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sbryant
03-28-2011, 05:32 AM
Which type ( not brand ) of ukulele would be best for a beginner to purchase?

janeray1940
03-28-2011, 05:39 AM
By type, I'm guessing you mean size? I'd recommend starting with a concert size uke, it still has a sound much like the traditional soprano size, but is a little less cramped on the fretboard.

austinlee
03-28-2011, 05:42 AM
You probably also would want it to have geared tuners as well. The friction type are a little touchy, especially for a beginner. Also make sure you have a tuner handy, a new uke will need to be tuned up constantly until the strings break in.

Kanaka916
03-28-2011, 05:44 AM
Any musical background? It all depends on the individual - comfortability and playability are factors to consider as well as cost. If, at all possible, there's a store selling ukes close to you, try to get down there and hold each one and go from there. I think you'll get responses saying either soprano or concert.

molokinirum
03-28-2011, 06:41 AM
Congrats on getting ready to buy your new uke! As Kanaka said, best to go to a store that sells ukes, try the different sizes out and see which one feels "right" in your hands. Have fun!!!

fitncrafty
03-28-2011, 06:48 AM
It's hard to say, biggest thing is buy the best one that you can afford. In the long run you wont regret it and if you don't like it you are more likely to be able to re sell it.

As far as size get what's comfortable... for me, I like concert size and I have a tenor eleuke which I also love. I haven't really played many sopranos, although I love the sound.. I think try them out, even if you don't buy a model at a store hold it for size and then call one of our many great uke dealers and pick one out..

Good luck, Let us know what you decide!

hopkid
03-28-2011, 07:04 AM
When I was deciding on size for my first uke, I went onto You Tube and listened to sound clips of a lot of ukes. The sound clips for various ukes that musicguymic has up are really great for comparison purposes. There can be sound variations for a particular size among manufacturers though. I think what helped me decide to go with a concert for my first uke was a comparision video of the various Kamoa ukes. I really liked the slightly deeper tone of the concert versus the soprano and it was more in line with the sound I was looking for.

Of course what sound *you* want should be your deciding factor.

eddyfinnguy
03-28-2011, 07:13 AM
It's hard to say, biggest thing is buy the best one that you can afford. In the long run you wont regret it and if you don't like it you are more likely to be able to re sell it.

As far as size get what's comfortable... for me, I like concert size and I have a tenor eleuke which I also love. I haven't really played many sopranos, although I love the sound.. I think try them out, even if you don't buy a model at a store hold it for size and then call one of our many great uke dealers and pick one out..

Good luck, Let us know what you decide!

Ditto, buy the best you can afford and you will insure that you learn faster, plus you won't feel like your instrument is holding you back in any way.

Buy for playability!

Good luck and you are really gonna be happy that you did this!

Michael

Nickie
03-28-2011, 10:00 AM
Concert, concert! (Sorry, didn't mean to shout)

Pukulele Pete
03-28-2011, 12:25 PM
A "Roy Smeck" Harmony is a great uke for a beginner . It sounds like a ukulele and the intonation is just about pefect ( which is very hard to find in a cheap uke) You won't be listening to "off" notes. The action is very good up to about the 5th fret and by the time you outgrow it, you will have a collectable uke for your collection which goes along with playing one. You can still find them from 20 bucks up to over a hundred for really mint ones. The body of the uke is solid mahogoney? and the fretboard is plastic and thats where the great intonation comes from.

uke4life
03-28-2011, 12:59 PM
Ditto, buy the best you can afford and you will insure that you learn faster, plus you won't feel like your instrument is holding you back in any way.

Buy for playability!

Good luck and you are really gonna be happy that you did this!

Michael

x2 Finding the cheapest instrument will sometimes make learning discouraging. Don't go into debt or that will be another issue, but shoot for quality, feel and playability first. Often times shoot for a used uke from "The Market Place" or other reputable forum first because there are many at great prices to be found.

pepeananas
03-28-2011, 02:19 PM
I would get the best concert you can buy. Under $100 I think Kala makes good Ukes. In the $200 range I would say Mainland or Ohana. Anything over that and there are a lot of choices. Buy from a local store where you can try them if possible. If not go with a reputable online dealer like Musicguymic, Ukerepublic, or Elderly Instruments. As mentioned earlier you can find good deals in this forum and the fleamarketmusic marketplace on used instruments.

hungry4adobo
03-28-2011, 02:28 PM
Depends on what you like. Some people may buy a Soprano ( traditional sized), Concert ( If you are stuck between a Soprano and a Tenor), and Tenor which has more base and easier playability. The best way to figure out which you prefer is by going to a guitar shop if they have ukes or big brand music store. The way to tell truly is exposure, more exposure of playing or just examining will help you figure out your size, type of wood ( Laminate or Solid), type of tuners etc..

mikerr
03-29-2011, 12:21 AM
Six months ago I was in the same position as you and there were no local uke shops. I decided to get a cheap soprano by mail order. However, it was well setup by the dealer.
Although I have since bought better quality soprano ukes, my first uke is still one of my favourites and an excellent player.

Mike

Coconut Willie
03-29-2011, 05:20 AM
Try a Makala Concert from MGM. It will be properly set up, aquila strings and play very well. Costs about $60 or so. Or...a Makala Dolphin also from MGM with same set up for around $50. You will not go wrong with either one!!!

kenikas
03-29-2011, 06:26 AM
Try a Makala Concert from MGM. It will be properly set up, aquila strings and play very well. Costs about $60 or so. Or...a Makala Dolphin also from MGM with same set up for around $50. You will not go wrong with either one!!!

+1, I'll throw in another vote for MGM and Makala. They are great starter ukes and Musicguymic will take good care of you.

hopkid
03-29-2011, 06:51 AM
Another vote for purchasing from MGM. I bought my first ukulele from him, a KoAloha concert. And if you don't see what you want, send him an email. He can usually get whatever you want.

http://stores.ebay.com/Musicguymics-Room

OldePhart
03-29-2011, 03:08 PM
It's hard to say, biggest thing is buy the best one that you can afford. In the long run you wont regret it and if you don't like it you are more likely to be able to re sell it.

+1 - can't emphasize this enough. Every time I see someone advertise a cheap piece of junk on Craig's list or eBay as "perfect for beginners" I want to hunt them down and punch them in the nose. A really experienced player can play a poorly set up chunk of shipping pallet strung with dental floss and make it sing - a beginner needs an instrument that is set up properly so it is easy to play. Doesn't mean that it has to be super expensive, hand made, yada yada (those are good things if you have the bux, but not essential). It does mean if you're buying anything but a handmade uke make sure you're buying from someone who will check it out and make sure it's not a bag of spanners (gotta love this forum, just learned that quaint expression from here) before they sell it to you!

John

pdxuke
03-29-2011, 05:21 PM
I'm going to go against the concert tide and advocate for a soprano. It is the "standard" size and the size I started on, even tho I now play all sizes.

Here's my pics according to price and my personal experience:

<$100: Makala Dolphin
$100-200: Ohana Sk 35 (A Classic)
Around $265: Sprucehouse SO (http://www.sprucehouseukuleles.com/) (hand built; part laminate, with solid top, includes hardcase.)
Around $550: Kiwaya KTS4 (http://cgi.ebay.com/Kiwaya-Solid-Mahogany-Soprano-Ukulele-KTS-4-dlx-case-/370497373074?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item56435d4392#ht_1183wt_1141): A true modern work of art in a mahogany
Around $750: Kamaka Pineapple or Standard Soprano: Perfection in an Island made Koa uke.

Vintage: Any of these brands would be great ukes: Favilla, Gretsch, Martin, Gibson. They would run from $250-300 for Favilla/Gretsch, to $500-700 for Martin and Gibson.

Buy the best uke you can afford.

Welcome!

TCK
03-29-2011, 05:58 PM
I would + the idea of spending what you can on it, as a cheap one will make you grit your teeth if you get into it. That said- I probably could have been fine forever once I figured out how to set-up my Makala's correctly if I was not the kind of guy that belongs on "Hoarders". Totally a staunch member of the "one of each" (or two...or three) club, except concert.
It is not that I have not played concerts and loved them, I just played one I loved way too much and now the rest will not due, so I save the pennies for it (It was a Ko'Aloha). Concert is (to me) perfect size for all-around playing (or super-soprano) because I like the neck length when it gets real and I have to really get some wild chords going. But, as you have found, ask a simple question and get 700 different answers, because we all like what we like. My collection, for instance, has a lot more Spruce than Mahogany in it (and no Koa...yet).
I would say play around with a few if you can, and take all these folks recommendations into account...and seriously look long and hard at the Ohana CK70RB in the marketplace. Really cool tone, good volume, great price. If I did not love the Ko'Aloha so much, I figure I would be buying it right now just to round things out around here.

Oh yes- I also concur with setup- this is a must for beginners know one wants you to know.