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Thread: Dislike of Moving Between Different Neck Scales

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2020
    Location
    Tacoma, WA
    Posts
    225

    Default Dislike of Moving Between Different Neck Scales

    The thread on people's preferred scaled has had me thinking: Am I alone in not enjoying going between different size/scale necks? Its not the length or number of frets for me, but the differences between the fret spacing. I seem to strongly prefer not moving between a soprano neck and a concert--it just seems to throw of my sense of spacing, timing, ect.

    I am wondering if others have this experience? Is this a developmental problem? I have really only been playing for two years now (about 10 or so hours of play and practice a week, minimum, often much more). Over time, I actually find myself wanting more and more to stay with the same size.

    Not thrilled with this, as I have a concert scale neck (small body) that is gorgeous, amazing sounding, and made by a great luthier, but I just don't want to play it.

    All thoughts and experiences welcome.
    Brad Donaldson Martin 0 style mahogany soprano
    Weymann 1920 Model 10 mahogany soprano
    Winner (Harmony) 1920s "fancy" mahogany soprano
    Regal 1940s mahogany soprano
    Martin 0 1950s mohogany soprano
    Anuenue Flame Maple soprano 2012
    Japanese, 1950s no name mahogany laminate

    Coming late summer/fall, two Brad Donaldson Martin 2 and 3 ukes, one Myrtle and one Hog

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Whidbey Island, WA
    Posts
    314

    Default

    I play concert and baritone, and move between them pretty easily. But the baritone is tuned to open G and I use it mostly for playing slack-key style. Playing different types of music on the different scales may make the transition easier.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Location
    Honolulu
    Posts
    970

    Default

    It's always tricky at first but if you throw yourself at it your brain eventually builds separate maps for each instrument. I switch between guitar, guilele, bass guitar and tenor 'ukulele while teaching, performing or recording without problems. I enjoy the variety. Typically takes me a couple months to wear into a new scale to the point my hands are relaxed and I don't have to look when shifting. Getting used to tenor scale after playing guitar and bass was the hardest transition for me.

  4. #4

    Default

    Maybe if I did it more. I almost exclusively play concert and yeah my fingers don't drop into the right places when I'm playing soprano unless I keep glancing at frets

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2020
    Posts
    780

    Default

    I think you just have to switch it up more often if it's just the scale length/fret spacing that's tripping you up. I currently play almost exclusively soprano, but I have no trouble playing a concert when the mood strikes. I also play my guitars almost everyday along my soprano uke. I think it is just a matter of spending more time on your other instrument.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    Upper Hale, Surrey/Hants border, UK.
    Posts
    6,802

    Default

    Couldn't get on with sopranos, but no problems with concert or tenor scales, find bari too much, seldom play mine now - if I had to pick one it would be.....

    I don't really know, but I seem to always grab up a 'long neck' soprano when I want to try something out....
    Trying to do justice to various musical instruments.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2020
    Location
    Georgia
    Posts
    178

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    It took time for your brain to remember the distances between frets and strings so it makes sense that switching to different scales throws you off, but just like learning the spacing for one scale, practicing switching between scales will increase your skill in doing so. It’s not a bad skill to have - especially if you already have different scales. I’d recommend practicing both every time you practice. You don’t need to divide the practice time evenly, but doing the brunt of the day’s practice on one and then spending ten or fifteen minutes going over what you were just learning on the other ukulele will help immensely.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2021
    Posts
    115

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    I have a soprano and a tenor that I have no problem moving between, probably because the difference is big and obvious. I used to have a concert, which was the only uke I had for years, but recently gave it to a friend because I had a difficult time switching between tenor and concert. Probably because the spacing is so similar. Also he wanted a uke, so I gave it to him.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Canada Prairies, brrr ....
    Posts
    1,591

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    The range of my instrument scales is from concert ukes to a long neck jumbo guitar. I have no problem moving from one instrument to another and play most things without looking at the fretboard.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2021
    Location
    Nevergreen part of WA
    Posts
    24

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    I think it helps my playing a lot to switch things up. I really started progressing in guitar and fiddle when I started playing mandolin. I'm regularly playing my Martin HD-28, an Eastman arch top, a 12 fret round neck spider cone wood body resonator, a 12 fret Ovation 12 string and a gypsy jazz Sel-Mac copy.

    Then there's the resonator mandolin, the banjolin, F4 and F5, an A4 mandola, my mandocello, octave mandolin, 5 fiddles (violins and violas, 4 strings and 5), tenor ukulele....

    For me it's cross training and never a problem.

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