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Thread: First Ukulele?

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2020


    Hi there!

    I started with a Makala Shark (yellow!) soprano and then moved up to the Kala KA - C concert size. The Ohanas are good also, and are also a good value. I also own a Luna Tattoo soprano, and it also sounds great, but beware: The Lunas seem to vary wildly in quality. Mine sounds great, but I've played others that sound awful. Hmmm...

    I do like the concert size, and it's a good size for beginners I feel. The sopranos were too small for my hands and a bit of a struggle for me. You will have to judge that one for yourself!

    Some of my students, when buying their ukes, bought cheap "package deals" online... You'll see lots of these if you look on Ebay, for instance: Uke, tuner, case, maybe a strap also, for $50-75. Here is the issue with these: Tuning. They fall out of tune FAST, and you can't even play one song without being out of tune by the end. DON'T DO IT! Not worth it... The cases are nice, though...

    Also: Here is an advantage with buying a Kala: I had an issue with one of my Kalas (a tuner, of course) and you know what? I emailed them about my issue on a Friday, and by the next Friday the replacement tuner was in my hand, mailed to me, no charge. That's what's so cool about Kala. Ohana is also a California based company and has a similarly good reputation for quality and service... I got a uke bass from them that was defective and they took it back no questions asked! There is an advantage buying from an established company that cares about their customers...

    But here is the thing: What ever you settle on, play it daily. Put it on the couch, keep a chord chart handy, and if nothing else play through the 21 basic chords every day. Go to UkeBuddy for tuning and chord diagrams...Then, get a basic book from the library and start with something with just two chords like "Jambalaya" and come up to speed with it. It will take a while before you start having fun: Push through that hard part and keep going... You can do it!


  2. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    West Virginia


    I started with a little First Act kiddy soprano and got hooked. Then went with a Luna concert that was purchased with a setup, so it was fantastic. Still love that Luna, but my heart is with sopranos.

    I think any size is fine, as long as it is set up. Mim, Uke Republic as mentioned are some that do a setup. I practiced with Uncle Rod's Boot Camp every day.

    I have from sopranino to baritone and each is special to me. You will find joy in any size.
    Last edited by actadh; 07-30-2020 at 11:27 AM.
    - Laura

    Martin, KoAloha, Brueko, Mele, Mainland, Outdoor, Kala, Enya, Harmony, Tempo, Globe, Vega, Silvertone, Kay, Luna, Vorson, Zither Heaven, First Act

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    The Netherlands


    If you have the chance, go visit your local music store and hold a few different ukes. With your budget you’ll stay clear from duts. Feel if the neck suits your hands, if it is not too thick, or if the fretboard feels too narrow, that kind of instant ‘fysical observations’. Playability is what makes most people stay after the fifth cord...good tone comes next. And remember, you pay for looks, so if you want a decent starter uke, don’t bet on bling.
    Mine was a Takamine Soprano, still play it with pleasure. Happy hunting and have fun playing!
    Last edited by woordt; 07-30-2020 at 07:48 PM.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2016


    My first ukulele was a Luna Tattoo Pineapple. I regret it.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2015


    A couple of reviews on the ukes in the OP, only that there is only a review of the concert size Luna Tattoo:

    I will repeat, the Luna doesn't play as nice as it looks.
    The Kala will probably be a suitable choice for a first uke.
    There are lots of alternatives that are also great, many of those mentioned in this thread.

    You don't write how much though you have put into the size you want to play. If you want a "standard" soprano, get a soprano. If you don't know which size you want, preferably go to a music shop and try a few. If that is not an option - well, I will back the motion of concert size being awesome, but if it is a soprano you fancy you shouldnt settle for anything else. One scale is not better to begin on if you ultimately want to play another scale. Get the size you want to play from the beginning and learn to play it.
    Ohana SK30M mahogany super-soprano, Cort UKEBWCOP Blackwood concert, Anuenue African Mahogany Tenor, Fluke Koa Tenor, Hora M1176 spruce Tenor

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Nov 2012


    My first was a Fluke Concert and it served me well. I bought it in 2000-2001. I live in Connecticut and there was a store in downtown Waterbury that only sold merchandise made in Conn. Flukes were made in New Hartford Conn. at the time and it was maybe $200. Ovation Guitars are made in New Hartford as well. I still have it and do pick it up from time to time. Good instrument for the money and an interesting design.

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