Your First Ukulele?

BBegall

Member
Joined
Mar 16, 2019
Messages
144
Points
18
I was going through some old bills when I discovered the nine year old receipt from a big on-line music store for my first ukulele. I decided on a concert size and purchased a Luna Tattoo for just over $100.

I think I chose the Luna based on price, looks and on-line user reviews. It wasn't a very good ukulele but it got me started on the journey.
 

monannabanana

New member
Joined
Apr 22, 2020
Messages
6
Points
0
I am relatively new to the ukulele. Mine is a Romero Creations Tiny Tenor solid Spalted Mango. I got my own after using my wife's Cordoba 20 TM-CE tenor for a few months (our first ever ukulele). The Romero is a fabulous instrument, but I decided to play it only at home and get an Outdoor Ukulele Carbon Tenor for travel and day to day use.
 

M3Ukulele

Active member
Joined
Jun 20, 2013
Messages
1,419
Points
38
First Uke was a Pono AT tenor from HMS. Great build and set up by Joel was excellent. I purchased it at HMS from help from MGM and Aaron when I was in Hawaii. I will probably never sell that Uke. I have a custom. I have another expensive Pono. I have a TT. And a Fluke. The Pono AT, MT and MGT are such at good value at $399. Serious starter Uke. I’m happy I did it.
 

mikelz777

Active member
Joined
Feb 29, 2012
Messages
1,945
Points
38
My first was a Lanikai LU-21C. The action was so high you could hang your laundry on it to dry. Once I got the action lowered it played like a breeze. I regret having sold it. It had a great feel I can't put into words, it's something you had to experience. I haven't experienced that kind of feel since.
 

kohanmike

UU VIP
Joined
Sep 15, 2013
Messages
5,575
Points
48
My first was a Mahalo MT-1. In June of 2013 I was leafing through a Musician's Friend catalogue when I came across it, I bought it for $60 only because it was designed like my Fender Telecaster guitar. I had no intention to play it, just thought it would be cute hanging next to the guitar. About two weeks later I received a postcard from the Los Angeles Music Center announcing their summer series play-along, which I attended in the past for guitar (played for almost 50 years), but this time it was for ukulele. Hey, I have one, I'll sign up.

They required that we know 3 chords, C, G, F, so I started practicing, but I had a lot of difficulty getting my fingers to fit. Doing a little research online, I discovered that it was a soprano, no wonder I couldn't squeeze my fingers together very well. I then went to Sam Ash, tried a concert, then a tenor cutaway, that was the size for me, a Lanikai quilted maple with electronics. So that was the first one I actually used, I sold the Mahalo shortly after. I never touched my guitars again and gave my four to my nephew.


This is Michael Kohan in Los Angeles, Beverly Grove near the Beverly Center
8 tenor cutaway ukes, 4 acoustic bass ukes, 10 solid body bass ukes, 14 mini electric bass guitars (Total: 36)

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

Wiggy

Member
Joined
Dec 12, 2011
Messages
222
Points
18
A Rogue soprano. A rally a bad choice. It was unplayable, and set aside my desire for about 2 years.

-W
 

TopDog

Member
Joined
Feb 12, 2016
Messages
427
Points
16
A painted Mahalo soprano, cost 15 GBP at that time. Saw it in a music shop window and just decided I wanted to give it a go!
 

deznuchs

Member
Joined
Jun 21, 2010
Messages
287
Points
18
This is taking me down my uke road of memories. My first uke was an Oscar Schmidt ou7t (mango) that I got from Amazon back in 2008 or 9. It really didn't sound too good and was a tank. I could have used it as a club to defend my home and not get damaged if I did. But fell in love with the uke nonetheless, and my second uke was a Kamaka HF-3 when they were 900 bucks retail. Ukes were so much cheaper back then
 
Last edited:

Kenn2018

UU VIP
Joined
Jun 13, 2018
Messages
3,510
Points
48
I knew nothing about ukuleles when I bought my first one. I'd attended a uke club and tried various sizes and decided that I like the tenor scale. I decided to get one. I'd read that koa was the "best" wood for a ukulele. My wife suggested I use the Amazon gift cards I had, so I started browsing.

I settled on a Fender "Nohea" tenor for $225. It was listed as being "All-koa." I liked the Telecaster headstock shape, because it was different. The acrylic abalone bling was a bit garish for my taste. But the wood looked really nice. (I found out later it was all-koa laminate.) Gloss finish.

Built like a Brinks truck and just as heavy. The sound was ok, but a bit muted. Not a lot of sustain. Nice neck shape. For me it was a pretty good beginner tenor.
Except for the string height. It took a pair of ViceGrip pliers to play a barre chord on the first two frets. After about 4 months, I discovered Baz' website gotaukulele.com and learned about setup and string basics. Laminate vs solid wood construction and more.

I had a setup done on it. And changed the strings to Fluorocarbons. What a difference it made to the sound and for ease of playing. It was a lot more fun to play. I kept the uke for almost two years. Taking it on trips and club gigs. Finally, I donated it to the local USO at the airport.
 

man0a

Member
Joined
Sep 22, 2019
Messages
473
Points
18
My mother taught me to play using her ukulele. She bought it at the factory showroom in the 1960s, back before imported or mail-order ukuleles were a big thing. The ukulele is showing some wear these days, but still plays and sounds pretty good. The brand is "Kamaka". The company is still in business at the same location.
 

Snargle

UU VIP
Joined
Jan 4, 2016
Messages
866
Points
18
My first uke was an Oscar Schmidt OU-2 Concert. I had no idea what I was doing or what I was getting. The results confirmed my ignorance. Within a month, I had ordered a Kala Rosewood and Spruce Tenor from HMS. The Oscar Schmidt ended up being donated to a fundraising auction.
 
Last edited:

BBegall

Member
Joined
Mar 16, 2019
Messages
144
Points
18
I went from the Luna to a used Pono Mahogany tenor. It was like a discovering different world. I donated my Luna too.
 

ukudancer

Member
Joined
May 19, 2021
Messages
91
Points
8
My first one was a Lohanu Soprano. I actually still have it at my parent's house so I can play whenever I visit.
 

shanmoon

UU VIP
Joined
May 31, 2018
Messages
392
Points
16
My first uke was an Oscar Schimdt solid koa concert. I liked that little uke, but then I sold it when I found a 20 year old Kamaka Ohta-San at an amazing price, and the UAS started....
 

GOram

New member
Joined
Feb 9, 2021
Messages
7
Points
1
My first was/is a Kala Tenor KA STG from HMS in April 2020 after a 20 gap from playing classical guitar (developed recurring tendonitis in my left hand forcing me to quit). I am now up to six ukes and another on the way.
 
Joined
Oct 16, 2019
Messages
81
Points
8
My first uke was supposed to be a gift for my wife! A Kala learn to play soprano I got on Amazon when I knew next to nothing about ukuleles. She didn’t take to it but I fell in love instantly. Even though I’ve had much nicer ukes since, I still play it almost daily since I don’t worry about it at all. That thing is a trooper!
 
Joined
Apr 27, 2020
Messages
204
Points
18
My first was a Kala concert. After that, I started hanging out at The Ukulele Site a lot and Andrew directed me toward an ebony/cedar tenor and that’s my favorite that I have.
 

Counter

Member
Joined
May 8, 2015
Messages
750
Points
18
My first was a Gretsch G9120. I thought it was great until I played a Kala. I thought that was great until I played a Kamaka .........
 

Farkvam

New member
Joined
Mar 25, 2021
Messages
85
Points
0
A boxy sounding cheap $60 Hilo Soprano 2652. But it gave me the bug! It's noteworthy that a few people here have said the same thing about their first cheap ukes: even an El Cheapo can make you fall in love with the uke :)
 

RosieKamozie

Member
Joined
Aug 15, 2019
Messages
67
Points
6
My first was a Mainland Mahogany Concert, satin finish. Such a lovely first instrument and great value. I still play it often. That was my only Uke for my first 3 years playing, then UAS started!!! ☺️