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Thread: Advice needed. Adding guitar to the uke family.. how to adapt and learn?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
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    Saratoga, CA
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    777

    Question Advice needed. Adding guitar to the uke family.. how to adapt and learn?

    Unlike a lot of people here, I started with the ukulele and don’t quite know how include the 2 extra strings and a longer scale with steel strings.
    My UAS had a brief personality disorder and I have a guitar on its way home.
    I have been wondering how to best deal with learning the new instrument.
    Any advice is welcome!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Redmond, WA
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    Default

    A good live teacher should be able to assess what you already know, where you want to go, and help you get there from here.

    If you like video, there are lots of good guitar lessons available online. Justin Guitar (https://www.justinguitar.com/ ) is highly regarded and free. Book-wise I liked the Acoustic (or Electric) Guitar Crash Course. Your local library probably has a slew of others to skim and see which sings to you. The "Dummies" series has a bunch of different guitar books for different styles (Guitar for Dummies, Blues Guitar for Dummies, Rock Guitar for Dummies, Guitar Theory for Dummies, Printing-More-Money for Dummies, Guitar All-In-One for Dummies) and are generally pretty good.

    Assuming you already have a pretty good base of music theory, how to fret, etc. you can also jump straight in and look up basic chords and build a practice routine around them. Most of the concepts are pretty much the same on guitar and ukulele. On the left hand it's just a matter of extending the patterns and practicing the new shapes. On the right hand you'll probably want to work with a pick (if you don't already), and finger-picking gets really fun when you add the bass strings.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
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    250

    Default

    same here. Learned to play uke first and got UAS.
    Now I'm hooked with guitar and got GAS

    feel sad for my wallet

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Santa Monica, CA
    Posts
    3,387

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    I'm new to guitar myself. In a nutshell, my advice is to try lots of different guitars to see what is comfortable. I was toying with different steel string guitars trying to learn fingerstyle guitar but encountered three challenges:

    (1) the standard string spacing and standard fretboard width were so narrow relative to uke that I could not seem to fret cleanly;

    (2) the guitar felt so huge, like I was holding a baby elephant compared to my tenor ukes; and,

    (3) the strings were hard on my fingers and hard to fret.


    The first guitar that made me feel like I might be able to get comfortable was a Blackbird Savoy. Its compact body solved (2) and it was strung with a lower-ish tension string set which helped on (3). If it was available with a wider fretboard and string spacing I would definitely have one.

    But as I still struggled with (1), I tried some guitars with wider fretboard and string spacing. Eventually I bought a Martin 0-28VS which was the first guitar I really felt good on. I re-strung it with silk and steel strings that helped with (3). I really started to feel like eventually I might be able play some guitar so was motivated to stick with it. Now I know that prefer body size 00 or smaller, wider string spacing (2 5/16 or 2 3/8), wider fretboards ( 1 7/8) and lower tension strings (now moved up to using silk & bronze 49/11).

    I just reluctantly re-homed by 0-28VS as I had commissioned a Wilborn Lion (between a 0 and 00) that arrived. He's an amazing builder who is noted for his ability to build smaller bodied guitars that deliver big sound.

    Here is Ben introducing my build:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g1nD920zWzY

    And here is my guitar teacher taking it for a spin:

    https://youtu.be/8e669WrUi5Y

    And if anyone is looking for a gateway guitar, I will have this Larrivee Parlor with Zebrano body wood (P-03Z) for sale for $1K net to me. Link to photos below. It has less than 30 minutes play time and is mint. I paid about $1,500. I love its 24" scale and killer tone but wanted a wider string spacing and fretboard, so Larrivee is making one for me. When I pick that one up in a few weeks, I'll also have this one back and will find it a new home. It's been at their shop because originally we were going to just replace the bridge before we decided to just build a new one.

    https://flic.kr/s/aHsmsBrUiK


    More an appreciator of the ukulele than a true player. My motto is: "Don't matter how good it ring if it ain't got some bling."

    Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd.—Voltaire

    Curious about the relative importance of tonewood vs. the luthier? See Luthiers for a Cause to learn more!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    Florida Space Coast
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    11,949

    Default

    https://www.amazon.com/Guitar-Ukulel.../dp/1480384585 - combine this with youtube tutorials and don't forget hitting the gear icon to slow it down to your level.

  6. Default

    I also would recommend Justin Guitar www.justinguitar.com

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    on a sunny FL beach
    Posts
    1,362

    Default

    I added guitar too, after playing uke for several years. I played an awful lot of uke and my fingers were pretty tough, so I didn’t have a problem with the steel strings. I did find the fretboard a little narrow but not bad. I didn’t go with a tiny guitar but not a big one either (Taylor gs mini, mahog). I still play uke and guitar but for the past year, I have been concentrating on mandolin. Now that’s a narrow fretboard. Makes the guitar seem roomy.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    WPB, FL
    Posts
    223

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ukulele Eddie View Post
    I'm new to guitar myself. In a nutshell, my advice is to try lots of different guitars to see what is comfortable. I was toying with different steel string guitars trying to learn fingerstyle guitar but encountered three challenges:

    (1) the standard string spacing and standard fretboard width were so narrow relative to uke that I could not seem to fret cleanly;

    (2) the guitar felt so huge, like I was holding a baby elephant compared to my tenor ukes; and,

    (3) the strings were hard on my fingers and hard to fret.


    The first guitar that made me feel like I might be able to get comfortable was a Blackbird Savoy. Its compact body solved (2) and it was strung with a lower-ish tension string set which helped on (3). If it was available with a wider fretboard and string spacing I would definitely have one.

    But as I still struggled with (1), I tried some guitars with wider fretboard and string spacing. Eventually I bought a Martin 0-28VS which was the first guitar I really felt good on. I re-strung it with silk and steel strings that helped with (3). I really started to feel like eventually I might be able play some guitar so was motivated to stick with it. Now I know that prefer body size 00 or smaller, wider string spacing (2 5/16 or 2 3/8), wider fretboards ( 1 7/8) and lower tension strings (now moved up to using silk & bronze 49/11).

    I just reluctantly re-homed by 0-28VS as I had commissioned a Wilborn Lion (between a 0 and 00) that arrived. He's an amazing builder who is noted for his ability to build smaller bodied guitars that deliver big sound.

    Here is Ben introducing my build:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g1nD920zWzY

    And here is my guitar teacher taking it for a spin:

    https://youtu.be/8e669WrUi5Y

    And if anyone is looking for a gateway guitar, I will have this Larrivee Parlor with Zebrano body wood (P-03Z) for sale for $1K net to me. Link to photos below. It has less than 30 minutes play time and is mint. I paid about $1,500. I love its 24" scale and killer tone but wanted a wider string spacing and fretboard, so Larrivee is making one for me. When I pick that one up in a few weeks, I'll also have this one back and will find it a new home. It's been at their shop because originally we were going to just replace the bridge before we decided to just build a new one.

    https://flic.kr/s/aHsmsBrUiK


    Never heard of this builder before. His Bantam model looks amazing.
    Ukuleles:
    1960's Martin Style-0
    LoPrinzi Concert (Redwood & Mahogany)
    Fred Shields Style-0 Replica
    Kala Elite 1MHG-S
    Ohana SK-25S
    Kala Elite 1KOA-T << Letting this one go soon. PM if interested.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Port Hueneme, CA
    Posts
    526

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Ukulele Eddie View Post
    I'm new to guitar myself. In a nutshell, my advice is to try lots of different guitars to see what is comfortable. I was toying with different steel string guitars trying to learn fingerstyle guitar but encountered three challenges:

    (1) the standard string spacing and standard fretboard width were so narrow relative to uke that I could not seem to fret cleanly;

    (2) the guitar felt so huge, like I was holding a baby elephant compared to my tenor ukes; and,

    (3) the strings were hard on my fingers and hard to fret.


    The first guitar that made me feel like I might be able to get comfortable was a Blackbird Savoy. Its compact body solved (2) and it was strung with a lower-ish tension string set which helped on (3). If it was available with a wider fretboard and string spacing I would definitely have one.

    But as I still struggled with (1), I tried some guitars with wider fretboard and string spacing. Eventually I bought a Martin 0-28VS which was the first guitar I really felt good on. I re-strung it with silk and steel strings that helped with (3). I really started to feel like eventually I might be able play some guitar so was motivated to stick with it. Now I know that prefer body size 00 or smaller, wider string spacing (2 5/16 or 2 3/8), wider fretboards ( 1 7/8) and lower tension strings (now moved up to using silk & bronze 49/11).

    I just reluctantly re-homed by 0-28VS as I had commissioned a Wilborn Lion (between a 0 and 00) that arrived. He's an amazing builder who is noted for his ability to build smaller bodied guitars that deliver big sound.

    Here is Ben introducing my build:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g1nD920zWzY

    And here is my guitar teacher taking it for a spin:

    https://youtu.be/8e669WrUi5Y

    And if anyone is looking for a gateway guitar, I will have this Larrivee Parlor with Zebrano body wood (P-03Z) for sale for $1K net to me. Link to photos below. It has less than 30 minutes play time and is mint. I paid about $1,500. I love its 24" scale and killer tone but wanted a wider string spacing and fretboard, so Larrivee is making one for me. When I pick that one up in a few weeks, I'll also have this one back and will find it a new home. It's been at their shop because originally we were going to just replace the bridge before we decided to just build a new one.

    https://flic.kr/s/aHsmsBrUiK


    Eddie, you should have kept the Blackbird! (Not really cause I wouldn't have it now) It’s an easy transition to play a song on my uke and then play it on the guitar. I just can’t get comfortable with those big guitars with the stiffer steel strings. Guess that’s from getting used to ukes first.

    I’d thought I could learn enough to start the guitar by myself but I soon found a live teacher made things much easier.
    There’s lots of help on the internet but a live person will make the process go quicker. Have fun!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Santa Monica, CA
    Posts
    3,387

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    Quote Originally Posted by quiltingshirley View Post
    Eddie, you should have kept the Blackbird! (Not really cause I wouldn't have it now) It&
    Hi, Shirley! I'm so glad you are enjoying it. If I ever get used to 1 3/4 width fretboard, I will get another Savoy in a NY minute!
    More an appreciator of the ukulele than a true player. My motto is: "Don't matter how good it ring if it ain't got some bling."

    Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd.—Voltaire

    Curious about the relative importance of tonewood vs. the luthier? See Luthiers for a Cause to learn more!

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