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jcarlos
08-08-2014, 11:35 AM
Hey folks,I been playing with a guitar player for a couple of weeks now and its almost impossible to hear the uke while playing melodies over the guitar. Can anyone recommend a uke that can be heard over a loud guitar rhythm, it will be mainly for picking not strumming. We want to stay acoustic as well.

Tommy B
08-08-2014, 11:47 AM
A banjo uke would do it, but it's pretty far from a traditional ukulele sound.

UkerDanno
08-08-2014, 11:47 AM
I've heard a spruce top Mya-Moe Tenor that was pretty loud, but you're up against a pretty big mass there...I mean put them side by side!

ericchico
08-08-2014, 11:51 AM
Maybe have the guitar player put a feedback disc in his soundhole, not sure what they are called but i used one for an acoustic electric I had a while back. It could muffle his guitar a little. Have him play without a pick. I really dont have a clue which Ukes are louder than an acoustic guitar. When me and my friend play acoustic guitars together I have to lighten it up just to hear him.

Steveperrywriter
08-08-2014, 12:23 PM
Um ... amplifier ...

Even nylon-string guitars are hard to hear over steel-string acoustics. Electricity is your friend. You can amp it up just enough to achieve parity.

Ukuleleblues
08-08-2014, 12:26 PM
I do it the other way around. I play an old Kay archtop with the ukes so it doesn't overpower them. Might try a small parlor guitar. Not very many ukes are going to keep up with a Dreadnought or Jumbo volumewise.

wickedwahine11
08-08-2014, 12:33 PM
Barring the obvious answer of an amplifier (presuming you don't want one or don't have one), KoAloha ukes are the loudest I have ever heard.

Steedy
08-08-2014, 01:10 PM
The Ohana ukes with Redwood tops have a lot of volume too.

stevepetergal
08-08-2014, 04:08 PM
I electrify to be heard with cello. But, a resonator uke can be pretty loud w/out sounding harsh.

tbeltrans
08-08-2014, 04:22 PM
Having played in quite a few bands, I can tell you that one player turning up to be heard over another is a no-win situation. You end up chasing each other as it gets louder. A GOOD guitar player should have dynamic control and be able to play softer while you play louder to achieve a workable balance. If your ukulele is naturally soft (even for a ukulele), then there would need to be something done to address that (different strings, a louder model of ukulele, ...). But if you are both going to amplify it would really be better to run through a board and have a sound person adjust the mix.

In the interest of full disclosure, I fully realize that most people today seem to want music LOUD, while I am the opposite - a quiet acoustic gig would suit me just fine. So my comments do come from a definite bias.

Tony

PereBourik
08-08-2014, 04:58 PM
You could always get a Clara.

Or strings that let you "dig in" more.

If amplifying is possible check out the Ka'au Crater Boys on Youtube. They made it work in the 90s.

Steveperrywriter
08-08-2014, 04:59 PM
Good point, Tony, but if you are jamming with five acoustic guitars, a mandolin, bass, harmonica player, and maybe the lady who plays dynamite cello, they all have to play softly in the extreme to hear your uke. A little amp that adds just enough to balance a louder instrument is easy to control, you have the option of dialing it down. If the giitar player can hear you, you can probably hear yourself ...

Newportlocal
08-08-2014, 05:21 PM
My Compass Rose can play loud acoustically. I play with guitar players on most Friday nights, and I have no problem hearing myself.

Doug W
08-08-2014, 05:25 PM
I second Bill1's post. Listen to each other and adjust. It is part of the subtilty of music.

Patrick Madsen
08-08-2014, 05:40 PM
My Griffin Tenor is incredible when it comes to being heard. I don't know what he does to bring out the robust sound but have had many remark how the sound projects.

Phluffy the Destroyer
08-09-2014, 02:01 AM
I'm fortunate, in that I get to play with a lot of guitar and banjo players. I live about 10 miles from the Folk Alliance, and they encourage people to come in, sit a spell, and play. My solution is always to play rhythm and let the guitar or banjo handle the melody. That way there's no competition, and the ukulele can be heard sort of between the notes like any other background instrument.

FiL
08-09-2014, 02:27 AM
Banjo-uke, reso-uke, or 8-string uke. I lead an acoustic jam that includes 20 guitarists with my Gold Tone tenor banjo-uke and my Lanikai O-8 8-string uke. Aquila strings give a little extra volume, too.

- FiL

tbeltrans
08-09-2014, 03:28 AM
Good point, Tony, but if you are jamming with five acoustic guitars, a mandolin, bass, harmonica player, and maybe the lady who plays dynamite cello, they all have to play softly in the extreme to hear your uke. A little amp that adds just enough to balance a louder instrument is easy to control, you have the option of dialing it down. If the giitar player can hear you, you can probably hear yourself ...

Good points. A small amplifier might be just the ticket in that case.

Tony

Tigeralum2001
08-09-2014, 04:41 AM
KoAloha Sceptre is what I play when my friends get together (2 guitars and a banjo) and it does really well.

tbeltrans
08-09-2014, 06:59 AM
Tomorrow, I will be playing a solo fingerstyle tune from Daniel Ho's "Polani" CD in front of probably 50 - 75 people in a large room. I had a Schatten pickup installed in my Kamaka Ohta-San (all the tunes on the CD are done with low G tuning) and run that through the Schatten Mini-Preamp and then into my AER Compact 60 acoustic amplifier. My intent, as I typically do when playing solo fingerstyle guitar through it, is to only have it loud enough for people to hear, an attempt to just make the guitar or ukulele "big enough" for the people in back to hear. It really doesn't take much volume to do that, in fact very little. Playing solo, I don't have to compete with anything but room/body absorption of sound and that many people shuffling a bit (ambient room noise). I have attended a couple of solo fingerstyle guitar concerts in recent years and the guitar is often run though the house system and is incredibly LOUD, which is just not how I would expect a solo fingerstyle guitar to sound. I really don't get this seeming cultural desire to have everything so LOUD. Instead of attacking our collective ear drums, solo acoustic instruments (to me) should be soothing and relaxing in an otherwise busy world - a respite from all the noise and hurry. Instead, we seem to want to make everything in our world loud and fast.

By the way, for anybody else using this pickup/preamp combination, I find that turning the preamp's volume up just enough to hear it clearly through the amp (which is really only very little boost), gives me the best overall sound. The normal way to handle gain stages such as this would be to turn up the earlier gain stages and turn down the later stage (the main gain) to minimize hiss. However, when I do that in this case, the low G string becomes a bit more predominant and without a decent parametric EQ to focus on a very specific frequency range, EQ'ing affects the other strings too much. It sounds just fine when using the preamp very sparingly and there is no easily heard noise in the end result.

Tony

Yukon Cornelius
08-09-2014, 07:11 AM
Hey folks,I been playing with a guitar player for a couple of weeks now and its almost impossible to hear the uke while playing melodies over the guitar. Can anyone recommend a uke that can be heard over a loud guitar rhythm, it will be mainly for picking not strumming. We want to stay acoustic as well.

If you won't amplify hour uke then I recommend buying a koaloha sceptre.

Another idea is to get the guitar player to play muted when you are doing your thing.

experimentjon
08-10-2014, 12:32 AM
Barring the obvious answer of an amplifier (presuming you don't want one or don't have one), KoAloha ukes are the loudest I have ever heard.

What she said. Add Aquila strings. The Aquilas are clutch for volume. And if you are not going to use an amplifier, do not hedge with installing an active pickup or anything that would add content to the inside of the body. I have a Fishman Matrix Infinity in my Tenor Sceptre. The instrument was very loud acoustically pre-installation, but in the thin-body the especially space-consuming three-piece pickup worked to muffle the acoustic sound--perhaps good to avoid feedback, but bad for playing as loudly without an amp.

tbeltrans
08-10-2014, 03:02 AM
What she said. Add Aquila strings. The Aquilas are clutch for volume. And if you are not going to use an amplifier, do not hedge with installing an active pickup or anything that would add content to the inside of the body. I have a Fishman Matrix Infinity in my Tenor Sceptre. The instrument was very loud acoustically pre-installation, but in the thin-body the especially space-consuming three-piece pickup worked to muffle the acoustic sound--perhaps good to avoid feedback, but bad for playing as loudly without an amp.

Since my Ko'olau came from the factory with the LR Baggs system installed, I don't have before and after comparisons for acoustic sound qualities and volume. But I had the UST installed in my Kamaka and it sounds pretty much the same before and after and certainly did not lose any acoustic volume. So I would suggest being careful in one's selection of pickup system. I am sure there are pros and cons to each solution, so it is probably a matter of picking those pros and cons you can live with, rather than that there is only one solution that is generally better than the others.

Tony

harpdog cc
08-10-2014, 10:38 AM
Both players learn how to play softly when required. Unless you want to have a reso or banjo sound. One of the qualities of a well built guitar and ukulele it to be able to be played softly and sound good.

This. It's a basic rule to playing well with others.

Skinny Money McGee
08-11-2014, 02:15 AM
I really don't get this seeming cultural desire to have everything so LOUD. Instead of attacking our collective ear drums, solo acoustic instruments (to me) should be soothing and relaxing in an otherwise busy world - a respite from all the noise and hurry. Instead, we seem to want to make everything in our world loud and fast.


I understand it 100%. Can't tell you how many times I've paid big money to see a show, only to be audibly attacked by people sitting behind either chewing on a piece of smelly gum like a cow, stuffing their face full of food, or talking out loud during the performance.

dhoenisch
08-11-2014, 02:41 AM
Another one to look for is the Lanikai solid spruce topped tenor (KA-S-T?) strung with Aquila Nylguts, but with an Aquila red for the Low G. That sucker can even overpower my Martin soprano, which is a loud uke. I used to use it with the folk band I'm with on a couple of songs, and it held it's own with a 12-string guitar, bass and a fiddle or mandolin (depending on which one my sister would play).

As great as that instrument sounded, I ended up giving it to my mom since the thin neck made my carpal tunnel hands go numb after just a few songs. Now when a uke is called for, I just use my banjo uke. Not the same sound, but it can be heard.

Dan

southcoastukes
08-14-2014, 06:30 AM
The traditional way to do it is simply to use a smaller Ukulele with a high tuning - one that will naturally separate it's notes from those of the guitar. Here's one example:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FSL36dgP1O4

While that's Machete tuning with a guitarra de amor (Romantic era guitar), if you move your tuning up enough to separate the range you can get much the same effect with a more modern tuning against a bigger more modern guitar.

strumsilly
08-14-2014, 07:28 AM
The traditional way to do it is simply to use a smaller Ukulele with a high tuning - one that will naturally separate it's notes from those of the guitar. Here's one example:


While that's Machete tuning with a guitarra de amor (Romantic era guitar), if you move your tuning up enough to separate the range you can get much the same effect with a more modern tuning against a bigger more modern guitar.
very nice, but he is playing the guitar delicately, which certainly helps. that's what I try to do too, I play "up the neck' and try to get away from the notes the guitar is playing, but that only works if he/she is not playing up the neck too.