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peridot
01-20-2017, 10:41 PM
Hello, i'm currently VERY new to string instruments (honestly i have never touched one or seen one close-up in my life). I was wondering if i should pick a concert or tenor uke (soprano is definitely out because my hands are HUGE and i'm overweight so i have really chubby fingers.) I heard that the concert and tenor are both good for people with large hands. But the songs i would like to play are by Tyler Joseph and i believe he uses a concert. But i also like songs by Green Day, The Beatles, Metallica ...etc and the tenor sounds more like a small guitar... Sooo which one do you think i should get?

cml
01-20-2017, 10:44 PM
It has nothing to do with being a beginner, but rather which size feels, plays and sounds good to you. Personally, I'm partial to concerts.

WCBarnes
01-20-2017, 10:48 PM
:agree:

CML's advice is perfect. Do you have a store near by where you can try different sizes? That would be my suggestion. Try out different ones and play the one that you like.

delmar500
01-21-2017, 12:03 AM
:agree:

CML's advice is perfect. Do you have a store near by where you can try different sizes? That would be my suggestion. Try out different ones and play the one that you like.That is exactly what I did. I found that the concert was just about as easy for me to fret as the tenor. I also have a cheap soprano, and while I originally thought my hands were too big for it, I am finding that the more I work on flexibility and finger independence exercises the easier the soprano is for me to play.

DownUpDave
01-21-2017, 03:16 AM
It is a personal choice and tone will have more to do with it. My first uke was a tenor, over the years I have had Concerts and Sopranos but still prefer tenors. I do find them easier to play with the longer neck and larger space between frets.

Patrick Madsen
01-21-2017, 03:29 AM
I'm partial to tenors and baritones. If you're "big boned", with large fingers, and can't try any out, I suggest a tenor or for a more guitar like sound, a baritone

The most important thing is to ensure it's been setup properly. Setup at the factory is not good enough. Mims ukes, uke republic and HMS are a few I can remember that ensure the action and intonation are right before shipping out.

Good luck, you won't regret learning to play a uke.

PhilUSAFRet
01-21-2017, 05:19 AM
It has nothing to do with being a beginner, but rather which size feels, plays and sounds good to you. Personally, I'm partial to concerts.

Same here.

Croaky Keith
01-21-2017, 06:06 AM
I bought all 3 sizes, in rapid succession, when I started out, & found the concert scale to be the best one to start with.
My hands didn't want to stretch far enough for the tenor, & I couldn't squeeze my fingers into the soprano fretboard.
Today, I have soprano, concert, tenor, & baritones, as well as some 'long necks' which I rather like. :)

kypfer
01-21-2017, 06:17 AM
I just took my tape measure to all my ukuleles ... all the sopranos and my concert have a string spacing across the nut of 1 1/16", the tenor and baritone are both 1 1/8" ... not a whole bunch of difference ... especially when compared to the top four strings on my guitars and banjos, all of which are narrower than 1".

My point is, for just starting out, any ukulele should be playable. If your fingers totally crowd out a soprano, a tenor or baritone won't be much better.

This guy https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tYy_M4lrH54 isn't light of a pound or two but seems to manage his little ukulele quite well ;)

As mentioned by others ... having your instrument setup properly is probably the most important consideration.

Enjoy :music:

JackLuis
01-21-2017, 06:59 AM
My vote is for Concert, unless the beginner is small. I got my granddaughter a sopronino because she was 4 and the little one fit her. I'm hoping now that she is 5 she will start playing it. For adults the concert is not as hard to chord as a tenor and the skills learned in a concert will make a tenor easier to play later.

Yes buy a concert that is well set up and you'll be ready for anything after you learn to play it. And you will get an instrument that can play most types of music.

JackLuis
01-21-2017, 06:59 AM
My vote is for Concert, unless the beginner is small. I got my granddaughter a sopronino because she was 4 and the little one fit her. I'm hoping now that she is 5 she will start playing it. For adults the concert is not as hard to chord as a tenor and the skills learned in a concert will make a tenor easier to play later.

Yes buy a concert that is well set up and you'll be ready for anything after you learn to play it. And you will get an instrument that can play most types of music.

TopDog
01-22-2017, 06:36 AM
My own hands are huge, as am I! And I have played tenor,
concert and soprano. And surprisingly I tend to play soprano
more than the others, it just pleases me. Go with whatever
feels comfortable to you,and try out as many as possible in
your nearest store!

plastuku
01-22-2017, 09:13 AM
You know, you could get a tenor (or even a baritone) and a capo, and get reasonably close to all three (or four) scale lengths.

vanflynn
01-22-2017, 09:33 AM
It has nothing to do with being a beginner, but rather which size feels, plays and sounds good to you. Personally, I'm partial to concerts.

Yep and yep.

First off don't go cheap (i.e. $50). A lousy instrument will be tough to learn on and may turn you off to playing. For a bit more you can get more playable instrument. Next I would recommend contacting a real uke dealer and discussing what you want. They will be invaluable. Mim's Ukes, HMS or Ukulele Republic are very good. (If you are not in the US maybe some members might recommend a local dealer).

Hope you are getting some good advice and happy hunting

(Also, welcome to UU!)

Inksplosive AL
01-22-2017, 11:55 AM
I vote off the board for a soprano!

The only size you need!

Choirguy
01-22-2017, 03:30 PM
If you are dealing with middle school and beyond, a $37 Caramel Concert (shipped) is an ideal first instrument. While they can benefit from a setup, they come "good enough" to not dissuade a new player. Then as UAS hits and you visit Guitar Center and other music stores, you can play soprano and tenor and see what you really like.

If you know Soprano is your first choice, the Makala Dolphin is also a good starter instrument.

And if you are in a horrid environment for a ukulele..Outdoor Ukuleles (currently Sopranos and Tenors) are a smart purchase as they require no care and feeding.

While there are some on this forum that say you should buy the best instrument you can afford; I am not sure of that sentiment.

Once you have started to love the instrument, that is when I would point you towards the second ukulele--whatever size--to one of the ukulele vendors that will set up that ukulele for you (In no particular order: Mim, The Ukulele Site, Uke Republic, Mainland, etc.)

And after you have a ukulele in that $500-$1300 range, the next stop will be a custom. I'm not there yet.

igorthebarbarian
01-22-2017, 03:35 PM
String tension is going to be lower on a Concert. So that may be easier on your virgin fingertips when you're just starting out. As others mentioned, buy one from MIMs or HMS or Uke Republic (who are on "vacation" at NAMM but back soon). Their setup is invaluable.

zztush
01-22-2017, 10:16 PM
I admit that US, UK and UU are the most democratic places on the planet. But votes only work after enough discussions.

https://s30.postimg.org/rhao7xvht/1417949458875.jpg (https://postimg.org/image/55cvejwdp/)image sharing sites (https://postimage.org/)

My friend is over 90kg with sausage fingers. He started ukulele with soprano and he is just enjoying it. I am bit sad that we have no choice for soprano on this vote. My choice is same as kypfer.

Pukulele Pete
01-23-2017, 04:05 AM
Anything larger than a soprano is cheating .

kdmccullum
01-23-2017, 06:53 AM
I voted concert. However, I started with a Tenor then switched to soprano nine months later. Finally sold my Tenor because I am now so used to sopranos that my Tenor was too big. I'm a big guy too so I wouldn't worry about having big hands. It's just a matter of practice.

Kurt

jer
01-23-2017, 12:57 PM
I voted concert, but really it's a personal preference thing.

willisoften
01-23-2017, 01:28 PM
I learned on a Soprano as a youngster, and in my 50s now other sizes seem awkward, I do own a concert, which I love, but it took a lot of getting used to.

I learned to play banjo in my youth but thats too heavy, and I learned guitar but thats like playing furniture, but baby bears soprano uke is just right. It's all down to personal preference. I'm sure it has already been mentioned but if you can try before you buy - that's best.

Gammo
01-23-2017, 02:21 PM
I started on a cheap soprano but UAS kicked in very quickly and I got a concert. I think learning on a concert makes it easier to switch up in size to a tenor or down in size to a soprano when the mood takes.

JackLuis
01-27-2017, 03:40 PM
:agree:

My concert helped me learn a lot, but now I prefer Tenor for size and Baritone for sound.

dhbailey
01-27-2017, 11:57 PM
I just got my first uke and I selected tenor because I had played the different sizes in a music store over a period of many months (I repair woodwind and brass instruments for the store so I'm there every week) and found that the tone of the tenor appealed to me more than the tone of the soprano or the concert sizes. My advice is to go to a store and try them all out. Check out some basic chord shapes online (print them out if need be) so you can try them on the different size ukes in the store and see what works best for you and which you like the tone of best.

Booli
01-28-2017, 01:54 AM
I think that the scale length as in NECK LENGTH betw concert and tenor for fat fingers and those with hand problems is less of a different feel than going from concert to soprano, than concert to tenor.

The mention of string tension is likely an issue for beginners, and on average, regardless of strings used, a concert can have anywhere from 7-10 lbs LESS string tension than a tenor, and lower string tension means that it will be easier to press down the strings until you build up strength in your hand. How fast you build strength depends upon how much you practice.

Also, to note that beginners often press way too hard on the strings when fretting. You do NOT need a gorilla grip, you just need the string to make contact with the metal fret and DO NOT need to press the string all the way down flat to the wood of the fretboard, for doing so makes the note sharp, and will still be a problem even if your instrument has been setup by a good shop.

Only light pressure is needed. It is a skill that you must learn if you want to play well and play properly.

So despite having meaty fingers, the concert might be easier to play because of lower tension. So I vote CONCERT for you here now.

Good luck! :music: