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Thread: What Uke should I buy

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2018

    Default What Uke should I buy

    Sorry for asking this as I am sure loads of ppl do.

    I am new to ukes and haven't played a guitar since I was a child. I have a low budget for my 1st uke as I don't want to fork out loads until I know I like it.

    I can't decide if I should get a soprano or concert size.
    I found a Ohala Pineapple PK 10S soprano that looks a good deal for 60 ? I 've did a bit of reading and I am sure its best to try aim for a mahogany body and Kala or Ohala? I must admit I want something that looks nice too but of course sounds nice is a priority !

    Is it harder for a beginner to play the soprano size ?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Upper Hale, Surrey/Hants border, UK.


    If it feels comfortable, you will be OK.

    I usually recommend a concert scale, Kala or Ohana.
    Trying to do justice to various musical instruments.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Owen Sound, Ontario, Canada


    Size is a matter of personal preference. If you have found a ukulele that you like that would be a good start.
    Laurie Ann Cole

    Northern UK20 Concert Mahogany
    Beaver Creek Maple Flame Tenor
    Eddy Finn EF-Moon Concert
    Beaver Creek Soprano Mahogany

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    New Hampshire, USA


    After playing the guitar for many years, I thought that tenor would be my natural size, (I am also an average size man). I was surprised that I like the soprano best, but I do enjoy the tenor. I don’t care for the concert size. The point being that you have to try the different sizes to know what works for you.

    When it comes to price, that is up to you as well. An instrument with poor tone or that lacks playability is a recipe for failure. If you buy a good used instrument, you can sell it if you find that the ukulele is not for you. If you got a decent deal when you bought it, then you shouldn’t get hurt and you will at least know that it wasn’t the instrument and that you had the pleasure of having a nice instrument. There is no substitute for quality.

    Good luck and welcome.
    Current Herd:

    Recent Martins: 3 Centennial, 5K, 3 Cherry and OXK
    Vintage Martin: 1950s #1
    Kiwaya KTS-7
    Laughlin 3K, (1920 Martin 3K Bow Tie and Kite copy, 1 of 2) and Mahogany 3

    Magic Fluke Flea

    Kiwaya KMT-K, strung with Aquila Reds, sweet as can be
    Pono Master Series Tenor, Cedar/Mahogany
    Romero Creations Replica, Mahogany

    Yasuma (Martin T28 copy, Rosewood with Spruce top)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Tampa Bay, FL


    You've come to the right place. You also may want to check out Barry Maz at Got A Ukulele. He does tons of ukulele reviews.
    "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.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    New Mexico, USA


    I do not think you would go wrong with a concert sized Ohana. Barry Maz can point you in the right directions if Ohana is not easily available. Then, as almost all of us do, if you find you like it, you will want to try another size. I thought for sure I would want a tenor, but instead I have mostly sopranos.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Salt Lake City, UT


    The best advice is to get a uke with a good setup. My first had a really awful neck profile and it was second uke (an Islander) that really hooked me.
    Blackbird Clara
    Concert Flea
    Pono MB
    Deering Goodtime Banjo Uke (concert)
    Gold Tone Resouke
    Hadean Uke-Bass
    Gold Tone Microbass
    Deering Goodtime Special (5-string banjo)

    Buckle Up

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Twin Cities Area, Minnesota


    Where are you? If you are anywhere near Southern Ukulele Store, go there and ask. Or World of Ukes. These places are so good that I know them and I live in the North Central United States.
    Playing ukulele since January 2016.

    Have you participated in the thread, "How the Ukulele Found You?" If not, please consider adding your story--they are just fun to read.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Massachusetts, USA


    I think a concert sized Ohana or Kala would work fine for a new uke player: more room than a soprano, and some of the finger stretches are not as large as on a tenor. Another thing to consider is nut width: Ohana and Kala have standard nut width of about 34-35mm. Some folks (me included) like the wider 38mm (1 1/2") nuts on Islander and Cordoba ukes; it may be easier to play chords more accurately on a wider nut, especially if you have large fingers. Many also feel that ukes with a solid top (not laminate) have a better sound.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Pittsburgh-ish, Pa


    Whatever you do...figure it out before you buy. Or, like me, you'll have a soprano and concert ukes (along with a couple slim-nutted tenors) dangling from your wall collecting dust. How broad you are should also influence your decision. I'm about medium height but I have very broad shoulders and attempting to contort my hands/arms to reach inward for a concert was uncomfortable let alone a soprano. Once I switched to Tenor, I've been a happy, ukin' camper. Cheers and good luck.

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