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t3ddigraham
08-01-2011, 05:19 AM
I'm a newbie at uke, but when searching for a good entry-level instrument, it's just an overload of info. Too much. What I'm wondering is, is there a difference in the sound or performance of a pineapple uke as opposed to the more common ones? Does one perform better than the other?

lkdumas
08-01-2011, 05:31 AM
All things being equal, e.g., materials, workmanship, strings, etc., the pineapple shape provides more surface area on the soundboard and more space in the sound chamber than a "pinch-waist", or traditional guitar/uke shape. More sound board and air chamber movement (vibration) equals more, but not necessarily better, sound output.

TheOnlyUkeThatMatters
08-01-2011, 05:39 AM
The short answer to your question is no---there plenty of great ukuleles of each shape.

janeray1940
08-01-2011, 05:42 AM
Compared side by side, the sound of my Kamaka pineapple soprano is FAR superior to the sound of my Kamaka soprano figure-8. The volume and sustain on the pineapple are probably comparable to my concert Kamakas. Not sure if this comparison would hold true for other ukes though - it could be that I just lucked out got a really good pineapple and only an okay-sounding figure-8.

Another thing to keep in mind about pineapples is that some people find them harder to hold than figure-8 ukes. I use a strap when I play so this isn't a problem for me - in fact, I find the pineapple shape more comfortable to play.

RyanMFT
08-01-2011, 05:46 AM
Welcome to the forums T3 - the answers above say it all. A good quality uke will usually sound and play really well, no matter the shape. I have a teardrop shape uke which sounds as good or better than any other uke I have.



Another thing to keep in mind about pineapples is that some people find them harder to hold than figure-8 ukes. I use a strap when I play so this isn't a problem for me - in fact, I find the pineapple shape more comfortable to play.

Jane, do you have a sense as to why people find them harder to hold? I find pineapple and figure 8 shape ukuleles equal in holding them against my body. I can't understand what benefit a figure 8 would have unless one was sitting and the curve was rested on a leg like a guitar.

deadpool
08-01-2011, 05:54 AM
I mainly play while seated and hold my ukulele like a classical guitar. In this position the pineapple (at least for me) tends to slide around while the guitar shaped soprano seems more "locked in". I get it (the pineapple) anchored down much better by using a uke leash-problem solved. I love them both.

janeray1940
08-01-2011, 06:47 AM
Jane, do you have a sense as to why people find them harder to hold? I find pineapple and figure 8 shape ukuleles equal in holding them against my body. I can't understand what benefit a figure 8 would have unless one was sitting and the curve was rested on a leg like a guitar.

Well... I think this might be a gender thing, or at least depend on one's body size and shape to begin with. I've heard women say that the pineapple is "too round" for them to hold comfortably so I'm assuming that for some, the curve of the figure-8 is a bit more, er, anatomically correct?

t3ddigraham
08-01-2011, 07:00 AM
Thanks for all the info. Is one easier to learn on or better for a beginner?

Noobie
08-01-2011, 07:11 AM
There isn't really much difference between pineapple and traditional as far as difficulty goes. What's probably more important is size. Ukuleles come in four different sizes: regular (soprano), concert, tenor and baritone. Some people prefer the larger sizes because it's easier to fit your fingers on the fretboard. Others prefer the smaller sizes because there's less of a stretch between frets, and because they're more portable. Try playing with a few sizes at the store and see what you prefer.

Don't worry too much at first. Get the best uke you can afford and no matter what you get, you'll have fun with it. If you stick with it, you'll buy another one at some point.

Fliss
08-01-2011, 08:14 AM
Well... I think this might be a gender thing, or at least depend on one's body size and shape to begin with. I've heard women say that the pineapple is "too round" for them to hold comfortably so I'm assuming that for some, the curve of the figure-8 is a bit more, er, anatomically correct?

Interesting. I posted a thread about pineapples recently, as I'm interested in finding out more about the differences. I'm hoping to get a chance to try out a pineapple soon, so will report back on whether that's an issue for me!!!!

crowsby
08-01-2011, 08:25 AM
From what I recall, ukes were originally built in the style of little guitars because luthiers were accustomed to the shape. For guitars, the curve makes sense because you can rest it on your leg, but for most ukes, they're far too small for the curve to actually be useful. The original Mr. Kamaka recognized that, patented the pineapple-shaped uke.

Personally, I prefer the aesthetic of the lil' guitar, but acoustically I can see how the pineapples would sound better.

TheOnlyUkeThatMatters
08-02-2011, 07:35 AM
Thanks for all the info. Is one easier to learn on or better for a beginner?

It's easiest to learn using a ukulele that's in your hands, so whichever style is more appealing to you will be better.

redBee
08-02-2011, 05:42 PM
I've also tried the Pineapple and Standard Kamaka sopranos and didn't feel much differences when holding them.
I chose the Pineapple for the looks mostly.

Manalishi
08-02-2011, 09:29 PM
My sopranos are mostly figure 8 shape,but I do have
an Ohana Pineapple.They are equally great to play and
each has a distinct 'voice' of its own.So I use the pineapple
for songs/tunes that I know will suit the tone and volume
of it,and the others for different songs,on the same basis

roxhum
08-03-2011, 03:10 AM
I am one of those who does not like the "feel" of the pineapple. The Kamaka pineapple sounds amazing. It has a chubby body. I have a chubby body. That slight difference in depth on the Kamaka is what makes it a little less comfortable for me to play. Playing a standard soprano is like coming home to me. Personally the differences are so minor that I wouldn't let that determine your choices. However not all ukes are equal. Not all pineapple brands sound amazingly different or better than the soprano. I think the roundness and "chubbiness" of the Kamaka play into the fact that it sounds so different from the soprano figure 8.

Fliss
08-08-2011, 01:53 AM
I've now had the opportunity to try out a pineapple in direct comparison to a standard soprano. I found that I liked both equally, and had no issues in terms of comfort from one to the other. The standard pineapple seemed brighter to my ears and the pineapple warmer and louder. So - from my point of view as a newbie - it's just great either way :)

ichadwick
08-09-2011, 12:58 AM
Harder to hold a pineapple shape on your lap/thigh... if you play sitting down, of course.

bornagainjeeper
08-11-2011, 11:17 PM
my two cents....playing two identical ukes side by side, one pineapple and one standard, i've found the pineapples really do sound noticeably fuller and generally better... I don't notice any difference in holding them....despite my not so masculine curvy figure...Often people get very hung up on the uke...i hear people ask questions about neck width and weight and balance...ect....To be it all boils down to getting used to the instrument....I have a reasonably large and VERY diverse collection, and not 1 of my 15 has ever been so uncomfortable or vastly different that i wasn't able to figure it all own and become comfortable with it, from pocket uke size (reallllllly tiny) to baritone... Often, as with so many things, its the players obligation to learn the equipment not the equipment's job to pick up all the slack .... I say go with what sounds best to you, and you won't look back...best of luck!

gyosh
08-12-2011, 06:12 AM
I just ordered a Kamoa standard soprano but switched to the pineapple (solid mahogany) after watching "Heartstrings: The Story of the Kamaka Ukulele" Kind of a silly reason to switch, but the idea of the tradition behind the shape made me want one. I played both at Larry's music in Koloa, Kauai and I thought the pineapple had more volume. Next step will be an actual Kamaka :o)