Aloha From NC!

Crazyviking

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Joined
Oct 20, 2023
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Location
Wake Forest, NC
I have never played a string instrument. I have played a piano Many Many Years ago. Recently I decided I wanted to give Ukulele a chance. I keep going down many rabbit holes trying to select one. I know I don't want a cheep one but I don't want to spend a fortune. I am not planning on collecting them so I would really like to only buy one. I am pretty sure I want solid wood not Plywood. so far my favorite that I have looked at on-line is the Martin S-1, that is more than I want to spend to find out if it is a hobby for me. Am I crazy? Is there a less expensive option that would sound good and be an acceptable replacement not from China? I will be looking forward to input.

Thanks from Raleigh!
 
I have never played a string instrument. I have played a piano Many Many Years ago. Recently I decided I wanted to give Ukulele a chance. I keep going down many rabbit holes trying to select one. I know I don't want a cheep one but I don't want to spend a fortune. I am not planning on collecting them so I would really like to only buy one. I am pretty sure I want solid wood not Plywood. so far my favorite that I have looked at on-line is the Martin S-1, that is more than I want to spend to find out if it is a hobby for me. Am I crazy? Is there a less expensive option that would sound good and be an acceptable replacement not from China? I will be looking forward to input.

Thanks from Raleigh
Greetings and welcome CV. Lots of options out there and even more advice. If you haven't already head over to Gotaukulele.com and start on Baz's reviews and read his for beginners posts.

Don't down the imports as probably 75% or more are and with careful research you will find a good one. I started with a Kala ka-b and a year later bought a used pono mb when I knew I wanted to continue with the uke.

That's my best advice, get a well reviewed uke under $200 or so (maybe used) and then later on if you stick with it go shopping for something more when you have knowledge from experience. Heck that $200 purchase may be all you ever want.
 
Welcome to the forum Crazyviking. Great to have you joining us on the forum. Do you have any stores near you that you can try out ukuleles? Also to see what size feels the most comfortable for you. You might check out the marketplace here, as sometimes you can find a very nice ukulele at a discount.... Good luck on your search.
 
Welcome! Shameless self-promotion, but we have a twice-monthly jam group/club that just celebrated our 10th anniversary! @rhiggie here buys and sells second-hand ukes and usually has them in every price range.

The closest retailers with any selection are Harry’s Guitar Shop, Azure Violins, and High Strung Music (in Durham). Stay away from Sam Ash, Guitar Center, or the big box stores. They typically have a lousy inventory and know little about ukes.

Enjoy your journey! Maybe we’ll see you sometime …

 
Welcome to UU, CrazyViking!
Hope you have fun figuring out which uke is meant for you.
 
Welcome to the UU Forum CrazyViking.
First thing to consider is what size uke you want? Soprano, concert, tenor, baritone? Based upon the sound that you prefer and how it feels to play. I went to a local ukulele club meeting and I tried out the beginner ukes they had and discovered the tenor was just right for me. Next, watch reviews about various ukes listen to how they sound and narrow your choices. Then find a reputable place to purchase the ones you are interested in. Then get opinons here about your final two or three.

Or, as others have suggested, go to one of the reputable online dealers. Buy a decent looking, budget priced uke and go for it. Once you are hooked on playing ukulele, you can carefully consider your upgrade...

In addition to the excellent Gotaukulele.com site, here are some other very good beginner reviews of ukes and information:

Member Choirguy also has a good free reviews and information resource: http://ukestuff.info

Brad Bordessa has some very good free introductory stuff for new players: https://liveukulele.com/lessons/uke-101/
Brett McQueen also has a number of free lessons and info: https://ukuleletricks.com/how-to-play-ukulele/
 
Welcome Crazyviking. I'm in Asheville.

I ordered a used Martin.i figured that it would hold it's value if I decide to sell it one day.

Guitar Center online has a few Martins and Ponos. If you don't like it their return policy is fair. Return it to your local store and all you are out is the shipping.
 
My first "real" ukulele was (IS... I still have it!) a Kala Travel Tenor, called a SSTU-t. It has a solid top and "laminated solid wood" sides and rounded back. Very light, easy to play, and sounds pretty good for a thinbody... plus it comes with a special padded case. I still love mine and play it regularly - despite the fact I own several all solid body more expensive ukuleles.

There is also an all plywood version called an EMTU that can be found at bargain prices on eBay currently. You can also get a soprano or a concert size as well.

Highly recommended!
 
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