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Thread: Sopranos, Strengths and Weaknesses

  1. #1
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    Default Sopranos, Strengths and Weaknesses

    Sopranos, Strengths and Weaknesses

    I have three inexpensive Sopranos and, after properly setting them up, they have given me a lot of pleasure. However, when I recently had the opportunity to buy a particular other - one thatís a little better than the other three and one that I have long wanted - the pause before buying lead me to stay as is. Whyís that? Itís simply due to the balance of the Sopranosí strengths and weaknesses. Sitting here in my armchair I reach out my arm and can touch a Soprano, pick it up and strum away in comfort. Itís compact so it fits comfortably within the armchair with me and is loud enough for normal home use, but for fancy chords and finger picking beyond the seventh fret mine arenít so good. Better Sopranos will have a fuller voice than mine, and maintain more of it up the fretboard, but do we ask too much from their short strings and small bodies?

    What do members think are the strengths and weaknesses of Sopranos, and how do they work both with the strengths and around the weaknesses?

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Graham Greenbag View Post
    Sopranos, Strengths and Weaknesses

    What do members think are the strengths and weaknesses of Sopranos, and how do they work both with the strengths and around the weaknesses?
    Fretboard is too short! Unlike Concerts/Tenors, they end where the neck joins the body... doesn't go all the way up to the sound hole, unlike concerts/tenors.
    This was pointed out to me in another thread.

  3. #3
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    Not true. ,many finely made sopranos have as many as 18 frets. Do some research.


    Quote Originally Posted by Wukulele View Post
    Fretboard is too short! Unlike Concerts/Tenors, they end where the neck joins the body... doesn't go all the way up to the sound hole, unlike concerts/tenors.
    This was pointed out to me in another thread.

  4. #4
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    A soprano ukulele can easily be tuned to ADF#B or BbEbGC (or even GCEA if you must!) which makes almost anything easily strummable in almost any key.

  5. #5
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    Problems with getting the higher frets can be solved by getting a long neck soprano, not a lot of difference in overall size, & not a big difference between fretboards, but usually has more sustain too, (& you can use a low G to extend your playing).
    Trying to do justice to various musical instruments.

  6. #6
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    The soprano fits in my suitcase better and leaves more room for clothes when I'm traveling.
    Last edited by Rllink; 10-07-2018 at 08:37 AM.
    I don't want to live in a world that is linear.

    https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_n...tective+Agency

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlackBearUkes View Post
    Not true. ,many finely made sopranos have as many as 18 frets. Do some research.
    Um, not in soprano research mode... so no thanks.
    OP said
    Quote Originally Posted by Graham Greenbag View Post
    three inexpensive Sopranos
    That generally excludes finely made. I'm sure there's are outliers of soprano here & there under a few hundredred $USD that have fretboards that extend up to the sound hole. Feel free to share.

  8. #8
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    Lots of arguments pro, besides the ones you already mentioned (easy to keep within reach):
    - good ones have plenty of volume and projection - the small soundbox helps in that respect
    - chord melody and stretched chords are a breeze
    - it's the scale length of violins and mandolins

  9. #9
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    Yes, the soprano is a nice size. Is Kamaka that calls the soprano "the standard"? When I go to a crowded event, I generally bring a soprano. In a poll about a year ago, the tenor was the favorite size, though.
    Too many ukes, but I can't stop buying!

  10. #10
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    I believe a lot has to do with playing style.

    As a STRUMMER (singer) I prefer a soprano or concert or longneck soprano.
    Aside from a few songs that require chording beyond the 7th fret, most song
    chording on the soprano is very comfortable for me. (at one time I used to
    play Baritone and Tenor exclusively... go figure)

    I'm sure FINGERSTYLE players really appreciate the fretboard real estate beyond the
    7th fret that the tenor scale provides.

    keep uke'in',
    Uncle Rod Higuchi
    ( rohiguchi@seattleschools.org )

    MP3s: http://www.mediafire.com/?50db7nls4o6m6
    Ukulele Boot Camp, FREE Songbook, Holiday, Hawaiian & More: http://ukulelebootcamp.weebly.com
    Crazy G tutorial on YouTube ( uncle rod crazy g )
    pdf file for Crazy G:
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/0o6id06c06...20TAB.pdf?dl=0

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