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Tiki Central Forums Tiki Music Which uke for beginners?
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Which uke for beginners?
TheMuggler
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 26, 2002
Posts: 289
From: Brooklyn, NY
Posted: 2003-07-06 10:14 pm   Permalink

Can any of you fine uke players recommend a good one for beginners? I'm thinking about trying to play, even though I've never played a string instrument so I'm totally starting from scratch.

Most of the ones I've come across feel like toys (and priced that way as well).

I don't want to spend a fortune (in case I'm completely incompetent at it), but I'm willing to spend more for a "real" one.

Mahalo!
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floratina
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 998
From: West Los Angeles
Posted: 2003-07-07 01:12 am   Permalink

Try a Fluke. They are only a couple hundred dollars and are plenty groovy and they fall beyond the "toy" category. http://www.ws123.com/ssl/flea/fluke.asp and check out the Flea, it is even less expensive http://www.ws123.com/ssl/flea/shopping/default.asp?ProductType=Flea

The front of these ukes is wood, and the back is plastic like an Ovation guitar. This composition is useful in a singalong situation because they produce pretty good volume. I also don't have to worry about scratching up the back and it stands by itself. Also, it sounds pretty nifty.

[ This Message was edited by: floratina on 2003-07-07 01:36 ]


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Chongolio
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 02, 2002
Posts: 2765
From: The Coast of Kauai
Posted: 2003-07-07 09:57 am   Permalink

I have heard a lot of good things about the flukes too. Although I am a bit of a traditionalist and prefer the look and sound of all all wood. My first uke was a Mahalo that I picked up for under $100.00.
From my research, there is not much diference in quality between $50.00 and a $150.00 ukes. I played and listened to many different ukes before I decided that the cheaper Mahalo actually sounded better than most of $150.00 ukes. Of course the more $$$ you have the more whistles and bells you get, but ultimately it really comes down to how the thing sounds. I am a beginner also and didn't want to sink to much cash into my first uke. I am very happy with my Mahalo, but I am saving up for something a bit nicer. Check out tikikings site for lots of good uke stuff.

http://www.tikiking.com/

I got the privledge of seeing Tikii King's finished "pineapple" Uke a few weeks ago. It has a little tiki carved right into the top or the head near the tuning pegs and it sounded awesome!

Chongolio
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Digitiki
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Joined: Jul 22, 2004
Posts: 754
From: L.A. baby!
Posted: 2004-08-09 4:28 pm   Permalink

What pitch of Ukulele? From what I have seen there are Soprano, Concert and Baritone. Is there a particular one that is more popular? Since I'm a piano player and never played a guitar or Uke or any fretted instrument, what is the difference? My other concern is sheet music. Since I play keys, I have tons of music in the C- Concert keys. Do you finger a chord the same on each type of Uke? or do you need to transpose a tune if it is not written for that particular pitch of Uke? HELP!

 
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pablus
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 23, 2003
Posts: 2155
From: www.crazedmugs.com
Posted: 2004-08-09 5:57 pm   Permalink

http://www.ukefestwest.com/vendors.html

Great links for uke companies here.

As far as the different types, soprano and concert are generally tuned the same.
You know... "my dog has fleas."
Concert has more frets.

Baritone is tuned like a guitar.
4 strings of it anyway.

www.melbay.com

...books galore for uke players.
A couple of different tunings for concert.




[ This Message was edited by: pablus on 2004-08-09 18:01 ]


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pablus
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 23, 2003
Posts: 2155
From: www.crazedmugs.com
Posted: 2004-08-09 6:07 pm   Permalink


BTW, my first uke was an Oscar Schmidt - not bad, but don't let it get warm.

The glue melted on the bridge and the tight strings shot it across the lounge like a slingshot.


 
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tikibars
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Joined: Apr 11, 2002
Posts: 2024
From: Aku Hall, Chicago
Posted: 2004-08-09 10:45 pm   Permalink

I was at a MoveOn event a few weeks ago, and there was this teenage girl there with her parents. She had a uke with her. I thought it was really cool that teenagers are getting hip to ukes now - beats the hell out of Backstreet Boys or Britney!

She let me scope it out, and I was tickled to find that it was a Akulele - complete with a sticker of a moai on the inside (geddit? Aku-Aku meets Ukulele = Akulele!). It also had a pineapple motif carved into the back.

Hand made by some guy who I've been meaning to look up on-line...

...and I just did:

http://akulele.com/

Uke lovers in Chicago: just confirmed a Uke sing-along with 6 to 8 players from the Old Town School of Folk Music, to be held during the next Tabu Tiki Nights on August 18 at Trader Vic's! Feel free to join in...




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virani
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 17, 2003
Posts: 1438
From: Volcanic area of France
Posted: 2004-08-10 11:51 am   Permalink

I had my new ukulele being made by a great carver in the Marquesas (Ua Huka island), and I love it sooo much. It has doubled chords and the sound is huge and really powerfull compared to hawaiian uke. And only for 120 dollars.
It makes me feel like being Diamond Darrell of Pantera !!



 
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MachTiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Feb 16, 2004
Posts: 1363
From: San Diego, CA
Posted: 2004-08-10 12:55 pm   Permalink

My last trip to Hawai'i, I was determined to buy an uke. I was also looking for a beginner model, but after a lot of searching and asking a lot of questions, I ended up getting something a little more intermediate. All the models I played that were $50-$150 seemed fine... until I played a few that were in the $200-$300 range. HUGE difference in tone & quality of the wood and hardware.

What I ended up with is the Lanikai Tenor (CK-TEQ):



I personally love this model. They go for about $275-$300, but you won't grow out of it anytime soon like you might with a beginner uke. It also has great built-in electronics if you want to plug it into an amp. Of course, I also couldn't resist the cut-away and Curled Koa wood top, sides & back.

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[ This Message was edited by: MachTiki on 2004-08-10 12:57 ]


 
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boutiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 03, 2002
Posts: 485
From: The fly-over states
Posted: 2004-08-10 5:03 pm   Permalink

When Amy and I were in Hawaii for our anniversary in 2002 I was obsessed with getting a nice koa ukulele. I had been collecting cheap old ones at flea markets for a while (none of them sound that great except the mango wood Moana). I ended up finding a second hand concert uke made by Jerome Werner who makes them under the name "Valley Made Ukuleles". It has an excellent tone and a good volume. it was really reasonably priced (largely because I bought it from a mom who's kid had lost interest) compaired to all the other quality koa ukes I found.

I have been wanting to learn to play the ukulele for a long time now, but never having played the guitar or anything, I'm starting from scratch. I figured if I made the investment and got a "real" instrument I'd force myself to take the time to learn and practice. Well... we have been so busy with stuff since I got it (Tiki Quest, Exotica, work, life, having a baby...) that I still can't play a single song. I got the Jim Beloff book so I periodically torture Amy with some plinking, but I really want to be able to play the thing one day.

The label on my Valley Made says they do handcrafted koa and custom, their number is 696-5786 (I think the area code is 808). You might want to see what they would charge for one of their nice ukes.

-Duke


 
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Tiki-Toa
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 30, 2004
Posts: 1012
From: Somewhere on Planet Tiki
Posted: 2004-08-11 08:32 am   Permalink

I am glad to see this thread going, because of TC I have spent a fair amount of time looking on the net for mp3's of Uke music, and it also reminded me I need to send money to King Ku for one of his, I wish I was brave enough to purchase one and try my hand at it, maybe some day. I am glad JT that you will have Uke players at the next TV event. Duke I found this nice background article on the people that made your Uke and we may see a website sometime soon for them. And Machtiki I would love to hear you do some songs with your Uke.

http://www.hclf.org/valleymade.html
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pablus
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 23, 2003
Posts: 2155
From: www.crazedmugs.com
Posted: 2004-08-11 09:23 am   Permalink


King Kukulele's CD is one of my favorites.
It's fun - it's good - and it's got a song about Otto and room 135 in it, which to us East Coasters is "like unto a legend of the days of yore."

The Friki Tiki's are terrific.

BTW-Friday night is Hurricane Night!
We're supposed to get a visit from "Charley" so....

...we'll be drinking Hurricanes at the Lagoon Lounge and then driving into the city to see Jake Shimabukuro. Nice for Friday the 13th, ehhh?



 
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virani
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 17, 2003
Posts: 1438
From: Volcanic area of France
Posted: 2004-08-12 11:43 am   Permalink

Hey Pablus, have you heard the ukulele club de paris ??
They're the best uke band around here (well, the only), and great tiki fans...
7 uke players, and one nice album.
http://ukuleleclubdeparis.artistes.universalmusic.fr/


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pablus
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 23, 2003
Posts: 2155
From: www.crazedmugs.com
Posted: 2004-08-12 1:06 pm   Permalink


Wow!

Awesome website.
I gotta get their music.

Thanks.


 
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virani
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 17, 2003
Posts: 1438
From: Volcanic area of France
Posted: 2004-08-12 1:35 pm   Permalink

and if you come to Paris, you could actually meet the uke club and we can play alltogether...

 
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