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View Full Version : Best uses of a 5 String Uke



brUKEman
03-22-2014, 04:29 AM
I'm considering a 5 string with GgCEA. I have not been able to get my hands on one to try and I was wondering what kind of music people use it for. Is it best used for strumming, picking, chord & melody or is it versatile enough to be used as an every day player. My biggest fear is that when you add the low G it lose its re-entrant ukey sound. Any thoughts on this would be appreciated.

OldePhart
03-22-2014, 04:57 AM
I'm considering a 5 string with GgCEA. I have not been able to get my hands on one to try and I was wondering what kind of music people use it for. Is it best used for strumming, picking, chord & melody or is it versatile enough to be used as an every day player. My biggest fear is that when you add the low G it lose its re-entrant ukey sound. Any thoughts on this would be appreciated.

Having recently purchased one I have to say it is good for "all of the above." :)

Okay...when strumming you do lose a bit of the "lilt" of a reentrant uke but in exchange you get a nice full sound. The way I see it is tenors are not great "lilt" ukes anyway - for that I'll play a soprano or my Pineapple Sunday (tenor scale but body only a little larger than a soprano).

For everything but strumming it's like having two ukes in your hand - reentrant and linear. The high-G string is on the outside so when you are doing finger rolls they sound exactly like they do on a reentrant uke unless you intentionally hit both strings. I do a lot of finger rolls and I did not like the way they sounded on a linear uke. If you are picking a melody and want to use the lower notes, it is not difficult to pick just the inside low string. Currently I do this by using my index finger picking up instead of my thumb picking down, but I think once I've had the uke a little longer I'll probably be able to pick just the bass string with my thumb.

So I guess considering all of this you could say that it is a win-win-tie situation. Rentrant picking - win. Linear picking - win. "Ukey" strumming - tie.

John

brUKEman
03-22-2014, 05:32 AM
Thanks for the info, very helpful. When you play an individual Gg string can you use your finger or is too small and you need to use your nail (which I don't have).

OldePhart
03-22-2014, 11:24 AM
When I'm playing the outside high-g I brush it with the pad of my thumb, basically exactly the way I do a four string. If you're talking about the inside low G string I can catch it pretty easy with my index finger coming up but haven't quite mastered catching just the low-G with my thumb...yet. :)

John

PhilUSAFRet
03-22-2014, 02:59 PM
I considered one, many more models come with 6 strings, got a Pono 6 string tenor. No more trouble to play.