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View Full Version : Am I nuts to take up the ukulele as a 3rd instrument?



sealcove
08-23-2009, 05:25 PM
Hi folks,

I have been pondering the ukulele for a number of years now, and up until recently I have been able to distract myself with mandolin and guitar. However, last week I was at a guitar workshop and there was a blues ukulele class that I got to listen in on quite a bit. This was the straw that broke the camels back! I just purchased a used but recent Kamaka tenor, and I dont even have it in my hands yet. I had noodled around enough with friends and at stores to know that I was fond on the high G tenor sound, and I knew I wanted a quality instrument from the get go. This particular Kamaka seemed like a good deal so I jumped on it.

Am I going to foil myself trying to throw another completely different instrument into the mix? I have no problems jumping back and forth between mandolin and guitar, but to my uneducated eye/ear the ukulele seems to be a step removed from my other two instruments in terms of tuning. I guess my question is really a rhetorical one, because I think I can no longer deny my desire to play these lovely sounding instruments.

Douglas
Seal Cove, Maine

ritzer012
08-23-2009, 05:27 PM
because I think I can no longer deny my desire to play these lovely sounding instruments.




exactly...don't deny yourself! go with it my friend :D

welcome to UU too!

haole
08-23-2009, 05:29 PM
If you can play guitar, you shouldn't have a problem with the ukulele at all. It's tuned to the same intervals as the top four strings of a guitar, capo'd at the fifth fret. Only difference is the high G. The chord forms should look very familiar. You'll find that the mandolin will be a step removed from the other two. ;)

Great choice for a first uke, too! Enjoy the heck out of it, and stay awhile!

nikolo727
08-23-2009, 06:02 PM
go with it. The ukulele is a very simple instrument to learn how to play. NOT master, play. I mess around with guitar and ukulele as well as a whole bunch of other instruments. Every serious musician comes along to the ukulele sometime in their career. just thank god that you found it, when there is a site like this to help speed you on the way. Go for it man. Its the best instrument ive ever played and will ever play. if i can play it you can.

lisaxy424
08-23-2009, 06:07 PM
They will all be best friends...if that's what you're worried about ;)

Can't wait to see your new uke - best of luck!

kalmario
08-23-2009, 06:19 PM
but a kamaka as a first uke?

i'm jealous.

Cliff

p.s. give it heaps and have fun, it should help the guitar and mandolin playing as you learn different techniques and such. i now play my guitar like a uke!! chunk chunk chunk

Rick Turner
08-23-2009, 07:38 PM
Kamaka as a first uke? Heck, yes! Start with something good.

Besides, have you checked prices on even medium decent mandolins lately? The game starts way up in the hundreds and goes to six figures for top of the line...

fatfingers75
08-23-2009, 08:08 PM
i think its a great idea. post some pix of the uke as soon as u get it please!! of course have fun with it first.

Lori
08-23-2009, 08:13 PM
You'll be fine. Have fun with it. Welcome to the group!

–Lori

Ahnko Honu
08-23-2009, 08:43 PM
You'd be nuts not too! ;)

Pippin
08-23-2009, 08:44 PM
Welcome to the forum. Playing ukulele along with mandolin and guitar is a great combination.

So, make some recordings where you use all three instruments and play them for your friends.

When I make a lot of recordings I try not to make the ukulele louder than the guitar, but there is a nice balance. When people hear the music, they don't think, "It's a ukulele song." They listen to the music as if it were on the radio and they don't know the difference until I tell them there is a ukulele in the mix. Then they listen to it and from that point onward, they hear it plain as day.

Dibblet
08-24-2009, 12:51 AM
Kamaka as a first uke? Heck, yes! Start with something good.

Besides, have you checked prices on even medium decent mandolins lately? The game starts way up in the hundreds and goes to six figures for top of the line...

Yes, ukes are remarkably cheap. I couldn't really afford to have piano aquisition syndrome (I only have 2 and an electric keyboard lol) , or even clarinet aquisition syndrome (only 3 of them plus a few wall hangers), but ukes are cheap. Get lots of good ones.

Uke as a 3rd instrument after guitar and mandolin is relatively easy. At least they all have strings and frets. It's my 3rd instrument after piano and clarinet. There's not a lot of synergy in that combination.

sealcove
08-24-2009, 01:12 AM
Thanks for the welcoming words of encouragement! After Haole mentioned the tuning relationship with the guitar, I took a few moments to consider the chord shapes, and while the forms represent different notes played, the shapes are certainly familiar. That should be helpful if I can get avoid confusing myself :)

I am sure that I didn't need to buy a Kamaka as a first ukulele, but as others have already stated, ukuleles are relatively inexpensive. I also know that I greatly enjoy nice instruments and if I can get a fair deal on one I am prone to jumping on it. I am pretty sure that I wont regret it, and in the unlikely event that the ukulele disagrees with me, I should be able to move this instrument without taking much of a loss.

I see one major problem with ukuleles. I don't even have one in hand yet, and i am already thinking that I will be wanting a concert size as well. Ukulele acquisition syndrome is clearly a force to be reckoned with! :music:

Douglas

Sigmund
08-24-2009, 03:19 AM
Have you sought any input from mandolin or guitar players? They may be a bit less enthusiastic about your defection. :)

I play mandolin, mandola, and guitar more or less well and noodle around with bouzouki, violin, and several other things. I've just added ukulele to the mix. Let me tell you, a 3rd instrument is not a problem, just another exposure to the Instrument Acquisition Virus.

Raygf
08-24-2009, 03:52 AM
My ukulele playing has actually improved my guitar playing, plus it's so much easier sitting on the sofa, lying in bed or walking around the house with a uke in hand. Have fun reckoning with UAS.
Regards,
Ray

buddhuu
08-24-2009, 03:57 AM
Have you sought any input from mandolin or guitar players? They may be a bit less enthusiastic about your defection. :)

I play mandolin, mandola, and guitar more or less well and noodle around with bouzouki, violin, and several other things. I've just added ukulele to the m :confused:ix. Let me tell you, a 3rd instrument is not a problem, just another exposure to the Instrument Acquisition Virus.

I play mandolin, mandola, guitar, tenor banjo, tin whistle, fiddle, bouzouki, bodhran, bass, harmonica and ukulele. I'm not great on any of them (pretty bad at some!), and I think that is one downside of liking so many different instruments - you don't have enough hours to get good at all of them... maybe not at any of them if you split your time too many ways.

That said... What the heck. Just do it and have fun. :D

hoosierhiver
08-24-2009, 04:21 AM
You'll love it. I'm already looking forward to your future multi-tracked mandolin-ukulele videos.

sukie
08-24-2009, 04:33 AM
Ukulele probably won't be the third instrument for long. Might become your first love.

My ukulele teacher is a autoharp player, mandolin player, guitar player and god knows what else player. She's a fabulous musician. She also plays ukulele. It's not a problem for her. In fact all the other instruments she plays help make her a terrific uke teacher.

sealcove
08-24-2009, 04:40 AM
You guys who play a half a dozen or more instruments are making me feel extremely sane! I know that adding another instrument will dilute my time mastering the others, but it must serve to make me a better musician in general. The only painful part is the long wait for my new to me ukulele to make its way from Hawaii to Maine.

LameLefty
08-24-2009, 05:39 AM
Ukulele probably won't be the third instrument for long. Might become your first love.


Bingo. :)

I still have more guitars than ukes, but I have GOOD ukes, which ought to count for something. When I got my newest one (my Martin Style 3 Cherry) I didn't touch a guitar for about three months. :D

smithpaul60
08-24-2009, 06:16 AM
Seal,
to me, let me say that again because it is not doctrine or law, TO ME music is about what you love. It is about how you express yourself. Music is a language that is unique to you and yet can be understood by those around you. If you love the sound of a ukelele you will love playing it.

Switching between the instruments won't be much trouble after the first few days of playing, if then.

Any kazoo players, spoon players, radio players out there?

bornagainjeeper
08-24-2009, 06:22 AM
Uke was my....i dunno 20th instrument, i've barely played anything else since...

RonS
08-24-2009, 06:41 AM
Uke was my....i dunno 20th instrument, i've barely played anything else since...


Scary Huh!

The uke is my 8th instrument and has dominated most of my playing time.

Playscool39
08-24-2009, 09:06 AM
The one conclusion you can make:

There are lots of instruments but there is just "one to rule them all", The Uke:D

Have fun and don't resist it any longer, just give in to it.

buddhuu
08-24-2009, 09:15 AM
[...] There are lots of instruments but there is just "one to rule them all" [...]

Shouldn't Pippin have posted that? :D

cornfedgroove
08-24-2009, 10:02 AM
ukulele is awesome...

I started with guitar, then mandolin, banjo, ukulele etc...

whether I play them proficiently or not, I looooooove having them nearby if I want to relax on the couch or happen to play with some friends. Normally you find that everyone has a guitar so its nice to bring something new to the circle.

Mandolin is awesome, but the ukulele will open the door to a completely different sound

SamWise
08-24-2009, 10:34 AM
You'll find it a real easy transition. Guitar will give you the fingering, and mandolin will mean you're used to the scale length. Have no fear!

lukuleles
08-24-2009, 10:47 AM
you will just be adding to your wealth of skills as a musician (while playing the best instrument ever created).

sealcove
08-24-2009, 11:01 AM
You folks have offered some excellent words of encouragement and I greatly appreciate it. I just received word that the ukulele has in fact been shipped; I will report back when it arrives. In the meantime I had better research strings so I at least have a set or two kicking around.

This is a little off topic, but as I read this thread and others, I am becoming more and more impressed with the quality of this forum and its members. I am glad I found Ukulele Underground. :bowdown:

Uncle-Taco
08-24-2009, 03:00 PM
I play (in order of competence) harmonica, guitar, flute, bass, and ukulele. I think taking up ukulele is probably the most sane thing I ever did, musically. It is a no-pressure way to make fun music with others or, better yet, without anyone else, and it has made me better at the rest of my instruments.
Play ukulele; it's wholesome, and you're nuts not to!

DRANKLIVE
08-24-2009, 03:49 PM
Go crazy and good luck!

kalmario
08-24-2009, 04:16 PM
My ukulele playing has actually improved my guitar playing, plus it's so much easier sitting on the sofa, lying in bed or walking around the house with a uke in hand. Have fun reckoning with UAS.
Regards,
Ray

try playing a guitar in a confined are like a toilet.

uke wins hands down

good accoustics too.

Cliff

UkuleleHill
08-24-2009, 04:40 PM
You'd be nuts not too! ;)

Truer Words....

Spooner
08-24-2009, 08:45 PM
I play guitar, bass and piano.

I picked up an ukulele while in Hawaii a few years back.

I haven't really touched another instrument since.

Finding the uke was like finding the missing part of myself that no other instrument has ever done for me.

If it doesn't have that effect on you, at least you can play another instrument.

I'd venture to say that you will find the love in the uke though. The uke IS love! :shaka:

UkuLeLesReggAe
08-25-2009, 12:50 AM
make it 3rd, 4th and 5th instrument..