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bbbbbkny
12-02-2008, 06:47 PM
Hey! Im Adrian im new to this forum and new to ukulele. For my first song im learning... So Wonderful the one RNRcorp played. I went to Hawaii this summer and got me $23 Leolani Mahogany & Spruce Striped Ukulele. Here's what it looks like: http://cgi.ebay.com/Leolani-Ukulele-Chery-Finish-Stripe-Hawaiian-Hawaii-B25_W0QQitemZ370120890693QQihZ024QQcategoryZ16224Q QssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

My A string popped today. I think im just going to replace all the strings. & I have few questions:
1. What kind is my uke? Soprano,Tenor, Baritone..etc etc.? =X
2. What kind of strings should I get? Please suggest one with a link :P
3. Can I change my tuning heads? these ones feels like they're kinda loose or something because my uke gets outta tune easily. thanks!

Hobgoblin Steve
12-02-2008, 07:16 PM
If you can find an exact model number on the uke, thats helpful, for example, ka-T would mean a Tenor, while ka-C would mean Concert (KA being the brand Kala for my example). Sometimes you can tell by the number of frets as well, although I may be wrong on that.

correct me if I am wrong, but by the looks of your username, might you be from Brooklyn, New York?

Edit: for 23$ I wouldnt invest in changing anything. Try tightening the screws on the heads. What I would use that uke for is to learn your chord shapes, http://www.ukalady.com/Images/UkeChart.pdf is a good link to use for shapes, and when you feel its time to upgrade a bit check out MGM's ebay page, hes got killer deals.
(I have no experience with Leolani ukes.)
Edit again: Alot of people like aquila strings, Ive only tried em once, but they seem good. Theres also some d'addario's in the store for 5$ which I personally like.

bbbbbkny
12-02-2008, 07:25 PM
ooh! thanks. it has 15 frets and I always see B25 next to the name in ebay and amazon. So, I dont know if that helps. Thanks for the input though!

Edit: Can I get the link for that store? :)

Kaneohe til the end
12-02-2008, 08:41 PM
tighten the screws on the tuning pegs and change the strings. other than that, theres not much you can do to make it sound better, after all, it is a $23 ukulele.

ichadwick
12-03-2008, 01:08 AM
Hmmm. A $23 uke. That's even cheaper than the Mahalos that are on sale up here - about $32 CAD. Didn't think they got any cheaper outside of yard sales.

Strings and maybe a better bridge are about all you can do to improve the tone. Plywood has its limits, you know.

Save your money and look into an upscale Kala. Or Lanikai. Or Ohana. You can get something with a solid wood top for under $100.

bbbbbkny
12-03-2008, 05:15 AM
Thanks!
For a beginner, when my uke is tuned it sounds good to me but for all the expert out there it might sound sh*tty. Ill upgrade later on when I feel like I've fully learn/memorize most of the chord shapes. My friend is buying a his first uke but hes already "Ok" with playing uke, he learns songs pretty fast because he plays the guitar. What's a good start-up uke for him?

Edit: what did you mean by plywood has its limitations? im assuming the plywood is the fretboard?

Hobgoblin Steve
12-03-2008, 05:40 AM
Thanks!
For a beginner, when my uke is tuned it sounds good to me but for all the expert out there it might sound sh*tty. Ill upgrade later on when I feel like I've fully learn/memorize most of the chord shapes. My friend is buying a his first uke but hes already "Ok" with playing uke, he learns songs pretty fast because he plays the guitar. What's a good start-up uke for him?

Edit: what did you mean by plywood has its limitations? im assuming the plywood is the fretboard?

Id go with a Lanikai or a Kala, you can find good Lanikais and kalas for cheap, and they sound great. There are reviews on most of the ukes your friend might want to buy in the Ukulele review tab on the mainpage. Also MGM's ebay page is a good place to look for new ukes, hes got great deals, I just got my first Baritone there for about 160 USD. If your friend would rather go through a store, Guitar Center has a store brand of ukes called Mitchell, Ive got a Tenor, it cost me about 100 USD, and I absolutely love it, Ive played high end ukes as well, but I still always end up thinking my Mitchell is better. (although my new Kala is a nice one)
One thing I might add however, Guitar Center always carries Hilo sopranos as well (the 40$ kind). I cant stress this enough; They suck, stay away, spend the extra 60 on the Mitchell.

Lanark
12-03-2008, 06:42 AM
what did you mean by plywood has its limitations? im assuming the plywood is the fretboard?

I believe he was referring to the soundboard.

Your basic cheap uke is going to have a laminate of some kind for the top. (The back and sides as well.) And that's where you have a thin layer of something pretty on top of a compressed layer of spit and sawdust.
Laminates have some limitations as to how much and how long they can translate and amplify the vibration of the strings into sound. That's why it's better in most cases to get a solid wood instrument.

This is going to be especially evident in rather low end instrument.

On the plus side though, when you are ready and able to upgrade you're in for a real treat in terms of what your next instrument is going to sound and play like. You'll be amazed at how much better you play and sound. It'll be a pretty stark difference.

...then comes the UAS (bwah haha haha)

bbbbbkny
12-03-2008, 12:59 PM
I believe he was referring to the soundboard.

Your basic cheap uke is going to have a laminate of some kind for the top. (The back and sides as well.) And that's where you have a thin layer of something pretty on top of a compressed layer of spit and sawdust.
Laminates have some limitations as to how much and how long they can translate and amplify the vibration of the strings into sound. That's why it's better in most cases to get a solid wood instrument.

This is going to be especially evident in rather low end instrument.

On the plus side though, when you are ready and able to upgrade you're in for a real treat in terms of what your next instrument is going to sound and play like. You'll be amazed at how much better you play and sound. It'll be a pretty stark difference.

...then comes the UAS (bwah haha haha)

Thanks! ill keep that in mind! So far all I can play is So Wonderful the one RNRcorp covered/played. Took me a week just cause im not in any way musically inclined. :P I tried guitar but was way too big for me. :] haha uke is better anyways IMO easier to lug around with.

nikolo727
12-03-2008, 02:55 PM
I would go with a mahalo if i were a beginner. unfortunetly i didnt know about UU when I started, so I wouldnt have been led to one, but if your just starting out, i would deffinetely go to musicguymics shop on ebay and grab one of those mahalos.

Lanark
12-04-2008, 02:30 AM
The funny thing is that my first uke was also a Leolani also.

I picked up a super-soprano from closer to the top of their line when we were in Hawaii and for the money, it certainly wasn't too bad. (I think we got the uke and the gig bag for about $125) It played well enough, the intonation wasn't spot on all the way up the neck, but good enough if you didn't play a whole lot of inversions beyond the 7th fret. We just hit a music store and I strummed on every one in the rack until I hit on one that sounded good.

It even kind of held its own against the in-laws 70's Kamaka soprano with the 20 year old strings of indeterminate origin that had been sitting in its case on top of the hutch since my lovely wife was in grade school. (But I'm also pretty sure the fresh set of Aquilas on the Leolani were a big factor.)

But definitely start saving your pennies now while you learn the basics and budget yourself up as nice a solid wood uke as you can when you feel ready to commit and make the leap. You'll really appreciate it.