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Thread: Tenor or soprano for adult beginner

  1. #21
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    Boomershakalaka, look at alternate fingerings for your D - you should be able to do a partial barre to play it with one or two fingers rather than fitting all three in. This may depend on your setup. It's more or less what I referred to previously with Dm. I had a heck of a time fitting three fingers in to fret that, but after lowering the action I can cover both the G and C strings on the second fret with one finger. Barring the G and C strings makes it a really easy finger roll to switch between F and Dm, and they're friends who show up together frequently (at least if you like A minor ). For D I generally either barre the G, C, and E strings with a single finger or the G and C with one and pick up the E with another depending on where I'm going to and where I'm coming from.

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boomershakalaka View Post
    Man I was having a ball with my soprano when I first started. Then I got to the D chord. So I bought a concert and, again, had a blast until that godforsaken D chord popped up again. UGH!!!! So now with Tenors and while I'm still no fan of the D chord, I can at least get three of my sausage-fingers within one fret. So my two cents...consider your hand size, your actual size (I'm a wide guy who should have started at least with a concert) and your overall agility with your fingers. I can play some complex chrods now but not when attempting to contort my arms and fingers on a small fret board.
    Ah, the dreaded D chord. Actually it’s no big deal really once you learn a trick or two.

    I have short fat fingers and play both Soprano and Concert sizes, sometimes the Soprano is easier. For the D chord play a G7 and then move your fingers across to the second fret and up a string. Now that your fingers are stacked (in a triangle shape) rather than side by side the D chord becomes so much easier.

    It’s a separate debate but the lack of room on Sopranos is more due to the closeness of the strings to each other rather than the closeness of the frets to each other. When possible I set the strings about 10mm apart.
    Last edited by Graham Greenbag; 10-04-2018 at 10:26 AM.

  3. #23
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    Tenor if you want something easier to play (I'm thinking of those 4442 E chords that people don't like. The extra fret space really helps)
    Concert if you want something that sounds more ukulele-ish

    In case these also cross your mind,
    Soprano if you want that authentic light, fun ukulele sound
    Baritone...you might as well get a guitar xD
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  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Graham Greenbag View Post
    Ah, the dreaded D chord. Actually it’s no big deal really once you learn a trick or two.

    I have short fat fingers and play both Soprano and Concert sizes, sometimes the Soprano is easier. For the D chord play a G7 and then move your fingers across to the second fret and up a string. Now that your fingers are stacked (in a triangle shape) rather than side by side the D chord becomes so much easier.

    It’s a separate debate but the lack of room on Sopranos is more due to the closeness of the strings to each other rather than the closeness of the frets to each other. When possible I set the strings about 10mm apart.
    I had trouble too, like everyone else with large hands.
    Then I learned to use my index finger to cover both the 3 and 4 string and use the middle finger for the 2 string.
    Playing my Magic Fluke and grinning like a fool!

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by maki66 View Post
    I had trouble too, like everyone else with large hands.
    Then I learned to use my index finger to cover both the 3 and 4 string and use the middle finger for the 2 string.
    Yep, that works for me too though I discovered the other (triangle) method first. With the transferred G7 form your fingers need to be pretty much perpendicular to the fret board, I find. With your method your fingers need to come in at an angle, I place my index finger first to secure the top two strings and then add my middle finger to the second string. Using your method it becomes a moveable chord, so go for the E chord - I swop my fingers around for that though, but I’m diverting the thread which I shouldn’t be.

    Bottom line: when using the appropriate technique on a Soprano your hand size isn’t that important.

    [But I still like widely spaced strings and getting the correct technique(s) takes time and practice.]
    Last edited by Graham Greenbag; 10-05-2018 at 04:58 AM.

  6. #26
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    Apr 2018
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    WPB, FL
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    I thought that coming from playing guitar for years that I would prefer tenor.
    However I find myself gravitating more towards the Soprano & Concert sound.
    Don't get me wrong I love my tenor, but at the moment I've been playing a lot more Soprano.
    Ukuleles:
    Kala Elite 1MHG-S
    Kala Elite 1KOA-T
    Soon - LoPrinzi Custom Concert
    Ohana SK-25

  7. #27
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    It's good to get unbiased feedback here, I tried a Tenor a really lovely instrument but felt like a step away from the ukulele sound that I like. Plus it was way to good for me. I think I will stick with the Soprano until I get somewhere with learning and keep a lookout for a Concert at the same time.

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loveiz View Post
    Just wondering what the consensus is for an older guy to start to learn on.
    Is it easier on a Tenor given distance between frets and handling size being bigger.
    I suppose what l'm asking is do you disadvantage yourself my starting on the smaller Soprano as an older adult?
    Disadvantaging a new player, esp new-to-strings player, can easily lead to disappointment & quitting uke/fading away into more rewarding/less frustrating stuff.

    The distance between frets can be challenging for new players but not, IMO, as challenging as distance between strings, which is determined by the width of the fingerboard at the nut.

    I sent my partner, "an older guy" to his uke class this week w/ a Pono tenor that has a radius (curved) fretboard, which arguably also helps w/space between strings. Had I not acquired that uke this week, I was thinking about getting him an inexpensive uke (pretty much all have flat fingerboards) that's 1.5"/38mm at the nut.
    Supposedly, there are some out there that are 1.75" at the nut ("too" wide, IMO).

    This is sort of a rough guide to nut widths (updates are in comments) https://ukenut.com/comparison-of-ukulele-nut-widths/.
    Keep in mind, once in a while, advertised widths don't match what people manually measure.

  9. #29
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    Oct 2018
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    Hi

    i agree with Wukulele, it is not the instrument size but the nut width that makes the ukulele easier or harder to play. Kala I think have a very narrow nut width which may make even a tenor difficult. However it makes barre chords easier. I have an Ohana tenor which has a really nice wide nut and I have no problems with smuching fingers to play chord shapes like D and E but barre chords seem inordinately hard to get a good tone (not a total beginners technique anyway).

    Having said that I find a soprano is so small it is hard to hold on to, like a slippery bar of soap or a wriggly puppy.
    Last edited by Davoravo; 10-13-2018 at 08:44 AM.

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