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itsme
06-21-2014, 05:24 PM
My first uke was a Cordoba mahogany tenor, I won it in a drawing from a guitar store. I have since acquired several (cough! cough!) more ukes.

The Cordoba hasn't seen much action in a long time, so I decided since I could stuff the case in my tote bag, I'd bring it to today's meetup.

I have to admit I was pleasantly surprised by how good it sounded and how easy it was to play. And the Worth browns on it were still almost perfectly in tune.

Someone else at the meetup said something about how they could never sell their first uke, and I realized I felt the same way.

There may come a time when I will have to thin the herd, but I don't think I'll ever sell this one. :)

PereBourik
06-21-2014, 05:31 PM
Maybe not sell. I would give it away to start someone else on their way. It's a Luna Tattoo.

VampireWeekday
06-21-2014, 05:32 PM
My first ukulele was nothing great. It was a Kohala laminate concert that I bought at Costco. I know now I could have done a lot better for the money, but it was reasonably playable. It had some crappy black nylon strings not it. I haven't played it in a while, maybe I'll get it out and restring it to see what I can get out of it. Might be good to practice setting it up too. It was a nice intro anyway and I have fond memories of it.

wickedwahine11
06-21-2014, 05:58 PM
Mine was a Hawaiian Ukulele Company soprano bought at the Aloha Tower about six years ago. I never play it and the only emotional attachment to it comes from the fact my mom bought it for me. I am keeping it only long enough to give to my niece, but she is only three years old right now.

Gillian
06-21-2014, 07:14 PM
My first ukulele was nothing great. It was a Kohala laminate concert that I bought at Costco. I know now I could have done a lot better for the money, but it was reasonably playable. It had some crappy black nylon strings not it. I haven't played it in a while, maybe I'll get it out and restring it to see what I can get out of it. Might be good to practice setting it up too. It was a nice intro anyway and I have fond memories of it.


Same here, from the Costco in Hawaii Kai four years ago. I put some Aquilas on it which made a big difference. It would probably sound better if I had it set up properly, too. (It's a little bit sharp at the 12th fret). I loan it out to folks, take it to the beach and get sand in it, but I won't part with it unless it breaks.

iamesperambient
06-21-2014, 07:38 PM
My first uke was a Cordoba mahogany tenor, I won it in a drawing from a guitar store. I have since acquired several (cough! cough!) more ukes.

The Cordoba hasn't seen much action in a long time, so I decided since I could stuff the case in my tote bag, I'd bring it to today's meetup.



I have to admit I was pleasantly surprised by how good it sounded and how easy it was to play. And the Worth browns on it were still almost perfectly in tune.

Someone else at the meetup said something about how they could never sell their first uke, and I realized I felt the same way.

There may come a time when I will have to thin the herd, but I don't think I'll ever sell this one. :)


mine was a samick concert
and I no longer own it it was
a good starter uke though

Ukejenny
06-21-2014, 07:39 PM
My first ukulele was a blue Mahalo we bought for my youngest son so he wouldn't destroy my older son's little guitar. I recuperated from the flu for a week with this instrument. A week on the couch with an out of tune ukulele. Within a month or so, I was shopping online to get an instrument for myself. While I shopped and waited, put some strings on it (D'Addarios, I think), took a butter knife to the nut and changed the saddle out for a whittled chopstick to lower the insanely high action. I want to take it in for a "real" setup and see the look on the guy's face when he gets a load of my handiwork.

Icelander53
06-21-2014, 08:18 PM
I'm not very sentimental about my beginner uke. I keep it as a loaner and will give it away one day when someone in need comes along. I really don't think it sounds very good anymore.

Dane
06-21-2014, 08:29 PM
I hate my first uke. Oscar Schmidt concert plywood piece of junk. Neck terrible, setup terrible, intonation terrible, tone terrible. You could play it at the 5th fret and it was already falling out of tune. An all-together horrible experience. It took me over a year to get into ukulele playing because that instrument was so uninspiring (and painful) to play.

I would never sell it or give it away, because I would never wish that pain on another person. It has been sitting in my closet in a case for about 5 years, it's probably all dried out by now.

Leigh Coates
06-21-2014, 08:40 PM
Mine is a Hilo soprano that I bought in a local music store. I learned all the beginner chords on it, and didn't realize how bad the intonation was. I loved it.

I got the bright idea to paint it orange and put a decal of a palm tree on it. But I really suck at things like that, and the result was disastrous... the paint ran and the decal went on crooked and bubbly. I was REALLY sad; as if I had killed it. My husband felt sorry for me, and when I was out one evening he stripped the paint and the original finish off of it and sanded it down; then he did a lovely job of refinishing it.

I could never let it go. The intonation is still terrible, but it doesn't matter how it stacks up against my other ukes. It's a keeper.

Dane
06-21-2014, 10:41 PM
As far as I'm concerned, my second ukulele, my Ohana TK-35g is my first uke, it's what inspired me to learn and play.

Manalishi
06-21-2014, 10:51 PM
Mine was a Mahalo painted cheapie! I passed it on to a friend
when I got a better uke,but....I still own one of the Mahalo
cheapies,which I use for taking to places I would not want to
risk my decent instruments in;like camping etc!

bunnyf
06-21-2014, 11:27 PM
My first uke was my husband's first uke, a Lanikai lu21b, (a humble laminate baritone). I bought in a local music shop about 15 yrs ago. It was all they carried at the time(ukulele not being very popular then). I thought it would be a convenient "little guitar" for him to noodle around with. Well, six kids and busy lives, it just got played when the occasional whim struck. It stood leaning in a corner or in the closet with no case for years. It really took a licking and kept on ticking though, because a few years ago, when I retired, I thought "what the heck, we still have this thing? I'm gonna learn how to play it" ...and I did! Still love that uke. Four of my six kids now play ukulele and my son really wanted my old uke when I upgraded. I still see it regularly when I jam with him.

PhilUSAFRet
06-22-2014, 01:12 AM
My first uke is my pre-war Martin O. My Dad had just finished building a house and I suspect he didn't have much money, so he gave me his uke on my 10th birthday. I'll be 74 in September. Goes to savagehenry when I kick the bucket.

NOTLguy
06-22-2014, 02:01 AM
My first uke was a Lanikai Concert that was purchased on Kijiji, a Canadian online garage sale site. It was a pretty little uke and sounded very nice when strung with Worth browns. I sold it when I purchased my Pono tenor last February.

Regards,
Bill

kenikas
06-22-2014, 02:05 AM
I still have my first and do play it fairly regularly, although I have acquired quite a few others over the years. It's a Makala tenor I got from MGM along with a couple of Dolphins for my grandkids. I'm still rather amazed at Mikes customer service when I was new at the instrument and he called me back to answer my questions even though the ukes I was looking at were probably the cheapest he carried, and I'm sure he hardly made a profit on them. I don't think I could ever sell it, it and my LU-21C are the ones I throw in the trailer for camping.

peanuts56
06-22-2014, 02:32 AM
First one was a Fluke and I still have it. I bought it about 15 years ago in a Waterbury Conn. store that only sells merchandise made in Conn. At the time the Flukes and Fleas were made in New Hartford, Conn. I play it once in a while and it still sounds good. I would never sell it but like many have mentioned here, I would give it to someone who was truly interested.

greenie44
06-22-2014, 03:06 AM
The first uke I had that "took" was a Lanikai 6 string tenor mahogany laminate. The first step of UAS found me buying a backup for that uke, since I loved it so much. I got a used Lanikai 6-string tenor, but a cutaway in koa which, within about a week, completely supplanted my first one, based on action and tone.

I felt like I didn't want to get rid of my original 6-string for sentimental reasons. Then I got Jake's autograph on the front and Frank Orrall of Poi Dog Pondering autographed a picture he drew on the back, and now I can't ever part with it.

1931jim
06-22-2014, 03:50 AM
Hello greenie44,
"" The first step of UAS found me buying a backup for that uke, since I loved it so much.""
That made me chuckle, a guy can't have too many backups.
Regards
Jim

actadh
06-22-2014, 07:36 AM
My first ukulele is the yellow one in my avatar. A First Act Discovery for $15 from T.J. Maxx. Bought a few days before Christmas 2013 as a back up gift for a grandkid in case their online gift did not come in time. It did come in time.

I was alone on Christmas Eve and decided to pull it out of the box. I was surprised at the geared tuners. Pulled up chord websites until I found one this one http://www.ukuleletricks.com/11-must-know-ukulele-chords-for-beginners/ and learned nine of the chords that night. I was playing the ukulele the next day -Christmas Day - for family. It was basic stuff, but still songs!

I think that is the beauty of the ukulele experience - to go from zero to passable in a short time, and then the rest of your lifetime is the joy of discovering how wonderful a ukulele can be.

BigD
06-22-2014, 07:52 AM
I still have mine and play it on the regular,a makala tenor. Just a cheapy,agathis or some kinda ply. Restrung with aquilas then a low g red aquila and ud be amazed at how it sounds. Still my most comfortable uke to play on and no worries if it gets beatin up a bit. I always recommend makala for ppl for their first uke,ive had great experiences with them,even their little pineapple is nice! I think for the majority of us there woukd be no selling of the first uke because,well most of our first ukes were laminate junkers lol not saying we didnt love them or happened to start on a decent instrument,but most of us wouldnt get nearly enough cash back on something thats given us so much joy. Thats my feelings about it at least,the forty bucks id get(maybe lol) for mine could never replace the time and patience ive put into it.

janeray1940
06-22-2014, 08:04 AM
My first ukulele is the yellow one in my avatar. A First Act Discovery for $15 from T.J. Maxx. Bought a few days before Christmas 2013 as a back up gift for a grandkid in case their online gift did not come in time. It did come in time.

I was alone on Christmas Eve and decided to pull it out of the box. I was surprised at the geared tuners. Pulled up chord websites until I found one this one http://www.ukuleletricks.com/11-must-know-ukulele-chords-for-beginners/ and learned nine of the chords that night. I was playing the ukulele the next day -Christmas Day - for family. It was basic stuff, but still songs!

I think that is the beauty of the ukulele experience - to go from zero to passable in a short time, and then the rest of your lifetime is the joy of discovering how wonderful a ukulele can be.

I love stories like this about how people first happened to pick up a uke! :)

My actual first uke was a mahogany soprano that I was given for my 7th birthday. It got left behind in a basement when my family moved overseas many years ago. Much later, it was rumored to still be in said basement, and I tried for years to contact the owner but no luck. This is my lone uke regret - the only one I've parted with that pains me.

My first adult uke was an Ohana SK-20S. It took me about three weeks to realize that once I changed the strings to Aquilas, it was a remarkably decent uke for $100! The black nylon strings it came with were just awful though, and thank goodness I had an instructor who was able to tell me that the problem was the strings and not me. I moved on pretty quickly to K-brands, and kept the Ohana for a while as my beach uke, but I soon realized a 12-fret uke just wasn't right for me. I then gave the Ohana to a friend, along with a pink Dolphin for her little girl, and taught them the basics.

OldePhart
06-22-2014, 08:59 AM
Funny you should start this thread. My first uke was a Lanikai LU-21C concert purchased from Amazon. The first thing I did when I got it was adjust the nut for good intonation as I'd been doing with guitars for a while (it was playable out of the box, but not perfect).

My wife liked it so I gave it to her when I started getting "serious" ukes. She never plays it (she's a keyboardist...she has to have one of everything I have but she never really plays anything but the keyboard...so I finally learned not to buy her really expensive guitars, dulcimers, etc. because after a week they won't be touched anymore).

Anyway, I don't even remember why but last week I went in search of that uke, found where she'd buried it in a closet. Took it out and tuned it up and was honestly surprised by how good it sounded. It has been sitting in a box with it's original Aquila strings for something like 4 years but after a quick tuning it actually sounded quite good with decent volume and good intonation all the way up. Nothing grand, but I wouldn't hesitate to play it anywhere.

John

cantsing
06-22-2014, 11:22 AM
My first uke was a Kala KA-T (a tenor) from MGM. It was a great first uke, but after playing for 6 months, I bought a concert and never looked back. I tried to give the Kala tenor away a couple of times without success, and I eventually sold it to a couple who were purchasing 2 starter ukes so they could learn to play together. I was happy to have found it a good home--I really hated that it wasn't being played.

Ukulele Eddie
06-22-2014, 11:57 AM
I had to sell my Cordoba 35TS, which is what I consider my first uke (it was actually the 3rd, but the prior two were returned in short order) because I have a two uke limit agreement with my wife (she recently started playing so I'm hoping to get agreement on a third and we share them all). And while I really enjoyed that uke, even if I didn't have a limit, I'd rather it go to somebody who will enjoy it as one of their primary players (and it is being enjoyed by another UU'er now).

sukie
06-22-2014, 12:08 PM
Sometimes our first ukuleles sound better now because we are better players. :-)

My first ukulele was a Hawaiian Ukulele Company concert I got on Honolulu. $125 for instrument, case and chord chart. How excited I was to get it. I, of course, was a horrid player and the sound was terrible. One month after I started playing I got to go to a Jake concert. We got there while. Jake was finishing his sound check and I got to talk to him. He also showed me a fun picking pattern -- on MY ukulele. Know what? He made that little baby sing. Sometimes it's not the instrument -- it's the player.

UkerDanno
06-22-2014, 01:54 PM
Inspired by IZ, because my favorite local DJ died of cancer, so after that, they played IZ's Somewhere/Wonderful medley at the end of every show. It became my favorite time of day, when they would play that refreshing song!

So, I started shopping for something cheap to get started. So, if I lost interest I wouldn't lose much.

Found a Lanikai Lu-11 for $45 on amazon! Learned a few chords and then a couple years later joined the Sun City Ukulele Club and the rest is history!

And...no, I would never sell it.

trowacat
06-22-2014, 06:53 PM
When I go back to play my first ukulele, I realize how far along i've came. It truly is amazing how the slight details in an instrument (I mean they do all basically have the same shape) can really set them apart.

gitarzan
06-22-2014, 07:11 PM
An LT21 Lanakai. It's laying around where I grab it and play it all the time. I keep thinking I'll give it away but then I play it and...

Dane
06-22-2014, 07:46 PM
I'm surprised more people didn't have a bad first ukulele experience like I did. I wonder if the other people that had an experience like mine didn't stick with it.... such a sad thought!

BlueLatitude
06-23-2014, 03:51 AM
My first was a Kala KA-SC, from HMS. Of course it came with a great setup (thanks UU, for pointing me to HMS!!!) and I loved it from the start. Now I have it strung with a low G and I still play it regularly.

sukie
06-23-2014, 04:23 AM
I'm surprised more people didn't have a bad first ukulele experience like I did
The very, very first ukulele I played was as cheapie $20 plastic souvenir type. 40 of us were in a class on a cruise ship. We practiced G, C and F for about 1/2 hour. Then it was time to start learning Tiny Bubbles. Oh my god, it was hilarious! I was on the floor with tears in my eyes from laughing so hard. All I could think was, "What's not to love?"

Nickie
06-23-2014, 04:48 AM
I bought a baritone, used, for 40 bucks from a friend of mine, who said the owner had arthritis so bad she couldn't play any more....never could play the darn thing, so I gave it to a friend who wanted a bari, and had no money....he still plays it. I have no regrets....

bborzell
06-23-2014, 01:12 PM
Pono ATDC. Bought it shortly after returning from Maui last year where we took in a Jake show. That was the first time I focused on the Uke as a serious instrument. Most of my playing time is on the MP I bought several months later, but the Pono still gets 2-3 days a week.

kwall
06-23-2014, 01:53 PM
My family was going on a trip to hawaii and since my birthday was before and I love musical instruments for my birthday i got a fender ukulele. BEST BIRTHDAY GIFT EVER. I still play it and she will never be forgotten, the only time i may not play her is when I get a brand new one but after about a week all my ukuleles are in the rotation. Fantastic ukulele and if ppl have the money great one to learn on

kohanmike
06-23-2014, 06:19 PM
My first was in early June 2014 when I was leafing through a Musician's Friend catalogue and saw a Mahalo with preamp designed after a Fender Telecaster that I have. I thought the uke would be cute hanging next to the Tele so I bought it on a whim, $60. That same week I received notice for the annual summer Los Angeles Music Center Uke-Along in July (I've done their guitar-along before). I signed up and sat in front of the computer to learn to play uke via the internet. But, I found that the Mahalo was difficult to make the chords.

Researching, I learned about sizes and decided I need to go tenor. Looking online, I found a Lanikai LQA-TCA, solid spruce top, quilted ash body with preamp on sale from $299 to $149. I hopped over to Sam Ash to see what they had, and hey, they had that Lanikai, but for $325. I asked if they matched price, they said yes, so I bought it.

What a difference that made reaching chords. After attending the Music Center sessions, I had a luthier do a setup, then I yanked the poorly conceived Fishman Sonicore preamp in the sound hole and installed a Fishman Isis+ preamp/tuner in the side of the uke. I play it in rotation with my other ukes continuously. It doesn't have the best projection or sustain, but it's not too bad.

Shortly after I joined the CC Strummers and sold the Mahalo to another member and she gave it to her granddaughter.

Mahalo Tele (I added the pick guard)
http://www.fairfax67.com/images/Mahalo tele pick guard.jpg

Lanikai LQA-TCA
http://www.fairfax67.com/images/u1LanikaiQA.jpg