View Full Version : Who has switched sizes of ukes and found joy

07-06-2014, 01:24 PM
I never considered sopranos, never gave them a moments thought. I came from guitar so it was all about tenor size for me. Then I got a concert and that was fun to play, kind of more relaxed. I bought a soprano about two weeks ago and I can't stop playing it. This thing is my least expensive uke and it has banished the other high brow stuff to sit in their cases in the corner of the room. With this little guy it is all about playing songs and making music. No obsessing over tone, strings, sustain or projection. It has been liberating.

Has anyone else been stuborn about one size, tried something new and gotten a pleasant surprise. The only downside is now I have UAS real bad for more sopranos:rolleyes:

07-06-2014, 02:01 PM
I have all sizes, but I play them all. Started with a soprano when I was a kid. When I rekindled my ukulele interest as an adult, I again restarted with a soprano. Mine is great, a KoAloha. Awesome tone, very loud. I have it strung low G which many believe is too slack on the low string. I don't find that to be the case though. It gets the most outdoor playing of any of my instruments. Have fun, that's the key. I think that's pretty much a given if you're playing a ukulele, or at least if you're not having fun, you aren't doing it right. :)

07-06-2014, 02:12 PM
I started with Soprano and when I switched to tenor the sun came out and the birds began to sing.

07-06-2014, 02:19 PM
Started with sopranos but always wanted to play tenor; my small hands made it difficult (and I actually injured myself trying!). Recently I've found concerts to be the sweet spot for me.

07-06-2014, 02:50 PM
I do enjoy all three sizes and they seem to have their own purpose. Fun is a good purpose, soprano is doing that for me right now.

07-06-2014, 03:04 PM
I have all three sizes but found my niche with the concert size.

07-06-2014, 05:02 PM
I love my three tenors but my soprano is always a welcome change of pace. I used to have everything in re-entrant tuning and now the tenors are all Low-G. So the soprano makes me feel like I have a pure ukulele sound. My Ukiyo Vita is quite an intrument - loud and pure tone. I like the old-timey, plinky sound of Martin sopranos but the Ukiyo is nothing like that. It also sounds wonderful when playing softly and intimately - like we're having a private conversation.

Jim Hanks
07-06-2014, 05:04 PM
I have all three sizes but found my niche with the concert size.
(sigh)no love for the baritone. :( started on concert, hated it, went up to tenor and baritone, loved it, just got a soprano longneck, liking it, wait - isn't that a concert neck? Um, yep. :rolleyes:

07-06-2014, 05:29 PM
I have all 4 sizes. Started with a baritone. Then, I wanted to try a soprano, so I bought my husband one. It's his fave to this day and he really has no interest in any other sizes. I was surprised because he has fairly large hands, but I guess since he has a guitar/bass background, he has fairly nimble fingers and doesn't find the squeeze all that challenging and he just likes the soprano voice. I dismissed it as too cramped and added a tenor instead for myself. After playing both for some time, I found my preference was still for the baritone. Now, a few years in, I have re-discovered the soprano. I don't find it that cramped anymore, now that I am a bit more experienced player. I rarely play my concert Flea, it is by far my least favorite (sound wise) but it's my camping and beach uke. I think it's cool if someone finds one size that's just right for them, but it's also cool to try different sizes too, whether it's for comfort (size-wise) or sound. Or maybe you just want to be able to mix it up depending on the song or your mood.

07-06-2014, 07:20 PM
I totally hear ya' about the soprano. I was all about concert reentrant and tenor low G and just let the soprano slip in for something small to take out to the park. But that sneaky little uke has won me over. Maybe its the brand, maybe I've evolved/changed as a player but whatever it is the soprano feels like such a great fit. Easy to reach the stretched out chords and such a fine unpretentious uke sound.

I seriously wonder how much play time my other two ukes will get but know enough to just give it time; once the honeymoon period is over, I'll know whether I'm bound to be a one uke woman. ;-)

Down Up Dick
07-06-2014, 08:12 PM
I've tried 'em all and decided on concerts. The strings and frets are spaced just right for my fingers. Sopranos are a tight squeeze, and my baritone is really a stretch. My tenor is just okay. I'm a concert man.

07-06-2014, 11:09 PM
Soprano is for strumming a ton o fun, tenor for picking music. I love them both and i think playing one makes me enjoy the other, kinda like chocolate and vanilla...

07-07-2014, 06:25 AM
I started with Soprano and when I switched to tenor the sun came out and the birds began to sing.

Same here. When I moved up to the tenor the joint pain from awkward chord shapes disappeared. After a few hours I adjusted to the new fret spacing and found everything easier to play.

07-07-2014, 07:09 AM
Started on soprano,wanted a concert.Got a concert,wanted a tenor.
Got a tenor,played tenor and occasional concert.Tried soprano again
after a layoff,and have stayed with it ever since! (Oh yes,plus quite
a lot of Sopranino playing too! It's just such an irresistible little beast!)

07-07-2014, 04:36 PM
I started with a Bari, couldn't play the darn thing. I've had all 4 sizes, the tenor was too much of a stretch, and I don't care for the plinky sound of the sopranos I've played. I've settled on concerts....I like the "midrange" sound, and the fret distance is just right for me....I feel like Goldilocks.....

07-07-2014, 04:40 PM
When I started playing in the '70s, all you ever saw in stores in New England were sopranos and the occasional baritone. Now I play mostly tenors, sometimes concerts, and my sopranos rarely see the light of day.

07-07-2014, 07:24 PM
I started on tenor, thinking it would be easiest to learn and have a big sound. Now I play soprano and concert, and love those sizes and their sounds. Mine sound plenty big enough for me. Concert is my real sweet spot, but I've been playing a lot of soprano this summer.

Leigh Coates
07-07-2014, 09:27 PM
I've never had a baritone, but I own a representative or two of the other sizes. I even had a sopranino for a while, but it was really small.

I find that I play them all, and some days I prefer one size or the other. They are all my buddies.

07-11-2014, 01:12 PM
Hey Dave,

I too came to uke from guitar. I'm not sure what order they came in, but I ended up with both a soprano and tenor early on. The soprano was a laminate Makala and mostly for fun strumming. The tenor was a solid Kala and I used it in my band. I decided tenor was the route for me and had a custom built.

Over time I tried a concert and it was nice, but I never got the concert bug. When my soprano went home with a niece who came to visit from out of state I really started to miss that size. Through the ensuing years I've come to favor the soprano and have had several pass through my hands, some now here on extended stays. I still own both my tenors although one is out on long term loan to a friend of my daughter. While I can appreciate different size ukes I favor the soprano these days, and it's been this way for some time.

I do lots of fingerpicking and the soprano is great for it. I played primarily fingerstyle guitar and found during my transition that the tenor lent itself well to that style, but I now find the soprano just as well suited. And it's great for strumming too. I think the soprano uke is a wonderfully intimate instrument with lots of versatility.

I've had UAS bad in the past (it seems to strike every so often) but am at a very comfortable stage right now. The only thing that's really on my radar is a Timms like was sold the other day, mahogany body and rosewood fretboard variant. I was able to pass though as I'm quite happy with my current lot.

So to answer your question more succinctly, yes, I've been somewhat stubborn in the past about the tenor and over time found the soprano was more of what I was looking for. It's now my number one.

07-12-2014, 03:23 AM
I have three sizes: one of the really cheap soprano mahalos which I use as my beat-up/carry around ukulele, and my double-neck uke which has a concert and a tenor neck. I find that I don't notice the difference between the concert and soprano much, except that the concert sounds way better and has more frets. The tenor is an 8-string and tuned lower, so it feels very very different.

LM in Kentucky
07-12-2014, 05:01 AM
I have three very different ukes, a concert, a soprano and a soprano with a t h i n neck.
I have found, the more my song repertoire grows, the more I change up ukes. Go figure!;)
Now, I am yearning for a real hi-quality, wide neck soprano! :drool: When will it end ? :iwant:

07-13-2014, 06:18 AM
I started with soprano, then had a spell with tenors and concerts but have now reverted back to sopranos. To me it's the perfect size and I love the look of a soprano with friction tuners. As a person with fairly large hands I can honestly say I don't struggle with the small size, just takes a little more accuracy I suppose. Besides, a large collection of tenors wouldn't go down too well with the Mrs, sopranos I can tuck away here and there and she won't notice!

07-20-2014, 11:09 AM
I really like soprano sized ukes but picked up a tenor and she played like butter. I mean that uke practically played itself! I only play the tenor when I'm down and usually play my sopranos.

07-20-2014, 04:28 PM
(sigh)no love for the baritone. :( started on concert, hated it, went up to tenor and baritone, loved it, just got a soprano longneck, liking it, wait - isn't that a concert neck? Um, yep. :rolleyes:

same. Started concert, fell in love with baritone. Here is my dirty secret - I keep one of my favorite acoustic guitars missing the A string, i leave the E string to keep balanced tension, but i play the bottom 4 strings since its tuned the same as a baritone, and i play uke specific chords. It sounds like a super bright loud baritone uke! ....yet suspiciously like a guitar :p

07-21-2014, 04:35 AM
I'm a soprano guy through and through.

I started playing the uke on my mom's concert sized uke maybe 10-years ago when I was playing around with guitar. The uke never took, and I continued onto other string instruments. About 5-years ago, I was in a motorcycle wreck where I fractured my left wrist, left elbow in three spots, and cracked a rib on the left. Needless to say, for a couple of months, I couldn't play guitar. However, I used to sing and play the guitar with my Sunday School class. Not wanting to disappoint the kids, I purchased a cheap Oscar Schmidt concert, and learned to play it with my arm all casted up (Actually, I opted for removable splints because of my job). Well, after my arm healed, I kept playing the uke, found this board, and kept purchasing ukes of all sizes. However, I loved the size, sound and intimacy of a soprano (my second uke). I would always grab a soprano when I wanted to play the uke, and neglected all the others. I've sold a few ukes in the past, and gave two to my mom. However, I finally have a soprano uke that I want to stick with and am selling ALL of my other ukes, with the exception of my very first uke (all my Sunday School kids signed it, and I'll never be able to let it go), and my Outdoor uke. So... all the ukes in my signature are now for sale so I can keep my one special Soprano uke.


Ukulele Eddie
07-21-2014, 07:38 AM
When I started playing just under a year ago, I bought a tenor and thought I'd never play anything but. However, as I've purposely rotated through a lot of ukes (10!) to experience different types, I realized that I actually strongly prefer concert and soprano sizes because the fretboard is more manageable for me to stretch across a reasonable number of frets, a definite need for the song I'm focused on learning now (fourbladknife's solo ukulele arrangement of "I'll See You in My Dreams"; video here (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=luL6WzF4fGU&index=8&list=LLDwqXNVvgXDbshYsTXnuWpw)).

07-21-2014, 08:21 AM
Started on an inexpensive soprano, but chose a concert when I bought a better instrument to play and learn the ukulele because I thought it would be better to play with the longer neck. Bought a vintage soprano, and then three more vintage sopranos, but I keep coming back to the concert. Now, I am am considering buying a forever concert. I love the size to play and I love the look and shape of a concert.