View Full Version : Do We Need A Standard Pieces for Uke Comparisons?

02-23-2011, 05:29 AM
Having listened to probably hundreds of YouTube uke comparisons, and having done a few myself, I am always frustrated by the lack of a standard set of pieces to play in such a comparison. It just makes it difficult to compare one instrument to another when on one test the player is playing a rock song, and on the other he/she is finger picking a classical piece.

I belong to a professional organization that has a standard set of input data to test certain software. Whenever people come up with a new version of this type software, they run it through and report how well it did. It makes it easy to compare.

Now, I know its always better to play ukes in person, and that some think science and music are incompatible, but many of us use the internet to screen what we are looking for.

So.. I think we need a standard set of short passages to test ukes with. They should be easy enough for most people who are not virtuosos to play. They should include both finger picking and strumming. They should be recorded without reverb or other effects. They don't need to be over perhaps a minute in length.

It could be i\entitled something like, "Ukulele Underground Standard Ukulele Test Set." OK that would be too geeky, I know lol.


02-23-2011, 07:51 AM
I kinda feel like MGM has nailed it with his reliable strums and picking. If you were going to encourage something along these lines I would go with a mixture of techniques rather then one track..

02-23-2011, 08:36 AM
I agree that MGM is pretty consistent. Problem is that most of us don't know what he is playing. Maybe we just need a set of MGM tabs?

02-23-2011, 10:07 AM
I think just the goal to achieve a "standard" of high, reliable quality is a worthy goal! But I also welcome an occasional dive into the deep end of vids out here comparing ukes and techniques. Even the worst of them have a nugget of useful info. Someone with a great playing style can make almost anything speak in any environment, so technique is useful to get the most dynamic range an instrument or string test gives. For that reason, I don't feel I'm getting a true picture if the test isn't "pushed" in some way. I don't need to know what's being played, in fact I like the blind tests better when it comes to the A/B type of comparisons. Also, the one minute limit is just that - a limit. I would keep that open, but the tester should edit out the dead air if possible. Sorry. It reads like I'm bagging on your idea, when actually I think you're onto something. A "UU Approved" certificate of usefulness of sorts to direct the people who want to stay in the shallow end would be great!

02-23-2011, 12:57 PM
I agree that MGM is pretty consistent. Problem is that most of us don't know what he is playing. Maybe we just need a set of MGM tabs?

He generally plays the two chords from Waiting in Vain (0002 and 0333) and does an in to out picking on positions 0001, 0002, and 0003. Some other things too, but those are the hallmarks.

02-23-2011, 02:49 PM
Also, while we're talking about annoyances in these freely made videos that people take time out of their busy days to post for us, can I just say that nothing is more annoying in a uke review video than someone _singing_?!? It's not that I hate their voices or think they're horrible people for doing it, but you can't hear the freaking uke, and if it's an ukulele review video, it becomes rather pointless if we can't hear the uke.

And then you have the review vids where they spend 10 minutes talking about the cardboard box. It's not that you can't talk in the reviews. For example, Ken does lots of talking in his review vids, but he's telling you things that you want to know, and the lots of talking includes lots of playing, so that's alright.

It sounds more horrible than it is. I and everyone else appreciate the review vids, but for a video that's labeled as a review, we want to hear a strum, and whatever picking you can do, we don't judge, and we want to see the body, the back, the fretboard and the neck. If you can sing and there's time left, then go ahead and let loose. :)

And for all my griping here, I do appreciate these videos posted freely and for our own enjoyment.

02-23-2011, 02:52 PM
I agree with you on the singing Plainsong, and I myself violated that one on my most recent review.

08-02-2013, 08:02 PM
Alot of people seem to be getting the launch error code, "Error Code: 2". Any help for us that want to play this.

08-02-2013, 09:41 PM
I can see what the OP is getting at but I don't think it would help much as review posters will be using a whole variety of different equipment and that will have a bigger impact on the end result than the choice of what to play. I agree about he singing, though. The whole point is to hear the uke, not the reviewer's voice.