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View Full Version : How many Guitar Players play Ukulele?



VaGoddess
09-17-2012, 05:39 AM
Hey Everyone!

I had always wanted to learn the guitar, so I purchased one and devoted a lot of time learning, for about 6 months. I ran across a ukulele video and was interested, so I purchased a concert. I was hooked! Lately, I've been missing the acoustic sound. So, my question is, do you play guitar and ukulele? If I went back to learning guitar, would it be to confusing to try and play the uke, also?

caukulele
09-17-2012, 06:09 AM
Well, I played guitar for over 30 years, then discovered the ukulele.....now it has been months since I picked up the guitar. When I pick up my guitar now, it seems like an elephant to me... I would recommend just sticking with one instrument until you are very comfortable with it, before trying a second, as trying to learn guitar and ukulele at the same time might be too confusing, not to mention muscle memory, etc.... However some people are very fast learners or "natural" musicians and maybe they can do both at the same time....but not me.

weerpool
09-17-2012, 06:39 AM
guilty plus 1. i love the uke but guitar is still my main go-to instrument other than piano.

RichM
09-17-2012, 06:44 AM
Well, I played guitar for over 30 years, then discovered the ukulele....

That's my story, too! Although over the years I have picked up other stringed instruments as well, such as banjo and mandolin. For me, the uke was such a natural fit because I was able to adapt a lot of guitar technique-- heck, even the tuning intervals are the same. I continue to play both, and yes, I screw up sometimes (like playing a guitar D-chord on a uke thinking I'll get D, but instead getting G). But really, I don't find it difficult to switch back and forth, and having both instruments gives me a lot of flexibility at jams.

Garydavkra
09-17-2012, 06:49 AM
I also play the guitar and just started playing the ukulele in June. Like others, I rarely pick up my guitar now. However, I also have a baritone ukulele along with my tenor so that I can play guitar as well as ukulele chords.

mds725
09-17-2012, 06:57 AM
I had a cheapie guitar for a long time that I never learned to play because the spacing of the frets near the headstock was too big for my hands and there were more strings than I had fingers on my fretting hand. The ukulele is much better for my hands (smaller fretboard, four strings). However, I also missed the acoustic sound of a guitar, so after getting comfortable with baritone ukuleles, I bought a tenor guitar, a Blueridge BR-40. Tenor guitars are more typically tuned like tenor banjos (CGDA), the instrument from which they were developed, but they can be tuned DGBE, aka Chicago tuning (like the top four strings of a guitar and typical baritone ukuleles). Mine has Chicago tuning (I didn't want to have to learn new chord shapes), and I'm loving the heck out of it. Here's a video of what they sound like (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2hjsfK69S3w), featuring Jamie of Hot Strings Guitar Shop in Connecticut, where I bought my tenor guitar. He explains the history of the instrument and demonstrates how the tenor guitar sounds on a guitar with typical tenor guitar tuning.

patico
09-17-2012, 06:58 AM
Me too !!
Flamenco guitar player for 15 yrs plus.... all my guitars have been untouched for the last 2 years.
The uku feels so comfortable.

Patrick Madsen
09-17-2012, 07:07 AM
Guitar player for 53 years. uke for one. Since I play sitting down now, I find the uke much easier and really haven't played my guitars much since then.

23skidoo
09-17-2012, 07:28 AM
Played guitar for several years and picked up the ukulele about a year and a half ago..... I probably play a little more guitar than ukulele on average, but I play both a good bit every day..... I find they compliment each other well, especially once I started visualizing the ukulele as part of the guitar fretboard (top four strings, starting at the fifth fret). This really opened up my guitar playing higher up the fretboard, thinking in terms of the ukulele. By the same token, a lot of the harmonic ideas that are more easily explored on the simpler fretboard of the ukulele are starting to find their way into my guitar playing lower down the fretboard - a lot of things that come out very naturally in a given key on the ukulele are easily transposed to the guitar if you think of the intervalic relationships in terms of patterns and shapes - like going from G on the ukulele to D on the guitar.....

As far as learning them both at the same time - give it a shot. I would think they would reinforce each other if you bear in mind the harmonic relationship between the two. If it doesn't work out, you can always stop.....

frets alot
09-17-2012, 07:43 AM
39 years of guitar....started uke this year and love it. Both help with the other. Guitar is still my baby, though.

OldePhart
09-17-2012, 07:59 AM
You might get more responses with "How many former guitar players play ukulele..."

I used my guitar to lead worship while our Worship pastor was on vacation this past Sunday, prior to that I don't think I've touched any of my guitars since picking up the uke a couple of years ago - this after playing guitar quite regularly for about ten years.

I still play bass a lot though because it's my "main gig." If I wasn't playing bass in a band though I probably wouldn't touch those very often anymore, either. THere's just something very relaxing about ukulele and that's mostly why I play - stress relief.

John

Manalishi
09-17-2012, 08:18 AM
Almost forty years a guitar player,could play either
with no problems,but since finding the ukulele, in the
last couple of years I have got rid of all my guitars!

BIGDB
09-17-2012, 08:19 AM
i played guitar for about 4 years and started playing uke this year

mikemulqueen
09-17-2012, 08:29 AM
I've been playing Guitar for about 25 years (gigging for about 16 ). I've been playing Uke for around 5 years. It's nice to switch it up sometimes, I'll play my uke for a while then I'll bust out the acoustic guitar to get my fingers a workout. It's good to play both !!!

chrimess
09-17-2012, 08:39 AM
I pretty much quit playing once I had discovered the uke.

vanflynn
09-17-2012, 08:43 AM
I'm now a ukulele player that, on rare occasions, plays guitar

flyingv8
09-17-2012, 09:48 AM
Timebug, me too! I played guitar for over 40 years and since I picked up the ukulele last December I have sold off all my guitars and now striclty play the uke! Wow! I thought it was only me!

drbekken
09-17-2012, 10:53 AM
I'm a piano player, who always played a little guitar on the side. Since rediscovering the ukulele about one-and-a-half year ago (I used to play it when I was a kid), the guitar feels like a huge monster to me. I'll stick with the baritone ukulele from now on - a beautiful instrument that I can take everywhere. The piano is still my main thing, but the ukulele is what I play late at night...so soothing.

fingel
09-17-2012, 11:12 AM
I have played guitar for 20 years, alto saxophone for 32years, and now picked up the uke. Only been playing Uke since June though, but lots of fun.

slackkey007
09-17-2012, 11:13 AM
I'm from Hawaii and started with the acoustic steel string guitar because I wanted to learn how to play Ki Ho'alu ... also known as Hawaiian Slack Key Fingerstyle. Here's a sample of some Ki Ho'alu, courtesy of Uncle Ledward Kaapana:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d5d5vSwl5J8

I focused on learning and playing Ki Ho'alu for 2 years, then picked up a tenor uke. Lost interest in the uke right away because I was so focused on learning Ki Ho'alu. Then acquired another tenor uke a year later ... and the rest is history!!! I'm hooked on playing the uke because it's so fun and much more portable. I still play the guitar ... but not too much.

slackkey007
09-17-2012, 11:13 AM
Oh! Uncle Ledward is a phenomenal uke player as well:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GjBWMKp-Rvc

I enjoy playing both the guitar and the uke! But honestly, I spend a heck of a lot more time playing the uke!

Olarte
09-17-2012, 11:54 AM
My main instrument is Classical Guitar, but Uke is the perfect balance to the seriousness that Classical Guitar commands. :music: ;)

Coleton33Music
09-17-2012, 12:03 PM
I just started guitar in January 2012. But I started ukulele in June of 2011.
My guitar is a Tradition TG500-NAT. I bought it for 100$. But, suprisingly enough, my older brother bought that same guitar for $250. lol. It was his first guitar as well.

To learn both at the same time. Not that bad. Chord shapes are similar, and if your familar with music theory, the chord names are easy to transpose.

That's my 2 cents.

-Coleton

Woodnic
09-17-2012, 12:59 PM
Guitar player for 20+ years. Picked up a uke 2 months ago and fell in love. still play guitar 3 or 4 times a week. But right now it's mostly uke.

And honestly, I think once you learn one string instrument, it makes learning others alot easier.

buddhuu
09-17-2012, 01:19 PM
I've played guitar for about 40 years, mandolin for about 7 or 8 years and ukulele for a few years.

For some time I concentrated on the smaller instruments as they were what I played in a band. Consequently, I fell out of practice on guitar, which began to feel huge and uncomfortable. When I quit the band and started doing more singing solo and at sessions I needed guitar again (some songs prefer guitar accompaniment rather than uke). After a while I got to the stage where all the instruments feel equally comfortable.

If you play more than one instrument you need to practise them all as much as you can. If you concentrate too much on only one then confusion can set in and what you learned on the other instrument(s) can get displaced and forgotten.

But there's no reason not to play guitar and uke. That gives you a fine arsenal of accompaniment options, and the two have related tunings anyway, so chord shapes seem at least partly familiar.

PoiDog
09-17-2012, 01:24 PM
Seems like the overwhelming response is that a bunch of folks who've been playing guitar for a long while recently decided to give the uke a try and like it a lot!

I'm one of the very few (it seems) who is going the other way. I started with the uke, and have moved on to start learning the guitar. And, since events have conspired to have me uke-less for a while, I am now basically temporarily playing six strings excluseively

As to the original question, I haven't found the transition all that difficult. There are some growing pains in terms of the size of the guitar, as well as the closer-spaced strings and the two extra ones, but really the mechanics are essentially the same. Once you start to get comfortable with the different chord shapes, things start to flow.

And, what's nice is I don't find moving between the uke and guitar difficult at all. They are different enough so that once I'm playing one there's no confusion. I can switch and play either without much loss of ability.

It leads me to suspect that if I was so inclined (and could afford it) I could try to learn mandolin, banjo, or any other fretted string instrument and be able to approach the process with confidence.

1937Scott
09-17-2012, 01:38 PM
Well,

How's that for a hodge-podge of confusion?

I am also a 30+ year guitar player (reformed, as it were) that has forsaken six strings for four and I'm much happier playing ukulele.

You said you like the guitar sound. If that's the sound you like, you might want to stay with guitar for a while. --Maybe pick up a travel guitar, the size is smaller, but the sound is not. You've got the Martin, Washburn, and then the smaller steel-string Taylor which looks like a 1/2 or 3/4 classical. The Washburn action usually needs some set up, but is is a laminate with spruce top and a very curved/arched back. It has a big sound with a small body, and still six strings.43036

Jcollazo
09-17-2012, 02:34 PM
I've played guitar and bass (jazz, big band and blues) for about 43 years. I play daily and gig several times a week. I started with the ukulee this past February as a way to teach the grand kids music. As they get older , they're all 5 and under, I'll transition them to piano and guitar.

Roselynne
09-17-2012, 08:50 PM
This June I started up with guitar again (nylon string) after an, oh, 40-year hiatus. Two weeks after that, I picked up a steel-string dreadnaught so I could learn flatpicking and make chime-y noises.

Aaaannd, two months or so after that, my soprano ukulele arrived. It's my "Now for Something Completely Different" instrument. I expect it will eventually be joined by a concert and maybe a tenor. I could use a smaller travel guitar, too. But my checkbook and I are in no hurry.

(Unrelated Question: So, just what is this GAS/UAS of which so many of you speak?)

I'm also trying to learn theory and music reading. Playing two different instruments definitely speeds up my progress.

I try to practice on at least one guitar, along with the ukulele, 7 days a week. At first, the ukulele felt like a delicate thing fashioned from origami and spiderwebs, but now it just feels comfy, and the guitars still don't feel monstrous.

TheCraftedCow
09-17-2012, 10:19 PM
May I point out a major misconception> The two instruments are NOT different. A guitar with a capo on the 5th fret is ADGCEA. There is a fellow at the Friday night Bluegrss jam who always playes capoed up at the 5th fret. He knows the chord shapes and names to play in any key a 4th higher than the rest of the guitars. While others are playing root position chords , he is playing 2nd inversion chords. I just smile at him playing his guitarlele. An overlay of a ukulele fretboard placed over a guitar fretboard very graphically shows the inter-relationship. I have done it with a section below where the guitar tab numbers are also shown as ukulele tab numbers.
Middle C is marked with a C* so people using it can rcognize a common point between the two different instruments and a tone generator or a piano keyboard.

It takes three tones to make a complete major chord. the 1-3-5 the 4th string will repeat one of those positions. Mix it as 3-5-1 or 5-3-1, and you have covered all of the permutations of a major chord. I leave my guitar at home, because I can pack four ukuleles with different sounds easier than I can even one guitar. I can play it at construction sites or long trains without running down the window and sticking the neck out the window in the rain. Convenience makes the uke a sensible choice.
Nashville mentality says "ain't no money above the 5th fret." There are so many guitr chord which can only be played on four strings because it takes all four fingers to cover different , and therefore all 6 is not possible. Who says so? Grif Hamlin, an on-line guitar teacher.

Ukeval
09-17-2012, 10:43 PM
I do play guitar (classical, since age of 11) then lute, banjo, ukulele, balalaika, harp... Well I like to pluck stringed instruments... Why choose only one ?

gtomatt
09-18-2012, 08:29 AM
Guitar over 30 years, uke about 4 years. Switch back & forth depending upon mood and other available players

Guitars:
'82 Gibson Custom Les Paul
'06 Gibson SG
Early '80's Strat (heavily modified)
Mossman Golden Era acoustic '70's

Ukes:
Oscar Schmidt OU-2E
2011 Kamaka HF-2
2012 Emil Bader mango soprano

Roselynne
09-18-2012, 03:04 PM
Guitar and uke are indeed close siblings, and the piano is a hammered-string cousin of theirs, a few times removed. But there's a lot of difference in sound and timbre between them, even when the same notes are played.

Capo on the guitar and low-G on the uke can close much of the gap between the two. But unmodified, they are different instruments, each with its own set of potentialities. I played my capoed nylon-string guitar in a uke-ish way for a time, then I decided to get an actual uke. To my ear, my soprano uke sounds way different from even a highly capoed guitar, especially with my favored re-entrant tuning. Guitars also have a lot more sustain than a uke -- which I don't always want.

I have tried guitar arrangements on uke, and vice-versa. They work pretty well, but most often, at least a bit of tweaking is often required.


May I point out a major misconception> The two instruments are NOT different. A guitar with a capo on the 5th fret is ADGCEA. There is a fellow at the Friday night Bluegrss jam who always playes capoed up at the 5th fret. He knows the chord shapes and names to play in any key a 4th higher than the rest of the guitars. While others are playing root position chords , he is playing 2nd inversion chords. I just smile at him playing his guitarlele. An overlay of a ukulele fretboard placed over a guitar fretboard very graphically shows the inter-relationship. I have done it with a section below where the guitar tab numbers are also shown as ukulele tab numbers.
Middle C is marked with a C* so people using it can rcognize a common point between the two different instruments and a tone generator or a piano keyboard.

It takes three tones to make a complete major chord. the 1-3-5 the 4th string will repeat one of those positions. Mix it as 3-5-1 or 5-3-1, and you have covered all of the permutations of a major chord. I leave my guitar at home, because I can pack four ukuleles with different sounds easier than I can even one guitar. I can play it at construction sites or long trains without running down the window and sticking the neck out the window in the rain. Convenience makes the uke a sensible choice.
Nashville mentality says "ain't no money above the 5th fret." There are so many guitr chord which can only be played on four strings because it takes all four fingers to cover different , and therefore all 6 is not possible. Who says so? Grif Hamlin, an on-line guitar teacher.

VaGoddess
09-22-2012, 05:48 PM
I'm a piano player, who always played a little guitar on the side. Since rediscovering the ukulele about one-and-a-half year ago (I used to play it when I was a kid), the guitar feels like a huge monster to me. I'll stick with the baritone ukulele from now on - a beautiful instrument that I can take everywhere. The piano is still my main thing, but the ukulele is what I play late at night...so soothing.


What steps did you take when learning the baritone uke?

myrnaukelele
09-22-2012, 07:22 PM
I've been playing both guitar and uke for over 30 years. But mostly guitar. Until a couple years ago when I switched and now I play mostly uke. I love my baritones and have two - one tuned DGBE and one tuned GCEA. And I have lots of fun with my sopranos. I just ordered Southcoast strings for a 6 string concert I found on eBay and am looking forward to figuring that uke out. I think you should learn both instruments if you have time. Learning one will help you figure out the other.

pakhan
09-22-2012, 08:57 PM
Yup, count me in. I'm a big guitar-head...

ichadwick
09-23-2012, 05:19 AM
Hey Everyone!
...my question is, do you play guitar and ukulele? If I went back to learning guitar, would it be to confusing to try and play the uke, also?
Yes, I play both, but I stopped playing six-string guitar after more than 40 years, when I took up the ukulele. Recently, I've added tenor guitar to my musical mix.
It is like a long-scale baritone uke (I use DBBE tuning). That gives me an instrument with steel strings, full, rich sound, and a longer neck, without having to learn anything new or fiddle with extraneous strings.

Markr1
09-23-2012, 07:46 AM
I've played guitar for 27 years and used to have GAS. I still have about 10 guitars. I found the ukulele a little over a year ago and found it fairly easy to learn minus having to change the strumming methods using finger or fingers versus thumb or pick. I quickly developed UAS which I believe I'm over now haven't bought any in a few months. I spend most of my time with the uke now but still go back to the guitar from time to time. I've found that the uke is a lot more fun and relaxing then the guitar and love the unique sound I get from it. Guitars are cool but ukuleles are really cool too.
I do get funny looks from people sometimes in this area I live when I say I play ukulele. They Ask you play what?

J-dawg5
09-23-2012, 11:07 AM
yeah i was once a guitar player in my dark years(only about 9 month ago):o, but now with my uke i play guitar only when i want to play a song strickly for guiar. i prefer uke, its much more peacefull and beautiful:)
Uke for life:) :shaka:

kissing
09-23-2012, 04:34 PM
The ukulele was the first stringed instrument that I learned properly (excluding violin in Kindergarten, which I have no memory of how to play now :) ).

I also play Bass guitar and Tenor guitar now.
Well the Tenor guitar is tuned DGBE like a baritone uke, so it's still played similarly to a uke. It's basically a 4-stringed guitar tuned baritone uke.

I have issues going for more than 4 strings =\
But I can still have "guitar sound" with uke playability.


And Ukulele helped me learn bass guitar easily. Perfect for rhythm/accompaniment.

webby
09-23-2012, 11:56 PM
How many Guitar Players play Ukulele?

140,279,428

Rubio MHS
09-24-2012, 03:12 AM
I play a ton of musical instruments, as you can see from my sig, but my first instrument was the drums; when I was a music major in college, my major instrument was orchestral percussion. I took a semester of piano and was hooked. I tried learning the guitar - heck, I even worked as a guitar teacher once - but I never got hooked on it the way I did with the piano, drums and ukulele.

OldePhart
09-24-2012, 07:26 AM
How many Guitar Players play Ukulele?

140,279,428

Finally! A real answer! :)