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Thread: Help me pick a ukulele?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2014
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    Default Help me pick a ukulele?

    Hi. I have been thinking about buying an ukulele for a while now. However, I have a few specifications that I need to ask about.

    -I want to be able to bring the uke when I go camping in the summer, so it needs to be plastic so it doesn't get ruined. The whole reason I want to play the uke is that I like playing music and ukuleles are very portable.
    -I don't want to spend a ton of money on a uke. I'm willing to spend around $50 so I don't end up with an untunable heap of junk.

    Also, I have a couple questions. Is it necessary to buy new strings (right now getting a cheaper body and putting aquilas on it seems like a good idea to me) for every ukulele, and is it a better idea to get a uke from a music store or the internet?

  2. #2
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    $50 Isn't much. I guess a Dolphin might be a good choice. I don't know if it's completely plastic but I'm thinking you want something that sounds alright. I can't think of anything else in that price range that I'd like.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Icelander53 View Post
    $50 Isn't much. I guess a Dolphin might be a good choice. I don't know if it's completely plastic but I'm thinking you want something that sounds alright. I can't think of anything else in that price range that I'd like.
    Second that - fifty bucks is about the cost of a Dolphin and they're not awful. But I would recommend buying from a music store so you can try them out. I bought a Dolphin for a friend's kid, and the shop probably had 25 or 30 in stock, and only 2 or 3 seemed playable to me. Or you can buy from an online retailer that includes a setup - there are a couple that people on UU seem to recommend all the time, so I'll leave that to those with experience.

  4. #4
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    I you keep your ukulele in a protective case it wont get ruined on a camping trip unless you don't take care.

  5. #5
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    cellele, I have read many, many posts on this site where people love their $50 ukes and think they sound great so I am sure you will hear from them. I on the other hand have never heard one that sounded good (even with a set up). There are musical instruments and there are novelties. $50 is not a lot of money but it IS a lot of money to throw away. My advice would be to save up for a good sounding import and to play it before you buy it.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by stringy View Post
    cellele, I have read many, many posts on this site where people love their $50 ukes and think they sound great so I am sure you will hear from them. I on the other hand have never heard one that sounded good (even with a set up). There are musical instruments and there are novelties. $50 is not a lot of money but it IS a lot of money to throw away. My advice would be to save up for a good sounding import and to play it before you buy it.
    Well, here's the thing. I'm 14 and I would be spending saved up pocket money on this uke, and the more I have to spend the more my parents are likely to say "no", because I already play an instrument. So for me, playing an ukulele would be a way to play the songs I like to listen to, and be able to take it places. I don't want to throw away money, but I think what you and I want in an uke are different things.

  7. #7
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    I've heard a lot of good things from people here and other Ukulele sites that the Makala Dolphin is a good starter Uke. They usually sell between $40 to $50. They are not completely plastic, but from what I've read they seem to be pretty rugged. I know there are a few all-plastic brands available, but I don't know what they are right off hand and I think they cost a bit more than that.

    If you want a wood uke that's not too expensive, I have the Makai UK-55 that my dad got me for my birthday. It was $40 at a local shop in town. I've seen them online for a bit more than that, but they have gotten pretty good reviews on a few different uke sites.

    If you really, really want something that you are not going to worry too much about getting beaten up so bad on a camping trip, you could go to the local Toys R' Us and look for the "First Act Mini Guitar" which is actually a Ukulele. They are solid plastic and can take quite a beating. My 2, 3, and 5 year old niece and nephews have them and they don't sound too bad (nothing you would play professionally...) and they continue to survive their rough housing. Toys R' Us sells them for $25. They have geared tuners, and the action doesn't look bad. The strings are cheap, so replace them with some good strings. But... They are all Disney themed (Cars, Planes, Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, etc...)

    Whatever you decide on, spend a little extra and get a gig bag to put the instrument in. They don't cost that much and will save a lot of wear and tear on your instrument.

  8. #8
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    I think you are right cellele. I hope you find the perfect uke for you.

    Another option. How about a better used uke instead of a new one? Many local stores carry used and they might be willing to negotiate price. It might also impress your parents, (wink wink).

    Best of luck to you.

  9. #9
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    I have one for you. Google, "Mim's Ukes", go to buy uke header, hit the soprano tabs ( this is the size and is the smallest making it great for camping). You will see an Ohana SK-10CR for $56.00, bingo price point met.:-)Here is where it gets good, Mim is a real person and a member her, super highly regarded. She loves this uke, owns and plays one herself. She will set it up for you so it is very playable. You will have complete peace of mind buying anything from her.

    I am not associated with her or her buisness. Seriously, you can stop looking and just read how she loves it as a travel uke, buy it, play it, don't look back
    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 super soprano, *Kala super soprano, *Loprinzi super soprano, *Black bear ULO concert , *Enya X1 concert, *Enya X1 pineapple soprano, *Gretsch tenor, *Korala plastic concert

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2014
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    Quote Originally Posted by LloydAZ View Post
    I've heard a lot of good things from people here and other Ukulele sites that the Makala Dolphin is a good starter Uke. They usually sell between $40 to $50. They are not completely plastic, but from what I've read they seem to be pretty rugged. I know there are a few all-plastic brands available, but I don't know what they are right off hand and I think they cost a bit more than that.

    If you want a wood uke that's not too expensive, I have the Makai UK-55 that my dad got me for my birthday. It was $40 at a local shop in town. I've seen them online for a bit more than that, but they have gotten pretty good reviews on a few different uke sites.

    If you really, really want something that you are not going to worry too much about getting beaten up so bad on a camping trip, you could go to the local Toys R' Us and look for the "First Act Mini Guitar" which is actually a Ukulele. They are solid plastic and can take quite a beating. My 2, 3, and 5 year old niece and nephews have them and they don't sound too bad (nothing you would play professionally...) and they continue to survive their rough housing. Toys R' Us sells them for $25. They have geared tuners, and the action doesn't look bad. The strings are cheap, so replace them with some good strings. But... They are all Disney themed (Cars, Planes, Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, etc...)

    Whatever you decide on, spend a little extra and get a gig bag to put the instrument in. They don't cost that much and will save a lot of wear and tear on your instrument.
    Thanks for the advice, but I'm going to pass on the "First Act Mini Guitar"
    Quote Originally Posted by stringy View Post
    I think you are right cellele. I hope you find the perfect uke for you.

    Another option. How about a better used uke instead of a new one? Many local stores carry used and they might be willing to negotiate price. It might also impress your parents, (wink wink).
    Well, there's only one music store here as far as I know, but I will probably ask.
    Quote Originally Posted by DownUpDave View Post
    I have one for you. Google, "Mim's Ukes", go to buy uke header, hit the soprano tabs ( this is the size and is the smallest making it great for camping). You will see an Ohana SK-10CR for $56.00, bingo price point met.:-)Here is where it gets good, Mim is a real person and a member her, super highly regarded. She loves this uke, owns and plays one herself. She will set it up for you so it is very playable. You will have complete peace of mind buying anything from her.

    I am not associated with her or her buisness. Seriously, you can stop looking and just read how she loves it as a travel uke, buy it, play it, don't look back
    Thanks for the recommendation. I'll definitely check Mim's site out.

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