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Thread: A uke for my son

  1. #1
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    Default A uke for my son

    Hi,
    My son has asked for a uke for Christmas. He's 6, so I guess the best choice would be a soprano. However, I'm a guitarist myself and rather fancy learning some uke chords too... do you guys think a 6 year old would be able to handle a concert size uke?

  2. #2
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    Children vary a lot in size so the question isn’t that easy to answer, and then it’s some time since many of us actually had six year olds. I’m inclined to think that a Concert size is too big for children who are not yet at in their teenage years.

    The simplest way forward is to buy a Soprano. Concerts are bigger but part of that is the number of frets to the neck joint (14 rather than 12) and then there’s the slightly longer scale. Many adults (me included) happily play Soprano so there’s little reason not to take the simple Soprano route. As for instrument the Makala Dolphins and Sharks are popular for good reasons and quite affordable, remember to get the action sorted out - that’s really crucial - and mine worked better with Martin 600 Strings (the Aquila’s fitted from new worked fine but the Martins sounded better to my ear).
    Last edited by Graham Greenbag; 12-01-2017 at 05:59 AM.

  3. #3
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    There was an Enya laminate concert on sale for $45 plus 20% off for prime members (was $36 last week) and you couldn’t find a better deal. That said, a dolphin or shark might appeal to them more with bright colors.
    My ukulele blog: http://ukestuff.info

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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Choirguy View Post
    There was an Enya laminate concert on sale for $45 plus 20% off for prime members (was $36 last week) and you couldn’t find a better deal. That said, a dolphin or shark might appeal to them more with bright colors.
    I like Enya laminates but stay away from their HPLs as they are rather heavy, not a big deal for adults. But it might be an issue for a youngster.
    I'd definitely recommend a soprano sized instrument.

    This one is from a reputable dealer who does an honest set up.
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/MIM-Ohana-S...-/172994205692
    The price is hard to beat.
    Last edited by maki66; 12-01-2017 at 08:44 AM.
    Playing my Magic Fluke and grinning like a fool!

  5. #5
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    My age 7 & under grandkids play my Outdoor Ukulele Tenor all the time, and the size is not an issue. All grandkids are getting the laminate Enya camp uke for Christmas. I bought stickers so they can personalize them.
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    Martin, KoAloha, Brueko, Mele, Mainland, Outdoor, Kala, Enya, Harmony, Tempo, Globe, Vega, Silvertone, Kay, Luna, Vorson, Zither Heaven, First Act

  6. #6
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    I'd say, go to some local stores that have Ukes, tell him Dad wants to go to the store to get some Guitar Strings, then just casually check out the Ukes, give him some and see which sizes he takes to, maybe while undercover he'll reveal to you his likes, then later buy that one...

    If you play it real cool, he shouldn't have any ideas as to what you're doing, so the surprise is still kept.

    Personally this is what I'd do, you know how kids are, they don't get what they like, it's not going to work hehe...
    Looking For My Next Uke!
    Lanikai LU-21C - Concert

  7. #7
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    You didn’t really give a budget, or preference for plastic, laminate, or solid wood, so your options are essentially limitless. If you’re looking for something you’ll bother enjoy, check out your local music store to get an idea for feel, then after that you might want to check out MIM Ukes who can guide your efforts further while providing an excellent set-up.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peace Train View Post
    You didn’t really give a budget, or preference for plastic, laminate, or solid wood, so your options are essentially limitless.
    Might be a poor idea to give a six-year-old an expensive solid wood instrument. Probably what is best is to get the kid a sub $100 uke in laminate or plastic. Agree on not neglecting the setup though... this makes a world of difference for the intonation and playability of an instrument.

    What's better though, IMO, is getting daddy his own uke too... that way father and son can play their ukes together. Boy might be more keen on playing his uke if he gets to do it with daddy.

  9. #9
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    It seems that size shouldn't be an issue. Kids that are 4 years old are taught to play guitar. Let him pick the size.
    "Those who bring sunshine and laughter to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves".

    Music washes from the soul, the dust of everyday living.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by MopMan View Post
    Might be a poor idea to give a six-year-old an expensive solid wood instrument. Probably what is best is to get the kid a sub $100 uke in laminate or plastic. Agree on not neglecting the setup though... this makes a world of difference for the intonation and playability of an instrument.

    What's better though, IMO, is getting daddy his own uke too... that way father and son can play their ukes together. Boy might be more keen on playing his uke if he gets to do it with daddy.
    Every child is unique and expensive is relative. A six year old can be quite responsible with something he enjoys and will be more apt to stick with a quality uke in a size he enjoys. If the father will be playing too then the instrument will never be a waste. Regardless, this is something the father must determine as only he knows his son best.

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