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View Full Version : Have You Reached the stage where you can be happy playing any uke?



mm stan
02-12-2012, 08:10 AM
Or Do you have a Favorite go to ukulele??

Mine is still my Rogue soprano by my computer.....but I am happy playing any ukulele......weee

OldePhart
02-12-2012, 08:45 AM
I'm happy playing any uke that is set up well...

rem50
02-12-2012, 08:47 AM
I am happy playing any uke but I am finding that I play the concert size a bit more comfortably.

rpfrogner
02-12-2012, 09:24 AM
What an excellent question! I am happy playing any ukulele, but I do have favorites over others mostly for their sound properties when playing certain music. For example some sound better strummed, and others finger picked. Some are brighter in tone, and some are warmer. Some "bark" when played and some "ring" like a bell. To further complicate that, I imagine string choice (along with set up) and playing style likely come into the mix. I am not the best player, but I have a lot of fun playing........so I guess I shouldn't complicate matters. I have fun playing any an all uke's!

ukeofcarl
02-12-2012, 09:32 AM
It's good to play many Ukuleles. And to own many. And to buy more, when I next get paid!

Teek
02-12-2012, 09:32 AM
Yes, because happiness is an inside job, and actually can and should be distinguished from external conditions.

I'm certainly not always happy, but I sure am grateful to have a uke in my hands. If all I had was one of my cheapest beaters, I would really really miss my favorites, but be happy to still have a uke.

I sure can feel the difference in set up, and I prefer concerts and tenors, with slimmer necks. I also like having a light uke that has a lot of sustain and ring, and that is responsive, and which has fat half round frets and bendy strings! So my favorite tenor is my Yasuma, and my favorite concerts are my Donaldson and my Kamaka. So those are my top three.

ItsMrPitchy
02-12-2012, 09:52 AM
Yeah im happy playing any uke but its usually on of my tenors i got to.

weerpool
02-12-2012, 09:55 AM
if it makes me smile on the second strum then its all good

mm stan
02-12-2012, 10:07 AM
What an excellent question! I am happy playing any ukulele, but I do have favorites over others mostly for their sound properties when playing certain music. For example some sound better strummed, and others finger picked. Some are brighter in tone, and some are warmer. Some "bark" when played and some "ring" like a bell. To further complicate that, I imagine string choice (along with set up) and playing style likely come into the mix. I am not the best player, but I have a lot of fun playing........so I guess I shouldn't complicate matters. I have fun playing any an all uke's!
+1....
while I am fortunate to have had the oppertunity to play all sizes, and most qualities, I have learned to adjust to
how to playing them where I am satisfied with any uke..even if I am not the best player..I really still like my rogue soprano and it is a daily player..

808boy
02-12-2012, 10:07 AM
Aloha Stano,
YOU know I love my Mele Tenor but I play all of my other 17, rotating 4 or 5 at a time almost daily. Soon to be 18 ukes, right?
I know which uke I want for a specific song or picking pattern.............................BO............ .......

itsscottwilder
02-12-2012, 10:09 AM
As lone as the uke stays reasonably in tune, I'm a happy camper on any uke.

Pippin
02-12-2012, 10:23 AM
Lately, I have been enjoying my Ovation/Applause uke. I have lots of ukuleles and many are high-end instruments, but it doesn't seem to matter. I just love to play.

Choweet
02-12-2012, 10:24 AM
As long as I set it up. I've only been playing since last August, and when I look back on it, I'm stunned by how much I've progressed. It's been less than a year and I'm progressing on jazz chords and learning how to more properly setup ukes. It is a truly wonderful thing to know that I can buy/get any uke at any low price point and set it up to have it play as if it were much more expensive.

mm stan
02-12-2012, 10:37 AM
Lately, I have been enjoying my Ovation/Applause uke. I have lots of ukuleles and many are high-end instruments, but it doesn't seem to matter. I just love to play.
Aloha Mickey,
You hit the nail on the head...my thoughts precisely..

ksiegel
02-12-2012, 11:52 AM
I enjoy playing, period.

My daily strummers are getting to be the Vita Uke (although I'm waiting for replacement tuners) and the Firefly, especially for noodling. I'll take the Sceptre out when I really want to feel the music - the resonance is that palpable - or once I've gotten the basics of a song down, and I want to develop how I play it. Overall, I still find the Sceptre to be the one I love the most.

In this weather, however (temps can be anywhere from Zero to 50 Fahrenheit about now, and humidity is super low) I'm not taking the Sceptre out of the house. I'm carrying the Fluke around with me when I go places to play, although the Kala may go to Uke Night on Monday, along with the Firefly.

I'm getting better at a soprano neck (Thanks to the Vita Uke), but Tenor still works best for me. On the other hand, put any tunable ukulele in my hands, and I'll happily play it, until I need to give it back.

Music is the destination - playing the uke is part of the journey.

I'm lovin' the journey.



-Kurt

Ken Middleton
02-12-2012, 11:58 AM
The uke that is always ready to play, that I record with most often and take on holiday with me is my old faithful TK-35G. It is definitely my best all-round uke.

uke552
02-12-2012, 12:14 PM
I have really downsized in the last year (for the better). Now all the ukes I own get played on a regular basis but my favorite and go to is a well-worn 1970's Kamaka pineapple.

Plainsong
02-12-2012, 12:17 PM
I can be happy playing anything that is well intonated and feels nice. Lately I've been going most to the Kanilea superconcert, but I'm really happy with the ukes I have, and I'd be happy playing anything that hit those feels nice and sounds nice buttons.

stmace
02-12-2012, 12:18 PM
Well, I'm happy to play around with any uke, but poor intonation and dead notes make for an unHappy experience. So, I'm in the camp of those who indicate that a good setup makes playing just about any uke a "Happy" experience.

Bill Mc
02-12-2012, 12:27 PM
Stan, if I can't play the ukulele I love, I love the ukulele I'm playing.

Hippie Dribble
02-12-2012, 01:11 PM
yep Stan, just love ukuleles fullstop. Don't care if it's a $12 mahalo or a $1000 mya moe, the joy is in the playing and it's the purest joy I know. As long as I have a uke I could be happy anywhere in the world, in any company, rich or poor, in sickness or health.

SuzukHammer
02-12-2012, 03:10 PM
I can't lie. I have my favorites.

GX9901
02-12-2012, 03:20 PM
I'm probably going to sound snobbish saying this, but a uke has to sound good to great to me, with at least decent setup, to hold my interest for an extended period of time these days. For example, there is nothing wrong with my daughter's Makala dolphin (pretty decent intonation and setup), but the sound doesn't excite me enough to play it for very long if it was the only ukulele nearby for me to play.

However, given good sound (to me) and at least decent setup, I'm happy playing soprano~tenor scales, different width fretboards (I used to strongly favor 1.5" nut), and flat or radiused fretboards (feels pretty much the same to me).

mm stan
02-12-2012, 06:01 PM
George don't get me wrong, I love a great sounding ukulele, but I'm talking about enjoyment...and having fun.
I can do it with any ukulele now..I've reach a point where it is a challenge to make any uke sound good by
working on technique and what it takes to make it sound good and still have fun..

TheCraftedCow
02-12-2012, 10:25 PM
When asked what is her favorite orchid, my wife replies, "The one that is blooming."
I have adapted that to be ,"The one I am playing." When we were looking for a concert grade grand piano for our daughter, she sat down at a little 4 foot size that was so out of tune it was pathetic. She laughed at how different it made a Bach Tocatta and Fugue sound. Perhaps we loose some of the joy when we loose our child-like sense of whimsy. I do not care for high actions which hurt my fingers.

Uke Whisperer
02-12-2012, 11:20 PM
I'm at a point now that I enjoy playing several. Sometimes I split each practice session between 2, some times 3 of them, trying to make each one sound as good as the other. I still prefer the Soprano sound but I enjoy playing the Concert and Banjolele too. I'm happy when I play any one of them!
Don't worry, play a Uke and BE HAPPY!

drbekken
02-13-2012, 12:34 AM
I like that cheapo Savannah baritone, now with Aquilas, and the 1950s Harmony soprano I have. But I also have a Stagg US20 soprano, which is surprisingly good. As long as the intonation is fairly decent, I'm happy.

mm stan
02-13-2012, 01:14 AM
Yes Gang, if I can work on the setup and intonation, and tune it..I can enjoy any uke...no matter if it's a 19.99
Hello Kitty with a set up and martin strings..I even find it more fun than my expensive ukes because of the
challenge to make it sound good and know the limitations of it.. where to stay away from and what makes it
tick sweetly if that makes sense..

Papa Tom
02-13-2012, 03:44 AM
I am most comfortable with a standard soprano. When I make the mistake of telling people I play the uke and they suddenly produce a tenor or even a concert-size soprano for me to play, I feel as if I might as well be trying to make music with an elephant. This is even worse if the instrument has the factory-supplied strings on it and they haven't been stretched. I guess I am happy playing any uke as long as it's my own.

lizziep
02-28-2012, 11:49 AM
I love to try out all ukuleles. They all make me smile, but I do have favorites for their tone and playability

mds725
02-28-2012, 12:10 PM
Great question, Stan.

First of all, I've gotten to the point where, to paraphrase Stepehn Stills, and as someone already suggested, "if I can't be with the uke I love, I love the uke I'm with."

Second, my ukuleles seem to have certain assignments: The Kamaka tenor I bought in Kaua'i is the uke I take to both of my uke classes, and it's the uke I perform with when my classes perform. (By the way, come see the Kapalakiko Hawaiian Music Workshop Band at the Ukulele Festival of Northern California on April 1 in Hayward, CA!!) I have a low-G Kamaka tenor that I typically bring to monthly KHWB workshops and sometimes to the bi-weeekly SF Ukulele Rebellion meetups I attend. I play my 8-string when I want a fuller sound, and I used it for the holiday party performance my Japantown ukulele class gave this past December. When the SF Ukulele Rebellion went caroling this past December, I used my Big Island honu tenor (purchased from a UUer) because I didn't want to take my Kamaka out in questionable weather. The other ukes I have (like my new Willie Wixom tenor) I just sort of mix into informal playing situations. I often give Makala Dolphins as gifts, and I play them to break the strings in.

Having said all that, while I have preferences among my own ukuleles and some feel better to my hands than others, I find that I get joy from playing any ukulele, as long as it's in tune.

garywj
02-28-2012, 12:26 PM
I have favorites. The tenor size fits me best. I have a carbon fiber that I travel with because it is not easily scratched or damaged, and sounds very good. Also, the setup and fretboard seems very easy for me to get around on. Other than that I have a couple of others that I play in the confines of my home and use for videos. For me, some are better for strumming and some are better for picking. Also, the sounds vary and sometimes when I start on a song it is obvious to me which uke fits the song best. I could live with one uke, I just don't want to.

kapahulu50
02-28-2012, 02:24 PM
I love picking up the old beater at a friends house that they bought for their kids at the abc store that hasn't been touched in a year, tuning it up, and getting some great sounds out of it. Sometimes it even gets the kids back into it (or embarrasses them!)

angusdegraosta
02-28-2012, 07:21 PM
When I get a good one, it will be either standard or concert - can't even say which just yet. I like the particular timbre and ease of portability of the smaller sizes right now. After that, I may get the UAS frenzy and venture larger. All the sizes are awesome fun to play, so long as the sound is pleasant and the action right.

gritzy59
02-28-2012, 07:45 PM
I'm happy playing any good quality, not necessarily a high quality, but a good quality tenor ukulele