View Full Version : Ukulele scale length question

07-01-2009, 11:39 PM
Hello all,
I've a question and I think it relates to the 'scale length' given in ukulele specifications. I already own and love my Concert Fluke from fleamarket that has a scale length of 15.5 inches. I want to buy a RISA electric uke, but whilst I was tempted to go for a tenor, I really want to be able to go from one uke to another without having to compensate too much for size and make bigger smaller chords shapes. My first uke was a cheap soprano, and I never play this because the strings are too close for comfort and I can't hold the chords cleanly. The RISA concert has a scale length of 15.2 inches, and the RISA tenor is 17 inches. Will I find the tenor too difficult to adjust to?Plus as its electric anyway maybe the subtle differences you'd see and hear between an acoustic concert and tenor, are not really there anyway.
Any advice to help would be great - thanks. :)

07-02-2009, 06:17 AM
I had this same concern when I bought my last uke. I had a soprano, and was extremely comfortable with playing it. I was concerned that if I went with a concert I would have issues with fingering chords.

I went with the concert anyway. When I first picked it up to play it...I did have a little bit of an issue fingering the chords a little too far back from the fret. But, after an hour or so, my fingers figured out where they were supposed to go. I've had my new uke for about a week and a half and can go between the soprano and concert with out any issues.

I say go for the tenor...it won't be that big of an adjustment.

07-02-2009, 07:00 AM
Will I find the tenor too difficult to adjust to? Plus as its electric anyway maybe the subtle differences you'd see and hear between an acoustic concert and tenor, are not really there anyway.
Many of us here feel tenor is the perfect size ukulele. (heretics may disagree). It has ample room for fingers and allows a larger body for fuller sound and richer harmonics. It's quite easy to get accustomed to - like graduating from a queen-size to king-size bed.

But to be fair, many players here have all sizes in their collection. UAS dictates we must at some point fill in all the blanks.

An electric uke is quite different from an acoustic. It sounds more like a nylon-stringed guitar than a ukulele. Not bad, just different. It lacks the harmoics the acoustic body provides. But it can play Hendrix much better.

07-02-2009, 10:56 AM
I go from soprano to concert to bartione to guitar in various combinations while on stage. It only takes one song to get acclimated. So on that first song you have to really be consious of the difference if you are playing up on the neck. The guitar feel so long like you have to have a lunch for the trip to the 12th fret.

2" won't make much of a dfference....for uke scale.

07-02-2009, 09:40 PM
Hello and thanks for the replies, I've decided yes I'll get a tenor - with a low G I think. I've just been to a gig for the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain and they were beyond fantastic and convinced me that acoustic is the only way to go - now I just need to find a good acoustic tenor - oh no... UKE shopping!:D Please feel free to make any suggestions! But I am in the UK, and we don't have so many uke shops here sadly so I might have to buy over the internet and forgo the try-before-you-buy.

07-04-2009, 11:37 AM
I have ukes in both high and low G, and I like them all (hell, I like ANY ukulele...), but as a personal preference, I like high G. It sounds brighter. Makes me think a bit about the music because I don't have the same four-string runs to play. Picking is also different. Get one of each...