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View Full Version : Seriously, how many ukes are too many



Tigeralum2001
03-25-2013, 07:58 PM
All this talk about UAS has led me to wonder- seriously, how many ukes is "too many"?

hawaii 50
03-25-2013, 08:22 PM
CJ for what ever reason..i like 10..but number 11 has to be super special..or when I get that 11th one I give one of the first 10 to someone..10 sounds like a good number for me..

Mivo
03-25-2013, 08:39 PM
It is heavily individual, but for me I think 3-5 is a good number. I'd be happy with just one, but that is somehow difficult to achieve. :) I prefer to live "lightly" without too much clutter and "stuff", but I also can see why people have or want 10+, especially if they have room and the financial means.

The Big Kahuna
03-25-2013, 08:45 PM
I think it's reasonable to own one Uke for each tuning. So:

Re-entrant
Low G
slightly sharp
slightly flat
a bit sharper
a bit flatter
quite sharp
quite flat
even sharper
even flatter
really sharp
really flat
really really sharp
really really flat
oh, that's nearly in tune
oh, it's gone out of tune again
3-string Ukulele (that's the one with the 2 day old Aquila Red)

Tigeralum2001
03-25-2013, 08:53 PM
I think it's reasonable to own one Uke for each tuning. So:

Re-entrant
Low G
slightly sharp
slightly flat
a bit sharper
a bit flatter
quite sharp
quite flat
even sharper
even flatter
really sharp
really flat
really really sharp
really really flat
oh, that's nearly in tune
oh, it's gone out of tune again
3-string Ukulele (that's the one with the 2 day old Aquila Red)
So your answer is 17?

I seriously wonder how many is too many. Shouldn't a serious uke player have at least one in every scale? What about woods? The numbers can go up fast. When should one thin the herd, so to speak?

hawaii 50
03-25-2013, 08:59 PM
I say pick a number and try to stick to it..my 10 or whatever ukuleles for the rest of my life..when played golf I used to buy clubs like crazy,then I finally told myself it was not the clubs in my hand..it was the guy holding the clubs that was not too good haha

CJ my 2 cents
to be honest kind of hard to predict what I might do LOL

Kyle23
03-25-2013, 09:06 PM
Most of you wont agree, because I know some of you guys have dozens, but anything above 10 in my mind is crazy lol.

tigersister
03-25-2013, 09:07 PM
The perfect number to own is one more than you have currently.;)

Mivo
03-25-2013, 09:11 PM
Shouldn't a serious uke player have at least one in every scale? What about woods? The numbers can go up fast.

Jake just uses his custom for all performances, it seems, and focusing on one or a few ukes probably makes you more intimately familiar with them. Part of why I keep looking at different ukuleles is because I don't really know exactly what I want, and maybe there is some subconscious belief that a better instrument makes one a better player, too. Who knows if the next uke isn't perhaps THE perfect one?

Plus, buying new stuff is fun. :) It's a bit like self-induced Christmas!

marymac
03-25-2013, 09:14 PM
My plan - not necessarily the same as my reality - is that I will keep one of each size uke in low G and one in high G. Not counting sopranos since I don't really play those anyway.

Ideal - 6
------
Concert high g
Concert low g
Tenor high g
Tenor low g
Bari high d
Bari low d

Reality - 8
-------
Anakoneke Custom Cat Koa Concert - high G
Black Bear All Spruce Concert - low G
Collings UC2 Doghair Mahogany Concert - high G
Collings UT2 Spalted Pecan Tenor - low G
Moore Bettah Tenor Koa *angels sing* - high G
Pohaku Art Deco Concert - high G
Pohaku Spruce/Maple Concert -high G
Pohaku Koa Baritone - standard Bari DGBE

Also, my reality number does not include the three vintage ukes I have adorning on the walls of my vintage house.

Just counting players it looks like I have 3 "extra" concerts that I can't bear to sell, offset by being one bari short (don't really need a re-entrant Bari right now.) Just 2 over ideal! Down from the 8-10 over ideal I had at one time. Yay me!

mm stan
03-25-2013, 10:08 PM
Not Sure, you talking to some unreasonable ukers like Kat and I :)......he he

Phooto
03-26-2013, 12:19 AM
I have 11 right now, with one more on order. So, the next purchase will clearly have to be TWO ukes. :o

Harryink
03-26-2013, 12:23 AM
I was voting 3-5, cos that's my current stock (5), but then I realised I wanna get a baritone as well... so that changed my vote!

kegmcnabb
03-26-2013, 02:16 AM
The perfect number to own is one more than you have currently.;)

:agree: LOL - Exactly!

wayfarer75
03-26-2013, 02:19 AM
I answered 3-5. But that's really answering what would be reasonable for me to own. I have a Kala laminate soprano and a Kelii all-koa concert. The soprano is getting ignored. I wouldn't have the time to play 10+ ukes and give each the time it deserves. So what might I add? In the future I would like to get a solid wood soprano (preferably a Kamaka pineapple) and a tenor (wood and brand TBD) to string low G. And then I might get a vintage uke. But for now, my Kelii will be my main uke.

Why don't I have all those ukes right now? Not enough $$$ :iwant:

Dave-0
03-26-2013, 03:17 AM
For me it's one. I'm in the hunt for a vintage baritone and when that happens I will donate my current plinky soprano to a group of Wounded Warriors on FT Campbell that use music as a form of stress relief. I certainly have the financial means to own more but don't see the point.

For me it's the hunt that's the most fun - possibly more than buying. I love looking through ads on Craigslist or the Internet in general and of course I check eBay all the time to see if anything new has come up for auction. I also like visiting pawn shops and estate sales, always looking for that undiscovered gem.

RichM
03-26-2013, 03:21 AM
As long as you have the space to store them properly and the liquid funds to acquire them, there is no limit. Musical instruments are not expenses, they are investments. If you are sensible about how you acquire them, they can generally be turned back into cash fairly rapidly if necessary or desired.

BlueLatitude
03-26-2013, 03:30 AM
When my custom comes in I'll be up to 9. But then I wouldn't need my very first uke any more, so that would make it 8.

And two are vintage so they don't count somehow. (????)

And one of them is my Eleuke Peanut which admittedly I don't play much but it's great to have for travelling.

And one is a Mahalo Smiley uke which is really just for decoration (and eventually practice in doing a basic setup).

And my tenor which is a bit big for me but sounds so nice I couldn't let it go. Plus a friend plays it when he comes over.

At least I don't need any baritones -- too big for me to reach.

I'd still like to add a vintage Martin soprano. And second custom concert. And...who knows????

So no exact number here, but I think I wouldn't need any more than a dozen in various configurations!

Mivo
03-26-2013, 03:36 AM
For me it's one. I'm in the hunt for a vintage baritone and when that happens I will donate my current plinky soprano to a group of Wounded Warriors on FT Campbell that use music as a form of stress relief. I certainly have the financial means to own more but don't see the point.

I would try the "one uke" approach, but first I have to figure out which size and wood I *really* prefer. At the moment, I keep going back and forth between tenor and soprano. I find the soprano size more appealing (it is also less guitar-y), but love the rich, full sound of the tenor. Being a beginner still, I originally thought I would want a tenor just for picking, but then I saw what Wilfried Welti manages on sopranos, so that reason went out of the window (for me).

Maybe I should look into soprano pineapples ... those are supposedly louder and fuller sounding than eight-shaped ones. (I never had a pineapple.)

roxhum
03-26-2013, 03:37 AM
How many ukes are too many? For who? I answered 6 to 10 because that would be too many for me. I have five and for me that is a nice number. But if you can afford it and you like to collect, and have room to store them, then maybe there isn't too many.

guitarsnrotts
03-26-2013, 03:40 AM
You need 1 of each size (except maybe a baritone) than add a few for different body style (pineapple, etc.) and for ones that have more than 4 strings. I guess that's why I'm above the 3-5 I voted for.

Stevelele
03-26-2013, 03:43 AM
I don't think it's a number, it's a circumstance. If it's creating a problem for your wallet, too many. If you don't have any space and it's taking over your living quarters, too many. If you can't remember what you have, too many. And if you aren't actively enjoying what you have, too many. Otherwise, keep on keeping on.

ksiegel
03-26-2013, 03:49 AM
I have 13 currently, and play most of them on a regular basis.

It isn't about "how many are too many", but more if I play one (or see one) that I want, and can afford it, then I'll get it.

When I can get enjoyment out an instrument, or a computer, or a spinning wheel, or my stained glass stuff - and I have the room for it -then whatever I have is worth having and isn't too much.



-Kurt

Cornfield
03-26-2013, 04:35 AM
The optimum number of ukes = current inventory plus 1

Rick Turner
03-26-2013, 04:58 AM
Well, of my collector pals, here are a couple of numbers

Ukulele Dick, aka Rick McKee: Around 250

Sandor Nagyszalanczy: Well over 400

They are dedicated player/collector/historians of the uke, and both have a lot of vintage instruments as well as a great representation of new ones.

Stackabones
03-26-2013, 05:30 AM
To quote the Romantic uke poet, William Blake ...

Enough! or Too much!

Doc_J
03-26-2013, 06:08 AM
Well, of my collector pals, here are a couple of numbers

Ukulele Dick, aka Rick McKee: Around 250

Sandor Nagyszalanczy: Well over 400

They are dedicated player/collector/historians of the uke, and both have a lot of vintage instruments as well as a great representation of new ones.

Thanks Rick! That put the number of ukes most of us have in perspective.

So I don't have too many! :D

The Big Kahuna
03-26-2013, 06:56 AM
Ukulele Dick

I had that. The doctor prescribed a shoulder strap and it went away.

Cornfield
03-26-2013, 07:05 AM
I had that. The doctor prescribed a shoulder strap and it went away.

:music: Bookworthy comment

csibona
03-26-2013, 07:14 AM
For me, I'm pretty happy with the high G, Low G, Banjo ukulele (concert and soprano) and one travel ukulele. Actually, I could probably do without the travel ukulele. But I don't pretend to know how many is enough for a different person...

strumsilly
03-26-2013, 07:31 AM
You need 1 of each size (except maybe a baritone) than add a few for different body style (pineapple, etc.) and for ones that have more than 4 strings. I guess that's why I'm above the 3-5 I voted for.
I hear ya, you need 1 bari for D linear, 1 for D reentrant, and 1 in C . so you need at least 3 baris. I think 10 is a reasonable number. easier to count with your fingers too. I hate to take off my shoes.

kissing
03-26-2013, 03:01 PM
"without going into debt"

Please, I HAVE been in debt due to ukulele impulse purchases, and I never thought for a second I had too many ukes.

UkerDanno
03-26-2013, 03:17 PM
I would try the "one uke" approach, but first I have to figure out which size and wood I *really* prefer. At the moment, I keep going back and forth between tenor and soprano. I find the soprano size more appealing (it is also less guitar-y), but love the rich, full sound of the tenor. Being a beginner still, I originally thought I would want a tenor just for picking, but then I saw what Wilfried Welti manages on sopranos, so that reason went out of the window (for me).

Maybe I should look into soprano pineapples ... those are supposedly louder and fuller sounding than eight-shaped ones. (I never had a pineapple.)

Sounds like you should look at a concert size! Concert seems ideal to me, I started out with a soprano and soon upgraded to a concert. It has a little more room for my fat fingers, and is still ukulele like. I wouldn't mind adding a better quality soprano to my family, just for variety. My original soprano is a Lanakai LU-11 which retails for about $45, sounds and plays fine, though for what it is. I might give it to my grandson if he has any interest.

itsme
03-26-2013, 03:46 PM
I voted 6-10 because that's where I currently fall. I have never sold a musical instrument that I've bought in my life.

I wanted to venture out a bit with ukes, because honestly, they're affordable enough that owning a few of lower-mid range brands won't break the bank.

But at this point I'm happy with what I've got (well, I still don't have a CBU or a banjolele) and would likely do a little thinning of herd if I wanted to step up to a custom down the line.

Telperion
03-26-2013, 03:52 PM
With the exception of "as many as you can afford," which can't be easily factored into the statistical analysis, I wonder if the poll results line up well with how many ukuleles people actually own. In other words, are the responses based on how many we each actually have? This was just a thought I had right after I submitted my answer. As an immediate reaction to the survey, I answered "3 to 5." I own 4 ukuleles.

(Now to start looking for that 5th uke, since I am apparently comfortable with up to 5!")

Dan Uke
03-26-2013, 04:09 PM
With the exception of "as many as you can afford," which can't be easily factored into the statistical analysis, I wonder if the poll results line up well with how many ukuleles people actually own. In other words, are the responses based on justifying how many we each actually have? This was just a thought I had right after I submitted my answer. As an immediate reaction to the survey, I answered "3 to 5." I own 4 ukuleles.

(Now to start looking for that 5th uke, since I am apparently comfortable with up to 5!")

That's dangerous because I am consderably lower than what I voted. :p

itsme
03-26-2013, 04:19 PM
...are the responses based on justifying how many we each actually have? This was just a thought I had right after I submitted my answer.
I don't think most of us feel we have to "justify" how many ukes we have.

Different strokes for different folks, as long as you can afford it, of course. My husband spent more on computers and home theater stuff than I ever spent on ukes.

Hippie Dribble
03-26-2013, 04:25 PM
I don't think it's a number, it's a circumstance. If it's creating a problem for your wallet, too many. If you don't have any space and it's taking over your living quarters, too many. If you can't remember what you have, too many. And if you aren't actively enjoying what you have, too many. Otherwise, keep on keeping on.

This! :old:

Telperion
03-26-2013, 05:12 PM
I don't think most of us feel we have to "justify" how many ukes we have.

A poor word choice. Maybe "rationalize" would have been better. Whatever the case, I didn't mean it as a negative. My comment was more of a contemplation of whether or not the results were a reflection of how many ukuleles people actually owned. I realized after I answered the poll, that my response was in line with my current number of ukes. Whether I own four because I feel comfortable with four, or I feel comfortable with four because I own four is the essence of my pondering.

-Steve

gyosh
03-26-2013, 07:13 PM
I'm not going to be an enabler for you CJ :)

mm stan
03-27-2013, 12:24 AM
When you cannot play them all....then that is way too much....LOL

ickybaby
03-27-2013, 03:19 AM
This is like the "how many licks to the tootsie roll center of a tootsie pop" question which has plagued mankind for decades.

The world may never know.

hobblecreek
03-27-2013, 03:50 AM
When I started down the acoustic road 20 years ago I started with one fairly expensive guitar (to learn on) and it all went downhill pretty fast from there – I had major GAS. Having owned as many as 10 guitars at one time it took a while for me to arrive at the mature realization that I wasn’t really getting the pleasure of playing each guitar “in” and that I couldn’t possibly do each one justice (in terms of playing time). I gave most away to my 5 kids (fortunately they all play) or sold some, kept a couple, bought a couple more, moved on to mandolin and then found the ukulele about 4 years ago. The number of ukuleles I can comfortably play and care for is therefore limited not by “too many ukuleles”, but by the other instruments that need “quality time” as well.

The current list includes the ukuleles mentioned below in the signature line plus:

Guitars: Gibson J-45 Custom; Martin 000-28EC; Taylor 510 Limited
Mandolins: Collings MT2 Blackface; Breedlove Cascade Blonde
Piano: Steinway, Dakota Jackson model

A couple of years ago I finally realized that I had spent enough (meaning: far too much) on musical instruments that I just don’t have the time to responsibly play. (Let’s not even talk about hi fi audio equipment ... .) The upside, however, is that there’s always music playing somewhere in the house – and that makes it all worth while. So, I guess you need to own as many as are needed for that to happen!

TheOnlyUkeThatMatters
03-27-2013, 07:04 AM
I only need two---a soprano and a baritone---so I voted 1-2. (I do love my travel uke, though; I should've voted 3-5.)

I've been feeling like I have too many ukuleles lately---there are ukes in my house I haven't played for months, poor things. To offset my disappointment in myself for repeatedly succumbing to UAS, I try to lend each uke that does't get played at least once a week to a uke-less friend. I like to think those ukes are happier in homes where they have a better chance of being strummed.

Freeda
03-27-2013, 07:23 AM
For me personally I'm trying to stick to around five.

shugabella
03-27-2013, 07:30 AM
I've never been tempted to buy ukes just for decoration. But if I could have as many as I wanted I would probably have, 7 or so. I already have 3 but I would like to have two baritones (GCEA and an octave bari uke) and an electric tenor... But once I get them I might want more.

The Big Kahuna
03-27-2013, 08:05 AM
For me personally I'm trying to stick to multiples of five.

Fixed. You're welcome.

uke42
03-27-2013, 08:20 AM
If it make you happy and keeps you out of trouble then as many as you can afford although someone I know says only one ;)

The Big Kahuna
03-27-2013, 08:41 AM
someone I know says only one ;)

Yeah, I'm married as well.

MtBoy
02-20-2018, 08:39 AM
When you cannot play them all....then that is way too much....LOL

This is one of those great one liners that define 'da uke'. Right there with "The best ukulele is the one you play" (love that one).

So like, I haven't read all 300 pages of this thread but, what about 5 string, 6 string, guilele, 8 string, 10 string tiple ukulele, and all the wonderful tunings (and stringings) that go with?

Jus sayin'.

I have 12. Yes I play them all. Some more than others. I want one more. That's what I tell my wife. Just one more.....

Makala mt-4
kala long neck soprano
leolani bambo concert
islander tenor kstcut
kala cedar top 5-string tenor
cordoba guilele
kamaka hf-1
kanilea 5-string super concert
koaloha imaikalani
kamaka hf-3l
pono mango baritone
noname koa tiple

Lapyang
02-20-2018, 04:35 PM
My brain tells me 8. Each size with linear and re-entrant tuning. Not including mini sizes. My heart says as many as you can afford. (As I was typing, I realized I forgot about the long neck versions of each size. So, 8 is not enough...)

UkeDoxie
02-20-2018, 05:59 PM
I answered 3-5, then I started counting and I have six. I have an antique Banjolele that needs some luthier love, a Firefly Banjolele, Kala soprano (my first uke), a Kanilea soprano, a Ko’Aloha concert and my new Kamaka soprano pineapple. I never play the Kala. Funny thing is, just over a year ago, my husband asked me what I wanted for Christmas and I blurted out “a ukulele.” I had so much fun playing, I asked for a Kanilea for Valentine’s Day. I just kept on asking and I kept on getting. Yay husband! Now if I could just play better.

Croaky Keith
02-20-2018, 10:30 PM
My vote goes to as many as you want whilst not putting a strain on your finances. :)

I thought 3 was more than enough, until I got my 4th; then less than 10, but I ended up with more - they are so addictive when you are starting out. :rolleyes:

But, I have now found my ideal size - & my UAS has stopped - so I was definately looking for the right one all along. ;)

kitsunegarcia
02-21-2018, 01:58 AM
If you have to ask someone if X number of ukes is too much, you have too many ukes! :rolleyes::p

But seriously i picked 6-10 because 3-5 is actually a reasonable number but if you teach students or let other people borrow your uke, you need some 'beater' ukes.

So like:

High g
Low g
Baritone
Your fave size with pickup
You other fave size with pickup
Beater uke you keep in car
Beater uke you keep at work

valde002
02-21-2018, 02:07 AM
CJ for what ever reason..i like 10..but number 11 has to be super special..or when I get that 11th one I give one of the first 10 to someone..10 sounds like a good number for me..

.....+1....

Darylmesa
02-21-2018, 10:30 AM
I would say one of each size and style
Soprano - 1 low g and 1high g
Concert- 1low g and 1 high g
Tenor - 1 low g, 1 high g, 1 dGBE and 1 DGBE
Baritone - 1 dGBE, 1 DGBE, 1 gCEA and 1 GCEA
Metal string electrical
Banjo uke
Uke bass
Cavaquinho
At least

So far that makes 16 not including different brands and different woods.
😀😜

Nickie
02-21-2018, 10:49 AM
I voted 3 to 5.
But that's just for me. Any more would probably be insane.
I have 2 concert ukes, one Lo G and one hi g, a wallhanger that I don't play, and a tenor banjouke.
I would like a really really nice soprano for playing Baroque on.
But I really just want to play way better before I get any more.
To anyone else, as many as you can afford. Me, I just don't want to get bogged down with possessions.

Pueo
02-21-2018, 11:13 AM
I voted 6 to 10. What a surprise, I currently have 10. I did actually sell one to buy my latest, so holding at 10 for a few years now. I do feel each has a purpose. I also regularly play all but three of them:
My Lanikai I do not play anymore because it collects autographs. It is the first ukulele I purchased and it has intonation issues anyways.
My Mainland Gecko I do not play, I tried to customize it and have as an office/beater ukulele but then I won a Kala concert in a raffle and that became my beater ukulele - it lives in my car.
My R&L Koa I do not play too often, the bridge is lifting and I need to get it fixed. So that leaves seven. It is very beautiful and I love its very Hawaiian sound so I will never get rid of it.
My Kala, as I already said, lives in my car and gets a lot of action as a spare, time-killer, beach uke, that type of thing.
My Epiphone Les Paul lives in the overhead bin at my desk at the office.
My Hikare Baritone belonged to my wife's late grandfather. Grandma gave it to me after he passed. It is on a stand in the living room and I play it every now and then, sometimes just to hear how something would sound in a different key.
My Pono is my only Koa tenor. I love it, I play it often.
I have a concert Milo and Lychee custom and a tenor six-string custom, also Milo wood, made by Emil Bader. I play them when I need the sound that they each offer.
I recently purchased a 5-string Tenor Compass Rose. This is my main player now.
So when you break it down like that, not entirely unreasonable at all!
I have different sizes and different tonewoods and different string configurations, and not one of them I would call redundant in my little collection.

buddhuu
02-21-2018, 12:02 PM
Two is too many if you don't play them both. Three is too many if you only play two, etc etc etc.

Collecting ukes for the sake of numbers makes no sense to me. Being competitive about how many one owns, even playfully, makes no sense to me.

captain-janeway
02-21-2018, 02:00 PM
Accumulating vs collecting. Are you accumulating junk or actively looking to collect a set of instruments which have a common theme.
Most of the posts in this thread are about accumulations, not collections.
You can tell if you have a collection if you have catalogued all the items, if it has a theme, if you regularly network with other collectors to swap or buy ukes to fill gaps in the theme.
If you just say UAS a hundred times and buy whatever activates your buying impulse at the time, you are mostly accumulating junk which is going to clog up your house when you realise it is not satisfying your needs. You wont even be able to give some of the items away, no-one else will want them. You are just adding to landfill.
Also it is OK to both accumulate and collect if that is how you want to spend your time and money, but showing off your list of acquisitions is nowhere near as much fun as actually playing in a social setting or for a paying audience.
I recommend that you start out with a single student uke and keep that until you learn a few things about playing and music. When you have learned up to a point where you understand the parts of the music and how each type of ukulele can fill the part, that is when you have enough knowledge to make a useful purchase for your next uke(s). You are just buying blind until you have some knowledge to help you plan and budget for an acquisition.
Some goals to discuss before moving on from the student uke:
Knows the names of every note on the fretboard.
Can read a written form of music well, like TAB which has four strings or standard notation (this means look at the written format and play it smoothly as written)
Can just start to be able to pick a string is out of tune by ear
Can find the C D and G scales on the fretboard
Can name all the parts of a ukulele and the common sizes and types
Can smoothly play a three chord progression
Can name the notes in the chords in the progressions and find them on a fretboard in an arpeggio pattern
Starting to be able to find alternative chords.
Can source suitable string set and change strings.
Maybe others could contribute some useful goals and help beginners save a lot of time and money?

That's what I'm trying to do. Bought a tenor as my first one and got really frustrated before I figured out it was just too big for my hands. Trying to learn on a concert, but I'm finding learning the music theory is making my head hurt. I'm sure it will click eventually. I'm at least trying to practice chord transitions. Working with sheet music just leaves me scratching my head.

Thanks for this as a good list to start. I want to get to finger picking. If my hands were big enough, I'd be playing banjo. Love bluegrass

Croaky Keith
02-21-2018, 11:17 PM
My first uke was a tenor, but the stretch was too much for my hands at the time, tried soprano but found it too cramped, then got a concert & found it to be the perfect size to learn on. ;)

I've been through a fair few ukes in my two years learning, but have returned to tenor scale, albeit on smaller bodies than a standard sized tenor, & now find that long neck concerts fit me best. :)