What’s your ukulele “hot take”?

Patty

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I came over from the guitar in 2006. … My hot take: I am not found of guitar players who take up the uke and play this lazy chunk strumming style without learning better strumming techniques with the thumb and two fingers and rasgueado, etc. Lil Rev and Jake have great vids on these. Guitar players should aim higher!!! That’s my hot take…it or leave it. haha

Petey from his hospital bed
Agree! (But why are you in the hospital?)
 

SurferJay

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I don’t like High G so I’m going to need one Uke 😎 The problem I have is not that I wouldn’t buy an expensive Uke but where I live there is no option to try them.

If I could walk into a shop and sample a bunch of Ukes and find my soul mate I’d hand over the cash in a second.. it’s just a difficult ask to throw a $1000+ on something you may potentially not get on with..
 

ploverwing

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I have one major beef with the "get one great uke" theory. You can't have a high G and a low G if you have just one uke.

So my lukewarm take is: If you don't have a high G and a low G, you're missing half the fun.

Among the songs, ditties and etudes I play, at least, many sound better one way or the other.

An example is Stand By Me in C. When the night has come (bum, bum, bum -- C, B, A on the low G). It just sounds silly on a high G uke.

Jim
Actually, that is a great point in favour of UAS (at least for a few in the stable, maybe not, *cough*, lots). It's nice to have at least a couple of different tunings, and if you want to play baritone that's a third instrument, and a tenor and soprano sound and play significantly differently so that's a fourth, and I know that a number of people here on UU have way more tunings than that, so it would be challenging to achieve that with only "one great uke". I have two tenors for exactly that reason (well, actually, I have three, but one of them is now my daughter's and I won't share my other two with her, lol). There are pieces that I love to play on both, and each are very specific what pieces I play. I mean, there can be crossover, but if something is specifically written low g or specifically written reentrant, it's important (IMO) to have one of each.
 

bbkobabe

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Not really... I read this board and buy the ones on the sub $400 range that get lots of good mentions... tenors and a baritone... and then string them up so I have lots of different options!

I also started out with cheap Kalas, and then stepped up to a Kala SSTU travel tenor after hearing it mentioned here repeatedly... and noticing lots of them used by members of the local ukulele club. A great little $200 uke!

Then I started hearing here on UU that Ponos offer a lot for the money (which I don't have a lot of) so I bought a used one locally for $350. Really awesome!

Then I got curious about Baritones and I found a used mahogany Pono, also for $350... amazing tone! Sounds like a parlor guitar...

I kept seeing people talking on these boards (looking at you, KohanMike!) raving about their BruceWeiArts ukuleles... So I bought one from eBay... It's magical... also about $350 + shipping.

I also keep reading about these Magic Flukes, and how people who play these seem to fall in love with them and become disciples of the brand... so I found a used one for about $200 and tried it out. I like it quite a bit and play it out on the patio, so that if I ever leave it out there in the sun I have little to be worried about.

So, let's see: I've now spent about $1500 for five totally unique ukuleles... all strung up differently... and they are all awesome in their own ways.

I seriously doubt I would be having as much fun if I had bought just one $1500 ukulele... I probably would be scared to take it out of the house...

I guess my hot take is: Pay attention to the ukuleles people talk about on these boards that cost under $400 and get a few of them. Can't go wrong!
 

Ukecaster

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Agree! (But why are you in the hospital?)
Petey took a spill on his bike. Get well soon!

 

PeteyHoudini

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Is this the Daniel Ho book series you’re talking about?

Yes, but I bought it as three separate books at Puapua in Honolulu in 2015. It’s actually written by two other musicians and Daniel Ho did the videos. Not sure if Ho was involved in the editorial process but anyone who plays uke should own a copy.

My only concern with this 3 book compilation is that it says it comes with AUDIO and not Ho’s videos. I don’t understand that. Am I missing something?? Each of my 3 books came with a DVD of videos of the books examples. I converted them to MP4 for easier viewing on my Surface Pro.
 

badhabits

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I agree with OP. Got a Koaloha recently, first top-end K brand ukulele for me. Some reflections:
1. I can see where it might make sense or one might want to go with a high end or K brand right off the bat or with few interim upgrades along the way (wasn't really an option for me since I wasn't entirely sold on uke and also had no access other than buying online; for that much I'm gonna try before I buy)
2. I can see where a K brand could be your only uke, although having a few with a purpose makes sense too (e.g., high g, low g, cheap traveler...not one of each color and size of a particular model)
3. I can see where a K brand can be a cure for UAS (for some); I don't have a ton of other ukes (5) but I am now considering consolidating, selling off a couple that are now not getting played much. I think I'm pretty much done with cheaper ukes... although because of the connection b/w the brands, the Rebel mango has my interest!

Hot takes:
1. I don't quite get having all different sizes; I guess I'm just not good enough to swap out and play all (well).
2. Baritone? naw...
3. some post s annoy me.
 

thaidye39

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Musically, I think you should buy an instrument that is a little above what you need - something you can develop with. As I came late into the world of ukuleles, I have only two instruments, both professional quality - a Martin (soprano) and a Kanile'a (tenor). (But I've got maybe 10 mandolins, from three centuries). My impression is that collectors of cheap instruments mostly don't care so much about the sound quality - it's like collecting anything else. And maybe they don't take the instrument as seriously as they should? An instrument needs care, to be played, loved.

Controversial opinion - no, I don't have that, I guess. But maybe my journey into the ukulele world was a little bit uncommon - as I went there (here) as a lute player and composer, starting to play and explore the instrument as a small lute. Not controversial, but a bit uncommon.
I have only one ukulele, a Kanile'a K1-T, but have been feeling interested in a soprano lately - and looking at Martin's. Which do you have?

(Sorry to hi-jack the thread).
 

vcs700s

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I agree with OP. Got a Koaloha recently, first top-end K brand ukulele for me. Some reflections:
1. I can see where it might make sense or one might want to go with a high end or K brand right off the bat or with few interim upgrades along the way (wasn't really an option for me since I wasn't entirely sold on uke and also had no access other than buying online; for that much I'm gonna try before I buy)
2. I can see where a K brand could be your only uke, although having a few with a purpose makes sense too (e.g., high g, low g, cheap traveler...not one of each color and size of a particular model)
3. I can see where a K brand can be a cure for UAS (for some); I don't have a ton of other ukes (5) but I am now considering consolidating, selling off a couple that are now not getting played much. I think I'm pretty much done with cheaper ukes... although because of the connection b/w the brands, the Rebel mango has my interest!

Hot takes:
1. I don't quite get having all different sizes; I guess I'm just not good enough to swap out and play all (well).
2. Baritone? naw...
3. some post s annoy me.
Hot takes:
1. I have and play all sizes. I think I am a better and more versatile player with the ability to adapt to each size. I would be bored with just one or two sizes.
2. Baritone? Definitely.
3. Some posts really annoy me but 99% of the time I don’t reply to them.😃
 

PeteyHoudini

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Agree! (But why are you in the hospital?)
In brief: My bicycle front tire went into an unexpected rut and my bike became a Buckeroo Bronco throwing me over the handlebars. I landed on cement and broke both elbows, and broke both sides of my jaw. My chin and right knee got minor damage. Couldn’t move on the ground and was taken by ambulance to the hospital where I had 5 hour surgery and have been staying there the last two weeks. My jaw is wired shut and I drink only liquids thru a syringe tube. There is a severe risk of me choking so I’m in my hospital bed for another week until they take the wires out and I can go home. My cast will come off later.

Yeah, no uke, piano, or pool parties for the rest of the summer. No nice rosé wine or whisky. I should be better after physio by Halloween. Rough break but I’m having fun about the crazy stuff that happens in hospitals! hehe. Petey
 

Patty

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In brief: My bicycle front tire went into an unexpected rut and my bike became a Buckeroo Bronco throwing me over the handlebars. I landed on cement and broke both elbows, and broke both sides of my jaw. My chin and right knee got minor damage. Couldn’t move on the ground and was taken by ambulance to the hospital where I had 5 hour surgery and have been staying there the last two weeks. My jaw is wired shut and I drink only liquids thru a syringe tube. There is a severe risk of me choking so I’m in my hospital bed for another week until they take the wires out and I can go home. My cast will come off later.

Yeah, no uke, piano, or pool parties for the rest of the summer. No nice rosé wine or whisky. I should be better after physio by Halloween. Rough break but I’m having fun about the crazy stuff that happens in hospitals! hehe. Petey
Oh, Petey, that is really harsh. But you have a great attitude. You might take advantage of this period of inactivity by getting on some cool luthier’s build list!

PS: Bribe somebody to sneak you some nice wine through your drinking tube.
 

PeteyHoudini

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I mean, there can be crossover, but if something is specifically written low g or specifically written reentrant, it's important (IMO) to have one of each.
I 100% agree. I have a low G uke for a specific repertoire. Arrangements can sound wildly different when you take a high G arrangement and try playing it on a low G. Yikesaroo!! hehe
 

Nickie

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I can afford to indulge in collecting ukes. In 2013, my first year, I collected about 16. Then a year later I culled them down to 4, and slowly got up to 8 since then. Last month I decided to go back to 4, and I have a feeling that's where I'm going to stay.

Michael Kohan in Los Angeles, Beverly Grove near the Beverly Center
4 tenor thinline cutaway ukes, 3 thinline acoustic bass ukes, 5 solid body bass ukes
•Donate to The Ukulele Kids Club, they provide ukuleles to children in hospital music therapy programs. www.theukc.org
•Member Cali Rose & The CC Strummers: www.youtube.com/user/CCStrummers/video, www.facebook.com/TheCCStrummers
Mike, I'm down to 4 as well, including my banjouke. (I just want one more uke)
 

vcs700s

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In brief: My bicycle front tire went into an unexpected rut and my bike became a Buckeroo Bronco throwing me over the handlebars. I landed on cement and broke both elbows, and broke both sides of my jaw. My chin and right knee got minor damage. Couldn’t move on the ground and was taken by ambulance to the hospital where I had 5 hour surgery and have been staying there the last two weeks. My jaw is wired shut and I drink only liquids thru a syringe tube. There is a severe risk of me choking so I’m in my hospital bed for another week until they take the wires out and I can go home. My cast will come off later.

Yeah, no uke, piano, or pool parties for the rest of the summer. No nice rosé wine or whisky. I should be better after physio by Halloween. Rough break but I’m having fun about the crazy stuff that happens in hospitals! hehe. Petey
Wow! I am so sorry to read this. Sounds super painful Petey. Praying for your recovery.