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Griffis
02-26-2017, 04:00 AM
It's great there are so many options for uke sizes/scales. From nanos and sopraninos all the way to large baritones and uke basses.

I know from looking at the instruments in people's sigs and other discussions that many here play a range of uke sizes...some seem to like them all, some favor just one or two scales.

It's all good!

But I wondered who here may play exclusively one size uke.

If so, why?

I'd like to hear why you gravitate towards one particular size of uke.

Also, did you just start playing a certain size and stuck with it, or did you have to go through a bunch of ukes before realizing one specific size suited you best and settling on that?

Thanks.

Pukulele Pete
02-26-2017, 04:02 AM
Anything larger than a soprano is cheating .

Jim Hanks
02-26-2017, 04:14 AM
Anything larger than a soprano is cheating .
Oh boy, there's always one. :rolleyes:
Popcorn is in the microwave:p

I've gravitated towards 16-19" scales - really don't care for the shorter scales.

cml
02-26-2017, 04:23 AM
80% of my playing is on a concert...yet I build tenors. Hmm. I think I like a bigger sound, but like the concert size. A koaloha gives you both :).

Griffis
02-26-2017, 04:25 AM
Anything larger than a soprano is cheating .

Ha, I actually understand that philosophy. I don't really believe in hard-fast rules (about much of anything) and would never call out anyone for playing any size..,everyone has their reasons for their preferences and who am I to say anything?

Also, I enjoy (and own) two sopranos, a concert and a baritone (gifted to me).

But I have to admit, part of me, when playing or listening to a soprano, automatically thinks "Okay, THIS is a ukulele."

Still, I don't judge and I certainly don't think there's a "right or wrong" to any of this. People should play what brings them the most joy.

My grandpa--classic song and dance man--played a baritone and come to think of it, that is probably the first string instrument I ever touched (my dad played jazz horns, trombone mostly.)

Cliff Edwards, an idol of mine, moved from soprano into larger ukes.

You just find the right tool that feels and sounds best to you, that brings you the most joy and conveys the music you want to put into the universe.

If I could only play one, it would be soprano. I have chronic pain which has worsened in my hands to the point I had to give up guitar and bass.

I would think that soprano scale, being somewhat cramped (I have big Homer Simpson hands) would be harder, but concert and baritone scale seem to cause more problems. For some reason I've never gotten on much with tenors.

stevepetergal
02-26-2017, 04:31 AM
I play only concerts.
Started with sopranos, tried a tenor.
I'm happy with the compromise size.

Wooville
02-26-2017, 04:37 AM
I started out with a concert, moved to a tenor, then tried a soprano before trying a baritone....I was hooked! Hardly ever went back to the smaller ukes. Coming from bluegrass bass and guitar, the baritone suited my needs. I play the baritone EVERYDAY!

sukie
02-26-2017, 04:40 AM
I play super concerts. They just work best...for ME.

Rllink
02-26-2017, 04:41 AM
When I decided to start playing the ukulele I researched it on the internet and became confused. So using my own logic I decided that the Baritone was more like a four string guitar and that I wasn't interested in playing a small four string guitar, so I decided that if I got the middle sized one. So that is what I started with, and that is what I play. I did have a soprano that I won, but I gave it away. Then I won another soprano. I'm going to give it away too. If you ask my why, I will say that I don't like it. If you ask my why I don't like it, I'll tell you that I don't know.

mikelz777
02-26-2017, 04:45 AM
I'm leaning in that direction and am strongly considering selling my Pono tenor. That would leave me with two concerts. Call it "Goldilocks choice". I've played a soprano and my fingers were just too squished to make a consistent clean sound. It's too small. I've played a tenor and some of the chord shapes are an uncomfortable stretch. It's verging on too big. The baritone is bigger still so I never even considered one.The concert seems just right. It's very comfortable for my left hand. To my ear, the sound of a concert is just right too. It's not too high and plinky and it's not too low to where it's getting away from a ukulele sound verging into a guitar sound. (That would be more the case with a baritone than it would be with a tenor.)

The current plan I've been mulling over is possibly trying to sell my Pono tenor then I would be left with two concerts. I would either just stick with the two or replace it with a concert for a total of three.

Griffis
02-26-2017, 05:05 AM
I started out with a concert, moved to a tenor, then tried a soprano before trying a baritone....I was hooked! Hardly ever went back to the smaller ukes. Coming from bluegrass bass and guitar, the baritone suited my needs. I play the baritone EVERYDAY!

That's cool. I do love the range of the baritone. Over the years I have thought several times about dedicating myself primarily to the baritone. It's just a bit of a stretch for my hands. Also, I travel a lot (live on the move really) and storage and other space is often an issue, so I like the compact sopranos for those reasons.

Though they have a shorter history, I do like the history of the baritone uke. Again, my grandpa played one, as did my uncle. I am a big fan of 50s novelty songster Nervous Norvus who played bari a lot.

I find myself looking up more baritone uke players on Youtube also. There's a guy on there who plays clawhammer baritone and he's great.

Griffis
02-26-2017, 05:18 AM
I'm leaning in that direction and am strongly considering selling my Pono tenor. That would leave me with two concerts. Call it "Goldilocks choice". I've played a soprano and my fingers were just too squished to make a consistent clean sound. It's too small. I've played a tenor and some of the chord shapes are an uncomfortable stretch. It's verging on too big. The baritone is bigger still so I never even considered one.The concert seems just right. It's very comfortable for my left hand. To my ear, the sound of a concert is just right too..

My first decent ukes were concerts. I played them exclusively for a time before branching out and trying others.

I played uke very seriously for several years starting in 2000, then crept back to bass and guitar for 3-4 years until I just couldn't play them anymore.

Since early last year, uke has become my sole instrument (though I am forever threatening to learn my way around harmonica.)

I only owned a beat up, damaged El Cheapo soprano from about 2012 until last year (it has since been restored and is playable again) but after selling off my remaining guitar and bass gear, when I went last year to buy a new, decent-ish ukulele, I first came home with a Gretsch concert. Very nice instrument IMO, but a week in I took it back and traded it for a Gretsch soprano. The concert seemed too big to me!

Since then a friend has given me a baritone which I enjoy and I did score a concert uke on the cheap. My goal for the concert was to string it low G and play more fingerpicked, classical sorts of things on it.

There is something to love about each size.

kypfer
02-26-2017, 05:25 AM
Like many (most?) I started with a soprano and moved upwards in size, to try them out as much as anything.

As a "general purpose instrument" for strumming, claw-hammering, finger-picking and various melody playing I've settled on a tenor, simply because I never get cramped for space on the fret-board yet I can still play the various ukulele tabs and transcriptions "as written".

My concert is strung "low-G" for those generously supplied tabs that require the extra range.

My baritone is tuned in 5th's and acts as a surrogate tenor banjo for those late evening sessions when one has to consider the neighbours, similarly my pineapple soprano in 5th's substitutes for my mandolin.

My banjolele is as loud and brash as it ever was ... in fact the only ukulele that doesn't get used very much is my original soprano ... it served it's purpose, maybe it's time to find it a new home :(

Griffis
02-26-2017, 06:02 AM
Like many (most?) I started with a soprano...

I wonder if this is still the case. I expect it's true of people who took up the uke a decade or two back (and earlier) and it does seem there are more entry level, budget priced sopranos than other sizes, but it seems like some people in recent years have come to uke through Iz or Jake S. and may start out on tenors (?)

Also it seems that many of the YT vids I see of really incredible, acrobatic players are playing on tenors.

Again, nothing at all wrong with that!

I just wonder if the popularity of the soprano has been superseded by larger sizes...

bikemech
02-26-2017, 06:07 AM
I play concert and soprano scale. I began my ukulele journey with a concert-scale instrument. Before I bought that instrument, it seemed that the soprano, which I tried to play in the stores, was too hard to hold and cramped on the fingerboard. I was also of the opinion that anything much larger than the soprano was verging on "non-ukulele status". So I chose the concert-scale and have played it since my humble uke beginnings.

However, a couple of weeks ago we picked up a Flea soprano. We wanted to get something for my wife to try out to see if she might enjoy playing. (She does! And we have ordered her a concert Flea.) One of the reasons I settled on the Flea was due to it's slightly longer soprano scale and it's wider fret board. I really like playing it! So, will I ever settle on one size? I doubt it. I have been eyeing tenors.

And oh, Griffis, you mentioned a guy playing baritone on Youtube. Would that be Scott Rogers? If so, yes. He makes me want a baritone.

Regards,

Rumplestiltskin is not my name

bunnyf
02-26-2017, 07:18 AM
By baritones are my go-to instruments. I play poor guitar but decent Bari and it suits the music I mainly play, which would be blues, country, rock, and some older folk music. I play soprano mostly for some old-times stuff, pop tunes, Hawaiian music, or when I want to be super-portable.

wickedwahine11
02-26-2017, 07:19 AM
I play only tenor ukes. My first instrument was a soprano, but almost every ukulele I have bought since has been a tenor - including the three I own (and the one in the mail now), I did have a super concert once but that was because it was that particular ukulele (Pineapple Sunday), not because of its particular size. I find I play low g exclusively as I cannot sing to save my life and also just find the body most comfortable for me.

BraddaJ
02-26-2017, 07:30 AM
only been playing tenors the past 10 years or so. Been thinking about getting a concert size either the kala travel or something with a side sound port that I can take around and not worry about it getting banged up.

actadh
02-26-2017, 07:43 AM
I started with a concert and moved to a soprano within a year. Still have all sizes, but my GoTo size is soprano.

Griffis
02-26-2017, 08:06 AM
By baritones are my go-to instruments. I play poor guitar but decent Bari and it suits the music I mainly play, which would be blues, country, rock, and some older folk music. I play soprano mostly for some old-times stuff, pop tunes, Hawaiian music, or when I want to be super-portable.

This makes good sense to me. Sort of my experience to a degree.

Most of what I enjoy playing, commit to memory and want in my repertoire are old pop songs--back to Vaudeville / British Music Hall songs up through jazz standards and crooner stuff popular right up to the WW2 era. For this knd of music, soprano is IT for me. I also find that some simple folk songs and early stringband country sorts of material work well with soprano, especially low G.

But I have very diverse musical tastes. When I want more fingerpicking or classical pieces I tend to grab my concert.

For more modern or rockish things, baritone grabs me.

As I say, to me it's a matter of the right tool for the right work, or whatever best gets across the music you are making.

Of course the main thing is what is most comfortable to you that brings the most joy. That could be different for everyone. Some people love banjo ukes; others can't stand them. For some, a baritone is the thing while others think of it as closer to guitar than ukulele.

I do sometimes think of really knuckling down with soprano only, and focus mainly on the old jazzy tunes I love playing so much.

Even the soprano is very versatile. I mean, listen to John King play Bach transcriptions on one.

Sounds like I am just trying to convince myself, but I do really like hearing about the experience of others, their opinions, goals, personal preferences...

bunnyf
02-26-2017, 08:21 AM
Griffins, I also find the soprano handy in say a bluegrass mixed instrument jam. I may lead with a Bari but if I'm just jammin' in and there is no mando player, the soprano makes a good substitute.

cml
02-26-2017, 08:23 AM
I wonder if this is still the case. I expect it's true of people who took up the uke a decade or two back (and earlier) and it does seem there are more entry level, budget priced sopranos than other sizes, but it seems like some people in recent years have come to uke through Iz or Jake S. and may start out on tenors (?)

Also it seems that many of the YT vids I see of really incredible, acrobatic players are playing on tenors.

Again, nothing at all wrong with that!

I just wonder if the popularity of the soprano has been superseded by larger sizes...
No, in Sweden sopranos are THE ukulele still. Anything else is a step aside from what's normal. All music stores carry some low cost sopranos, a few carry some good ones, and very few carry the other sizes at all.

Croaky Keith
02-26-2017, 08:33 AM
I started out with a tenor, thought it was too big & got a soprano, which was too small, so got a concert, which seemed just right.

Spent most of my first year learning mainly on concert scale ukes of various sorts.

But then I started buying into tenor scale again - they are mainly small bodied - tenor scale soprano, tenor scale concert, & a RISA tenor Uke Ellie electric.

I do have a 20.25" baritone that I really like the sound of, but find it a bit of a stretch, & a 19.75" that seems a better fit.

However - I am still looking at those RISA steel string electric tenors - maybe one day....... :drool:

janeray1940
02-26-2017, 09:22 AM
I'm "exclusively two" sizes: concert and soprano. If forced to choose just one it would be concert, and I have spent long periods of time playing that exclusively, but in the end - some things work better for my small hands on soprano, so I always come back to that even though I usually prefer the sound of concert scale.

Nickie
02-26-2017, 09:38 AM
"I've played a soprano and my fingers were just too squished to make a consistent clean sound. It's too small. I've played a tenor and some of the chord shapes are an uncomfortable stretch. It's verging on too big. The baritone is bigger still so I never even considered one.The concert seems just right. It's very comfortable for my left hand. To my ear, the sound of a concert is just right too. It's not too high and plinky and it's not too low to where it's getting away from a ukulele sound verging into a guitar sound."

This echos my thoughts exactly. I do play the Tiny Tenor occasionally, for lo G songs, the neck scale is problematic for me, as is the tenor scale on my Duke banjo.

Choirguy
02-26-2017, 11:20 AM
I purposely own ukuleles in five sizes, but most of my playing is done on tenor. For pure enjoyment, I am finding myself drawn back to my Opio; and when in hostile climates (camping, traveling), I am on my Outdoor Ukulele Tenor. So 92%-95% of my playing is on a tenor, with the major exception being when I make arrangements on my computer in Notion, and then my Sopranino is at my side so I can quickly play through things without waking up the whole house (I work when everyone else goes to bed),

That said, I own 3 concert sized instruments, and when I play them, I'm pretty happy with the size, maybe happier than Tenor. It is hard as a big guy, however, to not play tenor. That makes no logical sense, but it is the truth.

That all translates to the likelihood of a purchase of a Concert Opio someday. Probably after a Spruce faced Opio Tenor and a Cedar Mainland Tenor.

Griffis
02-26-2017, 11:25 AM
Griffins, I also find the soprano handy in say a bluegrass mixed instrument jam. I may lead with a Bari but if I'm just jammin' in and there is no mando player, the soprano makes a good substitute.

I saw a bluegrass band a few weeks back that had, in lieu of a banjo, a cavaquinho player. That instrument is similar to uke, but usually tuned like a 5-string banjo minus the drone string.

Gary52
02-26-2017, 12:27 PM
I started with tenors, then gravitated to the concert. Now all my ukes are concerts. That's the best size to fit my hands and the majority of my playing (fingerstyle). I occasionally pick up one of my wife's sopranos to experience that classic percussive sound, but they're just too small.

bunnyf
02-26-2017, 12:34 PM
I saw a bluegrass band a few weeks back that had, in lieu of a banjo, a cavaquinho player. That instrument is similar to uke, but usually tuned like a 5-string banjo minus the drone string.

Something like that or the soprano is good for cutting through all the guitars and laying down a backbeat when there is no mando doing that.

Everywhere I uke in the US, I find concert ukes to be the primary choice. I see it in the selection at music stores and in all the jams I go to (and I go to a bunch..ain't retirement great). I think it's the Goldilock thing. I think beginners are drawn to it because they want something definitively ukey but feel sopranos are too small for their hands.

WCBarnes
02-26-2017, 12:41 PM
I started on a soprano and played only that one instrument for about 6 months. It wasn't until I found this site that I discovered there were other sizes. My next purchase was a concert. I liked it because I felt it sounded better when played up the neck. I played those two sizes for about a year and then got a tenor figuring it would be even easier playing up the neck. I owned a couple and have decided that I do not get along with the tenor scale at all. My main size now is concert. It just feels and sounds "right" to me. I still do play sopranos, just not as much as concerts. I have found that if I am playing through a song on one size and get stuck, often times just switching to the other size helps me get it down.

UkerDanno
02-26-2017, 01:13 PM
But I have to admit, part of me, when playing or listening to a soprano, automatically thinks "Okay, THIS is a ukulele.".

It's true...:shaka:

kohanmike
02-26-2017, 02:00 PM
Almost four years ago I bought a ukulele I saw in a catalogue that looked like my Fender Telecaster guitar, so I bought it just to hang it next to the guitar with no intention of playing it. A few weeks later I received a notice for a ukulele play-along and decided that since I have a uke, I'll participate, but when I tried to learn a few chords on the internet, I had a lot of difficulty getting my fingers to fit between the frets. I learned it was a soprano and immediately went out and played a concert and a tenor, the tenor was it for me.

Since then all my ukes have been tenor cutaway, I've gone through about twenty but have settled on seven. A couple years later the leader of our group asked for volunteers to play bass. I looked at what was available and found all the bass ukes, so I went for it. I'm up to fourteen bass ukes and mini bass guitars.

spookelele
02-26-2017, 06:06 PM
I only play tenor. My fingers are stupid because I play by shape/position.
They need everything to be in the same places or else they play wrong notes.
There's something to muscle memory that locks me into tenor scale.
A chord to me is a shape in a place. A pitch is a place on a string.
If I change scale, those places move, and I have to think about it, which detracts from playing.

Maybe it's just me. I've tried other scales... and just cant do it.

stevepetergal
02-26-2017, 06:30 PM
When I decided to start playing the ukulele I researched it on the internet and became confused. So using my own logic I decided that the Baritone was more like a four string guitar and that I wasn't interested in playing a small four string guitar, so I decided that if I got the middle sized one. So that is what I started with, and that is what I play. I did have a soprano that I won, but I gave it away. Then I won another soprano. I'm going to give it away too. If you ask my why, I will say that I don't like it. If you ask my why I don't like it, I'll tell you that I don't know.

Uhh...so, what size do you play, Rllink?

valde002
02-26-2017, 06:38 PM
Only play concert now.

Just like others, started on soprano. Then found out there were other sizes, so tried and bought a concert. Heard about tenors so I bought a tenor. Found out that my fingers were too squished with the soprano. Couldn't stretch my hand enough for chords on the tenor. Gave my soprano to my daughter, the tenor to my brother. So I have now settled on the concert size and am sticking with that size. It's all about the finger feel and playing experience for me.

Debussychopin
02-26-2017, 07:46 PM
This is crazy explanation but it is mine.

I can play/practice easier on tenor or baritone (even concert somewhat) but the soprano is unwieldy.

Ergonomically (fingers, joints cramming, neck, arms, posture), musically (have to control the chirpiness of tone and flat sound of higher fret due to string gauge thickness issue at those frets), and mentally (playing on it is tiring due to limit of its space and confining) it is a high challenge and that is what intrigues me and I want to get good at it.

I'm not a strum player.

Sanfe
02-26-2017, 07:55 PM
I played a few of all sizes and generally like the sound of sopranos. As the bodies get bigger, they seem to lose that "ukulele" sound to me. The concert size is about as big as I'll go. After that, especially strung with a low-G, I might as well play the guitar, and I do - I have one of those Yamaha Guitaleles.

Plus, I play some parts that would require some finger stretching on anything bigger than a soprano, so soprano it is.

So I'm pretty much exclusively a soprano player because of the sound and what the shorter scale allows me.

jimavery
02-27-2017, 02:36 AM
Anything bigger than a soprano just isn't a "ukulele" in my mind. I've tried tenor and concert, but felt like a traitor playing them. I sometimes play a sopranino just for some variety, or if it's easier to pick than up than transpose up a tone or two.

Another problem I have with concert and tenor is you can't readily tune them to ADF#B which is, of course, the only true tuning for ukulele. ;)

Pukulele Pete
02-27-2017, 03:01 AM
To the people that think a soprano is too small , try a soprano with a wide nut , Martins do it for me.
I have a nice Ohana which I almost never play because of the narrow nut. I can see how people are turned off to sopranos because of the narrow nut on most imported ukes.

Griffis
02-27-2017, 03:12 AM
To the people that think a soprano is too small , try a soprano with a wide nut , Martins do it for me.
I have a nice Ohana which I almost never play because of the narrow nut. I can see how people are turned off to sopranos because of the narrow nut on most imported ukes.

Do you know if the Martin OXK has the wider nut? I've been interested in those but they are somewhat out of my price range.

Pukulele Pete
02-27-2017, 03:44 AM
Do you know if the Martin OXK has the wider nut? I've been interested in those but they are somewhat out of my price range.

Yes it does. Great uke . Check out the Martin SO , you can find them for around $200 on Ebay. The SO sometimes gets a bad rap but I think it's a great uke , I have 2 .

zztush
02-27-2017, 04:20 AM
I only have one ukulele.

Anything larger than a soprano is cheating.

fowl
02-27-2017, 04:21 AM
I pretty much play soprano all the time. I have very small 70 yr old hands with lots of arthritis and it works best. I have a Flea and that gives you a bit more space on the first few frets which is helpful.

Pukulele Pete
02-27-2017, 04:25 AM
Anything larger than a soprano is cheating.

:agree::cheers::nana:

willisoften
02-27-2017, 04:53 AM
I pretty much play soprano, I like Ukulele to sound like Ukulele. I do have a Concert and to me it has a different sound but it's still all ukulele.

When people start talking about wanting a bigger sound - I think they should go try a guitar, because it seems that's actually the sound they want. Nothing wrong with that, just saying.

Griffis
02-27-2017, 05:32 AM
Yes it does. Great uke . Check out the Martin SO , you can find them for around $200 on Ebay. The SO sometimes gets a bad rap but I think it's a great uke , I have 2 .

My best friend has an SO and we both love it. No it's not a 1920s Style 3 but I never understood the bad rap either. I'm more interested in the OXK because of the HPL construction. Seems like it'd be sturdier and less affected by temp, humidity, etc.

Pukulele Pete
02-27-2017, 05:51 AM
I got my OXK on Ebay for $180 used. I leave my SO out on the coffee table all winter , I've had no problems.

P.S. Everyone relax , you are not cheating if you play something larger , it is meant to be funny :biglaugh: :old:

drbekken
02-27-2017, 07:08 AM
I prefer the baritone or the soprano. I have a couple of tenors that I tune re-entrant dGBE, but I don't play them very much, even though I like that tuning way better than the C tuning. The soprano for me remains THE ukulele, but the baritone is great too, due to the mellow tone and the possibility to use it instead of a guitar or banjo in a swing/trad jazz setting. I play guitar (poorly), but with the baritone, in that 'Chicago' DGBE tuning, I can play any song in any key, and sit in with all kinds of jazz or blues bands. I guess my love for the baritone comes from the fact that it is so different from the soprano, even if it uses the same chord shapes (not the keys, though) as the soprano. I don't think it sounds like a guitar either, it has its own very special sound and tone, which is very dear to me. At present, I have a battered Rogue baritone that I absolutely LOVE, but an even bigger favourite is the Romanian Hora bari; a solid mahogany wonder that far surpassed my expectations. My current soprano is a Martin S1 that I just bought, but I also have a cheapo Rogue that I can take anywhere with no fears...
(I didn't mention concerts...I had one, but gave it away. It was ok, but it didn't give me a kick. So, it had to go.)

Mivo
03-07-2017, 07:15 AM
I've tried all four standard sizes and a longneck soprano, a guitarlele and a parlor (OO size) guitar. For a couple years I tried to find the size that would work best for me exclusively, and this quest for exclusivity led to frustration more than to the desired minimalist liberation. :)

But I did learn (resigned to the fact) that for myself there is no one size that meets all my needs, because my expectations are contradictionary. I also realized that compromises (concert size) leave me wanting, wondering, and ultimately a little unsatisfied. As a result I now have only sopranos in reentrant D and one in C, and tenors with a low-G. This lets me play the traditional version of the instrument and also gives me instruments to play sustain-heavier, fuller sounding music on.

I'll say that to me a soprano is "the" ukulele. A linear, low-G tenor is almost a different instrument in my eyes and ears, but I nevertheless enjoy it greatly. Labels aren't so important that I would want them to dictate what I play, although that did happen for a while.

I still would prefer having only two instruments or three. Working on it by buying another. ;) This winter I got pretty tired of the humidity thing and the babying required. So yesterday I bought a Blackbird Farallon (low-G) that I get tomorrow (going right against my intention to not spend so much or buy another uke) and I have the laminate Kiwaya FS-5G soprano that is equally unbothered by climate changes. Those will see the most play.

But at least I'm down to two sizes, though not two instruments. :)

Griffis
03-07-2017, 09:22 AM
I have really enjoyed all the responses to the thread.

I would just like to reiterate that by starting this thread I was not advocating for one size only, or implying one size was more "correct" than any other.

I am very glad there are players with diverse interests, skills, and goals--and a diversity of ukes to encompass them all!

I was simply curious as to who may have settled on one size, and if they went through a "process of elimination" in order to find what worked best for them.

Maybe I'm just a man of extremes, but I most enjoy sopranos and baritones, but it's all about what makes the individual player the happiest and facilities them making the music they most enjoy.

Debussychopin
03-07-2017, 09:59 AM
I am still amazed at the capacity the soprano uke has in allowing me to practice in bed lying down or at a traffic red light in the car or just going grocery shopping or at the dmv or waiting in the doctor's office.

Griffis
03-07-2017, 10:22 AM
I only have one ukulele.

May we know what uke it is? Always curious...especially when someone has found "The One" and it is all they feel the need for.

Rob Uker
03-07-2017, 10:41 AM
For strumming I like sopranos the best but for finger style I like tenors.
Being that I avoid singing I usually play a tenor.

bratsche
03-07-2017, 12:22 PM
I have only a baritone uke. I was drawn to it as a compromise while waiting to find an instrument as elusive as a unicorn, it seems - an octave mandolin with a 19" scale. My baritone has a 20" scale, but that's okay, since the tension is so much less. And it's tuned like an octave mandolin, so it's lower than your typical baritone by a 5th.

I'm not drawn to smaller ukes, or smaller instruments generally. Sonorally, they're too high pitched, and ergonomically they're too "tight". Despite beginning on violin as a child, and even being able to play one professionally, I gravitated toward viola, and later, mandola. I'm a woman, not particularly tall, and with normal, average sized hands, but I find stretching is much more desireable and comfortable than "scrunching". Do I need (or want) a tenor uke, especially since it's the same scale as a mandola? I've seriously thought about that. But I am not convinced, at this point. Mostly I think I would find it a disappointment, after the baritone. It would really have to have a big, mellow sound to attract me. Why not guitar? Well, I love the sound of classical guitar, but it's just too big, and has too many (different) strings, and fifths tuning is not an option. I've been exclusively playing instruments tuned in fifths for more than half a century, and I think my brain is too stuck in that mode to change at this stage. :) So I'm very happy with my baritone.

bratsche

Griffis
03-07-2017, 01:02 PM
I have only a baritone uke. I was drawn to it as a compromise while waiting to find an instrument as elusive as a unicorn, it seems - an octave mandolin with a 19" scale. My baritone has a 20" scale, but that's okay, since the tension is so much less. And it's tuned like an octave mandolin, so it's lower than your typical baritone by a 5th.

I'm not drawn to smaller ukes, or smaller instruments generally. Sonorally, they're too high pitched, and ergonomically they're too "tight". Despite beginning on violin as a child, and even being able to play one professionally, I gravitated toward viola, and later, mandola. I'm a woman, not particularly tall, and with normal, average sized hands, but I find stretching is much more desireable and comfortable than "scrunching". Do I need (or want) a tenor uke, especially since it's the same scale as a mandola? I've seriously thought about that. But I am not convinced, at this point. Mostly I think I would find it a disappointment, after the baritone. It would really have to have a big, mellow sound to attract me. Why not guitar? Well, I love the sound of classical guitar, but it's just too big, and has too many (different) strings, and fifths tuning is not an option. I've been exclusively playing instruments tuned in fifths for more than half a century, and I think my brain is too stuck in that mode to change at this stage. :) So I'm very happy with my baritone.

bratsche

bratsche, there is a tenor-scale 8 string ukulele by Oscar Schmidt-- the model # is OU28T. Available for around $110. You might have to poke around online to see about the possibility of 5ths tuning. I have heard of mandolins being tuned to gcea like a uke, and ukes tuned gdae like a violin or mandolin. You might have to get some suggestions for string sets, but it may be possible for you to get an approximation of an octave mandolin with nylon strings for low money.

Ziret
03-07-2017, 01:37 PM
I want to see you playing it at Safeway and the DMV. Please post pictures!
I am still amazed at the capacity the soprano uke has in allowing me to practice in bed lying down or at a traffic red light in the car or just going grocery shopping or at the dmv or waiting in the doctor's office.

Nickie
03-07-2017, 05:00 PM
I strictly try to stick to concert ukes. I do play a Tiny Tenor, and a tenor size banjolele (Duke) but the frets are a stretch apart for me. I guess you could say I play at 2 sizes.

Mivo
03-07-2017, 06:57 PM
Do I need (or want) a tenor uke, especially since it's the same scale as a mandola? I've seriously thought about that. But I am not convinced, at this point. Mostly I think I would find it a disappointment, after the baritone. It would really have to have a big, mellow sound to attract me.

I had a higher end baritone and ended up selling it, even though it was wonderful. I just found it too mellow and favored the low-g tenor sound to it (which is a nice contrast to my reentrant, D tuned sopranos). But based on what you've written, you'd almost certainly be disappointed and the money would be better spent on another baritone. What really enarmoured me with the low-G tenor sound was Daniel Ho's Polani album.

Debussychopin
03-07-2017, 07:53 PM
I want to see you playing it at Safeway and the DMV. Please post pictures!

I will one day. I promise


But remember, I said practice. Not play.

zztush
03-07-2017, 11:04 PM
May we know what uke it is? Always curious...especially when someone has found "The One" and it is all they feel the need for.

Thank you for asking, Griffis!

I have Aria au-120.

I show it in this thread.

http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?125276-toy-guitar&highlight=toy+guitar

Fuzzbass
03-07-2017, 11:12 PM
I have a Ubass, a tenor, a concert and a soprano. I play the Ubass at two Ukulele groups I go to. I seem to spend my time fairly equally between the three other Ukes. Wouldn't want one to get jealous. They all have personalities. On a similar vein, does anyone name and sex their instruments? I own two Fender basses, both American Specials, one a Jazz and one a Precision. I have the same colour scratchplate (black with white binding) on both, the Jazz is Candy apple red and the precision is black. I call them the twins. The Precision is known as "The Boy" and the Jazz "The girl". I know my Ubass is male, pretty sure my tenor Uke is, not sure of the other two yet.

Right, I'm off to take my medication and get back in my box :-P

Ziret
03-08-2017, 07:36 AM
Understood. I'm going to hold you to it.

I will one day. I promise


But remember, I said practice. Not play.

TopDog
03-08-2017, 08:08 AM
You need to play the size/scale that suits YOU and that you
are comfortable with. I have played all scales from 'nino to
Baritone, and my 'weapon of choice' is always Soprano; But
as I said, what feelks right for YOU is the perfect way to go!

PTOEguy
03-08-2017, 10:15 AM
Do you know if the Martin OXK has the wider nut? I've been interested in those but they are somewhat out of my price range.

If you're looking for a wide nut that is inexpensive, try Islander - They are some of the most comfortable to play ukes (at least for me).

PTOEguy
03-08-2017, 10:23 AM
A quick thought on this - I play concerts (several) and a baritone. I don't think of baritone as a size alternative to the soprano/concert/tenor. It is usually tuned to a different pitch and has a very different sound. So concert is my favorite size for playing in C and I have a baritone for when I need something that sounds different.

Griffis
03-08-2017, 11:51 AM
If you're looking for a wide nut that is inexpensive, try Islander - They are some of the most comfortable to play ukes (at least for me).

I have played a couple of Islanders and was very impressed with their sound and build and playability. However, at least the Islanders I tried out had very thin neck profiles (front to back.) Coming from electric bass, I really prefer chunkier necks. I like to feel like I'm holding a baseball bat. When the neck is thick enough it really fills that space around the web of your thumb...I dig that.

BearMakingNoises
03-08-2017, 06:08 PM
I have played all sizes at one point or another and found myself gradually sticking to soprano. I like the high sweet tone, challenge of arranging for it, and excellent portablility of it. It just feels right.

Ziret
03-08-2017, 06:17 PM
Me too. To my surprise and delight. Plus you can play laying down, it's easy and fast to compose on it, can be stowed in a small space and they travel easy, plus, they're cheaper, so you can buy more of them.

Mivo
03-08-2017, 07:33 PM
A quick thought on this - I play concerts (several) and a baritone. I don't think of baritone as a size alternative to the soprano/concert/tenor. It is usually tuned to a different pitch and has a very different sound. So concert is my favorite size for playing in C and I have a baritone for when I need something that sounds different.

I feel that way about my two tenors with low-g. It's like they are different instruments, not just ukukeles that are bigger versions of my sopranos. Then again, two of my sopranos are in D tuning, emphasizing the difference further. But just the low-g makes a big difference in how I perceive and experience the instruments.