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View Full Version : Beginner Needs Advice, please!



Awww_Uke
08-07-2009, 10:02 AM
Hey guys I wanna pick up an instrument when i go to college so i wanted to pick up something that was something smallish and not extremely complicated, so i settled on a uke. I wanna be able to play common songs that people would know, so that is the type of music I wanna be able to play. I just dont know what kind of uke to get. I wanna spend under like $60 or $70. I dont really want a soprano because I don't really like that higher pitched sound and I feel like some people might think it's annoying. So i what do you think is good for a tenor or concert size for an absolute beginner. I have never played a string instrument before so I read that a baritone wouldn't be that good for me.

Thanks!

MissMacadamia
08-07-2009, 10:23 AM
If you don't really like the sound of a ukulele, are you sure it's a good idea to get one?

You might be better off with a small keyboard. Buying one for kids may seem embarrassing at first, but why should it really?

KC8AFW
08-07-2009, 10:41 AM
Try this: http://cgi.ebay.com/MAKALA-CONCERT-UKULELE-MGM-SETUP-W-AQUILAS-see-video_W0QQitemZ250476582471QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_D efaultDomain_0?hash=item3a51915647&_trksid=p4634.c0.m14.l1262

There is a link to a video in the listing to give you an idea of what it will sound like. In my opinion...the uke is a lot easier to pick up than other instruments.

Ukulele JJ
08-07-2009, 11:13 AM
I dont really want a soprano because I don't really like that higher pitched sound and I feel like some people might think it's annoying. So i what do you think is good for a tenor or concert size for an absolute beginner.

Tenors and concerts are tuned to exactly the same pitches as a soprano (usually).

The different sizes of ukuleles aren't like the differences between soprano, alto, and tenor saxophones (which actually do play different pitch ranges). It's more like the difference between an upright piano, a baby grand piano, and a concert grand piano. All three pianos have 88 keys and play the same notes, but the bigger you go, the richer and louder the sound.

So if you find a good soprano at an attractive price (like this one (http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=370240839375)), I say go for it.

JJ

seeso
08-07-2009, 12:09 PM
Like JJ said, the soprano does not have a higher pitch. It merely has a purer sound. If I were you, I would watch and listen to some YouTube ukulele videos. Once you've heard a bunch of different sizes and models, you can start narrowing your choices down.

Also, take some time to read through this thread (http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?t=11346). You'll find a lot of helpful information.

Awww_Uke
08-07-2009, 07:59 PM
These two in my price range, any thoughts?

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001SN7QYG
http://www.austinbazaar.com/product/8-M-AMT8?meta=FRG&utm_source=GBASE&utm_medium=CPC&utm_content=&utm_campaign=

Yeah i spent all last night looking through that beginner thread and looking all over youtube for hours and I can't decide what I like the best. I think it's gonna be a concert or a tenor. I'll keep looking thanks for the advice!

DaveVisi
08-07-2009, 08:39 PM
I'd seek out musicguymic on eBay and see what he has to offer. The Kala's and their younger cousins Makala's are very reasonably priced and would probably play circles around the Mahalo or Amigo for just a few dollars more.

If you go with the Tenor, you can string it with a low G string (you can do it with smaller ones too, but you'll like the deeper resonance that comes with a larger body) and it won't sound so "Uke" like but still be fun to play.

Be careful though. It won't be long that you'll be craving more. It's sort of like sex... or potato chips.

seeso
08-07-2009, 09:23 PM
These two in my price range, any thoughts?

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001SN7QYG
http://www.austinbazaar.com/product/8-M-AMT8?meta=FRG&utm_source=GBASE&utm_medium=CPC&utm_content=&utm_campaign=

Yeah i spent all last night looking through that beginner thread and looking all over youtube for hours and I can't decide what I like the best. I think it's gonna be a concert or a tenor. I'll keep looking thanks for the advice!

That's a big NO to both. Do what DaveVisi said. Check out musicguymic's store on eBay.

kissing
08-07-2009, 09:43 PM
These two in my price range, any thoughts?

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001SN7QYG
http://www.austinbazaar.com/product/8-M-AMT8?meta=FRG&utm_source=GBASE&utm_medium=CPC&utm_content=&utm_campaign=

Yeah i spent all last night looking through that beginner thread and looking all over youtube for hours and I can't decide what I like the best. I think it's gonna be a concert or a tenor. I'll keep looking thanks for the advice!

Eek, I would stay away from Mahalo.. especially Mahalos with Friction tuners :uhoh: :eek:
I started on cheap Mahalo Ukes... but if I knew the difference in quality offered through MGM, I would not have.

I too advise on investing a bit more and getting something from MGM music.
Check out his store. All the products are listed in order of price, so find one that you can afford. All should be reasonable quality, since he sets them up and gives them high quality Aquila strings :)
http://stores.shop.ebay.com/Musicguymics-Room

molokinirum
08-10-2009, 07:34 AM
YES.....visit MusicGuyMic on ebay. He has great prices and a great selection. He will set you up with everything you will need. Most importantly, he is one of us!!!!!!!!:music:
Good luck and have fun with your new uke!!!

sukie
08-10-2009, 07:45 AM
YES.....visit MusicGuyMic on ebay. He has great prices and a great selection. He will set you up with everything you will need. Most importantly, he is one of us!!!!!!!!:music:
Good luck and have fun with your new uke!!!

I agree!!:D

Kanaka916
08-10-2009, 09:56 AM
There are numerous threads asking the same question. Check out this thread (http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showpost.php?p=109527&postcount=1) for some recommendations as to what would be a decent entry level instrument. By all means, do check with MGM. He'll answer most questions you'll have. Good Luck in your search.

CoffeeMate
08-11-2009, 04:52 AM
Listen you are going to love playing the uke, save up a little more and get one that is playable. Kala and Ohana have some great entry level ukes. Check out Music Guy Mikes youtube page. http://www.youtube.com/user/musicguymic
While there are plenty of online dealers with great prices and great customer service you can't go wrong with MGM on e-bay for selection and set up. If you still can't decide, you can call or e-mail MGM and he will offer his opinion and advice. Good Luck and Welcome to the best dang Forum on the interwebs :D

Thumper
08-11-2009, 05:03 AM
Whatever you choose, I strongly recommend that you factor a clip-on tuner (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000P97ZL8/?tag2=httpwwwkeit0d-20) into your initial investment. It's the best bang for the buck you can get in the world of uking - seriously.

Lori
08-11-2009, 07:07 AM
Stay away from inexpensive ukes with cheap friction tuners! They will be hard to tune, and they won't stay in tune. Too frustrating to bear. Look for geared tuners, like on the Makala and Kala. Most inexpensive ukes come with cheaper strings. Get some higher quality strings for the uke, like Worth's or Aquilla. Worth's is good for picking, and Aquilla good for strumming.

–Lori

mrUKETOBER
08-11-2009, 07:25 AM
i agree with these guys... sorry if this offends anyone but... imho... mahalo sucks ! they dont have a good sound and they are made cheap... i would definately go with mic.. he has some of the best prices and he has the absolute BEST customer service ! he will work with you and help you find what you need ! mic is def the way to go ! i have a kala from mic and it sounds beautiful ! i love it !

Awww_Uke
08-12-2009, 07:10 AM
Thanks For your help guys! I didn't want to spend that much money because I wanna learn first because this is my first instrument. But I fully plan on getting addicted and upgrading to a pricier one in the near future.

Anyways, this is what I bought, from MGM!:

http://cgi.ebay.com/MAKALA-sparkle-black-SOPRANO-UKULELE-aquilas-HEAR-VIDEO_W0QQitemZ370242155471QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_D efaultDomain_0?hash=item563426f3cf&_trksid=p4634.c0.m14.l1262

KC8AFW
08-12-2009, 07:16 AM
Thanks For your help guys! I didn't want to spend that much money because I wanna learn first because this is my first instrument. But I fully plan on getting addicted and upgrading to a pricier one in the near future.

Anyways, this is what I bought, from MGM!:

http://cgi.ebay.com/MAKALA-sparkle-black-SOPRANO-UKULELE-aquilas-HEAR-VIDEO_W0QQitemZ370242155471QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_D efaultDomain_0?hash=item563426f3cf&_trksid=p4634.c0.m14.l1262

Congratulations! Be sure to post pics (or videos) when you get it. The Makalas make great starter ukes. :music:

chanimalcrackers
08-12-2009, 07:42 AM
I would suggest a tenor ukulele- that way, you won't be deceived by the sound if you want to upgrade. If you start off with a mahogany uke by like...Kala or something, that should be fine. But my personal suggestion is to start with a good investment, like a lanikai, ohana, pono, or kamaka tenor uke, preferably one that uses koa wood. It would be a bit expensive (unless you buy used it would be significantly cheaper) but I think that starting off with a ukulele that sounds great would be best because it would encourage you to keep playing. Thats pretty much what happened for me. I started with a Pono PKTE (which stands for Pono Koa Tenor Electric) and fell in love with the instrument 2 years ago, and have not stopped playing it to this day. Well, the end investment is your choice. But this is my take on things.
Happy Hunting!!!

Ukulele JJ
08-12-2009, 08:17 AM
Anyways, this is what I bought, from MGM!:

http://cgi.ebay.com/MAKALA-sparkle-black-SOPRANO-UKULELE-aquilas-HEAR-VIDEO_W0QQitemZ370242155471QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_D efaultDomain_0?hash=item563426f3cf&_trksid=p4634.c0.m14.l1262

Muscle tough! That's a nice uke, especially for the price. They look a lot sweeter in person than in that pic. I think you'll dig it!

:cheers:

JJ

Lori
08-13-2009, 05:42 AM
You will love the Makala sparkle! I got one to give as a gift, and had it for a few days. I put new strings on it, and played it to stretch them out. Really good uke for the money. Lots of fun to play. Nice sound, good tuners, good intonation. The metallic sparkle is very subtle, so it is hard to see in photos. It is very nice though, not too gaudy.

–Lori