What is the most versatile Ukulele?

Cryptinox

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I am new to this forum and I want to know which Ukulele would allow me to play the most songs as I see soprano has different chords than other ukuleles. If I were to look up a song I wanted to play on Ukulele would it be more likely to use Soprano or concert chords?
 

Poul Hansen

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There are no differencies, they are the same. The two ukuleles are tuned the same. It's more a question about finger size. There is a bit more room on the concert fretboard, and of course the sound.
 

robinboyd

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I am new to this forum and I want to know which Ukulele would allow me to play the most songs as I see soprano has different chords than other ukuleles. If I were to look up a song I wanted to play on Ukulele would it be more likely to use Soprano or concert chords?
Somebody has given you false information. Soprano, concert, and tenor all have the same chord fingerings. Only baritone is different.
 

EDW

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Somebody has given you false information. Soprano, concert, and tenor all have the same chord fingerings. Only baritone is different.
While these days that is generally true, there are still many who like D tuning on a soprano. Years ago that was pretty traditional. Some like tuning each differently to bring out different characteristics- Soprano in D or Eb, Concert in C, Tenor in Bb, B, A or G
 

robinboyd

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While these days that is generally true, there are still many who like D tuning on a soprano. Years ago that was pretty traditional. Some like tuning each differently to bring out different characteristics- Soprano in D or Eb, Concert in C, Tenor in Bb, B, A or G
Sure. I own a Bb-tuned tenor, but that is not standard. I think that sort of talk will only confuse the OP even more.
 

EDW

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Sure. I own a Bb-tuned tenor, but that is not standard. I think that sort of talk will only confuse the OP even more.
Yes, just trying to clarify that it may not be standard these days, but that may be where that source was coming from
 

Graham Greenbag

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I am new to this forum and I want to know which Ukulele would allow me to play the most songs as I see soprano has different chords than other ukuleles. If I were to look up a song I wanted to play on Ukulele would it be more likely to use Soprano or concert chords?

I believe that you have gained some information about Uke chords already and that that information is causing confusion. The standard Ukulele tuning is (re-entrant) gCEA and that is used on Soprano, Concert and Tenor Ukuleles. Concert and Tenor Ukes didn’t exist in the very early days of the Ukulele and Baritones use a much lower tuning, Baritones are best set aside and left for more experienced players.

Tuning in gCEA is known as C tuning, at one time D tuning was common in some places and a lot of old music (from many decades ago) uses D tuning (where each un-fretted string is tuned a full pitch higher than in C tuning). That old music would have been for Soprano, the original size worked well in D tuning. A Capo applied to the neck of a Uke tuned in C can quickly turn it into a Uke tuned in D. I’ve never come across new music being written for a Uke tuned in anything other that C.

Most adults that I know find that the Concert size works well for them. Personally I’ve alternated between Concert and Soprano for years and now find that the Soprano (the original size Uke) meets my needs best, it is also an ideal strumming instrument (it works well with songs). As a beginner I played a Makala Concert sized Uke for a few years and was very pleased with it. It did everything that I needed and it cost me little.

TLDR; a standard gCEA tuned Concert size Uke is an almost ideal place for adults to start off from.
 
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LukuleleStrings

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You’d be surprised how versatile just about any ukulele can be if you spend enough time with it. Play a lot and focus on what you’re doing and you’ll learn how to pull different tones from the uke by adjusting how you play it. Even the soprano is less held back than most believe.

That said, the soprano is the tightest of the traditional sizes and some folks find them uncomfortable for more than strumming.

I like tenors, but think this is more rooted in my guitar background than anything else. A concert is a very capable, very comfortable size that won’t give you any trouble.
 

achutch3

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I am new to this forum and I want to know which Ukulele would allow me to play the most songs as I see soprano has different chords than other ukuleles. If I were to look up a song I wanted to play on Ukulele would it be more likely to use Soprano or concert chords?

Soprano, concert, and tenor all have their strong and weak points. Reader's digest version I would recommend a concert size gCEA tuned uke for an adult beginner if you could only choose 1 to recommend.

Brand wise I would go with Kala as they have the best quality/price point for a starter instrument in my opinion. Concert size Kala gCEA between $100-$300 is what I would suggest to any friend starting out.
 

Ziret

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I believe that you have gained some information about Uke chords already and that that information is causing confusion. The standard Ukulele tuning is (re-entrant) gCEA and that is used on Soprano, Concert and Tenor Ukuleles. Concert and Tenor Ukes didn’t exist in the very early days of the Ukulele and Baritones use a much lower tuning, Baritones are best set aside and left for more experienced players.

Tuning in gCEA is known as C tuning, at one time D tuning was common in some places and a lot of old music (from many decades ago) uses D tuning (where each un-fretted string is tuned a full pitch higher than in C tuning). That old music would have been for Soprano, the original size worked well in D tuning. A Capo applied to the neck of a Uke tuned in C can quickly turn it into a Uke tuned in D. I’ve never come across new music being written for a Uke tuned in anything other that C.

Most adults that I know find that the Concert size works well for them. Personally I’ve alternated between Concert and Soprano for years and now find that the Soprano (the original size Uke) meets my needs best, it is also an ideal strumming instrument (it works well with songs). As a beginner I played a Makala Concert sized Uke for a few years and was very pleased with it. It did everything that I needed and it cost me little.

TLDR; a standard gCEA tuned Concert size Uke is an almost ideal place for adults to start off from.
I agree with all you said, but wanted to mention that I have an entire book by Tobias Eloff that’s for ukulele tuned D. Still, it’s an exception.
 

VegasGeorge

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The "most versatile Ukulele" is the one Jake Shimabukuro happens to be playing at the time! :cool:
 

TopDog

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There is an old saying about a bad workman blaming his tools? Well any ukulele is as versatile, as the player can make it. Enjoy your playing and remember to have fun! You will take from your instrument, exactly what you 'put into' it.
 

EDW

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There is an old saying about a bad workman blaming his tools? Well any ukulele is as versatile, as the player can make it. Enjoy your playing and remember to have fun! You will take from your instrument, exactly what you 'put into' it.

Great point! Ultimately it is just a tool. You can hear musicians get great results on nearly anything. At a certain point, one might look for something a bit more than you can get from a particular instrument, but that is WAAAY down the road. Sometimes we all fuss over that stuff and get too hung up on the gear. I like the point above to play and remember to have fun. That is what it should be all about.
 

rustydusty

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If they are tuned in standard GCEA tuning, I would pick the one that fit my fingers. That said, I have fat fingers and prefer a baritone uke which is normally tuned DGBE. I also have a baritone tuned "re-entrant. It's all personal preference...
 

kaimuki

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I don't know about the most , but a Martin C1K Uke is versatile .
Folk , Rock , Jazz , Blues , Country , Hawaiian , all sound good .
 

wherahiko

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Like others above, I'd recommend starting on a concert size, tuned gCEA.

That said, the most versatile size (for tunings) is the baritone. With commercially-available strings, you can tune it gCEA (standard 'ukulele tuning), GCEA (linear tuning), DGBE (conventional baritone tuning, like the four treble strings of a guitar), and dGBE (re-entrant bari tuning). That covers the most common uke tunings you'll come across. I remember the late Dirk Wormhoudt of Southcoast saying if he could have only one uke, it would be a bari, for this reason.
 

Ziret

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Like others above, I'd recommend starting on a concert size, tuned gCEA.

That said, the most versatile size (for tunings) is the baritone. With commercially-available strings, you can tune it gCEA (standard 'ukulele tuning), GCEA (linear tuning), DGBE (conventional baritone tuning, like the four treble strings of a guitar), and dGBE (re-entrant bari tuning). That covers the most common uke tunings you'll come across. I remember the late Dirk Wormhoudt of Southcoast saying if he could have only one uke, it would be a bari, for this reason.
Good points!
 

cdkrugjr

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The most versatile ukulele is the one in your hand right now. All other ukes useless to you. :)

You can play any chord on any uke, and almost everyone tunes to C nowadays. Find the one that’s comfortable to play for you.