T4W - HomeTop - Nov
Results 1 to 8 of 8
  1. #1

    Default Purchasing a Ukulele - what do I need to know?

    My children took their first ukulele lesson today at the library.
    They loved it.
    They are using loaner ukulele's from the library. However, we did not realize they are not allowed to bring them home to practice; they can only use them at the 30 minute lesson. So, the first thing the kids said when they got into the car is 'We need ukulele's!'. My first thought was it would make a great Xmas gift but they are so excited and want to play now. My son already plays electric guitar and my daughter plays acoustic guitar and piano - they practice independently without prompting so I do not mind getting another instrument. (Especially something they can play together. When they were in Montessori, they played recorder together all the time; it was great.)

    According to their teachers, they should get concert size and should be able to get something they can play for a while for ~$100.
    Any suggestions on brands or other things we should look for in a ukulele? I checked Craigslist, Guitar Center and Amazon - there are so many to choose from!
    TIA
    Starting 8th grade (our fifth year homeschooling)
    Dumplett (girl - age 13) and Wombat (boy - age 13)

  2. T4L In Forum Nov
  3. #2

    Default

    Purchasing a Ukulele - what do I need to know?
    dbsam! how exciting. are you near a costco? they carry a KALA brand concert size for around $100 with a built in tuner. an excellent ukulele for a few years. if not, the two below are really good deals and will suit the kids for a few years (they come stringed WITH the best string brand: Aquila)--I lean toward #2 but wanted you to have options. Definitely also get a "Snark" tuner (even though they come with tuners) and use it on the "chromatic" setting (it doesn't matter if there is ambient noise for tuning). If you have Prime, you cannot beat either of these deals.I wouldn't go with a Craigslist ukulele. I have bought 3 "great deals" and they just didn't work out. They sounded GREAT when the seller played them, but, once home the strings buzzed or there was a weird tone. It is such a fun instrument and there is a lot to be learned. You can go from strumming very basic songs to full-on picking entire songs. Look up Jake Shimabukuro "Bohemian Rhapsody"on youtube. Also, check out Taimane..this one is WOW. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6JX13LwnZss

    I know this wasn't part of your question... imo, you should have them learn at least some Hawaiian songs since it is a Hawaiian instrument. Henehene Kou Aka is a fun upbeat traditional. Hele on to Kaua'i is one of my faves; only 3 chords but surprisingly challenging.

    #1 https://www.amazon.com/Kala-Mahogany...oncert+ukulele

    #2 https://www.amazon.com/ask/questions...x1IK00II4DPIQ4

    I hope this helps. And, I hope I didn't overwhelm you
    Kids are so much more than a test score.
    Qualities not measured by a test: creativity, persistence, curiosity, humor, self-discipline, empathy, humility and so many more!

  4. #3

    Default

    Luv2HS,
    Thank you for all the info and links!!
    I agree that they should learn some Hawaiian songs.

    Once the sessions at the library end, they are planning to teach themselves with youtube. There are several places near us that offer ukulele lessons, if youtube doesn't work out we will look for a teacher. (but with the costs of all their other lessons; youtube sounds good to me for now Ukulele lessons in our area are a bit more expensive than guitar and piano.)
    Starting 8th grade (our fifth year homeschooling)
    Dumplett (girl - age 13) and Wombat (boy - age 13)

  5. #4

    Default

    dbsam, that was my kid's obsession this summer! We got, thru Amazon, a cheap Hola uke and a tuner and a new set of strings and it was way under $100. She prints out the strumming patterns of songs she likes and learns it that way, but there are apps for certain songs too that she uses. She LOVES the uke! and this from a kid who self-describes as unmusical. Anyway I thought this was a short-lived thing but she's still going strong.
    Eclectically homeschooling 8th grade dd, who likes science as much as art...

  6. #5

    Default

    We got a Lanikai ukulele that was recommended to us as higher end. We were living in Hawaii at the time so not sure if they are available on the mainland. We use a tuner on the iPhone. I'm sure luv2hs knows more about this than I.
    Beth
    DS14 with ASD, DD11 and DS8

  7. #6

    Default

    I have no suggestions on brands or anything, but hope your kids have fun and you get to enjoy listening to them. My daughter loves ukulele, and I love hearing her while I am working and she is off sitting in a sunny spot or curled up on the couch playing and singing.

    She had free lunch time lessons at school for 6 months to a year, and now we homeschool she goes to a weekly after school/community music program where she is in a ukulele group/orchestra. It is super cheap, only $50 for the entire year! It is also quite good for her in that it is not just kids. There are many adults in the group too, and they like to help her out with technique.

    Are there any ukulele orchestras/groups in your area where the focus is more on playing together rather than a technique lesson? That might be a cheaper way to get lessons. Even though the focus is not on technique in my daughter's group, they do still get all the teaching they need.

    Your post made me think it is maybe time I upgraded her ukulele. I just got her a Makala Dolphin to start because it was cheap and colorful.

  8. #7

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by NZ_Mama View Post

    Are there any ukulele orchestras/groups in your area where the focus is more on playing together rather than a technique lesson? That might be a cheaper way to get lessons. Even though the focus is not on technique in my daughter's group, they do still get all the teaching they need.
    I don't know but I am going to look around.
    My son, who has no friends and is not in any activities with other kids this year, mentioned he would like to join a ukulele group lesson. When he said it, I wasn't sure something like that existed. He liked playing with the group of kids at the library, but the library program is only six lessons.
    Starting 8th grade (our fifth year homeschooling)
    Dumplett (girl - age 13) and Wombat (boy - age 13)

  9. #8

    Default

    Purchasing a Ukulele - what do I need to know?
    I wanted to update this thread.

    After much indecision the kids finally got their ukulele's last week. They love them and play all the time!

    It was a difficult choice because they wanted to try them out to get the feel and hear the sound. However, our Guitar Center had a small selection and Sweetwater is a two hour drive. My son decided he wanted a soprano instead of a concert size. We purchased them online from Guitar Center so we could return them and re-buy if they didn't like them.

    Your suggestions were very helpful. My son got the Kala KA-EBY-S Ebony Soprano Ukulele Natural. I think it cost a bit more because of the look but my son is into aesthetics. My daughter got the
    Lanikai LU22CGC Concert Ukulele Natural. They both came with Aquila strings. The only negative is that neither came with a case; the ukulele's on Amazon mostly had cases but I wasn't sure how easy it would be to return to Amazon.
    We purchased a Snark tuner. The Kala came with an app that my kids like using.

    The other day I walked in the house and they were both playing using the app. It's not a great photo (they're at an age where it is difficult to take photos) but it was so nice hearing/seeing them play.
    20171108_125202.jpg
    Last edited by dbsam; 11-14-2017 at 12:43 PM.
    Starting 8th grade (our fifth year homeschooling)
    Dumplett (girl - age 13) and Wombat (boy - age 13)

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Infographics
About us

SecularHomeschool.com was created to provide information, resources, and a place to share and connect with secular homeschoolers across the world. Secularhomeschool.com aims to be your one-stop shop for all things homeschool! We will be highlighting information about wonderful secular homeschool resources, and keeping you up to date with what is going on in the world of secular homeschooling. But that is only the beginning. SHS is your playground. A place to share the things that are important to you. A place to create and join groups that share your interests. A place to give and get advice. There are no limits to what you can do at Secular Homeschool, so join today and help build the community you have always wanted.

Join us
Purchasing a Ukulele - what do I need to know?