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Jbc930
10-15-2011, 07:58 AM
Ok.. so I heard "Hey, Soul Sister" and liked the Uke...got this urge to wanna play one. I am 72 retired and have not played any instrument.

Do you think I could do it??

I have been checking out instruments on line, and get different emotions.

At first I had the idea to find a "decent" uke up to $100, but now I am thinking that maybe nI should just get a bottom line to find out if I can learn it first.... so right now am looking at a MELOKI.

Will welcome your imput.


Jim

modern day ukuleleist
10-15-2011, 08:03 AM
I have virtually no musical talent or coordination, but after a couple months of practicing with the ukulele, I would say I'm average/sufficient at playing it.

Even if you aren't great, it's a ton of a fun to play.

Everyone should own one.

Jbc930
10-15-2011, 08:34 AM
Thanks for the encouragement. Still trying to figure out what kind of uke I should buy. I like the tone of a 'tenor but they cost more. I saw a Washburn tenor with koa laminate for $93.00 .. Would this be a good deal...or would I be jumping the gun?

Doug W
10-15-2011, 10:06 AM
Jbc,

I would get the best uke you can afford right now. Cheap ukes can discourage a person from playing. One of the easiest checks you can do on a uke is to check each string: play the open string, then play the same string fretting the 12th fret. They should just be an octave apart. If one note sounds sharp or flat according to the other, then it might need a little work to get the intonation right. If you don't have an ear for notes, then have the sales person play those notes on each string with a tuner attached and you can see how close the notes are.

chindog
10-15-2011, 10:40 AM
Ditto to what Doug said. A really cheap uke can really turn you off of playing. Get something that would be more of an instrument than a toy. If you have a music store around, go in and strum on some of the ukes they have. You can look up the shapes of 2 or 3 chords, and just play those on the different ukes they have. You'll probably find some of them are easier to play than others, and it might help you decide which way to go.

Lori
10-15-2011, 11:02 AM
Thanks for the encouragement. Still trying to figure out what kind of uke I should buy. I like the tone of a 'tenor but they cost more. I saw a Washburn tenor with koa laminate for $93.00 .. Would this be a good deal...or would I be jumping the gun?

If you like the tenor size and tone, $93 is a good deal. It is important that your first uke be as interesting and exciting as possible. If you are attracted to the look and sound of the uke, you will be twice as likely to want to play it. If you want to play, do everything you can to make it a appealing activity, because you will need to be motivated to practice in order for success.

If you end up not liking the uke, a nicer instrument will be easier to sell than a cheapo starter.

–Lori

PhilUSAFRet
10-15-2011, 11:49 AM
Good thread at the top of this forum on Beginner's Ukuleles. Bottom end ukes are only for folks who aren't really sure they want to play. Can you? Absolutely! (I am 70)
Choose a size......lots of reliable places to order a "properly set up" uke. Look at Uncle Rod's Ukulele Boot camp, get a copy of Ukulele for Dummies, and you should be good to go for a while. Most important ingredient for us old folks (and pretty much everyone else too) is patience. Keep playing...you be amazed how much you will pick up. Learn 3 chords and you can play thousands of songs!!!!

fitncrafty
10-15-2011, 11:51 AM
HI Jim..
You found this forum... and have the desire.. go for it.. I don't know Meloki, so I can't help you there.. Look around and get what you think you might like.
Good luck. I started a year ago with no musical experience and have managed to learn quite a bit. Go to uke meetups and have a generally great time with it.
What are you waiting for.. Get that uke and get strumming.
And Welcome to UU too!

mangorockfish
10-15-2011, 12:25 PM
Get a Makala Dolphin. Check out some of the threads about them on here. The price is right also.

vanflynn
10-15-2011, 12:57 PM
Hi and welcome Jim. The Uke is a great instrument to learn. The C F G chords are fairly easy and can get you through alot of songs. As you learn more chords you substitute them in.
As far as what type, I see two schools of thought. One is to get the best you can afford so it is more playable. The other is to get a starter like a Dolphin, have it set up, and see if you like the Uke. Then you can give it to a spouse/grandkid/friend, upgrade to a better one and have a playing buddy.

Take it slow, play something ease and enjoy. How to hear your progress.

poppy
10-15-2011, 02:07 PM
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Makala-Uke-MK-C-Concert-Mahogany-Kala-Ukulele-Clip-Digital-Tuner-/120789192437?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item1c1f98cef5

this is a concert package , tuner and gig bag for under 100, they have the same package in a tenor for a few dollars more but I think a concert is easier to learn on. if your on e bay the oscar schmidt ou2 you mentioned is also good.

Hawaii music supply is out of there packages for the less expensive ukes but they are great and may be worth spending a couple dollars more because of there excellant set up.

BTW I am 68 also and took up the uke just late last year.

http://cargo.ukerepublic.com/product/makala-mkc-concert-traditional-style
also a makala concert w/gig bag and I believe he has snark tuners and it would still be a couple bucks under 100.

http://cargo.ukerepublic.com/product/aria-mahogany-concert
heres the last one i'll add' I know nothing about their ukes but I had a fretless aria bass 40 years ago that was dynamite and way under priced , used to be made in japan I have no idea where they are currently made.

Pulex
10-15-2011, 02:28 PM
Most important, whatever you buy, it must be set up correctly by the manufacturer or the dealer who sell it to you. Less expensive instruments tend to have less ufront quality as many are mass produced. Buy the best you can and be sure it is set up right. Hawaiian Musical Instruments is one dealer who does this for you. There are others.

molokinirum
10-15-2011, 05:09 PM
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Makala-Uke-MK-C-Concert-Mahogany-Kala-Ukulele-Clip-Digital-Tuner-/120789192437?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item1c1f98cef5

this is a concert package , tuner and gig bag for under 100, they have the same package in a tenor for a few dollars more but I think a concert is easier to learn on. if your on e bay the oscar schmidt ou2 you mentioned is also good.

Hawaii music supply is out of there packages for the less expensive ukes but they are great and may be worth spending a couple dollars more because of there excellant set up.

Welcome to the UU and it's GREAT that you want to learn to play the uke. Basic chords & strumming on a uke is not real diffacult to learn. For a uke I agree with the Makala Concert uke package mentioned. I have one, it's a great uke to start with. Just keep in mind, if you buy a lower priced uke, make sure you can get aquila strings put on, they sound great on laminate uke.

TCK
10-15-2011, 05:59 PM
Good on you for wanting to learn. I have no advice to give that you have not got, other than DO IT. I started a year ago and I am quickly being over-run by the things and saving for a custom, I play every minute I can.
The basics- make sure you buy as much uke as you can. Remember, the tension of the strings is higher in tenors so if you have nimble fingers, you are good, but you might want to play a concert as well and see if you like it (I think they are easier to learn on, but we will all squabble about that until the cows come home). MAKE SURE THE UKE IS "SET UP". Mike at Uke Republic and Mim at Mim's Ukes will both do this for you free, and the thing will play right when you get it.
As for what to get, I have two Makala's and love them for beaters- my tenor was $70 ('course, I had to set it up). I really have loved the Makai's I have played for the money (especially if they have decent strings on them), My Kala's are great ukes for how well I play (I have three in three different sizes), and My Ohana Vita is my daily uke, it is a solid sender- all of those ought to keep you oggling for a while
Good luck in your quest and welcome to the underground.

Jbc930
10-15-2011, 06:50 PM
Good on you for wanting to learn. I have no advice to give that you have not got, other than DO IT. I started a year ago and I am quickly being over-run by the things and saving for a custom, I play every minute I can.
The basics- make sure you buy as much uke as you can. Remember, the tension of the strings is higher in tenors so if you have nimble fingers, you are good, but you might want to play a concert as well and see if you like it (I think they are easier to learn on, but we will all squabble about that until the cows come home). MAKE SURE THE UKE IS "SET UP". Mike at Uke Republic and Mim at Mim's Ukes will both do this for you free, and the thing will play right when you get it.
As for what to get, I have two Makala's and love them for beaters- my tenor was $70 ('course, I had to set it up). I really have loved the Makai's I have played for the money (especially if they have decent strings on them), My Kala's are great ukes for how well I play (I have three in three different sizes), and My Ohana Vita is my daily uke, it is a solid sender- all of those ought to keep you oggling for a while
Good luck in your quest and welcome to the underground.

Perhaps based on the good advice given, I should better look for a concert size. Not that nimble with the fingers, and don't need anymore stress than the learning will give

vanflynn
10-15-2011, 08:38 PM
Personally I would second the concert size but everyone is different. Do you had a local music shop to try out the different sizes?

Tor
10-16-2011, 04:04 AM
I'm one of those who bought a very cheap ukulele as my first. I wanted to figure out if this was for me or not. I'm a guitar player though, so I did not have to struggle with the actual mechanics of playing, and I also recognized the intonation problems of my ukulele and could work around them while playing. So that may or may not make a difference (being a guitar player I mean) as to if the cheap-uke-first way is the best one.

Anyway, I found I liked playing the cheap one, so then I went out and bought a better one (I had much more of an idea about what to look for then too).

I've later used the first, cheap one as a test uke to hone skills on nut filing etc.. i.e. improvements that I could later do on the more expensive ukulele. And the cheap one can be handed out to someone else when getting together to play something. By the way, the more expensive one wasn't that expensive.. so the _next_ one is going to be even more expensive, this time with perfect intonation from the start! :)

-Tor

zacht
10-16-2011, 04:21 AM
I bought my first uke (a Makala Dolphin) a few months ago and I must say I love it. I was in the same position as the topis-starter, asking myself if I would like it. First of all: I absolutely love it!
Second: I'm glad I bought this particular uke as I read on this forum and elsewhere (and experienced) this is a realy nice and very affordable first uke.
Money-wise I'm doing soso, a couple of mouths to feed and a mortgage to pay, so I'm glad I took this route. I don't know if I'm the right person to give advice, as other people here have much more experience, but I would suggest to the thread-starter to start decent and cheap, and let your wallet and UAS do the rest. If you like it, it's a nice reason to save for something better, and your first uke could always be a realy nice present for e.g. garndchildren, or just to leave around the house to pick up and play whenever you want to.

mm stan
10-16-2011, 04:59 AM
Aloha Jim,
The ukulele has no barriers...look at Bill Tapia a 103 year old player...http://www.facebook.com/BillTapiaMusic?sk=wall&filter=2
Actually playing an instrument will keep your mental capabilities up to date and in check...as you keep using it and active learning.
If you are not sure, try all the sizes.... soprano's are learner friendly if haven't played a uke before.. as for choosing one,
if your budget permits, get the best you can comfortably afford.. you can always update to a better one as we all have done..
It is better to try them out first from a music store rather that buying sight unseen..from a big mail retailer..you pay a little more
but at least you know what you get and how it sounds...if you cannot play it to figure how it sounds, ask a salesperson to play it for
you so you can hear how it sounds...Good Luck and happy Strummings.. your local ukulele enabler.... ohh here's sweet 103 bill at his birthday
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b3C-9YvM-mY

Jbc930
10-18-2011, 09:17 AM
Well..... I got the UKE today... Kohala KK-C. I have been trying it out a bit, trying to follow the chord pattern in the book that came with it...Guess my stubby finger are going to be difficult to put in the right place...something like D7 seems impossible....Even D....has me confused on what fingers to use so that I don't hold down the # 1 sting. Anyway, this will be a challenge.....as l have been told...keep practicing... Where can I get the "Ukulele Player" PILL to take.

vanflynn
10-18-2011, 09:33 AM
Congratulations and Offically, Welcome!
Don't worry about the dreaded D chord yet if you don't have to. Stick with the key of C, take it slow and enjoy. There is no Player Pill, it is actually an incurable disease. Hope you like it.

mascompro
10-18-2011, 09:48 AM
Besides, a pill would take away all the fun.

Gadzukes!
10-18-2011, 10:24 AM
Congratulations, Jim! Don't got too caught up on the mechanics of it yet. I find myself struggling with particular chords and then I'll have a little breakthrough and just find myself saying "Oh, it'll be easier if I finger it this way." Your brain takes care of that. Remember when you learned to drive? You didn't need to study books on how to handle a clutch, or watch YouTube videos. You just started off sloppy and got better by doing, no studying involved. It'll work the same here. :)

Here's my own tips (your mileage may vary):
* Learn just a few chords at first (C, F, and eventually G7 will get you through a LOT of songs!).
* In the beginning, play in whatever way is comfortable. Everyone is different, and people will try and tell you that there's a wrong way to play the uke. Ignore them for now. Body mechanics are different for everyone, and for the most part those things don't really matter. One example is whether to put your thumb around the neck, or on the back. You'll have players who insist the ONLY way to play is with your thumb on the back of the neck, yet Jake Shimabukuro and Kamakawiwo'ole both "strangle the neck" when playing at times. It's all a matter of body mechanics, and everyone is different.
* Don't rush yourself, and don't compare yourself to others. The internet allows us to see some of the best players in the world, and suddenly you think you'll just never be good enough. As long as you enjoy playing, it doesn't matter how good you are.
* Tune up every time before you play. It really helps train the ear! If you don't have a tuner, get one—they're cheap.
* Have fun!

mm stan
10-18-2011, 10:47 AM
Congrats Jim on the new kohala,
I always said, practice patience, and perserverence ...if you need some good uke sites, let me know.. good luck and happy strummings..
oh try the hawaiian D7 2020 it's is easier....