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ikona
05-26-2008, 04:34 PM
Actually I'm an old fan of the ukulele and after 58 years on this planet I want to learn to play. I know very little about music but am very enthusiastic about the instrument and sound.:music:

Question: What is the best ukulele for me to start with, where do I buy it? Ebay? What kind do I select: tenor? I want to learn old hawaiian songs. Any website better than others to learn to play ukulele?

Thanks,
Bob

seeso
05-26-2008, 04:44 PM
Hi Ikona. Welcome to the site.

Are there any places nearby where you can try out different sizes? There really is no "best" size for beginners. The best thing to do is try different sizes out and see how each one feels in your hands.

If there aren't any places around that carry different sized ukes, I'd say to go for a concert size. It's right between soprano and tenor.

As for who to buy it from, you can't go wrong with a uke bought from musicguymic on eBay.

We have some good instructional videos here on UU. You can find them here (http://ukuleleunderground.com/category/videos/).

Also, take a look at doctoruke.com (http://doctoruke.com/) for some really simple beginner lessons.

Valerie
05-26-2008, 04:55 PM
Hey! And welcome.

Your first few questions are hard to answer... It really depends on a few things- what your budget is, what kind of sound you like, etc.

There's a FAQ located here:
http://ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?t=2738

As to what size to get... If you're a beginner, I'm guessing the size you get really isn't going to matter much. The best thing to do would be to try and find a shop that sells ukes and play around with a few different sizes (that's what I did before buying my second uke.) If that's not possible, then I'd go to youtube and type in soprano ukulele/ tenor/ concert/ baritone. Take a listen to what each sounds like/ looks like and take a gamble. There is also a video on the main site that talks about the different sizes and allows you to give them all a listen:
http://ukuleleunderground.com/2008/01/27/uke-minutes-3-ukulele-sizes/

Again. If this is your first instrument ever, I don't think size is going to matter that much. I went to a shop and played every size uke they had (even a banjo one!) and they are all fun and relatively easy to play.
I'd focus more on getting an instrument that has good intonation, as nothing is more frustrating than trying to learn to play an instrument and that instrument being out of tune.


As to what website to go to in order to learn to play...

Well... I've been using this one rather exclusively and it's worked out just fine so far! The main page has a link to beginner tutorials (http://ukuleleunderground.com/category/ukulele-beginner/), you can find songs galore in the TABS forum (http://ukuleleunderground.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=24)(or request TABS in this forum (http://ukuleleunderground.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=5).)

seeso
05-26-2008, 04:59 PM
Valerie, you rule.

ikona
05-26-2008, 05:03 PM
Thank you Seeso and Valerie for your quick replies. I can hardly wait to try some out for size.
I am very impressed with this site. Someone out there is working real hard for the ukulele. Hopefully, some day I'll be able to add to the discourse and help another ukulelephile.
Bob

sukie
05-26-2008, 05:34 PM
Welcome to UU. Just pay attention here and you will learn a lot. Aldrine's Uke Minutes are not to be missed. If it's about the Ukulele, you'll find it here.
As to size: I initially started on a soprano. When I went to buy my first one, I found that a concert fit my finger size better. Now a tenor is starting to be intriguing. I've been playing since Feb. and already I am starting to acquire UAS.

ikona
05-26-2008, 06:10 PM
Thanks Sukie...I just caught Aldrine's videos....very instructive. I also saw Valerie's vid of the week...nice. I am going to try my luck at a music store in Tampa and see what fits me before going on Ebay. I'd like to buy something made in Hawaii vs China, but it is getting hard to find anything not made in China. Hahaha...I am going to a UAS Conference (Unmanned Aerial Systems) in San Diego next week! I had to look up UAS. I think I've got it.

seeso
05-26-2008, 06:33 PM
UAS = Ukulele Acquisition Syndrome.

Kanaka916
05-26-2008, 06:42 PM
If you're going to SD next week, there are several members there. Maybe they can steer you in the right direction in a uke purchase. Hopefully NukeDoc sees this thread and can offer some assistance.

hawaiianmusiclover06
05-30-2008, 11:11 AM
Aloha and welcome to Ukulele Underground ikona. There are lots of people here who are very knowledgable and can help you.

ikona
05-30-2008, 07:26 PM
I've been reviewing ebay and some of the manufacturer's website and I was tempted a few days ago to bid on one of those 10 Meles that someone from CA was selling. Perhaps a bit too much ukulele for a newbie, but they sure looked nice. The only problem was that the deadlines were all the same time, and I couldn't get to a computer in time. I think they all went for under $200 each. Looks like a lot of people got a good deal. I'll keep looking and this weekend I am going to check some local stores. Thanks everyone for your helpful responses. ;)

deach
05-31-2008, 01:50 AM
I've been reviewing ebay and some of the manufacturer's website and I was tempted a few days ago to bid on one of those 10 Meles that someone from CA was selling. Perhaps a bit too much ukulele for a newbie, but they sure looked nice. The only problem was that the deadlines were all the same time, and I couldn't get to a computer in time. I think they all went for under $200 each. Looks like a lot of people got a good deal. I'll keep looking and this weekend I am going to check some local stores. Thanks everyone for your helpful responses. ;)

You may have dodged a bullet there. Many of those ukuleles aren't described accurately and have flaws that might scare off a beginner. Your best bet is picking up a decent Kala from MGM.

Dino
05-31-2008, 07:39 PM
Hey Ikona,
I jumped on MGM's ebay site and did some browsing for you. Since you are just starting like you said, I would suggest a concert sized uke. If you are a grown adult, depending on your hand size, a concert sized uke is easy to play. If you have bigger hands, you may want to consider a Tenor. Anyway, here is a very pretty uke I found on MGM's site. It comes with Aquilla strings, a hardshell case and pitchpipe. If this is not to your liking, you will be able to view everything else that he has to sell. Have fun. Dino

http://cgi.ebay.com/KAU-WELA-Super-Concert-Zebrawood-Sprucetop-Ukulele_W0QQitemZ250253793917QQihZ015QQcategoryZ16 224QQcmdZViewItemQQ_trksidZp1713.m153.l1262

btw....a Super Concert is an ukulele with a concert sized body but with the longer neck like a Tenor.

Howlin Hobbit
05-31-2008, 09:41 PM
If you are a grown adult, depending on your hand size, a concert sized uke is easy to play. If you have bigger hands, you may want to consider a Tenor.

Aaaargh! Puhleaze stop that everybody!

If you like the music that is generally played on a tenor (or just the sound of it), get a tenor. If you like the more trad stuff that's played on a soprano (or just the sound of it), get a soprano.

I have large, square paws, with very broad fingers, and I have no trouble on the soprano. In fact, I'm doing fine on my new sopranino.

FHS-72
06-05-2008, 11:22 AM
Howsit Ikona, welcome to the ukulele world. I agree with deach on the kala from MGM. Soon after starting to play the uke again, I picked up a 6 string tenor by Kala and it was so easy to play. It made it so simple to get back on track. Even after picking up an 8 string tenor by Kamaka, I still enjoy playing my kala. I spend about 50% of the time on either one. Aloha.

ikona
06-06-2008, 05:26 AM
FHS-72
Thanks for the response...I currently have a bid on a Kala. Should know in a couple of days.
Regarding the 6 and 8 string ukuleles...what is the difference between them and the 4-string and is it confusing to learn to play the 4, 6, and 8 string ukuleles at the same time?
Thanks,
Bob

salukulady
06-06-2008, 05:40 AM
Aaaargh! Puhleaze stop that everybody!

If you like the music that is generally played on a tenor (or just the sound of it), get a tenor. If you like the more trad stuff that's played on a soprano (or just the sound of it), get a soprano.

I have large, square paws, with very broad fingers, and I have no trouble on the soprano. In fact, I'm doing fine on my new sopranino.Excellent point Hobbit, and I'm drooling over your sopranino, (saw your vid)....got to play one the other night, amazingly big sound coming outta that little thing.

salukulady
06-06-2008, 05:50 AM
Ikona, the best way to learn besides taking a class is to find a group in your area that plays together, especially for us "older" kids. I'm sure your area has a bunch of them. I currently attend 3 different groups (and know of 3 more within driving distance) a week here in so cal and they all welcome newbies very well.

Kanaka916
06-06-2008, 06:26 AM
FHS-72
Thanks for the response...I currently have a bid on a Kala. Should know in a couple of days.
Regarding the 6 and 8 string ukuleles...what is the difference between them and the 4-string and is it confusing to learn to play the 4, 6, and 8 string ukuleles at the same time?
Thanks,
Bob
Both the 8-string and 6-string ukes will have a louder, as well as wider range of notes because of the 2 low octave strings. The chord fingerings are the same as on a 4 string. As far as tuning, the C and A strings are octave tuned on a 6 string. On an 8 string, the G and C strings are octave and the E and A are tuned in unison.

FHS-72
06-06-2008, 06:43 AM
I think the 6 and 8 string ukes are more for strummers and the 4 stringers are favored by pickers. I do know some guys that pick with a 6 string uke though.

ikona
06-17-2008, 06:07 PM
Ufff....just a followup on my Ebay purchase...I think I got burned by seller on Ebay. It has been 10 days since I won a Mele Concert for $214 and no response on my queries about shipping info. I'll give "moreukes" another couple of days before I cancel the credit card purchase. Should have listened to your advice and gone with musicguymic...next time...:)