Makala Soprano

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Frequently Asked Questions...

What's a good ukulele for a beginner?

I'm asking for a ukulele for christmas.
I'm learning how to play the guitar, and I'm looking to learn the ukulele too.

I don't want a very expensive one, just one that I can learn to play.
I'm stuck on brands and models.... and whether I should get a tenor or soprano. (I was thinking soprano)

Any help or feedback would be much appreciated!


Best Answer...

Answer:

Great choice to take up 'ukulele. But beware, there are many people who have given up their guitars completely for the 'ukulele. Now for sizes:

Many guitar players find the tenor to be more comfortable because of its roomier fret space. It also has more frets giving you more notes and octaves and the ability to play songs/tunes with more range. Considering you're learning guitar, this may be a good thing, but if you're wanting something more different/smaller then it probably isn't.

If you're looking for something small and fun that you could whip out at any time and strum/pluck a tune or entertain a party, then the soprano is a good fit. The soprano is what a lot of people start out on and later decide if it is enough to fit their musical needs, considering it is very common for beginners to become partial to different styles early on and upgrade to different sizes/makes as they see fit. So, the soprano could be considered the "try-out" size.

I own a soprano, and, honestly, feel cramped and a bit limited (only 12 frets). If you don't want something as small as a soprano or as large as a tenor, you could always go for a concert (usually 14-16 frets sometimes more).

Brands that are most shopped by beginning 'ukulele players are Kala and Lanikai (links are for reference mostly, you could usually buy cheaper from reputable sellers on eBay or your local music stores):

Kala~(Makala Dolphin [Soprano] ) [comes in many cute colors]: http://kalaukulele.com.mytempweb.com/detail.asp?product_id=MK-SD

Kala~(Makala Soprano):

http://kalaukulele.com.mytempweb.com/detail.asp?product_id=MK-S

Lanikai~(LU-11):

http://www.amazon.com/Lanikai-LU-11-Soprano-Ukulele/dp/B0018TF0O8/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1290361936&sr=8-4

If you want a slightly unusual/fun-looking soprano:

http://tinyurl.com/nov-soprano

Tenors usually cost more than sopranos, but I'll list a couple just in case you are considering this size:

Kala~(Makala Tenor):

http://kalaukulele.com.mytempweb.com/detail.asp?product_id=MK-T

Lanikai~(LU-21 Tenor):

http://www.amazon.com/Lanikai-LU-21T-Ukulele-Rosewood-Fretboard/dp/B0018TJ5XU/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1290362135&sr=8-2

Of course you are not bound to the list I provided, this is just a very small guide to get you started. Good luck with your choice and once you're efficient enough (or before you even purchase, it doesn't matter =] ) be sure to visit ukuleleundergound.com. There are great videos that teach you how to play popular songs as well as teach you some fundamentals. Check out the forums there also if you ever get stuck with a technique or any kind of issue. There are many friendly, laid back people there who are always willing to help with just about anything.

There isn't much of a learning curve when first beginning the 'ukulele. You'll probably be strumming your first song within only a few hours (probably less) of owning it. Don't be surprised if you find yourself picking up your 'ukulele more than your guitar.

If you need any further feedback or opinions, you can ask on the forum (link below) or contact me ( email in profile).

Happy strumming and good luck C:
Take care~!