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mendel
12-11-2010, 03:31 PM
Ok. I've read about Uke voice, and I know everyone has their own opinions, but I'm curious... How does one choose the instrument that best suits them. For example, I chooseto play a Concert size because it is still able to produce some Soprano-esque sound, but it can also produce a Tenor caliber sound in some situations. That said, if I lie to play more contemporary as well as 80's type music, which size is best suited for this? Does it matter? Does tue size and build of the player matter? Iz Kamakawiwo'ole was about 750 and he played a Soprano, while Jake Shimabukuro might be all of 165 and he plays a Tenor. Also, are chords fretted the same on all sizes of Ukes? For example, on my concert, a C is 3000. Is it the same on a Tenor? A Soprano? Educate me?!?

Mendel

OldePhart
12-11-2010, 03:52 PM
Chords are the same on all ukes except baritone (well, and "pocket" ukes). BTW, general convention when showing fingerings is to list the strings as if you were holding the instrument vertically by the neck and looking at it from the front. I.e. C would be 0003. Not a big deal in the case of a C, as it's pretty obvious what you meant.

Selecting an instrument size really is more about what appeals to you - both the comfort of the scale length and the timbre of the body. It's just a very personal "this fits me" kind of thing.

The obvious answer, of course, is to own one of every scale, in every type of wood...

John

Teek
12-11-2010, 04:06 PM
The obvious answer, of course, is to own one of every scale, in every type of wood...

John

PLUS a vintage plastic or two!

mendel
12-11-2010, 04:20 PM
Thanks John. I appreciate the input. Are they all the same including Low G Ukes? Also, can any song be played on ever size Uke? I mean, the fretboards are different lengths, so I assume that some notes that are available on the larger Ukes are unplayable on smaller instruments. Is this correct?

I have one Uke, but I'm working on getting the wife to let me buy another one soon.

fitncrafty
12-11-2010, 04:40 PM
Thanks John. I appreciate the input. Are they all the same including Low G Ukes? Also, can any song be played on ever size Uke? I mean, the fretboards are different lengths, so I assume that some notes that are available on the larger Ukes are unplayable on smaller instruments. Is this correct?

I have one Uke, but I'm working on getting the wife to let me buy another one soon.

That little cutie needs to buy his Daddy a uke for Christmas.. Take him shopping to pick it out!! :)

mm stan
12-11-2010, 06:24 PM
Aloha Mendel,
Every ukulele has an individual sound or voice, the best thing to do is to try the ukes out and sing along to see if it matches you voice range...
Try the easy keys like C, G, F first...and see what works for you....Good Luck...and Happy Holidays to you and your family!! MM Stan...

cheekmeat
12-11-2010, 08:53 PM
I play a soprano partially because it was the first ukulele I ended up with. It was a birthday present. Also, I'm a 6'2" guy, and my naturally theatrical nature enjoys me folding my gangly arms around such a little music-maker.

I should probably get a sopranino next.

Dane
12-11-2010, 09:25 PM
I think IZ topped out at 750, I don't think he weighed quite that much most of the time? And didn't he play soprano concert and tenor?

Size is all preference. I choose tenor because I think the sound is nicer and for me it is more versatile. Plus any fretboard smaller hurts my finger, and not in a way that would just require conditioning. The way you choose is you play ukuleles and you listen, you will know the ones you like.

Ukuleleblues
12-12-2010, 02:26 AM
Thanks John. I appreciate the input. Are they all the same including Low G Ukes? Also, can any song be played on ever size Uke? I mean, the fretboards are different lengths, so I assume that some notes that are available on the larger Ukes are unplayable on smaller instruments. Is this correct?

I have one Uke, but I'm working on getting the wife to let me buy another one soon. Most ukuleles have 12 - 19 frets. The Larger ukes and smaller ukes have the samel notes if they have the same number of frest, on the larger ukes the spacing betwen frets is larger so you have the same notes and use the same finger positioning.

On the smaller instruments playing up on the higer frets 12th on up it can be more difficult to get a good tone when compared to a larger instrument.

Fingering for the chords is controlled by the key the ukulele is tuned in. "Standard" tuning these days is GCEA or C folks also tune ADF#B, named D, there are other tunings but these two are probalby the most comon. So if you have a soprano tuned to C and a Tenor tuned to C, the chord shape for a G is 0232 for both. If you play a 0232 shape on a D tuned Ukulele it makes a A chord. It's tuning not size.

A low G string does not change the chord shapes either. It does allow you to play tonally more lower notes, remember there are only 12 notes, repeated at varous octaves. The low G give you lower notes, but a G note is still a G note at whatever octave, so when playing a chord as long as you have the proper notes it will still make the proper chord sound. The low G enables you to pick a melody wth greaer range (octaves).

A baritone is normally tuned to DGBE. A G shape 0232 played on a Baritone will play a D chord.

mendel
12-12-2010, 07:56 AM
We've got some musically intelligent people on this Forum. Thanks so much for the information!

TCK
12-12-2010, 09:46 AM
I play all sizes except concert (have not found one I like...but payday is soon and I really want a bamboo from Tall Grass) with the same level of frequency- in fact, when I practice I usually have a tenor, a bari and a soprano close at hand. I am pretty short, so the bari is nearly impossible for me to play standing, but I love it for practicing fingerpicking. It is standard tuned, but I simply play gCea tabs in a lower register until I "get it" and then move to the tenor. The tenor is the most comfortable size for me (5;6", about 205), but I have a long torso. I like the tone of it the most I think, but that changes with whatever tune I am playing.
Course, my wife is 6' and plays a tiny little soprano. She is actually not comfortable with any of the other sizes even though she also has long fingers. When I play with her, I pick up my soprano because my bigger ukes drown her out and we look positively ridiculous...short guy big uke, tall girl tiny uke...like a Sonny and Cher Luau special. My Banjo Uke is a soprano as well, and that one gets a workout when it is Charleston time.
What I am getting at is that I think if you play one, you can pretty easily play them all with some exception- my short fingers make some bari shapes (E for one) really hard to play.
Here is the really fun part- go to a music store and pick up a guitar. Play the bottom four just like you do on a uke and guess what- you can play it :) Of course, I am now in love with a baby Taylor as well, but I doubt that would ever happen= not to sure what to do with those extra strings.

OldePhart
12-12-2010, 09:52 AM
Of course, I am now in love with a baby Taylor as well, but I doubt that would ever happen= not to sure what to do with those extra strings.

Simple, tune them to the root and fifth of the key you're playing in and play alternating bass on them... (BWAAAA-HHAAAA-HAAAA - welcome to GAS, my friend!)

John