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Jessmn
08-14-2014, 01:16 PM
Because of IZ I got hooked on the sound of the ukulele.

I borrowed a soprano from my grandson and he taught me three chords. While I love the sound of the soprano, I had great difficulty with the G chord. I have fairly large hands and my fingers just wouldn't get in the position right plus I couldn't put enough strength on the A string.

I've been doing some reading and a longneck soprano looks promising to me.

1. Does the longneck soprano sound a lot like a regular soprano?
2. Would it be easier to maneuver the chords on the neck since it's a concert neck?

I went to a couple of music stores today and they were basically no help. They had never heard of a "longneck", and one guy tried to tell me that a soprano and a concert sound the same and also there was no extra finger room on the concert.

I was also told that setup doesn't apply to a ukulele.

Please, any help here would be GREATLY appreciated!

I already ordered a dummies ukulele book and some gorilla fingers (because my fingers got really sore) and also felt picks. I would really love to be able to play something (especially with my grandsons, who are heavy into guitar, violin and ukulele...oh and banjo too). I will be of course getting a starter uke, but really want a chance to succeed at this!

My only musical background is piano when I was a child, I still can read music...just hope it's the same for ukulele as piano.

Thank you for any assistance!!!
Denise

kwall
08-14-2014, 01:46 PM
Did you try the concert neck in the store cause that will answer number 2 for you? maybe think of doing a tenor if your fingers cram. To be honest you will get used to the g chord and such on a soparno, but if you dislike the soprano size try concert or tenor.

Long neck sopranos are rare-er more sopranos are made and that is why the person never heard of them but if they dont know anything about ukuleles go somewhere else :).

1) here is an example of the different sound https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8df_EHGYyrk. it does sound slightly different but not by too much.

My question to you is what is your budget cause that will determine what you would like or can get or your best option.

Advice :listen to all 4 styles of ukuleles and see what sound you like the best and as per finger room the more you play the better your fingers get. between concert and soprano it is better but still not THAT noticeable, maybe by a few centimetres (others can pipe in on the exact measurement), where a tenor has extra space but still try them all to see what you like.

DownUpDave
08-14-2014, 01:59 PM
Welcome to the wonderful world of ukulele. I will answer your two questions and throw some advice at you.

The sound of a long neck soprano is very close to a regular soprano.

The space between the frets on a concert length neck are greater than a regular length soprano neck. Same would apply to the long neck soprano naturally as it has a concert length neck. This will give you a LITTLE more room to form chords.

If you are absolutely sold on the idea of a soprano and want the added neck length of a super soprano your options are much less regarding availability of different models to choice from. A concert size ukulele would give you a lot more choices. That said Kala has two long neck sopranos, one all laminate at around $120.00 and one with a solid spruce top and mahogany laminate back and sides for about $150.00.

Here is the advice: buy whatever you want from either, Hawaii Music Supply, Uke Republic or Mims. These people are top notch, include a pro level set up no charge, are members here and have been living and breathing ukes for a long time. You can call them on the phone and they WILL help you.

Jim Hanks
08-14-2014, 02:06 PM
Shameless self promotion alert: how about a tenor? http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?97443-FS-FT-Ohana-Thinline-Tenor

The answer to your questions are "yes" and "yes".

Come to think of it, I should have my Kala SLNG available for sale soon as well since I have two other long neck sopranos in the works. It is the laminate one DownUpDave mentioned and gets good marks for "bang for the buck ness". It was $110 new from Mims Ukes and is still in perfect condition. If you're in the US, I can ship it for $90 total.

Doug W
08-14-2014, 04:18 PM
I was also told that setup doesn't apply to a ukulele.
Thank you for any assistance!!!
Denise
This is like saying that small cars don't need to be tuned up or have oil changes. You weren't at "Guitar Center" by any chance?

igorthebarbarian
08-14-2014, 05:22 PM
Used is a good way to get more out of your money. Jim has two good deals there. Barring that, go to MIMs Ukes on eBay and buy from her.


Shameless self promotion alert: how about a tenor? http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?97443-FS-FT-Ohana-Thinline-Tenor

The answer to your questions are "yes" and "yes".

Come to think of it, I should have my Kala SLNG available for sale soon as well since I have two other long neck sopranos in the works. It is the laminate one DownUpDave mentioned and gets good marks for "bang for the buck ness". It was $110 new from Mims Ukes and is still in perfect condition. If you're in the US, I can ship it for $90 total.

Nickie
08-14-2014, 05:59 PM
You went to the WRONG music store. Anyway, welcome to UU. You probably can't go wrong getting a used uke from someone here.

Jessmn
08-14-2014, 11:36 PM
Doug, the store where I received incorrect information is "American Music" on Fremont, in north Seattle.

The used Kala SLNG offered for sale here sounds very tempting, but now that I've done more internet research I've come across a couple of sopranos with TENOR necks! That neck should give me even more room to maneuver my fingers with the chords. I've only read about two...an Ohana SK-30L and a KoAloha KSM-T2, don't know if there are any others.

On this clip from Hawaii Music Supply, the three KoAloha ukuleles (regular soprano, concert neck soprano, and tenor neck soprano) sound the same to me, but the fingering looks like it would be a lot easier with the tenor neck. http://vimeo.com/62042818

I'm thinking about borrowing my grandson's soprano again, then renting both a concert and a tenor from a music store and trying all three for a month at home to see which neck would work better for me. My "Dummies" book came today so I'll have something to work with.

Thanks for the info and the input, I really appreciate this!

Jessmn
08-14-2014, 11:49 PM
Oh shoot, I just looked at the ad I saw from HMS and it says that KoAloha with the tenor longneck is out of stock. I think I'll email them and see if it's still even being made.

DownUpDave
08-14-2014, 11:59 PM
I am glad you have done some research because there are a lot of choices out there. How much money you want to spend will determine a large part of what you have available to you. If you can rent then by all means do that, I did that a number of years ago with acoustic guitar. If this ukulele thing sticks you will end up with more than one so your first choice is not drop dead critical just get a good one when a proper set up.

I started off with tenor now I have concert and long neck soprano. I have a Loprinzi long neck soprano in transit so I do like your choice of size.

Jim Hanks
08-15-2014, 02:04 AM
If you want a tenor neck soprano, start with this one http://elderly.com/new_instruments/items/SK30L.htm

My tenor is about the same price but has a pickup as well if you think you might want to play amplified sometime.

Lance K
08-15-2014, 12:34 PM
Jessmn, if you were visiting American Music in Fremont, you should definitely travel a few blocks further and visit Dusty Strings, also in Fremont. They have a good selection of all sizes of ukes and everything from $40 Mahalos to high-end 'K' brand Hawaiian-made ukes to Collings and vintage Martins. If you do visit Dusty Strings, I would recommend trying to get there on a weekday. With the summer tourist season in full swing, weekends at the shop get a little busy, and you may want some help from the friendlier members of their sales staff.

Jessmn
08-15-2014, 01:45 PM
Lance,
I just went to Dusty Strings! I'd hesitated at first because it's so hard to park in that area of Fremont, but it sure was worth it. They were very helpful and I was very impressed. I also went to The Trading Musician and they too were great. I apparently just started at the wrong store yesterday!

Nickie
08-15-2014, 03:16 PM
Jessmn,
I have an Ohana (concert) and I just adore it! It plays like butter (a common UU expression for "really good"), and the sound is awesomer every time I play it. The quality for the price is just incredible, IMHO (forumspeak for In My Humble Opinion).
Happy hunting!

kwall
08-17-2014, 03:26 PM
what is your budget? becasue KoAloha's can be expensive esp for a first ukulele. If you can afford that go for it but just giving you a warning. I gave you the video sample to hear the sounds was all.

and if you dont notice the sound difference why not get tenor. There are alot more choices of those out there,they do sound different but if you cant hear it and want a ukulele that does not feel cramped there is your answer

itsme
08-17-2014, 03:46 PM
what is your budget? becasue KoAloha's can be expensive esp for a first ukulele.
I don't recommend buying a high-end uke first time out unless you have more money than sense.

For a beginner, the "K" brand I'd recommend is Kala.

If you don't know how to drive, buy a modest car and learn before you decide on whether you really need a Porsche or a Jaguar out of the box.

Once you learn to play/drive, you are in a better position to assess your next step up. :)

PereBourik
08-17-2014, 04:35 PM
Welcome to UU Jessmn. The Seattle area has a lot of ukulele resources. Look them up.

I have medium size hands and play soprano, concert, and tenor. I don't really notice the difference in space between the frets. With practice your fingers will figure out where to go. I don't consider myself a strong player, only 2 years. What I notice is the differences in sound between the sizes. Soprano is the brightest and the sound decays the fastest. Concert gives much of the classic ukulele sound but longer sustain. To me tenors begin to approach the sound of a guitar. It's a different kind of sound. My tenors will make the same notes as the others but the sound is different. Concert is my preferred size.

ubulele
08-17-2014, 04:58 PM
[...] It plays like butter (a common UU expression for "really good")

And here I thought it meant you could churn out the sound.
j/k (internetese for "being a wiseass.")

ubulele
08-17-2014, 05:00 PM
I don't recommend buying a high-end uke first time out unless you're giving it to me.

Jessmn
08-17-2014, 10:59 PM
I've been working hard on a few chords and really think that the trouble I was having had more to do with how badly I was positioning the entire ukulele rather than the size. With the proper position, I'm able to do that G chord now on the borrowed soprano!

So, I've totally changed my mind. From what most here seem to be saying, I think I'm going to go with a concert now. I am just stymied about which brand to buy. My son-in-law told me about Ukulele Mike (who is here in Seattle) and according to one of his tutorials he recommends an Oscar Schmidt OU5. Amazon has it for about $155.00. It looks really pretty to me, and the price is a little more than I was hoping to pay but not by much. I figure I can return it easily if I don't like the way it feels or sounds. Heck, I don't even know enough to know what a good uke is supposed to sound like!

There's a youtube clip by Chili Monster where he teaches what he says is a really easy song. It seems to consist of about 3 or 4 chords, strummed. If/when I can learn that song on my borrowed uke, I figure it will be okay then to go ahead and give myself permission to spend the money to buy my own.

You all have such wonderful advice, and I love the way you love your ukuleles. This site is quite a great discovery. Thanks!

DownUpDave
08-18-2014, 12:39 AM
Great to hear you are making progress with playing and uke choices. I think your decision to go with a concert size is a good one. Buy the uke you really love and want, it will inspire you to pick it up and play it, which is the best way to improving. This site is a fantastic place with a lot of very helpful people so jump in and join in and strum along :music:

philrab66
08-18-2014, 02:24 AM
Oh shoot, I just looked at the ad I saw from HMS and it says that KoAloha with the tenor longneck is out of stock. I think I'll email them and see if it's still even being made.
You should also be aware that is a longer stretch if you get a tenor neck. I found it a stretch for certain chords and I have big hands. Also some soprano necks widths are the same as a concert. A Martin S1 is the same width as my concert neck.

Ukejenny
08-18-2014, 03:11 PM
Hey there, Denise, and welcome to Ukulele Underground! Sounds like you are already off to a good start. Concert is the perfect size for me - I love the feel and the sound. A long neck soprano or a concert might feel good to your fingers. As far as soreness, I think you will get over that as soon as you've been playing regularly for a while. Isn't it so much fun? I hope you enjoy your shopping experience! This is a great forum for finding information and playing tips. You are in the right place! I look forward to hearing what kind of ukulele you decide upon!

kwall
08-18-2014, 04:12 PM
if 155 is too pricey kala makes a great choices. Around the same price range Some a lil cheaper some a lil more. IMO id do kala over oscar but that is just me, lanikai is also a nice entry level brand or also gretsch are really nice and have a couple in that price range.

PereBourik
08-18-2014, 04:22 PM
In Seattle you should have choices of stores to audition several ukuleles. The sound of a uke is really subjective. If you can try before you buy to select an instrument that reaches you you will be ahead of the game. The cash saved buying online quickly evaporates in trips to a shipper to return a uke you just don't like.

Many of us, myself included, live in a ukulele dessert. Our local music stores have little selection, especially if we want a distinctive instrument. Buying over the internet is the only option we have.

I've found that concert scale ukes are my sweet spot. Tenors are my "special occasion" or special purpose ukes. Concerts and long neck sopranos are the right ukes for me.