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View Full Version : what is your go to uke?



sailboats
01-21-2011, 01:37 AM
I am sure most of the people on this board have a ukulele in every size. (except for me...I don't have a concert)

but is your go to uke? Tenor? Baritone? Concert? Soprano?

My go to uke is a tenor for sure...I do love the baritones also though.

My fender Tenor is my most commonly played. ( I am aware they do not have a good rating...but i picked this one up for the look and just feel in love.

Hippie Dribble
01-21-2011, 01:50 AM
g'day sailboats

great question...my go to uke is almost always a soprano size, and particularly, a mya moe mango soprano. Love it for its sweet balanced tone.

My "banger" uke that is the go anywhere (and I mean anywhere :o) workhorse is a concert scale batik flea; great projection and volume and sturdy as all heck!!! Happy ukeing bro!!! :)

spookefoote
01-21-2011, 01:55 AM
It really does depend on my mood

harpdog
01-21-2011, 02:14 AM
It really does depend on my mood

Bingo. My low g Fluke is the most comfy, but the soprano Flea in high g gets about equal attention.

Tudorp
01-21-2011, 02:21 AM
Not really. I only have one size myself. I have a handful (about 5, or 6 can't remember at the moment because I get em, and give some away all the time). But, all I have, and have ever had is Soprano size Ukes. Thats the ones I love, and that's the size I choose and play. I love "traditional" and was drawn to the Uke because of it's traditional sound, and the Soprano is what gives me that.

My go to is 'IZ", the Ohana SK-35. I love my Ohana Sopranino too, but in all seriousness, I have been thinking about selling her. As much as I love her, she's just too small for me to hold. When playing her, she slides all around and my fingers have a hard time with the tighter fretboard. But, she's still fun..

andywergedal
01-21-2011, 02:38 AM
1. tenor fluke.
2. pink mahalo soprano

mm stan
01-21-2011, 02:39 AM
Aloha Sailboats,
For me it depends because of my disability...but for now my preference is a soprano...it depends on your comfort zone for playing and your criteria...style, type of song, sound, experince..etc...
You gotta try them out and video or record yourself and playback and look or look and listen to know which you do best at......Good Luck and Happy Strummings...MM Stan

lozarkman
01-21-2011, 02:49 AM
For me my Kala spruce top Bari in low G. It just sounds so clear in sound and resonance and it sounds just like my tenor only a bit fuller in sound. It feels more comfortable to fret and pick for me, and though I still pick up my tenors once in a while, I find I go to my Bari 90% of the time. But I agree with Stan, in that it depends a lot on your own areas of what you like and works for you. Lozark

dnewton2
01-21-2011, 03:00 AM
Concert. Don't have a Tenor, have had them but I go back to Concert fo sho. I like soprano but would like a nicer one than I have currenty, my concerts are just better instruments (Moore Bettah, Koaloha, Howlett beat a KPK any day). But my first uke was a concert and I have always felf comfortable with the scale.

Mandarb
01-21-2011, 03:10 AM
All I have is tenors and my go to uke is my Kamaka.

HornedOne
01-21-2011, 04:09 AM
probably my soprano vintage brüko. because it sits on my desk and its easy to pick up when I sit behide the laptop.

as a close second its my kala fmt as its next to the desk in her case

on tird place its my eleuke because its alot of fun to play with all kinds of crazy effects

and lastly my makala pineaple because it sound rather tinny compared to my bruko

Gmoney
01-21-2011, 04:09 AM
Go To: Mainland Soprano "Chili" - 'cause it is hanging next to my monitor.

But... my KoAloha Super Concert or my Gstring long neck soprano are getting pretty equal workouts depending on mood.

The Martin "0" is presently being re-humidified in its case, or I would guess it would knock the plastic-backed Chili off its #1 spot.

Jnobianchi
01-21-2011, 04:12 AM
For size, it's soprano - I have six ukes, five soprano and one concert.

The 'go to' is either my Martin 0 or my Ludwig Wendell Hall.

wickedwahine11
01-21-2011, 04:22 AM
My Kamaka low g strung tenor.

janeray1940
01-21-2011, 04:53 AM
Depends on what and where I'm playing, but my Kamaka concert is usually what I reach for first.

didgeridoo2
01-21-2011, 05:02 AM
I guess it would be my Kiwaya KS-1 since it hangs out in my office. When I practice or sit down to really play, its a toss up between mo KoAloha tenor and my national reso concert.

savethecheerleader
01-21-2011, 05:08 AM
My go to uke is my low G tuned tenor... probably because it's the only uke I have :D I want to get a concert really bad.

Uncle Rod Higuchi
01-21-2011, 05:15 AM
I bring my Applause Acoustic Soprano (red) just about everywhere so it's the go-to for now.

Used to be my Kala Travel Soprano.

Soprano for me.

I may be taking out my 5-string (prototype) Mele Concert, octaved 'g'. Gives a nice full sound
to support a singer like me. Singer/Strummers Unite!

Keep uke'in',

808boy
01-21-2011, 05:27 AM
I'm with Uncle Rod...singer/strummer....I use my tenor with dropped tuning to match my vocal range and style of music........BO..................

70sSanO
01-21-2011, 05:27 AM
I view this question as, if someone asked me to stand up and play right now, what ukulele would I choose. I have only played out a couple times with others and my older Kinohi tenor (2007) is my go to ukulele; even though my other tenor is much sweeter sounding. I am just more familiar with the quirks of my Kinohi.

I recall a video where Jake Shimabukuro was asked how many differnet ukuleles he plays and he basically talked about really getting to know a single ukulele. He said that every ukulele has different qualities, how different notes on a fretboard react, and learning to compensate for those differences. For me that defines a go to ukulele.

John

musiccityuker
01-21-2011, 05:38 AM
I always go to my Spruce Top/Mahogony Low-G Concert Mele! Sweeter than anything I've ever played!

GX9901
01-21-2011, 08:01 AM
I like the concert scale the most out of the standard ukulele scales, but my favorite is a 16" scale. I have a 16" long-scale William King concert that I consider my go-to uke.

CoLmes
01-21-2011, 08:03 AM
MY Kanile'a K1 Tenor SF. Feels like it was made for me, I love that thing.

RyanMFT
01-21-2011, 08:27 AM
At home, when I am playing by myself, I most often grab my Favilla Soprano. Balanced tone, warm and bright at the same time, great volume, low action. It may not be as pretty as my Martin, but it sounds as good or better.

When I play with others, I usually play my KoAloha concert because most of the people I play with have either Tenors or Concerts and if I play a soprano the volume just isn't enough to be heard alongside their ukuleles. Plus....it has that "WOW" factor because of the beauty and the incredible tone.

SweetWaterBlue
01-21-2011, 08:31 AM
I'm least likely to embarrass myself with my Lanikai tenor. I probably play my mahogany soprano almost as much - but not as well. When I travel I usually take my Flea (or did before I loaned it out to mom).

Howlin Hobbit
01-21-2011, 09:20 AM
Not really. I only have one size myself. I have a handful (about 5, or 6 can't remember at the moment because I get em, and give some away all the time). But, all I have, and have ever had is Soprano size Ukes. Thats the ones I love, and that's the size I choose and play. I love "traditional" and was drawn to the Uke because of it's traditional sound, and the Soprano is what gives me that.
Yeah! That's what I'm talking about!

Except for my Ohana sopranino, all of my ukuleles are sopranos. Now, as to the "go to" uke, it depends on the situation.

For most things it used to be my Glyph. Alas, he needs a bit of tweaking in the tuning heads--they're slipping somewhat, and by that I mean even if I tighten the screws--and I haven't gotten around to it yet.

(Please don't take that as a criticism of the Glyph. Bear in mind that I've had him for about 9 years and in that time I've beat the bejaysus out of him... just like I promised Dave when we were first corresponding about building me a uke. He simply needs a "tune-up" and then he'll go right back into first place. Plus he has the best recording voice of any of my ukes.)

So... until that little malf gets fixed:

For noodling around in the house? My Ohana SK-50MG. This is the cedar-topped soprano. Not only is it a nice looking instrument, but it has the most wonderfully warm "throaty" sound of any of my ukes. And by "any" I mean even including my Glyph. The Glyph has a marvelous tone, mind you, and is better in a couple other areas, but the cedar top definitely makes a difference in the "throaty" department.

For going out to open mikes or gigs where I have little control over the sound system? My Mainland Classic Mahogany Soprano (with the MiSi pickup in it). It's loud enough that, with a good sound person on the board, it can be miked properly. But when you get the venue owner's cousin Vinnie on the board or someone who has mainly done sound for punk bands, or anyone else that is relatively clueless on how to run sound, being able to plug in, give simple directions to the sound person (bump the mid-range up +3 - 6dB, cut the treble down -3 - 6dB and kill the bass) you end up with a decent sound despite the bozo's best efforts to screw it up.

I don't know what the percentage of UU folks is that regularly go out and play different venues, but I assure you, the "anyone else that is relatively clueless on how to run sound" situation is all too freaking common.

I haven't been out busking for a while--long story--but when I last did so I used the Ohana SK-50MG. Prior to that I used my Ohana SK-35. Nothing wrong with the -35, but after getting the -50MG I was using it so much more that I gave the -35 to a friend who played but only on a really cheap uke. He deserved a better one.

Oddly enough, the Mainland and Ohana -50MG sopranos I mention above are my only two--except for the 'nino--with soprano gauge strings on them. I usually put concert gauge on all my sopranos but both of these arrived with soprano gauge on them and I decided to leave it that way so as to work out the "touch" one needs for the lighter strings. This is especially odd since the concert gauge strings were what I moved to for that tad bit of extra volume because I was so often playing outdoors with no sound reinforcement. Plus I moved to concert gauge strings early on because I'd come to uke from guitar and was constantly grabbing the chords too hard, causing them to "smear" out of tune. The extra tension helped. But I guess in that ~10 years I've developed a better "touch" for the nylon strings.

molokinirum
01-21-2011, 09:37 AM
Easy...Kamaka Tenor

Ukuleleblues
01-21-2011, 10:00 AM
My old Harmony Concert (from the 60s I think). It's loud and proud. If I can only bring one, I'll bring this one.

My Ohana "Mr Potato Head" (CK-65D) I got from Mim is a close second.

19485 19486

cletus
01-21-2011, 10:07 AM
For most things it used to be my Glyph. Alas, he needs a bit of tweaking in the tuning heads--they're slipping somewhat, and by that I mean even if I tighten the screws--and I haven't gotten around to it yet.
(Please don't take that as a criticism of the Glyph. Bear in mind that I've had him for about 9 years and in that time I've beat the bejaysus out of him... just like I promised Dave when we were first corresponding about building me a uke. He simply needs a "tune-up" and then he'll go right back into first place. Plus he has the best recording voice of any of my ukes.

A rare sighting indeed- your ukulele is a male?:stop:

Cheers!:worship:

Raygf
01-21-2011, 10:25 AM
Depends on the situation, what room I'm in, what uke is handy. As far as performance uke is concerned, the KoAloha long neck soprano. I have a tenor fluke at my side by the computer and a Kala low g travel tenor on the instrument hanger above the computer. My concert Surf flea is another great performance instrument, especially if I'm outdoors in the summer. It hangs on the dining room hook. Martin SO fro D tuning selections. That about covers it.
Regards,
Ray

knadles
01-21-2011, 10:26 AM
Since I only have two, it's not much of a choice, but my LoPrinzi wins hands down. I really only have the Cordoba if I need amplification. Of course, I'm in the process of setting up a uke store, so things may change... ;)

-Pete

kenikas
01-21-2011, 11:07 AM
It really depends on the type of music I want to play and my mood, but usually it's one of my concerts. I have at least a couple of each size and in different tunings so I have plenty of options!

OldePhart
01-21-2011, 12:09 PM
Recently it's been my Mainland tenor, even though I really prefer the concert scale for tone and for plinking around / chording comfort. But, today I just strung the Mainland low-G so my go to will probably be my KoAloha concert unless I'm picking. I'm really starting to jones for a soprano body with a concert neck for my "strummin' uke" - that will probably be my next purchase and if I get a good one it might even convince me to turn loose of the KoAloha concert.

John

experimentjon
01-21-2011, 12:38 PM
My go-to is generally a Tenor. My Mele with a huge crack on the front that I superglued back together probably gets the most play time since it's just sitting out in the open not in a case, so it's easy to pick up. Otherwise, I'll choose one of the other tenors depending on my mood.

When traveling, Kamaka concert. Good reliable instrument, no sentimental value so if something were to happen to it, I wouldn't be too sad, and my only real travel case is a concert protech case.

Chris Tarman
01-21-2011, 01:31 PM
I have one tenor, two concerts (that aren't very good), an odd old plastic Maccaferri Baritone... all the rest of my 16 (I think ) ukes are sopranos. So soprano definitely as far as size goes. Which one depends on my mood. I really like my Martin Style 1 the best lately, but the Style 2 has a bark that the Style 1 doesn't have. I also like my Mainland classic mahogany (with Mi-Si pickup), and obviously take that if I need to be amplified (which has so far only happened a couple of times). I also play my Mainland Red Cedar Pineapple quite a bit at home, and my Flea which is sitting out all the time by the computer desk. That's the one I grab first to figure something out, just because it's not in a case like the others. So, lately, the number 1 go-to uke has been the '50s Martin Style 1, with the Mainland mahogany a close second. But I'm not done looking yet!

icuker
01-21-2011, 01:41 PM
If I only have my stable to deal with it would be my Pono Mango Concert. The size and sound feel real good to me. Buuuut, I have a friend that gets higher end instruments that she lends to me, then they usually get the most playing time. (right now I have a William King of all things, It is just excellent! I'll hate giving that one back)

funnyguy0804
01-21-2011, 02:19 PM
Tenor.
Options are quite limited in my area, but sure hope to be able to try out different ukuleles!

luvdat
01-21-2011, 02:36 PM
Makala Dolphin.

TCK
01-21-2011, 03:03 PM
Totally depends, and most nights there are three or four parked around the couch when I practice.
If I only had one go-to, my wife would not let me get others

Nickie
01-21-2011, 05:45 PM
Since I only have two, it's not much of a choice, but my LoPrinzi wins hands down. I really only have the Cordoba if I need amplification. Of course, I'm in the process of setting up a uke store, so things may change... ;)

-Pete

I must say, this would seem to be jumping into it whole hog. Where might this ukulele shop be?
Being that you have many bass guitars, would you recommend the Ashbory bass?

My go to instrument is my Cordoba Concert. I have two others, but I rarely pick them up, except to dust them off.

pdxuke
01-21-2011, 05:54 PM
Great thread and I've enjoyed reading everyone's posts!

Like John and others, I'm an all soprano man. I can tell I'll eventually have at least one concert and tenor, but I've been saying that for two years and it's still all soprano!

Go to? Depends. Vintage: the Gibson, right now. Modern? The Kiwaya KTS4. And I take a Dolphin everywhere!

gobes
01-21-2011, 05:55 PM
tenor fluke (with low g)

knadles
01-21-2011, 06:12 PM
I must say, this would seem to be jumping into it whole hog. Where might this ukulele shop be?
Being that you have many bass guitars, would you recommend the Ashbory bass?

Haha! It'll be online only for a while at least. I'm on the south side of Chicago. The ukulele capital of the universe! :)

I don't have an Ashbory, but I've thought about it. If you're looking for something "uke-ish" that's actually a bass, I think it's a good choice. Certainly less expensive than the Kala or the Mele, and as some have pointed out, the "acoustic" nature of the competition can be misleading, as you usually need to amplify it anyway. Plus they're small and convenient, and they have a bit of a history, having been available in one form or another since the '80s. The two biggest things about the Ashbory are making sure you like the sound and that you're comfortable playing a fretless. Hope that helps!

-Pete

Plainsong
01-21-2011, 06:31 PM
My go-to ATM would be the Mainland concert. But having said that, I've been able to get the Kanile'a superconcert out of its case for a few days in a row and it's been sounding sweet.

pulelehua
01-22-2011, 05:19 AM
Wow. I only have two. Both in my signature. The bottom one.

Ronnie Aloha
01-22-2011, 05:21 AM
My MooreBettah.

ukeonthebeach
01-22-2011, 05:24 AM
KoAloha Superconcert

countrybumpkin
01-22-2011, 05:53 AM
Goto Uke - tenor

Dane
01-22-2011, 05:55 AM
for the moment my go-to has been my new tenor low G

Howlin Hobbit
01-22-2011, 07:13 AM
A rare sighting indeed- your ukulele is a male?
My Glyph is named "Little Kahuna" and is male. My sopranino is T.R., which is the nickname Theodore Roosevelt preferred (not Teddy) so naturally T.R. is male too. The others? Either female or "not sure, really."

alndrkmp
02-18-2011, 05:26 PM
My 1948 Gibson tenor. This axe is like Love and dreams of Peace.

bbqribs
02-18-2011, 06:03 PM
Ohana concert cutaway 'hog is my workhorse.

Teek
02-18-2011, 07:49 PM
I wish I had more time lately to mess around with all of them. Generally my most played is the one I just got, or the one that is about to leave. When the herd is stable(d) it's either a beat up Favilla soprano with no 12th fret that's in a constant state of reconstruction and thus out and within reach (Buster), or one of the two sopranos on the wall, a Makala orange burst Dolphin, or a vintage Bobby Henshaw spruce top mahogany uke with a back crack and also no 12th fret but a ton of personality.

Serious couch time is for either the custom myrtle spruce top concert pineapple (by Brad Donaldson) or the koa Kanile'a tenor or the Yasuma mahogany Martin replica tenor. Casual couch time I grab the hubby's '60s Giannini mahogany bari. When I want to commune with koa mojo it's a Kamaka pineapple from circa '30s or a Kamaka white label concert.

So there isn't really a go to except according to mood and convenience.

BUT if I could only keep just one? The Kamaka concert. It is full of Hawaiian heart and soul.

joeybug
02-19-2011, 01:41 AM
I don't have an Uke in all sizes, I have to agree with others who've said that. I prefer the Soprano size and all four of my Ukes are that size, I like the "traditional" sound they give.

As for my "go to Uke" it's a tie between Lilo and Hoa, I rarely play Astrid anymore because she buzzes and Rhea is for when I'm looking for a specific sound. Lilo and Hoa just sound tradional, though Hoa sounds mellower and Lilo more bright because of the different strings. Hoa has Worth Browns, and Lilo has Aquilas.

pdxuke
02-19-2011, 06:56 AM
Updated go to: since changing the strings to Martin fluros, I'm grabbing the Ohana SK35 more and more.

Rockabilly
02-19-2011, 07:18 AM
My go to is my kamaka concert but I'm sure that will change when I get my custom kanilea tenor.

Paul Cote
02-19-2011, 07:55 AM
lately seems to be my Makala Pineapple... pretty hot number for 40 bucks I should say and it don't bother me if I don't put it away properly