful place might be a good thing to do. I bet they can find some good options for the OP.

Croaky Keith
11-22-2016, 08:17 AM
Soprano to tenor is a big step up, both in physical size & fretboard stretch, as you are fairly new to ukes, & you are used to a soprano scale, I would advise the next step to be a concert, which is almost 2" longer in scale length, compared to a tenor which will be almost 4" in difference.

Depending on what kind of tone you want, check out different wood tones & sounds online to get a fair indication of what may suit you, & also if you would like to have it as a low G.

JackLuis
11-22-2016, 11:35 AM
I have large hands and started with a Tenor, but was having problems and bought a concert. After playing the concert, I found the tenor easier to play and bought a baritone.
To the OP, buy a concert and see how you like the better tone. A Ohana CK-22 is plenty loud and not too expensive. The Spruce top give plenty of sensitivity and it is so light that it seems weightless. Also you can low G a concert and get a different tone than a plinky soprano.

weeshan
11-22-2016, 11:54 AM
Wow...I have gotten so much valuable advice from just this one thread. I appreciate each and every one of you taking the time to answer, thank you! For those wondering how old the teeny tiny OP is, I am 41. I have been told my entire life that my hands and feet are uncommonly small, even for my size (I wear a size 2.5 in kids shoes). Im still on the fence but its not like I have to buy another uke right NOW. I did like the idea of just spending $40 on a cheapy Caramel Tenor. At that price with free shipping, and the fact that many have been fairly happy with them sound wise (and Im ok with lowering action myself if needed), that might be the easiest way for me to try a tenor if I cant play before buying. It wouldnt be wasted even if I ended up not liking it. I could always sell it, give it away or keep it around the house for my boyfriend who plays guitar and likes messing with my ukes. Ideally, a concert is likely "better" for my small hands though. Well...with UAS in full effect, Im sure I will end up with both at some point LOL.

Thanks again!

sukie
11-22-2016, 11:57 AM
"With UAS in full effect...."

Perfect. Get what you think you'll like.

SoloRule
11-22-2016, 12:10 PM
I was at Downupdave party on Sunday
You should see the guys with large hands finger picking a soprano . I think that's even more challenging!
As I mentioned above if the chord is way too difficult and your hand simply can't stretch that much then figure out a chord that sound similar or simply skip that one string!
Just don't force yourself that may result injury to your wrist.
This is a very common question for all new uke players !
Once you settle on the size then you will want longer neck!
There is no end! Just enjoy the experience!

janeray1940
11-22-2016, 04:05 PM
She asked for opinions, you gave yours, I gave mine. She will not know until she tries.......that is something we both agree upon.

Oh absolutely! Nothing against your opinion, I just get a bit weary of seeing the advice over and over comparing adults to little kids (if this little kid can do it, so can you etc.) and was trying to inject a bit of been there/done that/failed miserably reality, based on firsthand experience.

But then I probably don't have half the talent of that nine year old kid, so - there's that :)

Joyful Uke
11-22-2016, 05:23 PM
I could always sell it, give it away or keep it around the house for my boyfriend who plays guitar and likes messing with my ukes. Ideally, a concert is likely "better" for my small hands though. Well...with UAS in full effect, Im sure I will end up with both at some point LOL.


Perfect! Someone can make good use any of ukulele that might not work out for you, and you can engage in a good round of UAS and get both!

Whatever you do, enjoy it!

Croaky Keith
11-22-2016, 11:00 PM
......of course you could get a long neck - soprano, concert, (or even tenor) as well......:smileybounce:

Michael N.
11-23-2016, 12:32 AM
I was at Downupdave party on Sunday
You should see the guys with large hands finger picking a soprano . I think that's even more challenging!
As I mentioned above if the chord is way too difficult and your hand simply can't stretch that much then figure out a chord that sound similar or simply skip that one string!
Just don't force yourself that may result injury to your wrist.
This is a very common question for all new uke players !
Once you settle on the size then you will want longer neck!
There is no end! Just enjoy the experience!

That's another point. Often you can just drop a note (or two) from a chord, do an inversion or just play a single note as a substitute. That kind of thing is often done by pianists who have very small hands. Whatever works. My guess is that no one would even notice, unless you were another player and even then a majority of those wouldn't realise either. I doubt that I would.

PhilUSAFRet
11-23-2016, 01:15 AM
I haven't seen anyone post a video of this little girl in a while. I think there's a video of an even smaller little girl playing an even bigger jumbo guitar:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=njG_dQC-cnk

A few more: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gSedE5sU3uc

As others have said, you can play any of them, it's just a matter of what's comfortable for you. I prefer concert size myself, but play soprano and tenor as well.

Joyful Uke
11-23-2016, 07:13 AM
Oh absolutely! Nothing against your opinion, I just get a bit weary of seeing the advice over and over comparing adults to little kids (if this little kid can do it, so can you etc.) and was trying to inject a bit of been there/done that/failed miserably reality, based on firsthand experience.

But then I probably don't have half the talent of that nine year old kid, so - there's that :)

+1. (Especially on not having the talent in my case. LOL.)

One point to make:
If a tenor isn't really the right size, you can struggle along with it, make modifications to what you're playing, and hope not to injure your hands/fingers.

But, since this is simply a hobby for most of us, (I assume that's the case for the OP), why make it any more difficult than it needs to be?

It can be fun in a way to figure out how to modify things and work around limitations, (some creativity involved), but it can also be a lot more fun to just do what works best for you, be it a soprano, concert, tenor, or any variation.

Why not just have fun with whatever is an appropriate size at the moment? (Maybe that will change as skills change, but why make things any harder for a hobby that should be fun?)

Mattyukaholic
11-23-2016, 09:35 PM
Remember, it's not just the scale length that can make a tenor harder for some people to play. The string tension can be tough too. A lot of my students that go from sopranos or concerts to tenors find it much harder to press the strings down cleanly, especially on barre chords. It can all be overcome with training and finding the right strings, but just thought it worth a mention.

Croaky Keith
11-23-2016, 10:09 PM
Remember, it's not just the scale length that can make a tenor harder for some people to play. The string tension can be tough too.

I use (Living Water) flourocarbon concert (low G) strings on mine - I prefer the feel & the lower tension this gives me. :)

Michael N.
11-23-2016, 10:44 PM
Remember, it's not just the scale length that can make a tenor harder for some people to play. The string tension can be tough too. A lot of my students that go from sopranos or concerts to tenors find it much harder to press the strings down cleanly, especially on barre chords. It can all be overcome with training and finding the right strings, but just thought it worth a mention.


Yes, just use a lower tension string. Strings are available in practically any gauge you want, so it's easy to make your own lower tension set. Slightly more expensive but they last a long time.
As for getting injured? it's possible, unlikely to be due to the tenor uke unless you are really doing some serious stretches. I don't see how that is possible and those kind of stretches are certainly avoidable. Don't forget that people get injured even though they have extremely long fingers. Avoiding injury is partly technique, partly your approach and perhaps down to things that the medical world still does not fully understand. Mostly sit (or stand) with good posture and learn to fret with just the correct amount of pressure. There are exercises to learn how to do that. Being relaxed and without dysfunctional tension is perhaps the ultimate goal. I know a bit about this stuff because of all the injuries that I've suffered over the years. Not due to hand size or difficult stretches. Just poor posture, a rather slack approach and just being a person who plays with far too much tension. It can all be corrected but it's not easy to alter life time habits. Best not to make them in the first place. It's partly why I think teachers play an important role, especially those who are aware of posture issues, technique and hand issues.
Pressing too hard with the left hand is a pretty common fault. Rolling the shoulders forward is also a common fault, kind of wrapping yourself around the instrument. Of course there are many others, too many to go into in this discussion.

Joyful Uke
11-24-2016, 05:29 AM
As for getting injured? it's possible, unlikely to be due to the tenor uke unless you are really doing some serious stretches. I don't see how that is possible and those kind of stretches are certainly avoidable.

I'm guessing that some people aren't understanding what it's like to be small, (the OP has what sounds like very small hands), and for some of us, also dealing with past injuries, (had all my fingers smashed, for example.) Youngsters have more flexibility than adults, so comparing children to adults isn't a valid comparison either.

There is an exception to every rule. :-)

But, back to my earlier point - why make it any harder than need be? Why must a small person play tenor, if it would be easier, (and perhaps safer, if there is risk of injury), to play concert or soprano? This is, after all, a hobby for most of us, so why not use the ukulele that fits the person, vs. forcing the person to fit the ukulele? Go have fun!

Joyful Uke
11-24-2016, 05:39 AM
As for getting injured?

BTW, these are really good points also. Posture and technique do make a difference, no matter what size ukulele one uses, or what size hands one has.

Michael N.
11-24-2016, 05:54 AM
I'm guessing that some people aren't understanding what it's like to be small, (the OP has what sounds like very small hands), and for some of us, also dealing with past injuries, (had all my fingers smashed, for example.) Youngsters have more flexibility than adults, so comparing children to adults isn't a valid comparison either.

There is an exception to every rule. :-)

But, back to my earlier point - why make it any harder than need be? Why must a small person play tenor, if it would be easier, (and perhaps safer, if there is risk of injury), to play concert or soprano? This is, after all, a hobby for most of us, so why not use the ukulele that fits the person, vs. forcing the person to fit the ukulele? Go have fun!

I'm more than aware of players with small hands. I've been in this business since the very early 1980's. I've made (and played) a huge variety of plucked fretted instruments. I've made instruments for numerous players with small hands. One of my specialities is short scale nylon strung guitars. I myself have small fingers (for a male).
What you need to understand is that the tenor scale is tiny in comparison to any guitar. I can't emphasise this enough. Really, the OP would have to have the hands of the average 6 year old to even begin to think that her hands were too small. Even then they give guitars to 6 year olds where the scale length is greater than any tenor ukulele, quite a bit greater too.
Now I'm not stating that anyone MUST play a tenor. Far from it. What I am saying is that you would need to have seriously tiny hands before a tenor would present problems. Take the average 10 year old and they are giving them guitars with scale length of over 580 mm's, some even up to full size 650 mm's. That's still far, far greater than the tenor uke scale. Not only that but the fretboard width is much greater. Honestly, there really is no comparison.

JackLuis
11-24-2016, 08:40 AM
One additional thing to consider, a Tenor can be detuned to G6, (dGBE) like a Baritone. I use regular (gCEA) tenor strings on mine and enjoy the lower tension of the strings. There are string set made for this but, I haven't felt the need to buy any yet. I like the re-entrant tuning as it still sound like a Uke and not a Guitar.

I just played the same chord forms and in a couple of months was able to adjust to the real names and sounds of the chords. With Caramel Tenors only ~$60-70 and probably worth twice that if you have to sell it, they are a good buy.

Joyful Uke
11-24-2016, 09:37 AM
Even then they give guitars to 6 year olds where the scale length is greater than any tenor ukulele, quite a bit greater too.

6 year old hands have more flexibility than older hands. And older hands are more likely to have had injuries, or have arthritis than 6 year old hands. It's not a reasonable comparision, IMO.

But, the important thing is that the OP will hopefully find what works best in that individual's situation, whatever the solution might be.

Mivo
11-24-2016, 11:00 AM
If volume is the main criterion, there are sopranos that are louder than most concerts and many tenors. An example would be the Kiwaya/Famous FS-5 (and FS-5G, if you prefer geared tuners). There are also acoustic-electric and purely electric soprano ukuleles (Risa make a nice one).

Nickie
11-24-2016, 02:47 PM
Yes, weeshan....get a concert AND a tenor, and double your fun! It will abate your UAS for a while...

Croaky Keith
11-24-2016, 10:47 PM
........& then you'll start thinking of a baritone! :)

Ziret
11-25-2016, 07:50 AM
I'll add my voice to those who suggest a concert. I am an average to small sized woman, with average hands. I like the sound of a tenor but holding it just doesn't feel right. For me, a concert is perfect. I can fit it with low g strings and it sounds great. But, as everyone is saying, you can't know unless you try. If you are in a ukulele group, is there someone who would loan you a tenor for a few days or weeks? That would give you a better idea even than trying one out at a music store. I seriously understand the desire for a tenor, but personally, the comfort of playing a concert makes up for it, and can sound close enough.