View Full Version : Advice for newbie please!

04-03-2011, 07:40 PM
Hi Folks,

First-time poster here. I am an absolute beginner on the ukulele, but I love the sound and I'm interested in learning. I'm 43 years old, from south Florida, with a little music background (sang in choirs all my life, and had about a year and half worth of lessons on the alto sax as an adult). I'd like to learn for the pleasure of making music, and then maybe play around the community when I'm ready.

I've read a bunch of advice for beginners on various websites, and I recently visited a local Sam Ash to try out a few ukuleles. I know that I am interested in playing the tenor. It just feels and sounds right to me. And although I'm unsure exactly what it means, I really like the "low G" tuned tenors! They sound great.

So, I've found two beautiful tenors on eBay, and I'd really value others' feedback on them. While I realize they may be out of the "beginner" range, I think they are great, and whichever instrument I end up buying, I plan on having it for a very long time.

1) Lanikai SMP-T Solid Wood Tenor Ukulele - http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=140530292077

2) Lanikai SM-T Solid Spalted Mango Tenor Ukulele - http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=130503547369

I know Lanikai are good instruments, and a few of the players that I've seen on the web, and liked, used them. But, I'd really appreciate it if someone could tell me about this seller, the woods of these instruments, and the set up that these pieces come with.

In addition, I've learned a little about Beatnik's Speak Ukulele 2 course. It sounds and looks great. Can anyone offer feedback on this course?

Thank you in advance for your feedback!


04-03-2011, 09:21 PM
Hi Keith,
That is great that you have joined this forum and have great interest in the ukulele. In this forum, you will find many great people who know alot, about the ukulele. Now, from the choice of either the Solid MonkeyPod or Solid Mango, I would choose the Mango. The Mango seems to have more a sweeter tone in my perspective. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ohjmkvCWGkU here is a link that shows a sound sample of this model. Hawaiian Music Supply, is a great store that have very friendly workers and gives you a free setup. Since this is a solid ukulele, the tone of the ukulele will " open up, become more mature, the more you play it due time." You might also need a humidifier, depending where you live, exposure, humidity fluctuation, etc... and when looking into lessons, there is always, Youtube! there are great instructors like http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uWHZc-xo9aI&feature=channel_video_title who offers great lessons, for free.
I hope I helped,
~ Michael

mm stan
04-04-2011, 02:47 AM
Aloha Keith,
Welcome to the UU forums and the ukulele...have fun and enjoy...as for beginner and such, I suggest that you go in a store and try out some ukuleles for size, sound, comfortability and playability and your budget.
All ukuleles, even the same brands and models will have variances in their voice...sorta of like people...because they're so many variables in the building process and materials...in florida and surrounding area's
you are luck to have some very reputable dealers...check them out....also you can check here of a list of builders in your area...Good Luck and Happy Strummings..MM Stan

04-04-2011, 04:05 AM
My dos centavos - First of all, Hawaii Music Supply; you shouldn't have any problems with them, great store and customer service. The choice between the Mango and Monkey Pod. Personally, I would prefer the Monkey Pod. I feel it has a much better volume and aesthetics aside, I prefer the straight grain of the wood. I've played Mango tenors and just didn't have the volume and tone I expected. I know there are other factors to consider but that's just me. Good Luck in your decision.

04-04-2011, 04:31 AM
My 3 cents...Hawaii Music Supply, great people, very helpful and great service!!! I have heard that the mango wood has less volume in sound and would lean toward the Monkey Pod uke.

04-04-2011, 05:47 AM
If you haven't discovered this group yet, it's a "must do." Just as friendly as the folks on UU. Lots of free instruction, 1 on 1 help and advice, socializng with fellow ukers, etc. etc.
Best of luck. Maybe I'll see you in Tarpon Springs in November.


04-04-2011, 10:38 AM
Thank you to everyone who responded and welcomed me! Much appreciated!

I think I'm leaning toward the Monkey Pod tenor. However, I am definitely open to any other suggestions as far as another brand or another tenor. Please feel free to suggest!

Phil, thank you for the info on F.U.N. That is just around the corner for me. Actually, I work with a teacher (she's also my son's teacher) who has attended at least one F.U.N. meeting and spoke very highly of the group.