View Full Version : Long neck concert questions; the care and feeding of a giraffe

09-02-2011, 02:10 AM
I'll go ahead and apologize in advance if these questions have been addressed and answered previously. I had zero luck finding them, but if some kind soul could point me in the right direction, I'd appreciate it. I'll try to exercise some brevity, but I'm about as sharp as a bowling ball this morning, so please bear with me.

I was surprised with an Oscar Schmidt OU5LCE for my anniversary a few weeks back and I've been playing it pretty consistently, but the strings have felt super tight the entire time. I'm 90% sure that they aren't factory, but it was purchased at a guitar shop and I'm starting to wonder if some well-meaning employee swapped them out for a concert set instead of a tenor set upon arrival. The other possibility is that this is just the nature of the beast and I'm being a weenie. My concern is that if they ARE the wrong size, I could be doing some damage by leaving them on, but if they're the right set, this could really improve my finger strength and playing after a spell. I've got a spare set of tenor Aquila's, but if someone has more experience with another manufacturer on this instrument, I'm all ears (as far as other possible issues, the action seems fine, only a bit higher than I'm used to, and not enough to be problematic).

On to cases: Is my only option an Oscar Schmidt case (specifically the UC3), or has anyone found another one that will work? It won't fit in my Uke Crazy concert case, the neck fits in a standard Tenor case, but the body doesn't seem secure. It fits in concert and tenor gig bags (tenor looks pretty floppy, though) but that's about as much protection as a pillowcase and it has to share a trunk with big scary things like autoharps and music stands on occasion. I'm not crazy about the Oscar Schmidt cases, but if that's my only option, can someone point me in the direction of a smaller shop to buy it from? I'm only finding it at the big, impersonal stores, and I don't mind paying a bit more to give my business to one of the little guys.

I'd love to boil this down into a tl;dr here, but if I was capable of being that succinct, it would be reflected in length of the post.:)

09-02-2011, 02:44 AM
Not sure what strings are on it, but most of us with OU5s have found that Aquilas provide the sweetest, most resonant sound on them. What you have is a concert body with a tenor neck. You probably should be using tenor strings. You can usually tell if they are Aquilas if they are on the whiteish side than clear. It doesn't cost much to change strings and may be the easiest quick fix. The smaller body is why it doesn't fight tightly in a tenor case, even though it's a good length for it.
Good luck.

09-02-2011, 06:07 AM
You might consider a concert sized Fremont case. My Kanile'a Super Concert is a bit of a tight fit in the Uke Crazy concert case, but it barely fits. The Fremont has a little extra room. Be aware that you might have to air out this case, because the new ones smell like glue. Eventually, the odor goes away.
This sturdy case is good for hard-to-fit ukes like long necks and pineapples.


Please excuse the lens distortion. The sides are not bowing out.

09-02-2011, 06:24 AM
Tenor-scale ukes have more string tension than soprano or concert scales so that might explain why the strings feel so tight. I have a longneck soprano and have never been able to find a case that fits the body and the length, so I just found one that was the approprite lenght and used a baby blanket to keep the body from moving around.

09-02-2011, 06:36 AM
I have an Oahu/Koolau hard case that fits my KoAloha superconcert perfectly. Contact Hawaii Music Supply to get one: www.theukulelesite.com

09-02-2011, 01:21 PM
Concerning the string tension, I played a bit on a friend's tenor shortly after I got this one, trying to diagnose the problem. I noticed that on hers, while still tighter than your average concert, the strings had quite a bit more give (thanks for the suggestions, you're all peaches for giving me a direction to go in here!).