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View Full Version : Converting a classical guitar to a Uke



reckomstance
02-08-2010, 02:36 PM
In order to practice playing Uke, I removed the 4,5,6 strings from my full sized classical and replaced the 4th string with a small nylon string, for high G tuning. I capoed at the 4th fret, and tuned up to standard Uke tuning. This allowed me to get started before getting a real Uke, and it actually sounded very nice. Since the guitar has 12 frets to the body, I was limited to only 8 frets clear.

Now I'm thinking (which has been known to cause trouble). :cool: There's a 3/4 size Yamaha classical for about $100 that sounds perky and plays like slicking hot butter. It's scale is about 21", which would allow me to capo at the 2nd fret and have 10frets clear. I believe this might make a fine tenor Uke, and double as a campfire guitar, by changing 3 strings.

Am I too far outside the box on this thinking? I'm a big boy, I can take it so tell me what you think. I'm new to Ukes and don't understand.............almost everything. :D

itsme
02-08-2010, 02:48 PM
Now I'm thinking (which has been known to cause trouble). :cool: There's a 3/4 size Yamaha classical for about $100 that sounds perky and plays like slicking hot butter. It's scale is about 21", which would allow me to capo at the 2nd fret and have 10frets clear. I believe this might make a fine tenor Uke, and double as a campfire guitar, by changing 3 strings.
If you want a uke, just buy a uke. Who needs a "campfire guitar" when you can just take your uke with you camping? :)

SuperSecretBETA
02-08-2010, 03:49 PM
I admire the thinking, but I would recommend waiting for the ukulele instead. Ukuleles space their strings further apart from each other than guitars. For $100 you could get a decent ukulele to get you started instead of the Yamaha classical. The best thing to do is to just buy an ukulele and save yourself the trouble.

kenikas
02-08-2010, 07:29 PM
Interesting thought, but without changing the nut and bridge I don't know how you would get the string spacing right. For about $100 from MGM you can get a Makala that has good sound, plays nice and comes with a case so you can take it camping etc. without being to concerned for it's safety. I love my tenor!

erich@muttcrew.net
02-09-2010, 02:30 AM
If you're into reentrant tuning, you could go with a modified nashville tuning, leaving the 3rd as is and going up an octave only on the 4th, 5th and 6th. But keep in mind that nashville is almost always used in combination with another guitar that has standard guitar tuning.

jinny
02-09-2010, 03:02 AM
I did something similar...

http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?20906

Swampy Steve
02-09-2010, 03:26 AM
Interesting ideas, I have a 1/2 size Yamaha steel string, I am trying to figure out something to do with. I bought it for my daughter yrs ago > Unfortunately she doesnt care anything about it.
Id like to be able to use it somehow.

Monkeyswithladders
02-09-2010, 03:29 AM
I think it's a really creative idea and admire the resourcefulness. I say, keep the guitar/uke conversion and play that as well, but instead of spending money on purchasing another "better" conversion uke, put it toward a real uke in the same price range. That way you have two different instruments instead of two mostly similar ones.

kissing
02-09-2010, 04:00 AM
If you want something that doubles as a uke and guitar, try a Baritone ukulele.
They are the biggest of ukuleles, and can be tuned either like a uke (GCEA) or the bottom 4 strings of guitar (DGBE).

And you can get a really nice Kala one from MGM for just a little above $100.
There is also the Guitarlele, which is 6-stringed but tuned up like a uke.


All that said, an ukulele is not just a ukulele because of its tuning.
Its unique, cheery tone comes from the smaller body size.

deach
02-09-2010, 04:18 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eTWCSKADAOI. .

Swampy Steve
02-09-2010, 04:27 AM
That great , Im goin to do this to my 1/2 size guitar

Sic_Rob
02-09-2010, 04:50 AM
Sounds like you don't really want to commit to a uku. For $100 you can get a pretty descent beater uku Soprano or Concert Uku (those are the smallest and second smallest models. You could probably find a good tenor to learn on also. The guitar you had lying around that you converted was veryy cool and resourceful but if you're going to spend money to get something that plays like a uke I'd say buy a uke. Then again, some people loe to play outside the box and I respect that completely

paraclete
02-09-2010, 05:30 AM
Brilliant, Deach!

As for the OP.... dude... just get a uke already! You can get one for less than the cost of that $100 guitar, and if you hate it, you can most likely sell it with little problems. But if you are going to all the trouble to get a guitar to sound like a uke, I think you will enjoy the uke more. Plus, it's more portable than the guitar.

kalmario
02-09-2010, 06:59 AM
shouldn't the capo be on the 5th fret?