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View Full Version : new uke----concert or tenor?



ukeandfish
05-13-2009, 01:19 PM
I am upgrading to a new uke, my second one. i have a makala mk-s but i want to upgrade to a much nicer uke, because i am getting very serious. i want one that i can get as good as possible on. i definatly want something bigger than a soprano, so i was thinking either a concert or tenor. which do you suggest?

Spooner
05-13-2009, 01:21 PM
I think you should play tenor...tenor twenty miles away. DOH!

Seriously, I am all about the tenor..which makes my opinion biased but...it says alot for tenors.

ukeandfish
05-13-2009, 01:22 PM
why? can you convince me

1979
05-13-2009, 01:22 PM
You probably need to one or the other. Sizes are personal preference and whatever's comfortable to you. I have cheapy concert uke right now but I'm thinking of upgrading later on to a Tenor. :)

1979

JoeMikkPaulTopper11
05-13-2009, 01:23 PM
I think you should play tenor...tenor twenty miles away. DOH!

Seriously, I am all about the tenor..which makes my opinion biased but...it says alot for tenors.

COncert!
for no reason just to oppose this dude :D ^

Spooner
05-13-2009, 01:26 PM
why? can you convince me


I've played bass and guitar most of my life.
Sopranos are way too small for me.
Tenors seem just right.
There's plenty of frets.
You can hang down near the nut and you can go way up the fret board to hit those high notes.
Plus, you can get to the next octave on the neck before having to start stretching your fingers around the body and such.
Tenor is your friend.

Spooner
05-13-2009, 01:27 PM
COncert!
for no reason just to oppose this dude :D ^


Oh it's on now. :p

Bruddah Kekoa
05-13-2009, 01:34 PM
I am upgrading to a new uke, my second one. i have a makala mk-s but i want to upgrade to a much nicer uke, because i am getting very serious. i want one that i can get as good as possible on. i definatly want something bigger than a soprano, so i was thinking either a concert or tenor. which do you suggest?

I'm kinda in the same boat right now. I have a cheapy soprano, and a decent concert. I like the concert way better! Now it's time to upgrade, but my concert has got some cracks in it and will soon go the way of the dodo bird. If I go for a tenor, then I may become concertless...and the wife won't go on letting me buy whenever I feel like it. Dang. I think I may go tenor...

BK:shaka:

haole
05-13-2009, 01:34 PM
I think you should get a concert and a tenor.

ukeandfish
05-13-2009, 01:35 PM
do you use a high or low g

Spooner
05-13-2009, 01:52 PM
do you use a high or low g

I prefer high g.
I have had some ukes come in with low G and loved the way they sound.
However, I got so accustomed to high G playing it for so long. Everything I wrote just doesn't have the same flavor with low g.

That's another uke something you will have to check out for yourself.
I am keeping one of my ukes at low G just to have that ready to go whenever I feel the need.

They're both good...but my preference is high G.

HoldinCoffee
05-13-2009, 03:11 PM
Just commit to buying BOTH. But what you should really be asking is "in what order should I obtain a concert and tenor uke?"
Get the tenor first because a concert is just a bigger soprano, same tuning and only a slightly larger scale length... and you already have a soprano. With a tenor you get more frets, a big jump in scale length, more surface area on the soundboard and you can more easily play around with the nonreentrant tuning. However, I recently discovered the joys of baritone ukes. And don't forget about tahitian ukuleles and long nec sopranos.

So, in summation:
1) tenor;
2) baritone;
3) eight string tenor;
4) Long neck soprano;
5) concert.

After that you have the banjo-uke and the vintage classics.

franulele
05-13-2009, 03:40 PM
ukeandfish,
get 2 concerts & 2 tenors. then you can have high & low g tunings in both sizes.:D

dnewton2
05-14-2009, 01:27 AM
Just commit to buying BOTH. But what you should really be asking is "in what order should I obtain a concert and tenor uke?"
Get the tenor first because a concert is just a bigger soprano, same tuning and only a slightly larger scale length... and you already have a soprano. With a tenor you get more frets, a big jump in scale length, more surface area on the soundboard and you can more easily play around with the nonreentrant tuning. However, I recently discovered the joys of baritone ukes. And don't forget about tahitian ukuleles and long nec sopranos.


Concert just a big soprano? Both of my concerts have more frets then my soprano. Just as many as my Tenor. The body, and soundboard, are also larger. I could say a Tenor is just a larger soprano, and it is. They are all ukulele.

Same tuning? To my knowledge you can tune almost any ukulele of any size nonreentrant (low g) tuning, and actually both my concerts are low g and my soprano and tenor are high g.

I agree that you will have to get one of each, but I wouldn't put the concert at the bottom of the list. Either tenor then concert or concert then tenor. Who knows you may get a larger uke and discover you like soprano the best and want to invest in a nice soprano uke.

I personally prefer Concert but I also like my Tenor and soprano.

megamatt
05-14-2009, 02:06 AM
I have a cheap soprano and a medium price tenor (koa pili koko to be precise) and I have a medium cost concert on its way. I prefer the tenor greatly to the soprano, but the quality of the instruments is such a different level that I don't feel like I can give it a fair shake. Once I get some hands on time with the new one I'll feel better about giving my personal feelings, but for now I like them a little bigger.

HoldinCoffee
05-14-2009, 04:59 AM
Concert just a big soprano? Both of my concerts have more frets then my soprano. Just as many as my Tenor. The body, and soundboard, are also larger. I could say a Tenor is just a larger soprano, and it is. They are all ukulele.

Same tuning? To my knowledge you can tune almost any ukulele of any size nonreentrant (low g) tuning, and actually both my concerts are low g and my soprano and tenor are high g.

A tenor should be compensated at the saddle for greater string tension as with most tenors. However I have a soprano that has a compensated saddle. And sure you can tune any uke to any combination of four that your heart desires, but certain ukes won't take to it well. Depends on what you're set-up for. And most tenors are built and set-up to be more versatile than the soprano. IMHO, for whatever that's worth, a concert sized ukulele is the same thing as a soprano just slightly larger and a couple more frets. But I don't think I'd want a tenor with 14 frets to the body.

upskydowncloud
05-14-2009, 05:24 AM
I am upgrading to a new uke, my second one. i have a makala mk-s but i want to upgrade to a much nicer uke, because i am getting very serious. i want one that i can get as good as possible on. i definatly want something bigger than a soprano, so i was thinking either a concert or tenor. which do you suggest?

Tenor tenor tenor! Louder, bigger note range, do it!

dnewton2
05-14-2009, 06:22 AM
For the sake of converstion:


And sure you can tune any uke to any combination of four that your heart desires, but certain ukes won't take to it well. Depends on what you're set-up for.

Wouldn't that be more of an issue with the manufaturer, builder, or set up than the size of the uke.


IMHO, for whatever that's worth, a concert sized ukulele is the same thing as a soprano just slightly larger and a couple more frets.

Totally respect your opinion, but I just don't see how a tenor can be seen as a totaly different instrument compared to a soprano and a concert is basically the same when , as I see it, the differences between sizes are similar. (larger body and more frets)

Just my thoughts.

:DGET A CONCERT!!!:D

AcousticMonster
05-14-2009, 11:07 AM
Well if you live in an apartment building like me, you want a concert model. My downstairs neighbor use to complain to the landlord that my tenor ukulele was "loud music".

kim jorgensen
05-14-2009, 12:16 PM
Here's the real way to decide: take time. Go down to a good shop and sit and play some songs you know on both a concert and a tenor. Play for a long while. Then, go home and think about it a couple days. Go back to the store and try it again, or some friend's ukes. Think about it. Feel it. Listen.

Then, when you've found what size you like, take some time to try different brands: Kala, Ohana, Mainland, Lanikai, Applause, Bushman (my favorite) as many as you can find. Take your time and finally get one you like.

Otherwise, be spontaneous. Make a rash decision and maybe luck out or be like the rest of us and buy about twenty of all different sizes that all have good and bad qualities, and then start to worry about what different strings do. You will become a uke nut with a serious case of UAS. I believe Jake only a couple ukes.

nikolo727
05-14-2009, 01:44 PM
go tenor. woot.

kailua
05-14-2009, 02:03 PM
#16 Today, 09:59 AM
HoldinCoffee





A tenor should be compensated at the saddle for greater string tension as with most tenors. However I have a soprano that has a compensated saddle. What is a "compensated" saddle?:confused: Sorry for my ignorance.

HoldinCoffee
05-14-2009, 04:59 PM
For the sake of converstion:



Wouldn't that be more of an issue with the manufaturer, builder, or set up than the size of the uke.



Totally respect your opinion, but I just don't see how a tenor can be seen as a totaly different instrument compared to a soprano and a concert is basically the same when , as I see it, the differences between sizes are similar. (larger body and more frets)



(Please note, anything and everything I say may be completely wrong.)
I have one soprano that sounds horrible tuned low G. The reason for it is that the uke isn't set up for low G, but in reentrant, the tuning that it was set-up for, its perfect all the way down the fretboard. Is that the same for all sopranos? I don't know.
As for the size...ummm, I guess you caught me there. Tangent. OOPS!

And I'm not saying a tenor is a different instrument altogether. A tenor is a specific type of ukulele. And a ukulele is a specific type of guitar. In my mind, a tenor is a ukulele that I can comfortably switch back and forth from low g to high tuning without much adjustment to the saddle or bridge. Therefore, assuming my logic is correct, its a more versatile choice as a second instrument for someone who already has a soprano (which in my mind, requires a saddle adjustment before switching "g"s).

As I read through this it occurs to me that I should recheck my math. Oh and for the record, I don't even own a tenor. I want one, but I haven;t found one that conforms with my schema of what a tenor should be... yet.

HoldinCoffee
05-14-2009, 05:05 PM
What is a "compensated" saddle?:confused:

Here's a link that should tell you everthing you ever wanted to know about compensating a saddle:

http://www.lutherie.net/saddle_angle.html

Lanark
05-15-2009, 04:35 AM
Get a better soprano. Part of the difficulty of playing it may be derived from the quality of the instrument itself. Plenty of practice on a better instrument can overcome the initial difficulty of the smaller scale. Going from guitar to soprano was really tough, but I got over it. It can seem daunting if you're unaccustomed to playing an instrument, but it can be overcome if you stick with it.

Or get a concert if for no other reason than you won't be playing the same frickin' scale as every other gaddam ukulele player on these boards who are so insistent that theirs is the only serious scale of ukulele. (Which I think stems mostly from overcompensation for being unable to cope with the soprano scale and wussing out for a tenor because it's easier to play and then copping an attitude about it. :p) Don't give in to peer pressure and be an individual.

Seriously though, it's about the sound in your head. Think of it in the same way as saxophones. Charlie Parker played alto. John Coltrane played soprano & tenor. What & how you play & the sound you want will inform your next choice. You can upgrade the quality of the instrument but getting a larger scale is not an upgrade in and of itself. it's just a different size.

I play mostly concert for the Uke Orchestra. It works great for that. I also play soprano at home a lot. It's just fun and I love the ginormous reach I can get with the scale that lets me do all sorts of interesting things. Both represent the ukulele sound I in my head. I may eventually get a tenor, but I don't feel like I need it right now.

dnewton2
05-15-2009, 06:01 AM
And I'm not saying a tenor is a different instrument altogether. A tenor is a specific type of ukulele. And a ukulele is a specific type of guitar. In my mind, a tenor is a ukulele that I can comfortably switch back and forth from low g to high tuning without much adjustment to the saddle or bridge. Therefore, assuming my logic is correct, its a more versatile choice as a second instrument for someone who already has a soprano (which in my mind, requires a saddle adjustment before switching "g"s).


I hear what you are saying now. I may be lucky but the concert I have that I have switch the "g"s sound good either way. It is a pretty cheap uke but the innotation is comparable either way. My nice concert, pretty new, has not had high g on it yet but it will one day and I will see if it has any issues. I think I like low g better anyways.

I really don't think the OP will be unhappy with whatever they chose. Some people like Granny Smith apples some like red delecious apples. They are both apples and will get the same job done.

veep
05-15-2009, 08:47 AM
tenor.........

ksquine
05-15-2009, 09:46 AM
Don't kid yourself.....get both!!
Can anyone really get by on just one ukulele??

PickNStrum
05-15-2009, 12:36 PM
I think you should get a concert and a tenor.

I agree. The only way anyone can recommend a particular size uke without bias is if you are more specific about what you would like in an instrument. although if you know what the differences are, you'd probably be able to make the decision on your own. The factors I tell my customers to consider when deciding between a concert and tenor are

-Fret spacing.
If you happen to have really wide fingers at the tips, I always recommend a tenor. Unless of course you don't plan on learning anything other than 1st postion chords.

-Sound
If you are wanting a more traditonal ukulele sound, I always recommend a concert. Tenors have more sustain although beautiful and I usually prefer it, they are further away from the bright sharp sound of a soprano.

-Low Ger's
If you like having a low G I would lean toward tenor as well. Since you aren't creating a tradional sound anyway, to me it makes more sense to have it on a Larger instrument that projects more and again has more sustain.

-Size
If you travel a lot like myself, The size and lighter weight of a concert is very appealing.

Hope this helps

ukeandfish
05-15-2009, 01:26 PM
thanks picknstrum, you really helped me. i think i am going to go with a concert. my fingers are used to the small frets on a soprano, so i have no trouble with that at all. also, i love the ukes sound, and wouldnt a concert be a little less bright sharp classic uke sound, but not as deep as a tenor, so you get the best of both worlds. also i do travel a lot and now that i am serious about the uke, its going everywhere with me.

thanks man, now i just need to pick a wood. i reallllly like the mango wood from kala, im pretty much in between that or koa.

fossil
05-15-2009, 03:12 PM
thanks picknstrum, you really helped me. i think i am going to go with a concert. my fingers are used to the small frets on a soprano, so i have no trouble with that at all. also, i love the ukes sound, and wouldnt a concert be a little less bright sharp classic uke sound, but not as deep as a tenor, so you get the best of both worlds. also i do travel a lot and now that i am serious about the uke, its going everywhere with me.

thanks man, now i just need to pick a wood. i reallllly like the mango wood from kala, im pretty much in between that or koa.

If you do decide to go with a concert, make sure you try mahogany as well. Although not as pretty to look at as mango or koa, mahogany has a lovely tone. You might want to check out the Ohana CK35-G for a nice sounding, reasonably priced concert uke. I own several concert size ukes (as well as soprano and tenor) and I think concert is probably my favourite size for ease of play.

That being said, I'm sure you'll also end up with a tenor one day. UAS is a harsh mistress I was once told!