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sweetdemise
12-22-2011, 04:32 AM
It seems like there is a lot of purism around the ukulele. Some people may not consider anything bigger than a soprano to be an uke. Or others may bet set that the uke must have a high g, or standard tuning. I'm sure a lot of these comments are jokes but as a musician it baffles me. A baritone uke is just as much of an uke as a soprano. They may sound different but they both are ukuleles. Just as a singer that sings high is just as much of a singer as one that sings low. Don't get me wrong, I love the bright warm sounds of sopranos, but I also love the rich, deep sound you get from a baritone. I don't know if I feel this way because I play multiple instruments, such as guitar, piano, drums ect... but heres my question. What defines an ukulele? Is it tuning, is it size, what makes an ukulele an ukulele to you?

ukulefty
12-22-2011, 04:59 AM
Serious (dictionary.reference.com)

ukulele
noun
a small, guitarlike musical instrument associated chiefly with Hawaiian music.




Not so serious (urbandictionary)

ukulele
a child-sized guitar that obese Hawaiian's and secretly gay men play when they are tempted to eat cheeseburgers or think of man love.

PoiDog
12-22-2011, 05:02 AM
but heres my question. What defines an ukulele? Is it tuning, is it size, what makes an ukulele an ukulele to you?

Four strings and a good time.

Oh, and also that whole thing about fat guys with tiny instruments or secret gay man stuff. That, too.

Hiddencross
12-22-2011, 05:14 AM
It seems like there is a lot of purism around the ukulele. Some people may not consider anything bigger than a soprano to be an uke. Or others may bet set that the uke must have a high g, or standard tuning.

I'd say there are a lot of people with particular preferences (re-entrant vs linear tuning, soprano vs tenor, matte finish vs gloss, koa vs mahogany vs exotic wood combinations) and they like to tease each other about their preferences. They are all "real" ukuleles, even baritones. :)

deach
12-22-2011, 05:25 AM
...

ukulele
a child-sized guitar that obese Hawaiian's and secretly gay men play when they are tempted to eat cheeseburgers or think of man love.

mmmmmm burgerz and gay men! yum!


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7VJHZo06jFw

philpot
12-22-2011, 05:26 AM
I'd say there are a lot of people with particular preferences (re-entrant vs linear tuning, soprano vs tenor, matte finish vs gloss, koa vs mahogany vs exotic wood combinations) and they like to tease each other about their preferences. They are all "real" ukuleles, even baritones. :)

This. I tease baritone players incessantly, but the one time I've played one for myself I LOVED it. It's all preference, and the teasing follows :P

Uncle Rod Higuchi
12-22-2011, 05:26 AM
What with the plethora of variations on the theme of "ukulele", it will be difficult for me to offer a 'definition/description' suffice it to say, if I can tune it to GCEA and have fun playing it, then
it's a ukulele (or uke-like) to me.

My preference is for Soprano and Concert scales, but I also want a more mellow tone, without
having to use a low G - although I'm not strictly opposed to doing so.

keep uke'in',

mm stan
12-22-2011, 05:32 AM
Doesn't matter to me ...I'll play any uke and be happy...

PoiDog
12-22-2011, 06:18 AM
mmmmmm burgerz and gay men! yum!


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7VJHZo06jFw

By the way ... totally gnarly vid :)

And was that really a jar of something called "baconaisse" at the end? Oh god, I think it's the end ...

Plainsong
12-22-2011, 06:20 AM
I always find uke purists to be hilarious and not in a good way. If it is x y and z, only then is it a uke. Otherwise it's a small guitar.. Guitar said as a swear word. The uke itself is derivative, so being a purist about something derivative is a bit insane IMO. Also, without fail, a self-defined uke purist always looks in need of something removed from the posterior orifice. I've met plenty, and they're all the same. They act like baroque music theorists on the issue. No wait, theorists have more sense of humor.

Sure we might have preferences, but if you don the tweed coat and glasses at the end of your nose while discussing passionately what a proper uke is, it's time to check yourself, and learn to relax with a good uke... That has ears.

poppy
12-22-2011, 07:48 AM
When does a violin become a viola?
When does a tenor guitar become a uke lol.
or is a parlor guitar a guitar and a tenor a big uke?
and on and on someone sometime set parameters on it all im sure but forgot to write it all down or did they lol.
I'm sure scale length counts and strings. 4 with 2 or 4 extra are still 4's same as a 12 string guitar is still a guitar .
hmmm can a real uke have steel strings ?
seems like real guitars have nylon lol.
And on n on adfinum. geeze is that spelled right ? lol

Ukulele JJ
12-22-2011, 08:16 AM
Luckily, we all agree on how to pronounce it.

:eek:

JJ

deach
12-22-2011, 08:48 AM
Luckily, we all agree on how to pronounce it.

:eek:

JJ
Rogue moderator. Love it.

hoosierhiver
12-22-2011, 08:48 AM
When does a violin become a viola?
When does a tenor guitar become a uke lol.
Sounds like lyrics

Standard tuning hasn't always been the same.

Steedy
12-22-2011, 09:03 AM
Ukulele is not so much an instrument as a state of mind. :cool:

ukuhippo
12-22-2011, 10:12 AM
I always find uke purists to be hilarious and not in a good way. If it is x y and z, only then is it a uke. Otherwise it's a small guitar.. Guitar said as a swear word.

I love guitars, but they're just too complicated for me, I tried and I failed. I gave my guitar away to a friend, bur before I did I removed the two outer string and tuned the remaining strings from ADGB to GCEA. The perfect hybrid with a fascinating sound.

Plainsong
12-22-2011, 10:27 AM
Hey, you just invented the ukutar! Time to patent that bad boy! :D

ukulefty
12-22-2011, 10:48 AM
Ukulele is not so much an instrument as a state of mind. :cool:


Yeah I'm pretty happy with your definition!

OldePhart
12-22-2011, 01:16 PM
Actually, I feel just the opposite - that there is very little elitism in the uke community. My word, you wanna talk about "purists" of any stripe just join almost any guitar forum!

I think it's normal to have one's preferences - in my case the longneck soprano tuned reentrant - and to jokingly describe other choices as somehow not measuring up. But, in the uke community that is just good natured fun while in other groups - especially guitar where there seem to be an awful lot of adolescent egos involved - I've seen flame wars over the brand of strings someone chooses!

But, just to make sure we understand each other...the longneck soprano is what God intended the ukulele to be. LOL

JOhn

Plainsong
12-22-2011, 01:28 PM
Ever seen a uke club invite a luthier from another country... only for the members to get some booze in them and sneer and say "small guitars"? Yeah I guess other fretted instruments have this clique of people too, who consider themselves greater than, but you just don't see it in that often otherwise.

I thought that critics and those that think they are critics in the opera world were snooty (while the actual musicians are not). They have nothing on your garden variety purist. It's gotten to the point now that if someone labels themselves as such, I kind of distance myself. Maybe they don't stick to the stereotype, but they probably do.

But no matter what the instruments, the real musicians are too busy making music to care about all this other stuff.

sweetdemise
12-22-2011, 02:33 PM
Wow, there is a lot of insight on here. Thanks guys.

scottie
12-22-2011, 02:44 PM
When does a violin become a viola?
When does a tenor guitar become a uke lol.
or is a parlor guitar a guitar and a tenor a big uke. . .

I ain't no stinking "purist", but in the modern orchestra:

A violin is tuned G, D (above middle C), A, E. It is written in the G clef
A viola is tuned C (one octave below middle C), G, D, A. written in the C clef.
A Cello is tuned C (2 octaves below middle C), G, D, A. It's written in the bass or F clef.

These occupy different ranges (clefs) on the "grand staff". Each instrument has a somewhat different timbre as well.

The modern ukulele is most commonly tuned:
G (first G above middle C), C (middle C), E, A.

Different tunings can be and are commonly used. Unlike with the traditional string family, there are no rules. Soprano, Concert, and Tenor, however, are technically misnomers because the range is the same unless one chooses to use a different tuning.

ichadwick
12-23-2011, 02:10 AM
What defines an ukulele? Is it tuning, is it size, what makes an ukulele an ukulele to you?
Anything with four strings, with a scale under 20". Bigger than that and it's a tenor guitar.

hmgberg
12-23-2011, 02:47 AM
Actually, I feel just the opposite - that there is very little elitism in the uke community. My word, you wanna talk about "purists" of any stripe just join almost any guitar forum!

I think it's normal to have one's preferences - in my case the longneck soprano tuned reentrant - and to jokingly describe other choices as somehow not measuring up. But, in the uke community that is just good natured fun while in other groups - especially guitar where there seem to be an awful lot of adolescent egos involved - I've seen flame wars over the brand of strings someone chooses!

But, just to make sure we understand each other...the longneck soprano is what God intended the ukulele to be. LOL

JOhn

I agree! I've encountered comparatively little ego competition and few "purists" among ukesters. They seem to be celebratory on the whole... I mean, about everything ukulele: the way they sound, the way they look, it's all good. If I'm a purist at all, it has to do with my belief that if you aren't enjoying the heck out of your instrument, it's not an ukulele.

Except, that is, in John's case. A long-neck soprano is definitely not an ukulele, no matter how much he likes it. You gotta draw the line somewhere. :D

sweetdemise
12-23-2011, 03:12 AM
if you aren't enjoying the heck out of your instrument, it's not an ukulele.

I like that, I think that will be my definition now.

garyg
12-23-2011, 03:15 AM
I think that Freud wrote extensively about longneck players, didn't he Howard? g2



I agree! I've encountered comparatively little ego competition and few "purists" among ukesters. They seem to be celebratory on the whole... I mean, about everything ukulele: the way they sound, the way they look, it's all good. If I'm a purist at all, it has to do with my belief that if you aren't enjoying the heck out of your instrument, it's not an ukulele.

Except, that is, in John's case. A long-neck soprano is definitely not an ukulele, no matter how much he likes it. You gotta draw the line somewhere. :D

strumsilly
12-23-2011, 03:29 AM
But, just to make sure we understand each other...the longneck soprano is what God intended the ukulele to be. LOL

JOhn
But isn't a longneck soprano just a concert with a small body. why don;t we call it a demiconcert?

hmgberg
12-23-2011, 04:50 AM
I think that Freud wrote extensively about longneck players, didn't he Howard? g2

Subconsciously, we all want to marry our mothers and play long-neck sopranos.

Big_e
12-23-2011, 05:39 AM
I'm not really militant about the size of ukulele I get. What attracted me to the uke was the small size and it wasn't until I became involved (infected?) with the uke that I learned that there was such a thing as a concert, tenor, baritone.

As it stands, except for 1 concert size, all my ukes are sopranos and 1 sopranino. I may add a 6 string tenor to the family soon.
Ernest

Dan Uke
12-23-2011, 06:23 AM
Subconsciously, we all want to marry our mothers

Where did that come from Oedipus?? Yikes

garyg
12-23-2011, 06:26 AM
Yes but we don't all play longnecks now do we. Some of us keep it in our subconscious <g>.

Subconsciously, we all want to marry our mothers and play long-neck sopranos.

hmgberg
12-23-2011, 07:14 AM
Yes but we don't all play longnecks now do we. Some of us keep it in our subconscious <g>.

Or in a case.

uke4ia
12-23-2011, 01:49 PM
Actually, I feel just the opposite - that there is very little elitism in the uke community. My word, you wanna talk about "purists" of any stripe just join almost any guitar forum!


I don't agree. I've encountered many elitists in the uke community over the years. There's always someone who's appointed himself (all the ones I've met have been men) the gatekeeper to the instrument, and wants to personally decide who gets to be accepted into the club. Sometimes it's about sopranos or using a high G, but mostly it's a matter of "Only songs from this musical era are acceptable".