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OldePhart
04-19-2013, 03:04 PM
...I've become a tenor ukulele player in spite of myself.

It's hard to believe that a few months ago I was on the verge of selling my tenors. And I still prefer the voice of the soprano more than any other - in fact my favorite ukulele remains my mahogany soprano.

But...in trying to settle on one uke to take to UWC I figured I'd take my Kiwaya longneck soprano "beater" uke, since that's what I bought it for. I even put a pickup in it. After several days I just couldn't take it anymore - the fretboard is just too stinking narrow for doing cool stuff. My sopranos and longnecks are great for strumming, but I can pick twice as fast and "stick" far more complex chords without extraneous noises when I'm playing the tenors.

I guess I'm learning the hard way why most of the "big boys" play tenors. :)

Now that I've faced my shortcomings I just wish Uncle Sam had left me enough scratch to pick up one of those good deals on tenors in the marketplace right now... :(

John

electrauke
04-19-2013, 03:10 PM
Yes, another Tenor person, I only have one tenor but it is my favorite.

GaryC1968
04-19-2013, 03:10 PM
You do know that the Tenor is a gateway instrument to the Baritone, right? ;)

chrimess
04-19-2013, 03:11 PM
You're either with us or against us, John, welcome to the side of virtue.

UkeKiddinMe
04-19-2013, 03:15 PM
You do know that the Tenor is a gateway instrument to the Baritone, right? ;)

Excellent. :cool: :D

mm stan
04-19-2013, 03:23 PM
Aloha Bruddah John,
Keep playing, and you will like them all.....he he not sure why you don't feel the concert would be your favorite...it's in between you know...

Dan Uke
04-19-2013, 03:29 PM
loser!! J/K...welcome to the darkside

OldePhart
04-19-2013, 05:35 PM
You do know that the Tenor is a gateway instrument to the Baritone, right? ;)

Oh...I already have the baritone bug...maybe they were a gateway to the tenor. :) I love the soprano and baritone...but when it comes to fingering there's just no beating the tenor neck.

John

OldePhart
04-19-2013, 05:38 PM
Aloha Bruddah John,
Keep playing, and you will like them all.....he he not sure why you don't feel the concert would be your favorite...it's in between you know...

Actually, I really do love the length of the concert scale. That's what got me into longneck sopranos in the first place. The problem is I've been working on more jazz instrumental stuff and there just isn't enough width on the fretboard for my sausages...I mean fingers...to stick some of those more complex chords. I probably play sopranos and longneck sopranos ten times as much as I've been playing my tenors...but I can still "stick" the jazz stuff on the tenor far more easily. Kind of strange.

I think if I could find a soprano body with a concert scale neck with the width and string spacing of a tenor I'd be tap dancin' on cloud nine!

John

OldePhart
04-19-2013, 05:40 PM
You're either with us or against us, John, welcome to the side of virtue.

Heh, heh. It's all on you man...your recent videos in the seasons are what prompted me to get off my lazy backside and start wood-sheddin' more...which led to the realization that I need the width of the tenor neck.

John

OldePhart
04-19-2013, 05:43 PM
loser!! J/K...welcome to the darkside

Actually, my first non-cheapo uke was my Mainland gloss mango tenor - so I've had decent tenors from the start but I just never warmed to them until I realized that I really need that nice wide neck if I'm going to go beyond banging out three chords to croak along with.

John

iDavid
04-19-2013, 06:01 PM
Several Concerts have 1.5 width necks like Covered bridge and Kanile'a. I figure it will feel different due to the smaller length, however. I am finding my Kanile'a with 1.5 width is easier to claw-hammer on compared to my KoAloha concert.

I'm in a similar boat. I am considering a 1.5 concert in the future. I just love the concert sound and how comfortable it is. Might need a super-concert at some point.

There is always the tenor-neck soprano KoAloha.
http://www.theukulelesite.com/koaloha-soprano-tenor-neck-new-model.html

BIGDB
04-19-2013, 06:01 PM
I've played a few tenors and loved them I've never owned one but have a custom wa wixom coming middle next month can't wait

thesillydave
04-19-2013, 06:08 PM
So...what concerts do you have for sale. Now?..

UkerDanno
04-19-2013, 06:22 PM
There is always the tenor-neck soprano KoAloha.
http://www.theukulelesite.com/koaloha-soprano-tenor-neck-new-model.html

that just looks awkward!

PereBourik
04-19-2013, 06:47 PM
As we say from the pulpit, "Change is the only constant." I have two concerts, a tenor and a soprano. The soprano feels hopelessly cramped. The tenor tension is too taut for my still-developing skills. My concerts are just right. Call me Goldilocks. Reason tells me that I will favor the tenor in time (gotta love that fretboard real-estate). Now, for comfort and playability, my concerts have pride of place, especially the KoAlana.

iDavid
04-19-2013, 07:10 PM
that just looks awkward!

It really does and I bet it is neck heavy. However, something cool about awkwardness.

bnolsen
04-20-2013, 03:07 AM
doesn't the flea and fluke have pretty wide fretboards as well?

Sporin
04-20-2013, 03:28 AM
I've put my Tenor Islander away and have been playing my Kala Concert exclusively for over a month in the hopes of transitioning back down a step. My thought was that in a high end uke, I can save a few hundred bucks with a C instead of a T.

But no luck, I just like the finger spacing and fuller voice of the tenor more. I guess I'm a tenor guy forever now, though I do still like my soprano on the beach. :)

bnolsen
04-20-2013, 04:16 AM
how many of you tenor players used to be guitarists or other like instruments (banjo/mandolin/etc)

OldePhart
04-20-2013, 04:19 AM
So...what concerts do you have for sale. Now?..

Heh, heh, none...well, I guess I would part with the eleuke since I never play it (bought it for quiet practice when I was having to go into the office).

My sopranos and longneck sopranos are still going to get plenty of play time as they are great for strumming and I really do prefer the sound of them for singing with. So, when I want to croak out a song I'll probably still be grabbing them first. That might change if I ever get proficient enough at picking to pick and sing at the same time...

But, after barely touching my tenors for three years I find myself grabbing them a lot more often since I've started trying to stretch a bit instrumentally.

John

OldePhart
04-20-2013, 04:22 AM
Several Concerts have 1.5 width necks like Covered bridge and Kanile'a. I figure it will feel different due to the smaller length, however. I am finding my Kanile'a with 1.5 width is easier to claw-hammer on compared to my KoAloha concert.

Hmmm, I may have to give that a look as that's even a touch wider than my Mainland tenors. Maybe I'll see if the guys at Covered Bridge can put me a 1.5" concert-scale neck on a soprano body. That would be just about perfect!


There is always the tenor-neck soprano KoAloha.
http://www.theukulelesite.com/koaloh...new-model.html

Hmmm. I like my concert neck KoAloha soprano... Not crazy about the proportions of that tenor, though I could certainly live with that if it plays and sounds good and balances reasonably well. Has anybody played one of these? The bridge location down so close to the heel doesn't look optimal...I wonder if they compromised a bit on the sound so the neck wouldn't have to be even longer and more out of proportion...or maybe they put it there so they wouldn't have to add too much bracing to handle the tenor tension...

John

iDavid
04-20-2013, 04:25 AM
how many of you tenor players used to be guitarists or other like instruments (banjo/mandolin/etc)

I was a pretty basic guitar player and decide to give the uke a go. I went with a KoAloha concert and the size just seemed so right for a uke. I still prefer that size. However, I find myself going for the tenors lately. I've been playing mainly claw-hammer and it seems a bit easier on the tenor. I like the tone of concert better for claw-hammer, so I go back to the concert here and there. Once I get something down, or pretty much down, on the tenor I go over to the concert or soprano.

I thought I was a concert guy, now I think I am just a uke guy. Such a great instrument.

OldePhart
04-20-2013, 04:35 AM
...But no luck, I just like the finger spacing and fuller voice of the tenor more. I guess I'm a tenor guy forever now, though I do still like my soprano on the beach. :)

Yeah...that's exactly what I tried to do. Figured if I ignored my tenors again and put in the "woodshed" time doing those jazz progressions on the longnecks I'd get comfortable with them but, no joy. I can play the progressions but not as cleanly and fluidly. It's got to be the width rather than the fret spacing that is tripping me up, because I get pretty much exactly the same results on soprano or longneck soprano. I never much cared for the fuller voice of the tenor but I guess I am finding that it is nice when picking - for strumming I still like the more traditional sound of the soprano body.

John

OldePhart
04-20-2013, 04:39 AM
how many of you tenor players used to be guitarists or other like instruments (banjo/mandolin/etc)

Guilty as charged. I played guitar for almost twenty years. I guess I should consider myself an ex-guitar player in spite of still owning many of them - I almost haven't touched them since picking up the uke 3+ years ago and the last time I had to lead worship I used a baritone uke instead of my Taylor...

I also still gig with the bass weekly.

I flirted with the mandolin, and still own one, but the string tension is too high for me to play comfortably.

John

Sporin
04-20-2013, 04:39 AM
how many of you tenor players used to be guitarists or other like instruments (banjo/mandolin/etc)

None, this is my first instrument since I attempted the Trombone in 3rd grade. :)

I have big hands (though not over-longer fingers which would actually be useful). I'm also a big fat guy, so the bigger bodied tenor feels less toy-like in my hands. :)

mm stan
04-20-2013, 05:00 AM
Aloha John,
this is just from your signature...I was at my friends house and looking in this display case...I was a looking at this egg shiny thing....as I picked it up, my friend said you like my polished
dinosaur turd....ewe I put it down quickly, who would ever polish such a thing....I know that was what you weren't talking about but it was funny....LOL he he

OldePhart
04-20-2013, 05:04 AM
Aloha John,
this is just from your signature...I was at my friends house and looking in this display case...I was a looking at this egg shiny thing....as I picked it up, my friend said you like my polished
dinosaur turd....ewe I put it down quickly, who would ever polish such a thing....I know that was what you weren't talking about but it was funny....LOL he he

That's absolutely hilarious, Stan. I had no idea people actually polished fossilized turds - that makes the sig even better!

John

Pukulele Pete
04-20-2013, 05:30 AM
Have you tried a Martin . They have a wide neck even the sopranos .

konut
04-20-2013, 06:54 AM
It's got to be the width rather than the fret spacing that is tripping me up, because I get pretty much exactly the same results on soprano or longneck soprano.
John

Would it be accurate to say that its the string spacing that is the main difference? And if so, could it be that a concert or soprano with that spacing would be as easy to play? Have you measured the spacing on the easy to play tenors?

OldePhart
04-20-2013, 12:56 PM
Have you tried a Martin . They have a wide neck even the sopranos .

Hmmm, the only Martin I've tried recently was one of the Mexican S1 ukes. I wasn't terribly impressed with it. It wasn't bad, it just didn't measure up to it's price, or even to my Mainland satin mahogany soprano, in terms of volume and tone. Maybe experimenting with strings would have helped but I wasn't going to pay that kind of money for something just on the hopes that it could be improved. I have played a couple of vintage Martins and also a couple of the Kiwayas that are supposed to be pretty close Martin copies but that was a couple of years ago. I don't recall the fingerboard being a lot wider, but then I wasn't really paying that much attention to width at the time.

John

OldePhart
04-20-2013, 12:58 PM
Would it be accurate to say that its the string spacing that is the main difference? And if so, could it be that a concert or soprano with that spacing would be as easy to play? Have you measured the spacing on the easy to play tenors?


Yeah, I think it's the string spacing that is the big difference. On a tenor I've got plenty of lateral space to arch fingers over strings and so on whereas on a soprano or longneck soprano or, presumably, concert, there just isn't enough space to do that. That's why I play some chords much more cleanly on a tenor. Once my wallet recovers from April 15th I may give the guys at Covered bridge a ring and see if they can build me one of their wide concert necks on a soprano body. It's worth a shot.

konut
04-20-2013, 01:09 PM
Yeah, I think it's the string spacing that is the big difference.

Thanks for the reply. I'm really curious as to what the exact spacing is so that us sausage finger guys(and gals) could quantify the measurement. Don't you have a micrometer app?:D

OldePhart
04-20-2013, 01:19 PM
Thanks for the reply. I'm really curious as to what the exact spacing is so that us sausage finger guys(and gals) could quantify the measurement. Don't you have a micrometer app?:D

Well...I'll be. I'm glad you got me to measure this!

At the nut, my Mainland tenor is 28mm G string to A string.
My Mainland soprano is 26mm G to A.
My KoAloha longneck is 27mm G to A.
But...my Kiwaya longneck, which is the "least playable" for me when it comes to doing jazz progressions, is 29mm!

So, it looks like my supposition that it was the string spacing is dead wrong. Interesting, especially since the action on the Kiwaya is excellent (in fact, I actually put a shim under the saddle to raise it a bit because my thumbnail clobbering the side of the neck became pretty obvious after I put a soundboard pickup in).

So...it looks like maybe the distance between frets is the big factor after all. Glad I discovered that before spending a fortune on a custom longneck. If we ever meet in person remind me I owe you lunch or something. :)

John

iDavid
04-20-2013, 01:24 PM
Well...I'll be. I'm glad you got me to measure this!

At the nut, my Mainland tenor is 28mm G string to A string.
My Mainland soprano is 26mm G to A.
My KoAloha longneck is 27mm G to A.
But...my Kiwaya longneck, which is the "least playable" for me when it comes to doing jazz progressions, is 29mm!

So, it looks like my supposition that it was the string spacing is dead wrong. Interesting, especially since the action on the Kiwaya is excellent (in fact, I actually put a shim under the saddle to raise it a bit because my thumbnail clobbering the side of the neck became pretty obvious after I put a soundboard pickup in).

So...it looks like maybe the distance between frets is the big factor after all. Glad I discovered that before spending a fortune on a custom longneck. If we ever meet in person remind me I owe you lunch or something. :)

John

So, I guess a super concert might be a good move? I seem to be going through the same experience as you are. I am in line to get a concert uke built and am seriously thinking of getting a 16 inch scale and a 1.4 spacing.

konut
04-21-2013, 01:37 PM
Well...I'll be. I'm glad you got me to measure this!

I can be quite the nudge sometimes.



So...it looks like maybe the distance between frets is the big factor after all.

This is what I was wondering, but I'm sure string spacing, to a degree, has a bearing on ease of playing as well. Being a novice to string instruments, with too much time on my hands, has me investigating and theorizing about the "ideal" scale length and string spacing given the limitation of my digital dexterity.




If we ever meet in person remind me I owe you lunch or something. :) John

Thank you for your gracious offer! You may feel differently after I try to pick your brain concerning a little project I'm going to attempt. With your experience playing a variety of stringed interments, you are in a unique position to have valuable insight to this project.

OldePhart
04-21-2013, 03:33 PM
So, I guess a super concert might be a good move? I seem to be going through the same experience as you are. I am in line to get a concert uke built and am seriously thinking of getting a 16 inch scale and a 1.4 spacing.

It might be. But I think if I'm going to go with a tenor neck I may as well go with the body as well. I've owned a couple of concerts and just wasn't crazy about them. There wasn't anything wrong with them (one was a KoAloha) I just never completely warmed up to the format. Of course, it's probably been two years since I've picked up a concert so maybe I should give a super concert a shot before dismissing it.

John

OldePhart
04-21-2013, 03:39 PM
Thank you for your gracious offer! You may feel differently after I try to pick your brain concerning a little project I'm going to attempt. With your experience playing a variety of stringed interments, you are in a unique position to have valuable insight to this project.

Uh-oh, you have me curious, now, and we all know what that did to the cat... :)

Regarding string spacing vs. fret spacing - I know that my Mainland tenors feel like the string spacing is much greater than that on my Kiwaya longneck, in spite of the Kiwaya actually having slightly wider spacing. I am wondering how much of that is due to the extra distance between the frets on the tenors and how much is due to some other factor, like maybe the neck profile. The Mainlands have a fairly thick neck while the Kiwaya is so thin (front to back) that I was a little concerned about the long-term effects of putting heavy strings on it.

I know I can "stick" the jazz chords better on the KoAloha than on the Kiwaya, in spite of the fret spacing being very similar. The only big differences between the two are the KoAloha neck is a little deeper (less flat across the back, more like a "C" shape) and the KoAloha has higher frets.

John

rem50
04-21-2013, 03:56 PM
I think I am joining you on the tenor side. Just ordered a boat paddle . Had a Kala I bought and just use it in my photography business as a prop. I have a pony I take to daycares and dress kids up like cowboys and photograph them. They all get a picture on the pony holding a tenor uke like a singing cowboy! (I am trying to start them early!)

iDavid
04-21-2013, 04:49 PM
I think I am joining you on the tenor side. Just ordered a boat paddle . Had a Kala I bought and just use it in my photography business as a prop. I have a pony I take to daycares and dress kids up like cowboys and photograph them. They all get a picture on the pony holding a tenor uke like a singing cowboy! (I am trying to start them early!)

Which Paddle Boat are you going to get?

OldePhart
04-22-2013, 07:08 AM
I think I am joining you on the tenor side. Just ordered a boat paddle . Had a Kala I bought and just use it in my photography business as a prop. I have a pony I take to daycares and dress kids up like cowboys and photograph them. They all get a picture on the pony holding a tenor uke like a singing cowboy! (I am trying to start them early!)

Now that's a hoot! But...enquiring minds want to know...who cleans up after the pony?

rem50
04-22-2013, 07:34 AM
The pony is house broke! Part of the training before you work with me process...... (started with the kids) :)

Now that's a hoot! But...enquiring minds want to know...who cleans up after the pony?

konut
04-22-2013, 02:20 PM
I know I can "stick" the jazz chords better on the KoAloha than on the Kiwaya, in spite of the fret spacing being very similar. The only big differences between the two are the KoAloha neck is a little deeper (less flat across the back, more like a "C" shape) and the KoAloha has higher frets.

John

It would seem counter intuitive that the"fatter" neck is the one thats easier to play. It might be that individual hand physiology is at work, or that this is just the way it is for everyone. Do you have a baritone uke? How about a short scale guitar? Any comments on "sticking" the jazz chords on those instruments?

OldePhart
04-23-2013, 03:41 AM
It would seem counter intuitive that the"fatter" neck is the one thats easier to play. It might be that individual hand physiology is at work, or that this is just the way it is for everyone. Do you have a baritone uke? How about a short scale guitar? Any comments on "sticking" the jazz chords on those instruments?

Yeah, I have baritone ukes and full-scale guitars. No trouble with them except, of course, that chords spanning five frets get a little sketchy.

I also play bass, though I rarely actually hold a chord shape unless I am playing well up the neck in guitar territory, anyway.

John

konut
04-23-2013, 06:18 AM
So you're saying that you can "stick" the 5 fret span chords on the tenor?

OldePhart
04-23-2013, 06:31 AM
So you're saying that you can "stick" the 5 fret span chords on the tenor?

Yes...or at least better than I can on the soprano or super-soprano. The more I think about it, tenor has always been the easiest for me to play, I just like the traditional sound of the soprano more.

John