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  #1  
Old 11-15-2017, 07:53 AM
LNW LNW is offline
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Default Uke Vs Acoustic Guitar - playability, styles, sound, etc

I'm interested in getting a Uke. I've played several in some stores, and my initial thoughts are that I like the sound and that learning all the chords will take a little mental-readjustment. (Since I've played acoustic guitar for like 15 years.)

But I also feel I know very little about the instrument in terms of what really draws some Acoustic Guitar players to enjoy the Uke as well. If you have one, how would you describe/compare it to an acoustic guitar in terms of playability, styles, sound...or even how long your adjustment period with it was until it "clicked" for you...and what drew you to the Uke and what do you enjoy about it?
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Old 11-16-2017, 08:54 AM
Swamp Yankee Swamp Yankee is offline
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I really enjoy playing the uke. I don't find it to be too great a difficulty switching back and forth between ukes and guitars. Shortly after buying my first uke, a rather complicated original song just seemed to fall out of it for me one day when I was noodling around.

I understand this is not an uncommon thing and that some artists rough out new songs on uke that they later flesh out with guitar.
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  #3  
Old 11-17-2017, 06:56 AM
CASD57 CASD57 is offline
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When I got my Baritone Uke, I didn't pick up my acoustic for over a month..
And it even past my mind for a half second that maybe all I needed was the Uke, I mean it brings out a different way to play, The baritone teaches you cheat chords for acoustic...
And it's has a special tone...
BUT
It makes you work for a full tone....with a UKE you have four strings and a lot of empty sound spots..(Not sure how to describe it- make a loose sound?)
It will make you a better acoustic player for the reasons above
Because if you can make the UKE sounds good and interesting it will make your acoustic playing even better..

That said once I picked back up my acoustic... I haven't touched the UKE in an over a month

I would buy a lower good model to see if it is for you... I got a Makala Baritone for $80 on Amazon. And I think it does what it's supposed to do...

PS
The baritone is easy for acoustic players...as the four strings are the same as your guitar... So most chords are the same and the ones that aren't is where you learn cheat chords that will carry over to your acoustic...

In my sig..I'm playing the MAKALA And I know it's not greeat LOL New song..New UKE...
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Old 11-17-2017, 07:39 AM
MikeBmusic MikeBmusic is offline
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Other than the closely-spaced frets, it's just like playing a guitar - the top 4 strings of a guitar, that is. On a Baritone uke, you're tuned the same - D G B E. On a concert uke, it's like you are on a guitar capoed at the 5th fret - G C E A.
So no 'learning new chords' at all, which is one reason why guitar players adapt so easily to a uke, compared to adapting to a mandolin's tuning.
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  #5  
Old 11-17-2017, 07:55 AM
lfoo6952 lfoo6952 is offline
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My initial reasons for learning the uke was simply to learn a different instrument. It was a fast and easy transition from acoustic guitar. Chord shapes are similar to guitar chords.

Another reason was to learn a different genre of music, which was Hawaiian music. I then found out that it was much easier to play jazz chords because there are only 4 strings on the instrument. Therefore I can now play and sing my favorite jazz tunes, which I found difficult on a guitar.

And of course, as in the acoustic guitar world, there are luthier-built instruments. Relatively speaking, high end ukes are much less expensive than high end luthier-built guitars. So instead of experiencing GAS, you will experience UAS. It's been a fun journey exploring who the uke luthiers are. I now own 2 custom made ukes and a Blackbird ekoa uke.

Have fun on your journey to the world of ukuleles! Get familiar with the words such as "aloha", "mahalo", and you must not mispronounce ukulele. You have to pronounce it like "oo-koo-lay-lee", otherwise you'll quickly be corrected by the hard core players out there.
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Old 11-17-2017, 08:05 AM
Swamp Yankee Swamp Yankee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lfoo6952 View Post
You have to pronounce it like "oo-koo-lay-lee", otherwise you'll quickly be corrected by the hard core players out there.
Indeed - you must learn to write sentences such as, "I have an ukulele that sounds wonderful."
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  #7  
Old 11-17-2017, 09:26 AM
Earl49 Earl49 is offline
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It is a Hawaiian instrument, so pronouncing it "ooo-koo-lay-lay" is just being polite. It will also endear you to any Hawaiians that you play around. The phonetic equivalent would be pronouncing the French phrase cest la vie by saying all the English letters, or by pronouncing taco as "tay-co".

I mostly concur with what CASD57 said. It is no big deal to convert -- all the chord shapes are the same, but because of the C-tuned GCEA tenor / concert / soprano tuning the chord names are a fourth higher. C guitar shapes becomes F, D guitar shapes becomes G, etc. You just don't have to worry about those pesky 6th and 5th strings like on a guitar. Using the same chord shapes is like automatically transposing a guitar song up by a fourth. A guitar with a capo on the fifth fret and the two bass strings removed IS a tenor ukulele in effect.

Personally I had more trouble converting to baritone ukulele than standard GCEA tuned ones. While the DGBE tuning was familiar from guitar, I found it a minor challenge to think in terms of partial four string chords shapes instead of six strings, and missed having those bass strings for runs and alternating bass parts. When I got my inexpensive $80 Makala baritone, I made it a point to play everything in my song book on the baritone uke exclusively, not touching guitar or a C-tuned uke for about six weeks. Once comfortable with baritone, then I could jump back and forth freely. The biggest down side to a baritone is that in a group of fellow ukulele players, you cannot just follow their hands to grab chord shapes. Baritone is the odd man out, if you will.
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Old 11-19-2017, 09:02 AM
Playguitar Playguitar is offline
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As a guitarist I find the baritone ukulele much easier to go back and forth from the guitar to the uke and back to the guitar. The baritone sounds more like a small guitar and the standard gcea tuned uke sounds much more ukulele like.
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Old 11-21-2017, 06:34 PM
GGinMP GGinMP is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LNW View Post
I'm interested in getting a Uke. I've played several in some stores, and my initial thoughts are that I like the sound and that learning all the chords will take a little mental-readjustment. (Since I've played acoustic guitar for like 15 years.)

But I also feel I know very little about the instrument in terms of what really draws some Acoustic Guitar players to enjoy the Uke as well. If you have one, how would you describe/compare it to an acoustic guitar in terms of playability, styles, sound...or even how long your adjustment period with it was until it "clicked" for you...and what drew you to the Uke and what do you enjoy about it?
As a guitar player, I knew a traditional soprano would be too small, so I got a nice {edit} concert size. It sounds great, but I still find that more complex cords are tough on such a small fretboard. I'm going to move up to a {edit} tenor size next. Any bigger and they don't sound like a ukulele to me.
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Last edited by GGinMP; 11-26-2017 at 08:12 PM.
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  #10  
Old 11-26-2017, 08:05 PM
Swamp Yankee Swamp Yankee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GGinMP View Post
As a guitar player, I knew a traditional soprano would be too small, so I got a nice tenor. It sounds great, but I still find that more complex cords are tough on such a small fretboard. I'm going to move up to a concert size next. Any bigger and they don't sound like a ukulele to me.
... but a concert uke will be smaller than the tenor you already have.
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Taylor GS Mini-e Spruce/Rosewood
Waterloo WL-S
Wechter TO-8418

some banjos, and a growing number of ukuleles as well.
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  #11  
Old 11-26-2017, 08:11 PM
GGinMP GGinMP is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Swamp Yankee View Post
... but a concert uke will be smaller than the tenor you already have.
I missed my nap when I wrote that! I had a concert and just picked up a tenor! I'll correct my post.
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  #12  
Old 11-27-2017, 11:19 AM
Swamp Yankee Swamp Yankee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GGinMP View Post
I missed my nap when I wrote that! I had a concert and just picked up a tenor! I'll correct my post.
I'm jonesing for a nice Pono Mango tenor. I've got an older concert and I love it, but yeah, it's not so easy to play certain chords with the shorter scale.

There's also a Super Concert, which is a concert size body with a tenor neck. I owned one briefly - but failed to bond with it.
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some banjos, and a growing number of ukuleles as well.
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  #13  
Old 11-27-2017, 12:41 PM
Wengr Wengr is offline
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I got one for the first time a month or so ago. I choose a Pono tenor, cedar on solid rosewood bs. I wanted to try something new, and have my 8yo daughter learn along with me. She is interested, and I enjoy seeing her progress, and discussing basic musical concepts with her.
For me personally, I have mixed feelings. I do enjoy it, but not as much as expected. As stated above it's tuned like the treble strings of a guitar capoed at 5, so it's not to hard getting familiar. I can get some decent music out of it, and the biggest challenges being keeping it in place sans strap, and the tight finger board. As I am not specifically looking for Hawaiian music at this point, it's rare for me to find something to play that would not sound better on the guitar.
Jury is still out as to how much I will use it moving forward.
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  #14  
Old 11-28-2017, 09:39 AM
J Patrick J Patrick is offline
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...i had to play uke quite a while before i found all the right chord voicings to compliment the styles and songs i was playing...once i did become well versed in the different voicings my uke playing went to ahigher level and i considered myself an accomplished player...they're fun to pick up and just transfer your guitar knowledge to them...but if you want to really play a ukulele well it will take some time...
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  #15  
Old 11-28-2017, 12:13 PM
Earl49 Earl49 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J Patrick View Post
....they're fun to pick up and just transfer your guitar knowledge to them...but if you want to really play a ukulele well it will take some time...
Well said! While much of the knowledge and muscle memory will transfer over easily enough, ukulele are different instruments and have to be approached a little differently.
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