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Bazyliszek
12-21-2017, 08:36 AM
I was wondering if a tenor ukulele has any advantages, like playing more advanced songs up the fingerboard?

kohanmike
12-21-2017, 09:51 AM
I prefer a tenor for playability and tone.

Croaky Keith
12-21-2017, 10:47 AM
My present favourite size is a tenor necked concert, best of both worlds. :)

Bazyliszek
12-21-2017, 10:56 AM
Can you play any songs on a concert and tenor equally or will a tenor be better/easier?

zztush
12-21-2017, 11:08 AM
Check your favorite pros and type of plays. My favorite guiter players use dreadnotes and they take advantage of its size.

hendulele
12-21-2017, 01:53 PM
Can you play any songs on a concert and tenor equally or will a tenor be better/easier?

The tuning and chord shapes are the same. You should have more room between frets with a tenor. If you have short fingers you may prefer a concert.

Bazyliszek
12-21-2017, 04:36 PM
Just in general, I was wondering if you up the fretboard, will you still be able to play them as beautifully as a tenor. I only have a concert flea, and the higher notes barely ring out (don't know if that's because half the instrument isn't real wood). It really makes the higher frets sound dull.

JackLuis
12-21-2017, 05:29 PM
Try different strings first. Try some PhD's or D'Addario EJ-99's.

robinboyd
12-21-2017, 05:36 PM
Just in general, I was wondering if you up the fretboard, will you still be able to play them as beautifully as a tenor. I only have a concert flea, and the higher notes barely ring out (don't know if that's because half the instrument isn't real wood). It really makes the higher frets sound dull.

In my (admittedly limited) experience, whether notes ring out up the fret board has more to do with the type of strings than the length of the scale.

The longer scale of the tenor will give you a few more notes to play with, but the chances of you playing anything that high up the A string are limited. I think it comes down more to personal preference about what feels comfortable.

captain-janeway
12-22-2017, 07:51 AM
Can you play any songs on a concert and tenor equally or will a tenor be better/easier?

Hand size problems here. Bought a beautiful sounding tenor as my first instrument, then found I couldn't play it because my hands are too small. I personally loved that tenor because it has a deeper sound like a guitar to me. Like everyone else was saying, go to a store and see what's comfortable and what sounds good to you.

Bazyliszek
12-22-2017, 08:57 AM
I have tried each model and feel that any size can be mastered, given time. I came from violin to guitar and now ukulele, so difficult fingering/chords aren't a problem XD. Such a hard decision, but if I HAD to choose between all the sizes, it would be between a concert and tenor.

SoloRule
12-22-2017, 10:13 AM
Tenor body projects more volume than concert.
If you are still unsure, why not get a long neck concert so you have both in one?
I did not read every single comments before this one so someone may have already made that suggestion.

Croaky Keith
12-22-2017, 10:56 PM
Yep, best of both in one uke. (Post #4) ;)

DownUpDave
12-22-2017, 11:01 PM
I have tried each model and feel that any size can be mastered, given time. I came from violin to guitar and now ukulele, so difficult fingering/chords aren't a problem XD. Such a hard decision, but if I HAD to choose between all the sizes, it would be between a concert and tenor.

The answer is in the instrument itself and to a certain part the strings. A well made higher priced instrument will usually sound clearer and ring out more as you go higher up the neck. If I take a $100 uke and a $1500 uke the latter will sound better. Tenor will give a better tone because of physics, pressing down on the 12th fret there is more string length between that fret and the nut for the string to oscillate. Also the larger sound board and body contribute to "more" sound.

If you have every played a high quailty barritone high the neck it is a joy to hear. Lots more string length to vibrate. Then compare that to a soprano, not much ringing in comparison. I have probably offended owners of fleas, sopranos and sub $1500 instruments. Not my intention just my experience from actually owning and playing a bunch of all of them. If your highest prioity is to hear bell like tones above the 12th fret the above usually applies.

Graham Greenbag
12-23-2017, 12:11 AM
I agree with the above, it matches my experience of things.

“I was wondering if a tenor ukulele has any advantages, like playing more advanced songs up the fingerboard?”

The different Uke sizes are, amongst other considerations, a trade-off between various things. All other things equal the Tenor will be louder, longer in sustain and deeper sounding than the Concert for any given note or chord. However the extra distance between frets can make the Tenor more difficult for some people to play it, the Tenor is more bulky, the Tenor is more expensive and some people are happier with a little more chirpyness in the sound and a slightly reduced volume. What works for you will be what fits your particular needs - it can take some time to understand what they are, what will meet them best and what's tolerable in that trade-off.

In more specific answer to the OP a lot of very skilled folk play Sopranos up to and beyond the 12th fret, so smaller scales are not necessarily that limiting in what can be played. I suggest that the Concert scale is a good compromise and I think that it’s more popular than the Tenor size, but that’s amongst the adults that I see playing in Uke Clubs.

Rakelele
12-23-2017, 12:18 AM
Just my personal take, but I don't see how a long neck concert would be "best of both"? You're not gaining much in terms of portability, you still have to stretch your fingers more (if that is a concern), but lose the fuller sound of a bigger body that you'll get from a real tenor. If you like the punchy sound of a smaller body, then why not just go with a regular concert - or a soprano, for that matter? I can see the long-neck concept appealing to someone who wants that punchy sound but is afraid that their hands/fingers might be too big at a shorter scale. But then again, there are plenty of big guys mastering the soprano.

My advise would be to choose a size according to what sound you want: For that "traditional", percussive ukulele sound, go with a soprano (or a concert); for a more "modern" and versatile sound, go with a tenor. Reentrant tuning (high G) will work on all of them, linear tuning (low G) will generally work better with the scale and body volume of a tenor.

Like most of us, you'll probably end up with both anyway...

robinboyd
12-23-2017, 12:54 AM
If you have every played a high quailty barritone high the neck it is a joy to hear. Lots more string length to vibrate. Then compare that to a soprano, not much ringing in comparison.

I'm not claiming to be an expert by any means, but I've found that the lower string tension of a concert offsets the extra string length of a tenor in this regard.

DownUpDave
12-23-2017, 01:00 AM
I'm not claiming to be an expert by any means, but I've found that the lower string tension of a concert offsets the extra string length of a tenor in this regard.

I am not an expert either, just my experience. You have a valid point about lower string tension, a larger body size does help though. It really does come down to individual instruments. Some ring out better than others higher up the neck

Bazyliszek
12-23-2017, 05:57 AM
This is a bit off topic, but I really like satin necks on all my instruments (coming from violin). Do I run the risk of scratching a satin/oil finish on a ukulele over time with strumming techniques? I wish ukulele companies made gloss bodies with natural/oil/satin necks.

bratsche
12-23-2017, 07:05 AM
You can make a glossy neck satin using mild abrasives, or remove the finish entirely if you wish. Or if you don't trust your abilities, have a luthier do it for you.

bratsche

Rakelele
12-23-2017, 09:55 AM
I wish ukulele companies made gloss bodies with natural/oil/satin necks.

The new Pono Master Series features exactly that: a high gloss body with a satin finished neck...

https://www.theukulelesite.com/catalogsearch/result/?cat=0&q=pono+master+series

Other than that, there are several custom makers who offer this combination, like Ko'olau and Kinnard, but they will cost triple the price of a Pono. Kanilea offers this option upon request.

spookelele
12-25-2017, 01:24 PM
I was wondering if a tenor ukulele has any advantages, like playing more advanced songs up the fingerboard?

All things equal in build and technique, a tenor will sound clearer with more sustain when you play up the fret board.
The physics of a longer string... just do that.
Then again... you might not need a longer sustain, or want that sound, or want to deal with the higher string tension.

As people say, there is a different sound and character to a tenor.
It's one I prefer, but different strokes for different folks.

There's no right or wrong answer, but there is a difference.

frianm
12-25-2017, 06:57 PM
So much of this is personal - finger and hand size, ability to fret chords on a small instrument etc - then come issues of the size of your wallet. I now have four sopranos and two tenors. I had a concert but did not really connect with it, it was personal. If you have decent strings on a quality instrument you will never be let down. On the other hand a poor instrument poorly set up will be horrible whatever the size. In the middle of that there will be difficulties with a quality instrument that is badly set up. I have bought and sold several instruments before deciding on my preferred instruments.
Play lots and make decisions carefully.

Rllink
12-26-2017, 03:44 AM
So much of this is personal - finger and hand size, ability to fret chords on a small instrument etc - then come issues of the size of your wallet. I now have four sopranos and two tenors. I had a concert but did not really connect with it, it was personal. If you have decent strings on a quality instrument you will never be let down. On the other hand a poor instrument poorly set up will be horrible whatever the size. In the middle of that there will be difficulties with a quality instrument that is badly set up. I have bought and sold several instruments before deciding on my preferred instruments.
Play lots and make decisions carefully.
That is so true. I bought a concert to start, and then I bought another concert upgrade. I just figured I was a concert kind of guy. Then after four years of playing concert ukuleles, I bought a soprano just to have around and as maybe a backup. I've only played the concert a few times since. But the question was concert vs tenor, and in my case anyway, I had to draw the line in regards to how big I wanted to go and still feel like I'm playing a ukulele. I drew the line at concert. Of course, that could change. I try not to become so committed to something that I am not open to change.

Nickie
12-29-2017, 04:56 PM
I have probably offended owners of fleas, sopranos and sub $1500 instruments.

GRRR, I'm SO offended, both of my most expensive ukes cost just over 1500 total!




(JK)

Nickie
12-29-2017, 04:58 PM
This is a bit off topic, but I really like satin necks on all my instruments (coming from violin). Do I run the risk of scratching a satin/oil finish on a ukulele over time with strumming techniques? I wish ukulele companies made gloss bodies with natural/oil/satin necks.

I hear ya, I hate gloss finish necks. UGH!
The 1st thing I did to my guitar and banjouke was take the finish off!

DPO
12-29-2017, 06:57 PM
[QUOTE=Nickie;2026967]I hear ya, I hate gloss finish necks. UGH!
The 1st thing I did to my guitar and banjouke was take the finish off![/QUOTE

I hate gloss full stop. Always looks like plastic to me.

bellgamin
01-01-2018, 11:27 PM
If you plan to tune it low G (linear) then the tenor will do a better job of resonating the low notes. If you want the classic ukulele sound then go for a concert uke.

RafterGirl
01-02-2018, 01:22 AM
I have a new ukulele in route from Mim, Gary Gill "short neck" tenor. Pear shaped tenor body with a concert scale neck. I had a regular tenor and loved the sound, but struggled with the scale size. I have shorter fingers. I know the pear shaped body will give a different sound, but should I expect a mainly tenor sound, or will the concert scale affect the sound? I'm hoping for the best of both worlds.....tenor sound with a more comfortable scale.

Ziret
01-02-2018, 04:40 AM
I have a new ukulele in route from Mim, Gary Gill "short neck" tenor. Pear shaped tenor body with a concert scale neck. I had a regular tenor and loved the sound, but struggled with the scale size. I have shorter fingers. I know the pear shaped body will give a different sound, but should I expect a mainly tenor sound, or will the concert scale affect the sound? I'm hoping for the best of both worlds.....tenor sound with a more comfortable scale.

Please let us know what you think after you play it. That's an uncommon combination.

RafterGirl
01-02-2018, 08:22 AM
Please let us know what you think after you play it. That's an uncommon combination.

Yes. I have never seen a “short neck” version of any scale. My hope is for the tenor sound with the concert scale that works better for me. I will definitely report back and do a NUD.

spookelele
01-03-2018, 05:54 AM
I have a new ukulele in route from Mim, Gary Gill "short neck" tenor. Pear shaped tenor body with a concert scale neck. I had a regular tenor and loved the sound, but struggled with the scale size. I have shorter fingers. I know the pear shaped body will give a different sound, but should I expect a mainly tenor sound, or will the concert scale affect the sound? I'm hoping for the best of both worlds.....tenor sound with a more comfortable scale.

wouldnt that be a large body concert rather than a short scale tenor?

RafterGirl
01-03-2018, 07:45 AM
wouldnt that be a large body concert rather than a short scale tenor?
Seems like most ukuleles with different sized necks are called by the name of the body and not the scale. For example, a long neck soprano isn't called a short body concert. I'm sticking with short neck tenor, since the body is a tenor. Although, you have a point, since I've already decided that the uke's name will be.....Fat Bottom Girl. :)

13down
01-03-2018, 10:08 AM
For that "traditional", percussive ukulele sound, go with a soprano (or a concert); for a more "modern" and versatile sound, go with a tenor.

I sort of agree with this but think there's more to it and wonder if anyone can chime in. I've found that this statement applies to most modern ukes (sopranos = more percussive, concerts = slightly less percussive, tenors = more like a higher-pitched classical guitar, though of course there's more nuance to it than that) but doesn't apply to vintage ones.

To my ears, all vintage ukes sound more percussive, and it's almost as if something changed with modern construction, where sopranos are still built very lightly, but concerts and tenors are perhaps built more heavily. This is a mere speculation based on my ears. To me, all older ukes sound bouncier and more percussive than modern ones, but modern sopranos still have that bouncy/percussive sound like their ancestors.

Wondering if anyone else has a take on this.

spookelele
01-04-2018, 08:13 AM
maybe ive been using percussive wrong, to mean shorter sustain, and more attack focused playing.

I think heavier built.. does the opposite of of what you say. The heavier builds I've tried tend to have shorter sustain, and less projection. It's like they can't hold the energy together, and it sputters out faster, which is what I also associate with sopranos generally speaking,

Longer scales start with more kinetic energy, and hold it longer because of higher tension, and mass of the strings, not the body.

MopMan
01-04-2018, 09:01 AM
Wondering if anyone else has a take on this.


Here's my conjecture:

Vontage ukuleles have a brighter, janglier bite to them than newer instruments due to the materials used and the construction.

Modern instruments have more variation in materials and also have undergone an evolution in construction. The tools available today are far more precise than the tools available 100 years ago. This enables modern instrument makers to have more choice and more control over the sound their instruments will produce. Thus, new instruments are of better quality and can have a warmer, richer tone than their predecessors. These characteristics may have been more difficult for instrument makers of the past to attain.

UU member Timbuck makes ukuleles modeled on vintage Martin ukes, one of which I am lucky enough to own. It has a bright, punchy tone just like the old Martins do.

13down
01-18-2018, 06:10 AM
Longer scales start with more kinetic energy, and hold it longer because of higher tension, and mass of the strings, not the body.

I actually hadn't realized this but this makes so much sense.

valde002
01-18-2018, 09:01 AM
I was wondering if a tenor ukulele has any advantages, like playing more advanced songs up the fingerboard?

Here's my experiences if you haven't already gotten an answer that you like:

I started out with a soprano (probably like everyone else, lol). Then I visited a music store and played around with several, found that I liked the concert better- tenor was too big. I was a 'concert player' and bought a whole bunch of concerts. Then after playing about a year and a half, my playing has evolved. As my skills improved, my ability to play higher up the neck became more natural and now I like the option of playing higher octaves. Now I am selling some concerts to make way for more tenors. I do also notice that my hand can stretch more and my fingers have become stronger so I can barre notes more easily. but the caveat to that is that the tenor has to have a good set-up- low action. Now when I try to play the concert after the tenor, it's like a different instrument to me, the concert is almost like a toy!

So to answer your question:

+
Concert
1. more compact frets for smaller hands, beginners, those who don't want to put a whole lot of finger pressure. to me, easier to strum than to pick
2. probable lower action does seem to make it easier to play as far as finger force goes
3. easier to transport, good in smaller spaces like car (waiting for kids, not while driving!)
4. sounds more like a soprano for that traditional ukulele sound

Tenor
1. louder/more resonant due to bigger body
2. bigger body makes it easier to hold now, concert feels like I'm fumbling a football, lol
3. able to reach higher notes
4. more space between strings, to me better for picking