View Full Version : Sorry for another which ukulele thread :(

02-23-2011, 08:00 PM
Hi, I've recently gained interest in picking up and learning ukulele as it just looks so darn fun! I have a bit of experience with guitars as I own two (not very good at it, but decent) and I was wondering which ukulele I should start with. I did some research and I came across a Kala KA-S for $67, and Lanikai LU-21 for $99.95 at the local Tom Lee music store.

From what information I have on the site, the Kala comes stock with Aquila strings which I hear are very good but it does not indicate strings for Lanikai. So in your opinion or experience which do you think would be better for me? The Kala for $67 seems like a great deal but I don't know much about these things.

Also, would a regular soprano with 12 frets be just fine or do you recommend concert/tenor sizes for the most part? Keep in mind I live in Canada and prices aren't very great so I'm trying to get as low of a price as I can with a sturdy ukulele.

Thank you and again, sorry if all of this has been gone over before.



Ken Middleton
02-23-2011, 10:06 PM
First of all, there is nothing wrong with the Kala at that price, particularly if you are buying from a local store. This would be a really good beginners' instrument. Don't worry about having more than 12 frets - most people never go above the 12th anyway. You can always get another one if you decide to get into complex fingerpicking.

Remember though, that most people end up buying at least someof their ukes at a distance. This means that they cannot try them, but it also may mean a better choice and better prices. The vast majority of music stores just get their ukes through distributers and have limited numbers of instruments and very little choice. The bigger or specialist ukulele dealers get their instruments from a wide variety of sources and have a far greater choice of brands.

mm stan
02-23-2011, 11:56 PM
Aloha tonyyj,
Welcome to the ukulele underground and our forums...those are good entry level ukuleles...But you are fortunate,, you can go into the music store and try them out...try them side by side and make a comparison
which you like better for sound, comfort and playability...if you cannot play them yet, as the salesman to do so for you and listen between them and ask him which feels and plays better to him..good luck, and
let us know what you get.....I hope it helps..Happy Strummings.. mm Stan...

02-24-2011, 12:11 AM
I agree with Stan, if you can, play them both (or get the salesperson to) and see which one has the sound you're looking for. As for the strings, if it doesn't say Aquila it's probably not got them, but they're easy to find on eBay or even at the music store and will set you back about $7. You might find that the Aquila's are not the sound you're looking for, I'd describe them as "bright" but there are also other strings, that are just as good and produce a different sound. MGM (he's on the forums as this too) does a sample set of lots of different strings which you could try until you find the one that's right for you and the Uke (I think that's correct, someone tell me if it's not)

Also, Welcome to UU, we're a friendly bunch and you'll get solid advice from a lot of people!

Hope you enjoy your new Uke!

02-24-2011, 04:42 AM
i would get a koa kala concert i got my koa kala soprano for like 90 bucks best uke ive ever heard for under 100 bucks. if u get a soprano ur gonna want a concert so i would just get a concert from the start.

02-24-2011, 07:07 AM
I would go with the Kala. It should play well, and a soprano will get you going nicely.

pat rock
02-24-2011, 07:14 AM
I would agree with all the other posters - as for size, the soprano is the classic ukulele in sound and feel. Just about all of us have at least one in our collection, and often they are the ones you just pick up and strum for fun. As Ken said, you can always get a larger size if you decide later. Good luck!

02-24-2011, 07:18 AM
Before making a purchase, I strongly suggest trying out the different sizes of ukulele if at all possible. There are substantial differences in the overall playing experience from soprano to concert to tenor to baritone. It will affect your initial impression. I have found that folks who are looking to make a first purchase will turn to soprano and/or concert as these tend to be the least expensive and the most readily available. I'm 6'2" and I play mostly baritone and some tenor models. Put a soprano in my hands and it's as though I never played the thing in my life. I stumble around the fretboard and my chord shapes get all bunched up. It makes a big difference.


02-24-2011, 10:16 AM
Hi tonyyj. welcome to the forum. lots of good advice here, seems to me you can't lose either way. good luck.

02-24-2011, 10:31 AM
Having experience with a guitar, your learning curve at getting and playing a uke will be a short one. You already understand basic concepts about instrument sizes, construction, woods, strings, playability, etc. etc. There is so much info in the internet, including this room, that you will have little problem finding an entry level uke that feels good and sounds good. Of course, depending how much guitar knowledge you have, what maybe entry level to a beginning stringed instrument player may or may not satisfy you, at least for very long. If you wouldn't buy another laminated guitar, why buy a laminated uke? Kala makes some great uked, and some are all solid wood, some have solid tops, and some are all laminates. You have to decide where the "law of diminishing returns" kicks in for you (read price.) The folks in this room will give you all the help you need and you may even find the best deal at the UU Marketplace.....I have seen some absolutely amazing bargains there....although you may have to wait a few weeks until something "hits" you. If you look at enough ukes, you will gradually develop a preference for shape, size and although YouTube isn't a substitute for actually playing one, you can hear enough ukes to get a feel for how the different size ukes sound. good luck and welcome to UU.

02-24-2011, 11:46 AM
Wow thanks everyone for all the great advice! I wentt to the store and although the employees didn't know anything about ukuleles haha I used the ukulele chord knowledge I had to try some out and I loved the kala. It came equipped with aquila strings and I just had to buy it on the spot.

The size is definitley a huge difference since I'm used to playing guitar so chord fingering is a little troubling but I'm sure ill get the hang of it. Although I do love guitars a lot, I must say it does not compare to strumming this little instrument haha it just brings a smile to my face.

Thanks again everyone! Ill def be sticking around, this is prob the most helpful forum I've been on :P

02-24-2011, 02:03 PM
My first Uke was a Kala KA-S. Even though I've picked up 2 more since then the Kala still gets played often. I don't think you can go wrong with one for your first Ukulele.

02-24-2011, 02:44 PM
So.........which one did you get? Soprano? Concert? Tenor?

Congratulations, Check out Uncle Rod's Ukulele Bootcamp while you are at it.

02-24-2011, 05:39 PM
Oops sorry haha, I got the Kala KA-S Soprano. It's quite the amazing instrument I'm having so much fun with it strumming 5 Years Time by Noah and the Whale. :P

02-25-2011, 05:53 AM
Congrats on the new uke. I hope we'll soon be viewing a video of you playing it. Enjoy!

02-25-2011, 06:54 AM
Congrats on your new Uke purchase! Six months on, still a beginner and loving every second!

Keep :music: