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Thread: What would be more fun?

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    East Midlands UK
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    328

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    I play both Banjo/uke and standard wooden ukuleles. I find each has a voice of its own,and select which instrument to play, depending on the song/tune.
    A lot of old rock stuff works surprisingly well on BU as does a lot of country stuff; then on a standard uke, I play a variety of songs, and to complicate matters, a lot of bluesy stuff works great on my resonator uke (which is another beast altogether!)
    Whatever you are happy with and which sounds good to YOU is exactly what you need.Experiment. Find what you like and go with it!
    All power and respect to you Concert,Tenor and Baritone players, but Soprano is what does it for me every time! (And my beautiful Sopranino!)

  2. #12

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    A little late to the party, as usual, but here is my two cents. Many have talked about the type of music you want to play and where. So think about that. Second, think about scale size. You mentioned concert scale....have you tried a tenor scale Uke. I ask because I have a concert scale banjo-Uke. It is a Little Gem...I also have a full size banjo. What I have noticed is the cramping of my fingers trying to hit a chord formation....this is due to needing more practice...but you get comfortable with the full size fret spacing of a full sized neck on the banjo. My advice is try various scaled ukes...think about what music you wish to play and where...then get what meets those needs.

    As an aside, I have to admit I am looking for a tenor Uke to add to my instrument collection...that said, my Little Gem by Gold Tone is a lot easier to carry around than my Deering banjo and I find myself picking it up most of the time.

    If you are unsure....rent one of each until you have a preference.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
    Location
    CT
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    59

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    Quote Originally Posted by Halb View Post
    I am a complete novice, but would love to learn to play a uke. I have researched both concert ukeís and banjo ukeís. What would be more fun to buy? I would enjoy reading some opinions.

    Thanks!
    Hal
    This is just me personally. If I wanted to learn the ukulele it would be either soprano, concert or tenor. If I wanted to learn the banjo then I would get an actual banjo.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2019
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Posts
    14

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    Honestly, I'm not a big fan of banjo ukes. They are interesting to play around with, but I'd much rather have my concert to play more seriously with. A lot of people like the banjos for some of the reason mentioned above, but they aren't for everyone. I'd suggest you go and play a few at your local music shop. See what you think about each before you make the investment.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    364

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    For what itís worth, as mentioned, banjo uses are loud, they were designed to be heard. Modern banjo uses are tubby, lack good tone and resonate over much. It is difficult to play quietly.
    A banjo uke played badly sounds horrendous.
    A good quality banjo uke will set you back £500+.

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    Upper Hale, Surrey/Hants border, UK.
    Posts
    6,334

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    Start out with a reasonable quality concert scale uke, is my regular advice, a Kala or Ohana, maybe Baton Rouge, all good ukes in the lower price ranges for a beginner to get to grips with, you may want to change the strings after a little while, which is a fairly cheap upgrade.
    Trying to do justice to various musical instruments.

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Capital District, New York
    Posts
    3,652

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    I have both. They are both fun to play. I have many of each. They are all fun to play.

    Although when I gig there are certain songs that I prefer to play on a banjo uke, I will play anything, on either one.

    ...and no one has complained yet.

    Saying "if you want the banjo sound, get a banjo" is exactly like saying "if you want that smooth, velvety sound, get a classical guitar instead of a uke."

    Try them both. I have over 20 instruments, and they all sound, feel, and play differently. And I have no plans to get rid of any of them.

    Years back, I went to Magic Fluke in Sheffield, MA. In the 4 hours I was there, I played every uke they had in stock, and both of the prototype Firefly banjo ukes. I bought a tenor that was a 2nd, and ordered a Firefly (they weren't shipping them yet).

    Make up your own mind, don't take anyone else's word as to what you have to do.
    Banjo Ukes: Southern Cross, Firefly, Stella
    Sopranos: Donaldson, Timms, Moku, Waterman, Bugsgear, Outdoor, Waverly Street, Harmony
    Concerts:Cocobolo #412, Ohana CK450QEL, CK-65D, Rosewood Vita, Mahogany Vita,
    Donaldson Custom, Epi Les Paul, National Triolian Reso, Republic
    Tenors: Kala KA-KTG-CY, KoAloha Sceptre, Fluke, Cordoba 20TM
    Bass: Fluke Timber

    Am I done?

    ...Maybe?...

    My YouTube Channel

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Redmond, WA
    Posts
    482

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    Most fun? Gold Tone Little Gem banjo uke with blinking LEDs.

    I've no idea how it sounds, but: blinky lights!

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
    Location
    Finland
    Posts
    176

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    Quote Originally Posted by Arcy View Post
    Most fun? Gold Tone Little Gem banjo uke with blinking LEDs.

    I've no idea how it sounds, but: blinky lights!
    I can attest that it sounds really nice as well, like a proper banjo uke. In my opinion, the quality and finish is really good for the $150 or so price point. If you're going for your first entry level banjo uke I'd definitely recommend the Little Gem if you can get over the fact that the body is made from plastic. I've seen a few similarly priced and even a bit more expensive banjo ukes that simply don't sound as good or lack the finish of the Little Gem.

    Regarding the original question, I would still go for a regular ukulele if you're on the fence about which one to get. Unless you already know you're going to be playing music that's more suited to a banjo sound, I'd say a ukulele will offer a better range of musical styles for playing.

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Nov 2019
    Location
    Texas, USA
    Posts
    113

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    I like my old classic baritone acoustic uke that I bought.

    But soon will be getting either a solid body electric uke or a cheap used solid body mini strat for practicing quietly through headphones. Not sure what's involved in converting the six-string mini strat to a uke, but that would be the longterm plan.

    Regardless, I think that being able to practice near silently would greatly accelerate my progress.
    The crew...Giannini Baritone Uke, Washburn Rover "4-string tenor guitar", Yamaha G-85A classical guitar.

    In the works....LP style long scale wide neck solid body electric tenor guitar.

    Wall hanger...The Loar Honey Creek type-A Mandolin.

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