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View Full Version : Advice needed. Adding guitar to the uke family.. how to adapt and learn?



kerneltime
05-09-2019, 06:12 PM
Unlike a lot of people here, I started with the ukulele and donít quite know how include the 2 extra strings and a longer scale with steel strings.
My UAS had a brief personality disorder and I have a guitar on its way home.
I have been wondering how to best deal with learning the new instrument.
Any advice is welcome!

Arcy
05-09-2019, 06:37 PM
A good live teacher should be able to assess what you already know, where you want to go, and help you get there from here.

If you like video, there are lots of good guitar lessons available online. Justin Guitar (https://www.justinguitar.com/ ) is highly regarded and free. Book-wise I liked the Acoustic (or Electric) Guitar Crash Course. Your local library probably has a slew of others to skim and see which sings to you. The "Dummies" series has a bunch of different guitar books for different styles (Guitar for Dummies, Blues Guitar for Dummies, Rock Guitar for Dummies, Guitar Theory for Dummies, Printing-More-Money for Dummies, Guitar All-In-One for Dummies) and are generally pretty good.

Assuming you already have a pretty good base of music theory, how to fret, etc. you can also jump straight in and look up basic chords and build a practice routine around them. Most of the concepts are pretty much the same on guitar and ukulele. On the left hand it's just a matter of extending the patterns and practicing the new shapes. On the right hand you'll probably want to work with a pick (if you don't already), and finger-picking gets really fun when you add the bass strings.

coolcow
05-10-2019, 12:30 AM
same here. Learned to play uke first and got UAS.
Now I'm hooked with guitar and got GAS

feel sad for my wallet :(

Ukulele Eddie
05-10-2019, 02:51 AM
I'm new to guitar myself. In a nutshell, my advice is to try lots of different guitars to see what is comfortable. I was toying with different steel string guitars trying to learn fingerstyle guitar but encountered three challenges:

(1) the standard string spacing and standard fretboard width were so narrow relative to uke that I could not seem to fret cleanly;

(2) the guitar felt so huge, like I was holding a baby elephant compared to my tenor ukes; and,

(3) the strings were hard on my fingers and hard to fret.


The first guitar that made me feel like I might be able to get comfortable was a Blackbird Savoy. Its compact body solved (2) and it was strung with a lower-ish tension string set which helped on (3). If it was available with a wider fretboard and string spacing I would definitely have one.

But as I still struggled with (1), I tried some guitars with wider fretboard and string spacing. Eventually I bought a Martin 0-28VS which was the first guitar I really felt good on. I re-strung it with silk and steel strings that helped with (3). I really started to feel like eventually I might be able play some guitar so was motivated to stick with it. Now I know that prefer body size 00 or smaller, wider string spacing (2 5/16 or 2 3/8), wider fretboards ( 1 7/8) and lower tension strings (now moved up to using silk & bronze 49/11).

I just reluctantly re-homed by 0-28VS as I had commissioned a Wilborn Lion (between a 0 and 00) that arrived. He's an amazing builder who is noted for his ability to build smaller bodied guitars that deliver big sound.

Here is Ben introducing my build:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g1nD920zWzY

And here is my guitar teacher taking it for a spin:

https://youtu.be/8e669WrUi5Y

And if anyone is looking for a gateway guitar, I will have this Larrivee Parlor with Zebrano body wood (P-03Z) for sale for $1K net to me. Link to photos below. It has less than 30 minutes play time and is mint. I paid about $1,500. I love its 24" scale and killer tone but wanted a wider string spacing and fretboard, so Larrivee is making one for me. When I pick that one up in a few weeks, I'll also have this one back and will find it a new home. It's been at their shop because originally we were going to just replace the bridge before we decided to just build a new one.

https://flic.kr/s/aHsmsBrUiK

PhilUSAFRet
05-10-2019, 07:59 AM
https://www.amazon.com/Guitar-Ukulele-Players-Chad-Johnson/dp/1480384585 - combine this with youtube tutorials and don't forget hitting the gear icon to slow it down to your level.

Andreas Fischer
05-10-2019, 11:47 AM
I also would recommend Justin Guitar www.justinguitar.com

bunnyf
05-10-2019, 03:57 PM
I added guitar too, after playing uke for several years. I played an awful lot of uke and my fingers were pretty tough, so I didn’t have a problem with the steel strings. I did find the fretboard a little narrow but not bad. I didn’t go with a tiny guitar but not a big one either (Taylor gs mini, mahog). I still play uke and guitar but for the past year, I have been concentrating on mandolin. Now that’s a narrow fretboard. Makes the guitar seem roomy.

CommonCurt
05-10-2019, 05:27 PM
I'm new to guitar myself. In a nutshell, my advice is to try lots of different guitars to see what is comfortable. I was toying with different steel string guitars trying to learn fingerstyle guitar but encountered three challenges:

(1) the standard string spacing and standard fretboard width were so narrow relative to uke that I could not seem to fret cleanly;

(2) the guitar felt so huge, like I was holding a baby elephant compared to my tenor ukes; and,

(3) the strings were hard on my fingers and hard to fret.


The first guitar that made me feel like I might be able to get comfortable was a Blackbird Savoy. Its compact body solved (2) and it was strung with a lower-ish tension string set which helped on (3). If it was available with a wider fretboard and string spacing I would definitely have one.

But as I still struggled with (1), I tried some guitars with wider fretboard and string spacing. Eventually I bought a Martin 0-28VS which was the first guitar I really felt good on. I re-strung it with silk and steel strings that helped with (3). I really started to feel like eventually I might be able play some guitar so was motivated to stick with it. Now I know that prefer body size 00 or smaller, wider string spacing (2 5/16 or 2 3/8), wider fretboards ( 1 7/8) and lower tension strings (now moved up to using silk & bronze 49/11).

I just reluctantly re-homed by 0-28VS as I had commissioned a Wilborn Lion (between a 0 and 00) that arrived. He's an amazing builder who is noted for his ability to build smaller bodied guitars that deliver big sound.

Here is Ben introducing my build:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g1nD920zWzY

And here is my guitar teacher taking it for a spin:

https://youtu.be/8e669WrUi5Y

And if anyone is looking for a gateway guitar, I will have this Larrivee Parlor with Zebrano body wood (P-03Z) for sale for $1K net to me. Link to photos below. It has less than 30 minutes play time and is mint. I paid about $1,500. I love its 24" scale and killer tone but wanted a wider string spacing and fretboard, so Larrivee is making one for me. When I pick that one up in a few weeks, I'll also have this one back and will find it a new home. It's been at their shop because originally we were going to just replace the bridge before we decided to just build a new one.

https://flic.kr/s/aHsmsBrUiK




Never heard of this builder before. His Bantam model looks amazing.

quiltingshirley
05-10-2019, 06:18 PM
I'm new to guitar myself. In a nutshell, my advice is to try lots of different guitars to see what is comfortable. I was toying with different steel string guitars trying to learn fingerstyle guitar but encountered three challenges:

(1) the standard string spacing and standard fretboard width were so narrow relative to uke that I could not seem to fret cleanly;

(2) the guitar felt so huge, like I was holding a baby elephant compared to my tenor ukes; and,

(3) the strings were hard on my fingers and hard to fret.


The first guitar that made me feel like I might be able to get comfortable was a Blackbird Savoy. Its compact body solved (2) and it was strung with a lower-ish tension string set which helped on (3). If it was available with a wider fretboard and string spacing I would definitely have one.

But as I still struggled with (1), I tried some guitars with wider fretboard and string spacing. Eventually I bought a Martin 0-28VS which was the first guitar I really felt good on. I re-strung it with silk and steel strings that helped with (3). I really started to feel like eventually I might be able play some guitar so was motivated to stick with it. Now I know that prefer body size 00 or smaller, wider string spacing (2 5/16 or 2 3/8), wider fretboards ( 1 7/8) and lower tension strings (now moved up to using silk & bronze 49/11).

I just reluctantly re-homed by 0-28VS as I had commissioned a Wilborn Lion (between a 0 and 00) that arrived. He's an amazing builder who is noted for his ability to build smaller bodied guitars that deliver big sound.

Here is Ben introducing my build:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g1nD920zWzY

And here is my guitar teacher taking it for a spin:

https://youtu.be/8e669WrUi5Y

And if anyone is looking for a gateway guitar, I will have this Larrivee Parlor with Zebrano body wood (P-03Z) for sale for $1K net to me. Link to photos below. It has less than 30 minutes play time and is mint. I paid about $1,500. I love its 24" scale and killer tone but wanted a wider string spacing and fretboard, so Larrivee is making one for me. When I pick that one up in a few weeks, I'll also have this one back and will find it a new home. It's been at their shop because originally we were going to just replace the bridge before we decided to just build a new one.

https://flic.kr/s/aHsmsBrUiK



Eddie, you should have kept the Blackbird! (Not really cause I wouldn't have it now) It’s an easy transition to play a song on my uke and then play it on the guitar. I just can’t get comfortable with those big guitars with the stiffer steel strings. Guess that’s from getting used to ukes first.

I’d thought I could learn enough to start the guitar by myself but I soon found a live teacher made things much easier.
There’s lots of help on the internet but a live person will make the process go quicker. Have fun!

Ukulele Eddie
05-10-2019, 06:40 PM
Eddie, you should have kept the Blackbird! (Not really cause I wouldn't have it now) It&

Hi, Shirley! I'm so glad you are enjoying it. If I ever get used to 1 3/4 width fretboard, I will get another Savoy in a NY minute!

Ukulele Eddie
05-10-2019, 06:44 PM
Never heard of this builder before. His Bantam model looks amazing.

Jake Maclay (Hive Ukuleles) met him when they were seated near each other while exhibiting at a guitar festival. Jake was quite impressed and later told me about him.

Col50
05-10-2019, 10:49 PM
There is only one and he has already been mentioned

Justin Sandercoe aka justinguitar.

Once you watch one of his videos you will compare all others to him.

Tip
Any you watch that start with wasssup, move on quickly.

Ziret
05-11-2019, 05:19 AM
That's my rule, too!


There is only one and he has already been mentioned

Justin Sandercoe aka justinguitar.

Once you watch one of his videos you will compare all others to him.

Tip
Any you watch that start with wasssup, move on quickly.

kerneltime
05-11-2019, 06:35 AM
Thank you!! Some great info!! Will need to sit down and try it all out once the guitar is here

matty78
05-11-2019, 09:28 PM
Man. some days ukulele sounds like 'chink-chink chinka ping ping ping. like all the chords sound the same etc. i suggest diving into the next "THING" in your life and wave goodbye in your rear view window to what will come to seem like a toy.

pix.fairydust
05-12-2019, 12:37 AM
Man. some days ukulele sounds like 'chink-chink chinka ping ping ping. like all the chords sound the same etc. i suggest diving into the next "THING" in your life and wave goodbye in your rear view window to what will come to seem like a toy.

With respect, my ukuleles have never sounded like this, some days or any day! To suggest they are something that "will come to seem like a toy" I think is quite a bold statement to make on the UKULELE underground forum...

DownUpDave
05-12-2019, 12:54 AM
Man. some days ukulele sounds like 'chink-chink chinka ping ping ping. like all the chords sound the same etc. i suggest diving into the next "THING" in your life and wave goodbye in your rear view window to what will come to seem like a toy.

:troll::troll::troll:

jasonlovesjazz
05-12-2019, 01:59 PM
If anyone wants a good transitional instrument (or the best classical travel guitar ever!), I’d highly recommend the Codoba Mini. It’s 20” scale (long enough to tune E-E like a regular guitar yet smaller than any 1/2 or 3/4 size guitars), nylon strings (or fluorocarbon, or nylgut, just like a uke), wide classical string spacing (similar to uke string spacing), but the neck is thin and comfortable (unlike the chunky neck of the Gretch 17” scale guitarlele), and the body is a bit less deep so it’s really comfortable to hold (more like a uke). I find myself playing this when I want to play guitar. I might even sell my full sized acoustic guitar. I did start with electric guitar, so acoustics always felt “too big” to me.

And as someone who started on guitar, then fell in love with uke, I will try to end the side conversation with what we’ve all heard before: Neither is better, they’re just different. Don’t feed the trolls. Don’t be a troll. Enough said.

CommonCurt
05-12-2019, 08:56 PM
Man. some days ukulele sounds like 'chink-chink chinka ping ping ping. like all the chords sound the same etc. i suggest diving into the next "THING" in your life and wave goodbye in your rear view window to what will come to seem like a toy.


https://i1222.photobucket.com/albums/dd490/CurtisandCrystal/Curts%20Random%20Funny%20Picks/giphy6.gif (https://s1222.photobucket.com/user/CurtisandCrystal/media/Curts%20Random%20Funny%20Picks/giphy6.gif.html)

zztush
05-17-2019, 01:00 AM
Play Key of G songs on your guitar. Then you see ukulele's key of C songs on your fretboard (see the figure below).

https://i.ibb.co/Bj5sK0B/2.png (https://ibb.co/pZBXrYd)

rainytown
05-27-2019, 06:17 PM
You could also get a capo and put it on the 5th fret - that way C, F, G, Am, etc. will seem familiar. Also capoing the strings that high might take the edge off of the wrist and finger pain you're probably going to experience at first pressing down strings in the cowboy chord area.

It seems like you've already got a guitar on the way, but if not, starting on a classical might be a better transition (strings are easier to press down and don't require callouses like steel strings do) - though the neck width could be a bit of a shock. If you are using a steel string, I'd suggest lighter gauge strings at first, and also if the action seems too high and it's too hard to press down the strings, getting a setup done can do wonders for playability.

I played guitar for 20 years before picking up an ukulele - one of the biggest transitions for me was to adapt my strumming style to more of a wrist flick than the full arm movement you use when strumming the guitar.

I love the ukulele and wouldn't think of trash talking the instrument, but I do agree slightly that sometimes when playing it I miss the range and depth you can get with the extra two strings. It can feel limiting coming from the guitar. They're really two different animals for two different purposes, but they really complement each other so well.

kerneltime
05-27-2019, 07:13 PM
The main reason why ukulele stuck with me was due to its size and convenience.. I did own a guitar for many years and made no progress vs the Ukulele! I have not been able to stop playing it.
I did get an amazing Compass Rose guitar but I feel the size does act against it.
Also, once the scale length goes above 20, I cannot play it like a uke (fingers can’t stretch to play the same arrangements) and that is where I need to learn net new technique to arranging and thinking.
I dabbled with the idea of getting a guitlele. The sound a guitar makes wants me to add it to my skill set. This is the same reason I own a cello banjo.. it sounds amazing!

bunnyf
05-28-2019, 12:34 AM
Love my guitar. Got a Taylor gs mini mahog. Even with its shorter scale it is a bit of a challenge for me but I enjoy it. I love the fuller deeper sound and resonance that you just don’t get with a uke. BUT, it is more of a pain to handle/carry. While it’s a small guitar, it could be smaller for me. My compromise go-to instrument is the steel string version of Pono’s big baritone. I wouldn’t mind getting a nice parlor guitar, but right now, I’m mostly playing mandolin.

kerneltime
05-28-2019, 04:15 AM
Love my guitar. Got a Taylor gs mini mahog. Even with its shorter scale it is a bit of a challenge for me but I enjoy it. I love the fuller deeper sound and resonance that you just don’t get with a uke. BUT, it is more of a pain to handle/carry. While it’s a small guitar, it could be smaller for me. My compromise go-to instrument is the steel string version of Pono’s big baritone. I wouldn’t mind getting a nice parlor guitar, but right now, I’m mostly playing mandolin.
I do own the nylon string NUI and the playing style cannot be ported. I need to adapt when playing NUI. I can go from a soprano to a baritone and keep most songs arranged the same way.. the extra few inches makes quite a big difference from Baritone to Nui

AQUATOPAZ
06-01-2019, 06:56 AM
With respect, my ukuleles have never sounded like this, some days or any day! To suggest they are something that "will come to seem like a toy" I think is quite a bold statement to make on the UKULELE underground forum...

I think they probably do sound that way when you only strum and stick to 3 & 4 chord songs.