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Thread: Where do I start?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Posts
    5

    Default Where do I start?



    Hi,

    I just decided last week that I want to learn how to play the Uke. I have some limited guitar experience a bizzillion years ago, but am not really counting on remembering much of anything that is going to help me.

    I am not ashamed to admit that I want to go buy a ukulele that I can play right out of the box. I don't want it to sound like a toy, but it doesn't have to be pro quality, either.

    I just want to have fun and learn how to play!

    Is there a Uke that I can indeed play right out of the box without having to go through this thing called "setup" ? There are all sorts of neat packages available online and it's hard to beat those deals at my local stores.

    Any advice you can give will be most appreciated!

    ♪ ♪ ♫ ♫ ♪ ♪
    Truly,
    Clueless

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Just north of Boston,Ma.
    Posts
    329

    Default

    Right out of the box depends on the individual. Some like a very low action, while others don't mind it being slightly high. You will get a feel for it when you play. By action, in case you don't know, is the string space between the fretboard and the nut. If it's too high, you will have trouble fretting the first fret, (bottom of the neck) too low and you may get buzzing. By the way, the top by the headstock is considered the bottom of the fretboard and vice versa. This will all make sense to you when you get into playing and learn the terminalogy. Kala is a great brand of ukulele and affordable at all different prices.Mainland too. Both range anywhere from $150.00 to several hundred. I paid $300.00 for my concert Kala and it is my favorite uke. It has Living Water Strings and sounds heavenly. Strings make a difference. Aquila strings are among the most popular and sound fine on most ukes. Many ukes come with these strings. My suggestion would be to go to a local music shop that sells ukuleles and play a few. See what feels nice in your hands and what sound appeals to you. Your journey with the ukulele has just begun. Let it unfold and everything will fall into place. This is a great forum to get any and all questions anwered. Good luck, and let us know what you ended up with.
    Last edited by addicted2myuke; 08-01-2013 at 03:04 AM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    DFW, TX, USA
    Posts
    8,342

    Default

    If you buy from a dedicated and caring uke dealer, like some of the one's you see mentioned over and over in these forums (HMS, Mim, Uke Republic, Mainland, etc.), what you buy will be playable because they will make sure the instrument is playable before it leaves the shop. Being new, you probably don't have a preference for a "tailored" setup and that's fine - the goal especially for a beginner is to have a uke that plays in tune and easily. A long-time player can play any piece of crap, a beginner needs a uke that facilitates growth (yeah, there's a joke about that but we won't go there). You will not always get that if you are buying low to mid-priced ukes from Amazon.com, Guitar Center, etc.
    I'm not entirely convinced that it is possible to polish a turd. However, if one were to accomplish that feat one would still have a turd, and one all the more noticeable for being shiny.

    Check out my ukulele-themed "stuff" at http://www.cafepress.com/fivebyfiveukulele - proceeds go to a good cause...UAS treatment!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    5,205

    Default

    Welcome to the UU. There are lots of great ukes that play well right out of the box - what is your price range?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Central Ohio
    Posts
    1,461

    Default

    Clueless:

    I started right where you are. I went with a cheapo uke from a super-cheap online source. I later decided to pay more.

    The question is not whether you can play it right out of the box--the question is whether it is at its easiest and most enjoyable to play.

    It is worth it to pay a few extra bucks to have quality at the start.

    That said, I had a lot of fun with my not-set-up Dolphin from Makala that I got through a drop-shipper until I decided to go a bit further. I also did some work on it myself that helped.

    So, long story made short: pay a little more now for the real ukulele dealers.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    4,246

    Default

    Welcome to UU, c. Glad you joined us.

    Where do you live? Maybe a member here could recommend a good dealer for you. Once you get it check out the free vids on the UU main site.

    Enjoy and keep us posted.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Posts
    5

    Default

    Hi all, thanks for the welcomes and the info. I live in NY. Today I grabbed a friend and went to *gasp* A Big Box Guitar Store to play around with some Ukes and ended up bringing one home. It took me FOREVER to decide, and I'm still not sure it's the right one, but it's at least the second most right one. It was between a Luna Tattoo and a Cordoba something-or-other, both concert models. I don't even know if I'm going to be able to play it, but I feel like I picked a comfortable middle of the road place to start. Out of those two, is one better than the other, and why?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    5,205

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by clueless View Post
    Hi all, thanks for the welcomes and the info. I live in NY. Today I grabbed a friend and went to *gasp* A Big Box Guitar Store to play around with some Ukes and ended up bringing one home. It took me FOREVER to decide, and I'm still not sure it's the right one, but it's at least the second most right one. It was between a Luna Tattoo and a Cordoba something-or-other, both concert models. I don't even know if I'm going to be able to play it, but I feel like I picked a comfortable middle of the road place to start. Out of those two, is one better than the other, and why?
    Better is so subjective and personal. Just enjoy your uke and have fun. If you need some lessons there are some great videos on the main page by Aldrine. Good luck.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    413

    Default

    Welcome to UU, clueless!
    I got my first from ebay and later got a nicer one. I know at some point I will get something even nicer but not just yet. I tried every guitar store within 45 minutes from my house and found a Cordoba too. Then I took the leap and went to the music store that is an hour away. (Victor Lutz in Gathersburg, MD) I am so glad I did! There were so many there to choose from and I tried all of the concert ones. The clerk was somewhat knowledgeable at least more than Guitar Center. Next time I plan to trek 2 hours away to Richmond. I think it will be worth it :-)

    Cua94
    Liz

    Ohana Tenor TK50 MG - solid cedar top
    Red Soprano Mahalo
    Kala Waterman
    Green Kala KA-CEM Exotic Mahogany Concert (Low G)
    Purple Bugsgear Soprano
    Tan Bruko Soprano

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Honolulu, Hawaii 5min away from waikiki
    Posts
    28,152

    Default

    Welcome Clueless... What is your budget?
    Making music is a gift in itself, and when you can share it ....it is your gift to others

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