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View Full Version : Dilema: easiest to play but my least favorite



jelow1966
08-28-2018, 05:56 PM
I have three tenor ukes right now, an Ovation Applause from the 90's that for the last couple of years has been my main player, a Teton tenor that is currently the one I play the most because much of my practice time is in the morning while my wife is asleep and a Cordoba 32T which mostly sits unused because I have never warmed up to it. Trouble is, I can play on the Cordoba with far more ease then the others. I don't know just why because it's not a radius fretboard and if anything the neck feels too slim (not in the width, but depth) but when it comes to chords I can play pretty much anything on it without problems. That is not true of the others, both of which I struggle with barre or other complex chords on. Anyone else have an experience like this, where for whatever reason you can play better on a certain uke but it's not the one you like playing? I think I will explore some more string ideas for the Cordoba, at least get the sound dialed in but not sure that will make me like it more. Maybe I just don't like non cutaway ukes :)

John

ghostrdr
08-28-2018, 06:39 PM
I play the one that is the most accessible first. Perhaps, you would warm up to it more if it were easier to reach.

Other than that, it might help to know why it is easier to play? Is the neck thinner? Is the body thinner? Are the strings lower tension? Is the action lower? Is the action higher!

Then it might be helpful to know what sound you are looking for? What is it about the others that you like? Do you have the same type of strings on all three?

Just my $0.02. Enjoy the journey!

Kenn2018
08-28-2018, 07:05 PM
I have found that some ukes require more fretting pressure than others to get clean chords or notes. Even though they are strung with the same brand & type of strings. Could be the shape of the fret wires. The distance from the nut to the tuners, angle, distance between strings. How close they are to the edges of the fretboard. A couple of my ukes seem to have slightly higher tension on the strings even though the brands are identical and the setups very, very similar. That being said, I have not found significant differences between same model ukuleles made within 5 years of each other. Older than that, the method of construction may have changed.

I've found that the shape of the headstock affects how my hand can comfortably barre the first frets and finger some chords.

Gloss vs. satin necks. Well, the whole cast of variables.

jelow1966
08-28-2018, 07:09 PM
The only explanation I have for why the Cordoba is easier for me to play is the wide but shallow neck. For some reason it seems to fit my hands and the way I play better than the others. The fact that the Teton is narrow and deep and the hardest for me to play seems to point that way too As for strings, they all have different sets on them but all are low G. I have Savarez carbons on the Applause, a mix of Southcoast and D'Addario nylon on the Teton and D'Addario Titaniums on the Cordoba but I don't like them. I didn't like the sound of carbons on it either, too bright. Since the Spruce/Rosewood combo is basically a mini classical guitar I think I will try a set of Savarez guitar strings on it. I like how they sound on my Islander guitalele and if I don't like them I can use them on it.

John

kohanmike
08-28-2018, 08:02 PM
In the first year of playing uke five years ago, I went through sixteen, but by the end of the year I culled them down to four that I liked the most for their playability, quality of sound and look, I only buy cutaway. Since then I bought four more, mainly for look, and if it plays well and sounds good, it's a keeper for me. One of them is a Lanikai Bocote Thinline that I played today and found that it is one of the easiest for me to play because the neck is slightly wider. Even though I like all eight of my ukes, that one looks like it's going to become my gig uke.

8 tenor cutaway ukes, 3 acoustic bass ukes, 8 solid body bass ukes, 7 mini electric bass guitars

• Donate to The Ukulele Kids Club, they provide ukuleles to children's hospital music therapy programs. www.theukc.org
• Member The CC Strummers www.youtube.com/user/CCStrummers/videos

DownUpDave
08-29-2018, 12:11 AM
The only explanation I have for why the Cordoba is easier for me to play is the wide but shallow neck. For some reason it seems to fit my hands and the way I play better than the others. The fact that the Teton is narrow and deep and the hardest for me to play seems to point that way too As for strings, they all have different sets on them but all are low G. I have Savarez carbons on the Applause, a mix of Southcoast and D'Addario nylon on the Teton and D'Addario Titaniums on the Cordoba but I don't like them. I didn't like the sound of carbons on it either, too bright. Since the Spruce/Rosewood combo is basically a mini classical guitar I think I will try a set of Savarez guitar strings on it. I like how they sound on my Islander guitalele and if I don't like them I can use them on it.

John

I was going to say that 9 times out of 10 the neck makes all the difference with playing ease or preference. Because it is wider and shallower than the others that seems to be the key for you. Regarding strings, Savarez make ukulele string so you could try those or Worth browns if you don't like a bright tone.

If you don't currently like the sound then I can see why it is your least played. Strings much a huge difference and they are cheap. Buy 3-4 different sets and find something you like

Uke Don
08-29-2018, 03:40 AM
You haven't mentioned anything about how the ukes are set up. I'd suggest you check each for string height before coming to an absolute conclusion on neck shape. Proper string height can make a huge difference in playability.

jelow1966
08-29-2018, 04:36 AM
The Applause has the factory set up which I have never seen reason to change as the action is low and the intonation is perfect. The Teton seems a little high which I'm sure contributes to it being the hardest for me to play. I could see about lowering it but right now it's just my practice uke and I know even if I can't get something to sound perfect on it I will be able to on another. The Cordoba is nicely set up and if I find the strings that I like on it I might play it more. Thankfully, as Dave said, strings are cheap and whatever I don't like on the Cordoba I can try on one of the others. It's a beautiful instrument but I think I just prefer non traditional ukes, if I were to buy another right now it would be either a Pono TE or a Mulitiuke but both of those are radiused and I have no idea how that would fit my hand and playing style and no chance to try one out.

John

kohanmike
08-29-2018, 05:39 AM
Yes, the difficulty is not being able to try them. I had a strong hankering for an Ovation uke, but posts said it does not have much projection os sustain. Then I found one on eBay and when I received it, I found the projection and sustain to be perfectly fine. The only trouble was the seller didn't disclose that it was infested with bugs and larvae, I sent it back immediately. I then missed another one on auction, but shortly after found a Godin Multiuke here in the Marketplace, it's one of the most comfortable ukes I've ever played.

8 tenor cutaway ukes, 3 acoustic bass ukes, 8 solid body bass ukes, 7 mini electric bass guitars

• Donate to The Ukulele Kids Club, they provide ukuleles to children's hospital music therapy programs. www.theukc.org
• Member The CC Strummers www.youtube.com/user/CCStrummers/videos