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elmapache
01-12-2009, 10:18 PM
Hi there!
I owned one of these 'Hawaii Ukulele Company' Sopranos during my time in Hawaii. But these ones are bullshit and now I am looking for a new one, cause my skills are improving with the time.
So I am unsure which one would be the best for me!
The 'KA-MT' Kala Mango Tenor or a 'KA-MC' Kala Mango Concert are beautiful ones, I think. But I am not sure if a tenor or a concert is the best for me? Is there a big difference between concert an soprano? And are tenor ukuleles much more difficult to play because of their size? And what kind of strings should I buy? i think the ones which are coming with the ukulele are not the best?
I would purchase one from musicguymic via his ebay shop.

Mahalo!
Heiko

grappler
01-12-2009, 10:42 PM
i dont think many will reply to this thread because it has been covered SO MANY times over and over again.

But ill go through just a few things first to answer your question.


With most qestions in regards to, ukulele sizes and strings and also different types of woods the most common answer to all this is basically; your own preference.

meaning.. what ever suits you. if you feel comfortable with it then stick with it.

'KA-MT' Kala Mango Tenor or a 'KA-MC' Kala Mango Concert?

Im not sure myself mate. I would go for the tenor. But thats my opinion. Why? Because i've only played a tenor, im used to the size and dont wanna go to a concert.
again: my opinion

The difference in concert and soprano is the most obvisous. the size.

The strings that you buy your ukulele with should be suitable. Although the strings that come with the ukulele may not be the best. i dont recommend changing strings when you first buy your ukulele.

Hope you find the right ukulele for you mate. all the best and keep strummin!

grappler
01-12-2009, 10:43 PM
Oh
maybe looking at the lastest ukulele mintues 34 - buying a ukulele.
this video might help you with your purchase.

if you cant find it. i've copied the link and just click here (http://ukuleleunderground.com/2009/01/10/uke-minutes-34-buying-an-ukulele/)

Link
01-12-2009, 10:55 PM
Some threads to get you started:
http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?t=8446&highlight=size
http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?t=8225&highlight=size

I'm sure there are several more, just use the search function.
As far as my opinion, I prefer Tenor for the more relaxed, mellow sound. If you have big hands like me, a Tenor should be easier to play. As far as strings, MGM sets up all his Kalas with Aquilas, right? Those are definitely great strings from all the reviews I've heard.

Edit: not only did grappler beat me but he typed a hell of a lot more. For shame...

grappler
01-12-2009, 10:56 PM
Some threads to get you started:
http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?t=8446&highlight=size
http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?t=8225&highlight=size

I'm sure there are several more, just use the search function.
As far as my opinion, I prefer Tenor for the more relaxed, mellow sound. If you have big hands like me, a Tenor should be easier to play. As far as strings, MGM sets up all his Kalas with Aquilas, right? Those are definitely great strings from all the reviews I've heard.

Edit: not only did grappler beat me but he typed a hell of a lot more. For shame...

great links there. rep points added =]

elmapache
01-12-2009, 11:01 PM
OK thanks a lot!
My problem is, that there are almost no stores were I can try Concert or tenor and decide what ukulele suits me, so I have to decide by experiences of other players and things I hear and read about.
Maybe I should accept the more pricy german online shops where I can replace the ukulele if it doesn't suit me. musicguymic is the cheaper alternative, but shipping it back to him overseas is mabye difficult and expensive as well.

Valerie
01-13-2009, 02:45 AM
You could fabricate a cut out of each using posterboard- to try and get an idea of size.

Before I tried out all the different sizes, I was sure I'd want a tenor (I come from playing guitar, I liked the sound in the vids better.) But then I went to a shop, and the concert size just fit me perfectly (The total length is even exactly the same as the length of my arm!) And it was just so comfortable to play that I didn't care that it sounded a bit different from a tenor.


Concerts for life!
~Valerie

GreyPoupon
01-13-2009, 03:58 AM
As someone who has dwelled on this topic for a while let me try to summarize what I have learned here at UU.

Yes, it is a matter of personal preference but it is worthwhile to describe why some people prefer one size over another.

Basically the uke sizes differ from each other in several ways on a spectrum:

Instrument size - If you want something easy to move and portable go soprano.

Pitch - Generally if you want a deeper voice go bigger though the right tone-wood can create some interesting exceptions.

String tension - Bigger ukes have higher string tension and are more taxing on the hands. That's all the can be said on this trait w/o trying an actual instrument. (Sorry).

Fretboard size - A soprano fretboard requires more severe finger crunching and precise placing. A tenor requires greater finger spread ability and more hand movement up and down the longer fretboard. No way to tell someone what is 'too small" or 'too big' w/o an actual road test. (Sorry.)

Range of notes- Tenors got more frets and more notes.

Cost- Smaller instruments are cheaper.

Funny / serious looking - Supposedly audiences take the tenor more seriously as an instrument. And I know sopranos make everyone smile.

And what about concerts? They are basically compromises between the two other sizes across all the traits.

Now what's more important, small size or deep tone? A wider range of notes or a slacker string tension? Now that is truly a matter of personal preference.

But with all of the above said, only the soprano is a real ukulele. Tenors are for wannabe guitarists. ;)

elmapache
01-13-2009, 04:26 AM
@GreyPoupon: Wow, you catched the point! This is what I was searching for! I know, that I hat some problems with playing guitar, because I have quite small hands and the finger stretching was very uncomfortable and painful. So because the deeper sound is not the main advantage for me. A concert ukulele sounds perfect for me, because I am looking for a bigger instrument, which fits the anatomical character of my hands/fingers :> I think I prefer a model where I am not supposed to crick my fingers. :> Mahalo for this great summary.
I totally agree with the point - it is a thing of personal preferences and feelings - but objectively thats it! I was at a very big music instrument store here in my city to try what size fits best, but they only had 2 or 3 sopranos... That's the problem here in Germany/Europe. Ukulele is not a very popular instrument. So I have to draw conclusions by studying the experiences of you all! I can only say which type makes a great visual impact. And i like 'Kala Mangos' very much. Thank you all! You are my connection to the ukulele world and community. From time to time friends are smiling at me, when I tell them about my ukulele practices. But I love it and I will improve my playing! That's for sure! :>

deach
01-13-2009, 04:44 AM
....But with all of the above said, only the soprano is a real ukulele. Tenors are for wannabe guitarists. ;)

Not sure if this is in jest..

but what about sopraninos and baritones?

UKISOCIETY
01-13-2009, 04:59 AM
Not sure if this is in jest..

but what about sopraninos and baritones?

They're bastards that nobody wants.




/shopping for a bari right now...:D

GreyPoupon
01-13-2009, 05:02 AM
Yes, the soprano comment was in jest.

But, really, it is the one true uke. The others were just made as crutches for weak willed people. :)

All of the above is equally true for Baritones and sopraninons as they simply push the described traits to new extremes....

deach
01-13-2009, 05:13 AM
Yes, the soprano comment was in jest.

But, really, it is the one true uke. The others were just made as crutches for weak willed people. :)

All of the above is equally true for Baritones and sopraninons as they simply push the described traits to new extremes....

So following your logic, the ukulele was created for weak-willed people who couldn't play the cavaquinho.

UKISOCIETY
01-13-2009, 05:14 AM
So following your logic, the ukulele was created for weak-willed people who couldn't play the cavaquinho.

PLAY IT? Heck, I can't even pronounce it!!11!

GreyPoupon
01-13-2009, 05:19 AM
So following your logic, the ukulele was created for weak-willed people who couldn't play the cavaquinho.


All I can say is that the internets are a very cruel place for someone with a dry sense of humor.

deach
01-13-2009, 05:22 AM
PLAY IT? Heck, I can't even pronounce it!!11!

It's Portuguese. - leee dell gee tar.

deach
01-13-2009, 05:23 AM
All I can say is that the internets are a very cruel place for someone with a dry sense of humor.

Just messing with you. I actually liked your write-up.

elmapache
01-13-2009, 06:08 AM
So I just purchased a KA-MC [kala mango concert] from musicguymic and I can't await palying it! :>
Hopefully the german customs office do not want to have too much for import.
should be 22,2 % on the Euro amount.

ichadwick
01-13-2009, 08:14 AM
...only the soprano is a real ukulele. Tenors are for wannabe guitarists. ;)
Nah: the soprano is for George Formby wannabees and the tenor was the only real ukulele. Wannabee guitarists play the baritone uke...

tad
01-13-2009, 08:29 AM
Nah: the soprano is for George Formby wannabees and the tenor was the only real ukulele. Wannabee guitarists play the baritone uke...

Any Formby wannabe is going to play a banjo, or at the very least a cigar box.

freedive135
01-13-2009, 08:35 AM
But with all of the above said, only the soprano is a real ukulele. Tenors are for wannabe guitarists. ;)
:biglaugh::biglaugh::biglaugh:

I play Sopranos cuz I like Sopranos...

I play my Tenor to learn songs on and work out fingerpicking...

Valerie has a good idea with the cardboard cutouts for sizing.



You'll like that Kala I have played one several times and it plays well and sounds good with Aquilla strings.

HaileISela
01-13-2009, 10:17 AM
all that discussion is so old^^

SIZE DOESN'T MATTER!

...it's the four strings that do...

nevermind, good choice, welcome to the KALA family

Plainsong
01-13-2009, 09:50 PM
OK thanks a lot!
My problem is, that there are almost no stores were I can try Concert or tenor and decide what ukulele suits me, so I have to decide by experiences of other players and things I hear and read about.
Maybe I should accept the more pricy german online shops where I can replace the ukulele if it doesn't suit me. musicguymic is the cheaper alternative, but shipping it back to him overseas is mabye difficult and expensive as well.

Mike at ukulele24.de will hook you up. He does setups also, so MGM isn't the only one who does that. Mike also has his own brand of strings that are SWEET.

He's a great guy, and looking to add Koaloha to his list sometime later in the year. :)

As for size, another vote for doesn't matter. The difference is in the sound, and how comfortable it is for you, and in how many frets do you need. SATB - Soprano, Alto, Tenor, Baritone - which voice are you? :)

HaileISela
01-13-2009, 11:20 PM
As for size, another vote for doesn't matter. The difference is in the sound, and how comfortable it is for you, and in how many frets do you need. SATB - Soprano, Alto, Tenor, Baritone - which voice are you? :)

sometimes I wished there were different voices behind the sizes... it's sometimes challenging to find a possible way to sing to my Uke for me, cause my voice is either to high, or to low to fit to it...

Plainsong
01-14-2009, 03:37 AM
Well they do sound different to my ears. But yeah, the key would be the same. Maybe try using a capo to change the key of whatever you're trying to sing. :)

ichadwick
01-14-2009, 03:47 AM
Any Formby wannabe is going to play a banjo, or at the very least a cigar box.
Yeah, but they start on the soprano...

Seriously. Go to your local music store and pick up any of the cheapie soprano Mahalos hanging on the wall (up here that's all they offer). You don't even have to strum it but the moment you pick it up, someone - maybe even one of the music store staff - will crack a comment about either George Formby or Tiny Tim. It's a programmed response.

If you strum a few chords (assuming that, unlike locally, the uke is actually in tune) that even vaguely sounds like it could be Mrs. Brown or Leaning on a Lampost, you'll get this "Told you so" look from the people in the store. Someone will ask if if you know When I'm Cleaning Windows (or Tiptoe Through the Tulips, but that's another thread...).

Want to have some fun? Ask this music store person if he or she has a tenor ukulele in stock. Or better yet, an eight-string. They go deer-in-the-headlights googly-eyed, stammer about how they have to look it up, then bury their nose in some catalogue trying to find something they're embarrassed to admit they have never heard of, and hope you'll trundle off in short time.

That's why I play tenor: to educate and keep the music store staff on their toes.

Plainsong
01-14-2009, 11:04 PM
That's really the only reason you play a tenor?

They all have different voices, they sound different. They feel different... certainly there are better reasons to favor a given size.

HaileISela
01-15-2009, 12:38 AM
Yeah, but they start on the soprano...

Seriously. Go to your local music store and pick up any of the cheapie soprano Mahalos hanging on the wall (up here that's all they offer). You don't even have to strum it but the moment you pick it up, someone - maybe even one of the music store staff - will crack a comment about either George Formby or Tiny Tim. It's a programmed response.

If you strum a few chords (assuming that, unlike locally, the uke is actually in tune) that even vaguely sounds like it could be Mrs. Brown or Leaning on a Lampost, you'll get this "Told you so" look from the people in the store. Someone will ask if if you know When I'm Cleaning Windows (or Tiptoe Through the Tulips, but that's another thread...).

Want to have some fun? Ask this music store person if he or she has a tenor ukulele in stock. Or better yet, an eight-string. They go deer-in-the-headlights googly-eyed, stammer about how they have to look it up, then bury their nose in some catalogue trying to find something they're embarrassed to admit they have never heard of, and hope you'll trundle off in short time.

That's why I play tenor: to educate and keep the music store staff on their toes.

I like that! dude over here they do not even know TIny Tim, etc. they sell the Ukes as toy instruments... It's a shame

elmapache
01-15-2009, 01:10 AM
I was in on of the biggest german music stores this week. They only had 4 Sopranos and one Tenor in stock. They did not even know, that there is a sopranino, concert or barriton also, they never have heard anything about kala, koaloha for instance and they only smile at you when you are talking about ukuleles seriously! That's what is going on over here. :/

SamWise
01-15-2009, 01:21 AM
sometimes I wished there were different voices behind the sizes... it's sometimes challenging to find a possible way to sing to my Uke for me, cause my voice is either to high, or to low to fit to it...

You just need to learn more chords dude! You can play it any key at all......

Plainsong
01-15-2009, 01:23 AM
That soprano is a toy mentality is appearing again. The range of the soprano isn't limited to Tiny Tim. Sheesh.

Ya know locally, the soprano seems to be the preferred size. Those guys play circles around other uke players. I don't get the negativity.

HaileISela
01-15-2009, 02:06 AM
You just need to learn more chords dude! You can play it any key at all......

yeah, I know, but if I want to stick on the original key, or want to play one of my other (limited) instruments to it, I have to... I think I do know enough chords now^^



That soprano is a toy mentality is appearing again. The range of the soprano isn't limited to Tiny Tim. Sheesh.

Ya know locally, the soprano seems to be the preferred size. Those guys play circles around other uke players. I don't get the negativity.

That was nothing against sopranos, it's just sad that the German music stores staff do not even know tiny tim.


I was in on of the biggest german music stores this week. They only had 4 Sopranos and one Tenor in stock. They did not even know, that there is a sopranino, concert or barriton also, they never have heard anything about kala, koaloha for instance and they only smile at you when you are talking about ukuleles seriously! That's what is going on over here. :/

same here: I once asked the dealer in one of three shops in my town why they do not sell "real" Ukes, answer:
D: "people want toy ukes!"
Me: "but they'll never want real instruments if they don't know that there are such"
D: :confused:

or in the other shop (which is quite good, well the best we have around):
Me: "Do you have Ukes?"
D: "No, but we'll get some good ones soon"
two weeks later they had them: crap...
another two weeks later they had something from the lowest "quality" range you can start to play on (nato wood, thick enough to stand on but the intonation is quite okay), so it was the best I could get and I gave it to my sis for christmas

SamWise
01-15-2009, 02:29 AM
yeah, I know, but if I want to stick on the original key, or want to play one of my other (limited) instruments to it, I have to... I think I do know enough chords now^^



Sure, but if you're sticking to the original key, it's going to be hard for your voice no matter what instrument you play on. What other instruments do you play? I was just working on I've Been Loving You in Eb, just to see how it would be. Not too bad, is the answer, but I couldn't play Irish flute along with it, for just the same reason (not that Irish flute would work well on that track anyway!)

Uke Republic
01-15-2009, 02:35 AM
Hello, I sell Kala and have been using a Kala mango tenor as a demo{its 4 sale} These are great instruments. The curly mango is beautiful, the action is nice as well. Volume....yes plenty. Concert or Tenor, hmmmmm I love them both! The concert sounds great, not as loud as Tenor. Strings, Aquilla sounds so good on these mangos. I have used Kala reds also which are made by Bella, again sound great and have a softer feel. My over all choice would be the Tenor with Aquillas. I have a 9 year old son who can play a tenor with no problem if its size your concerned about. Now soprano, the Kala pineapples look sound and feel great! Bottom line all sizes of ukes have something wonderful to offer! Danke Volks!

HaileISela
01-15-2009, 02:42 AM
Sure, but if you're sticking to the original key, it's going to be hard for your voice no matter what instrument you play on. What other instruments do you play? I was just working on I've Been Loving You in Eb, just to see how it would be. Not too bad, is the answer, but I couldn't play Irish flute along with it, for just the same reason (not that Irish flute would work well on that track anyway!)

yeah, exactly... irish flute is close to what I play. I play some german bagpipes, swedish and irish flutes, mouthharps and some other instruments without "clean" tunings. so the Uke is actually the only instrument I play that's not limited in keys (okay, I played saxophone for a long time, but didn't like it).

SamWise
01-15-2009, 03:37 AM
Yeah, I play tin-whistle, harmonica, melodeon (hand-harmonika I think they're called over there?), Irish flute. No bagpipes (though I'd love to play Irish pipes), and with those, you're stuck with whatever key you've got. I have tin-whistles and harmonicas in a lot of keys, but I can't afford a big pile of melodeons (my budget has to cover more ukuleles, guitars, african drums, mountain dulcimer, bicycles and old Citroens first!).

HaileISela
01-15-2009, 03:59 AM
Yeah, I play tin-whistle, harmonica, melodeon (hand-harmonika I think they're called over there?), Irish flute. No bagpipes (though I'd love to play Irish pipes), and with those, you're stuck with whatever key you've got. I have tin-whistles and harmonicas in a lot of keys, but I can't afford a big pile of melodeons (my budget has to cover more ukuleles, guitars, african drums, mountain dulcimer, bicycles and old Citroens first!).

yeah, same situation. Uilleann pipes are the best thing ever... hey, we should do a collab someday, with our traditional instruments plus ukulele

SamWise
01-15-2009, 04:47 AM
Sure, I'm up for that. I've played melodeon on a uke track (Stevie Wonder's Superstition - took the horn parts on it!), and it'll be appearing again on a collaboration soon, but I haven't played any whistles of flutes yet. Since my melodeon is in c/f, and my good whistles and my flute are in D, they don't necessarily go together! I'm loving the idea of some sort of bagpipe funk though....

sebi
01-15-2009, 04:54 AM
Hi there!
I owned one of these 'Hawaii Ukulele Company' Sopranos during my time in Hawaii. But these ones are bullshit and now I am looking for a new one, cause my skills are improving with the time.
So I am unsure which one would be the best for me!
The 'KA-MT' Kala Mango Tenor or a 'KA-MC' Kala Mango Concert are beautiful ones, I think. But I am not sure if a tenor or a concert is the best for me? Is there a big difference between concert an soprano? And are tenor ukuleles much more difficult to play because of their size? And what kind of strings should I buy? i think the ones which are coming with the ukulele are not the best?
I would purchase one from musicguymic via his ebay shop.

Mahalo!
Heiko

hallo heiko
wie gehts denn so?
i like tenor ukes best. they are way easier to play "because" of their size, at least in my case. but i have to say, that i've been playing bass guitar for more than 17 years now, therefore, i like wider spaces.
maybe you can just go to a music store and try them out. when i started playing the uke, i actually wanted to get a ovation applause soprano uke but chose a lanikai tenor over the ovation because it was bigger. you might feel the same way like me. simply try them out.
liebe grüsse aus der schweiz
sebi

HaileISela
01-15-2009, 05:04 AM
Sure, I'm up for that. I've played melodeon on a uke track (Stevie Wonder's Superstition - took the horn parts on it!), and it'll be appearing again on a collaboration soon, but I haven't played any whistles of flutes yet. Since my melodeon is in c/f, and my good whistles and my flute are in D, they don't necessarily go together! I'm loving the idea of some sort of bagpipe funk though....

yep, I know a few tunes (one of them is in C) which could get a little funky touch. Let's do that!

elmapache
01-15-2009, 05:05 AM
hallo heiko
wie gehts denn so?
i like tenor ukes best. they are way easier to play "because" of their size, at least in my case. but i have to say, that i've been playing bass guitar for more than 17 years now, therefore, i like wider spaces.
maybe you can just go to a music store and try them out. when i started playing the uke, i actually wanted to get a ovation applause soprano uke but chose a lanikai tenor over the ovation because it was bigger. you might feel the same way like me. simply try them out.
liebe grüsse aus der schweiz
sebi

Danke Sebi für deine nette Antwort! Es geht bestens! :>
Actually I purchased a concert uke now. ;> I tried out a tenor in the beginning of this week, and for some difficult chords, their freds are too wide for my tiny hands :D But hey, now I own a soprano and a concert and maybe I get a tenor next time :> This is the beginning of a wonderful lovestory between my ukes and me :love:

Beste Grüße in die Schweiz!

haole
01-15-2009, 05:52 AM
The size guide for people who are only really concerned with what others think of them:

Sopranos
+ Most people will know it's an ukulele, not a little guitar.
+ Look cheaper, so they won't think you're a nutcase for spending a lot on an instrument.
- "Hey, it's Tiny Tim!"
- "Hey, it's a toy!"

Concerts
+ Yeah, it still looks like an ukulele, and most people can't tell it from a soprano.
- You're still Tiny Tim to them.
- You still have a toy instrument.

Tenors
+ Lots of frets, so it's easier to dazzle them with "Bandito Tyler" or "Bodysurfing."
+ Look more expensive because they're bigger, so you look like you have money.
- Look more expensive because they're bigger, so you look like a schmuck who spent a lot of money on what they probably think is still a novelty instrument (unless, of course, you've already proven them wrong by busting out some Jake or Aldrine)
- Look more like a little guitar than an ukulele ("why don't you just play a six-string guitar instead of a toy one?")

Baritones
+ Even more frets; you can play some Yngwie if you want.
+ Baritone case can do the most damage to a human skull.
- "No, that's definitely a little guitar."
- "Oh, the strings are the same as the top four on the guitar? Then I can play it too! What's the big deal?"



Note: This is a joke based on silly common perceptions. All sizes are fun. Forget what they think and play your uke, no matter how big or small. :D