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Thread: beginners uke for under $100

  1. #1
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    Default beginners uke for under $100

    Since I started bringing my uke to work (I teach and I generally play during lunch), a number of my students have been asking me about learning to play. Since the first real question is what uke to buy, I was wondering what opinions people have on decent beginners ukes for $100 or below.

  2. #2
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    I'd check out the entry-level Kalas and Makalas.

    The Kamoas in the UU store are nice, too!

  3. #3
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    I've been happy with my Mahogany laminate Mahalo Pineapple the past 10 years, costs around $59 with gigbag nowadays.
    Illegitimus Non Carborundum

    I ʻike lākou, ʻo ʻoe, ka mea wale nō nona ka inoa ʻo IĒHOVA;
    ʻO ʻoe nō ka Mea kiʻekiʻe loa ma luna o ka honua a pau.
    Nā Halelū 83:18

  4. #4
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    Some people may disagree with me, but the "tourist trap" ukes are good to learn on. You can get them for around $20. Then, when you develop your interest and skill, you can move up to a better instrument. That's how I did it anyways
    Kala Archtop Tenor
    Epiphone Les Paul

  5. #5
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    I know of a lotta newbs that have picked up Makalas. They sound decent and can take the abuse. My cousin used to work at the music store on Tennessee St. I can see if he could get a discount for your students. PM me.

    On a side note - the uke is really catching on up here... I saw 3 in Benicia today while I was working, and another at the park while I was playing with my niece. Maybe I should get into the business of uke pimpin

    Thats awesome if you get the uke to take over the school!

    shoots

  6. #6
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    I bought my 3 year old daughter a Makala soprano with the dolphin bridge that was setup by MGM. I think it sounds very good for the price and it's already proven that it can take the abuse from my 2 and 3 year old daughters. Definitely a good one to learn on.
    Perfect for getting signed by star ukulele players too

    Visit the ukulele ghetto

    Too many ukes!: W. King ls-tenor; W. King ls-concert; Kamaka tenor; Koa Works tenor; KoAloha Pineapple Sunday; Dasilva Santo repro; Aaron Taylor tenor; Kiwaya KTS-7; Kanile'a custom SS; Kepasa Gypsy Rose; Bluegrass cigar box tenor; Collings UC-1; Bushman cedartone baritone; Glyph Mezzo Soprano "Mini-Jake"; Kala acacia pocket; Mya-Moe Concert Tradition; Epiphone Les Paul; Martin C1K

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by GX9901 View Post
    I bought my 3 year old daughter a Makala soprano with the dolphin bridge that was setup by MGM. I think it sounds very good for the price and it's already proven that it can take the abuse from my 2 and 3 year old daughters. Definitely a good one to learn on.
    Perfect for getting signed by star ukulele players too

    I agree. I bought one (a black one) from MGM on a whim after watching some uke videos on youtube. I did some brief research and nobody seemed to have anything bad to say about it. It sounds great and stays in tune for a long time. I usually have to tune it everyday before I play it but I think that's just from the 30 change in temp over night.

    My only real complaint is the paint is super slippery and makes it hard to play standing up. I'm thinking about trying some of that rubber shelf liner or maybe roughing up the back with a little sand paper or something. I'm also not big on the dolphin bridge but that's merely cosmetic.

    If I could do it all over again I'd probably go with the Kala KA-15S from MGM simply because I like the look of it better. But at the time with shipping it would have been more than I was willing to spend on something I wasn't sure I would be into.

  8. #8
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    I've played several of the MGM-set-up Makala "dolphins". They're a hoot to play, have decent intonation, and come in at a price that's tough to beat.

    If that's your price point, I recommend them.

    JJ
    "Talent is just a pursued interest. In other words, anything you are willing to practice, you can do." -- Bob Ross

  9. #9
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    I used to tutor special ed kids at a local elementary school and every Wednesday after school there was a ukulele class for students in one of the classrooms provided as an after school activity. About 3/4 of the students used these colorful Makala ukulele and were very happy with then which is the main thing.
    Illegitimus Non Carborundum

    I ʻike lākou, ʻo ʻoe, ka mea wale nō nona ka inoa ʻo IĒHOVA;
    ʻO ʻoe nō ka Mea kiʻekiʻe loa ma luna o ka honua a pau.
    Nā Halelū 83:18

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by IamRobbyah View Post
    I know of a lotta newbs that have picked up Makalas. They sound decent and can take the abuse. My cousin used to work at the music store on Tennessee St. I can see if he could get a discount for your students. PM me.

    On a side note - the uke is really catching on up here... I saw 3 in Benicia today while I was working, and another at the park while I was playing with my niece. Maybe I should get into the business of uke pimpin

    Thats awesome if you get the uke to take over the school!

    shoots
    I played my uke for the wrestling team's fundraiser and now a bunch are playing. Pretty cool...

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