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View Full Version : A start of a beautiful love affair....



sweetiecino
11-05-2011, 03:38 AM
So I bought the cheap Lanikai Ukulele as an impulse buy (as I was originally planning on learning the guitar) about 10 days ago and have not looked back since then. I cannot believe how much I have fallen in love with this instrument as its almost the first thing I pick up when I get home each day and I cannot go to bed unless I've had a bit of a strum.

I feel like each day I don't have enough time to practice everything and am constantly frustrated at how slow I am picking up this instrument. Also, although I have only had this ukulele for 10 days, I already feel the urge to upgrade to something a bit better.

Question for people on this forum:
1. How long did it take for you to get to a proficient level (so that you could play thorough a song with smooth chord transition)??
2. How long did you wait before you to upgraded your ukulele?

roxhum
11-05-2011, 03:42 AM
Ha ha, still working on the smooth chord transition a year and a half later. Okay I can do the simple chords smoothly but always more and harder chords to learn. I think I upgraded around the 10th day.

Trinimon
11-05-2011, 03:51 AM
Welcome to the UU. It's addictive isn't it? You sound just like a bunch of us on UU. lol

It took me about two months to get to a point where I can play through a song fairly smoothly (Somewhere over the Rainbow IZ's version). I still get hiccups fretting. By month three I could finally sing along and strum to the song I'm playing.

As for upgrading the uke, not including the time I had the uke for in Hawaii where I got the bug, about 10 days before I got my upgrade. Went from soprano to a concert. Three weeks later I got my third uke (bought off a friend) and by the start of the 5th month, I picked up my 4th ukulele. Wait till you start getting the itch for a "K" brand and custom builds!!

Welcome to UAS aka Ukulele Acquisition Syndrome. LOL

sweetiecino
11-05-2011, 03:54 AM
Welcome to the UU. It's addictive isn't it? You sound just like a bunch of us on UU. lol

It took me about two months to get to a point where I can play through a song fairly smoothly (Somewhere over the Rainbow IZ's version). I still get hiccups fretting. By month three I could finally sing along and strum to the song I'm playing.

As for upgrading the uke, not including the time I had the uke for in Hawaii where I got the bug, about 10 days before I got my upgrade. Went from soprano to a concert. Three weeks later I got my third uke (bought off a friend) and by the start of the 5th month, I picked up my 4th ukulele. Wait till you start itching for a "K" brand and then custom build!!

Welcome to UAS aka Ukulele Acquisition Syndrome. LOL

I'm surprised at how much information i've learnt about the uke in 10 days. I'm already wanting a "K" brand from watching all those you tube clips!!! :eek:

mm stan
11-05-2011, 03:56 AM
Welcome to the UU and the forums...I preach...practice, perserverence and patience...it will come..as for upgrades, one a month is the average for me..
Yes it's quite an instrument..Not only you are smitten with it....we all are......this should help you in your way...http://www.youtube.com/user/MusicTeacher2010
and Druke too...Good Luck and happy Strummings..MM Stan

sugengshi
11-05-2011, 05:22 AM
I totally could relate to what sweetiecieno shared here. It is really the start of a beautiful love affair. Playing ukulele early in the morning and late at night have become my new routine. live is so much more interesting and fuller with the presence of ukulele.

Starting each session, I am using the practice from Ukulele Boot Camp by Uncle Rod Higuchi. It has improved my cord progression and transition much more smoothly. It also improved my knowledge of cords combination commonly used for the particular keys. It helps tremendously in playing songs.

I bought my second and third ukuleles on the third day after I brought back the first ukulele. It was just so irresistible after reading through passionate sharing from the friendly ukulelists in the forum here. :drool:

ukulefty
11-05-2011, 06:28 AM
I bought a pretty rubbish, no-brand, off the shelf 20 painted soprano for my first (impulse buy) as I had no idea if I'd even be able to learn to play the thing. After learning the basic chords and stringing together some progressions I upgraded to something better about 4 months later. I still love it and haven't bought any more. I've never really been struck hard by the UAS bug like some on here! Haha!

I didn't spend loads on my second uke but I made sure I bought a quality one. The difference is chalk and cheese. Made playing certain chords a lot easier and sounded so much nicer, like a real instrument instead of a toy.

Maxjunk
11-05-2011, 01:40 PM
At this point, if you don't have a massive supply of spare cash, I'd recommend a Kamoa concert or tenor uke from the UU Store. It's my first real uke, and it's a fantastic instrument. Of course, if you are willing to spend more, read through the wealth of threads on here about getting a new instrument, and aim for something in the $500-700 range. Just be aware that prices increase as you move up from a soprano to a concert to a tenor ukulele, and they are all unique in their sound.

bbqribs
11-05-2011, 02:53 PM
1 Probably about a week. (but I have some keyboard experience)
2 What do you mean "wait"?

Jon Moody
11-05-2011, 03:39 PM
1. A couple of days. I have over twenty years of bass playing experience in many genres, so another stringed instrument wasn't a big stretch. It's more about the quality of your practice schedule over anything else.

2. I bought an "inexpensive" uke that sounded and played well. I could still just play that one and be fine. My wife bought me a nicer uke a couple of months later as an anniversary gift.

beginnerukeman143
11-05-2011, 03:55 PM
ive been playing for about 4 months on the same uke!

i actually could play the really simple chord progressions smoothly after about 2 months... but in the more complicated keys (like E or B) took me a while to get smooth but theyre are lots of ways to play every chord, so find the one that works best for you and play the chord progressions with those fingerings :)

Nuprin
11-05-2011, 03:58 PM
1. A day or two. Been playing guitar for a long time and the two share a few similar chord shapes.
2. My first uke was an Oscar Schmidt OU2E. I bought it on a whim from the store I work. About a week later a Fender Nohea came in...it was so pretty I had to buy it. About 2 months later I went on a pretty big uke buying spree. From what I remember, within about a month I bought the following:
Lanikai SM-CE
Mele Koa top tenor
Recording King resonator
Kala 8 string
Mainland Honey Bee

About a year later I got my first K-Brand and realized what I'd been missing.

So, not to preach, but rather than do what I did, spending a lot of money on decent but not amazing ukes, if possible I would suggest saving up until you can get your hands on a nice uke like a K-Brand or something similar.

ghardy
11-05-2011, 04:05 PM
1) About 10 minutes. But, to be fair, I've been playing guitar for about 3 years. I'm still working on trickier things, but the basic skills I learned from guitar were easily transferred to my uke playing, and I'm sure the skills will work the other way around.

2) Because of my previous guitar skills, the first uke I bought was my Kala Acacia Tenor, and I think I play it more than I would a laminate. I also get a lot of enjoyment out of playing it, so I would definitely recommend getting an upgrade within the next three months.

wolfybau
11-05-2011, 04:21 PM
lol it is amazing how addicting it is. When I first started playing I just thought of it as a nessisary alternative to my guitars, that it was a step down but btter than nothing. little did I know that I would become so enamored and it would be the adventure that it has been! An so many people have such stories. Its truely magickal.

A Lanikai is not a bad instrument. I would say upgrade if it was realy something cheep and of a hinderance. My suggestion would be realy get to know the instrument first and learn about them so that when you are ready to buy you know what you realy want and need, instead of making a hasty purchase. On the other hand if money is not an object, go for it , it would be good experience to try another instrument, for instance a differnt size or type of wood. if its not to your liking you can switch to something else later. If you buy one of the realy high end ones its hard to go wrong and I'm sure the local uke dealers would appreciate the business ;)

Big_e
11-05-2011, 05:34 PM
lol it is amazing how addicting it is. When I first started playing I just thought of it as a nessisary alternative to my guitars, that it was a step down but btter than nothing. little did I know that I would become so enamored and it would be the adventure that it has been! An so many people have such stories. Its truely magickal.

A Lanikai is not a bad instrument. I would say upgrade if it was realy something cheep and of a hinderance. My suggestion would be realy get to know the instrument first and learn about them so that when you are ready to buy you know what you realy want and need, instead of making a hasty purchase. On the other hand if money is not an object, go for it , it would be good experience to try another instrument, for instance a differnt size or type of wood. if its not to your liking you can switch to something else later. If you buy one of the realy high end ones its hard to go wrong and I'm sure the local uke dealers would appreciate the business ;)

+1. Lanikais are good ukes! I started with a Lanikai LU-11, the basic soprano and just this morning bought a Lanikai LU-22, a concert size and love them both. I've been playing the concert all day today!
I've been playing for a year now and chord changes do get better as you go along.
I'll move up as soon as I hear something better than my Lanikais or Kala soprano!
Ernest

sweetiecino
11-05-2011, 05:35 PM
i'm glad to see that I'm not the only one that feels that way...I have been telling my friends about my obsession and some of them have been giving me a crazy look =)

Big_e
11-05-2011, 06:08 PM
Well, my friends thought I was crazy but when I bought a sopranino, they lost all doubt.
Ernest

PS: You gotta add a Ohana Sopranino to your collection! They sound sweet and are tiny.

sweetiecino
11-06-2011, 12:05 AM
Welcome to the UU and the forums...I preach...practice, perserverence and patience...it will come..as for upgrades, one a month is the average for me..
Yes it's quite an instrument..Not only you are smitten with it....we all are......this should help you in your way...http://www.youtube.com/user/MusicTeacher2010
and Druke too...Good Luck and happy Strummings..MM Stan

thanks for the link! =)

joeybug
11-06-2011, 01:51 AM
1. It took me about three weeks before I could make smooth chord transitions and even now, 14 months into it, I still struggle with some chords!

2. I upgraded from a no-name brand cheap Ukulele brought on impulse at the end of August to my Ohana about the middle of September and then another one a week later! (Though that second one was an early Christmas present from my Dad which is why it happened so quickly!)

Welcome to UU! And welcome to the wonderful world of Ukuleles! (And UAS!)

addicted2myuke
11-06-2011, 02:00 PM
I did the same thing and bought a $48.00 concert Lanaiki uke on the net. I didn't want to spend a ton on something I was not sure I was going to like. It took around 2 weeks and I upgraded to a concert Ibanez for $169.00. After around 2 months, I shelled out $270, for a tenor Kala. I traded in my Lanaiki,but kept my Ibanez, so now I have 2 that I alternate with. I practice every day for at least an hour, and can only play a few songs all the way through with out hesitating when changing chords. Yes,it is frustrating, but practice makes it happen eventually. I'm having a terrible time with b chords. I'm trying to cope. When I get really flustered, I know it's time to put my uke down and take a break. My user name says it all. The ukulele is my drug of choice. Excuse me, I have to practice now.

sweetiecino
11-06-2011, 03:30 PM
Thank you everyone for confirming that I am not crazy! Since I have made the purchase, my workmates have been making fun of me playing this instrument!!!

philpot
11-06-2011, 03:33 PM
Definitely not crazy dude!! It's a great instrument, prove them wrong by being the best you can be at it. As far as how long it took me to play a smooth song? A day... but I'm self taught at guitar, so transferring chord shapes over to uke was no big chore. Strumming CORRECTLY took longer, but I was able to strum SMOOTHLY the first day.

I upgraded several months later. I got my first (Lanikai LU-21) in December of last year, and got my Kamaka (big jump, I know) in April of this year I think? I would have gotten it sooner, but such a big jump took some saving ;) Go at it dude, you'll never regret it.

sweetiecino
11-06-2011, 03:41 PM
Definitely not crazy dude!! It's a great instrument, prove them wrong by being the best you can be at it. As far as how long it took me to play a smooth song? A day... but I'm self taught at guitar, so transferring chord shapes over to uke was no big chore. Strumming CORRECTLY took longer, but I was able to strum SMOOTHLY the first day.

I upgraded several months later. I got my first (Lanikai LU-21) in December of last year, and got my Kamaka (big jump, I know) in April of this year I think? I would have gotten it sooner, but such a big jump took some saving ;) Go at it dude, you'll never regret it.

Yes - that is one motivation. I want to show everyone how great this little instrument is!! =)

Did you find that you improved because you were using a better instrument?

philpot
11-06-2011, 03:49 PM
I believe so, yes. I wouldn't necessarily ALWAYS recommend doing what I did, such a big jump, or upgrading so soon, but I think having a nicer instrument invites you to "play up" to it as it were. you also enjoy playing more, which makes you want to practice more. Make sure you want to stick with it first, but an upgrade will definitely not hurt :) something to keep in mind is something someone I know used to say on the Piano World forums... "I would rather people say 'wow! She's such a great musician! too bad her [instrument] is holding her back!' than for them to say, 'Wow! What a nice instrument! Too bad she can't really play it all that well." If you get what I'm saying :P not that it's bad to play a very nice instrument, but keep in mind your skill level and possible loss of interest when thinking of upgrading and how much you want to spend.

vanflynn
11-06-2011, 05:58 PM
What ever you do, hang on to that first one. It will always have a special place in your heart.

sweetiecino
11-06-2011, 06:23 PM
I believe so, yes. I wouldn't necessarily ALWAYS recommend doing what I did, such a big jump, or upgrading so soon, but I think having a nicer instrument invites you to "play up" to it as it were. you also enjoy playing more, which makes you want to practice more. Make sure you want to stick with it first, but an upgrade will definitely not hurt :) something to keep in mind is something someone I know used to say on the Piano World forums... "I would rather people say 'wow! She's such a great musician! too bad her [instrument] is holding her back!' than for them to say, 'Wow! What a nice instrument! Too bad she can't really play it all that well." If you get what I'm saying :P not that it's bad to play a very nice instrument, but keep in mind your skill level and possible loss of interest when thinking of upgrading and how much you want to spend.

I totally agree with what you are saying, but I am leaning towards upgrading to a K brand soon as I know that I if I just upgrade to something slightly better than a Lanikai I will be itching to buy something better in a few months time and to me that seems like a waste of money (thats how I would justify my spend anyway!!) =)

philpot
11-07-2011, 05:06 AM
I totally agree with what you are saying, but I am leaning towards upgrading to a K brand soon as I know that I if I just upgrade to something slightly better than a Lanikai I will be itching to buy something better in a few months time and to me that seems like a waste of money (thats how I would justify my spend anyway!!) =)

It's true. I'm glad I got a K brand as my upgrade rather than spending that money on a bunch of smaller upgrades.

Nickie
11-07-2011, 06:17 AM
Congrats on the 1st ukulele! I think you'll probably buy more. I am learning the difference between an obsession and a hobby. I took my ukulele to bed with me the other night. No, I am not some kind of weird sex fiend, I was tired and I wanted to hear how it sounded after it's first setup. I went to my first ever ukulele festival over the weekend and bought not one but TWO ukuleles. Talk about SUAS (Sudden Ukulele Acquisition Syndrome)! I didn't get to take either one of them home with me, but this is one of them:
http://lanikaiukes.com/laniblog/ukuleles/quilt-ash-series/lqa-cca-concert-size-ae-ukulele/
(http://lanikaiukes.com/laniblog/ukuleles/quilt-ash-series/lqa-cca-concert-size-ae-ukulele/)

gyosh
11-07-2011, 07:30 AM
Did you find that you improved because you were using a better instrument?

Sometimes I use my Kamaka as incentive to practice. I won't let myself play the Kamaka until I can play whatever it is, smoothly on my first uke.

kaizersoza
11-07-2011, 01:58 PM
Thank you everyone for confirming that I am not crazy! Since I have made the purchase, my workmates have been making fun of me playing this instrument!!!
everyone i know make fun of me for playing the uke, i played recently for my girlfriends family and they have stopped the jokes, i am practising every day, my mates are all asking me to play for them so they can make fun, BUT, i am not going to play for them until i am ready, then i am going to blow their minds, i have got about 10 songs down to pat but they are not perfect yet, i have never played an instrument before the uke, i just wish i had started playing years ago, so keep practising sweetiecino and blow those jokers minds

sugengshi
11-07-2011, 04:19 PM
everyone i know make fun of me for playing the uke, i played recently for my girlfriends family and they have stopped the jokes, i am practising every day, my mates are all asking me to play for them so they can make fun, BUT, i am not going to play for them until i am ready, then i am going to blow their minds, i have got about 10 songs down to pat but they are not perfect yet, i have never played an instrument before the uke, i just wish i had started playing years ago, so keep practising sweetiecino and blow those jokers minds

Hi kaizersoza. You are so inspirational. Practicing correctly everyday will definitely improve our playing skills. I only have two songs now and slowly intend to build up my repertoire. I started with some very easy songs that everyone can sing.

poiboy1964
01-07-2012, 01:30 PM
Loved your visual tour through Hawai'i. I've lived on Oahu, for the last 4 years, but have never been to the Big Island...especially enjoyed the slide show...what camera did you use?