Frequently Asked Questions
1. I play guitar, how easy is it to transfer that knowledge?
A. The ukulele GCEA tuning is the high 4 notes on a guitar with a capo behind the 5th fret. The G on most ukes is an octave higher. Which gives a different sound, but does not change your fingering for chords and scales. So…the D chord is a G, E is A, F is Bb….but all the shapes are common to you. It is different though in voicing options, and you will definitely have alot to explore!
2. What size ukulele is right for me?
A. That totally depends on the individual. The idea is to find the
ukulele that feels right for you. Try all the different sizes and see which
is the best fit for you, however if you are not able to try them out here’s
a video link to one of our YouTube videos on different ukulele sizes. Also this is a post on Choosing Your First Ukulele
3. Is there a specific age for a student to begin playing ukulele?
A. Anyone can play ukulele. Keep in mind though that every teacher is different and may have his/her own age restriction policy.
4. Is my ukulele ok to learn on?
A. As long as it’s comfortable to hold and stays in tune, you should
be good to go. But…, if you have to ask that question, you may want to look around for something nicer, if you can afford. It will be more inspiring, and give you a better shot at getting better, and it “snowballs” from there.
5. I have an ukulele, is there anything else I need to begin learning
to play ukulele?
A. Just an open mind and a willingness to learn. There are also many
books, DVDs, chord charts and other tutorials available for anyone
interested in learning. A clip on tuner helps alot. Congratulations, good luck on your ukulele
6. What are the best strings for ukulele?
A. There are many different brands of strings and each brand can have
a whole series of different sets. This comes down to one of those “Tone is
subjective…” things again. Also take into account the way the strings
feel under your fingers. The top brands are koolau, aquila, worth, and ghs.
7. I’ve seen 6 & 8 string ukuleles what’s the deal?
A. Although the standard for ukulele tends to be 4 strings, some
builders have as many as 10-12 strings for ukuleles. The 8 string ukuleles
are a doubled G C E A with the G & C strings an octave apart & the E
& A strings tuned in unison. The 6 string is tuned G double C E double A. All string sets have the double C as an octave with a higher C. This is the bell like highs that are heard in all 6 and 8 strings. Some string sets put the double A as unison and some do it as an octave. This octave on the a gives an entirely unique and sound with a low A doubling on the melody lines. The best way to really see is to come see us at the store. Book your flight!
8. Do you need a strap to hold the ukulele?
A. A strap is not necessary, however if you feel you need
one, a mandolin strap works really well if you put in strap buttons, or a few companies make one for the uke. The Souldier ones we carry are very nice and handmade in the US.
9. How much do ukuleles cost?
A. Ukuleles (I believe the plural ‘ukulele is still ‘ukulele but for all normal purposes I say ukuleles) can cost less than $20.00 or more than $2,000.00. It all
depends on the construction, materials used, brand, location of the company, etc…
I would recommend that you stay away from the $15 specials though. If you really want to learn try to spend atleast $40.
Seek out a reputable store .
10. Are the chords different on a baritone?
A. Yes. The baritone ukulele is tuned D G B E, so while the shapes of
finger-rings remain the same, the chord is actually a 4th lower, i.e. a “G” played on the baritone is a “D” chord.
11. My fingers hurt from pressing the strings, what can I do?
A. If an ukulele is not made correctly it can be extra hard to play. More often though, an ukulele that is not easy to play can be made easier. Lowering the saddle and nut slots is not something anyone can do, but we will be posting a video soon to help those willing to try. Sometimes though, it is just a matter of getting your finger tips used to that pressure. Keep in mind that over time it will not even be noticeable because you will be too enthralled in the music you are making. So keep practicing!!