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heymelbs
01-24-2010, 02:11 PM
I got a Lanikai LU-21C for Christmas, but I returned it because it had poor intonation and the action was a little to high for me. Plus I like the sound of solid wood. I've never played a tenor, but am looking at one of the Mainland ukes right now. Trying to decide if I should be looking at a Concert or Tenor. The Lanikai was fun to play, felt a little small, but I was getting used to it. Since I have played guitar for years, a little larger instrument would be nice. I do like the smaller, more intimate feel of the concert, but like the bigger sound of the tenor. Any thoughts?

leftovermagic84
01-24-2010, 02:15 PM
you want this:
http://cgi.ebay.com/NEW-Ohana-SK-30L-Long-Neck-Soprano-Ukulele_W0QQitemZ230422184820QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH _DefaultDomain_0?hash=item35a63b8374

soprano body with a tenor sized scale. Solid wood too. Welcome to UU

Melissa82
01-24-2010, 02:18 PM
I have a ohana concert and mainland tenor. I didn't find the size of the tenor that much bigger but it is enough to realize it's a tenor. I'd go with the tenor if you think that way about it.

heymelbs
01-24-2010, 03:27 PM
Melissa82 since you have both a Concert and Tenor, which do you prefer?

Melissa82
01-24-2010, 04:05 PM
Melissa82 since you have both a Concert and Tenor, which do you prefer?Tenor. I'm little 5'2, 113lbs depending on the day, lol. I just feel more comfortable with a tenor. But then again, you see bigger people who love their soprano's. It's really just a matter of personal preference.

Plainsong
01-24-2010, 04:42 PM
Tenor. I'm little 5'2, 113lbs depending on the day, lol. I just feel more comfortable with a tenor. But then again, you see bigger people who love their soprano's. It's really just a matter of personal preference.

Yup, I'm bigger, and prefer a concert. My best uke right now is a superconcert, but that'll change because your last uke is never your last uke. There are bigger still who prefer soprano. It's all about what strikes your fancy the best.

And the great thing is, they're all different enough that you can get a representative of all the sizes, and they'll all get played!

RyanMFT
01-24-2010, 05:01 PM
I am WAY bigger than Melissa and I prefer Soprano.....so it really is a personal taste thing.

heymelbs
01-24-2010, 05:01 PM
I'm guessing that this will not be my last Uke, so I'm probably leaning to the Tenor. I'm waiting for a Paypal payment, and then I'm pulling the trigger. I see Mainland makes the Mahogany and Cedar, but I'm leaning strongly towards the Mahogany.

itsme
01-24-2010, 05:08 PM
Melissa, it's interesting that you prefer the tenor, given your petite size. :)

Tenor's all I've ever played, but my background is classical guitar so I'm used to a larger scale.

ukeCANjam
01-24-2010, 05:13 PM
I'm 5'11 and play the soprano. Probably because that's the only uke I'll have in a while. :D

I tried several concerts and like their deeper tone, but my finger's aren't use to that many frets. The fretboard seemed to go on and on.

I also tried a Kala Mango Tenor before at my local Sam Ash, and liked its overall tone and my finger's seemed more comfortable. I guess it'll just take time to get use to.

Melissa82
01-24-2010, 05:16 PM
Melissa, it's interesting that you prefer the tenor, given your petite size. :)I know, right? It turns out I like them big.

heymelbs
01-24-2010, 05:19 PM
Since I'm used to playing a bass, all of these fretboards feel itsy bitsy.

Melissa82
01-24-2010, 05:21 PM
Since I'm used to playing a bass, all of these fretboards feel itsy bitsy.I like the Mainland fretboard. It is a bit wider I find. But, I'm only comparing to a concert.

heymelbs
01-24-2010, 05:29 PM
I like the Mainland fretboard. It is a bit wider I find. But, I'm only comparing to a concert.

That's good to know.

heymelbs
01-24-2010, 05:37 PM
UU is a great source of info. Since I'm way up here in Podunk Iowa, we have to travel miles to a decent guitar store, and miles more to one that has a decent Ukulele selection. One guitar store 30 miles away sells some plastic ones, a guitar store 70 miles away sells some low end Lanikais, and a store 100 miles away has some Fenders. As a result, I rely a lot on these Forums for information. I'm also pretty active on a Blueridge guitar forum which is a great group of people also. So much good information that I have received on that site also. Word of mouth and online music stores are so helpful.

luvdat
01-24-2010, 09:28 PM
Tenor. I'm little 5'2, 113lbs depending on the day, lol. I just feel more comfortable with a tenor. But then again, you see bigger people who love their soprano's. It's really just a matter of personal preference.

I really think that what makes the soprano or the tenor open to people of either end of the human size spectrum is that they themselves are at either end of the size spectrum and they are proportionate in their dimensions. The hardest size for me to adjust to: concert.

iDavid
01-24-2010, 10:08 PM
I know, right? It turns out I like them big.

now that's funny

or not

depending

iDavid
01-24-2010, 10:12 PM
I just got my Mainland Mahogany tenor also. I was surprised at how small it is. I still need to compare to back to back with my friend's concert bushman. I looking for an excuse to get another Uke and wanting a concert is a good angle, however I think tenor may just be the ticket. I have a soprano, tenor and baritone. The baritone's fret board feels much bigger.

The nice thing abut the tenor is that you can play it guitar style and it rest easy across the lap. I guess that could work with a concert also.

heymelbs
01-25-2010, 01:43 AM
I just got my Mainland Mahogany tenor also. I was surprised at how small it is. I still need to compare to back to back with my friend's concert bushman. I looking for an excuse to get another Uke and wanting a concert is a good angle, however I think tenor may just be the ticket. I have a soprano, tenor and baritone. The baritone's fret board feels much bigger.

The nice thing abut the tenor is that you can play it guitar style and it rest easy across the lap. I guess that could work with a concert also.

Your helping me build my case for a tenor.

heymelbs
01-25-2010, 01:44 AM
Your helping me build my case for a tenor.

A little uke humor don't cha know?

SweetWaterBlue
01-25-2010, 01:53 AM
I take a bit of a different view of this. I am not a big guy at 5'8" on a good day, but I have fat fingers I guess, because I have to wear size large gloves. When I started playing the uke I didn't think I could play anything smaller than a concert, and ended up getting a tenor. I got a concert Flea next, and it was just as easy to play, although I think the neck is a bit wider on a Flea than many concerts. Finally I got a Makala Dolphin soprano, and I could play that too. Some things are even easier to play on a soprano because the frets are closer together. Barre chords are easier, for example, and chords where you have to reach 5 frets up with your pinky.

All that said, I have come to the conclusion that one of the most important things to consider is what kind of music you want to play. Traditional guitar ballads usually sound better on a baritone, or my tenor. Songs like Yellow Bird, and Jamaica Farewell just sound better to my ear on a soprano, or a concert at a minimum (maximum?)

molokinirum
01-25-2010, 07:29 AM
I say got with the tenor. I am big and played a little guitar, I tried a concert and then a tenor, for me the tenor fits like a glove. The concert a little small but still can play it. In fact my 2nd uke was a concert. Love them both!!!

Pueo
01-25-2010, 09:53 AM
I'm sure a lot of people already have and will keep saying: Get whatever feels best to you!
I originally played guitar and I thought there was no way I could play that little teeney soprano so I bought a tenor as my first uke. Then I got another tenor. My most recent purchase was a concert because I wanted something a little more portable, and although it is cozy on the fingerboard for my large hands/fingers, I am adjusting quite easily. I still think sopranos are too small for me though, but again, THAT'S JUST ME. I hope you are able to go a music store and try some different sizes. Perhaps as a guitar player, a tenor would be easiest and most comfortable to learn on for you, as it was for me.

heymelbs
01-25-2010, 02:51 PM
So far 7-7, you're not helping my decision process. Based on some of the responses and the way I'm leaning I'm going with the tenor - first...;)

entfred
01-25-2010, 03:22 PM
I think a tenor is always easier to play than a concert or soprano unless you are really small or a little kid. But, I like all 3 sizes, since they sound quite different from
one another. The soprano is what I hear in my head from all the early uke tracks. But, that, of course, has changed over the last few years quite a bit.

jazzbo
01-25-2010, 03:31 PM
Interesting thread and I've just gone through this quandry and decided on a Tenor. I will say that I hear some of that desirable small box soprano tone, in a concert Uke, but I don't hear any of it in a tenor. Make any sense? To me the tenor brings in a new range of tone though, so it's a trade-off. Ideally, I'd probable like to have both sizes and maybe I will later on, if I catch UAG from this forum.

surfer
01-25-2010, 03:38 PM
The comments to get what feels best to you are right. You'll probably be happy with either. Another consideration is the width of the fretboard/nut.

iDavid
01-25-2010, 03:45 PM
So far 7-7, you're not helping my decision process. Based on some of the responses and the way I'm leaning I'm going with the tenor - first...;)

Tenor first

concert second

HOWEVER, concert fits better in your lap if your trying to learn some uke songs from the web.

Plainsong
01-25-2010, 03:48 PM
I think a tenor is always easier to play than a concert or soprano unless you are really small or a little kid. But, I like all 3 sizes, since they sound quite different from
one another. The soprano is what I hear in my head from all the early uke tracks. But, that, of course, has changed over the last few years quite a bit.

No, you can't say "always" because that speaks for everyone. If you read the thread, you'll find plenty of people for whom this is NOT the case. There aren't many tenors I have come across that I can play comfortably. I'm 5'6" with average to stubby fingers. It's not the fretboard that's the biggest problem. I mean there's extra tension but it's not impossible. It's the body. I can't hold it comfortably. I have the same problem with guitar.. only a million times worse. I am female so maybe it's the ponies getting in the way, but tenor is not "always" easier... any more than concert or soprano are.

Bluke
01-25-2010, 03:53 PM
PLEASE, not another thread asking what you should buy. If you want a bigger uke, then just buy one. No one here can tell you what you want. If you try one and don't like it then don't buy it. THINK for yourself.

Womby28
01-25-2010, 04:45 PM
heymelbs:

It's perfectly legitimate to use UU as a resource to help your purchase. I live in a proper city and have VERY limited ukulele selections available to play so I relied on UU heavily to make some decisions.

My experience:
I played guitar first but am very small and have small fingers and reach so I didn't play much because it's challenging for me. I still started with a tenor because the sound was most familiar to me. A Lanikai, actually and I still LOVE it!

I've recently bought a Kala soprano and she gets more play than I can say. In fact, every time I'm supposed to be doing homework, I pick her up :)

Anyways, since I learned on a tenor, it feels more natural to me. They're perfectly interchangeable but may feel a little odd at first. My soprano does make bar chords much easier but sometimes I reach too far because I'm a bit more used to the tenor.

As far as which to play per song, it depends on the sound. My soprano is MUCH brighter and almost banjo like in sound while the tenor sounds more guitar like. I personally like singing along with the soprano better but the tenor is more appropriate for ballad type tunes (my opinion).

In summary, hah, it sounds like you want a tenor. Get a tenor. I've heard Mainland's are GEMS! Then down the road, get a concert or soprano.

Have fun!!

Kristin

heymelbs
01-25-2010, 04:47 PM
PLEASE, not another thread asking what you should buy. If you want a bigger uke, then just buy one. No one here can tell you what you want. If you try one and don't like it then don't buy it. THINK for yourself.

Unfortunately in Iowa I'm miles away from a store that has any selection of ukes, so it's difficult for me to "try before I buy." I truly believe that here in rural america, we are sometimes 6-12 months behind the trends of the rest of the country. If this current excitement about ukes continues, local music stores will begin to carry them - hopefully quality ones. One of the top guitar stores in the midwest (Dave's Music) in La Crosse has 3 fender ukes in the store because Fender requires the store to carry them. So far they have had very few requests, but I would think that trend will change soon for them. Another store in Mankato, MN sells inexpensive Lanikai's and they are flying out the door. I called a guitar store 30 miles from where I live, and the guy on the phone said "We haven't had anyone ask for a Ukulele in years." If anyone knows of some good stores in Iowa / SW Minnesota (around Minneapolis) with good quality selection of Ukes, let me know. I would LOVE to get to a place nearby to see quality.

Otherwise just pictures, youtube, and recommendations on these forums is all I have to go on.

Lori
01-25-2010, 06:20 PM
I would say, for this one, go ahead with the tenor. It will get you the most satisfaction for a first ukulele (it is the first, isn't it) especially since you are coming from the guitar world. I did the same thing. Eventually I got used to and love the concert and soprano sizes. They all have different voices. If you are looking for something that sounds more like a ukulele, and less like a guitar, you will get that with the smaller body sizes. If you are a lover of the low rich tones, stick with the tenor or baritone size. A long neck version would be a nice compromise, but Mainland doesn't offer that at the moment. If you got a Tenor sized neck on a Concert body (Super Concert) or even a Tenor neck on a Soprano body (Ohana has one), then you can have that extra finger space, a longer length string scale, on a smaller uke body. So, do you want rich and mellow, or bright and plucky?

–Lori

homEsick
01-25-2010, 07:25 PM
well im 6'4" and have pretty large hands. i first bought a soprano (because it was really for my gf) and i loved the little thing. bar chords and what not are a bit difficult, but when going back to a normal guitar (that ive gotten used to for the past decade) the thing feels like a freaking giant. it's weird being able to stretch your fingers to both the 1st and 12th fret at the same time :p anyways, i've been playing a concert fluke for the past week and i can tell it's bigger. i like it, but i still like the soprano. next month with my tax rebate *fingers crossed* i'll be getting a tenor ohana. but like i said, i've played guitar for years and still feel comfortable on a concert. have you played guitar or any other large stringed instrument? if you haven't, you shouldnt have any issue at all with a smaller instrument. i can't speak for tenors quite yet, but my concert feels like a great great size.http://www.musicmania.co.nz/uploads/3154_2192.jpg http://www.kurtjacob.com.au/images/UkesPic.jpg that's bari, tenor, and soprano there (no concert =/ ) so if you have experience with a guitar, the tenor is probably a better bet. BUT getting something drastically different from my guitar has opened my mind a little and got me out of a rut with guitar. maybe it was just the four strings and not the size, but let's just say i don't regret my decision to start small and work my way up./


this was taken from concertukulele.com on why he prefers a concert over a tenor:

On a day to day basis, it's the concert ukulele that I pick up first. If I could only play one size, it would be the concert. Soprano and tenor ukuleles each have a number of advantages, and the concert - being exactly half way between the two - has the advantages of both. Here are the reasons why it's my first choice.

Adaptability

I like to play both strumming and fingerpicking styles on the ukulele - often in the same tune. I find the soprano works great for strumming and not so well for fingerpicking. And vice versa for the tenor. The concert ukulele is right between the two of them and suits both styles of playing very well.

Sound

My main problem with the tenor ukulele is that it loses a little of that sprightly soprano ukulele sound. It does have a fuller tone which you may want on some occasions. But I find it does sacrifice a little of that defining ukulele sound. The concert, on the other hand, retains a great deal of the soprano sound.

Finger Room

Although only slightly bigger than the soprano, I find that the concert makes it easier to play tricky bits with your fingers tripping over each other.

Should You Buy A Concert Ukulele?

The concert is the Goldilocks ukulele. If, like me, you find baby bear's soprano too small and daddy bear's tenor ukulele too big. Then you'll find mummy bear's concert ukulele to be juuuust right.
---end


but in the end, either decision will be the right decision

heymelbs
01-26-2010, 06:57 AM
Lots of good responses, thanks everyone for your input. I already had a chance to try out a concert when I had the Lanikai LU-21C briefly, I had a chance to get a feel for that size of instrument. I'm going to go ahead with a tenor, give that a run for awhile and see how I like it. I feel that I've done my homework on different models, and by selecting the Mainland tenor I'm getting a good starter (and beyond) ukulele. Since I don't have any ukes right now, I need something to work with and I can work to something later. In 30 years playing guitar, I've been through over 10 guitars. In 10 years playing the bass, I've been through 8 basses. I'm sure that in time, I may be saying the same thing about ukuleles. It's just nice to have some good advice to get started. I know from personal experience that it's better to learn on a decent instrument, and upgrade from there rather that starting with junk and getting frustrated.

One thing that I found interesting from the posts is that bigger people don't necessarily migrate to bigger ukes, smaller people to smaller ukes. It all comes down to personal preference and feel.

This has been a very interesting thread for me.. thanks again.

Lanark
01-26-2010, 07:56 AM
To put my couple cents in on this "not this again" thing and to reiterate what you're Mother used to tell you (or should have) size isn't an issue, it's what you do with it. I'm 6' 2" with really large hands and lately I've been having the most fun messing about on a sopranino.

I played guitar for 30+ years and adjusted to the smaller scale in no time. I went with a concert as a happy medium and because I got a great deal on a quality concert, but I'm just as comfortable on soprano or sopranino. It's an instrument, play the one that makes the sound you want to hear.
. ( I've not been as immediately personally drawn to getting a tenor (though I will eventually) simply because they're veering a bit too close to a guitar sound (esp. low G) and I'm still looking for something different.)

Ease of playing is a bit of a cop out in my book also. You're learning a new instrument. It's supposed to be a bit challenging at first. That's part of the process. As a guitar player you're already miles ahead in the process in terms of the rudiments of playing a stringed instrument. From that point on it's a matter of adjusting to scale and learning the muscle memory of where the notes are. I prefer the concert scale mostly because it does offer a bit more volume and wider tonal range than your average soprano while still retaining the essence of what an ukulele sounds like.

Pueo
01-26-2010, 09:59 AM
It's funny but as a guitar player I always thought that my tenor sounded nothing like a guitar, even my low G strung tenor. Once I got my concert, now my low G tenor totally sounds like a guitar to me. I was even playing my low G tenor the other day at my brother's house and a guitar player came in from another room and wanted to play my guitar, he liked the sound. "Actually, it's an ukulele!" and he was very surprised when I showed it to him. So yeah, it is amazing how your perceptions change.

heymelbs
01-26-2010, 10:35 AM
So here's my "Ignoramus Rex" question, does one have the choice to go with a low G tuning on a tenor? Does it depend on the tenor one purchases? I do understand the whole reentrant tuning on the concerts, sopranos, etc. (I'm not a complete uke dufus at least) ;)

Plainsong
01-26-2010, 10:39 AM
So here's my "Ignoramus Rex" question, does one have the choice to go with a low G tuning on a tenor? Does it depend on the tenor one purchases? I do understand the whole reentrant tuning on the concerts, sopranos, etc. (I'm not a complete uke dufus at least) ;)

You can low G any uke... although I don't about what's available for sopraninos and baritones.

kenikas
01-26-2010, 11:00 AM
You can low G any uke... although I don't about what's available for sopraninos and baritones.

Baritone strings are available in both high & low g, check MGM I got my low g's from him. My tenor is also set low g (Aquila's on both of them).

Nu Uke
01-26-2010, 12:59 PM
One thing that I found interesting from the posts is that bigger people don't necessarily migrate to bigger ukes, smaller people to smaller ukes. It all comes down to personal preference and feel.

I'm a Leprechaun and I bought a tenor. I sleep in it.

Buy the Mainland mahog tenor. You'll love it. Very comfy.

heymelbs
01-26-2010, 01:41 PM
I'm a Leprechaun and I bought a tenor. I sleep in it.

The CEO (wife) has already approved one ukulele purchase, but I'm not sure about the second. When I need (we all know that any uke purchase is a need) to get another one, I'll be checking again to see if there's one big enough for ME to sleep in. :rolleyes:

heymelbs
01-28-2010, 02:01 PM
I went to a Guitar Center today, and tried out the different sizes. Granted the Ukes weren't anything fantastic, but after playing a soprano, a concert and a tenor - I really didn't like the sound and feel of the tenor. They did find a Lanikai CKCGC (which I believe is a CKC with a GC at the end for Guitar Center). The salesperson tried to convince me that it was made in Hawaii and that it was solid Koa. I looked inside and it said made in Indonesia. The uke cost 199, and it was hard for me to believe that it was solid Koa. It was a great sounding uke however, nice and bright, great action, well constructed.

heymelbs
01-28-2010, 02:08 PM
Here's (http://www.guitarcenter.com/Lanikai-CKCGC-Concert-Ukulele-583903-i1480991.gc) a link to the Uke. It says solid construction, does that mean solid wood then?

mds725
01-28-2010, 02:47 PM
I'm no expert, but I thought I read somewhere in this forum that you should be able to tell whether an ukulele is made of solid wood or laminate by whether the grain pattern on the inside of the ukulele matches the grain pattern on the outside. The reason is that a laminate is a thin veneer placed on top of a less expensive wood, so there's no relation between the grain pattern on the veneer and the grain pattern on the wood it covers.

PandaLuver
01-28-2010, 02:53 PM
HI
well if u want a bigger uke i think gutair player ussually like the baratone because its big. You shood try going to a music store and try out everything its free haha but yeah idk wat to tell u but being able to pick up and play the instrument is a great way to find out if u wanna buy it ok not.
bye

buddhuu
01-29-2010, 10:15 AM
PLEASE, not another thread asking what you should buy. If you want a bigger uke, then just buy one. No one here can tell you what you want. If you try one and don't like it then don't buy it. THINK for yourself.
With respect, this kind of post is unhelpful. If you don't like the thread then feel free to stay out. Please do not be rude to your fellow members.

Lanark
01-29-2010, 10:32 AM
Here's (http://www.guitarcenter.com/Lanikai-CKCGC-Concert-Ukulele-583903-i1480991.gc) a link to the Uke. It says solid construction, does that mean solid wood then?

No it doesn't. It's means you're reading misleading ad copy.

As a general rule of thumb and since it is very much a selling point most sellers will make a special note that an instrument is solid wood. If it doesn't specifically say that the top or back and sides are solid wood, you're usually safe in assuming that it's a laminate. Especially so when you're dealing with a generally expensive highly figured tonewood.

and if you read up on the Lanikai Ck it comes up as a laminate in many other places and the GC dude was either misinformed or trying to earn a few bucks in commission conning a rube.

As far as I know the only solid koa, handmade ukes in the Lanikai line were the Lk series made for a very brief period by Kanile'a and they were identical to the Kanile'a K-1 (though since they were early on, might have a different bracing inside) Those do still pop up occasionally and are a nice way to get a Kanile'a uke at a slight discount. (they still don't come cheap though)

heymelbs
01-29-2010, 03:30 PM
Done deal! (http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?25717-Ordered-a-Mainland-concert)