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View Full Version : Help me select a Uke for my father



pnj
07-25-2008, 07:44 PM
Howdy folks!

I'm going to be purchasing a Uke for my dad. it will be his first instrument. He doesn't have the option to hold a ukulele in his hands before he buys one so I'm hoping to cover all the bases before I order and ship one to him.

He is sixty something (or seventy..?:)) and he has rather short/stubby fingers.

Should I go with the soprano or a concert sized instrument? I tend to think smaller is better but that's just guesswork on my part.

As he is new to an instrument, I want to make it as easy as possible for him. low action, easy to tune/stay in tune, etc.

what type of tuners should I be looking for? I am looking to spend about $150.00 for a set up (uke, a book or dvd, tuner, case, etc)

I will probably order from Ebay through MGM. He (they?) seem to have a great reputation from my limited research.

Thoughts, suggestions? thanks!

salukulady
07-25-2008, 08:26 PM
Concert....always concert for a beginner. It will be more comfortable for him.

upskydowncloud
07-26-2008, 12:26 AM
Yeah I'd agree the concert is easier to use for someone just starting. I was looking at MGM yesterday and he seems to have some really good deals around your price range which come with a case and tuner and books etc. I imagine a lot of people will recommend a Kala as they seem popular! I don't know much about them so hopefully someone with experience of them will post.

Whatever you get I'm sure your Dad will be pleased.

deach
07-26-2008, 01:48 AM
...

Whatever You Get I'm Sure Your Dad Will Be Pleased.


+1 .

UkuLeLesReggAe
07-26-2008, 01:59 AM
Yeah I'd agree the concert is easier to use for someone just starting. I was looking at MGM yesterday and he seems to have some really good deals around your price range which come with a case and tuner and books etc. I imagine a lot of people will recommend a Kala as they seem popular! I don't know much about them so hopefully someone with experience of them will post.

Whatever you get I'm sure your Dad will be pleased.

agree with the concert and +1 for the statement :cool:

salukulady
07-26-2008, 04:43 AM
Also, make up some coupons for free lessons (from you), and stick 'em in the case. He'll get a kick out of that and you can share your talent with him.

freedive135
07-26-2008, 05:06 AM
The deals that MGM offers for the Kala Mahogany Concerts starter kit are a steal.
I haven't shopped from him but everyone here seems to like his service.
From what I read he adujusts each uke before shipping for best performance.
I'm lucky I have a great local shop for this.

I have a Tenor and 2 of the Soprano Mahogany Kala's and plan on getting a Concert.
I like the way they play and sound and for the money can't beat'em.

The Concert will give him alittle more finger room on the fret board.

pnj
07-26-2008, 06:03 AM
Thanks for the replies, guys. :)

It would be nice to get a solid wood uke, if possible. I don't mind paying a bit more and I think my father, who has been a woodworker/craftsman his entire life, would appreciate it more.

Is it possible to find a solid wood instrument in my price range, or close to it?

Also, no one mentioned tuning pegs. I'm guessing that the more money you spend, the easier it is to tune the Uke?

Oh, another thing...
He's retired and they travel alot. He's in Oregon where it's damp and cool, then they may go to New Mexico/Arizona where it's warm and dry. I'm sure he'll be carrying the instrument with him, will he have to worry about warpage?

Thanks again folks.

rt1965
07-26-2008, 06:13 AM
Thanks for the replies, guys. :)

It would be nice to get a solid wood uke, if possible. I don't mind paying a bit more and I think my father, who has been a woodworker/craftsman his entire life, would appreciate it more.

Is it possible to find a solid wood instrument in my price range, or close to it?

Also, no one mentioned tuning pegs. I'm guessing that the more money you spend, the easier it is to tune the Uke?

Oh, another thing...
He's retired and they travel alot. He's in Oregon where it's damp and cool, then they may go to New Mexico/Arizona where it's warm and dry. I'm sure he'll be carrying the instrument with him, will he have to worry about warpage?

Thanks again folks.

MGM will include an in case humidifier. As long as your dad keeps it wet when he travels, he will be fine. I would also e-mail MGM to see if he has any Koalana's left that he hasn't listed yet. I think they were concert sized? Anyway, if he has one, they are a great deal also.

Boozelele
07-26-2008, 09:01 AM
Get geared tuners if possible. They will be easier to tune and keep in tune for someone just starting out. good luck.

pnj
07-26-2008, 09:40 AM
I'm guessing that something like this would fit the bill?
http://cgi.ebay.com/KALA-KA-CG-Gloss-Mahogany-Concert-Ukulele-Case-Setup_W0QQitemZ250274254789QQihZ015QQcategoryZ1622 4QQcmdZViewItemQQ_trksidZp1713.m153.l1262

I'd wouldn't mind paying a bit more for a little higher end instrument but MGM doesn't seem to have any others in the size I want (concert).

does anyone have any experience with this instrument?

jaggtmolina
07-27-2008, 07:28 AM
I'm guessing that something like this would fit the bill?
http://cgi.ebay.com/KALA-KA-CG-Gloss-Mahogany-Concert-Ukulele-Case-Setup_W0QQitemZ250274254789QQihZ015QQcategoryZ1622 4QQcmdZViewItemQQ_trksidZp1713.m153.l1262

I'd wouldn't mind paying a bit more for a little higher end instrument but MGM doesn't seem to have any others in the size I want (concert).

does anyone have any experience with this instrument?

haha when i took my friend to buy his first uke, he bought that one. it feels great and sounds great. i changed his strings though; to the kala red strings. i can say that i liked the new strings. i would reccommend that uke. it's nice to play and even looks dope. we might put some aquilas on his soon, you might want to look into that. but ya, great instrument, i'd buy it for my dad :)

SailQwest
07-27-2008, 12:01 PM
pnj, your dad will really like that one. And according to MGM, he'll set it with with Aquila strings—sweet! I would recommend getting a clip-on tuner as well. They're so handy, and a lot easier for a newbie than a pitchpipe.

haolejohn
07-27-2008, 06:23 PM
Hey there. I recommend Mele ukuleles (call them and the lady will help you out tremendously) They are a little more expensive than your laminated versions but the quality is worth it. They also offer a hula brand which is alot cheaper than there main brand. I purchased my concert used for $200 and it is made out of solid mahaghany. If you can get it go with a tenor. It is much easier for me to play the tenor than the concert and I too have short stubby fingers.