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Thread: Musing about first instrument and tenor opinions

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2019
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    California
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    Thank you for the explanation. That makes perfect sense! I'll check out Magic Fluke.

  2. #12
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    Feb 2019
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    At the headstock end (where the tuners are) of the fretboard there is a small piece of material that has grooves in it with each groove giving support to each of the strings, this is the Nut.

    It is the width of the nut that governs the spacing between the strings at the headstock.

    So it is a case of finding what is a comfortable size uke for you ie tenor, concert etc and the width of the nut which in turn governs the width of the neck of the Uke.

    Additionally the Uke neck has different sectional profiles, some are more comfortable than others.

    My Kala & Risa Tenors have a Nut width of 1 3/8”.
    Col.
    From the UK with a bad case of MIAS.
    Korg PA700, Korg Kross 2, Gibson LP, Fender Jazz Bass,
    + Amps, PA, Boss GT100, mixer.
    Ukes - Kala KA-TEME and Risa ST electric solid body.
    Uke wish list, a Bass, make and model yet to be determined

  3. #13
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    Jul 2019
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    West Coast of BC
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    Stacey, I'm jumping in on your thread. Fellow newbie here with my first Uke that isn't cutting it anymore.

    Bought my first Uke in March. (Leho- laminated mahogany concert, $100 CDN) It's a decent entry level uke but I am becoming aware of it's shortcomings. Not much sustain or volume. I had no idea what to listen for when I went shopping. Nice low action, super smooth side of fretboard, no sharp edges. It's low volume is actually great for practicing - I can stum in the same room as my family and not bother them too much lol!

    So... When is the right time to jump into a high-end uke? There is a used Kanile'a K1 T deluxe for sale in my area. As a beginner, are the any drawbacks to getting this Cadillac now, and not waiting? It seems indulgent - like giving a 16 year old new driver a Porche right out of the gate!

    Any advice? Thoughts?

    Have any of you bought a K brand uke and regretted it? I have not yet fallen prey to UAS.... although I do have a shoe problem.

  4. #14
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    May 2016
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    Honolulu, HI
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    Quote Originally Posted by BC Island Girl View Post
    So... When is the right time to jump into a high-end uke? There is a used Kanile'a K1 T deluxe for sale in my area. As a beginner, are the any drawbacks to getting this Cadillac now, and not waiting? It seems indulgent - like giving a 16 year old new driver a Porche right out of the gate!

    Any advice? Thoughts?

    Have any of you bought a K brand uke and regretted it? I have not yet fallen prey to UAS.... although I do have a shoe problem.
    I don't see any issue at all with buying any ukulele that you can afford, though I will caution you if you think you're going to care about it to a level that you're scared to play it. Besides that, I don't see any concerns with getting an expensive uke. They're made to be played and there's no point needlessly making sacrifices because you're new or "not good enough."

    Stacy, definitely visit the shop and play as much as you can. Don't worry about feeling indebted to them, but if you like the service maybe see if they can order a use for you. Can't hurt to ask. Also ask if they'll set it up for you. After all the ukes I've bought from The Ukulele Site, I've been spoiled to the point where I think set-ups should come on everything all the time.

    Also, I wouldn't get too hung up on size because you do tend to get used to the one in your hands. I play a lot of tenor ukulele and suddenly shifting from a tenor to a soprano is jarring, but you get used to it so much that, after a while, a tenor feels gigantic (until you get used to it again).

    I hope this helps!

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Southern California, USA
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    To BC Island girl, if you can afford a nicer instrument, I say go for it. It will encourage you to play more and practice more. Getting a more pleasing sound out of your instrument may encourage you to practice more. My $0.02.

    To Stacey, I bought my first clarinet at Morey’s ages ago. Lakewood is not that far from Huntington Beach where they have Island Bazaar. They have dozens of ukes there if not a hundred, at all price points. It would be helpful to play different scale lengths such as tenor and concert. It’s a little different but not as much as you might think. I started on a concert and then moved to tenor and now play mostly tenor but sometimes concerts. I find some chords and finger picking are easier on the smaller concert scale, whereas in the beginning it was impossible to smash all my fingers between the frets. It will happen for you eventually!

    Good luck and welcome! Let me know if you have any other questions.

  6. #16
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    Dec 2010
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    BC, I can tell you from experience that it's okay to spend a little more money on yourself to get the uke that you really enjoy. Don't go cheap!
    Three years ago I bought the best uke I could afford, and I have played it hundreds of hours. I've had issues, sure, but I've never regretted buying it.
    Invest in yourself.
    What good is money if you don't?
    "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.

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    USA
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    ... It seems indulgent - like giving a 16 year old new driver a Porche right out of the gate! ...
    But man, didn't that 16 year old have such fun, and feel so good in that Porsche?
    John

  8. #18

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    To BC Island Girl, Kanile'a makes a beautiful sounding and playing tenor. If you can afford the instrument, it feels right in your hands, and the price reflects the used nature of the instrument it could very likely lead to more play and progress. Possible drawbacks could involve you still developing your tastes in what you desire in an instrument and you may discover down the road as tastes evolve that it may not be your forever instrument. But as a used purchase hopefully you could get most of your investment out if you decided to sell down the road. Trying a lot of different instruments is a good thing to experience. It certainly shouldn’t hold you back as long as you’re not shy about playing it.

  9. #19
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    Jun 2011
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    Coastal SoCal
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    I know I'm late to this discussion, but I got this advice a long time ago when I got my first guitar and it holds up no matter the instrument.

    1. Find an upper limit of what you can afford. Not what you want to pay, but what you can afford. Like if you can *afford* $200 but want to pay $100, go with $200
    2. Add 25-50% to what you can afford. So if you had an upper limit of $200, do whatever possible to turn that into $250 or $300
    3. Go out and test as many as you can.
    4. Make sure it's setup by a professional. Nothing worse than sharp frets or a nut/bridge that aren't right.

    Trust me. Instruments are one thing where you really do get what you pay for, and the difference between a $100, $200, and $300 uke is huge. Just get the most you can possibly afford.
    Last edited by PoiDog; 07-17-2019 at 12:42 PM.

  10. #20
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    Jun 2019
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    California
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    Thanks to all of you for your great advice. I went to the local music shop but didn't see anything I liked. I went with Mims and purchased a Kala Zircote tenor. I love it! It's beautiful and sounds beautiful as well. Now I just need to get on a practice plan.

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