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ROUGHRIDER13
03-28-2013, 05:31 PM
I'm a cellist of 4 years looking to take up the ukulele. Obviously, I'm expecting the uke to be a new experience, but I'd like a an easier transition from the cello.

1)Is there a recommended type of ukulele for me that kind of mirrors the fingerboard on the cello, only with frets? With similar finger spacing?

I have small hands, skinny fingers except for one giant pointer finger I broke in football that never un-swelled.

2)Can you tune a ukulele to a cello? Just wondering... not sure how pliable the nylon strings are. Cello goes CGDA from low to high.

3)Can you use vibrato on a ukulele? Again, not sure how the nylon would sound.

Thanks.

Rawks
03-28-2013, 06:30 PM
1. Hmmm, well the cello is a good deal larger than even baritone ukes, so unfortunately you will have to adjust to having your fingers a little closer together. My main string instrument is the violin (though I'm very out of practice) and even then with the similar size it's quite a different experience for the left hand.
If your left hand is quite flexible, you should be able to pick up any size. If you have the option to go to a shop and hold some, that's the best way to get an idea of which size feels comfortable in your hands.

2. If you mean, can you tune the strings from low to high as CGDA... possibly. It would require you to assemble your own set of strings as no standard set will be able to handle that. You'd probably want a larger ukulele for that too: either a tenor or baritone.

3. Yes, you can use vibrato! You even have two kinds to choose from: the 'up and down' finger motion you would be used to (it's quite subtle but it works) and also the 'side to side' string bending kind. :)

ukuloonie
03-28-2013, 07:44 PM
Just buy one, A soprano.
Enjoy it
Have Fun.
You can hum and har for days and weeks about this or that which strings which wood.
Just find one that you like, let it speak to you.
Thats all there is to it.

BigSkyUkuleleGirl
03-29-2013, 02:17 AM
Just buy one, A soprano.
Enjoy it
Have Fun.
You can hum and har for days and weeks about this or that which strings which wood.
Just find one that you like, let it speak to you.
Thats all there is to it.

This :agree: - except I would go with the tenor size. There are good low end ukes for $100-$150 - not a huge investment compared to how much a cello costs. Heck you might even buy one of those Dolphin ukes (they are only in soprano size) - they run about $30 and are pretty decent for the money. You'll see if you like it then lurk and participate here to learn more.

Check Lanikai, Oscar Schmidt or call the folks at Hawaii Music Supply and see about an Islander or something.

Kem
03-29-2013, 02:37 AM
If you want something tuned exactly the same as a cello, I would actually recommend the tenor guitar, which is tuned CGDA, only, you know, with frets. If you're determined to stick with the uke, Southcoast does sell uke strings tuned in fifths. You can find them on this page (http://www.southcoastukes.com/specialty.htm). However, you could always simply learn the usual uke tuning. The ability to play instruments tuned in a variety of ways can be a real advantage.

Rubio MHS
03-29-2013, 05:05 AM
Buy a nice one. Treat yourself. There are excellent sopranos in the $200 to $300 range. Or, buy a pretty one, like the $80 Luna Great Waves Soprano, which I own. Even if you don't play it, it looks nice on your wall. I like the Kala "Watermelon" pineapple for looks, but whatever you do, spend the extra $20 on professional setup.

Paul December
03-29-2013, 06:45 AM
Sounds like you want a violin :D

bnolsen
03-29-2013, 07:01 AM
The only thing a cello and ukulele have in common is they have strings. The cello is mostly a single note instrument where you use 1 finger to form notes that are bowed. A ukulele is mostly a chord form instrument with strumming. They're so different it won't matter what you get, there's just no real overlap between instruments.

Not exactly true, I knew one guy who would flip one up on his leg and start picking and strumming although he had a guitar background and was just screwing around.

chuck in ny
03-29-2013, 09:57 AM
i think the question is best phrased, best cello for a ukulele player.
i didn't say that.

Hippie Dribble
03-29-2013, 10:12 AM
If you can handle the neck of a cello, a ukulele will be a breeze in whatever scale you decide upon.

But these are completely different beasts as others have noted.

All the best with your new musical journey RR and welcome to the forum!

:cheers:

rdallinr
06-08-2013, 04:23 PM
The only thing a cello and ukulele have in common is they have strings. The cello is mostly a single note instrument where you use 1 finger to form notes that are bowed. A ukulele is mostly a chord form instrument with strumming. They're so different it won't matter what you get, there's just no real overlap between instruments.

Not exactly true, I knew one guy who would flip one up on his leg and start picking and strumming although he had a guitar background and was just screwing around.

WHY!!!! A ukulele is a mini cello with frets. you switch the c and g string and your ukulele is ready. this might have had good purpose but with enough cello experience, you get to chords. I'm here to deny everything you just wrote. First, they are also both made of wood and can be tuned. Second, you can pluck/strum on a cello and use 4 fingers. Third, NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO.

rdallinr
06-08-2013, 04:26 PM
If you want something tuned exactly the same as a cello, I would actually recommend the tenor guitar, which is tuned CGDA, only, you know, with frets. If you're determined to stick with the uke, Southcoast does sell uke strings tuned in fifths. You can find them on this page (http://www.southcoastukes.com/specialty.htm). However, you could always simply learn the usual uke tuning. The ability to play instruments tuned in a variety of ways can be a real advantage.

Uke is tuned in fifths except 2 switched strings that would make it exactly like a cello.

Katz-in-Boots
06-08-2013, 06:01 PM
I am speaking as an ex-cello player. The main things I would say to you are:

1. if you want to play the ukulele, let it be a ukulele. Trying to make it into a cello will make it difficult to find sheet music or chord tabs. Ukes are not tuned in 5ths. GCEA = 4th, 3rd 4th. Cello tuning is CGDA. I don't understand why you would want to replicate cello tuning on another instrument.

2. the try the different size ukes in a shop if you can, just to get a feel for the scale of them. The different angle of playing means the distance between frets & strings is different from a cello. Personally I can't play a soprano because everything is so bunched up compared to a cello. I went for a tenor, to get a bigger & stronger sound but quickly found the finger stretch down the frets too big, so switched to a concert size uke.

3. Once you've found your size, I would recommend buying a nice, cheapish uke. If you get on with it, then buy the best uke you can afford. Cellos are so gorgeous, lush, sonorous and just beautiful instruments. If you've played a semi-decent one, a cheap uke will not satisfy you for long. Get a lush, sonorous one. They look, sound & feel different.

Those are my thoughts, however I'll say again, why would you want to make a ukulele into a cello?

singh44s
06-09-2013, 08:44 AM
2. the try the different size ukes in a shop if you can, just to get a feel for the scale of them.

Or at a local uke meet/club, if no shops have a selection in stock!


1. if you want to play the ukulele, let it be a ukulele. ... I don't understand why you would want to replicate cello tuning on another instrument.

3. Once you've found your size, I would recommend buying a nice, cheapish uke. If you get on with it...

And if you end up finding the uke's tuning a real obstacle, I don't think any of us would mind if you went "next door" to the mandolin, which is tuned in fifths.

osogris
06-10-2013, 05:04 AM
You might want to try a tenor or baritone ukulele, and tune it in fifths, using Southcoast's string set for fifths tuning, available here: http://www.southcoastukes.com/specialty.htm. On an tenor ukulele, that should give you CGDA. You could also get the same thing with guitar strings, if you are willing to mess around with it long enough; you could order a range of single strings from Strings by Mail, and just have fun experimenting until you get what you're after. I think Aquila also makes a set for tuning in fifths, but I don't remember if the strings were long enough for a tenor; they may have been made for a mandolin scale. That may work on a concert.

Bill Mc
06-10-2013, 05:18 AM
Uke is tuned in fifths except 2 switched strings that would make it exactly like a cello.

Applying your logic I have just discovered my mandolins are tuned in 4ths - despite all the claims that it is tuned in 5ths.

Tele295
06-10-2013, 06:42 AM
And if you end up finding the uke's tuning a real obstacle, I don't think any of us would mind if you went "next door" to the mandolin, which is tuned in fifths.

Or a mandola, which is (or should be) tuned CGDA, just like a cello but an octave up.

sukie
06-10-2013, 07:40 AM
Go try some ukuleles out. Me? I'm a super concert fan.
Go look for Ken Middleton's YouTube of him playing Dona Nobis pacem with cello. Or find Yo-Yo Ma's Christmas CD with Jake playing with him. Gorgeous.
Please play the ukulele like an ukulele. It's best that way. And it's way easier to find music.

hapuna
06-10-2013, 08:23 AM
2. If you mean, can you tune the strings from low to high as CGDA... possibly. It would require you to assemble your own set of strings as no standard set will be able to handle that. :)
Actually this looks quite possible if you reject the Reentrant tuning of a uke. GCEA would be standard so if you swap the C and G and tune the E to a D I don't see why you couldn't use a regular uke string set. Only problem is that it's not exactly a uke. I would suggest you take it as it is and see how it goes. Many feel that the change actualizes their creativity