How confusing is it to switch between different sizes?

ghostrdr

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So, I’m blessed with tenors, concerts, and sopranos.

The one at work is a concert and my best instruments tend to be tenors. Am I making it harder on myself and my muscle memory to switch between different fretboard scale lengths?

Does anyone else do this or do you all just stick to one scale length?

Just curious.
 

Nickie

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I don't do this, well not in public.
I do use my banjouke on certain songs during our gigs, and that swap makes me play a little squirrely, at first.
 

ripock

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I stick to one size. Music is hard enough without making it harder.
 

Kyle23

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I switch between concert and tenor, mostly tenor, but it's not really a problem. Of course, when I switch I have that split second when I am a bit off with my finger placement, but it's a quick adjust. I play both sizes a lot, so I have the muscle memory for both to be able to adjust I think.
 

robinboyd

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I own a soprano, 2 concerts, a tenor, and a guitalele. Swapping takes a minute or so to adjust but it's not a big deal.
 

derbyhat

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I own a soprano, 2 concerts, a tenor, and a guitalele. Swapping takes a minute or so to adjust but it's not a big deal.

Ditto. I rotate through my stable of sopranino, soprano, and concert size ukes regularly. It takes a minute or two to sort out, and a few more glances down at your side fret markers.
 

keenonuke

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I switch between the different sizes. It doesn't seem to be an issue for the folks playing on the Hawaii Music Site or the Ukulele Friend site. We regularly see Corey Fujimoto, Kalei Gamiao, or Kimo Hussey playing various size ukuleles. Enjoy and Happy Strumming. :)
 

Peter Frary

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I switch between a long scale classical guitar—664mm—432mm scale tenor ukulele and 508mm baritone while teaching and performing without problems. You need to practice for a few months so your brain maps each fingerboard and you can instantly switch between different scale lengths without a thought or buzz.
 

KohanMike

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I play only tenor ukes with cutaway, but I also play bass uke in sizes from 21" to 24" scale, which only takes me a few minutes to get comfortable from one to the other. I rotate between my 23 basses constantly because my uke group meets twice a week.


This is Michael Kohan in Los Angeles, Beverly West near the Beverly Center
9 tenor cutaway ukes, 5 acoustic bass ukes, 11 solid body bass ukes, 11 mini electric bass guitars (Total: 35)

• Donate to The Ukulele Kids Club, they provide ukuleles to children in hospital music therapy programs. www.theukc.org
• Member The CC Strummers: YouTube: www.youtube.com/user/CCStrummers/video, Facebook: www.facebook.com/TheCCStrummers
 

man0a

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The main difference is when you play at the high end of the fretboard (above the 8th fret or so). Accurately reaching from the 1st fret to the 8th fret is much easier for me on a soprano (depends on your hand size, of course). On the other hand, if you're playing past the 12th fret, the frets on a soprano may be too small and awkward to use (if they exist at all on your ukulele).
 

Jerryc41

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So, I’m blessed with tenors, concerts, and sopranos.

The one at work is a concert and my best instruments tend to be tenors. Am I making it harder on myself and my muscle memory to switch between different fretboard scale lengths?

Does anyone else do this or do you all just stick to one scale length?

Just curious.

I didn't want to restrict myself to just one size, so I pick up whatever I feel like playing. I have equal numbers of concerts and tenors, with sopranos close behind. I don't notice any difficulty at all. Of course, if I had been playing nothing but sopranos and then tried a tenor, it would take some time to get used to it. Going to the sopranino and sopranissimo takes me a moment to adjust, but it's no big deal. I have no intention of getting a baritone or U-bass and learning new fingering, though.
 

Rllink

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I switch between soprano and concert. I can't tell the difference. I played a Mainland tenor at a a ukulele festival because I left my concert up in the room and someone offered it up to me because they wanted to sell it. I thought it was a concert until they told me it was a tenor. So I guess the nuances of the different scale lengths are lost in me. I most definitely can tell the difference with a baritone though. Not just the tuning, but the size too.
 

Kibes37

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I switch between concert and soprano daily. I Tried one instrument a month, but I missed my other concerts. Now I play one concert a week sprinkled with soprano sessions. I feel the soprano makes my concert play more accurate.
 

merlin666

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I hardly notice size differences, possibly because my range of instruments goes from a vintage martin inspired concert uke to a long scale jumbo guitar. In between are four and six-string tenor ukes and variably scaled six and 12-string guitars. This also implies a big range of nut widths and neck thicknesses that I use regularly. I tend to have preferred songs for each of the instruments, but sometimes just for fun and practice I play the same song on several instruments, sometimes in different keys.
 

janeray1940

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Way back when I was a beginner I had two identical concert Kamakas (one reentrant, one low G), and I found playing the same scale helped a lot at first. But now I switch constantly between soprano and concert scale and don't have any issues. For me, what makes things difficult is more a matter of neck thickness and/or width than scale - there are some ukes that I just find really uncomfortable to play because of the neck shape. No chunky necks, no wide nuts, for me please!
 

glennerd

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Just playing basic first position chords, it's no problem going up or down a size. Once I start playing up and down the neck or try to stretch my pinky across to the 5th fret, muscle memory messes me up a bit when changing a size. Right now, I just have soprano and baritone, so they're so far apart, there's no chance of mixing things up!
 

ghostrdr

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I usually play tenor. Sometimes when learning a song with some extreme finger stretches, I pick up a concert to make the stretch a little easier. I do notice the spacing between soprano and tenor and the difference in string tension a bit also.

Playing higher up on the fretboard like the 12th-15th frets is a lot harder on the smaller scale instruments, as my chubby fingers don't always fit and sometimes, the sopranos don't have frets past the 12th one.

I suppose it is "hindering" my learning a bit as each instrument has its own personality, some I have to fret a little harder on the barre chords, etc. I think if I learned the nuances of one particular instrument, I could focus more on just the music. However, the counterargument is that it is fun to hear different voicings and tones.

I just didn't know if I was in the minority with playing different instruments.
 

jer

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I mostly play chords and stay within the first 7 frets or so. I don't have an issue switching sizes usually. It might take a minute to adjust, but not long. I'm not sure if playing guitar for many years of varying sizes and some other instruments helped with that or not...probably so.
 

RafterGirl

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I’m blessed/cursed with fingers that are kind of short & chubby. The short part works against me on tenors, and the chubby part works against me on sopranos. I’ve owned & played all sizes, but I’ve landed on concert as my preferred scale. As someone else mentioned, I’m also picky about neck shape.
 

RafterGirl

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I’m blessed/cursed with fingers that are kind of short & chubby. The short part works against me on tenors, and the chubby part works against me on sopranos. I’ve owned & played all sizes, but I’ve landed on concert as my preferred scale. As someone else mentioned, I’m also picky about neck shape.