Advice please!

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kellysouthpaw

Re: Advice please!

Postby kellysouthpaw » Fri Sep 18, 2009 12:12 am

The Kala/Makala line, I think are made in Hawaii. Though, I'm not exactly sure that ukulele's made in the US could be sold for your price range - so I would definitely ask. I would HIGHLY recommend buying through musicguymic on ebay. He's very reasonably priced - he restrings most of his ukes with Aquila strings (it'll say on the description of each one if it's going to be restrung with Aquilas) - he ships quickly - and he's an official Kala dealer. Again, I believe the Kala/Makala line are all made in Hawaii, but I'm not for sure. If you asked him he would definitely let you know, though...

Good luck and let us know how it goes!

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LauraK
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Re: Advice please!

Postby LauraK » Fri Sep 18, 2009 12:18 am

Look what you can get for not a lot of money:

with guitar tuners:
http://www.amazon.com/Mahalo-U-50G-Econ ... 114&sr=1-1

with friction tuners:
http://www.amazon.com/Mahalo-U-50-Econo ... pd_cp_MI_3

they come in other colors, too:
http://www.amazon.com/Mahalo-U-30LB-Pai ... 192&sr=1-2

Kala Makala:
http://www.amazon.com/Kala-MK-S-Makala- ... 299&sr=1-1

Starter:
http://www.amazon.com/Kala-Makala-Sopra ... 379&sr=1-4

There are lots...just punch in "ukulele" and you'll get loads of returns.
eBay is good, too. I got a great deal on mine there.

Good luck! :)
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Venus
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Re: Advice please!

Postby Venus » Fri Sep 18, 2009 12:36 am

Maze wrote:
seasick_sarah wrote:I managed to get into the city this morning and I bought the Mahalo U-320 Deluxe Soprano. :D I was looking at the cheaper ones but the guy told me they really are just toys and don't stay in tune. (Mock...?) Yeah, I know he's still doing his job and has to sell the more expensive one (he EVEN tried to sell me the pineapple one, though I told him I was a beginner and yada yada)...but I think it's probably true. I also bought "You Can Teach Yourself Uke". The uke and the book came with CDs...now I have to somehow smuggle them home without crushing them (my parents will probably twig that it's all Conchords-inspired, how embarrassing) and on Monday I can finally start practising!


Congrats on your new uke, Sarah. Hope that you'll be strumming like a pro in no time!

I'm really glad you started this thread because I'm thinking of getting one, too - and was a bit overwhelmed at how long the UKE threads are already here. I actually walked into a music shopthe other day in a suburb here called Evanston to check some out. Prices ranges from $65 for some beginner Mahalo's to over $1000.

    Specifically looking for one made in the US (The Maholo's were made in China and the $300+ ones were from Germany.) and priced between $65 - 100 as I'm about as green as you can get on strings, but want to make a decent investment, something I can pass on to a fellow beginner if I decide to progress further..

Any suggestions? Is purchasing online my best bet?


Okay I just did a quick google search and I found on Yahoo answers the following list of brands of ukuleles are specifically made in the US: Martin, Kamaka, Koaloha, Collings, and Kanile'a.

They may be perfectly good brands although not many of us have these types of ukuleles since most of us seem to have Mahalos or Makalas/Kalas so it's hard for us to judge whether they are any good or not, how expensive they are etc but it does help whittle down your choices. You may wish to check out websites such as http://www.ukulelehunt.com and http://www.ukuleleunderground.com for reviews of those specific brands of ukuleles and then go online see whether they are on sale. I'm not too sure where exactly to look for ukes made specifically in the US but there are some great deals online particularly eBay and Amazon. Maybe you can get in touch with sellers to make sure they are made in the US if it isn't stated? Just as Kelly said, musicguymic is a well respected eBay seller so you may wish to get into contact with him for more info on the ukes he's selling. If possible it would be also be great if you could visit stores to try out ukuleles before you buy it just as you did at a local store so you know which size works best for you etc.

Good luck with your hunt for your perfect ukulele! It's truly amazing how many forum members are purchasing ukes! :yay:
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seasick_sarah
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Re: Advice please!

Postby seasick_sarah » Fri Sep 18, 2009 12:44 am

I don't like [cue Murray voice] sending money through the Enternit :lol: so I think I'm stuck with what I can find around Melbourne. :|

Update on the first....twenty-three hours spent with the (still-unnamed) uke:

I had some issues tuning it; I could tune three strings and then I'd suddenly go pitch-deaf for the last one. First it was C that I couldn't hear, then E, then A, then C again, then A again...it probably didn't help that I was trying to play it "silently"! I didn't want my dormmates to hear and every time it made a noise I panicked a little bit. :rolls: I eventually got it sorted, but every time I put it down and pick it back up it seems to go out of tune again; first thing I do when I get home tonight will be to pinch my dad's toolbox and tighten the screws! (And try and tune it at full volume; that might help.)

I looked at Chordie, too, and fell in love. THEY HAVE CHORDS FOR EVERY SONG YOU COULD POSSIBLY IMAGINE! Now I'm trying to decide which song to learn first; I've fiddled around (quietly!) with about a dozen so far but I'm leaning towards Blue Smoke - easy and just plain gorgeous.

I'm looking forward to playing along to all my 20s music :) Someone's beaten me to the Helen Kane impersonations though! http://ukuleledisco.com/helenkane
(Plug for my vid...it namechecks everybody's favourite instrument :D http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rAi8WU58WvY)

As for the name...I've spent hours trying to convince myself that Bret is NOT a good name, but it's hard...then I thought of Little B, but seeing as it's a Mahalo, Little M might be more appropriate...?
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kellysouthpaw

Re: Advice please!

Postby kellysouthpaw » Fri Sep 18, 2009 12:47 am

haha, maybe "Medium M" if you want to go for FOTC related ;)

Also - Blue Smoke seems to be a favorite of the new WTFIUO newcomer, so good choice if you decide to learn that one. Super easy, the chord changes aren't fast at all, it's easy to sing, and the chords are easy to form (save for the D7 which is a little tougher but easy enough :)

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Venus
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Re: Advice please!

Postby Venus » Fri Sep 18, 2009 1:01 am

Yes Blue Smoke is a popular beginner's song to get you started. It was the first song I learnt because I love the song so much :D

It's so easy to jump right in and learn songs and it seems most people do. You can pick up chords, strumming patterns etc whilst learning songs so definitely make the most out of chordie.com, YouTube and all the other Internet resources available :)
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seasick_sarah
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Re: Advice please!

Postby seasick_sarah » Fri Sep 18, 2009 2:15 am

kellysouthpaw wrote:haha, maybe "Medium M" if you want to go for FOTC related ;)


I thought seeing as it's a soprano, it should be Little M. If it were a tenor, then it could be Medium M. And a baritone would be Big M! :rolls: (Big M is a brand of flavoured milk we have here in Aus.)
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kellysouthpaw

Re: Advice please!

Postby kellysouthpaw » Fri Sep 18, 2009 3:08 am

That's the fun part about getting a uke - it's all up to you what you name it! :D I like "Little M" as well!

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Maze
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Re: Advice please!

Postby Maze » Fri Sep 18, 2009 6:51 pm

You guys are the best!!! Thank you for the advice. I know this shouldn't be as hard as buying a car..somehow it's harder with all the choices out there. I feel like I'm adopting a puppy, with a name picked out and all. :lol:

I'm leaning towards getting an Oscar Schmidt concert uke. The company is based here in IL and I want to do my part to help stimulate the economy. With the domestic unemployment rates what they are, I like to support homegrown whenever possible :D

Will keep you posted with my hunt. I think it will be a long while before I'm playing tunes like the rest of you...a very long while. But you gotta start somewhere, right?
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LauraK
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Re: Advice please!

Postby LauraK » Fri Sep 18, 2009 7:02 pm

That's great, maze! It's terrific that you can go into their store to buy one. Maybe you should print off some of the deal on Amazon and/or ebay or other sites for comparison....I'm sure they'd rather get your business and be willing to deal a bit. :)

Can't wait to see/hear about what you get. :)

(I thought it would be a long while, too, Maze. remember- I'd never played an instrument before. So keep an open mind and I bet you'll surprise yourself!)
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kellysouthpaw

Re: Advice please!

Postby kellysouthpaw » Fri Sep 18, 2009 7:18 pm

Maze - you'd be amazed how quickly you pick it up :) The standard time it seems for the new uke players here on WTF is 1-3 weeks before their first YouTube video is up :D

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Maze
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Re: Advice please!

Postby Maze » Fri Sep 18, 2009 7:39 pm

Much thanks for the encouragement! That's just brilliant how quickly folks here are picking it up. No doubt this board attracts a lot of high-Q people. :D Don't be modest now!

Although the company's in-state, it's a bit of a drive, so I'll likely be purchasing online. Keep up the good work, all. I'll be looking for your expertise in the coming days!
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kellysouthpaw

Re: Advice please!

Postby kellysouthpaw » Fri Sep 18, 2009 7:42 pm

We are here for you in any way we can :cheer: Welcome to the WTFIUO!

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Maze
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Re: Advice please!

Postby Maze » Sat Sep 19, 2009 6:28 am

You're too kind! Thanks for the open invitation ~ welcome!

I've got a ukulele lovin' friend who'll be in town mid October - so I aim to get my uke before month's end. Cheers!
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Re: Advice please!

Postby Nancy » Sat Sep 19, 2009 7:45 am

Like Kelly, I HIGHLY recommend musicguymic on EBay for a US (Hawaiian) uke with Aquila strings that stays in tune. :thumb: As she said, check out all the info written below it so you know exactly what it comes with. The price is right, he ships safely and quickly, and soon a wonderful instrument will be yours.
I thought long and hard about what kind I'd get, and Oscar Schmidt was one of my first choices, until I read the consumer feedback: the one I was looking at had a defective 5th fret - the lineup was off and that made it impossible to keep it in tune, and the action was also too high. (which meant the strings were too high above the neck and needed grinding in order to play it easily) :?
I'm so glad I got Youk, and you'll be glad when you find the one for you.
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