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maikii
08-08-2011, 12:47 PM
I am a guitar player, who recently got into ukuleles, bought a few, reading here, etc.

When I got my Yamaha guitalele though, I find that I am playing that more than any other uke or guitar. It has the small size, lightness to pick up, and tuning of a tenor uke, but has those two bass strings that I miss in a uke. (I guess a uke player who never played guitar would not miss those two strings though.)

The Yamaha GL-1 ($100) is the main guitalele around today, and it is a very nice instrument. (However, the action on mine was too high out of the box, and I had to bring it to a shop and pay $40 to lower the action.) With good strings it sounds great.

There are other variants, with different dimensions, such as the discontinued Kala U-Tar (I think more bari uke size), and the very inexpensive (but not bad) Mahalo uke guitar.

One that many are anticipating is the Cordoba Guilele. It looks just like the Yamaha GL-1, the dimensions are similar, but has a solid spruce top, bone nut and saddle, etc. (upgraded parts over all) Will cost twice as much though-$200. Cordoba has announced for months that it is about to become available, but that still has not occurred.

Something just occured to me though.I was looking at the Strunal student classcal guitars, made in the Czech Republic. They have a very good reputation on guitar forums, much better quality than the Chinese made guitars that dominate the lower end market. Strunal has been a music instrument factory for a long time--earlier making only violins, violas, and cellos, but now branching out (for a while now) to classical guitars.

They have a solid cedar top guitar, which looks very good, and I have read very good reviews about. It comes in various fractional sizes--4/4 (full size), 7/8. 3/4, 1/2, and 1/4. (Those fractional sizes are far from standardized, and mean something different to each manufacturer. Don't buy a small guitar by the fractional size, but find out the exact dimensions and scale length.)

Look at that guitar in 1/4 size: http://www.smallguitars.com/catalog/79-1-4_size_STC_1-4_size_solid_red_cedar_top_classical_guitar

Look at the dimensions--Scale length-17 5/16. Just slightly longer than the Yamaha GL-1. Neck slightly narrower- 1 11/16 nut width rather than 2". t occurred to me, this instrument could be a very nice guitalele. Put regular (not "fractional") classical guitar strings on it, and tune a fourth up, like a guitalele. I think it could quite likely be a better instrument not only than the GL-1, but also than the Cordoba Guilele (made in China). (Cordoba's Chinese-made instruments do not have a good reputation for quality control.) Solid red cedar top, and very likely better workmanship. (I don't know the nut and saddle material though.)

On that site it costs $229, but if one goes to https://meantone.com/Shop/SolidTopGuitars.shtml chooses that Strunal student concert 4855, then over to the right chooses the 1/4 size, the price there is $180.99, fifty dollars cheaper, and cheaper than the Cordoba guilele will cost. (The Strunals are also available at other vendors, such as Elderly, but the lowest prices I found are at that second link, meantone. (Of course there might be a lower price somewhere that I did not find.)

Has anyone here tried one of those? Do you think it would make a good guitalele? A guitalele is only a very small classical guitar, tuned a fourth higher, correct? (Or is there something different about the construction, other than smaller size?)

Your opinion?


Edit-PS- There are two lines of the Strunal student classical guitar. Both come in all those fractional sizes, and both are supposed to be high quality. One line has laminated spruce tops, and the other that I linked to (concert 4855) (on the other link called STC) has the solid cedar top. Of course the laminate ones are cheaper, but not by much at all, so IMO no point in getting the laminate.

Lori
08-08-2011, 01:40 PM
Check out these threads.
http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?10885-WTB-T-Guitalele/page2
http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?19380-FS-T-Strunal-1-4-classical-guitar-(guitalele)

–Lori

itsme
08-08-2011, 02:50 PM
Neck slightly narrower- 1 11/16 nut width rather than 2".
I wouldn't call that "slightly" narrower. That's over 1/4" which is pretty significant. If you're used to playing a classical guitar, your fretting fingers are probably going to feel cramped.

maikii
08-08-2011, 06:58 PM
I wouldn't call that "slightly" narrower. That's over 1/4" which is pretty significant. If you're used to playing a classical guitar, your fretting fingers are probably going to feel cramped.

Well, in playing a guitalele, even the Yamaha with a full size 2 inch nut width, the left hand feels quite cramped due to the much smaller scale. You just have to get used to it. Probably the same with neck width.

maikii
08-23-2011, 01:38 PM
I tried this, don't recommend it. I will return it.

Not that it's a bad instrument, but LTSME was right.The left hand fingerboard is too cramped, unless it is for a very small child. (Which is what that 1/4 Strunal guitar is made for).

I don't think I would mind a fingerboard of that width on a larger guitar. But on this 1/4 guitar (same scale as Yamaha GL-1), the fingers are cramped anyhow (of an adult), with so short a scale. On my GL-1 though, one gets used to it, although one can't do everything like on a larger instrument. But on this instrument, the combination of 440mm scale, and significantly narrower fingerboard, makes it way too cramped.

So, I'll box up to return today.

I'll add though, that I also ordered their 7/8 guitar, to use as a full-size guitar replacement, standard tuning, 620mm scale. It sounds nice, and is certainly more comfortable than the standard full-size 650mm scale.

delray48209
08-23-2011, 06:29 PM
I played one today at Guitar Center. Different, but not my cup of tea. It's not a Uke nor is it a guitar. However, some just love theirs. It's a matter of individual preference.

engravertom
08-24-2011, 05:51 AM
Thanks for the heads up on the Strunal. That neck seems way too narrow to me. I am just starting to get used to the spacing on my Yamaha GL 1. Anything narrower and i think i would have real trouble. i may try a half size or 3/4 size some day down the road though.

I am loving my Guitalele, especially since i re tuned it. I now have it DGgCea. I can play high G, Low G, and Guitar music ( limited to 5 courses), all on one little intrument. I put Nylguts on for the first four, and moved the orginal 4th and 5 th strings over a spot. it sounds good to me, and now a concert Uke feels too roomy on the fret board!

drbekken
08-24-2011, 06:26 AM
If a guitalele is your cup of tea, then why not just play a guitar instead? Or give the thing to a kid with small hands, until she or he's big enough to play a real guitar. The same syndrome hits bass players, who can't manage to play anything worthwhile on a four-string, and keep adding strings to their basses...Soon I'll construct a piano with twice as many keys...should be a market somewhere.

engravertom
08-24-2011, 11:51 AM
If a guitalele is your cup of tea, then why not just play a guitar instead? Or give the thing to a kid with small hands, until she or he's big enough to play a real guitar. The same syndrome hits bass players, who can't manage to play anything worthwhile on a four-string, and keep adding strings to their basses...Soon I'll construct a piano with twice as many keys...should be a market somewhere.

Well, a few reasons to play a Guitalele instead of a guitar. If you are used to the tenor scale, you don't have to learn a bigger fret board. Also, some like the higher tuning than on a standard guitar. And, with my re entrant tuning, it does sound like a Uke. Some of us just like different things. I guess many folks think the guitar is the de facto standard plucked stringed instrument, but that is not really the case, if you consider history, and all of the diverse musical cultures on the earth today. A guitar is just another musical instrument, no better, no worse than any other. Same with anything else.

To answer the question more briefly, I would say, "because I don't want to play a guitar." :)

Take care,

Tom

dahni
08-12-2012, 04:29 PM
A friend just gave me what seems to be a guitarlele. ody 22.5" long,
8"Wide at saddle, 3" deep. 18 frets, 14" nut to saddle. Nut 1 5/8"; saddle 2 3/8". Needs new saddle but I haven't found one yet. I doubt this is valuable; but it is interesting.

Any info, opinions about strings, nut and saddle, etc.??


I have Fender Tenor Uke, Lankai 6-string acoustic/electric uke, GuitarWorks Classical Guitar.

Ukuleleblues
08-13-2012, 05:22 AM
I bought my wife a 1/2 size Oscar Schmidt guitar. The neck is too thin for me to play. I bought a Yamaha Guitaralele, I lowered the action at the nut and also widened the spacing on the string, I can with some special effort play it OK now. still a little cramped for me. .

bango
09-09-2012, 02:28 AM
Guitalele a unique small 6-string plastic instrument that is scaled like a baritone ukulele (17 scale) and performs like a conventional track instrument,100% fun.did you like this Guitalele scale???????
Floor Scale (http://www.primescales.net/)

mike plummer
04-17-2013, 03:02 AM
Guitalele a unique small 6-string plastic instrument that is scaled like a baritone ukulele (17 scale) and performs like a conventional track instrument,100% fun.did you like this Guitalele scale???????
Floor Scale (http://www.primescales.net/)

Hi, I bought a Yamaha guitalele on impulse for about 60 new, and liked it but, as I got more into uke playing , on a mid-range Mahalo soprano, and had several guitars, I re-strung the GLI with 4 tenor uke strings. I used the four highest ( farthest away) string holes but altered the top nut slightly to give a bit more room at the top of the neck.
A bit Heath-Robinson but it plays nicely, and I can change it back any time. I don't think there's enough tension in the strings to pull the neck out of shape.
mikep

fumanshu
04-17-2013, 03:31 AM
I own almost all the guitarlele that you can find....and if you want the cheapest that sound decent well, the choice is truly the Yamaha Guitarlele.....just find your favorite classical guitar strings set and strung it on and enjoy.....

But if you want to spend money...then the best choice would be the one by Kanilea........but it's not in the same price range at all!!!!

https://soundcloud.com/baouke

Linho
04-17-2013, 04:31 AM
I own almost all the guitarlele that you can find....and if you want the cheapest that sound decent well, the choice is truly the Yamaha Guitarlele.....just find your favorite classical guitar strings set and strung it on and enjoy.....
I tried many different strings and string combinations. For my fingers and ears, the perfect strings are D'Addario Student Classics as Adg and Martin M600 Flourocarbon as c'e'a'. :D
(I have a sound sample on YouTube, if you are interested.)

And yes, thumbs up for the Yamaha Guitalele, great value for little money! ;)

drbekken
05-09-2013, 02:32 AM
If a guitalele is your cup of tea, then why not just play a guitar instead? Or give the thing to a kid with small hands, until she or he's big enough to play a real guitar. The same syndrome hits bass players, who can't manage to play anything worthwhile on a four-string, and keep adding strings to their basses...Soon I'll construct a piano with twice as many keys...should be a market somewhere.

I take this statement back. I have bought a guitalele myself, and I love it. So much for categorical, prejudiced ways of thinking. I should have known better.

Leigh Coates
05-09-2013, 04:09 AM
[You are part of the reason I like this place! It's full of nice people. :)

QUOTE=drbekken;1266884]I take this statement back. I have bought a guitalele myself, and I love it. So much for categorical, prejudiced ways of thinking. I should have known better.[/QUOTE]

Orson
05-10-2013, 10:07 AM
Any one tried th gretsch guitalele? I just got the plywood uke, sound fine!
I play a koaloha d IV wich is a delight, plays good against several instruments , all the better with Worth strings. Not cheap but definitely wort the money!

The Big Kahuna
05-10-2013, 10:42 AM
A Guitalele is next on my list, and I'm holding out for a Kanile'a GL-6 Premium Gloss. I know if I bought anything else I'd regret not going for the Kanile'a.

aqualung23
07-19-2013, 07:08 AM
Do any of you who have one of these put a high g on it? I feel like that would give it a more ukulele-like sound and I think I would like to get the gretsch model and put a high g on it, so I'd love any feedback on that.

itsme
07-19-2013, 07:41 AM
Do any of you who have one of these put a high g on it? I feel like that would give it a more ukulele-like sound and I think I would like to get the gretsch model and put a high g on it, so I'd love any feedback on that.
What do you mean by putting a high g on it?

The guitalele is tuned like a guitar only higher. ADGCEA

engravertom
07-20-2013, 08:47 AM
I did try that on one once. The G on the 4th string is an octave higher than normal, like on a re entrant Uke. I liked the sound, and it did enable me to play traditional high g Uke tabs on it. You can still play chords, and have a Ukier sound to it. It is more difficult to play low g or guitar tabs that way. Some re arranging would be in order. The notes are all still there, just in different places. The tuning would be ADgCEA.

If you really want to get into some serious campanella possibilities, you can put a smaller gauge string on the 6th string, and have a double re entrant instrument. You do lose some of the bass sound though. The tuning would then be aDgCEA, the lower case representing strings an octave higher than normal.

So, yes, you can do it. If you already know a lot of high g Uke tunes, and just want the extra bass notes for your picking or strumming, that is a great way to tune a guitalele type instrument.

engravertom
07-20-2013, 08:57 AM
Here are two tabs I created for Sor's Opus 60 #5. One is for just a high 4th course, and the second is for a high6th and 4th course tuning. In the Double re entrant tuning, you lose the lowest note from the original.

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/53667954/Sor%20Study%20Opus%2060%20No%205.pdf

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/53667954/Opus%2060%20%23%205%20Fernando%20Sor%20eADgBE%20do uble%20re%20entrant%20guitar.pdf

Hope that helps!

Tom

aqualung23
07-21-2013, 05:48 AM
Just like the uke, with a high g. I've seen a video on the Internet with someone who strung a Yamaha like this. I'm assuming you have to use classical strings for the two low notes, then you would just string the other four with a high g tenor set.

Lori
07-21-2013, 08:23 AM
I tried a lot of different string combinations and brands, and by far, the very best set for my KoAloha DVI was the Aquila GUILELE/GUITALELE STRINGS.

–Lori