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Thread: Uke in an ensemble/string band

  1. #11
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    Nov 2014
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    Well, I had my first experience playing with others. It was... dispiriting. For the most part as noted by some of you the sound of the Uke got lost, and worse, when it didn’t the delicate nature of it clashed with the overall sound. I don’t want to switch to a banjo or guitar but I am looking to be able to play in with others. Ahh well, I will keep thinking/trying.

  2. #12
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    Sep 2013
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    Quote Originally Posted by Piecomics View Post
    Well, I had my first experience playing with others. It was... dispiriting. For the most part as noted by some of you the sound of the Uke got lost, and worse, when it didn’t the delicate nature of it clashed with the overall sound. I don’t want to switch to a banjo or guitar but I am looking to be able to play in with others. Ahh well, I will keep thinking/trying.
    I'm kind of surprised you say it clashed. Every Sunday from 12 to 2, I play with a group of about 8 to 12 acoustic guitars in a park, no amplifiers. I'm on a tenor all bamboo uke tuned reentrant, hi-G, and one or two others have concerts, we fit in pretty well. Did you use any kind of amplification? Since I played guitar for almost 50 years before uke, it is rather easy for me using a uke in this context. Maybe you just need to get more comfortable playing uke.


  3. #13
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    Nov 2014
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    So, I'm very open to the idea that the issue is me or my comfort/skill level. At the same time, the mix of nylon strings with all other instruments being steel strung, the volume difference... I think there is a context problem at least with the musicians I was playing with. no amplification this time. I am going to play with a sitar player this weekend coming up and am thinking that will work better texture wise.

    I'm a drummer and am super comfortable playing with others in a non-melody context. I have started listening to some early 20th century jazz to hear how the banjo uke fits into the mix...

  4. #14
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    Nov 2014
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    Okay, so I discovered Tiny Grimes today, who seems to address a lot of my concerns. He played a tenor guitar tuned like a baritone/chicago tuning/DGBE in a group. Obviously these were professional musicians who knew how to leave space for each other but it is helpful for me listening to him in this context.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u7HX6bFQCvo

  5. #15
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    Oct 2015
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    Denmark
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    I never played in an ensemble. But from the one time I played a bit for fun with my father who was on the guitar, and from when I have tried to multitrack at home, I think that this helps:

    Try not to have both guitar and ukulele strum. If the guitar strums, play some arpeggios. If the guitar is fingerpicking, do some strumming. If you try to compete with a steel string guitar strumming, it is easy to drown the uke.
    Playing:
    Anuenue AMM tenor - Magic Fluke Koa Tenor - Cocobolo concert - Kamaka Tiki concert - Cort concert - Ohana LN soprano.

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nickie View Post
    Good luck! I was asked to play in a "string ensemble" once. Nobody could hear my uke, it was covered up. An ukulele will almost always be the quietest instrument in any group. Ask if you can amp it up!
    Or bring a resonator or banjo uke. : )
    Too many ukes, but I can't stop buying!
    https://www.catskillukulelegroup.com/

  7. #17
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    Aug 2019
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    Finland
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill1 View Post
    Look up the Sweet Hollywaiians.
    This one's my favourite:


  8. #18
    Join Date
    Mar 2021
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    100

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    Seeing a lot of banjo uke suggestions. I was really excited to get my banjo uke because I thought it was just going to be like playing ukulele only with a cool sound.

    The reality is that it was very different from playing ukulele due to the more narrow neck and higher action. Not too high, for a banjo. But different enough that I feel like I’m playing a different instrument. There is a learning curve.
    Last edited by donboody; 05-04-2021 at 04:38 AM.

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
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    Quote Originally Posted by donboody View Post
    Seeing a lot of banjo uke suggestions. I was really excited to get my banjo uke because I thought it was just going to be like playing ukulele only with a cool sound.

    The reality is that it was very different from playing ukulele due to the more narrow neck and higher action. Not too high, for a banjo. But different enough that I feel like I’m playing a different instrument. There is a learning curve.
    It sounds like that needs some adjustment. It doesn't have to be high.
    Too many ukes, but I can't stop buying!
    https://www.catskillukulelegroup.com/

  10. #20
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    Jul 2015
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dohle View Post
    This one's my favourite:

    Is that a Mya-Moe pineapple uke? Could be.

    https://forum.ukuleleunderground.com...Moe-Pineapples!
    Too many ukes, but I can't stop buying!
    https://www.catskillukulelegroup.com/

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