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Thread: which size is best for fingerpicking/strumming?

  1. #1
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    Default which size is best for fingerpicking/strumming?

    I bought a new Kala KA-S soprano form musicguymic, and I love it! I am realizing that although I have rather small hands for a man, It is a wee bit cramped to play on. I really want to learn more finger picking like Peter Moon. Which size is the best for a combination of finger picking and stumming; a tenor or concert?

  2. #2
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    Probably the best size is the tenor not only for the extra room, but the tension of the strings is a bit harder. However, you can pick on a concert uke. Best bet is to get to a store that has both sizes and try them out. (if possible)

  3. #3
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    I'd agree - Tenor. That said, I pick on my Concert just fine.
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    From my limited knowledge, I'd go with the Tenor...
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  5. #5
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    I think if you want to know the answer look at what most of the really good finger pickers play - its tenors by a large margin. Its not just more room you get for your fingers with a tenor. You also get more volume and better intonation. I love finger picking my soprano even more than my tenor (its just more fun to me), but even the best soprano players have to live with poorer intonation, due to the tiny scale length.

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    No, it's not tenor.

    The answer is: Whichever is more comfortable for you. Seriously, that's it. Tenor is not better than concert, which is not better than soprano. It's about what feel and what sound you want. I've seen crazy fingerpicking on a soprano.

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  7. #7
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    i got a tenor because i wanted to learn to finger pick, as well as strum. My room mates soprano is much more difficult to use for me, not because its hard to pick, but the left hand positions you need to make with certain songs that are heavy in finger picking. the frets are just too small for me in certain situations. of course, im sure that it would get easier with practice, but i thought that the tenor was just the right size.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Plainsong View Post
    No, it's not tenor.

    The answer is: Whichever is more comfortable for you. Seriously, that's it. Tenor is not better than concert, which is not better than soprano. It's about what feel and what sound you want. I've seen crazy fingerpicking on a soprano.
    repeated for emphasis.



    I've got a tenor, concerts, sopranos and a sopranino. I pretty much play the same way & fingerpick on all of them. Initially it will seem a tad cramped, but seriously after some practice you'll be surprised at how much room there seems to be. You just started. It's a small neck. It will take a little time & practice to make it work.

    Ukes sizes are just tonal differences and scale lengths that bear no relation to how or what you can play on them beyond how many notes there are on the neck to use. There is no right uke for any particular style of playing any more than there is a right size of saxophone to play for jazz as opposed to marching band.

    I mean, most days the instrument closest on hand to me is the sopranino and I can do all the same stuff on it that can be done on the tenor. (if not more because I can usually get a few extra frets in reach on the smaller scale.) But once again, as with most things that people seem to initially have trouble with on the boards (see numerous threads on the "E" chord & friction tuners) it's almost always a simple matter of practice.

    Stick with it and it will get easier.

  9. #9
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    This is one of those questions that doesn't have a "right" answer. It's really all about what you're comfortable with and that comfort can't be predicted as "your hands are this big so this would be right for you." You really have to experiment and find what you are comfortable with - besides, experimenting with different ukes is fun, and at least it's not as expensive as experimenting with different guitars!

    All that said I find that my personal preference for a strumming rig is a soprano body (for the tonal response) with a concert neck. I find myself struggling to make some chords, and quickly running out of usable frets, on soprano scales. But, again, that's me - I know some people with hands much larger than mine who can play a soprano just fine. I don't really pick much but when I do I find that I usually grab my tenor strung low-G.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Plainsong View Post
    No, it's not tenor.

    The answer is: Whichever is more comfortable for you. Seriously, that's it. Tenor is not better than concert, which is not better than soprano. It's about what feel and what sound you want. I've seen crazy fingerpicking on a soprano.
    What she said.

    I PREFER a concert body with a tenor fretboard. But that's ME.

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