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Thread: Sorry, another first Uke thread

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
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    465

    Default Sorry, another first Uke thread

    First, I hope it is considered acceptable etiquette using the term Uke. If not, please let me know and I will certainly refrain.

    Yet again, another first Uke recommendation thread - and for that I apologize. I am a long time guitar player, winds player, drummer / percussionist, etc., though I have never owned a ukulele. After playing a friends, I find a sure soft spot for the instrument. The one I have played is a concert size and I found it quite comfortable.

    I would like to purchase my own and was thinking of starting in the $200 price range. I’m hoping I can find a quality instrument in this price range that will last me a while through learnings?

    I was looking at the Mainland instruments and thought they were a good price for an all solid wood construction. Then, I also seen that an entry level Pono can be had in the $375 price range. Though this is over my budget, if the Pono is a superior instrument I could consider the extra funds.

    I also have experience with Córdoba intermediate level classical guitars and find them quite nice. Are their Ukuleles in the $200 price range worth considering along with the others?

    I would greatly appreciate your assistance! Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Pickering, ON, Canada
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    4,589

    Default

    As a multi instrument musician you can appreciate the difference a good instrument makes. If you can swing the cost the Pono is a very well made good sounding instrument made by a dedicated team of luthiers in the Pono plant in Indonesia. I have owned 4 Ponos and never been dissapointed with any of them.
    Ukuleles.............yes please !!!!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    Upper Hale, Surrey/Hants border, UK.
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    4,995

    Default

    I always suggest a Kala or an Ohana as a first uke, & recommend starting with a concert scale, buy it from a dealer who will ensure that it is set up properly, (unless you have the expertise).

    Mims ukes is a good place to start looking, (& HMS).
    Trying to do justice to various musical instruments.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    CH
    Posts
    1,412

    Default

    Welcome to the forum, and no need to apologize: Most people here love to spend other people's money, i.e. giving advise on what to buy. Mine would be to skip the $200 range and go straight to a decent high quality instrument which you get from Pono. I hve gone through several instruments that cost multiple times as much, but I keep coming back to Pono and what an amazing value they offer.
    Enjoying instruments by - Beau Hannam - Jay Lichty - Jerry Hoffmann - Luis Feu de Mesquita - Kala - Kamaka - Kanile'a - KoAloha - Ko'olau - Moore Bettah - Pono - Romero Creations - and others

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    U.K.
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    501

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    You’re an experience musician and having played a guitar you already have much overlap with Ukes, as such you will know that it’s the skill of the player that makes all the difference. This tale is often told but remains forever true: a student complains to his teacher about the poor quality of his instrument and how he would do better on something more expensive, the teacher then picks the said basic instrument up and makes really good music.

    When I decided to learn to play a Uke I came across YouTube videos of John Bianchi playing (he's an in-active member here), example: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Xd6lrpoR920. John was playing a laminate plus solid top Ohana that’s priced well within your budget, it kind of shows you that you don’t have to spend a lot to sound really good and that it’s the player that makes the difference.
    Last edited by Graham Greenbag; 11-25-2017 at 03:33 AM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Twin Cities, MN
    Posts
    29,393

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    I have 2 Mainlands. They are both lovely. And a great bang for the buck. I have a Mainland super concert (tenor neck on a concert body) pineapple and a tenor cutaway. You just can't go wrong with a Mainland.

    Welcome to UU.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    Utah
    Posts
    451

    Default

    HMS, Mim, Uke Republic, Elderly ......all of these will do an inspection & set-up on your ukulele. The nice thing about HMS is that they have sound samples on almost every ukulele. You can have a listen to get an idea of what different brands & woods sound like. Uke Republic has some sound samples, but not on every ukulele. Mim has a lot of sounds samples on You Tube, and HMS has more on Vimeo. Do some listening, then see who carries the ones that stand out to you in your price range. Have fun!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Oak Park, Illinois
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    2,848

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    I, for one, think you'd be very happy with the Mainland. The Pono is probably worth the price, but the Mainland is just as playable and has a very nice sound. I think a Mainland will never get in the way of your progress, as might a lesser instrument. You'll never have to step up, though at some point you may choose to do so. Then get a Pono or better.
    The other really great thing about Mainland is you will get the very best customer service in the business.
    If everybody wanted peace instead of another TV, then there would be peace.
    -John Lennon-

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Alberta. Canada
    Posts
    198

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    My first purchase wad a Mainland. I also have two Ponos. Kala is a good start as well. You can’t really go wrong with any of them.
    Mainland Mango concert
    KoAloha Longneck soprano Pineapple
    Outdoor Ukulele (#28) soprano
    Canora (Canadian school system) soprano
    Kala travel soprano
    Wolfelele soprano
    Islander tenor
    Pono MT tenor
    Kala soprano banjo ukulele
    Pono Acacia tenor electric

    Everybody else does B flat. I do B phlat!!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    Pennsylvania, USA
    Posts
    214

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    I say just get one and dive in! After you get to know that first uke, it will inform your subsequent uke decisions.

    That said, I would recommend a mid-level Ohana for a starter in your price range. They sell solid mahogany ukuleles for $200-$300, good quality instruments that look and sound beautiful. I purchased one from Mim on the recommendation of others here and I love it.

    Also, if you really want an overload of information to inform your decision, I direct you to Barry Maz's YouTube channel, GotAUkulele: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCDB...nx8y6_kb0fIm-w. Barry has done many dozens of short review videos for various models and brands. You are bound to find something there that fits your needs.

    Good luck and welcome to ukedom!

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