Greetings from Long Beach, CA

jon_s

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Hi everyone-
I've been lurking here for the better part of 2 months & thought I finally ought to register if only to voice my thanks for the wealth of information I've found on these pages which has been extraordinarily helpful as I embark on my ukulele odyssey.

Small bit of background-
I used to play varied flutes, tin whistles & the like - then strayed altogether from music. I have a couple of acoustic guitars on hand but always had trouble getting beyond the initial pain, a few chords was all I could ever muster - probably would have been a better idea in hindsight to start out with a nylon stringed guitar.

Anyway, fast forward a bit - about 6 weeks ago I decided to buy a Ukulele pretty much on a whim ( the Donner concert in my sig line), stupidly cheap so a low risk transaction + I was guardedly hopeful that my fingers would soon both harden up & become more dexterous with that instrument.

A couple of observations a few more weeks into the experiment -

I'm playing the ukulele(s) ummm... they multiplied... A couple hours a day. My only limitation is not pain on the fretting fingers but rather when they get tired. The Ukes get a lot more attention than the guitars but certainly all 4 get played at least a little daily and the Guitar has also in fact benefited by getting over the hump with the uke.

I'm enjoying the journey so far; the Donner was a purchase made on a whim (~60 incl bag, tuner & extra "strings"), but as it turns out after the fact Baz had reviewed that same ukulele & on balance didn't think that badly of it. It is a decent starting point, much improved by Aquila Nylgut strings & even more improved by a set of Aquila red strings, at least as my ear is concerned. Why yes spending over 10% of the initial cost of the instrument on strings is absurd it does make a difference at least to my ear.

Then I had to get a tenor- Cordoba in sig. I like it a lot too, the difference in build & tone quality is apparent vs. the Donner since the Cordoba's MSRP is well over twice that of the donner & it shows.

...Yeah I get I'm totally entry level / laminate instruments here but ya gotta start somewhere. I also will use the Donner as a setup guinea pig (what's to lose?). Her intonation is pretty close actually but I'd like to lower the action a bit & as noted better to mess with low $$ things to learn with when if you really really screw it up - no great loss .

Then of course I decided I needed a soprano & one from Mim's ukes should be here in the next day or so - an Ohana referenced in my sig line that should at least in theory be a step up from the Cordoba etc. which I'm very excited about because setup! & also that laminate willow is darn pretty. The irony of that Ukulele being shipped from China to Long Beach (where Ohana is headquartered) to VA & back to Long Beach is not lost on me either. Sheesh I live about 10 minutes from Ohana's facility. Maybe I should try to talk them into a walkthru sometime...

There is a method to my madness- I'm learning 15 chords or so at the moment that I want to apply to a few songs I like- that's right just chords, getting them clean, transitioning between them , some arpeggio, some strumming but mostly just teaching my fingers & ear as I go.

Having multiple sized instruments helps- I just practice on the smallest until my fingers get a little tired, then move up a size - rinse / repeat and pretty soon I end up with a couple hours practice a day easy peasy.
SO why yes- I'm having fun,

Thanks everyone for this resource, I'm looking forward to becoming a part of this community.
 

maki66

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Hello Jon, welcome to the forum.
Sounds like you played a little ITM?
Ever been to the Old Dubliner session on Pine St.?

I've been on much the same journey as you, ukulele wise. I too have a Donner, its actually pretty nice for the money.
Though I did sand down the bottom of the nut to lower the action and I changed the strings to martin m600.
There are a ton of strum alongs in Southern California, if you want to play with folks.

Welcome, again.
 

JJFN

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Welcome Jon, I think you will like it here. A lot of good information and ukulele talk, but more importantly a lot of good people. Enjoy the journey.
 

jon_s

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Hello Jon, welcome to the forum.
Sounds like you played a little ITM?
Ever been to the Old Dubliner session on Pine St.?

I've been on much the same journey as you, ukulele wise. I too have a Donner, its actually pretty nice for the money.
Though I did sand down the bottom of the nut to lower the action and I changed the strings to martin m600.
There are a ton of strum alongs in Southern California, if you want to play with folks.

Welcome, again.

Hey thank all for the Welcome. @Maki166 why yes ITM is in my background. I'll PM ya for local stuff.
 

Michael70

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I too am new here Jon......welcome! I like you started to play a guitar after a lifelong want to do so when I was near my mid 30's. Just too old I believe to master the 6 strings or might I say, I was just not progressing like I wanted. Maybe my expectation was more. I saw your flute mention. I also play the Native American styled flute and have 4 on hand, two of which are custom made.

I too am looking to begin fresh with the uke in the hopes that patience as I near 50 years of age may be the key! Glad to have you here as a newbie like me.
 

jon_s

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@ Michael70
yeah man - I'm 56 - this journey is fun right?
 

jon_s

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Welcome Jon, I think you will like it here. A lot of good information and ukulele talk, but more importantly a lot of good people. Enjoy the journey.

@ jjfn - I do already like it here hence my multi week lurking- seems like a great community here & I hope to positively contribute to it someday.
 

rosghk

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Are there any uke jams (small groups) going on in Long Beach?
If so, not that far for me. Let me know!
 

Kenn2018

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Welcome to the UU Forum Jon. There seem to be a number of ukers in your area. Have fun.
 

VegasGeorge

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Welcome Jon! One of my most favorite Ukulele makers/brands is there in Long Beach. Check out Ohana-music.com if you haven't already. I'd sure like to visit them one day, and there you are right in the same city! Anyhow, glad to have you here.