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Pukulele Pete
01-13-2012, 12:47 AM
Most new soprano ukes come with extended fretboards and I really dislike the way they look and I'm pretty sure I will never be playing past the 12th fret on my soprano. My question is - does anyone play past the 12th fret on their soprano ? Do you really need the extended fingerboard?
For me , the extended fretboard gets in the way when strumming and fingerpicking.

kissing
01-13-2012, 12:53 AM
On an electric soprano, perhaps.
But not on an acoustic soprano.

Although I don't mind the looks of an extended fretboard.. adds a bit of sophistication.

But then again, an extended fretboard is (theoretically) only useful if the soprano also has a cutaway... but they're uncommon.

MisterRios
01-13-2012, 01:40 AM
It's funny, I was playing past the 12th fret on my Ohana Pineapple (which has 14 frets, by the way), and suddenly wished I had a cutaway. Then I remembered I was just messing around for fun- not actually playing seriously, so that wish vanished.

I honestly think a soprano uke looks more sophisticated when it stops at the 12th fret (at the body).

Olarte
01-13-2012, 01:59 AM
I do play up there once in a while.

I don't know about regular sopranos, but I like the super sopranos with a tenor neck, like the Pineapple Sumday...

A soprano with a tenor neck, will have wider frets, and the sound on the upper frets will have more "ring" to them.

Chris Tarman
01-13-2012, 02:00 AM
I don't agree about the looks. I have a new Kiwaya KTS-7, which is modeled after a Martin Style 3, as well as an actual Martin Style 3 and a Gibson Uke 3, which are both from around 1930. They both have 17-fret fingerboards. It's hard to top either of those for sophistication in looks. Do I play up there? No, not really very often (single notes once in a while, but not much for chording). Still, I love the look. I also love the look of shorter fingerboards. My other two old Martins have fingerboards that end in the "normal" place.

Pukulele Pete
01-13-2012, 02:23 AM
I love the looks of the KTS-7 ,Martin style 3 and gibson style 3 . I would love them more , with a "normal" fretboard length like a Martin Style O, 1 , or 2 .
I just don't see the need for the extended boards. Is it just me ?

Chap
01-13-2012, 02:45 AM
It's not just you. I've never liked fretboards that extend down the body. Not sure exactly why, but it just doesn't feel right to me.

When I ordered my Mya-Moe longneck soprano, I had them cut the fretboard as short as possible, which ended up being 14 frets. (It still had to overhang some, to cover the dovetail)

-Chap

micromue
01-13-2012, 02:50 AM
Back in the days when Ukuleles where really hard to buy in Europe (actually only about 10-12 years ago) I have been searching manically for a soprano uke with an extended fretboard. In our realms they where pretty uncommon but I thougt I really needed that extra space for taking "the next step" in my playing skills. When I finally found one (a Tennessee Oahu :o) I realised: There is not a single song I like to play that needs more than 12 frets.:(

ChrisRCovington
01-13-2012, 03:41 AM
I can't seem to figure a way to reasonably get my hands down past the 12th fret while playing a song. When I do get it past there the strings don't really sound that great anyway. I think if you want to play past the 12th you need a bigger and/or cutaway ukulele. I'm sure there are some folks who can do it and do it well, but it seems like a lot of effort with little reward for me. I dunno. As for looks... that depends on the instrument. Some look really cool and some look kinda junky. What I don't really like is a fretboard that just ends in a straight line cut. I feel like it looks incomplete. Some little curve or tail or something please.

janeray1940
01-13-2012, 04:54 AM
My question is - does anyone play past the 12th fret on their soprano ?

I do, so much so that I will not even consider owning a soprano that has fewer than 15 frets.

My first "nice" uke was a Koaloha Pikake soprano, with 12 frets. When I started playing I thought the same thing as you, that I'd never be playing past that. Within about 2 months I had learned otherwise. I find I use the 13th fret a lot.

Lori
01-13-2012, 06:32 AM
I definitely need more that 12. I like melodic fingerpicking, and often need frets 13 and 15. It is not always a difficult song that needs those notes, either. Ever try to approximate the 15th fret on a 12 fret instrument? It is possible, but the tone is not as clear as a nicely fretted note.

–Lori

mm stan
01-13-2012, 06:43 AM
Going up the fretboard is nice and all...but I prefer first and second chord positions because the notes seem to resonate and substain better....plus cramping my fingers on a soprano is
really not my style....

UkueBass23
01-13-2012, 08:19 AM
Agree with PU, that's why I looked for (and bought) a standard KoAloha soprano, not one with the extended neck. My Islander has more frets and I never use them and find that I often hit that section of the fret board when strumming. It is probably the only thing that I don't like about my Islander (and there are a long list of likes).

ukecantdothat
01-13-2012, 10:25 AM
An extended soprano is really more like two extra frets at the headstock end. Think of it like a concert neck on a soprano body - like having the concert feel with the "classic" Hawaiian ukulele sound. I had a Lehua extended soprano that ended in an untimely demise. Thanks to hoosierhiver for suggesting I recycle the neck to a cigar box! I don't think of it as an extended soprano, just call it a concert CBU. Scale-wise it's identical to my concert.

Chris Tarman
01-13-2012, 12:04 PM
Most new soprano ukes come with extended fretboards and I really dislike the way they look and I'm pretty sure I will never be playing past the 12th fret on my soprano. My question is - does anyone play past the 12th fret on their soprano ? Do you really need the extended fingerboard?
For me , the extended fretboard gets in the way when strumming and fingerpicking.

Watch this guy...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7oD2QxuZFs8&feature=plcp&context=C32b530eUDOEgsToPDskJi7UIgj9yOdsi-r4PBiKmb

ukecantdothat
01-13-2012, 12:17 PM
Then watch this guy...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RcQYt7xvA8M

hmgberg
01-13-2012, 02:33 PM
Watch this guy...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7oD2QxuZFs8&feature=plcp&context=C32b530eUDOEgsToPDskJi7UIgj9yOdsi-r4PBiKmb

Yes, indeed! Hef never ceases to amaze. He needs those "extra" frets to play ragtime, especially because he transcribes for the ukulele from piano music. And, ukecantdothat posts Roy Smeck next. Another marvel. Different types of music though. Just more examples of what a versatile instrument the ukulele is...and why there is rarely consensus with these which-is-better threads.

hmgberg
01-13-2012, 02:39 PM
Then watch this guy:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ASGPPAK-p7w

Chris Tarman
01-13-2012, 03:07 PM
Then watch this guy...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RcQYt7xvA8M

Yep. That's been on my favorites list on YouTube for ages. I'm not saying amazing players HAVE to have the extended fingerboard. Just that some people DO use them.

hmgberg
01-13-2012, 05:02 PM
Okay, the thread is specifically about sopranos, so my John King post should not be included (it's a Joel Eckhaus concert/Stradelele); try this one instead:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q7eCz8SC86U

While you're at it, watch this guy, too:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3vjWpOTNI6E

Chris Tarman
01-13-2012, 05:19 PM
Okay, the thread is specifically about sopranos, so my John King post should not be included (it's a Joel Eckhaus concert/Stradelele); try this one instead:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q7eCz8SC86U

While you're at it, watch this guy, too:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3vjWpOTNI6E

Love both of those!

Ukuleleblues
01-13-2012, 06:03 PM
I am not making this up, I have an old harmony uke with a real thin fret board and I"ll play it past the fret board end when pickin. I'll fret the string on the body like a fretless bass. It's a 12 sting to the body fret board. I agree with the getting in the way while strumming for extended FBs. I have a real nice uke with an extended fretboard, it is something I have to strum around. Next uke I make will have a thin fretboard that has a 14 fret body joint

joejeweler
01-13-2012, 07:43 PM
I definitely need more that 12. I like melodic fingerpicking, and often need frets 13 and 15. It is not always a difficult song that needs those notes, either. Ever try to approximate the 15th fret on a 12 fret instrument? It is possible, but the tone is not as clear as a nicely fretted note.

–Lori

Lori,....i believe you play a tenor (if i remember correctly), so the 15th fret makes sense. A regular scale soprano just doesn't have much tone, volumn, or sustain up there. 17 or more frets on a 13" or shorter scale soprano even less sense.

For me,......a concert scale in the 15" to 15.25" scale can make use of those upper frets, however. I use them on my concerts.

Lori
01-14-2012, 06:23 PM
Lori,....i believe you play a tenor (if i remember correctly), so the 15th fret makes sense. A regular scale soprano just doesn't have much tone, volumn, or sustain up there. 17 or more frets on a 13" or shorter scale soprano even less sense.

For me,......a concert scale in the 15" to 15.25" scale can make use of those upper frets, however. I use them on my concerts.

I play all sizes now, depending on the song... even baritone. I can't do barre chords + extra fingers comfortably on a soprano past the 5th fret, but some melodic songs work fine with individual notes and simple 2 or 3 note fingering higher on the neck. I love the small size of the sopranos, and it can be beneficial for those 5 fret stretches on the left hand, but I find a longer neck very helpful. I don't think I could make do with just one uke for all songs. Some sopranos sound better than others when played at the highest frets. Strings can make a difference as well.
I don't think strumming high on the soprano neck sounds very good, so if you only want to strum, only 12 frets makes a lot of sense.
–Lori

Ted4
01-14-2012, 07:00 PM
I too sometimes play past the 12th fret. I need 15. I have also become a convert to radiused fretboards rather than flat.

Olarte
01-14-2012, 07:07 PM
You want nice tone up there? Try a KoAloha Pineapple Sunday or Soprano Tenor neck, they are great!


Lori,....i believe you play a tenor (if i remember correctly), so the 15th fret makes sense. A regular scale soprano just doesn't have much tone, volumn, or sustain up there. 17 or more frets on a 13" or shorter scale soprano even less sense.

For me,......a concert scale in the 15" to 15.25" scale can make use of those upper frets, however. I use them on my concerts.

GKK
01-15-2012, 06:26 AM
I really like the look of an extended fretboard!...Makes the soprano look more sophisticated and less like a toy. :)

My wife and kids bought me this Kala KA-SLNG Long Neck Soprano since I wanted a smaller uke to practice George Benson's "Breezin" when I'm in my room, which requires the 15th fret.
http://i80.photobucket.com/albums/j179/karengarret/IMG_1031.jpg