Hello from the Mile High City

Ordiedad

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Greetings,

As you can tell I currently live in Denver, CO. I have lived in many other places from Phoenix, AZ, San Diego, CA and Bremerton, WA. I am a US Navy Vet who played with things that went boom. I can play the piano and a little guitar, but I got into ukuleles a few years ago when my daughter purchased a cheap soprano at a local music store. To my amazement she picked it up really quickly. Fast forward a few years and she has moved onto a solid wood Ohana. During that time my wife and I wanted to play with her so we unknowingly got each other a uke for Christmas right before the pandemic. She got me a Makala Tenor with a low G, and I bought her a Kala Concert. We are now both starting to feel and hear the level of ukuleles we have. They were great for starting out and learning. I stopped playing for a while to help my daughter focus on her golf game. So, all my spare time was spent at a golf course. Now that my daughter is getting close to finishing high school and going off to college I am looking to get back into some hobbies I have had. That said, I think both my wife and I are looking at a little better quality ukulele than what we currently have. Playability and good tone are the most important thing to us. Here Kala came with terrible fret sprout and it has taken me a lot of work to get the frets filed down and polished to make it more playable. It actually cut her when she first played it. (Lesson learned - don't buy musical instruments from Amazon). In my search for new Ukuleles I focused primarily on the big brands, Kala and Ohana etc. However, some new ones have crossed my searches such as Flight, Sound Smith, Bondi, Snail. If anyone has suggestions I am open to hear what people think.
 
Welcome aboard Ordiedad! I also was a Navy vet back in the 70's It sounds like your family is well established on the ukulele road already so all I can suggest is to find a ukulele club to join. Doing that will expose you all to a host of new songs and ukuleles to try out. Have fun!
 
My grandmother lived her last 30 years "further up the hill" in Allenspark. She ran a pie & coffee shop*. I still remember ('tween' years, early 60s) the crazy drive up and down Hwy 72 in a'57 Ford, and how long it took to catch my breath once we got there :)

<edit 1> (*It was called the St. Vrain Cupboard. This is "Mema Lil" in photos 1-3.)

<edit 2> Ordiedad, if you hadn't signed up with UU, I never would have found this. Thank you for finding us!
 
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Welcome Ordiedad!

I am new too. I grew up in Colorado and really miss the mountains. I got into ukulele playing my son’s Malala shark and was so excited to get my first “real” concert ukulele. I bought it from Mim (search for mimsukes online). She is well respected and does a great set up for no extra charge. She also gets a good number of “Blem” new ukes with minor cosmetic issues that she sells at a discount. If you are interested in a new Ohana, she is a good source. There are also some other online sellers that do setup for no extra charge, like “The Ukulele Site”, and “Aloha City Ukes”. I am sure there are more that the veteran players could tell you about.

You probably already know this, but just in case, I will mention …. don’t forget humidity management. It is a bit of an issue here In Massachusetts, but it will be a serious issue in dry, arid Colorado. Solid wood ukes are much more affected by changes in humidity and dry air. I am getting a new all solid soprano uke tomorrow so I already have Boveda humidity control packs ready.

See you around the forum,
Anita
 
Welcome to the UU forums, and it sounds like you're well started on your ukulele journey! Thanks for taking the time to introduce yourself. If you have any opportunity to try the brands you're interested in, do so - listening to other people's opinions and sound clips is as good as it can get for many of us, but it just isn't the same as trying it for yourself (your personal taste, appreciation of the sound and feel, etc.). If you've not yet discovered Forum Member BazMaz's gotaukulele site with reviews, that's a pretty solid place to start. Good luck in the hunt!
 
Hi Ordiedad, welcome to the UU Forum. Very cool that you and your wife are able to play together. What fun.

Usually bad fret sprout is caused by the wood on the fretboard shrinking due to low humidity. Generally, the ideal is to keep your ukuleles at 40% to 50% humidity. To do this, you can put a humidifier in the case. Oasis and Bovida Pack are two different types.

As for possible ukuleles, there are a lot of good ones available. If you don't have a good music shop near you, I strongly suggest that you shop from an online seller that does a thorough setup on your ukulele. Adjusting string height, level frets, smoothing any fret sprout, etc.

I too bought my first ukulele on Amazon. It was a Fender Nohea tenor and it had very high strings. I knew nothing about ukes at the time and I struggled to play it until I had a guitar tech look at it it. His comment was, "Oh my, those are high!" He adjusted the the height and I could finally play a 2nd fret barre chord without a Vice Grip.

As for recommendations go, I think Pono ukes are very good value for solid wood and high quality construction. Also the Martin T1K Koa tenor is an excellent basic all-around performer.

Member ChoirGuy has unbiased reviews http://ukestuff.info

There are lots to choose from. So do some research and narrow down your budget and have fun finding a gem.
 
Welcome to UU, Ordiedad!
I wish you lots of fun in your search for your next uke. I also hope you'll enjoy getting back to your hobbies!
 
Greetings,

As you can tell I currently live in Denver, CO. I have lived in many other places from Phoenix, AZ, San Diego, CA and Bremerton, WA. I am a US Navy Vet who played with things that went boom. I can play the piano and a little guitar, but I got into ukuleles a few years ago when my daughter purchased a cheap soprano at a local music store. To my amazement she picked it up really quickly. Fast forward a few years and she has moved onto a solid wood Ohana. During that time my wife and I wanted to play with her so we unknowingly got each other a uke for Christmas right before the pandemic. She got me a Makala Tenor with a low G, and I bought her a Kala Concert. We are now both starting to feel and hear the level of ukuleles we have. They were great for starting out and learning. I stopped playing for a while to help my daughter focus on her golf game. So, all my spare time was spent at a golf course. Now that my daughter is getting close to finishing high school and going off to college I am looking to get back into some hobbies I have had. That said, I think both my wife and I are looking at a little better quality ukulele than what we currently have. Playability and good tone are the most important thing to us. Here Kala came with terrible fret sprout and it has taken me a lot of work to get the frets filed down and polished to make it more playable. It actually cut her when she first played it. (Lesson learned - don't buy musical instruments from Amazon). In my search for new Ukuleles I focused primarily on the big brands, Kala and Ohana etc. However, some new ones have crossed my searches such as Flight, Sound Smith, Bondi, Snail. If anyone has suggestions I am open to hear what people think.
I live in Colorado too. Do you know about the Rocky Mountain Ukulele Orchestra?
 
Hi Pearly and Ordidad,
I will be heading back to Colorado (Denver and Colorado Springs) for the holidays. Do you have any suggestions for uke stores I should visit while there?
Anita
The Pickin Parlor in Olde Town Arvada is about the only place I know besides Guitar Center that has ukuleles. They carry mostly Kala and some Martins.
 
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