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Thread: Fist Uke

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Posts
    9

    Default Fist Uke

    Hi. First Uke not Fist (I guess that's something more Hollywood).

    New Year's resolution is to play Uke . . and now I've finally got rid of the hangover (yeah, 10 days later - I'm getting old) it's time to get a Uke. . . as I obviously can't play what I don't have.

    So, I'm looking for a recommendation. Obviously the temptation is to go with the cheapest available (more or less 20euros) BUT I heard the really cheap ones are terrible and go out of tune really quickly and easily.
    Then again, budget is a concern, as I'm quite poor

    So, please let me know what you recommend.

    Also I should state importantly that I'm in Europe - so would need to buy from somewhere here and also that I'm a man with man hands (if that makes a difference to the size of Uke I should get).

    Thanks in advance and Happy New Year to everyone. Let's Uke This!
    Last edited by Pukelele; 01-10-2018 at 01:35 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    JoCo, NC (near Raleigh)
    Posts
    3,479

    Default

    What country? The important thing is to find a vendor that does a proper setup. As to the size, find a music store that has some and try them out. I'm guessing you'll want at least a concert size, but probably tenor. Happy hunting!
    Current Stable:
    -Ohana TKS-15E - Eb cuatro
    -Iriguchi Tenor "Weeble" - Bb, SC SMU
    -Blue Star 19" baritone Konablaster - DGBE
    -KPK pineapple SLN-GCEA
    -Cocobolo 16" SC#1-gCEA, SC SLMU
    -Ono #42 19" baritone, Ab, LW
    -Imua iET-Bb, M600
    -Covered Bridge CLN pineapple - Eb cuatro, SC XLL
    -Rogue bari
    -Bonanza super tenor, FBL cFAD
    Once upon a time:
    -RISA Concert Stick
    -Bruko sop. custom #6
    -Lanikai lam hog bari
    -Kala SLNG
    -Bruko bari
    -Gold Tone BUT


    Jim's Blog

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    Upper Hale, Surrey/Hants border, UK.
    Posts
    5,060

    Default

    I have normal man sized hands, & I found the concert scale best to learn on, neither cramped nor too big a stretch.
    I always recommend Kala or Ohana for a first uke, bought from somewhere that will set it up properly.
    Several other Europeans have bought from the Southern Ukulele Store here in the UK, as have I myself, worth taking a look.
    http://www.southernukulelestore.co.uk/
    Trying to do justice to various musical instruments.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Posts
    9

    Default

    Hi.

    What do you mean when you say 'set it up properly'?

    I'm in Spain.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    Upper Hale, Surrey/Hants border, UK.
    Posts
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    Default

    They will make sure it has the strings at a suitable height at both the nut & the saddle, make sure there are no buzzing strings, the fret edges are smooth, etc. Not all sellers do this, & may charge extra to do it, if it is found to be necessary.
    Trying to do justice to various musical instruments.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    Pennsylvania, USA
    Posts
    215

    Default

    If you do get a factory made instrument like a Kala or an Ohana it is important to get the setup done. The instrument may not have desirable sound or action without a setup.

    I had a good experience buying from Mim through ebay. She does setups on all the ukes she sells.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Posts
    9

    Default

    I'm thinking about getting a Kala KA-C (concert size). . it's at the very top end of my price range (around 110) . .

    It seems to have reasonable reviews.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    U.K.
    Posts
    512

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Pukelele View Post
    I'm thinking about getting a Kala KA-C (concert size). . it's at the very top end of my price range (around 110) . .

    It seems to have reasonable reviews.
    As you mention pounds rather than dollars there’s a good chance that you’re in the U.K. (Edit. except in #4 above you say you’re in Spain, expat?) I’ve got and had several Kala and Makala products and they’re fine for the money. The KA-C should be just fine for you as a starter and for several years afterwards, fit Martin M600 Strings on it at some point. I cannot recommend a mail order retailer as two big name ones that claim to set up Ukes before despatch both failed me, thankfully setting up a Uke isn’t that hard once you get started. The price quoted (110) seems high to me and there’s an as new one on eBay at the moment with offers invited .....
    https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Kala-KA-C...IAAOSwMl9aWpAO Offers, note postage is extra.
    https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Kala-KA-C...cAAOSwrklVCWb1. New, note postage included.

    Good luck.
    Last edited by Graham Greenbag; 01-18-2018 at 06:29 AM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Posts
    146

    Default

    Hi Pukelele,

    A million to one shot but when you say you are in Spain you wouldn’t happen to be in Fuerteventura would you ?

    I have a concert sized uke in Fuerte which I am looking to sell. It’s not the best instrument in the world but it is in perfect condition and would cost 90 new. I only want 40 for it.

    But in all probability you will be somewhere else in the country and shipping isn’t really an option.

    Rgds,

    Ernie

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    Denmark
    Posts
    430

    Default

    The Kala is probably a fine way to start.
    I started with their slightly cheaper Makala MK C. That worked OK for me, and the Kala KA C is probably a bit better. It is also a plus that the headstock logo looks less silly, so you are more likely to keep playing it.
    As suggested, buy from a good vendor.
    I ounce bought a uke from German vendor Thomann - not impressed, through the brand is not always bad.
    Southern ukulele store I got som better ukes from.
    Ohana SK30M mahogany super-soprano, Cort UKEBWCOP Blackwood concert, Fluke Koa Tenor, Hora M1176 spruce Tenor

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