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m2jang
12-25-2013, 07:54 AM
Hello, Ukulele Underground!

I have just got introduced to this ukulele world. I have posted something about buying Kala. However, with the experienced I had with guitar, I decided to buy a ukulele that would last me. I want to play songs by Jake Shimabukuro and Fuchigami. So I thought I wanted to by a tenor Ukulele (Either Kamaka HF-3 or Koaloha KTM-00). However, I listened to some clips about Koaloha KCM, which looked great. I am hoping to eventually get a custom tenor down the road (like 2 years,,, once I have some money).

So i'm debating if I should get concert ukulele or tenor ukulele for my first instrument. Can people play Jake's and Fuchigami's song comfortably on Concert ukulele?

JamieWG
12-25-2013, 08:07 AM
m2jang, I'm also coming to ukulele from a (classical) guitar background. I decided to get a concert size because I wanted the portability of a smaller instrument. I've only been playing it for a few days, but I suspect I will eventually end up playing tenor, and think that might have been a more comfortable transition. (I don't regret getting the concert to travel with though.) Another factor is that I do miss the lower resonances of the guitar. I think eventually I will want to go to a low G to reclaim some of those overtones and expand the range. I suspect that the tenor carries the low G better than the concert size, but maybe some folks could comment on that who have experienced it first hand already!

Jamie

Olarte
12-25-2013, 08:35 AM
Eventually you'll probably have one of each.

For me, coming from classical guitar, I would recommend a temor scale with a low g fluorocarbon non wound low g.

Even at a tenor size the instrument is small enough to fit in an airplane overhead compartment and to play just about anywhere.

And again coming from guitars you will find tenor scale quite comfortable.

kohanmike
12-25-2013, 08:43 AM
After playing guitar for almost 50 years, I started playing ukulele about 5-6 months ago with a Maholo soprano, but I didn't know anything about sizes at the time. Within days I realized the frets on the Mahalo were too tight for me. In reading up on ukes, I felt tenor would be best for me, and succumbing to UAS, I now have eight exactly the same configuration but different woods (see my signature below).

katysax
12-25-2013, 08:49 AM
I started on guitar and when I started ukulele it was as a secondary instrument. For years a soprano was adequate for sing alongs and occasional finger-picking. When I started playing more melodies I got a tenor but for some reason tenors and I never bonded. The ukulele is fun as a contrast to the guitar and the small size is part of the fun for me. Over time I've gravitated to the concert size as offering a little more of a fretboard but still the small size, yet a bit more to hold.

In the beginning, as a guitar player low G seemed more natural, but after spending more time with the uke I much prefer the high G. The uke is technically a small guitar but it is a unique instrument. The small size and reentrant tuning are part of its uniqueness.

janeray1940
12-25-2013, 08:51 AM
I play with a lot of musicians who played guitar before uke, and most (if not all) strongly prefer tenor over concert. Worth noting: the majority are guys, with typical guy-sized hands.

I'm not a guy and I've got little hands, and I play a couple of Jake songs on soprano. If you're comfortable with the size of a concert uke, there should be nothing stopping you from doing the same.

iamesperambient
12-25-2013, 09:04 AM
Hello, Ukulele Underground!

I have just got introduced to this ukulele world. I have posted something about buying Kala. However, with the experienced I had with guitar, I decided to buy a ukulele that would last me. I want to play songs by Jake Shimabukuro and Fuchigami. So I thought I wanted to by a tenor Ukulele (Either Kamaka HF-3 or Koaloha KTM-00). However, I listened to some clips about Koaloha KCM, which looked great. I am hoping to eventually get a custom tenor down the road (like 2 years,,, once I have some money).

So i'm debating if I should get concert ukulele or tenor ukulele for my first instrument. Can people play Jake's and Fuchigami's song comfortably on Concert ukulele?


I would start with baritone actually it's tuned like a guitar
and the chord shapes and the same just the names of guitar chords
so it will make transitioning easier
and you can string it up with special
sets to gcea and get two instruments in one.

Patrick Madsen
12-25-2013, 09:06 AM
I've been a guitar player for 55 years. For myself, I like a thin, radiused low action neck tenor with linear(low G) wound 3&4 Southcoast strings.

If you want to play songs like Jake, he uses a high g strung tenor.

itsme
12-25-2013, 02:44 PM
..I play a couple of Jake songs on soprano.
But a lot of Jake's stuff uses more frets than a soprano has.

janeray1940
12-25-2013, 02:58 PM
But a lot of Jake's stuff uses more frets than a soprano has.

I have a 19-fret soprano :) But you make a good point - if the OP goes with a concert uke, the number of frets may be a consideration.

GASguy
12-25-2013, 03:59 PM
I was a long time guitar player who moved to ukulele as a second instrument; my first uke was a Pono PCS deluxe concert, but I quickly moved up to tenor scale.

I would recommend a high G strung (reentrant) tenor as it has, to me at least, the traditional ukulele "sound".

Having said that I have several Compass Rose tenor ukes strung low G (linear), that I absolutely LOVE, but they sound less like a traditional uke than the ukes strung with high G.

didgeridoo2
12-25-2013, 06:32 PM
You want to play like Jake, get a tenor. If you want to play like Neal, get a soprano. Both are awesome inspirations.

Meljoe
12-26-2013, 01:06 AM
My suggestion is go to the nearest music shop that sells different sizes of ukulele. Try all of them and you decide which one fits for you.. :)

PhilUSAFRet
12-26-2013, 04:37 AM
You should be happy with either. There are both concert and tenor necked sopranos if you want the soprano sound. I personally like the concert best, but play all 3 sizes regularly. Google "ukulele for guitar players" for lots of perspective/

grahamdh
12-26-2013, 11:20 AM
I came from the guitar, as well. I really like the Concert size, it feels like a ukulele (rather than a small guitar) but projects like a guitar (not exactly, of course, but they can get loud). That being said, you'll most likely end up with multiples. The one problem I've found is that there are a lot of choices in Soprano and Tenor in terms of wood and which company, but fewer in Concert. One thing I would recommend, though, is to pay attention to the finish. I prefer satin, not everyone does, but I got used to it with a guitar. I can't slide on a gloss neck, I know it's possible, I just can't do it. Satin will be harder to find among upper end instruments. In my experience, anyway.

geelinus
12-26-2013, 11:32 PM
Your experience may be different, but I'm sold on tenor ukes.

I started with a concert uke but simply found it too small for comfort.

consitter
12-26-2013, 11:46 PM
My suggestion is go to the nearest music shop that sells different sizes of ukulele. Try all of them and you decide which one fits for you.. :)

Best advice I've seen thus far. Try before you buy.

NewKid
12-27-2013, 02:29 AM
I played guitar for 35 years before ukuleles. I haven't picked up a guitar in two years. I tried all the ukulele sizes and they're all fun. Same with lots of different tunings. Right now my preference is tenors in reentrant C. I use the entire fretboard so the tenor is comfortable. The high G also allows me to play Campanella style music where the melody is played on different strings for each note. That makes the uke sound like a harp. Each of my tenors has a unique tone due to different build designs and tone woods used.

Peter Hurney of Pohaku makes a hybrid soprano/concert called a Concert 10. It's a big soprano. If I ever go small again it will be with one of those.

strumsilly
12-27-2013, 03:31 AM
Your experience may be different, but I'm sold on tenor ukes.

I started with a concert uke but simply found it too small for comfort.

me too, but I HAVE AT LEAST one of each size. another consideration is the neck width, a wider neck makes the soprano easier to play [for me] If you want a nice tenor, I have a new Koaloha for sale in the marketplace. you will have a hard time finding a nicer playing and sounding uke. [shameless self promotion]

tonet
12-27-2013, 06:14 AM
I would buy a tenor one stringed with high g.

ukuleletim
12-27-2013, 06:31 AM
I read the first page of replies and see that pretty much everyone will have a different experience and recommendation. My background is guitar.. classical, folk, country, rock, metal, and almost anything else. I just like music. I approached the ukulele the same way just wondering how much music I can get out of this thing.

Soprano is way too small for what I want to do although they have a lovely ring to them. I do own one that I never play.

I have two concerts which are my main ukes. THe fret spacing is adequate, I can get amazing stretches with concert size. And it is small like I feel a ukulele should be.

My harp ukulele is a tenor size. I like playing it. And when I go into music stores and play tenors I have fun but quickly realize I can't get the same fret range without some effort. It's still fun and I wouldn't mind having a nice tenor some day.

Also I play strictly reentrant tuning. To me that is the charm of a ukulele and besides I have guitars I can use for 'low G' stuff if I start to feel cramped for range. Not everyone has that luxury, though.

In the end you will have fun whichever one you get.

Kamanaaloha
12-27-2013, 10:50 AM
It should really depend on your hand size and what you are comfortable with. If you have large hands...like me, get a HF-3L...2 inches longer than a tenor but one inch short of a Baritone (19 inches) ...the option I like for portability and they seem to be brighter sort of...a tenor necked concert HF-2L I own 2 and the gotoh one is awesome!

Much of this is purely subjective...based on tone woods/strings/and how the instrument speaks to you alone. you can play all ukulele music on all ukulele...but only u can choose what is right for you, imho. Demo instruments before you buy.

KoAloha and Kamaka make long neck concerts...only custom shops and Kamaka will likely make you a long neck tenor. Many make standard tenors and standard concerts...and anyone who makes an ukulele typically will make the soprano.

xommen
12-27-2013, 11:14 AM
I play Guitar and Bass Guitar and personally use my three Concerts the most. I do have a Tenor that I now have equipped with a Bariton set and tuned DGBE which is sometimes useful/fun. I do have three Sopranos but I really don't use them much except when traveling.

Steedy
12-27-2013, 11:15 AM
Once upon a time there was a little girl named Goldilocks who got lost in the mall and wandered into a music store where she found some ukuleles of various sizes. First, she tried a Soprano ukulele but quickly put it back on the shelf. "That one is just too small!" said Goldilocks. Next, she tried a Tenor ukulele and put it back just as quickly. "That one is just too big!" said Goldilocks. Finally, she tried a Concert ukulele which fit perfectly in her hands. "This one is just right!" said Goldilocks, and she played it happily ever after. :)

Paul December
12-27-2013, 11:31 AM
You already have a guitar, so get something that sounds completely different: Reentrant-Strung Concert
Low G Tenor may just be an ersatz guitar to you.

coolkayaker1
12-28-2013, 02:02 AM
You already have a guitar, so get something that sounds completely different: Reentrant-Strung Concert
Low G Tenor may just be an ersatz guitar to you.

Agree.

Check ukulele virtuoso Gerald Ross, m2jang, at 2:00 min in this video. He is specifically speaking to your question about guitarist to ukulele. He goes on to show the re-entrant tuning that makes ukulele sparkle.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XLIWRfY66A0

hucklelele
12-28-2013, 04:58 AM
I'd personallly favor the concert- although I haven't got a tenor yet-
and I play classical guitar, but my choice is unrelated to that and more based on uke sound
I think the ukulele is simpler and more of a vocal accompananying instrument- but not to belittle any virtuosos!
To me the higher sounds of the soprano and concert are more "true" ukulele, but the tenor's not far off. The baritone is more of a crossover between guitar and uke, but a uke novice should take the uke plunge and not fret over the similarities.

Why not try both? Or all?
You can feasibly try ALL for around $200 total cost, and then have decent starting instruments to decide about later-
as oppposed to spending that first, and then deciding you'd maybe like something else later


most people eventually would like to have all sizes!