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Okay beginner's uke for a 5 yr old?

katlaughing 05 Oct 08 - 05:10 PM
Stewart 05 Oct 08 - 05:23 PM
katlaughing 06 Oct 08 - 12:49 AM
Melissa 06 Oct 08 - 01:10 AM
katlaughing 06 Oct 08 - 04:44 AM
Paul Burke 06 Oct 08 - 04:53 AM
peregrina 06 Oct 08 - 05:23 AM
Mrs.Duck 06 Oct 08 - 10:36 AM
katlaughing 06 Oct 08 - 11:36 AM
catspaw49 06 Oct 08 - 01:24 PM
Melissa 06 Oct 08 - 01:34 PM
katlaughing 06 Oct 08 - 01:54 PM
Bonnie Shaljean 06 Oct 08 - 01:55 PM
Bonnie Shaljean 06 Oct 08 - 01:57 PM
Bonnie Shaljean 06 Oct 08 - 01:57 PM
Bonnie Shaljean 06 Oct 08 - 01:58 PM
Rowan 06 Oct 08 - 05:39 PM
katlaughing 06 Oct 08 - 08:07 PM
Rowan 07 Oct 08 - 05:23 PM
McGrath of Harlow 08 Oct 08 - 12:56 PM
katlaughing 08 Oct 08 - 03:25 PM
Rowan 08 Oct 08 - 05:16 PM
Rowan 08 Oct 08 - 06:02 PM
McGrath of Harlow 08 Oct 08 - 08:26 PM
katlaughing 08 Oct 08 - 11:34 PM
katlaughing 11 Oct 08 - 12:10 AM
Bonnie Shaljean 11 Oct 08 - 05:14 AM
katlaughing 17 Oct 08 - 08:04 PM
katlaughing 18 Oct 08 - 11:04 PM
katlaughing 28 Oct 08 - 10:49 PM
McGrath of Harlow 29 Oct 08 - 04:08 PM
Rowan 29 Oct 08 - 08:40 PM
katlaughing 29 Oct 08 - 10:22 PM
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Subject: Okay beginner's uke for a 5 yr old?
From: katlaughing
Date: 05 Oct 08 - 05:10 PM

I don't know much about soprano ukuleles except that they are small enough I think my grandson, Morgan, could play one. He already strums on an inexpensive baritone uke I have, but he wants to chord and his little hand just can't reach. After watching Mudcatter Francy, up close and personal at our house this week, he's really rarin' to go...wants to play guitar. So, please take a look at THESE and tell me if you think they would suffice. I don't have oodles to spend and his interest may not last, so I don't want to go crazy. His b-day is in Nov and I think this would be a neat gift.

Thanks!


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Subject: RE: Okay beginner's uke for a 5 yr old?
From: Stewart
Date: 05 Oct 08 - 05:23 PM

Look at the Fluke ukulele
It's well built, can take a lot of abuse,
sounds quite good, and relatively inexpensive.
Even some pros use it in their gigs.
I got one just to have around the house for my grandkids.

Cheers, S. in Seattle


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Subject: RE: Okay beginner's uke for a 5 yr old?
From: katlaughing
Date: 06 Oct 08 - 12:49 AM

If I were going to play it and maybe actually do a lot with it, I might look at one of those, but $195 and up is a bit too much for my budget for right now, plus those are bigger than I think he could handle, though the Flea might fit, those are too much right now, too. Thanks, though, they look like a lot of fun!


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Subject: RE: Okay beginner's uke for a 5 yr old?
From: Melissa
Date: 06 Oct 08 - 01:10 AM

Musician's Friend generally has a few ukes for under $50..


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Subject: RE: Okay beginner's uke for a 5 yr old?
From: katlaughing
Date: 06 Oct 08 - 04:44 AM

Thanks, Melissa. I didn't see any that cheap at Musician's Friend, but that did remind me of Elderly and they do have a couple for under $50. I think that will do, unless I can find one in a hock shop. I'll make some calls tomorrow.


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Subject: RE: Okay beginner's uke for a 5 yr old?
From: Paul Burke
Date: 06 Oct 08 - 04:53 AM

Whatever you get, make sure it's capable of real music, otherwise the kid could be put off for life.


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Subject: RE: Okay beginner's uke for a 5 yr old?
From: peregrina
Date: 06 Oct 08 - 05:23 AM

There was a nice article in this past Saturday's Guardian about a divorced Dad and his two young children learning to play the Uke and make music together when they were visiting him. (google ukelele + guardian family 4 October))


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Subject: RE: Okay beginner's uke for a 5 yr old?
From: Mrs.Duck
Date: 06 Oct 08 - 10:36 AM

The ad you show looks very like the ones we bought for Molly and Rowan. They are sound little instruments and play well and despite their price are certainly not 'toys'. Go for it!


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Subject: RE: Okay beginner's uke for a 5 yr old?
From: katlaughing
Date: 06 Oct 08 - 11:36 AM

Thanks, Mrs. Duck and peregrina!

Paul, thanks, that is one message on Mudcat I have always "gotten." **bg** And, actually, that is the way I grew up. He's already had a decent 1/16th fiddle, my fiddle, the decent, yet inexpensive baritone uke I've got with new strings on it, my very decent dulcimer, and various plucked psalteries, etc. so I don't think he'll go off unless he gets tired of it. I don't think there's any chance of that, either; he loves music. I think his first choice of instrument right now might be a bodhran, though!


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Subject: RE: Okay beginner's uke for a 5 yr old?
From: catspaw49
Date: 06 Oct 08 - 01:24 PM

Well.....Let's see what they have at Elderly!

The Johnson line might be okay, pretty cheap but look reasonable. backordered on all I see.

Hey! Not bad and a solid spruce top!

Cute and some NICE features! ....I really do like these for a bit more $$$

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Okay beginner's uke for a 5 yr old?
From: Melissa
Date: 06 Oct 08 - 01:34 PM

I should have thought to tell you that different spellings seem to bring up different items at musician's friend.
'ukulele' brings the biggest list--about a half dozen or so under 50.


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Subject: RE: Okay beginner's uke for a 5 yr old?
From: katlaughing
Date: 06 Oct 08 - 01:54 PM

Thanks, Spaw! Morgan would love that watermelon one!

Melissa, thanks. I had just put in "uke"...now I see some for $29.99! Not sure I'll go that cheap, but it's good to know they are available.


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Subject: RE: Okay beginner's uke for a 5 yr old?
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 06 Oct 08 - 01:55 PM

I had one when I was 4 or 5 and absolutely loved it! (Whether or not my parents did is another matter...) But hands-on experience of making music at a young age is invaluable, opening up new ways of communicating, neural pathways in the brain, exploring - the list is endless. DO by all means encourage Morgan. It's a brilliant, rewarding idea.


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Subject: RE: Okay beginner's uke for a 5 yr old?
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 06 Oct 08 - 01:57 PM

Mine was a real uke, I mean, not a toy one (though it wasn't expensive).


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Subject: RE: Okay beginner's uke for a 5 yr old?
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 06 Oct 08 - 01:57 PM

Mine was a real uke, I mean, not a toy one (though it wasn't expensive).


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Subject: RE: Okay beginner's uke for a 5 yr old?
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 06 Oct 08 - 01:58 PM

Is there an echo in here? ( echo in here... echo in here... )


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Subject: RE: Okay beginner's uke for a 5 yr old?
From: Rowan
Date: 06 Oct 08 - 05:39 PM

The soprano ukeleles in Kat's link are probably the same as the ones sold in Oz for $25 Australian. The ones here come in a wider variety of colours and have a nylon bag that's the same colour as the instrument.

At the 2007 National Folk Festival, I ran into Mike Jackson, with whom I'd sung and played for several years, quite a few years ago; for much of the time since the late 1970s he's specialised in performances to and with children. At the National, Mike was about to do a ukelele workshop and he had two cartons of these soprano ukeleles, each labelled with a set of circular Avery "dot" stickers of different colours; one was on the back of the neck marking the thumb position and the rest were under various strings. He was also selling those clip-on tuners.

In the half hour or so before the workshop he sold about 30 instruments (including one to my daughter #2, a red hot recorder player) and we all went upstairs to the venue. I've always been rather impressed by Mike's ability to work a crowd but I was truly gobsmacked when, in 10 minutes flat, he'd got all the instruments in the room tuned (some people already had their own they'd brought to Canberra), he'd explained the functions of the strings, frets and dots (particular colours for particular fingers), how to strum and sing, and had them all singing and strumming to a song. In tune. And in only ten minutes! By the end of the workshop everyone had played at least fours songs, with increasing complexity of rhythms and chord progressions.

Daughter #2's ukelele has been on school camps. sleepovers and all sorts of things I'm not supposed to know about. Daughter #1 (a rather good piano player) intends taking one to Europe when she goes there in a couple of years' time.

That model ukelele is robust, a proper instrument capable of reasonably good musicality and unlikely to break anyone's budget. It could only inspire a kid to greater heights.

Go for it Kat!

Cheers, Rowan


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Subject: RE: Okay beginner's uke for a 5 yr old?
From: katlaughing
Date: 06 Oct 08 - 08:07 PM

That's so kewl, Rowan! Thanks.

I decided to buy local. We went to the "instramemp" store, as Morgan calls it, and ordered a $30 HiLo soprano uke. Oh, and thanks to Dr. Mark, long time Mudcat member who used to live in Hawaii, Morgan is learning to pronounce it "oo-koo-lay-lay."

Thanks, everyone!


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Subject: RE: Okay beginner's uke for a 5 yr old?
From: Rowan
Date: 07 Oct 08 - 05:23 PM

That's so kewl

Shades of Daughter #1! Kat, you may be deliberately playing on your knowledge of Ozspeak but, in case your comment was a happy accident, I'll pass the info on.

The differences between Oz regions and their pronunciations of "English" are not as great as in the US but there are some. In NSW generally (and Sydney particularly) my ear hears "school" pronounced "skewl" A while ago I was having a discussion on this with Daughter #1 (born in northern NSW and having lived here for all of her life) and mentioned that, in Melbourne (where both her parents were brought up) "it was coool to say 'school'".

Her immediate response was to say "Well, Dad. here it's kewl to say 'skewl'".

Where would we be without adolescence?

Have fun with that "Flea dance", Kat.

Cheers, Rowan


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Subject: RE: Okay beginner's uke for a 5 yr old?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 08 Oct 08 - 12:56 PM

Cheap ukes can be just fine. The ones Mike Jackson (not to be confused with another well known performer with a similar name!!) was passing around at Broadstairs were great little instruments, and they don't come any cheaper. And good and strong as well, which is also pretty important.

Sometimes the friction tuners are tricky to use, but it's the simplest thing in the world to get some machine tuners and put them on instead. I did that recently with these, and it's made life a lot easier.


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Subject: RE: Okay beginner's uke for a 5 yr old?
From: katlaughing
Date: 08 Oct 08 - 03:25 PM

Thanks, McGrath, esp. for the links. With the rate of exchange, Jackson's would probably be about the same as the one I am buying locally, but I will keep them in mind.

Rowan, I really, really like playing around with spellings and trying to write in the vernacular. I think I used "kewl" the first time, on Mudcat, years ago and didn't know, until now, that it was common in parts of Oz! That's so kewl!**bg** I just love language and how it is used, so I am always looking and paying attention. Thanks for adding to my *library*. (I was egotistical enough to think my spelling was the first time in our realm...then I found out it is a common spelling among the young online! Go figure, eh? LOL


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Subject: RE: Okay beginner's uke for a 5 yr old?
From: Rowan
Date: 08 Oct 08 - 05:16 PM

I'd not known of that link, McGrath. Thanks. The piccie would indicate that the aging process has treated Jackson more kindly than it has treated me; I've just received a request to play at being Santa (red clobber and all) in the lead-up to Christmas that used to be called Advent.

Cheers, Rowan


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Subject: RE: Okay beginner's uke for a 5 yr old?
From: Rowan
Date: 08 Oct 08 - 06:02 PM

Well, Kat, I guess you'd appreciate books like "Let stalk Strine" by Afferbeck Lauder; its a great repository of Strine, the version of English used by Oz ockers. And Dan Harmon wrote a series of short stories in the argot of the coastal communities of South Carolina; I wish I could remember the name of it.

Have fun.

Cheers, Rowan


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Subject: RE: Okay beginner's uke for a 5 yr old?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 08 Oct 08 - 08:26 PM

Well, he's wearing a bit, as we all are but he definitely isn't slowing down. He's remarkable. Here's a page I found featuring him and his ukeleles - and the picture of the kids watching him is especially worth seeing.


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Subject: RE: Okay beginner's uke for a 5 yr old?
From: katlaughing
Date: 08 Oct 08 - 11:34 PM

McGrath, thanks for that. That is so neat! I think I'll put some dots on for Morgan so he knows where the chords are.


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Subject: RE: Okay beginner's uke for a 5 yr old?
From: katlaughing
Date: 11 Oct 08 - 12:10 AM

I'll post a picture in a day or two, but Morgan's uke came in today. Oh, boy, was he excited and went to town as soon as we got in the car. He was strumming it, up and down, drumming along the edges, and even made up a couple of songs for me. He sounded great...made my heart sing. The songs sounded a little like twinkle, twinkle, and something about "I don't know." Ya know when you are with someone you really love and are close to, you're doing something really fun and special that you both enjoy and suddenly you look at each other and there is a feeling of things being SO right, just perfect in that moment? We had one of those when he was singing his song to me in the car, today. Just an instant where we looked at each other, smiled, then laughed with the sheer joy of it. What a wonderful feeling! This kid is something special to me!

Anyway, thought you all might like to know...it's a keeper!


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Subject: RE: Okay beginner's uke for a 5 yr old?
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 11 Oct 08 - 05:14 AM

Oh Kat, that is so brilliant. A real day-brightener in these horrible times - thanks so much for the ray of sunlight. (Thanks also to Kevin for the Mike Jackson links. I'd not heard of him and his valuable work. Lucky kids that get to see him.)

Be sure to keep us posted as to Morgan's music & progress -

B    xxx


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Subject: RE: Okay beginner's uke for a 5 yr old?
From: katlaughing
Date: 17 Oct 08 - 08:04 PM

Thanks, again, folks! Hot off the press, well the digital camera really, here's a first take on strumming technique. He's had a lot of practice in his almost five short years, on my baritone uke, so this was not entirely new, but he is a bold one, as he was on the fiddle, too. I've been trying to get him to play a C Chord, but he wants to place his fingers a lot lower, maybe getting used to the smaller fretboard, and doesn't want to use his ring finger, instead "pointer." We sang Row your boat and also Skip to my lou with "Mama" playing her uke and actually getting two chords down. (Amazing what I can remember from my childhood!)

Anyhoo, in the video, he has a feather stuck behind his ear, my pick bag over his shoulder, and wanted to know how he "looked" so I said get the camera and I will show you. Thanks for letting me share. I now have been told I need to buy another one, for him to keep at home!:-)


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Subject: RE: Okay beginner's uke for a 5 yr old?
From: katlaughing
Date: 18 Oct 08 - 11:04 PM

refresh for some friends


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Subject: RE: Okay beginner's uke for a 5 yr old?
From: katlaughing
Date: 28 Oct 08 - 10:49 PM

Finally got him to slow down enough to learn the C chord, today and he kind of got G. He was very proud of his first "lesson!" SO was grandma!


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Subject: RE: Okay beginner's uke for a 5 yr old?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 29 Oct 08 - 04:08 PM

Going well!   And I'm glad to see you got Morgan a uke with geared tuners, because that makes all the difference to keeping it tuned right, and giving a nice clean sound like he got there.

I hope you keep a video diary of him as he progresses, and maybe share it with us, proud grandmother!


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Subject: RE: Okay beginner's uke for a 5 yr old?
From: Rowan
Date: 29 Oct 08 - 08:40 PM

Good one, Kat!

Keep it up.

Cheers, Rowan


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Subject: RE: Okay beginner's uke for a 5 yr old?
From: katlaughing
Date: 29 Oct 08 - 10:22 PM

Thanks, McGrath and Rowan! McGrath, you bet I will!:-)


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