PDA

View Full Version : Buying uke for a child



Normagal
12-04-2012, 04:36 PM
Can't believe I'm planning this...but I'm getting a uke for my 5 year old granddaughter. Not sure how great an idea it is - but the girls love mine. They are not real careful with things at their house. Anyway, I'm thinking getting a pink Makala Dolphin for her. Any other ideas? Not like she can really play, but cheaper ones aren't much cheaper, and at least a Dolphin won't sound terrible.

Steedy
12-04-2012, 04:47 PM
A pink Dolphin sounds perfect for a little girl. But wait, you said girls, so you might need to order more than one uke. :)

fitncrafty
12-04-2012, 05:07 PM
I bought my daughter a makala dolphin from uke republic.. its purple and it sounds pretty good. She's had it for about a year or more and now is ready for an upgrade. I don't think you can go wrong.

cahaya
12-04-2012, 05:08 PM
The Dolphin comes in 3 different types 1) solid colour 2) burst and 3) sparkle. The sparkle costs a bit more.

EDIT: "girlS..." you said? I agree with Steedy, you might need to buy more than one :)

roxhum
12-04-2012, 05:48 PM
I bought my granddaughter a red dolphin. She is only four and she knows the basic chords.

shermdog
12-04-2012, 06:39 PM
Normagal,

I got both my niece (7 yrs.) and nephew (3 yrs.) an ukulele for Xmas. Now, they haven't had a chance to play them yet (obviously), but one thing you might consider is whether they are ready to seriously take on a musical instrument. My niece already has experience playing an instrument, and she will do great on an ukulele. Because of this, I bought her an ukulele from a retailer who does proper set up. This will give her the best chance of playing well and ultimately keeping up with the ukulele.

My nephew on the other hand, is not ready to seriously learn how to play an instrument. This doesn't mean he won't get anything out of making noise on the ukulele, but because of his stage of development, I decided to go a bit cheaper on his ukulele since I know he'll bang it around, it will take more abuse, and he doesn't yet have the patience to really learn to play.

I'm sure whatever you decide on, she'll love it.

Normagal
12-05-2012, 12:42 AM
She's not ready to really learn. But if I go cheaper, I don't know what to buy, and I don't want something that sounds awful. I'm only getting one uke, the plan is for her sisters to get a keyboard and a xylophone. It's her parents plan...I know I'm wondering about if her older sister wouldn't have liked a uke too.

Ophelia
12-05-2012, 01:20 AM
She's not ready to really learn. But if I go cheaper, I don't know what to buy, and I don't want something that sounds awful. I'm only getting one uke, the plan is for her sisters to get a keyboard and a xylophone. It's her parents plan...I know I'm wondering about if her older sister wouldn't have liked a uke too.

Get her a pink sparkle dolphin :D she may ruin it and she may not, but I think that the possible benefits outweigh the risk personally. My nieces and nephews also don't really look after their stuff, so I keep a couple of the cheapie spruce-top sopranos and a mahalo LP at my parents house for them and they LOVE them :) actually my four year old nephew has learning problems, and getting him to whack a few notes is the only way to get him to come out of his shell!

You're either gonna lose a few dollars, or give a child the gift of music :D

anthonyg
12-05-2012, 01:31 AM
She's not ready to really learn. But if I go cheaper, I don't know what to buy, and I don't want something that sounds awful. I'm only getting one uke, the plan is for her sisters to get a keyboard and a xylophone. It's her parents plan...I know I'm wondering about if her older sister wouldn't have liked a uke too.

Depends on how the girls get along. I gave both my nieces ukulele's last christmas yet due to competition between them the younger one hasn't really taken it up yet. In their case its better for them to be learning different instruments although I haven't given up on the younger niece taking the ukulele up later.

Anthony

bazmaz
12-05-2012, 02:08 AM
Bought my daughter a dolphin when she was 2 years old and even then she would sit with it on her lap and strum it.

She is now 3, and holds it properly and is trying to get fingers around the neck.

Its all good re getting her used to handling an instrument. No rush on her learning, reckon she will pick that up when she is ready

cahaya
12-05-2012, 02:33 AM
She's not ready to really learn. But if I go cheaper, I don't know what to buy, and I don't want something that sounds awful. I'm only getting one uke, the plan is for her sisters to get a keyboard and a xylophone. It's her parents plan...I know I'm wondering about if her older sister wouldn't have liked a uke too.

Ouch, the parents already decide what instrument they want the kids to play even before the kids know what they want.

If her sister really show any interest in playing the uke, and you feel it is not the right thing to give her her own uke, I would just buy an extra uke and keep it at your place so she could play it when she visit you. That will keep her interested in the uke. And may be one day when she is old enough, she can buy her own uke because she just love to play the uke at her nana's house.

PhilUSAFRet
12-05-2012, 12:49 PM
Last year my Son got his neice a nice "Hello Kitty" uke for half price at Toys'R-Us
Decent little uke for a little price. Actually sounds decent and is playable.

OldePhart
12-05-2012, 03:04 PM
Okay...fair warning...I'm getting on my soap box now... :)

The current crop of Dolphins are very variable - the one I bought was simply awful - it is the only ukulele I've ever purchased that I had to level the frets just to get the action at the nut low enough for reasonable first-position intonation. Also, it's worth noting that some of the reliable uke dealers (i.e., folks who won't sell unplayable junk) who used to sell Dolphins have discontinued doing so in spite of their visual appeal. Other reliable dealers are still selling them but they're taking a loss on them by the time they do the QA and setup that isn't being done at the factory.

If you want the kids to have a toy then buy them the Dolphin from any retailer and they will have fun with it until it winds up in the bottom of the toy box. If you want to set them on the path to truly appreciating music, buy them an inexpensive uke (Dolphin, Lanikai LU-11, etc.) but from someone who will set it up so it is at least playable and reasonably well intonated.

Does intonation matter to a five-year-old? Only if you want them to have some chance of developing a love of making music!

For years I've had a standard question when parents ask me about buying a guitar for their child (I've played guitar far longer than uke).

"Do you want your child to be a musician, or are you hoping that they will quickly lose interest because you want them to be something sensible like a lawyer or engineer?"

They invariably laugh. Whereupon I explain that it's a serious question and explain, "If you want them to become a musician you get them the best instrument you can afford. If you want them to quickly give up on music you buy them the cheapest piece of eBay crap you can find, generally found by searching for 'perfect for beginners.'"

:)

Okay, I'll get off the soapbox, now.

John

Louis0815
12-06-2012, 12:45 AM
@John: :worship:

Besides all that, I found the multicolor strings by Aurora (from a technical point these are just dyed Aquila strings) quite useful for easy learning: every string has a different color - makes it easy for kids to get the finger on the right string even without knowing too much about string numbering and musical notes. "Purple string, second fret" cannot be mistaken, no discussions whether the third string is counted from top or bottom.
But the colors might not "fit" on a pink Dolphin.....
http://wpcdn2.mnbvcx.net/aurora_multicolor-300x145.jpg
They might look better on a more decent soundboard like my Makala Soprano:
http://either.grossor.net/mk-s_bridge2.jpg

cahaya
12-06-2012, 01:30 AM
Okay...fair warning...I'm getting on my soap box now... :)

The current crop of Dolphins are very variable - the one I bought was simply awful - it is the only ukulele I've ever purchased that I had to level the frets just to get the action at the nut low enough for reasonable first-position intonation. Also, it's worth noting that some of the reliable uke dealers (i.e., folks who won't sell unplayable junk) who used to sell Dolphins have discontinued doing so in spite of their visual appeal. Other reliable dealers are still selling them but they're taking a loss on them by the time they do the QA and setup that isn't being done at the factory.

If you want the kids to have a toy then buy them the Dolphin from any retailer and they will have fun with it until it winds up in the bottom of the toy box. If you want to set them on the path to truly appreciating music, buy them an inexpensive uke (Dolphin, Lanikai LU-11, etc.) but from someone who will set it up so it is at least playable and reasonably well intonated.

Does intonation matter to a five-year-old? Only if you want them to have some chance of developing a love of making music!

For years I've had a standard question when parents ask me about buying a guitar for their child (I've played guitar far longer than uke).

"Do you want your child to be a musician, or are you hoping that they will quickly lose interest because you want them to be something sensible like a lawyer or engineer?"

They invariably laugh. Whereupon I explain that it's a serious question and explain, "If you want them to become a musician you get them the best instrument you can afford. If you want them to quickly give up on music you buy them the cheapest piece of eBay crap you can find, generally found by searching for 'perfect for beginners.'"

:)

Okay, I'll get off the soapbox, now.

John

John, you must have picked a banana. Anyway, I bought 3 Dolphins. 2 out of 3 Dolphins needed setup, that is more than 50%. So yes, you definitely need buy them from a store that do setup before passing the uke to the customer.

Oh by the way, Normalgal, The Dolphins are strung with either Martin M600 or Aquila. I actually prefer the Martin strings. They are loud, but not as loud as the Aquila. I find them give slightly higher and clearer tones than the Aquila. The strings are thinner than Aquila too. Pity the Martin don't comes in colours.

Some body in the forum also commented that the Living Water strings go very well with the Dolphin.

ukulele4kids
12-06-2012, 02:32 PM
I like the Makala Dolphin as a starter ukulele for beginner. The kids I teach always start with a dolphin, read a review of it here (http://ukulele4kids.com/2011/08/22/best-ukulele-to-buy-for-kids/). Cheers

ukulele4kids
12-06-2012, 02:43 PM
@John: :worship:

Besides all that, I found the multicolor strings by Aurora (from a technical point these are just dyed Aquila strings) quite useful for easy learning: every string has a different color - makes it easy for kids to get the finger on the right string even without knowing too much about string numbering and musical notes. "Purple string, second fret" cannot be mistaken, no discussions whether the third string is counted from top or bottom.
But the colors might not "fit" on a pink Dolphin.....
http://wpcdn2.mnbvcx.net/aurora_multicolor-300x145.jpg
They might look better on a more decent soundboard like my Makala Soprano:
http://either.grossor.net/mk-s_bridge2.jpg


Nice idea and it looks cool, but in my experience kids are pretty good with numbers too. So give them the correct number for each string, there are only four - 'fourth string, second fret'. The added bonus is they can pick up any ukulele an not be dependent on having the right coloured strings to play it. Cheers

hippowong
12-06-2012, 05:17 PM
I think if you are going to buying the instrument and she wont be able to see it beforehand then yes get the color she likes the most. Though, when I was 5 years old, my parents got me a violin and expected me to play it. Let me say I hated playing it and quit soon after.

When I bought my first ukulele, the nice fellow at the counter told me, that I had to find a uke that I'm in love with. I didn't really get it but it's true and I play my uke at least 1-2 hours everyday. I know that this isn't saying much but many kids begin an instrument and quit it immediately because they aren't in love with it. I think if you are going to have this child stick with the instrument, take her to the store and ask her to pick one out. Having the pure act of a child wanting to get the instrument to play will give her a lot more incentive to keep playing and practicing.

But 30-40 dollars for a Dolphin uke isn't much of investment but that's just my two cents.