View Full Version : Concert vs Tenor

08-18-2009, 05:23 PM
So I started out on this $15 thing I bought from a store called EZ Price in the Marshall Islands. Yeah, you heard me, the Marshall Islands. It's like half way between Hawaii and New Zealand and I lived there for three years. How authentic am I? :)

Anyways, I gave away my uke to some kid when I left and then picked up a Lanikai soprano once I got back to the mainland. A few months later I strung it with Aquila and have been jamming on that for about a year now. I'm nothing special, certainly haven't taken formal lessons, but I can play a bit.

It's about time I buy a more serious uke. I'm in Seattle and have tried out some concert and tenor ukes at Dusty Strings. Aside from the obvious size, is there anything else I should consider when deciding between a concert or a tenor? I'm a bit torn. Both felt fine to me. The concert didn't feel too small, and the tenor didn't feel too big. I'm not a very big dude so my brain is telling me to buy the concert, but I really have no idea.

Any thoughts to help me decide?

08-18-2009, 05:35 PM
While my guitar gently weeps takes up 15 frets, and a concert can barely handle it. If you want this one to last you, then I would go for a tenor, unless you get a concert with a cutaway.

Of course, if your not planning on being so hardcore as to learn those type of songs in the first place, then it really doesn't matter.

I was dying for two years because I had to squeeze my fingers 3 frets over the body, and I recently got my tenor, and that was the best thing I ever did.

08-18-2009, 05:45 PM
buy both! hAHA JK. id go with tenor! mainly because it usualy has more frets and it has a fuller sound.

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
08-18-2009, 05:56 PM
Marshall Islands.......cool! Home to the largest atoll on the planet.........

I'm not sure playability should be the biggest issue or the deciding factor. There's a very good chance you will grow into either size. A bigger consideration is the sound you're looking for. All things being the same, a tenor will be louder and sound fuller, more complex than a concert. Yet a concert may have a more traditional "ukulele" sound. Your ears should decide.

08-18-2009, 07:10 PM
After having sizes from sopranino to baritone, I have settled on a concert Kanile'a as my go-to ukulele love...I hope you are able to decide without going through the odyssey of ukes that I did, but now that I've found Betty I am very happy... It just takes finding the uke that fits best for you (and as Chuck alluded to, it was the sound of the concert in the end that appealed to me the most).

08-18-2009, 08:44 PM
I think Chuck summed it up, sound as well as comfortability. We can throw all the reasons in the world to get this one or that one, but the deciding factor will be what sounds best to you and you alone.

Uncle Rod Higuchi
08-18-2009, 09:11 PM
I'm a Strummer/Singer rather than a Picker so I favor the Soprano or Concert size.

I'm currently playing an Island Ukulele, 6-string Concert that I just picked up in Honolulu.

I had been playing a 5-string Mele Concert prototype with a great sound.

I may bring both to the next SUPA song cirlce in Sept. Come and join us if you can.

08-18-2009, 10:17 PM
I think the bigger ones might as well be guitars, I wouldn't go any bigger than concert for a uke sound, but that's just me.

08-18-2009, 10:56 PM
I'd say a tenor

08-19-2009, 02:01 AM
I think the bigger ones might as well be guitars, I wouldn't go any bigger than concert for a uke sound, but that's just me.

I agree.
That's why I sold my Tenor to buy a Ohana Vita uke.. which has a concert sized body and a soprano neck :D

08-19-2009, 02:44 AM
Aside from agreeing with Chuck as well, I also have to add that "serious" does not automatically equate with larger.

What you really want is a better quality instrument and that can be any size of ukulele. The quality of the craftsmanship and the wood are what makes an ukulele a more serious endeavor not the scale length.

You can stick with the soprano if you really like the sound. and your dollar to quality ratio will likely go further since overall sopranos are less expensive than larger scales.

I've been using a concert for our Uke Orchestra (Mostly for the volume so we all can stick together.) but do a huge chunk of my home practicing and playing on a soprano because it's fun. (Both of which have more than 15 frets and on which I can play whatever the hell I'm currently capable of.) Both are solid koa & made in Hawaii and are serious player's instruments.

Chances are good that at some point you'll end up with an instrument in all the various scale lengths anyway. It is the way these things seem to work. But you don't have to play a tenor to be considered "serious". You just have to play well and that's about practice and intent not scale length.

08-19-2009, 05:30 AM
how about a custom super concert?
concert with tenor scale...

08-20-2009, 01:26 PM
OK, after some research and another prolonged trip to Dusty Strings, I pre-ordered a Kala Acacia Tenor from MGM. Yay!