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jermlilly
09-14-2011, 05:13 PM
Coiuple of questions regarding these instruments.

What would be the point to these? Just a different sound??

Im sure they are harder to play but is it just more finger strength or is it learning soemthing completely different??

I would like to add to my collection with something a little different so any knowledge on the subject would be awesome.

Thanks to all!

Gillian
09-14-2011, 05:36 PM
I bought a Kamaka Lili'u about two months ago. When I strummed it for the first time, I was smitten. Different sound... rich and complex, yet still a ukulele.

I was told 6 and 8 string ukes are "strumming" instruments and not intended for finger-picking. I'm discovering that not to be case. I have mine strung as Kamaka intended (based on the nut slot widths): high(re-entrant) G, high C and C, E, low A and A.

I'm getting better at picking the regular strings and incorporating the high C and low A when I think it adds punch to the song.

I would love to see a video on this topic. Any 6 or 8 string virtuosos out there?

kenikas
09-14-2011, 05:58 PM
I have a Lanikai O8-E and love the sound, it's a bit like playing two ukes at once. Like Gillian said it's not that hard to fingerpick just takes some practice, and you have high and low g on the same instrument :). I think everyone needs to try one.

Ken Middleton
09-14-2011, 08:20 PM
You certainly get a fuller sound when using a 6 or 8 stringed uke. However, you can get a similar sound on a regular uke by employing very accurate 2 finger strumming so that each of the 4 strings are strummed twice.

Remember though, that playing a uke with more than 4 strings can also restrict what you play and make the piece harder to play.

FiL
09-15-2011, 02:00 AM
I've been playing an 8-stringer for a few years, and maybe because it's always been my main uke, I've never found it too difficult to play. Or maybe that's because my playing is pretty simple. I love the way it sounds fingerpicked. When I play solo folkie stuff, the 8-string helps fill out the sound (something that might be less necessary if I was a better player). When I play with several guitarists, the 8-string cuts through the sound better than a 4-string uke does.

Ken, I don't think you can really get a similar sound on a four-string uke no matter how good your technique, because you'd still be missing the sound of the octave strings.

- FiL

UncleElvis
09-15-2011, 03:03 AM
I love my Lanikai 8-string (bought from Mim, at her insistance, after she informed me that I had to own this instrument. She wasn't incorrect at all!) so much that I curse the day I first played it, as now, when I finally get my custom ukulele built, I'm going to have to get two made: One 4-string, one 8-string!

I'm a strummer, mainly, using the ukulele to support my singing and performing. I don't think I'll ever progress beyond "Bottom to top" and "In to out/out to in" picking, and that's fine, so I can't really speak to how it works on these, other than to say that there are some interesting things happening, sound-wise, when I do try it.

They aren't necessarily more difficult to play, just different. It takes a while to a) get your fingertips used to playing two strings and b) getting them in the right place. Because there are two strings, it's a lot less forgiving, accuracy-wise.

But the sound... oh, the sound!
I have a mahogany laminate, which is perfect, as I prefer something warmer and... does "thicker" make sense? There are aspects of a guitar-y sound that I like (especially for me, as I play at an Open Mic run by two guys on guitars... even my Kamaka, which is GORGEOUS! sounds like a jack-in-the-box after they play. But the 8-string eases the transition a little.
And the high-C? AWESOME! When it rings out, there's a mandolin feel that draws them in.

I love it.

Skitzic
09-15-2011, 03:12 AM
I think it does take a bit more finger strength to fret cleanly, and especially barre cleanly. But it's totally worth it. :) The sound is so full.

I started getting a lot of attention at open mics when I started carting it out.

And while finger picking can be a bit tricky on it, when you get the hang of it it sounds amazing.

Get one. You won't be disappointed.

molokinirum
09-15-2011, 08:46 AM
I think it does take a bit more finger strength to fret cleanly, and especially barre cleanly. But it's totally worth it. :) The sound is so full...And while finger picking can be a bit tricky on it, when you get the hang of it it sounds amazing.

Get one. You won't be disappointed.

I agree 100%!! The fuller sound is amazing and it is not diffacult at all to play, just has a different feel and yes a little more pressure is required on the doubled up strings!!

haolejohn
09-15-2011, 09:33 AM
I bought a Kamaka Lili'u about two months ago. When I strummed it for the first time, I was smitten. Different sound... rich and complex, yet still a ukulele.

I was told 6 and 8 string ukes are "strumming" instruments and not intended for finger-picking. I'm discovering that not to be case. I have mine strung as Kamaka intended (based on the nut slot widths): high(re-entrant) G, high C and C, E, low A and A.

I'm getting better at picking the regular strings and incorporating the high C and low A when I think it adds punch to the song.

I would love to see a video on this topic. Any 6 or 8 string virtuosos out there?

Not a virtuoso but here is a video with some strumming and minor picking
http://www.youtube.com/user/keonimanua
and here is another one with more picking

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IK1VBc7Lbq0&feature=related

Shakespeare
09-15-2011, 01:54 PM
I own two Yamaha GL-1 guitaleles. They are essentially tenor sized classical guitars, tuned to AEGCEa so like a regular guitar with a capo on the fifth fret. The four high strings can be played like a normal uke as they are GCEa. I find that a very cool feature when I'm noodling aimlessly. I have never played a uke where any of the strings are in courses. They sound wonderful, and very near to the 12 string acoustic guitar-type shimmer I anticipated.

jermlilly
09-17-2011, 11:32 AM
Thanks for posting this man. Congratulations on the youngster you have there. My wife is three months pregnant with our first child! Can't wait to play a little uke music to him or her. Even though Im sure he or she already hears me through my wife's belly. Needless to say but I am fully in love right now. Thanks to everyone who has posted on this thread and everyone involved in UU and ukuleles in general. Pretty amazing.