Too Many Instruments

Graham Greenbag

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If you do not have a re-entrant soprano ukulele, then you still don't have enough ukuleles.
At the risk of being and appearing bigoted if you don’t have a gCEA (re-entrant) strung Soprano then you don’t have a Uke you instead have some other form of guitar.
Soprano body and re-entrant = definitive, pure and original Uke.
Other body sizes and/or linear stringing = not really a Ukulele but another form of guitar - they’re perfectly fine to use if that’s what you enjoy playing or listening too.
 
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donboody

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At the risk of being and appearing bigoted if you don’t have a gCEA (re-entrant) strung Soprano then you don’t have a Uke you instead have some other form of guitar.
Soprano body and re-entrant = definitive, pure and original Uke.
Other body sizes and/or linear stringing = not really a Ukulele but another form of guitar - they’re perfectly fine to use if that’s what you enjoy playing or listening too.
I see your "anything but soprano is a guitar" and I raise you "the soprano's only purpose is to serve as an inexpensive entry-level ukulele that allows one to determine whether or not they are ready to step up to the big leagues of tenor perfection 💪💪💪"
 

kerneltime

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I see your "anything but soprano is a guitar" and I raise you "the soprano's only purpose is to serve as an inexpensive entry-level ukulele that allows one to determine whether or not they are ready to step up to the big leagues of tenor perfection 💪💪💪"
You are discounting all the amazing and hard music that sounds good on a uke and the many artists that use it.
 

plunker

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Stop playing the ukuleles and send them to me. Problem Solved.
 

Graham Greenbag

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You are discounting all the amazing and hard music that sounds good on a uke and the many artists that use it.

The point wasn’t made to me but I’m happy to answer it - hopefully I won’t come across as too pedantic. There’s no discounting here at all it’s just that music played on something that’s not a re-entrant strung Soprano is played on something that isn’t really a Uke, maybe some other nameless form of Guitar but not a Uke. I like my re-entrant Concert ‘Uke’ but really it should be called a Guitar ‘cause the original Uke was purposefully Soprano sized (compact). What’s a Guitar? Well ‘Guitar’ covers a very broad range of instruments and IMHO the Uke is one particular form of Guitar: four strings, re-entrant tuned and (allowing its purposeful compactness) a scale length of around 13&1/2”.

I don’t know how many fairies could dance together on a pin head but I feel sure that they’d all be happier playing Ukuleles (Soprano + re-entrant tuned = Ukulele).
 
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Cluze

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hopefully I won’t come across as too pedantic.
I am afraid that those hopes did not come to pass. This does seem overly pedantic and, in my opinion, way too exclusionary.

The last time I checked, there was no "International Governing Body for the Definition of Ukulele." The "soprano" scale isn't exactly set in stone. What exactly constitutes soprano? Is it an exact length from nut to saddle? What if a builder (who isn't named Nunes, Santos, or Dias) makes one that happens to be a tiny bit longer? Is that no longer a soprano? What if the body is too wide? Shall we throw that out too? Heck shouldn't we just call the soprano ukulele what it really is, a weirdly tuned, Hawaiian built, Portuguese machete?

There is no reason to exclude the wonderful variety of ukulele that we have in the world. If you want to be a soprano "purist", feel free, but I will need you to explain to the world that Martin's "new" concert scale (introduced way back in 1924) isn't a uke, and that "Iz" was playing a "nameless guitar" when he was playing his tenor.
 

merlin666

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Kamaka calls soprano a "standard ukulele" and that's the size they were for decades throughout the golden age of ukulele. The other sizes and the term soprano as description came much later, almost as an afterthought. And yes larger ukes with low G are more like tiny guitars and not as distinguishable as a standard. Though personally I don't own a standard size uke and still consider myself a uke player.
 

Graham Greenbag

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Kamaka calls soprano a "standard ukulele" and that's the size they were for decades throughout the golden age of ukulele. The other sizes and the term soprano as description came much later, almost as an afterthought. And yes larger ukes with low G are more like tiny guitars and not as distinguishable as a standard.

That’s precisely it. The “Standard” is the definition of a Uke and all of the other stuff is just something else that ‘borrows’ the name ‘Ukulele’ and we accept that because we don’t know what else to call them.
 

rustydusty

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I am so thankful that you "accept" my baritone being called a ukulele, so I don't have to call it "little tiny guitar thingy"!!
 

clear

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I see your "anything but soprano is a guitar" and I raise you "the soprano's only purpose is to serve as an inexpensive entry-level ukulele that allows one to determine whether or not they are ready to step up to the big leagues of tenor perfection 💪💪💪"
As already mentioned, the soprano was the original uke. Perhaps things are slowly changing with all the different ukes; but, when I imagine a uke song, the sound of the Kamaka soprano comes to mind. When I found the Kamaka HF-1, it matched really well to what I think a uke should sound like: a burst of that Koa mellow followed by a quick decay. There's no mistaking that sound for any type of guitar.

It's a good thing that sopranos are generally cheaper than the same-model bigger ukes. Good for me that is, since I play the soprano.
 

Graham Greenbag

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There is no title protection for the ukulele. To me, the soprano is what I love in/about the ukulele, but to say that others are not playing ukuleles? No can do.

Once we really think about what the Uke’s roots are it’s really not too hard to see that the Guitar builders (like Martin) understood that the Uke had its roots in the Guitar industry (so it was a product that they understood and could build) and that there were dollars to be gained by making it ‘bigger and better’. Let the sales and marketing guys figure out what it’s to be called and how to get folk to buy them, etc. Sopranos, Concerts, Tenors and Baritones are all related and built by much the same people: Guitar makers. What makes a Uke a Uke, or a dancing flea, is its small size (Soprano) and re-entrant tuning. Everything else is simply a (Guitar) manufacturers’ angle or development to get more sales.




Whatever, if it makes people happy to call a Baritone, Tenor or Concert a Uke then so what? They can call a Ford a Porsche if they want to and they can call a pistol a rifle if they want to ... they’d be equally correct.
 
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tluxtele

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Whatever makes y'all feel better, exclusive and special. Just glad y'all understand that a guitar can only have six strings and be tuned EADGBE. Anything other than that just isn't a guitar. We can't have creativity in art. Art is about rules and rigidity. I don't know what that does with these things that aren't ukes because they're a little too long. And they're not guitars because they don't have enough strings. oh well. time to trow them out because they don't fit the rigid rules of art.
 

Graham Greenbag

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Missing the point with stupid clinging to names and naming conventions. If you want to enjoy music you need to stop getting distracted by factoids and details which are interesting, but which really do not help you enjoy your musical fun.

I really do not care what you call them. I really do not care if they were "invented" in Hawaii by immigrants or native Hawaiians.

The most fun in the world of ukulele is getting a re-entrant soprano ukulele and going from the one finger chord towards mastering the instrument. Until you actually try to do it you will never understand why it is the most fun. If you seriously want to own and play ukuleles, you need to try to forget about the money making sizes and have at least one soprano tuned re-entrant to play an enjoy. It does not even have to cost more than $50, and it can be painted a bright colour. You keep it in the loungeroom or parlour, not your serious music space, and play it purely for enjoyment when you have finished the "serious" playing with what ever other instrument you own and play in your music room or jam session or other serious music place. The end.

So returning to the theme of the first post. The person needs to get hold of a re-entrant soprano size and keep it in the parlour or lounge room or whatever you call the place for relaxing and not being too serious about anything pure self-indulgent recreation. You can keep all your other instruments in a serious space where you worry about history and details and impressing others with your playing skills, maybe the person who wrote the first post has enough of those instruments? But it would appear that he or she could use a nice little re-entrant soprano for some self-indulgent relaxation.

As is usual Bill has a good handle on things.

One of the things about ‘just’ four strings is that it both returns towards the Guitars’ roots and it simplifies the instrument making it (IMHO) easier to play. The Soprano is Guitar made possible: its compact form allows easy travel, easier purchase (less costly to make and, for some, now into the affordable range) and four strings is just enough to make music. In the bigger picture the Soprano is a simple instrument for having fun on, its the perfected version of a stripped back and miniaturised Guitar complete with its own characteristic re-entrant tuning.

Play whatever makes you happy but if you want to play a Uke then re-entrant Soprano is the definitive form. There are better sounding and more musically versatile forms of Guitar but that misses the point about what a Uke (Soprano) is all about (see above).

To quote Bill: “So returning to the theme of the first post. The person needs to get hold of a re-entrant soprano size and keep it in the parlour or lounge room or whatever you call the place for relaxing ..”
 
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Hilomar

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At the risk of being and appearing bigoted if you don’t have a gCEA (re-entrant) strung Soprano then you don’t have a Uke you instead have some other form of guitar.
Soprano body and re-entrant = definitive, pure and original Uke.
Other body sizes and/or linear stringing = not really a Ukulele but another form of guitar - they’re perfectly fine to use if that’s what you enjoy playing or listening too.
My re - entrant sopranos still give me the most joy...for strumming nothing is better and it cheers me up..my low g tenors are a harder taskmaster and even though I like playing classical music on those..I have to practice and practice and if I make a mistake it shows up like a sore thumb.. my little sopranos are just happy to be played and in turn I'm happy to play them...if I only had one uke..it would be a re - entrant soprano...and probably my acacia pono...
 

ScooterD35

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At the risk of being and appearing bigoted if you don’t have a gCEA (re-entrant) strung Soprano then you don’t have a Uke you instead have some other form of guitar.
Soprano body and re-entrant = definitive, pure and original Uke.
Other body sizes and/or linear stringing = not really a Ukulele but another form of guitar - they’re perfectly fine to use if that’s what you enjoy playing or listening too.
That’s every bit as absurd as saying that a Dreadnought in DADGAD tuning isn’t really a guitar, and that the Spanish style, gut string instrument is the only true guitar. In fact, Manuel Nunes, the Portuguese luthier that came from Madeira to Hawaii and helped combine the Macheté and the Rajāo to create the Ukulele, and his sons introduced the first concert scale ukulele and the 8 string version.

Furthermore, there is extraordinary precedent across the rich landscape of music of instruments having multiple versions for various scales. To suggest that the same is not true of the Ukulele is to say that it’s not a serious instrument, that it is nothing more than a novelty item. So, unless you can present some historical record of the inventors of the Ukulele declaring that the re-entrant gCEA tuned soprano scale instrument was intended to be the one and only Ukulele, there is no convincing logical argument to be made to support your opinion as anything approaching fact. (You can, of course, state your opinion as to your personal preference in the matter, but you have zero authority to tell someone else that their Ukulele is not a true Ukulele just because it’s scale length doesn’t happen to be your cup of tea.)

Scooter