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JohnnyK
06-17-2008, 08:07 PM
For Fathers day I recieved a Ukulele. I've never played a string instrument before. But, I love music and can pick things up pretty easily. The store that sold my kids the Ukulele (Lanikai LU-21) said that I could return it and get a Tenor if I wanted.

I've searched around the forum and found that a Tenor is a good solution for those that suffer from Fat Finger Syndrome. My fingers are not the most dextrous after many years of playing rugby.

I figuired out that I don't need to grab the fret board with a death grip. That has helped a great deal. My question is should I work harder to make the Soprano work for me? Or is it just going to be a more enjoyable expereince getting a Tenor as a beginer. I'm concearned that I'd do the exchange only to expereince a little to no benefit. When it was really just more practicing is what I needed.

JohnnyK

seeso
06-17-2008, 08:51 PM
Those with larger fingers can play sopranos quite well. However, it's you who need to feel comfortable with your instrument. Why don't you go down to the store and play the tenor before making a decision?

FHS-72
06-17-2008, 09:29 PM
i do agree to you trying a tenor first. i own a couple of tenors and a concert and enjoy playing both, but i prefer the mollow deeper sound of the tenor.

berylbite
06-17-2008, 09:48 PM
iIve always felt that the soprano is the most hardcore uke type to play. It's the original, it has the plinkiest sound. it seems like tenors are for the players that want a l more possibilities in their playing, most experienced players prefer the tenor.
In terms of playability I find that they're fairly similar. and again the best to know for sure is to play the tenor at the store and decide on how you feel about it.

P.S
I wonder if the Haka would be well translated into a ukulele song.

JohnnyK
06-17-2008, 10:09 PM
Looking at all the fantastic videos I noticed that most people where playing tenors. Everything I read implied that the most comon ukulele was the soprano. It appears to be the the sound quality that the players prefer and not it ease to play the instrument.

I'll go down to the shop and try out a tenor. It's not only the fingers that make it a challenge. I try to hold the Uke with the wrist and forearm of my struming hand. There isn't a lot room left strum. It doesn't seem impossible, just will take a little getting used to.

It's been loads of fun. Working on my second song tonight!

PS. I know plenty of Rugby songs that probably that would translate great to the Ukulele. But, I don't think I'll go there.

Jack33@
06-17-2008, 11:15 PM
I have quite big hands too but I am finding ways to play soprano, I love the small portable nature of the littler instruments.

I did find that the first uke I played had quite a narrow neck and I found this quite hard, I stumbled across a slightly wider necked no-name uke and I've been getting on much better.

The guys on this forum all seem to give the same advice which is to play (and in some cases own) as many ukes as you can before making a choice.I am trying to do this before I invest (that and a lack of money are aloing me a lot of research time)

I think I am biased as I like the soprano but I also like the idea of rugby players playing sopranos, if you do decide to carry on with a smaller uke then I think the rugby songs would be perfect.

Looking forward to seeing how you get on, keep us posted.

Jack33

JackT
06-17-2008, 11:23 PM
I too play a soprano and have fat fingers. However, I like a tenor because I like the range of musical possiblities on the tenor, I also quite like the deeper tones. Depends what you want out of the intrument.

Lanark
06-18-2008, 01:17 AM
And don't forget that there is also Concert in between soprano & tenor. A nice compromise between the advantages of either scale. You still get a compact instrument with a good amount of the plinky but with some more resonance and a bit more room on the fretboard.
That was the size I initially chose and I've been quite happy with it.

(though I did get a Kelii soprano just yesterday, so we'll see where I'm at in a couple weeks...)

Howlin Hobbit
06-18-2008, 01:52 AM
...most experienced players prefer the tenor.

:mad:


Looking at all the fantastic videos I noticed that most people where playing tenors.

Lots of fabulous music coming out of the tenor players. But you might want to look around a bit more if all you've found is tenor videos. Maybe take a look at Brian Hefferan (http://youtube.com/heftone). Gus (http://youtube.com/gugug) is also very good and mainly plays soprano.


I try to hold the Uke with the wrist and forearm of my struming hand. There isn't a lot room left strum.

You should be using the inside of your forearm, up near the elbow. Ukuleles -- at least sopranos -- are not strummed over the soundhole like a guitar, they're strummed right near the twelfth fret.

uber_goober
06-18-2008, 02:55 AM
I agree with everyone else, go and play a tenor and then make a decision. Or, keep the soprano and just purchase the tenor. :) I've got pretty large hands, but can get around a soprano just fine. I have an ukulele of each size and actually play my concert the most. It just depends on my mood.

Another thing to think about is that each size has it's own distinct tone (as mentioned before), and that let's you have some options when you're trying to get the sound that's in your head out into the air.

Regardless, all ukulele's are fun. So just remember to have fun no matter which you choose.

-John

14twelve
06-18-2008, 03:16 AM
I have a soprano, concert and tenor, and seem to play them all about equally. It depends on the song for me. If there's a lot of stretching, I'll go for the soprano or concert, but if I want that deeper tone, I'll go for the tenor. My suggestion would be try the tenor in the shop, and if you like it, buy that as your second ukulele :)

NotoriousMOK
06-18-2008, 08:11 AM
My suggestion would be try the tenor in the shop, and if you like it, buy that as your second ukulele :)

Agreed! Keep the soprano!!

ALWAYS . . . wait, no . . . NEVER exchange or trade-in you uke. If you're considering your NEXT uke, then by all means consider something different :D

Really though, I have large hands, not huge, but large. Five minutes after I unpacked my first uke and tried to make a simple G7 chord, I felt I may have made a terrible mistake because there seemed NO way that MY fingers would do that. Much like your 'death grip' reference, that was one of the things that concerned me at first, just like you, but I quickly realized I just had to take a moment and learn what the proper position was for me to make that and many other chords.

A couple years later, I have a soprano, a concert and a tenor. The tenor is the new guy in the bunch, and quite a bit more expensive and 'prettier' than the other two smaller ukes. Though I spend lots of time playing the new tenor, I simply CAN'T walk past the soprano without picking it up and strumming one out.

Just have fun and play. Besides, your kids chose THAT uke for YOU, so there's a bond you can't break. What a great gift for Dad's day -- congratulations and welcome to the forum!

14twelve
06-18-2008, 01:59 PM
Agreed! Keep the soprano!!
ALWAYS . . . wait, no . . . NEVER exchange or trade-in you uke. If you're considering your NEXT uke, then by all means consider something different :D


I agree! I can't get rid of mine. My first uke was a Greg Bennett, and I very quickly upgraded to a Flea concert, then got an Ohana soprano, and Kala tenor, but I don't think I'll ever get rid of the Greg Bennett even though the sound is nowhere near as good as any of the others. It has sentimental value :) It was good enough at the time to keep me interested in the uke and for that it will always stay! (By the way, when I say first uke, that was only 3 months ago - I got UAS very quickly being on this forum!!)

tad
06-19-2008, 10:49 AM
I agree! I can't get rid of mine. My first uke was a Greg Bennett, and I very quickly upgraded to a Flea concert, then got an Ohana soprano, and Kala tenor, but I don't think I'll ever get rid of the Greg Bennett even though the sound is nowhere near as good as any of the others. It has sentimental value :) It was good enough at the time to keep me interested in the uke and for that it will always stay! (By the way, when I say first uke, that was only 3 months ago - I got UAS very quickly being on this forum!!)

Yeah, I started playing around Christmas, and I already have five, not counting one I sold and another that should be arriving any day now. UAS is tough.

nikolo727
06-19-2008, 01:22 PM
When I first got an ukulele it was this little hilo soprano. plywood special! anyway it was kinda weird at first and once I got used to it, I just rocked out. I eventually said that I needed a new uke when I memorized one of bob brozman's songs. plywood just wouldnt cut it. so i got a lanikai tenor from MGM, and ive been very happy with it ever since.


So yeah pretty much what I wanted to say is play the soprano and get used to it because when(not if) you get a tenor you will be able to play it with ease!


btw: I agree with HH on this one. Ive seen a lot of wonderful ukulele players that play sopranos. Im also looking into getting a decent one right after I get my ohana!

:nana:

JohnnyK
06-19-2008, 02:26 PM
I just got back from the music store. They had a six string tenor there. It felt really nice in my hands. The insturment felt a bit more substantial. It sounded beutiful. That's an unfair comparision to my Soprano becuase mine is more of an entry level Uke.

I tried to hit a few of the cords I was struggling with. Those chords where a touch easier to hit. But, it was evident that I just need to give it a little bit more than 3 days to become proficient playing the Ukulele.

The salesman gave me a couple of pointers and that helped a lot. I decided to keep the Soprano. Although I wanted that Tenor I think it's more insturment than I can handle right now. The Soprano will be great. And besides my kids got it for me.

I'll take time and learn on the Soprano. Then I can drop educated hints around what I would like for the next gift giving opportunity. Hmmm .... My birthday is right around the corner.

nikolo727
06-19-2008, 03:02 PM
nice man, keep up the playing!


(we want videos too)

:D

Inner Prop
04-01-2011, 03:01 AM
When I mentioned my concerns about what Rugby did to my knuckles several people here pointed out some famous guitar/uke players with damaged or missing fingers.

What I'm interested in now is Rugby songs. A Rugby party is what inspired me to get a uke in the first place. At the party some guy grabbed a guitar and started playing "Bad Case of Loving You (Doctor, Doctor)" and the whole place joined in. I thought, "that's what I want to do," but being a Prop Foward I can't even count to six let alone figure out how four fingers are supposed to play six strings.

So I'm looking for chords to Rugby songs, and songs that would work well at a Rugby party. I'm thinking Cee Lo Green's FU would be a good start. It would be a welcome relief to be in a venue where the original lyrics are not only tolerated, but celebrated.

As a side note, I'm thinking I should get a robust uke that would be sure to survive a Rugby party. I worry about my little Lani. I'm sort of considering converting my daughter's 1/4 sized accustic guitar to a uke. It'd probably be louder, which would be better at a party, and since it's collecting dust in the corner I probably wouldn't be too sad to see someone, say, drink beer out of it.

That has a wider neck too.

ichadwick
04-04-2011, 02:33 AM
Depends a lot on whether you came from another instrument. Guitarists usually find tenors easier, simply because there is more space to work in. Sopranos feel cramped. But if you're new to music, you can work with anything. Most of the pain will go away with playing and practice. Your hands have to get used to the unaccustomed bending and reaching.

Personally, I prefer a tenor for many reasons, including space on the fretboard. Louder, richer sound is at the the top of my appreciation.

kraaazyugs
04-06-2011, 08:40 PM
I think that the most practical of ukulele sizes are concert and tenor. I have a kamaka soprano, and i LOVE IT, but sometimes its easier to play a concert or a tenor.I have small hands and sometimes it hard for me to play an E chord on my soprano. Try testing a tenor out first and decide which is more comfortable for you.

-kraaazyugs

ItsMrPitchy
04-11-2011, 02:21 AM
I think in the end it will be nice to have one of every size.
I have a soprano and it was my first uke. But it is now practially unplayable since I bought it for 20. Now i have a decent concert and am getting a tenor next month. Then I will look into getting a good soprano.
It can never hurt to have variety in your ukulele collection since people have been known to change their size prefrences over time.

Inner Prop
01-05-2012, 07:39 AM
Hey, don't know if this is topical anymore, but I gotz me a Flea soprano for Christmas and she's nice and roomy she is. I was surprised to find that I'm not hitting the neighbor strings as often (on the down side I can't barre several strings with the tip of one finger anymore). It does take a bit of getting used to the new placement of fingers.

fretie
01-06-2012, 08:21 AM
I'd like to chime in about the concert size...that's the one I've started with and think its a happy medium between the wee soprano and the mellow tenor.

Joe H
01-06-2012, 09:54 AM
I agree with HH on this one. Ive seen a lot of wonderful ukulele players that play sopranos. Im also looking into getting a decent one right after I get my ohana!

I just needed to add that Howlin' Hobbit is a great player himself and he also plays soprano. I also seen a video of him playing a sopranino.