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View Full Version : Ukefying a guitar and a guitarlele



imperialbari
12-15-2011, 08:02 AM
I never became very good at playing guitar, but still loving the plucking concept I turned towards the ukes a year ago. Now there are 6 samples in 5 sizes - sopranino trough baritone with the concert represented twice. All with reentrant tuning. Sopranino in Eb, soprano in D, one concert in Db, the other concert plus the tenor in C, and the baritone in Ab.

The easiest one to play are the tenor and the concerts, but I found my practice time best spent on the baritone. The wider frets apparently work better in building a brain imagination of chord figures. Practicing the sopranino tends to ruin that imagination, the only benefit being that the soprano feels a bit more comfortable.

This long prelude to tell that I havenít been able to keep my hands of my Ovation guitar with nylon strings and a wide fingerboard. Even bought a second hand Martin Backpacker western guitar of the old slim design because og the shorter scale.

That Martin is a wonderfully responsive instrument, but using ukulele chord patterns often caused muddy sounds, when especially 9ths became the lowest note in the chords. I found a German web store supplying me with string sets taking the D & A strings up one octave and the 6th string up two octaves. I still have to exploit the potentials in many more keys, but until now I love the brighter and very crisp sound of the tight chords.

I had my Yamaha Guitarlele for a few years, but I had come to dislike it because of the plunky sound with the high overtones dying extremely fast, possibly because of the thick guitar strings out of nylon in combination with the all plywood body. So I put on one of the reentrant sets of steel strings. The tuning in guitar terms is G, in uke terms it is Bb. Makes it much more alive and fun to play.

Klaus