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4.6 Love
02-09-2008, 10:34 AM
Hello everyone, I've been thinking about learning to play the ukulele for a few months now and they more I think about it, the more encouraged I get. What's a good starter ukulele? I've been looking around ebay, but don't know what I should get? I saw the Mitchell MU70 at guitar center for $100 bucks! Is mitchell any good? It's a 12 fret ukulele! Is having a 18 fret ukulele better than a 12? I currently play the vihuela...thanks for any help...

Miguel..

Landon
02-09-2008, 10:57 AM
18 is definately better even if your just starting. try looking online for a Kala. they're cheap and are a relatively good brand. perfect for a beginner.

4.6 Love
02-09-2008, 11:30 AM
18 is definately better even if your just starting. try looking online for a Kala. they're cheap and are a relatively good brand. perfect for a beginner.

So you are saying I shouldn't go with the mitchell 12 fret one?

Misguided Musician
02-09-2008, 11:50 AM
18 is definately better even if your just starting. try looking online for a Kala. they're cheap and are a relatively good brand. perfect for a beginner.
I agree, because when you get good you'll end up needing those extra frets. Plus your saving yourself some time.

acabooe
02-09-2008, 02:11 PM
Aloha,

Just wanted to add my 5cents.
You know, I am a beginer too.
I have only been playing the Ukulele for 2 years now.
My first Ukulele, I got off ebay for $22 shipping included ( crap, I know... )
I learned alot on the little guy, but as I got better I found myself limitted by only having 12 frets ( it was a soprano, obviously )
My wife got me a Kala Koa Tenor for my birthday last year ( thanks honey:D ), and it is MUCH better.
The whole thing cost like $280.00 for the Ukulele, a hard foam case, taxes, and shipping to Texas.
So, you wouldn't have to save long to be able to get it.
Not like a Kamaka, ( really good brand ) where the tenor is like $1200.00 I think.
Now, even though I am still a beginer, ( wanna be able to play like braddah IZ someday ) I am able to learn more, because I am not limited.
I don't know your age, but most grownups find the tenor size the most comfortable ( I sure do ).
So, to make a long story even longer:p
I think that a tenor, or atleast a concert would be the best thing to start learning on, so you will be able to enjoy it longer, without having that frustration about wanting to advance, but being held back by a short fretboard.
I hope this helps make your decision easier.
Aloha,
Acabooe:cool:

nikolo727
02-09-2008, 05:36 PM
Most people Learn how to play ukulele on a soprano ukulele becuase they are the easiest to find at a guitar or music store. I started playing a soprano ukulele from kala (I think? haha) then when I wanted to get a better and nicer sounding uke, I got my Lanikai Tenor uke. My Lanikai uke has inlaid abalone shell, a pick-up, rosewood fretboard, and its a full body curly koa design. I would go with the Tenor ukulele for a begginner. I think it sounds much nicer and fuller, than any other uke, and I really love the size of them. Its perfect for me. Go with a tenor uke becuase if you get a soprano uke you will want to get another one if you are into it and I think a Tenor uke, would be the best choice. :)

Landon
02-09-2008, 07:00 PM
So you are saying I shouldn't go with the mitchell 12 fret one?
to answer your question yes. i would get the cheapest tenor you can find.

Curryknight
02-09-2008, 09:04 PM
http://www.musiciansfriend.com/product/Lanikai-LU21T-Tenor-Ukulele?sku=512522

I just got a Lanikai LU21T Tenor just the other day. I am loving it so much. Started w/ a cheapy soprano. Definitely go w/ a tenor.

rayan
02-09-2008, 09:39 PM
It's kind of weird. Tenors are the big thing now I guess because of Jake. Back when me and Aldrine started playing, the Concert Size was the big thing.

4.6 Love
02-11-2008, 06:04 PM
I think I'm gonna go with a concert size...I don't think I'll be needing a 18 fret uke anytime soon...once I learn I'll get one..:)

Fred Miu
02-11-2008, 06:25 PM
It's kind of weird. Tenors are the big thing now I guess because of Jake. Back when me and Aldrine started playing, the Concert Size was the big thing.

im actually thinking of selling my tenor to someone at school and buying a Concert or super concert.

UkuLeLesReggAe
02-11-2008, 06:36 PM
Lu-21T

alright ukulele, i like it heaps... but only 100 so dont expect much

jjsdad
02-17-2008, 07:01 PM
I just joined this board a couple of days ago and was wondering what brands of low-end ukulele's to stay away from. All of them? ;-)

I have a Lanikai Bass which is not bad, but it doesn't have a strap so I can't play it standing up. So, sometimes I'm stuck with my $20-30 el-cheapo soprano by Aloha Royal. I would definitely not recommend that brand.

I'm thinking of buying a tenor and was wonder what brands to look for and what to stay away from on the low-end price range. Also, can you play a tenor standing up and walking around without a strap?

Ukulele_Junkie
02-17-2008, 07:10 PM
I just joined this board a couple of days ago and was wondering what brands of low-end ukulele's to stay away from. All of them? ;-)

I have a Lanikai Bass which is not bad, but it doesn't have a strap so I can't play it standing up. So, sometimes I'm stuck with my $20-30 el-cheapo soprano by Aloha Royal. I would definitely not recommend that brand.

I'm thinking of buying a tenor and was wonder what brands to look for and what to stay away from on the low-end price range. Also, can you play a tenor standing up and walking around without a strap?

U can always get ur ukulele a strap thong tha thong thong thong.
http://i3.ebayimg.com/08/i/000/d7/41/301a_2.JPG

if u like lanikai, u should stick with it. They have a few mahogany models for 100 bucks. Also kala which is a step up from lanikai also with a good selection. not sure about low end models, becuz with those models some may actually sound alright and some may sound terrible even tho ur dealing with the same model.

acabooe
02-18-2008, 04:22 AM
I got my Kala Koa Tenor for less than $300, and that is the Ukulele, hard foam case, taxes, and shipping to Texas.

As far as a strap, you can use the strap thong if you want, but I personally don't like the look of it.

What I did is drilled a small pilot hole in the tail of my Ukulele, and then screwed in a guitar strap button.

I don't like guitar straps, so my wife made me a special strap, that I can use.
I also put a small loop of cloth under the button for my strap to connect to.

On the headstock, My wife sewed another loop with velcro that the other end can attach to.

Hope this gives you some ideas.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v675/mojo_wrx04/DSC07361.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v675/mojo_wrx04/DSC07360.jpg


http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v675/mojo_wrx04/DSC07358.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v675/mojo_wrx04/DSC07359.jpg

Aloha
Acabooe

UkuLeLesReggAe
02-18-2008, 05:43 PM
^^ for reals!!!! less than 300!!!

far that looks soo good, how can i get one?? :) :)

whats that shar tooth thing??

mossyoak
02-18-2008, 07:07 PM
I think you're best off going with a concert, superconcert, or tenor simply because once you get some experience, you may find that you don't have enough frets to play some songs. As for brands, you can't go wrong with Kala, Lanikai, or a lower-end (but still really nice) Pono. If you can go try some out do that, but if not, go for one of those. Hope that helps.

Moak

jjsdad
02-18-2008, 08:26 PM
Thanks for the advice on brands. I found a soprano Lanikai at a music store this afternoon. I played with it for a little while, but it sounded very weak and stringy. Not sure if I'm explaining that right... anyway, it wasn't much better than what I have now except that it stayed in tune going up the frets. Maybe that's just how sopranos sound?? It was $79. I decided not to get it and look around some more for maybe a concert or tenor at some other stores.

Also, I'm really nervous about drilling a hole in my bass to attach a strap. How do I get/make a strap thong?

UkuLeLesReggAe
02-18-2008, 09:31 PM
^ come on!! why is my country the only country that doesn't have ukuleless....... i hate it so much!!!!!!

david98116
02-19-2008, 12:01 AM
Fred, I bought a cheap $50 uke from Costco.com about 6 months ago to see if I would enjoy playing. I saw it mentioned on a forum somewhere with some good comments. I have gotten really good volume and projection out of that thing. The tone is pretty rich for a cheapo uke and after about a week or so the strings pretty much stayed in tune with lot's of playing. No buzzing either! This little concert uke started the fire for me and I just bought a Kanile'a super concert koa today. Point is....cheap is not always so bad to start with if you can find acceptable (temporary) quality. Find one, play it awhile and if you love it...THEN take the plunge. I'm hooked for life !! Already coming down with UAS. Being sick never felt so good though. Aloha.

NukeDOC
02-19-2008, 04:50 AM
Thanks for the advice on brands. I found a soprano Lanikai at a music store this afternoon. I played with it for a little while, but it sounded very weak and stringy. Not sure if I'm explaining that right... anyway, it wasn't much better than what I have now except that it stayed in tune going up the frets. Maybe that's just how sopranos sound?? It was $79. I decided not to get it and look around some more for maybe a concert or tenor at some other stores.

Also, I'm really nervous about drilling a hole in my bass to attach a strap. How do I get/make a strap thong?

you actually play a bass ukulele? or are you talking about a baritone?

Chomperzz
02-19-2008, 05:46 AM
Good point. As a beginner with big hands, I find that the tenor is a better fit.

Good thread!!!

david98116
02-19-2008, 08:16 AM
Damn! I meant that post for 4.6 Love. Fred surely knows his ukes better than me. Sorry.

acabooe
02-19-2008, 08:39 AM
Yeah I really paid less than $300.00 USD.
Taxes, shipping to Texas, a hard foam case, and the Ukulele.
I think it was like $280-290, something like that.

Then I put those decals on, and that was less than $8 for a sheet of them, and I picked the ones that I liked.

That is a Hawaiian fish hook.
My wife got it for me on one of our trips to Hawai'i.
I know that it is made out of a bone of some animal, but I am not sure what animal.
It was originally a necklace, but the string broke.
If you ever go to Hawai'i, go to Aloha Stadium swap meet on Wednesday, Saturday, or Sunday and check them out.
There are alot of venders that sell them.

Aloha
Acabooe:cool:

EleoCasil
02-19-2008, 11:10 AM
Hello everyone, I've been thinking about learning to play the ukulele for a few months now and they more I think about it, the more encouraged I get. What's a good starter ukulele? I've been looking around ebay, but don't know what I should get? I saw the Mitchell MU70 at guitar center for $100 bucks! Is mitchell any good? It's a 12 fret ukulele! Is having a 18 fret ukulele better than a 12? I currently play the vihuela...thanks for any help...

Miguel..
Yah the Kala is a good one! I have it right now.. I think the best to start out with is the concert so you can get use the sound and it doesn't really limit you to how high it can go.

Ukulele_Junkie
02-19-2008, 11:56 AM
Fred, I bought a cheap $50 uke from Costco.com about 6 months ago to see if I would enjoy playing. I saw it mentioned on a forum somewhere with some good comments. I have gotten really good volume and projection out of that thing. The tone is pretty rich for a cheapo uke and after about a week or so the strings pretty much stayed in tune with lot's of playing. No buzzing either! This little concert uke started the fire for me and I just bought a Kanile'a super concert koa today. Point is....cheap is not always so bad to start with if you can find acceptable (temporary) quality. Find one, play it awhile and if you love it...THEN take the plunge. I'm hooked for life !! Already coming down with UAS. Being sick never felt so good though. Aloha.

thing about cheap ukes tho, they don't have that consistency as most custom and high end mass produced ukulele's have. Some in your case sound really good for the price, and there are a few duds. I got stuck with a dud, i bought a lyon concert ukulele. it didn't sound so good. just sounded so empty with a wet sound. I recently let my girlfriend have it and shes making use of it, but i didnt want her practicing on a ugly sounding uke so i had the idea of getting wound C tenor strings for the concert to get a deep end sound. made it sound jus a bit better too.

jjsdad
02-20-2008, 07:08 PM
you actually play a bass ukulele? or are you talking about a baritone?

Right... I meant baritone. Is there even such a thing as a bass ukulele?

My soprano has 12 frets, but the last 2 are pretty useless. My baritone has 18 frets, but I actually regret buying it last year because it's a little too big to lug around. I had thought that since it was smaller than my guitar, that I would carry it around more, but it's stll too big. I should have bought the Lanikai tenor or concert instead. :(

NukeDOC
02-20-2008, 07:48 PM
That is a Hawaiian fish hook.
My wife got it for me on one of our trips to Hawai'i.
I know that it is made out of a bone of some animal, but I am not sure what animal.
It was originally a necklace, but the string broke.
If you ever go to Hawai'i, go to Aloha Stadium swap meet on Wednesday, Saturday, or Sunday and check them out.
There are alot of venders that sell them.

most likely cow bone

i used to have one made of koa. got it back when i was in the navy. back then it only cost me $15. last time i went to hawaii, i couldnt find one for less than $50


Right... I meant baritone. Is there even such a thing as a bass ukulele?

yes there is.

acabooe
02-21-2008, 01:58 AM
Nuke Doc,
Hey thanks for the info.
I knew it was some sort of bone.
I have a hook that is made of Koa too, ( and its string it not broken )
But we didn't pay $50, I think it was about $15 dollars too.
Where did you get yours?
Was it Martin and McArthur?
They have some nice stuff, but they are very expensive.


JJSDAD,
There is such thing as a bass Ukulele, but in my opinion, they look odd.
The strings, and about as think around as a pencil.

Aloha
Acabooe:cool: (Pronounced Ah Kah Bow Oh Ay )

phresh
02-21-2008, 09:40 PM
i started with a hilo. 19.27 at guitar center. haha im still a beginner. but hey it's whatever i get to play on right? my brother got my a concert uke. the mitchel you are talking about. i love it. it's much more comfortable. but uhhh heh im still looking forward to growing and learning. moving from uke to uke. good luck with your decision!

bof
03-02-2008, 05:45 AM
Okay here's my suggestion. Don't start with really cheap instruments. I mean yeah there is this thought that you only want to try playing ukulele and if it isn't fun you didn't waste a lot of money. Well that thought is wrong in my eyes.
I mean firstly, it is an instrument. If I go out to a club or a bar, I usually spend 30 Euros (i.e. 45 dollars), and then if I want to buy an instrument, I only want to invest 20 dollars?
Secondly, it's absolutely no fun playing on these cheap instruments, mahalo and what else their names are. You can't really play on them, they just "untune" themselves after 20 minutes. They just sound bad, the frets are in the wrong places. Why shouldn't you start with an instrument that actually is fun playing. I mean the strings cost half the price of those cheap ukuleles.
And at last but not at least, you can't sell those cheap instruments if you dislike the ukulele. You can always put the better instruments into ebay and actually sell them without making a big minus, if you don't like playing ukulele. And if you like the ukulele, you will buy a better instrument as soon as possible and you will never touch the cheap ukulele again.
And I'm not suggesting to buy a Pono or a G-String as a beginner. Just buy a uke for around 100 dollars. You can get good instruments at that prize category. I for example bought a brueko ukulele for 80 Euros (140 dollars). I really love it. It's massive Mahagony and it stays in tune. The sound is excellent and it's always nice to play on it. It's a German brand and therefore, most of you won't know the name. But it even got positive reviews in britain and the rest of europe. Anyways, a Kala is not that expensive and still nice (though the cheaper ones are not massive wood).

I can tell you all that, because i also started with a cheap ukulele (16 euros). Although it was recommended by many german ukulele players (actually not bad players), and was prepared by a hobby luthier so the frets are in the correct places and the bridge or the neck don't fall off just from holding it, I never used it again after I got my brueko. I actually repainted it and now its hanging on the wall looking nice. It's really much more fun playing on a real instrument.

tad
03-02-2008, 07:54 AM
Good point. As a beginner with big hands, I find that the tenor is a better fit.

And as a novice with what they call "carny hands," I love the fit of a soprano. I can reach any string in any finger position without too much of a strain.

To each his own, you know?

Per the original poster:

I have the Mitchell of which you speak, and I also have a Kala Soprano that I got with a tuner, a case, and a string upgrade from MusicGuyMic. The soprano was, for my money, the much better investment, especially as someone who's just begun playing.

(Also, despite his being MANY time zones away, MusicGuyMic gave me much better customer service than the people at my local Guitar Center...)