View Full Version : going from concert to tenor

03-06-2010, 12:41 PM
I have a concert with high G. Was thinking of getting tenor with low G and pickup.
How big is the difference going from concert to tenor?
Can't find a tenor at any store in my area to try it out.
Any insights greatly appreciated.

03-06-2010, 12:53 PM
Not a real expert, but have had tons of ukuleles over the years. The tenor will give you a little more finger room to move around the fretboard. Bigger sound overall based on two like models. Depending on your body size you shouldn't see any problem going with the slightly bigger body. Lots of big players play little ones... and Lots of smaller people play bigger ones... Go figure. I guess you have to ask yourself why you want to go bigger...:)

03-06-2010, 12:56 PM
Biggest difference is probably the low G. Then the scale length will be noticably longer, so you'll find a few stretches that were easier with the concert. The fretboard will be a bit wider which may or may not be good depending on the size of your hands. The string tension will be noticeably higher. Soundwise it will be more guitary, especially with the low G. So all in all quite a bit different from the concert. And amplified to boot. But variety is good.

03-06-2010, 01:20 PM
Mostly I want a bigger sound. The concert sounds great for solo arrangements for ukulele…but doesn’t do that well when you are trying to impersonate a guitar . I have small hands, so I am a little concerned about going bigger without trying it out. I did play a full size classical guitar once. But, playing a C on classical guitar was a stretch, so no way near as fun as the uke. Considered buying a ½ or ¾ size guitar, but that still feels way too big. So was thinking tenor uke with low G would be just right. It would certainly not be to replace my concert.

03-06-2010, 01:23 PM
I started out with a tenor, I have big hands. Then I got a concert and for me there is a very noted difference as my fingers sometimes struggle to fit in the frets. Not a real problem, and it seems to help when I play the tenor. My fingers are getting much more accurate in the placing when I switch to the tenor. BTW my tenor is high G.
Go for it!!!

03-06-2010, 01:34 PM
I'm the opposite of molokinirum.

I usually play a concert. When I practice with my tenor and then go back to my concert, it seems like I play better.

03-06-2010, 02:46 PM
If you want to impersonate a guitar, get a baritone. You can tune it dGBE, DGBE, or with special strings like a uke gCEA or GCEA. Wound D and G or not. Or as I like to do, tune it like a guitar and sometimes capo it at the 5th fret for a regular uke tuning. So it's very versatile. My baritone capoed up sounds as nice as most tenor ukes. With the bigger body it's also louder and fuller. A classical guitar has a huge neck. 2" wide at the nut is normal. A steel string would be 1 5/8" to 1 3/4". A baritone uke is about 1/2 size.

03-06-2010, 04:12 PM
Hmmm...Didn't consider the baritone. Does it hold like a guitar? How big is the body compared to a 1/2 or 3/4 size guitar?

03-06-2010, 04:25 PM
To me going from concert to tenor is a lot harder than soprano to concert. When I first played my tenor I was missing strings. It took a few hours to "learn" the different distances. (Switching back to concert was not hard.) I play both sizes daily. I have no preference, it depends on the sound I am looking for.

03-06-2010, 04:59 PM
I switched from tenor to concert and glad that I made the switch. After playing a soprano I decided that I wanted a bigger sound and more expansive fretboard. Decided to try the tenor since I figured a concert wasn't much of a change from the soprano. Well, I found easy stretches on the soprano became difficult to nearly impossible on the tenor in the lower positions. I was also surprised at its much greater string tension, and, as a result, significantly increasing the required fretting pressure (over the soprano). Bar chords on the tenor became a real challenge above the 5th fret. Finally, I really missed the brighter, harp like tones of the soprano - the tenor was a bit too mellow and guitar like for my taste. (It seemed to loose much of the tonal qualities that originally attracted me to the uke.) So, when the opportunity arose, I switched over to a Concert and am really happy with this sized uke. It has more fretting room than the soprano but not the drastic stretches of a 17" scale tenor. Finger pressure makes playing more comfortable and less tiring, and it's tone is closer in quality to the soprano than the tenor; a nice balance between those two sizes.


03-06-2010, 06:03 PM
So far I can't get comfortable with tenor. It's sopranos and concerts for me so far.
Until I can manage to make my E chord sound good on tenor, I'm favoring the littler guys. I treat the tenor like it's a piece of exercise equipment for me to stretch and train my hands. 'Cause I sure ain't making music out of that thing.

03-06-2010, 06:27 PM
I would get a second concert and put a low-g on it.

03-07-2010, 03:25 AM
There are very little differences, really. I've played all three lengths, and prefer tenor for its richer sound and more open fretboard. Neck widths are similar, but the greater length of the tenor feels more open and easier to maneuver the fingers in.

Perhaps the biggest thing you will notice is that you cannot stretch your chords up the fretboard as far on a tenor. I can barre the second fret and reach the seventh fret of the first string with my pinky, without any effort. I can reach the ninth with some stretch and still hold the barre. On a concert, I can reach the ninth more easily without the effort and can hit the tenth. On a soprano, I can reach the tenth easily. But there aren't a lot of times that will hinder your play.

03-07-2010, 03:45 AM
What about the tension, that others mention? Seems that I will have to wait around till the local store has a tenor, to try one. They carry low end Lanikai.

03-07-2010, 03:57 AM
The tenor will be more similar than you think. The transition will be smooth man. It just gives you more room on the fingerboard and produces a louder sound. You should be fine. :)

03-07-2010, 05:33 AM
IMHO A Tenor with a low G is getting quite close to a guitar (I used to play guitar but now play a tenor with a high G) But if you really want to sound like a guitar you could always er...................buy a guitar. Personally i noticed quite a difference in string tension between my sop and tenor, but this will also depend on string gauge. I use Aquillas on the Tenor which i believe are quite heavy - I have heard that Worth make lighter gauges, but I'm far from being an expert.


03-07-2010, 08:50 AM
I'm a soprano guy, and have never really adjusted to a concert. But for some odd reason, I do enjoy playing a tenor from time to time. Not enough to buy one--yet.

03-07-2010, 03:03 PM
Bear in mind though that your low G will probably be a wound string. When I ordered my Kala Archtop Tenor i was toying with going for low G but I'm really glad i went high. I seem to remember someone describing a low G tenor as a "Castrated Guitar".