PDA

View Full Version : Preference Changes: I'm Now a Diehard Soprano Fan



KevinV
03-19-2014, 05:55 PM
When I first came to the uke from guitar a few years back, I gravitated toward the tenor. I tried a soprano which was way too small to really do much with, briefly had a concert size as I decided to either go big or go home, and then settled on the tenor as my uke of choice. I had a Kala ASAC-T that I used regularly in my band and ended up having a custom built for me. I still have both and love them very much, but have shifted to favoring the soprano. I've found that with some practice, all those impossible chords really aren't impossible at all. My sopranos are 12-fret and I'm able to use the whole neck and do so on a regular basis. I love it now. I'll keep the tenors and they certainly have their place, but my new love is the soprano. Now that I know that, I'd like to get something I'll appreciate more. At this point I'm open to either a vintage Martin, a new Martin in the Style 2 or 3 series, or a Timms mahogany…perhaps his O style.

It's just kind of funny how preferences change over time. Even though they seem rock solid at the time. Who knows, in another couple years I may be a long neck concert junkie.

coolkayaker1
03-19-2014, 06:03 PM
http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?74568-Full-Circle-Back-To-The-Soprano!&highlight=full+circle+soprano

I had the exact same turn-around, Kevin.

Hippie Dribble
03-19-2014, 06:21 PM
Same here Kevin, though I never could get the feel of a tenor or it's sound. I started with a concert but quickly moved onto a soprano and have felt a natural affinity for them ever since. For me it's that light, bright, percussive, punchy and responsive sound and feel, whether strumming or picking. Each to their own but the soprano just "IS" the ukulele for me.

KevinV
03-19-2014, 06:23 PM
Same here Kevin, though I never could get the feel of a tenor or it's sound. I started with a concert but quickly moved onto a soprano and have felt a natural affinity for them ever since. For me it's that light, bright, percussive, punchy and responsive sound and feel, whether strumming or picking. Each to their own but the soprano just "IS" the ukulele for me.

And I've seen several of your videos…you do a fine job with it.

Ukulele Eddie
03-19-2014, 07:27 PM
My first soprano arrives tomorrow, a handsome looking Mike Pereira custom that I bought from @coolkayaker1. I've been skeptical that I would take to the scale but I'm excited to give it a whirl. I was originally focused on a Kiwaya because of the wider fretboard but after I looked at the pics of that MP everyday for about five days, I decided I'd better just own up to it and get it. So time will soon tell whether or not I take to it like so many others have...

Brian W
03-19-2014, 07:33 PM
Hi Kevin,

I had a somewhat similar experience: I have been playing the guitar and bass for over 30 years, and bought a concert uke for my daughter about a year ago. I couldn't stop playing it and finally broke down and bought my own. I decided on a tenor because I have big hands with long fingers and thought that would be the best scale for playing chords. I didn't connect with it and got rid of it rather quickly. I then moved on to concerts, and still do like that scale, but eventually settled on the soprano as being my favorite. To me, they sound and play as a ukulele should, or at least traditionally should. I am not knocking tenors or even concerts as I think they sound great for fingerpicking, but I like the portability, relaxed string tension, percussive attack, and plunky tone of a soprano the best; to each is own. And I like you have no issues playing most chords up and down the neck--just took a little practice.

dirtiestkidever
03-19-2014, 08:35 PM
Same thing here. Worked my way down from guitar to tenor to concert to soprano. Sold my tenor and put a low G on my concert but I play the soprano the most. I am not even sure if it's so much about the sound. I just like the feel of them. Such fun to play. I was surprised to learn recently the tenors are sooo much more popular than sopranos.

Btw Kevin, I recently bought a Timms and a 1940s-50s Martin to compare. I liked the Martin but it didn't match the hype that I had heard about them. I found the sound charming but it didn't come close to the resonance, sustain, and volume of the Timms. Yet the Timms still has a percussive barky sound to it that puts it in the 'martin' category of sound. I sold the Martin but kept the Timms. To be fair though every time i play a vintage Martin I get a different impression. It makes sense that there would be quite a bit a variation between old martins given the number of instruments they turned out and the number of years that have passed so maybe the one i got just wasn't the best. But given the choice of vintage martin or new Timms I would easily choose the Timms. At least that is what I took from my head to head comparison. But as Eugene said 'each to their own'.

savagehenry
03-20-2014, 02:00 AM
I know what you mean. I have all of my ukuleles hanging on the wall so I usually play everyone of them throughout the week. It seems that every other week I proclaim a different scale to be my favorite. One week it's baritone, the next concert and so on. Each ukulele inspires me to play something different. Maybe someday I'll settle on one, but for now, I'm happy to play them all.

ichadwick
03-20-2014, 02:08 AM
Heretics.

Tenor is the Annointed Scale.

We need a Ukulele Inquisition.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tym0MObFpTI

;-)

Ukejenny
03-20-2014, 04:33 AM
Tenor felt "easier" to my fingers, so I started there, but have moved down as I've gotten better at playing. I now gravitate to my soprano, or my concert. But my soprano gets the most playing time. My tenor coms out when I'm wanting that low G sound.

YorkSteve
03-20-2014, 06:45 AM
I too came from an ex-guitar background, and bought a tenor. Then a flea. Then a concert. Then a soprano (and then another). Thinking back over the last month or so, the concert has become my favourite for practicing. The flea went on holiday with me. A soprano goes with me to a weekly play-along session, and I do enjoy trying things out on one soprano or the other.

But the concert is my favourite - slightly more space for my fingers on the fretboard, and a fuller tone - while the tenor hasn't been out of its case for a while.

actadh
03-20-2014, 07:24 AM
I started on a soprano and moved to a concert. I really like the longer neck, so perhaps I should have gone with a super soprano.

I am going to try the tenor size -and retry with a different soprano - with my outdoor uke duo coming this summer. For now, I like the soprano size, but I love my concert.

sonomajazz
03-20-2014, 07:46 AM
Same here Kevin, though I never could get the feel of a tenor or it's sound. I started with a concert but quickly moved onto a soprano and have felt a natural affinity for them ever since. For me it's that light, bright, percussive, punchy and responsive sound and feel, whether strumming or picking. Each to their own but the soprano just "IS" the ukulele for me.

Ditto here JD, about the bright, punchy, but still looking for that "perfect" soprano...my David Newton Primitive is 95% there, but have been shopping for a 1920-1940 Martin...

janeray1940
03-20-2014, 07:54 AM
One thing I've realized after a number of years of playing: preferences change! For nearly 5 years I've been mostly a diehard soprano fan, but over the last couple of weeks I've been playing concerts only and really enjoying the louder sound and longer sustain. Not that I'm getting rid of either of my sopranos any time soon :)

katysax
03-20-2014, 08:36 AM
To me sopranos are the most fun, and when I'm messing around I play the soprano almost daily or several times a day. When I take a uke out to "practice" or to go to a uke jam, I always take the concert because the soprano is a little harder to play cleanly. The tenors rarely get played.