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Thread: Fret Spacing?

  1. #1
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    Default Fret Spacing?

    I'm assuming that the frets are farther apart on the Tenor ukulele than the concert ukulele, which would be easier to chord, am I right?

    Thanks !

  2. #2
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    Frets farther apart makes the higher frets harder to reach, both for chords that span many frets and when trying to change between chords on different parts of the fretboard.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sawdust View Post
    I'm assuming that the frets are farther apart on the Tenor ukulele than the concert ukulele
    Yes. The fret locations are at specific fractions of the scale length. The difference between a tenor and a concert is the scale length - tenor ~17" from nut to saddle and concert ~15" from nut to saddle.

    which would be easier to chord, am I right?
    That'll be a strong personal preference. Farther apart means that you have to reach farther. Closer together means your fingers are more likely to run into each other. The difference between a tenor and a concert ukulele is negligible compared to the difference between a ukulele and a guitar, and many people have no problems switching between both.

  4. #4

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    On the other hand some folks feel their left hand cramps with smaller scale length. And for many, many chords fretting beyond 2 frets or possibly 3 frets means that a longer scale length may not be an issue. That being said, there maybe a length that is just too long. For me that's baritone length.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by keenonuke View Post
    On the other hand some folks feel their left hand cramps with smaller scale length. And for many, many chords fretting beyond 2 frets or possibly 3 frets means that a longer scale length may not be an issue. That being said, there maybe a length that is just too long. For me that's baritone length.
    Maybe I'm wrong as I don't have a cramping problem but I would think they are pressing too hard on the frets when their hand cramps, as fingers are normally close together at rest and don't cramp. If they are pressing too hard, stretching across frets could relieve the stress, but so could easing up on the pressing to just enough to sound correct.

  6. #6

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    From my point of view, a larger uke is slightly easier to play under certain circumstances, and a smaller uke is under others. I struggle to play a D as my sausage fingers don't all fit into the space required, but it's definitely more difficult on my soprano than on my tenor. I find barre chords, particularly Bb, easier on the tenor as well, as the string tension is slightly higher on the shorter scales making it harder to barre effectively. But something that spreads across several frets and strings (Dm7 for example) a bit easier on the soprano as everything is a little closer together.

    As someone with fairly big hands (I'm 6 feet tall and while I have big hands, I don't have particularly long fingers), I personally find my tenor easiest to play, but this is in large part because it's a little more forgiving of my technique shortcomings.

  7. #7
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    I switch from one uke to the other, from sopranissimo to tenor, and it takes just a moment to realize that the reach required is different. I wouldn't want to limit my choice of ukes because I thought my fingers couldn't reach - unless they couldn't, of course.
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