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Thread: Small to big

  1. #21

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    Even rather tiny people play guitar with success.

    Key is setup. Too many steel string guitars come from the shop with action unplayably high at the nut. There's absolutely no excuse for this but it persists. Even a cheap guitar can be made to play worlds better with a proper setup. You have to find a shop that's not caught up in guitar snobbery to get a good setup on a cheap guitar. I knew a guy but then I moved. My $200 guitars play better than many $2000 guitars.

  2. #22
    Join Date
    May 2010
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    UK
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    1,139

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    No one should be intimidated when going from a Uke to a guitar. Of course it's much larger, the scale length much longer, the stretch much greater but I have the reverse issue i.e. going from a 'stretched' fretboard to one that feels cramped. You have to become accustomed to switching between the two, takes time but of course it's perfectly possible. I know someone who can switch between piano, guitar and violin without any issues at all, 2 minutes on each one played right after each other. He can only do this because he has practiced it.
    I'm much more familiar with nylon classical guitars and the 'standard' scale length is 650 mm. That would feel mighty long to someone who has only ever played uke. It is possible to buy them in shorter scales and if you happen to have a small hand size it's not a bad idea to choose one that is less than 650mm. The other possibility is to buy a capo and place it on fret 3 or fret 4, move it down by one fret at a time as your hand and fingers become more accustomed to the longer stretch found on guitars. Don't forget that 12 year old kids can play full size guitar, sometimes to a pretty high level and 12 year olds don't always have the longest of fingers.
    You can do it but give yourself time. Learn to relax into the stretch and minimise the tension. Easier said than done and not something that I find easy even after years of playing. That's me but then again I tense up at just the sight of any musical instrument!
    Last edited by Michael N.; 12-04-2020 at 12:08 AM.

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
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    Germany
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    2,494

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    Interesting read. Seems quite a few of you ended up with guitars! I went into the same direction for a while (Alvarez parlor guitar, then a Furch grand auditorium), but it was a bit of a dead end for me. Fret spacing was fine, but string spacing wasn't, even though both guitars had slightly wider nuts, and string tension was a bit high in spite of low action. I also found guitars uncomfortable to hold. Eventually, I got into banjos (took two tries, the first one was spent on learning that bluegrass wasn't my thing and that I preferred the open back sound), and that stuck. Both my current and future/commissioned banjos have a ~670mm scale. Still have several ukes, too.

    Never tried a classical guitar, though I came close!

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Jan 2021
    Location
    Rochester, NY
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    11

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    I have gone from guitar to other stringed instruments. When my youngest was a little boy he was very interested in my guitar, so I bought him a beginner ukulele, and learned some chords myself. My other son now has it and gave it to his daughter, so it has lasted many years. Ukulele lessons have been offered on a few cruises I have taken, and they have helped me keep my fingers working when without a guitar!
    I have fairly short, wide fingers, but I have no problem going from instrument to instrument having different neck width and both nylon and steel strings. I keep my action fairly low and use light guage strings. Ukulele actually gives me a bit more problem with a narrow neck and I have trouble playing three strings across on the same fret, so I barre where I can. Hand and wrist strength also play a part. When I started doing curls with weights several years ago I was surprised that a side benefit of the workout was having an easier time fretting.
    I have found that going from guitar to banjo to bass to uke is not all that difficult, as there are many similarities. I do not claim to be any kind of great musician, but I can play enough chords and notes to keep me entertained.
    If you think you would enjoy an instrument, I say, give it a try. Do not be discouraged if it proves difficult at first. We humans are pretty adaptable, and if the sound sucks at first, so what if you are enjoying yourself?

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
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    Briarcliff, TX - Fabulous Hill Country home to Willie Nelson, and me!
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    1,359

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    I had to give up my foray into the world of guitars when I realized that my right shoulder was never going to be OK again. I have some kind of rotator cuff type injury, and it just hurt like heck after a short time reaching around the guitar, especially the wider dreadnaught. But, my love of the Ukulele is such that I never once regretted saying goodbye to my guitars.
    "The sole cause of all human misery is the inability of people
    to sit quietly in their rooms." - Blaise Pascal, 1670

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
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    Pickering, ON, Canada
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    Quote Originally Posted by VegasGeorge View Post
    I had to give up my foray into the world of guitars when I realized that my right shoulder was never going to be OK again. I have some kind of rotator cuff type injury, and it just hurt like heck after a short time reaching around the guitar, especially the wider dreadnaught. But, my love of the Ukulele is such that I never once regretted saying goodbye to my guitars.
    I have heard a number of people have shoulder problems, especially playing a dreadnaught. As you say the ukulele is scratching your musical itch and that’s all that counts. I enjoy the sound of the ukulele as much as I did in the beginning. One can play either instruments and get great satisfaction.
    Currently enjoying these ukuleles : *LdfM tenor, *LfdM 19" super tenor. *LfdM baritone, *I'iwi tenor , *Koolau tenor, *Webber tenor, *Kimo tenor, *Kimo super concert, *Mya Moe baritone, *Kamaka baritone, *Gianinni baritone, *Fred Shields walnut pineapple super soprano, *Kala super soprano, *Loprinzi super soprano, *Black bear ULO concert , *Enya X1 concert, *Enya X1 pineapple soprano, *Enya Nova *Gretsch tenor, *Korala plastic concert

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
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    143

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    I play a dreadnaught body and it is hard on the body. I started holding the guitar more classical style as in I put the body in between my legs. I also don't rest my arm on the shoulder of the guitar as I find it does put a lot of strain on the forearm and shoulders too. So I wrap my arm around the guitar and rest my wrist on the bridge. I primarily play fingerstyle and pick behind the sound hole. This position works for more and I usually dont have any shoulder cramps anymore unlike when I was holding it more the traditional way.

  8. #28

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    Just sayin':
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  9. #29
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Newfoundland, Canada
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    I wanted to play guiter for many years. Bought a guitar, tried to learn and got frustrated and gave up several times. Picked up a ukulele and was really pleased to be able to make something that resembled music within a fairly short period of time. That kept me motivated and I played for a year or 2 and switched to baritone with the end goal being to eventually play guitar. Purchased another guitar. For me going from uke, even baritone to guitar seemed like a monumental task. Between the narrow string spacing, the aching finger tips, and the extra strings I just couldnt seem to make any headway with it and eventually gave up. Btw, trying (or enduring) to build up the callouses on the fingertips is absolute #$!#! torture! Recently, with covid and spending much more time at home I figured Id give the guitar another shot. Im further ahead this time than Ive ever been. Starting to feel like Im getting somewhere. Not sure why its "taking" this time but I think Im not putting any pressure on myself and just letting things happen at their own time. I think in the past I kind of expected the quick gains that I could make on uke on guitar. For me at least thats just not a reality and I would get really frustrated and give up. This time plugging away, putting time in knowing that it will eventually pay off, rather than focusing on why is it so hard and and taking so long. For anyone who is struggling with it, I feel your pain. I know for me its going to take alot of time and patience and perseverance. It certainly does not come easy for me, and I know Ill never be great at it but finally after many years and many unsuccessful attempts I finally feel like I might be able to do it. If I can, anyone can.
    Last edited by v30; 05-30-2021 at 02:39 PM.

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Jun 2019
    Location
    NC Mountains
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    185

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    Quote Originally Posted by v30 View Post
    I wanted to play guiter for many years. Bought a guitar, tried to learn and got frustrated and gave up several times. Picked up a ukulele and was really pleased to be able to make something that resembled music within a fairly short period of time. That kept me motivated and I played for a year or 2 and switched to baritone with the end goal being to eventually play guitar. Purchased another guitar. For me going from uke, even baritone to guitar seemed like a monumental task. Between the narrow string spacing, the aching finger tips, and the extra strings I just couldnt seem to make any headway with it and eventually gave up. Btw, trying (or enduring) to build up the callouses on the fingertips is absolute #$!#! torture! Recently, with covid and spending much more time at home I figured Id give the guitar another shot. Im further ahead this time than Ive ever been. Starting to feel like Im getting somewhere. Not sure why its "taking" this time but I think Im not putting any pressure on myself and just letting things happen at their own time. I think in the past I kind of expected the quick gains that I could make on uke on guitar. For me at least thats just not a reality and I would get really frustrated and give up. This time plugging away, putting time in knowing that it will eventually pay off, rather than focusing on why is it so hard and and taking so long. For anyone who is struggling with it, I feel your pain. I know for me its going to take alot of time and patience and perseverance. It certainly does not come easy for me, and I know Ill never be great at it but finally after many years and many unsuccessful attempts I finally feel like I might be able to do it. If I can, anyone can.
    Thanks for posting. Your experience sounds similar to mine, and I'm certainly glad that guitar is working out for you!

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