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View Full Version : Ukulele Vs. Banjo Ukulele



Ukuyoyo
05-26-2009, 10:33 PM
Hi all, i'm new to this forum (and new to Ukuleles altogether actually, i dont even have one yet).
I just have a quick question, whats the general consensus on banjo ukulele's, are they just shit or can they be just as fun as regular ukulele's?
Also, while i'm at it, what are the Fender Ukulele's like?

Thanks guys.

HoldinCoffee
05-26-2009, 11:10 PM
Banjo ukes are SUPER-AWESOME!

Fender, I want one. Never tried one, but hey, its a Fender:music:

ichadwick
05-27-2009, 01:24 AM
Banjo ukes have a fanatic following here. They are loud, bright, and fun, but like a banjo are not suited for every sort of music (although Bela Fleck may disprove that!). Every serious uke collection has to have one.

As a beginner, start with a traditional uke and get to know before going to a banjolele. You will likely end up with several ukes before you're done, so be patient.

Fenders have had a mixed response here and on other forums. Some people love them - the solid wood model especially. Others think the rest are overpriced for a laminated instrument. Try one and see - that's the real test. If you like it, get it, but I recommend you do some comparison shopping first.

Otherwise, consider some alternatives. First: A Mainland. Solid wood, loud, bright and great sustain, for about the same price. Mine gets more play than most of the rest of my collection combined.

Consider Kala and Ohana, too - both make beautiful, great-sounding ukes. Look for their solid-top models and eschew the laminates. Also consider the Fluke and Flea ukes, both of which are popular here.

If you have more money, look at Pono, Mele and others in that price group.

Find something that looks good, and ask questions about it here. Call or email uke sellers and ask for advice in your price range. Try to buy the best uke you can afford. You won't be disappointed, but if you are, the resale value will be a lot higher than if you buy a cheapie.

PS. George Formby played a banjo uke and he was an incredible performer whose strumming styles are still the marvel of the ukiverse!

Ukulele JJ
05-27-2009, 01:47 AM
Banjo ukes are about as Hawaiian as a penguin, but they're loud. That's why the instrument tends to be associated with the vaudeville type of performer and music. They needed them when they were playing acoustically in the old halls.

So if you're into that old-school, George Formby sort of thing, then you should definitely check one out. They are a lot of fun. :music:

JJ

buddhuu
05-27-2009, 02:01 AM
What JJ said.

Our rhythm guitar player picked up a 1940s/1950s banjo uke on a market stall locally. It is nylon strung, but LOUD! Sounds absolutely brilliant. It has a simple metal plate resonator on the back.

Not for romantic ballads, but for music hall, vaudeville, Formby, jazz, skiffle... it rocks. :rock:

hoosierhiver
05-27-2009, 08:36 AM
I love banjo-ukes. They caught on during the Vaudeville days. Often Vaudeville shows were in big noisy beer tents or such. A banjo-uke was able to cut thru the din.

russ_buss
05-27-2009, 10:22 AM
banjo ukes are a lot of fun but no replacement for a regular one. it's best to have one of each (or several of each if possible).

Ukuleleblues
05-27-2009, 03:40 PM
Hi all, i'm new to this forum (and new to Ukuleles altogether actually, i dont even have one yet).
I just have a quick question, whats the general consensus on banjo ukulele's, are they just shit or can they be just as fun as regular ukulele's?
Also, while i'm at it, what are the Fender Ukulele's like?

Thanks guys.
I like the way they sound but they are so loud they sometimes make your head hurt.

Ukuyoyo
05-27-2009, 07:56 PM
Thanks guys, your help is much appreciated... :)

Ukuyoyo
05-27-2009, 08:44 PM
Just another quick question, what brand should i look at for a good banjo uke?

seeso
05-27-2009, 08:52 PM
Dave at Waverly Street makes a great inexpensive banjo uke.
http://www.wsukes.com/83/u83.html

Here's a video of one:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g3_-KOgZetQ

Uke-lahoma
05-28-2009, 01:24 AM
Mike at Mainland Ukes is still working on getting their version of the banjo uke up and running. I'm anxious to see how it will sound and look.

hoosierhiver
05-28-2009, 02:50 AM
Mike at Mainland Ukes is still working on getting their version of the banjo uke up and running. I'm anxious to see how it will sound and look.

Unfortunatly that's taking longer than expected, but I'm not giving up.

ukulelebadass
05-28-2009, 04:21 AM
They are a lot of fun, but I feel like your first instrument should be a real uke, if for no other reason than, to get a decent banjo uke is going to cost a couple or even a few hundred dollars.

They have some decent stuff at http://www.ukuleleworld.com/Banjo-Ukuleles/ I buy almost everything I need here (he has by far the best selection of strings anywhere.) This guy is a little eccentric and some of his stuff is a bit pricey, but he doesn't sell any crap and they play every instrument they sell, checking it for sound, quality, etcetera. You might want to think about the cumbus style uke he sells which will give you a similar sound to the banjo for less money.

Again for a first ukulele you really can't go wrong with something like a KALA tenor, it has a good loud sound, and their basic models can be had for less than $200. Lanikai makes some really nice entry level stuff as well.

Ahnko Honu
05-28-2009, 07:12 AM
Just another quick question, what brand should i look at for a good banjo uke?

I have an old La Pacific that I fixed up but if I were to get another it would deffinatelt be a Waverly Street Banjolele, hand made in the USA and very reasonably priced.

hoosierhiver
05-28-2009, 07:15 AM
I have an old La Pacific that I fixed up but if I were to get another it would deffinatelt be a Waverly Street Banjolele, hand made in the USA and very reasonably priced.

and a UU member!

psesinkclee
06-03-2009, 04:16 AM
Yep, if you're going for a banjolele, I've gotta plug my main man Dave at Waverly Street Ukulele (http://www.wsukes.com/forsale.html). For the price range he sells his ukes in, you can't get another handbuilt uke anywhere else.

Thanks for linking my video of my WS Banjolele ^_^

ichadwick
06-03-2009, 09:00 AM
And lest we forget, Dave's FIRST tenor scale banjolele:
http://www.wsukes.com/87/u87.html
Not to rub it in, but that one's MINE...