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View Full Version : Help this Beginner choose his first (cheap) Uke



dugbrandon
04-26-2008, 06:56 AM
I have recently decided to buy a ukulele. I have a little bit of experience with guitar, and have taken a few months worth of lessons. At my music shop I have the choice between a Baritone Hilo 2655 @ $47.95, I believe this one is mohogany, or a Soprano Lanikai LU-11 @ $39.00 link (http://www.musiciansfriend.com/product/Lanikai-LU11-Standard-Ukulele?sku=512518)
I guess I could transition some of my limited guitar skills over to the baritone, but I don't know what I style I want to go with. I know a lot of you probably think I should go more expensive, but that is all that they keep in stock, and I honestly don't want to put a bunch of money into something I will only play with a couple of times a week and won't take seriously. If anyone could provide a review of wither model, or give me some more info about the two styles to go along with the several 3 or 4 hours of research I've already done online, it would be appreciated.

KoloheBoy
04-26-2008, 08:57 AM
i would reccomend a concert or a tenor ukulele first of all. a baritone is slightly large and a soprano has the what i call "crappy sound" and they sound wierd playing songs and are tuned in a different way. . you can get a pretty good concert ukulele for about 100 bucks. great sound for low price.
i would reccomend a lanikai or a kala. pretty much any lanikai or kala concert will get u a nice sound. http://cgi.ebay.com/NEW-KALA-MAKALA-MK-C-Concert-UKULELE-w-HARD-CASE_W0QQitemZ360045212938QQihZ023QQcategoryZ16224 QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

Keonikapila
04-26-2008, 09:20 AM
Out of two, I'd probably recommend the baritone for you, since you're a guitar player. With standard baritone tuning, it'll play just like the bottom 4 strings of a guitar capo'ed at the 5th fret. If anything it'll serve as a good "transitional instrument" while you decide how far you want to go with the ukulele.

But ultimately, it'll come down to which one feels right to you. I'd just spend a little time in the music shop and play around with both of em and go with which ever one feels better.

tad
04-26-2008, 10:27 AM
i would reccomend a concert or a tenor ukulele first of all. a baritone is slightly large and a soprano has the what i call "crappy sound" and they sound wierd playing songs and are tuned in a different way. . you can get a pretty good concert ukulele for about 100 bucks. great sound for low price.
i would reccomend a lanikai or a kala. pretty much any lanikai or kala concert will get u a nice sound. http://cgi.ebay.com/NEW-KALA-MAKALA-MK-C-Concert-UKULELE-w-HARD-CASE_W0QQitemZ360045212938QQihZ023QQcategoryZ16224 QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

What you call the "crappy sound," others call the "traditional sound."

And sopranos are tuned the same as any other ukes, except for baritones-- GCEA.

seeso
04-26-2008, 10:28 AM
With standard baritone tuning, it'll play just like the bottom 4 strings of a guitar capo'ed at the 5th fret.

I think the baritone guitar is tuned D, G, B, E, isn't it? Therefore it's just like a guitar without the two lowest strings.

dugbrandon, if both of the instruments are available for you to try, why not go with the one that feels best?

Personally, I'd go with either a concert or a tenor. The soprano is just too small for me.

The thing about baritones is they're too similar to guitars. You don't really get the "ukulele" sound and feel from them.

brokenwing
04-26-2008, 10:57 AM
...what seeso said. eventually it'd be nice to have one of each, but to start off a tenor or concert - and since you play guitar a tenor with the low G will feel the most famililar to you (outside of a baritone - but, as seeso pointed out, a baritone is more guitar-like than uke-like, so why go there?)

UkeNinja
04-26-2008, 01:06 PM
At my music shop I have the choice between... or...

If your shop only has two models(:eek:) then I would suggest to either go somewhere else, or perhaps buy from a good online seller. But you should really get your hands on a couple of different models and check them out before you decide. It helps to have a knowledgeable shop around that can accompany you in your adventures. Instead of buying what they have, buy what you need to stay happy after the initial rush: fairly good sound.

Sopranos are cool, but I cam imagine that a concert size is easier for starters (mine is too and I'm a starter), and a tenor may become too expensive for you. But there are also certain forum members who will defend the honor of the soprano with all that they have.

Most of all, go for the ukiest sound you can get! No fun playing something that's just a small guitar, is it?

Keonikapila
04-26-2008, 08:05 PM
I think the baritone guitar is tuned D, G, B, E, isn't it? Therefore it's just like a guitar without the two lowest strings.



You're right Seeso, brain fart on my part...dunno what i was thinking when I typed that haha

bof
04-27-2008, 02:48 AM
If you are a guitarist, playing the baritone is rather useless. You see, it hasn't the Ukulele typical sound anymore because it is as big as a small guitar. And why would you want to limit yourself without any benefits? I mean it hasn't the Ukulele sound anymore and it has two strings less. A Soprano is rather hard to get comfortable with, though I only play sopranos for that I love its sound. I don't like tenors too much, but here in the forum many seem to love this size. Hmm of what i ahve tested myself, concerts seem to be quite nice.

Well I think we had this discussion over and over again. But if it's really your first Ukulele, try to save up more money to get an instrument for around 100$. I mean its an instrument, not a toy or game you just invest 30$ and after a month you leave it in the corner. If you have a good quality instrument, you can sell it for nearly the same price you bought it, while a cheap instrument won't find too many buyers and will probably be a waste of money if you don't like it. There are good instruments for 100-200 Dollars. And if you have access to the European Market I would highly recommend a Bruko Ukulele, because this is the instrument with the best "dollar paid-what you get" ratio, as you get a high quality solid wood instrument for only around 100 dollars.

Bourbon Boy
04-27-2008, 03:24 AM
I think the baritone guitar is tuned D, G, B, E, isn't it? Therefore it's just like a guitar without the two lowest strings.

dugbrandon, if both of the instruments are available for you to try, why not go with the one that feels best?

Personally, I'd go with either a concert or a tenor. The soprano is just too small for me.

The thing about baritones is they're too similar to guitars. You don't really get the "ukulele" sound and feel from them.
I agree with Seeso on this one. Pick up a few and make sure it feels right. And the baritone is tuned like the 1st 4 strings of a guitar. nice but note you calssic sound of your other 3 choices. I say Concert or tenor to start...you also do not want to get something too chincy or cheap. You want this uke to at least stay in tune. If i had a uke that was constantly out of tune it would totaly discourage me as it would sound like crap all the time. Even when you learning your first G cord you want it to sound like G...