Which new uke or?

beanie

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I was thinking of getting a Tenor and trying some out in a local music store the other day. I didn’t find anything with a low G which I was interested in. Then I picked up a baritone and beautiful soft notes just poured out of it. I seriously didn’t think it was me playing. Granted I was playing in regular CGEA chords but it sounded so nice.

I’ve been wanted to learn some fingerpicking on a beginner to midrange Tenor then pick up a really nice one in a Hawaii once I get good. So here’s some unfocused questions. Hopefully some of you have been in my shoes.

-I already own a Kamaka soprano and know nothing will come close to it. It puts a smile on my face every time I play. It’s my happy place. I’m thinking of a entry level or mid level Tenor to start with in hopes of getting one of the 4 K’s in a Tenor eventually. Any suggestions on a good beginner to midrange Tenor? I’d love it if it had a pickup but not necessary. I love the really soft “playing a stick of butter” kind of tenor sound.
-Low or high G for fingerpicking?
-Is a baritone that much different than a tenor? Would I need to relearn all the chords? Tune a baritone in CGEA? Or maybe go full guitar? Slack key has always interested me.

Any advice is appreciated.
Thanks,
Steve
 
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clear

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Hmm, looks like my post got truncated.

Let's see if I remember everything...

I've been in your shoes.
Just a few months ago, I started fingerpicking on the uke. I ran into issues with the uke's limited range so I got back into guitars.
Now, with guitars in my life, I have no desire to fingerpick on the uke.
This allowed me to go back to strumming on the uke, which I love to do.
 

Kenn2018

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I think when you ask something like this, the most important bit of information after how you are going to use it is: A budget range.

What do you consider entry to mid-level prices?

I consider my Enya Nova U Pro tenor an entry level uke that punches way above its weight. At $120 USD it's going to be hard to find a better uke that doesn't require a setup. (I hate plastic ukes, but I really like this one.)

If you really like the baritone sound, buy a bari and tune it C6. Several threads recently about how to do that.

What's most important to you for your fingerstyle instrument? Neck shape? Nut/String Width? Fret Wire Height/Shape? Sound Quality/Voice? Tuning? Low-G/High-g? Body shape? Cutaway? Etc. Make a list.

I like Pono Tenors. For under $400 their base models are very good value. But their necks are a bit thick and not everyone's cuppa. (Make sure you see good photos of the one you want to buy. I got burned by a bad tenor last year.) Ohana also has nice tenors. As do Snail & Flight. Talk to Mim and ask what she recommends. Check out the Reviews by Choirguy ukestuff.info and Gotaukulele.com. Southern Ukulele Store has some very good YouTube videos on beginner to intermediate ukulele comparisons for the last two years.

Then decide which of the contenders will give you the most pleasure to play. Good hunting.
 

kissing

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Grr, I had quite a long response written, but UU's weird glitch has lost the post. And when I try to repost, it says that I'm forbidden because apparently I'm "spamming". I hope this issue gets ironed out soon.. I've been seeing it happen somewhat frequently.


Anyway here I go again..


"-I already own a Kamaka soprano and know nothing will come close to it. It puts a smile on my face every time I play. It’s my happy place. I’m thinking of a entry level or mid level Tenor to start with in hopes of getting one of the 4 K’s in a Tenor eventually. Any suggestions on a good beginner to midrange Tenor? I’d love it if it had a pickup but not necessary. I love the really soft “playing a stick of butter” kind of tenor sound."

Consider a Shima tenor ukulele. The company is run by Bruce and Jake Shimabukuro. Jake, as you know is perhaps the most famous ukulele player of our times and plays a Kamaka tenor exclusively. Hence, perhaps the Shima Ukulele, which is made to his preference, would be something like a poor man's Kamaka tenor.

http://shimaukulele.com/


"-Low or high G for fingerpicking?"


Depends entirely on preference. You can fingerpick on either one, but the technique will differ.
Many people have both a high-G and low-G in their collections.

I prefer low-G because my fingerpicking style relies on using the G as a bass line. It also gives you a wider range of notes; helpful when it comes to melody.


"-Is a baritone that much different than a tenor? Would I need to relearn all the chords? Tune a baritone in CGEA? Or maybe go full guitar? Slack key has always interested me."

Baritone and Tenor have identical chord shapes, so you are not learning any new chords.
However, all your chords have been renamed - they have all shifted down a few pitches.

For example, the "C chord" shape on a GCEA ukulele = "G chord" on a Baritone ukulele.


You can tune a baritone ukulele as GCEA. There are specific string sets available (eg: Aquila).
However, keep in mind the physical considerations. Soprano to Tenor ukuleles have the scale length that they do to provide optimal tension and string width for the GCEA tuning. A baritone ukulele in my opinion is a bit too long for the GCEA tuning, and hence feels a bit tight and uncomfortable for my to play. That is why Baritone are generally tuned DGBE. The string widths and tensions feels right for the given scale length.

That being said, you can also tune Tenor ukuleles like baritone (DGBE) using particular strings.


Baritone ukulele and guitar are closely related.
In a nutshell, they are tuned the same, except guitar has additional 2 bass strings at the 5th and 6th.

Guitar: EADGBE
Baritone Ukulele: DGBE only.

Hope my post doesn't get cut off again!!
 

Cadia

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A really, really nice midrange (to me) tenor is the aNueNue AMM3. I love this uke. It compares very well to my K brand koa tenors in that it's light in build, resonant, has good sustain, wonderful tone, and easy playability. I love it's sound and it's beautiful. It's all mahogany, but it's not a quiet mahogany, as some are. It will give you something a little different in sound if you end up getting a K brand koa. Your idea of a midrange price may be lower, but I think this is one helluva uke for the price.
 

Kenn2018

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Grr, I had quite a long response written, but UU's weird glitch has lost the post. And when I try to repost, it says that I'm forbidden because apparently I'm "spamming".

Yes, that happened to me recently because I forgot to save what I had written before posting it.

I get the "Forbidden: You are sending from a high risk address..." message when I forget to turn off my VPN. Sometimes I am able to post a reply without any problems, sometimes I get the dreaded "Forbidden" message. I suppose it depends upon which server the VPN uses for my new IP.

When I have gotten the "Spam" message, or the "Please wait 30 seconds before trying to post again..." There is a timer that reacts if you try to post too quickly. The site thinks you're a spammer and trying to fill the thread with spam. I usually have to refresh the page. If that doesn't work, I quit the UU Forum and log in again. I had to quit my browser once as well and restart. Sometimes the site just sticks and won't let me post unless I log out, and then back in.

As I tried to post this, I got "Forbidden: User Blacklisted." message. I had to log off and log in again.
 

necessaryrooster

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Yes, that happened to me recently because I forgot to save what I had written before posting it.

I get the "Forbidden: You are sending from a high risk address..." message when I forget to turn off my VPN. Sometimes I am able to post a reply without any problems, sometimes I get the dreaded "Forbidden" message. I suppose it depends upon which server the VPN uses for my new IP.

When I have gotten the "Spam" message, or the "Please wait 30 seconds before trying to post again..." There is a timer that reacts if you try to post too quickly. The site thinks you're a spammer and trying to fill the thread with spam. I usually have to refresh the page. If that doesn't work, I quit the UU Forum and log in again. I had to quit my browser once as well and restart. Sometimes the site just sticks and won't let me post unless I log out, and then back in.

As I tried to post this, I got "Forbidden: User Blacklisted." message. I had to log off and log in again.

The banning of VPN use is really annoying. I'm not using a VPN to be nefarious, I'm using it to protect myself. The internet has gotten to be a real big pain in the neck recently. Full of spam and bots and other people ruining it for the rest of us.

OP, I had an Ohana tenor that was really nice for the money. I think it was somewhere between $200-300, solid wood. With a good setup it had great playability and it sounded great. Solid mahogany. I only sold it to fund an upgrade/downsize the collection a bit.
 

kissing

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What about the KoAlana series by KoAloha?

Steve

Nothing wrong with those either.
Fact is, there are too many good quality ukuleles to name.

As long as you stick to reputable brands - you get what you pay for.
 

Nickie

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beanie was saying that they loved the deep guitary sound of the baritone. I friend of mine was injured very badly last year when she fell down a flight of stairs, breaking her left arm in several places. Annie used to be a very good guitar and ukulele player. She has just started trying to rehabilitate her arm with a brand new baritone uke. She is elated with the tone, knows the guitar named chords, and can already pick it like crazy, after just 3 months.
 

Ms Bean

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I second Nickie. If you like the mellow sound of the baritone ukulele, then don't overthink it.
Although the majority of available resources is for standard C6 tuning, there are also some websites and YouTube channels around for baritone players.
Spencer Gay has this baritone for beginners songbook:
https://static1.squarespace.com/sta...le+Basics+Songbook+Baritone+19+SWG+5+2021.pdf

Abigail Flowers mainly performs with baritones:
https://youtube.com/abigailflowersmusic

MunsonCovers / Munson Music has a baritone uke playlist with playalong covers:
https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PL7_0QJkERGndajXYy4FXJhYLt_lHn21x6

All about and for baritone players:
http://humblebaritonics.blogspot.com/
 

Lifestion

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There are a lot to choose from. Just get one from a reputable brand like the other comment says.