This is all you need to know about buying a ukulele in Singapore! Ok, not really all but just enough for you before you buy one! If you’ve read previous posts or adventures, you know I play the ukulele and stuff and since a lot of people have asked me about it. This is what you should know before buying a ukulele!
- A ukulele is not a guitar
This might sound stupid but yes. Before you buy that ukulele, you need to know it’s not a guitar. It comes with four strings. The tuning is GCEA. The first string when you strum downwards will sound high then it goes low, higher and highest once more. Yes, it is supposed to sound that way. If you want it to sound “guitarish” or more mellow, you can change your G string to a low G string. It’s actually called that, ask for a ukulele low G string.
- Strings are not fishing wires
Unlike toys, the strings aren’t fishing wires. Some people do not see the difference but there is and it’ll sound weird or that you’ve been ripped off if it’s not proper strings.
In any case, if you think you have sucky strings, buy Aquila nylgut strings. I use those and they sound great! There’s black fluro carbon ones too and they sound mellower and more chill. You might think of using guitar strings (I saw a person doing that at a certain music store and I was appalled) on your ukulele… Just don’t. There’s no point in getting a ukulele then.
- Beware of imitations
Ok. There are imitation ukuleles for some reason. I’m going to spend more time in telling you this before you purchase your ukulele. Now, if you saw my first picture, the first is a TGM ukulele costing around $38, the second is a white Mahalo around $18 and the third is a $335 jazz cutaway Eleuke (electric ukulele). Remember that first.
This one here is an $89 Makala ukulele (available at Ukulele Movement)
Now here’s the story.
Apparently music shops are stocking up on imitation ukuleles. Now, I’m one who goes woooo on cheaptastic ukuleles, I have a range of them anyway. My TGM ukulele is considered a cheap good one because it didn’t go out of tune that fast and while the wood is some cheap wood and when I bought it, the glue was still pretty fresh and strong, it was worth the money for it.
It was an original SIMPLE design. I eventually changed the strings so it ended up being the price of like a good range Makala like the $89 that I stated above here.
Anywho, now music stores are bringing in MAKANA. No. It’s not a typo. The design and stickers and all look like a Makala but the wood is of lower quality and the strings too…
But get this.
A Makana costs $89.
A Makala (original) costs $89 AND it comes with a padded gigbag.
If people want to bring in imitations, I’m like “Ok, whatever maybe it’s cheaper” but no. It’s the same price (and even more expensive for some) than the originals and you don’t get a proper gigbag along with it?!
There’s no point in buying the imitations. It’s not even just Makanas now, there are designs that copy other proper brands like Anueanue. Heck, now TGM sells more expensive ukuleles which are imitation designs. They’ve stopped with their simple ones, I guess cause everyone wants a ukulele now.
So beware of imitations since they’re rampant.
EDIT: As of 31 August 2012, MAKANA and TGM have stepped up! Their constructions are now pretty good PLUS, the newer ones now have tags stating what it is made of and use Aquila strings too. Be sure it’s the newer ones that you’re buying with all the info about it.
- Overpriced branded ukuleles
I can appreciate expensive ukuleles since I know what the craftmanship or sound is like but there are some ukuleles that are too expensive and I can’t see what’s the point of it. For example, there are ukuleles from obscure brands costing $700 and I’m like “What is this junk?”.
A fact, without naming any names
Fender. A good guitar company can make very awesome guitars but they won’t ever match the skill of an established ukulele company. Sure, their ukuleles will sound ok but the price is more expensive than what it should be. In short, you’re just paying for the brand name.
- Super cheap ukuleles
My $18 Mahalo goes out of tune REALLY REALLY fast. You get what you pay for. (FYI, I bought that one cause I wanted to draw on it. I haven’t done it yet still.)
If you just want something to decorate your room or an instrument that you know your kid or someone will not play that often before they lose interest, buy a cheaptastic one.
If you really want to play something good without being frustrated at the notes going out of tune after strumming a few times, don’t buy it. Unless you’re really lucky, the cheap ones aren’t worth it in the long run.
- The ukulele you should be buying
It may be just a ukulele but you should just do a little check on the brand name if you’re going to music stores that aren’t specialized in ukuleles in the first place. (They just stocked up due to the trend.)
Alright, to pick a ukulele to buy would be going to proper ones like Ukulele Movement! I’m not sponsored by them, it’s just that they’re the only one that brings in a lot of models and brands that aren’t rip offs.
There’s also Maestro at *Scape or Davis Guitar at Peninsula Plaza basement. They bring in the proper cheap ukuleles though, not imitations.
Note: Those two shops only bring in the basics, novelty types but not higher grade ukuleles.
So yes, the safest bet is to buy your ukulele at Ukulele Movement if you’re in Singapore and have no idea what a good uke is. The staff are good and will help you if you tell them your budget!
If you want to pick yourself here are stuff to consider:
Soprano, Concert, Tenor or Baritone
Soprano is the usual small one you see on TV or what people play on. Concert just has more frets and better for those with big fingers. Tenor can be tuned like the baritone and the baritone is tuned to DGBE which sounds most to a guitar since it’s lower. Try strumming a soprano and concert and see which feels better for you.
Cuteness of a ukulele
Seriously. The cuteness. Or at least the look and feel of it. There have been so many times that a friend buys a cheaptastic ukulele only to want a better one which sounds and looks much better. Just go for it man. Buy the one that you actually would like. You might want to justify saying, “I’ll get that one once I’m good with this one”. No, no. Just go with the one you want. Save up your monies for it.
Location of where you’re playing it
Will you ever play it with a band, a concert or some outdoor place to show off? If yes, you should consider getting an electric acoustic ukulele or a pure electric ukulele.
Yes, those exists. I have one. Put distortion pedals and plug it to an amp and it can sound like this:
Eleuke + Pod Studio GX! by sarahcoldheart
Meanwhile, a normal acoustic one is fun to have around since you don’t need an amp. It will cost cheaper than ones you can plug in. Or well, you can always put a microphone near your ukulele anyway.
Of course, you must have your budget. If you do buy good ones, you can resell them if you want to upgrade! You can’t do that with the cheap ones.
Yep, so that’s that! There’s accessories and books and stuff but eh, you can learn how to play the ukulele from youtube too! For more advanced techniques, you should get a book or buy a DVD though since they’ll be more than just basics.
EDIT: 30 July 2012 – New post on where to buy a ukulele in Singapore!
EDIT: 27 May 2013 – A visual guide on how to TEST your ukulele for buying if you’re a newbie.
523 thoughts on “Buying a ukulele in Singapore”
Eh… a stupid question here… i know there are classical guitar with nylon strings and acoustic guitar with metal strings, for ukulele, as a beginner, which type of strings shall i buy?
Not a stupid question! Ukuleles should come with nylon ones. It should only be nylon. The only metal ones for uke are some models of electric ukuleles.
Hi, I know there’s a makala coloured ukulele and the normal soprano makala ukulele. Other than the color and the dolphin bridge, what is the difference? Because the coloured ones are $69 and the normal one is $89. Which is better to get?
Hi! Sorry to take up your time but may i ask if you know if singapore sells the Lanikai LU-21 Ukulele? (:
If yes, where would you recommend me to get it? Around how much would it be?
Thanks so much! Loved your review (:
@Mel I also tried to find Lanikai LU-21, but to no avail. But….
Guitar 77, with Lanikai FM (Flame maple) series
5 Coleman Street,Excelsior Shopping Centre,#B1-15, S(179805)
Tel +65 6338 7707
Fax +65 6338 6676
@Mel : just found LU-21C pricing S$135 at Sonare Music School (Compass Point)
To Athos: Wow! Okay, thanks so much, will check it out! (:
To Sarah: Where did you buy the Mahalo at $18. I’d like to get it for a friend’s bday (:
Wow! Didn’t see the comments here! AHhh let me reply to you guys.
The $18 was at Davis guitar, basement of Peninsula plaza but I don’t think you can get it at that price any more, all of them are like $38 nowadays.
CURRENTLY as of 22 May 2012, I saw a plain one at the cheap range price at Funan. Christofori music store. So you can check there too.
On coloured Makala and the diff between the dolphin bridge, just check the tuning pegs and materials. Usually the $89 is using just a bit better quality wood but hey if you LISTEN and don’t find a difference to you, pick whichever you want! It’s not much of a diff between the two.(Unless you change your strings.)
Just make sure the tuning pegs between the two won’t “untune” itself that easily.
On Lanikai LU-21, :c I haven’t seen any around the stores.
Hi all I’m looking to let my baritone Lanikai LU21B @$250 (neg) so if anyone is interested please email me firstname.lastname@example.org
Its brand new 2 Weeks old just shipped over from states last month. Reason for selling is my gf got me another ukelele as a gift and I don see the point of having 2 baritones as 1 will be under utilise. kindly email me with contact and I will call u. Thanks
Hello Sarah, or anyone, do you know any place in Singapore that sells decent ukulele in light turquoise color? Visited Peninsula and none of them are selling, one store offered to custom paint it but apparently they couldn’t find the paint in that color.
Sorry forgot to say thanks 🙂
Hmm, I might have seen one at Maestro in *Scape but I don’t know if they have it for SURE. It is quite a difficult colour to find, unfortunately. If anything, I think you’ll have to mix paints to get that particular shade for a ukulele.
After watching videos n reading your post, my 8yrs old daugther keep on asking me on getting her 1. Anything you would like to advise further on getting cheap n gd ones. Tq
Heh, get her one of the cute designs. There’s cartoon ones like Angry birds, Simpsons etc, they’re good enough to play for an 8 year old. You don’t need the more higher average ones, it is good enough to play just not so “advanced” to play in large concerts and won’t be as expensive.
Any music store would have it but if you’re in “town” area, Peninsula Plaza in City Hall, the basement or ANY of the guitar stores will have it. The shop looks crowded but you can see them hanging on the ceiling if you check out Davis Guitar.
If you’re in the west, Bukit Timah Plaza there’s a music shop in basement 2. If in east, I’m not sure since I usually just go to city hall for more design/range. Yamaha stores would have but that’s more for convenience if you have one near your area, their prices will be more cause it’ll be the average higher end designs.
If she likes colourful ukuleles, there’s Maestro guitars selling ukuleles at *Scape building at Orchard road, near Somerset. That one would be better quality than the Angry Birds etc type.
Hope that helps!
My 8-year old wants a ukulele. Her 14-year old cousin told her that she can watch utube and learn to play, rather than going for proper lessons. Is that possible?! And I actually saw an albert ukulele for sale at Cristofori Music school. It comes with a CD and a music book for S$69. Is this one any good? Appreciate your feedback. Thanks!
It’s possible to learn from youtube! All the basics are there.
I learned from youtube but bought a music book for advanced strumming and when I mean advanced strumming, it’s the one usually used in more blue-sy/classical songs.
If there’s someone to guide your child in watching the youtube videos, it’ll be fine. It depends if your child usually does better in learning from teachers or is independent to practice on their own.
The Cristofori package is okay, the music book will probably give you some songs your 8 year old can practice too! It’s actually quite affordable since it gives you the basics.
It’ll be more convenient for you since you won’t have to print song scores from the internet and if it comes with the CD, your child won’t need to be on youtube to find the links. The ukulele is not bad, it’s just not super woah but with everything provided, it’s good enough until your 8 year old grows up and then you can invest in a more professional ukulele if your child wants to perform in school concerts etc.
Hey! I recently found this brand of Ukuleles – ‘Prillante’. It’s a Singaporean based brand (though the ukuleles are made in China). They’re probably one of those making the cartoon ukuleles that you mentioned as I’ve seen them.
They also make higher grade ukuleles but I am not too sure about the quality. Went to try them out today and the sound seems alright for a tenor Uke (priced at $135 but there’s another 15% discount this month) but I’ve yet to make a comparison. The strings are ‘Black-nylon’ and I’m not too sure if that is actually nylgut or the black-fluoro-carbon or something else entirely.
Would you suggest I get one of these? Or to go for a makala instead? I’m looking for a tenor Uke as I prefer a slightly deeper tone.
Hello, may i know where have sell Makala Ukulele? Does Maestro at scape sell it? And what the price range? 😀
I can’t remember if Maestro sells Makalas because Maestro also sells their own brand of ukuleles! The usual price of a Makala is around $74 though, they’re the “easiest” to find around in music stores since they’re cheap beginner entry ones. I’d always recommend going to Ukulele Movement cause they’re actually the regional distributors for most of the good brand ukuleles. PLUS, you can try out any of the ukuleles there first before buying, even the super fancy ones.
Sounds like an okay price if including the discount! Do you like the tone at least? Cause you might as well go for that if it sounds good to you and if you like the design. The constructions all okay? Strings are always replaceable if you want to change them anyway, no worries on that.
The only thing would be just to know what wood is it, the Makala is made of rosewood and mahogany and it’s stated there when you check it but what’s the one you saw? Good quality wood will age and if you do intend to keep your ukulele for a long time, the sound can sound sweeter/mellower depending on the wood! But if you don’t care about that, just get the one you saw cause it’ll still last you for a long while if you keep it in good condition!
I’ve not heard the tone for that one before but I have for a Makala and it reaaaally is nice when I tested it out in the shop. My friend bought it since I’m more of a soprano kind of girl.
You should just test out the Makala first in case you do get fond of it instead since it’s only twenty or so dollars more than the $135.
The tone seems fine for me! Did not really inspect the construction yet but it does feel pretty okay too. The ones I saw were made of Cedar&Rosewood and Sapele&Sapele if I remember correctly, and both are the same price. They did not specify which type of Cedar or Rosewood so about that I am not too sure.
Hmm yeaa I intend to test out the Makala first. After all it does come with a good set of strings! Probably gonna go down next week once i’m back from my holiday. Thanks for the advice! =D
Hey Sarah I thought buying a ukulele was very cheap and a piece of cake but I wouldn’t imagine of so many things to consider in the process of buying. I was very ready to buy those cheap $50- ones somewhere at *Scape. I finally did some research and was very interested in the Kala mahogany soprano model KA-S sold at ukelele movement(saw it online) but it was like $159 and I’m only a beginner! Should I buy it? Or is there any recommendations/suggestions that you could provide me? I’m only a beginner but I hope I could play it for a couple of years but unlike those hardcore ones, until I’m sick of it. Well my budget is $100 but I don’t want it to lose quality too soon.
(P.S I don’t wanna look like a total idiot at the shop so… I came to you 😀 )
Woaaah! Hahah if you have a budget of $100 you can get the $80+ or $70++ ones from Ukulele Movement! They would have the beginner ones AND a very good gigbag included with your purchase. Try it at the store instead cause they have more than the online listings.
It would be like the $50+ ones you saw like Scape but with better strings, said gigbag AND if there was anything wrong or you need your uke fixed for some reason, the staff there will help you because it will be within warranty (they have a dedicated fixing place at the shop).
Yeah, just go to the shop, tell them your budget. Also, while you are there, go test out those out of your budget while you can so you can feel the difference. Hahahah. Just REMEMBER your budget, you might get carried away to get the more expensive ones. Oh! If you DO buy the more expensive ones, you can still sell them if you keep in good condition after a few years.
Hi, do u know of any good ukulele teacher? I had lessons but the school/teacher taught almost randomly and only focus on songs. Like 2-3songs per hour so I don think its very good. I hope to find more structure syllabus to master the instrument.and I have is UM books, kinda basic for me. And I don’t do very with YouTube learning. Thanks.
Not sure of any good ukulele teacher cause I learned via youtube and mainly the DVDs,the one by Stephen Sproat has more advanced techniques but he’ll build from the basics up. Oh and workshops by UM too when they bring James Hill over.
I know UM has their private lessons too but you’ve already the books, I think you might have to ask them for the advanced lessons if you want. There is also Play By Ear school but from their syllabus they posted online, it is theory and basic like what the UM books are. Yamaha is teaching ukulele nowadays too and would also start from the bottom up with theory etc.
I think it depends on what you want to learn? How do you want to master it and to what level of competency? The strumming techniques, chords or something else? Yamaha, Christofori etc if you want music certificates etc, all other schools or private lessons if you want to focus on specific things.
where can i buy Kala Archtop Ukulele in singapore? pls reply asap thanks!!!!!
No idea. Perhaps others would know since I don’t have a shop catalogues on it.
For those that are still searching for a ukulele and have no clue which to get, I got the dolphin soprano from ukulele movement. It is a good beginner ukulele and you have a few colors to choose from (mine’s green). The only thing about it, the strings need some “stretching” before it produces its optimum pitch, achievable from about a week of playing and tunning. Cheers.
I’m looking for a 2nd ukulele already cause I realise my fingers can’t fit in when I play certain chords. I need a tenor or concert.
@Mel and athos
Can you feedback on Lanikai ukulele that you might have bought? I saw those online, looks good, almost bought them but still have not decided.
Hey babe 🙂
Did you get the white ukelele at SGD $18 yeah ? Is it still the same price? If you dont mind can help me check for me ? ;3
And what is the name of the shop in the Penisula Plaza ?
Not gonna be in the area. So can’t check. Also, like stated in the comments and in the post, Davis guitar! Don’t know if it’ll be $18 since that’s so long ago.
Hi,is it better for a beginner to learn from the local ukulele schools in Singapore rather than self-taught from You-tube or DVDs? What are the chances of doing it wrong and being not able to undo it. Considering that I am a retiree and my fingers are not so nimble, what reasonably priced ukulele (which includes electronic tuner and bag) do you recommend for a beginner. Thanks.
The chances of doing it wrong on the ukulele learning from youtube or DVD is not high. Especially if you buy DVDs that teach you the proper methods (I learned via DVDs). In any case, if you have time, it’s funner for you to learn from a ukulele school then since you’ll meet others and can interact with the teacher and other students.
The pro point for DVDs (it’s easier in the long run if you buy one instead of youtube if you want ALL the basics+extra methods) is that you can practice any time you want and even play it slower for some of the lessons since it might be a feature in the DVD. The con would be, well, you’ll be practicing on your own so you have to be motivated!
The pro point for a school is that you’ll have a teacher or depending on your school, they’ll include a ukulele+tuner+bag package for you with the lessons. The con is that the school lessons might get filled up soon so you have to check if there’s any availability with any of the schools near your location fast. Ukulele is quite popular!
I suggest that you get a concert sized ukulele or a tenor since their frets are bigger for you to use since the soprano sized ones are quite small. It’s “easier” since you won’t have to squish your fingers when playing.
For that, you should actually go to Ukulele Movement ( http://ukulelemovement.com/ ) at Kampung Bugis because all other music stores will generally sell sopranos.
UM has a larger range and it’s definite that you can find one there instead of hunting around other music stores unless they’ve stated it or if you’ve called them up.
Good concerts or tenors are around $100+ range but it WILL include a padded gigbag (and warranty if anything happens within stated time frame by the shop). A tuner can be bought from the store or any music store since that’s easily found, the range for a good one you can clip is around $20.
Song books are around $20-$40 range depending on compilations in case you’re interested to buy them since some of them have a lot of songs and are really thick.
OH! I reccomend you buy a small book of chords for reference. My personal fav is the Hal Leonard Ukulele Chord Finder. It’s small enough to pack into your gig bag somewhere and it has all the alternate chord fingers that you might want to check up on.
So what you should get besides either a DVD to learn from or a school is:
– Ukulele + gig bag
– Chord finder book
– Bonus if you want to buy: Song books or tabs you find online (schools will give some scores during the lessons too)
Just a correction. Maestro Guitars handcrafts its own ukuleles. Aside from entry-level ukuleles, they have high-end ukuleles that are far better than other brands.
My stand is, why buy from a retailer when you can buy directly from a maker, the one that really knows the instrument.
Thanks for the advice. I dropped by UM today to enquire. The price for a concert ukulele that they quoted was around $200. I think it is a Makala (made in China) and I thought it is a little pricey. What is the brand of the ukulele costing around $100 that you recommended? Is it advisable to buy online?
Yep Maestro makes their own ukes too! But the one at scape brings in the budget brands besides their own, that is what I meant also, somehow they market the other brands more somehow at that branch.
Ehhh, that’s strange. Unless they’ve sold out the stock for this model of Makala concert: http://ukulelemovement.com/makala/78-makala-concert That one is $126 and there are some that price range too. Heh, did you sound like a pro when asking them about ukuleles? Cause they might think you’re looking for a higher quality one or that really, they’re out of stock.
You can email them if they have the above model or call them up to double check when the next shipment comes in then cause for cheaper models, they run out faster since everyone wants them.
Otherwise, you can check http://www.facebook.com/MaestroGuitars BUT you need to call them since I don’t know their price and which branch would sell concerts.
Buying online is ok but with shipment cost and time, you should just double check with UM if their next shipment would be soon if they’ve sold out that model. (One trick is to just find the price range/type you want on their webby and then email them to check if you can reserve/double check the price.)
It’s a bit hard to find cheap concert sized ukuleles in shops since it is given that you’re going to be “pro” and play in a concert or something.
I am certain I didn’t sound like a pro. It is possible that I look like a rich retiree but I did mention that I walked all the way in from the bus stop.
Anyway, I am getting a feel of the range of ukuleles … Amazon markets Makala MK-S for US$47.00 OK, with shipping etc it would be close to UM’s SGD 89. UM’s Makala MK-C is SGD 126 (length is a decent 62 cm). Any idea on the length of MK-S? Also, why is soprano cheaper? I guess I will have to drop by UM again for clarification on the “SGD 200” model.
No idea on the length unless stated on the page. Soprano cheaper since less wood? Hahah depending on model though it really is the mix of the wood used. Concerts would logically have fancier construction with the frets, tuning pegs, strings, etc cause it’s already for “pro” playing even if entry models.
It’s like the assumption that if you’re buying a concert one, you might be buying because you want more frets and thus will be playing songs that can use them eg, classical music so luthiers want to make sure it will definitely sound good for what you pay.
For any brand, the sopranos tend to be cheaper since there are a variety of grades of it. Kinda like, if you just want to play for fun and know you won’t remember about it after a month, it’ll be obvious the super cheap ukuleles are catered to kids or people like that. There are really expensive sopranos though so it really depends on the grade of wood and if it’s made custom by luthiers.
Just check the tag on the soprano and concert to see what they’re made of!
Apparently, UM’s “$200” Uke is a Kala costing about $213. Sorry, mistook that for a Makala. UM’s Makala soprano is now $96 (not $89)and Makala concert is S$126 both inclusive of GST. I am still shopping around and have narrowed down to Makala and Lanikai. What is Dolphin Bridge ukulele? (Couldn’t find an answer in Google)
Ohh, haha that makes more sense! Kala’s a higher grade than the Makala.
Dolphin bridge ukulele as stated by Justin in comments is just a ukulele with a dolphin bridge! Nothing fancy, it’s just got the bridge part in the shape of a dolphin, you might have seen it in the store if you looked around, it’s one of the basic ukulele designs just for prettiness.
I’m looking for the Kamoa Victor King Signature Series Concert. Does anyone know if any shop carry it in Singapore? If not I would have to buy it from Kamoa’s website, and I’m quite worried that the ukulele would be chipped in the process of shipping…
I think you might have to buy it online. A signature series concert like that you’ll have to order direct from the makers. So far, I haven’t seen that brand around here.
Yeah probably then. Parents don’t believe that shops in Singapore don’t hold it though, so I’ll have to convince them that it’s only available online. Thanks for all the help 🙂
I’ll just pray nothing happens to it when it’s in shipping…
Hi Sarah, there’s a school that provides a “Red Dot” concert ukulele for beginners’ lessons. Any idea what make this is and whether it is comparable to brands like Makala?
No idea what a red dot ukulele is. Probably the school sourced some average good enough ukuleles that aren’t too expensive for students. So can’t help you in knowing a comparison. I haven’t of the brand before. You’ll have to ask them for details.
Hi Sarah, do you know of any good Ukulele instructors who can teach a group? I am looking for one.
If you do, please recommend me by email or reply.
I’ll email the same comment here just in case you don’t see my reply.
At the moment, I know it’s only Ukulele Movement who teaches well in a group since I’ve been to their events or workshops. Not sure of other schools. If others have any recommendations, go ahead and comment here too!
Hi sarah. i want to pick up ukulele and came upon this site and find it very informative. thanks a lot for sharing!
anyway, i saw this very beautiful ukulele: http://www.svguitars.com/puka-pk-dpc-dolphin-concert-ukulele/ do you think it is ok for a beginner like me? or should i stick with makala concert? i have fat fingers btw.
thanks a lot!
Won’t make a diff! Get this one if you think it is cuter than the Makala concert cause it states the description there and the strings are good along with the wood etc too! Just check it in real life that there are no defects on it. They are both concerts and pretty much have the similar spacing for frets.
It IS pretty nice looking. Hahaha, too bad no soprano version or else I’d want one.
hahaha tks for advice sarah! i shall get this instead! they have the soprano version here http://pukanalaukulele.com/puka/pukanala-ukulele-special-edition/puka-ukulele-special-design-rosette-design
but not sure if is available in singapore! cheers!
where did you buy your mahalo in singapore? is it that cheap? i want to learn the uke, but is mahalo or makala better?
Hello! When I bought it, it was super cheap cause that model is a crap model that goes out of tune fast. I got it more for decoration.
Mahalo and Makala are ok. I am biased more towards Makala for beginners because it has more designs and colours! Just don’t buy the super cheap Mahalo unless you are lucky, sometimes the tuning goes out very fast cause of the tuning pegs. The more better quality Mahalos don’t do that.
You can buy them either at Ukulele Movement as stated in the post, Davis Guitar at Peninsula Plaza basement 1 unit 40-41 or SV Guitars, peninsula plaza basement, somewhere around there too. They have different brands in all the different stores.
Any tips on buying a good ukulele strap?
Heh. Just try it before you buy! If you are buying an official uke strap, the type that hooks from the hole of your uke, you should note it does not work with pineapple or odd shaped ukes. Otherwise, have fun if any random strap!
You might need to tie a string around it if your uke doesn’t have attachments for straps.
By the way, did you eventually buy a ukulele?
OK, against your advice (horrors I forgot about it!), I bought a Makana concert with Acquila strings. Actually, I was talked into buying it when I already had “Makala” in mind. Suddenly, the names, Mahala, Makala and Makana, all sounded the same to me. But I was assured that the Makana sound quality is definitely better.
I joined a church group which just started giving lessons for pure beginners and even those who have been playing for more than two years also attend to give a helping hand. Well, the seasoned players thought that my Makana uke looked nice,unique and sounded good. I suppose time will tell whether the parts will fall to pieces. Changing chords is a real challenge and I think a strap will help. Now, I am wondering whether I should have the uke drilled to have a button screwed onto it. I am not concerned about resale value but whether the sound quality will be affected.
I doubt it’ll fall to pieces that soon! Good thing it’s Aquila strings though since that’s pretty good.
But yes since you bought a concert (yes?), a strap should help since it’s bigger than a soprano. On the button screwed bit, I wouldn’t know cause it depends on who is doing it. And well, you’d know your ukulele’s “characteristics” more when you keep on playing to see if it can be drilled. It should be fine though. And hurray for you! Hope you enjoy your playing with your church group. Happy playing!
I just recently got interested in the ukulele and am thinking of getting one for myself.
Thing is, Im not really sure what type of ukulele and brand would suit me. Based on the size, i prefer the concert or the tenor. I’ve heard of some brands but I dont know which one to choose.
So sorry for bombing your with questions
The Kamoa Victor King Signature Series Concert came by two days ago. Was fitted with Low G premium Aquila Bionylon strings, and this gives a more mellow tone as compared to the Nylgut. However I didn’t like the sound of the low G so I’m going to get it changed at Ukulele Movement. The sound is great, it’s loud and clear, wonderful playability and great intonation. It’s a great uku overall!
Cool!! You ordered straight from the makers then? How fast DID they ship? Heh feel free to post a youtube link of you playing it if you have a channel.
No worries! I think firstly you need to ask what is your BUDGET before you can go on with the rest. Since you know you might want a concert or a tenor, you should know those start at least at around $100 upwards.
Do you have a budget first?
Well currently i have no budget but I wouldn’t want to spend so much on my first uku..
you know.. just in case i fall out of interest (which i hope wont happen)
Ah get a Makala or a Hawaii brand. Since that is a cheaper concert ukulele.
Makala can be found at Ukulele Movement or if you see in the comments below, SV Guitars sell concert ukuleles that are good too. Hawaii is found at Davis Guitars which is in the same building as SV, at Peninsula plaza. They are average good ukuleles.
aaaahhh.. I see now.
Thank you so much for your help Sarah 🙂
Which DVDs did you buy to self learn ukulele?
Can you provide the websites to self learn ukulele too?
That will really help me to zoom in to the right ones ( so many on the internet, therefore which ones to learn from ? Help !). I am trying to self learn ukulele due to time & $ constraints.
Thanks a lot!
I bought Steven Sproat’s ukelounge dvds http://www.musicroom.com/se/id_no/0705370/details.html?kbid=3987
I bought that from Ukulele Movement cause so far only UM sells various dvds for ukuleles. Yamaha sells the hal leonard basic ones but it doesn’t have video, only audio discs with a book.
There are other dvds available at UM too and all of them would teach you the basics. The difference in the dvds are the bonus advanced techniques!
Steven Sproat had extra strumming and fingering styles. Other dvds have folk or blues style so you can just see what you like if you’re there. You’re not missing out anything on the basic techniques for any.
For youtube, can’t narrow it down for you because I usually learn by what song I like. By searching for the ukulele tutorial of the song I like, I get to learn the strumming process and chords that way.
Ps. It was easy once I just knew the basic strumming, the rest is reading the chords in the songs used and just practicing!
Hi Sarah! I’m a beginner looking for a suitable ukulele to buy and my budget’s below $70 for my first ukulele. Do u think I should buy one of those makala dolphin at $68 from ukulele movement or should I try this eddy finn minnow at $45? http://www.svguitars.com/eddy-finn-ef-mn-bl-minnow-black-soprano-ukelele/
Malaka seems to be more recommended though, and I haven’t seen anyone talk about this eddy Finn minnow before just wondering if it’s a legit brand.
It’s a legit brand! Just new compared to Makala. You can get either one but I think when you compare it to the Makala, you’ll see the parts in the Makala are better. If you’re wanting to just “play around” for fun, get the Eddy Finn Minnow but if you think you wanna play MORE than just for fun, like every weekend or something you’ll realize that you might want to buy a better one after the Eddy Finn or even the Makala Dolphin.
Get the Eddy Finn cause if you really want to play the uke, you’ll buy a nicer one in some months or when you have budget for it.
woah that’s a fast reply. Ok sure I will take that into consideration. Thanks alot!!
Hi! I’m thinking of learning how to play a ukulele and I can’t decide on which ukulele to buy…
I came across this ukulele (http://www.svguitars.com/countess-uke-10cam-concert-ukelele/) and I wonder if you know anything about this brand? Would it be ok for me to get this?
Go ahead! It’s not horrid. It looks ok and is made in Korea from what I see the brand. More like, when you’re at the shop, no matter what brand just check it first. The shopkeeper will help you tune it and then you can just strum to see everything is working well.
Hi Sarah! Sorry I’m back again to ask for your opinion regarding another ukulele I got my eyes on. Would this Aria AU-150 be a good buy? It costs $49 at davis guitar and i rather like the sound as it sounds better than all the coloured ukuleles that I saw today. http://www.ariaguitars.com/english/products/au-150
I believe the string is black nylon string though, but when I asked the store’s personnel he said he was unsure what string it is and when I asked if he could change them to Aquila strings for me, he recommends that I play on the ukulele for about a year or so before I get the strings changed.
Thanks in advance! 🙂
It looks like my own TGM including construction! Fyi, my model of TGM isn’t available anymore but looks like this brand is similar. Look at the pic in my post above, it’s similar looking and it’s a good budget ukulele!
The guy says to wait a year cause the strings are still good. I changed mine cause you CAN hear a difference with it and I wanted mine to sound brighter. Heh, change the strings only if you really want a brighter sound. Cause if you purchase now, your strings are still new/unused.
If you want to change to aquila strings, you might as well buy a better ukulele cause the price of the strings + this uke = a price of a good uke (plus/minus ten or twenty dollars) that has aquila strings installed.
Hi, I recently checked the Music Theme shop at Excelsior/Peninsula Basement 1. Saw quite a few Ukuleles on the racks with pick-ups and in built tuners. If I’m not mistaken, the brand was Makana/Makala, are they the real deal or some rip offs like what you said?
It might be a Makala cause all the Makanas I saw were “basic”. Still, the ones with pick-ups and built in tuners are probably the higher end ones cause kinda wasted if they put pick-ups etc on an average ukulele. It might be a different brand though cause I can’t remember any Makalas with pick-ups. It might be a Kala.
I wonder whether it is ok to have a built in tuner. Wouldn’t this affect the sound quality? Then there is the harp ukulele at UM. I think purists would be horrified. What’s bothering me now is the chord Em. Seems like there are three version. Any idea why? Of course I prefer the simplest version.
The usual ukuleles I have don’t have an in built tuner. It probably won’t affect the sound quality if it was built in the first place by the makers or whoever who does it knows what they’re doing. After all, there are guitars with built in tuners and it works well.
However, sticking a built in tuner to a ukulele is kinda weird since it’s pretty small in the first place if it’s not in the model. Kinda a waste of money when you can also listen to the tuning or just use a clip on tuner.
And oh, do you mean Em fingering? It’s called a variation. You can choose either versions. If you try them out, you’ll note it’s on a different octave but same note! I like to do a 2340. Depending on your song or how you want to sing, you could go lower or higher but it’s all the same note.
Thanks for the freaking fast reply! Forgot to add that the price for that few ukuleles with pick-ups were around $120. Okay okay, hope that it’s legit. 🙂
Hi I am a beginner , and I have no idea what ukulele to buy. I have a budget, under $50 and I saw a few online, would you mine telling me which one would be better for me ? I have no idea or any experience on strings instruments. :/ and I hope it won’t go out of tune easily.
-Lanikai LU-11 sopranoÂ
-Eddy Finn EF-MN-BL Minnow Blue Soprano Ukelele
-Makana UK-2100 soprano
-TGM Uk-10s soprano (oak)Â
Which one will be a better choice for me ?Â
Thank you very much Sarah 🙂
And your website is really, really helpful 🙂
Ok. Your choices are actually pretty much nearly in order of it! Lanikai, Eddy Finn, TGM then Makana.
I put Makana last cause it has a tendency to go out of tune fast depending on your luck with the tuning pegs.
So it is more of which do you think looks nice to you now. See which one is available too cause while the TGM is cheap too, it gets out of stock fast cause of the price. A note is that if you get a Lanikai or Eddy Finn, it will be more unique than others who buy the lower budget ones since everyone else goes Makana or TGM.
The picture of your ululeles show the Eleuke model .
Is it still available in Singapore ?
Yep! I bought mine from Ukulele Movement. You should check their website or their shop to play test.
Hi, what about makala colors ? I saw on Ukulele movement 🙂
Heh that’s ok. So yeah! You can choose either of those brands or models then! It is up to your preference with that budget range now.
Hi Sarah, I just came across this webpage, http://www.ukeleash.com/ A ukulele strap that requires no drilling, no glues, no hooks, no tapes. Are they available in Singapore? Looks simple enough to make your own. What do you think of the benefits as claimed?
Nope, haven’t seen this one before here! And I don’t know about making it yourself since you might not have the straps available. Only the anueanue uke strap at UM is the one I’ve seen.
I generally don’t use straps for either of my soprano or concert if I am sitting down though. Only if performing standing up and even then, just for the concert since it’s a matter of technique.
Other friends just use a string even! Tie it to the end near headstock and the other under the strings, around the “waist” of the uke.
Anyone bought Ukulele from deal.com.sg or groupon.sg? I called groupon and about the brand. It is Beyond which I could find any info through google. Deal.com.sg picture is Monterey. Both claimed to be worth $159 and $99 respectively which I doubt. But for under $30, do you think it is ok to buy as it include a bag.
It is ok if you just want to play-play but if your really want something sounding good with a warranty included, best to just buy your own choice of uke not from groupon. It is probably just a simple playable uke but nothing special.
hey just checking what to u think about the ukelele offer by the deals.com.sg & groupon? worth it?
It’s only worth it if you want it as your “spare” ukulele. And only if the deal comes with a tuner besides a bag. Most ukuleles DO come with bags no matter where you buy it. It’s just okay. Nothing fancy, only if you really don’t want to go wander to other shops to check quality and just want a cheap instrument for fun.
Otherwise might as well buy a better ukulele that’s less generic cause the shops will give you extra stuff depending on in-store package, discounts plus longer warranty.
what is a tuner? i want to pick a new hobby for my spare time. not really for a long turn because i know i am a 3min-hot person. lol but i also doesn’t want to buy a ukelele that will spoil or go out of tune easily. As i read thru your post, you said that some ukelele might go out of tune really really fast. how fast normally cheap ukelele will go out of tone? 1 months? 2 months?
When I mean it goes out of tune very fast, the not so good ones will go out of tune whenever you strum too fast or after playing for like ten minutes or so! It happens to cheap ukuleles with not so good tuning pegs. Can tell very easily during demos in store itself.
Also a tuner is the clip on device or some device you use to tune your strings to the notes. If you have an iphone etc, there might be an app to get your strings in tune too. You strum a string, see if it is the correct note, if not the tuner will tell you to tighten or loosen it.
If it’s just a hobby like that, you can just do the groupon/deal then cause they’re just really generic ukuleles, won’t get heartbreak if you damage them. Plus, since you’ll have to pick up from the store, can just test there to strum a few times. Do it lively and not so slow or ask the shop person to help test for you.
oh i see. thanks for your clarification! you have been a great help! 🙂
hii, i want to ask u since im interested in learning ukulele.
which brand is better, TGM UK-10S or Williams?
I found a shop that sells them for $37 and $49 respectively, is it worth the quality?
thanks a lot :):)
Hi! I never checked a Williams or saw a Williams before but from that price I can guess the quality.
How much do you want to play? Cause I would go with the cheaper one first, the TGM.
If you really like playing the uke, you will want to upgrade to a much better one after that so it won’t be so much of a waste to you. One that will cost fifty dollars more than the TGM or Williams. The one I am currently using is a TGM (changed strings etc) and it is good enough.
Hi Sarah! Just wanna ask if there’s a difference between a pineapple or a standard soprano uke? 🙂
Just the shape! It’s pretty much the same besides that.
bought this ukulele from JCube shop, this is the best value for money ukulele i have found around Singapore. The workmanship is flawless and sounds very loud.. importantly concert 99 really stays in tune.
oh man.. thank you so much for this post!
I nearly click on the BUY button on deals.com.sg
This has been really useful and burst the bubble on getting it from deals website. Phew!
Heh the ukulele’s ok for super casual playing but for a bit more, you definitely can get a nicer one than on deal sites.
Wah nice read. I got a koa wood Makana concert with Aquila strings that i bought from a shop in Parklane for a bit over S$100 quite some time back. It came with a padded bag too. Didnt know that Makana is considered a cheap imitation brand. It sure doesn’t sound like one – I fell in love with it instantly after playing it, and bought it on impulse..
Waah, you must have gotten the better ones when they changed the style or something! At first it was meh but they really did step up in their ukuleles!
Sarah, I agree with rayz. I bought my Makana concert, which came with Aquila strings, in July’12. After a couple of beginners lessons, I thought that it was time to advance to a more impressive brand like Makala. So, I went round to test. I have yet to come across one of the same budget range that sounds better than my humble Makana. Not even those around the $200 range. My Makana is even better with a low-G string.
hii. im new to ukulele. i in love with it ever since i saw your blog. im on a budget but i want to buy an ukelele from ukulele movement. would you recommend any ukulele thats for beginner and under 50?
I can’t remember what they havefor under $50. But for that budget, you can got to SV Guitars or Ranking music store to get an Eddy Finn or TGM. That is within price, at least.
I am getting a new Ukulele and I am a beginner. I am looking for something below $80. Found a few but not sure what to go for. Is Tone Drive ok?
Yes it is! When in doubt, you should also check reviews of your particular model like this: http://www.svguitars.com/tone-drive-concert-99-ukulele/
At the bottom. Also when you’re reading the description. Good Aquila strings too! So that’s nice. But to sum it up, go test them to play first too. It’s not about the specific brand if the ukulele could be the one that’s accidentally chipped/not properly constructed compared to the rest in the same brand. You’re going for concert sized eh? That’s cool.
Thanks for the tip I guess u made up my mind to go for ToneDrive. Ya going for concert cos my finger not so nimble..haha
Hey guys,i saw Prillante “MOE” soprano size, selling at Thoh Music School, they having 30% discount for all various sizes of ukuleles. The MOE after discount is only $28.00, haha, damm cheap. I straight away bought 3 pcs for my kids. I think is the cheapest in town. As compare to the last time, a piece of ukulele will cost more than $80.00, seems like now everywhere is slashing prices. Haha, benifit to us.
I am still in love with my Tone Drive Concert 99 Ukulele. ~~!! ^_^
Hi all Ukulele enthusiastic,
I have just started learning ukulele at Jalan
Kayu RC situated at blk 546 Serangoon
North ave 3, whole course is FREE, anyone
interested can contact me, it’s every Friday
7.00 to 9.30 pm.
I repeat it’s totally FREE and learning in
Hi Sarah. I am intrigued by your post.
Recently, I am keen in getting one ukulele for myself.
I’m totally new in this and I have also came upon this deal
Can you get back to me whether or not this is really a good deal ? Thanks!(:
Like the comments on the groupon ukuleles, this is similar. Unlike the groupon one, this doesn’t even have a preview video or extra info on what brand it is.
You can buy a cheap one from Thoh music store for about the same price of it, if you noted the other readers commenting such that the music store is having a sale on ukuleles. You can buy from the deal site if you don’t want to travel to Simei to do so.
But unlike going to a shop or other deal sites, this one that you linked to me is really not very descriptive so I can’t say. I’d go with an in store purchase than this though.
selling ukulele a blue one, interested drop email at email@example.com Price $29, UP $69 🙂
Is Prillante okay? It costs $49.90 at Cristofori and I’m looking for one that’s average for beginners and under $50,preferably. Apparently they have no stock of the plain one so is this ok? Oh and do let me know if there are promotions and discount packs at Cristofori’s. Btw this page is really useful! 🙂
It is a mixed reaction. Some people really like Prillantes while some say it isn’t good cause it goes out of tune. It depends when you buy it, if you are unlucky with one with bad tuning pegs (usually can change at the store if it happens).
For prillante, the readers have noted Thoh music store in simei is selling that for around $29+ for soprano due to their sale.
You can call them up to check first, I would think. Also I wouldn’t know any discount or promos under Christofori since they are a music school too and I don’t generally go there.
Oh. May I know where thoh music store is then? Nearest MRT station? Sorry to trouble you :p
Ohoh it’s at simei. Haha didn’t read properly. Okok
Ok,I just bought it. It’s an Aria. Cost me $65. Is it ok?
Well, it’s ok as long as you’ve tested it out? If it’s good sounding and works properly and you like it, then it’s ok! Mostly, you have to like it first so you’ll play with it often.
Yup, it sounds ok! Thanks for the advice! Couldn’t go to UM cus I got lost halfway ._.
UM’s store is actually pretty easy to find if you walk from lavender. It’s a building with a graffiti on it!
Btw, I’m selling away my soprano uke for $30. I just changed it to aquila strings but i just bought a concert uke so i won’t be needing the soprano one. If you’re interested, do contact me at 9099 7674 for pictures!
P.s Makana is making real good stuff. They use good quality wood WITH aquila strings as stocks.
Hi Sarah, I am a complete newbie to string instruments, but am thinking of trying out the ukulele. I’m looking for a soprano ukulele that isn’t too expensive but wouldn’t get me frustrated and put off from playing due to the quality. My budget is below $80.
I was originally considering the Makala Colours model at UM: http://www.ukulelemovement.com/makala/294-makala-colours
Then I read the comments here about the sale of Prillante at Thoh Music School. I was wondering if you have any opinions on the difference in quality between these two. (Well, I wouldn’t mind going for something on sale and cheaper if the difference in quality isn’t significant.)
Also, I know the quality of deal site ukuleles are probably generally meh, but because these have pretty designs, I just had to ask: http://www.deal.com.sg/deals/singapore/Ozun-Ukulele-Designer-Series-Choice-of-9-Unique-Designs-Pick-Soft-Case
According to their facebook page, the model and brand for the Ozun ukuleles is MU-175, KAKA Brand.
I can’t seem to find reviews about KAKA online. Do you have any thoughts on this brand?
Btw, do you think the *tuner* on the deal.sg site is a good deal? (Digital tuner at $12.90.) The site writes “For all newly purchased Ukulele, tuning is a must. You should tune it every time you pick it up to play. A new instrument, or one with new strings, will take a while to settle in. Tuning often will help it settle and makes sure you are getting the right notes when you play.” I wasn’t sure how true this is or if it is an exaggeration to encourage people to buy the tuner. If say, I pick it up everyday, would it still need tuning everyday? What if I leave it for just a few hours?
Sorry that this is so wordy. Thanks in advance!
Just got the alldealsasia one (frankly speaking, not so interested but my gf wants..so I got two.)
Tried tuning but the 2nd C string sounds really weiiiird! No matter how I tune it, the pitch may be more or less correct but, it’s just wrong. Is this common?
Oh my goodness!! They copied the Kala pineapple, watermelon and kiwi design! Ok, I don’t know about the strings since it says nylon but this is cheap though not sure the quality. It SHOULD be ok if you pick it up yourself and check. If anything, I think the strings would just need changing if it is not Aquila or any of the good brands. Makes a major difference!
Anyway the tuner IS a must. Maybe they read this blog or whatever bit prior to this, the deal sites didn’t add in a tuner. Only, a pick which is seriously useless cause you can buy those for fifty cents if anything.
I recommend it to beginners and anyone picking it up. The price is actually, the normal price of a tuner! Hahahaha. So even if you go out, it is around that range too, might as well get it in the deal.
Oh and you need one because of our climate. =_= even if you leave your uke alone at times, our humidity might change the tuning or bla bla bla, it DOES get untuned. If you keep it in your bag, it also untunes if you accidentally turn the pegs too when you take it out.
It shouldn’t sound weird? Did you try on both ukuleles and compared on youtube (just search tuning ukuleles) to compare your C note? If it sounds the same then yes it sounds like that.
Oh and if you are using a tuner and it hits green which is ok on your tuner and then goes to orange or error, it is just the strumming technique!
If you play a chord, listen if it sounds good and if not, you need to exchange if all above done and it is still weird.
Hello everbody ,
After reading about the Prillante , I went and got a Soprano few days back . About $29.50 .
First thing back home , the black nylon strings were replaced by a set of Aquilla strings .
Currently still tensioning and running in the strings .
First impressions not so favourable , but at about half the price of other “starter” ukulees , I think they are acceptable .
For those who have bought this brand , it is a must to change the strings ; this will up the price abit , but the original black nylons are a disappointment and will actually turn you off .
🙂 🙂 🙂
I wanted to learn the ukulele, I brought 3 of the groupons Beyond brand Ukes (one color each) and they are surprisingly pleasant sounding for a uke under 30 dollars… the construction wise… I rejected 5 of the white ones before i decided to get one that ain’t so bad…..
My relative also just started on the uke and got himself a makana ukc-2313…. it sounds nice and is priced at 90 dollars. But compared to the 20 odd dollars Beyond uke from group… they actually sound the same but the makana is louder as it is bigger and has a longer fretboard. I thus believe it is a concert size uke?
We brought a Pillante Pooh bear version for my one and half years old son… haha… he loves plucking at the strings… starting young…. to be honest the Pillante is the worse… I have not changed the strings… all my uke still have their ‘out of box’ strings… Pillante’s black nylon string is badddd…. plucky sounding and no resonniance…. eeek…. but ok la… I just give it to the kiddo to play…
Any good sites to recommend to learn some basic songs?
Ukulele tabs or Ukulele Hunt is nice to find tabs from but for basic songs, depends on what you want to learn. A lot of songs are four chords anyway, just need to play the rhythm right.
Hi Sarah, I have a few questions about ukelele. What is the difference between those laminated and the non-laminates ones? I went to UM and was looking at a few different brands. I saw this ukulele by the brand of hulala. From your personal opinion. What do u think about this brand? Thanks for ur time!
Hi! I think it it’s a cool brand? Hahah, you need to know if you like the design since it’s all stated what it is made of and you can compare with other brands of the same materials. It’s already in the good range so I don’t really “care” when it’s that kind of level for it’s reassuring already to just pick any from the same price range. Disclaimer: I haven’t tested that brand out in real life, only read the specs though!
Also, I just find it “okay” since I like flashier designs.
However, I can tell you more about laminate and non-laminates. Ok, non-laminates mean it’s solid wood. Usually more expensive cause it’s one whole piece of wood! They made the ukulele out of it and to get that, it has to be a good sizeable piece and all. Hence the price.
Laminates mean it is something like plywood, it’s thin layers of wood bound together, like a sandwich to make your ukulele. Guitars can be like this too. If you have a discerning ear, you can hear the difference between the laminates and the solids.
On an ENJOYING your own ukulele point of view, I am fine with either if you wanted my opinion. It depends on your budget and your wants if you want to choose between them though. Non-laminates will obviously be able to do the aging thing better than laminates.
Hi sarah! 🙂
I’ve been wanting to get a ukulele and came across your site, so i headed down to SV. I initially had intended to buy the soprano but they recommended the concert for beginners instead so i bought a Koname Concert Ukulele that came with aquila strings for $62, on the website they only have the soprano one though.. http://www.svguitars.com/koname-up-mi-bl-soprano-ukulele/
i’ve tried searching reviews about it online but there seems to be none 🙁 but the problem with it was that within a few minutes of playing it goes out of tune 🙁 do you think there is a problem with the ukuele?or what should i do? 🙂 i kind of regret buying it do you think it is possible to change it? 🙂
Thank you so much!
They probably recommended concert for beginners cause it has bigger frets. I know some of the music stores in the building there like to do that when I accompany my friends in buying theirs at the store.
I am not sure of the shop’s policy but you should exchange it if it really goes out of tune fast. At least I see from the soprano version it has gear pegs which SHOULD be harder to go out of tune.
It might need tightening or something. Did you try out at the store? Or did they tell you what their exchange policy is? if it is just tightening, they should fix it or exchange another for you. But yes, going out of tune in minutes is not a usual thing.
If it is just slightly, it might be you warming up the strings and all cause it is new but if it is really drastic, then no, it should not do that.
Meanwhile, if you wanted a soprano in the first place, you should go for it instead of a concert. That is what I learned. Go for the one that you want or search alternatives first before buying. Since there are a lot of shops. This will probably not work if they do not have a return policy though, for you to use the cash to buy a different one.
I wanted to saay thank you for writing. I have never played an instrument before. I was checking out SV website and came across this brand Koname. Do you think this is a good buy?
Here is the link: http://www.svguitars.com/koname-up-mi-wh-soprano-ukulele/
I’d really like to hear your opinion. Thank you.
A person in the comment before you bought this brand! But it was a concert. On description alone, it looks ok for a beginner since the strings are good and the rest too.
Be sure to check it in real life though, to see that they do have stock of it. It reads ok, typical ukulele. You just need to try it in real life to check that the tuning pegs don’t untune easily after a few minutes of strumming and hear if you like the tone.
I did read the comment,as you said it seems the concert seems different from the soprano.I will try it out ASAP. I’m heading down tomorrow for the starter workshop at UM first and see if I can in fact play a ukulele.:) Honestly, I really like the Makala soprano dolphin and the sound created from what I see on youtube.And I really love the kala ukedelic series too. My wallet shall shed tears tomorrow. lol
The Koname brand ukulele is what makes it attractive to me.I don’t understand the bone and saddle part either…
Thank you for replying.
I meant the price of the koname is attractive…
Oooh! Hahaha you can ask the teachers there too then! Bone saddle part is that white thing you see where your strings rest on! In NOT technical terms, as long it won’t break/degrade so your strings will stay in their proper positions. That is the easiest way to explain it. Your teachers at the workshop or the staff can tell you more in detail!
I went for the workshop. Cords are HARD!!!!But I loved. I bought a makala Dolphin. Hopefully soon I get better. Now I just need a better gigbag at low price. The carry case that with the uke is too filmsy 🙂
I just wanted to tell say thank you for your advice and your time.
Have fun with your uke! Heh heh, with more practice, the chords will be easier to play. Totally!
Just wondering where can I buy baritone ukelele?
Appreciate your help here.. Buying for a gift
For baritone, the only place I’ve seen is Ukulele Movement. Baritones aren’t the most common sizes in stores to buy.
I’m 14 and I convinced my mum to buy me a uke. My background on guitars is quite good, but I know nothing bout ukuleles. Any suggestions on which to choose? My budget is probably gonna be around $80.
With that budget you can buy most SOPRANO beginner ukuleles. The ones at SV Guitar, Maestro and of course Ukulele Movement would have ones around that price. Ranking Music & Sports might have TGM And Davis Guitar definitely has in that range too!
This time you just have to check the stores and see which you like! Yep. At least with that budget you have quite a lot of choices, try them out and compare before settling for one though.
If it is too cheap, you might want to change the strings. Example: Prillante sopranos. Cheap uke but strings are meh according to the readers here.
Since you know guitars, not too much difference in choosing then!
Is it worth me just going down to Yamaha to pick one out? Because I don’t think it’s gonna be really convenient for me to go down to town to shop for one. Thanks.
I propose with budget $80, u may visit Thoh music school. They are have end of year sale of 30-60% off. Your budget, I think able to get a solid top with cut away ukuleke. Very good price for this specification. No gimmick. I saw it.
Just now went to Thoh music school again to look at the ukuleles again and this time I seriously learn n remember the models. They have Prillante moe- retail at $42. soprano size n cartoon series- retail at $60, those are really for kids to play. Concert size hVe Prillante kona- $88. Molokai cedar-$98, Molokai sapele-$98. Tenor size have Prillante lanai , Hilo. Lanai have 2 colours – natural $135 n flame colours-$145 but they are all solids top n cutaway. Hilo also hVe 2 colours, natural n red. The only all solid is maple back n side with spruce top. Above prices are before discount n they hVe 30% off. Frankly speaking, serious player should only buy either Molokai, Hilo or lanai. After change into Aquila strings…. Wow, sound great. Well my personal opinion, does not represent Thoh. Your guys may try to check it out, no harm!
Yamaha will be overpriced usually. If it is within your budget then ok but generally the other stores will have more variety than Yamaha. You can note what Tony says about Thoh Music store too, that one is nearest an mrt station and is just below simei mrt.
I bought a Prillante Molokai concert ukulele (Model PR Sapelle LT23) from Thoh for $60.61 after 30% discount. Bought this just to learn how to change the strings to Aquila. After a couple of days of physically pulling and stretching the strings and risked yanking the bridge off, they are very stable now. Although the volume is not like wow, the sound is clear and beats some of the better known brands of the same range. I bought the set of Aquila strings for $10.00 …. I wonder whether they are genuine?
is a Koname UP-MI-NA Soprano Ukulele sold at SV Guitars good enough for beginner? Or is a Eddy Finn EF-MN-BL Minnow Black Soprano Ukelele better? I am looking for something cheaper to try on and practice before I get a better ukulele.
I think you will find both pretty similar except for the design since they are already in the cheap beginner types. Choose either, the one you like the design best since the sound is similar. Make sure you test both though or whichever you chose before buying to make sure there are no dents bla bla bla on it.
Hi, my experience is, either you are a beginner, intermediate player or amateurs , looking for ukulele, not only base on your budget, is simply play it with open strings and listen to the sound vibration, whether can the sound travel as far as it can, then u test it with cords to check any buzzing sound at the same time listen will it have bright tone or not. Unlike guitars, they have more frets than ukulele and the construction of ukuleles are much simple than guitars even though they also need bracing for the top. So, if u have a better budget, look for an ukulele with a better tone n material such as the top is cedar where is cedar able to produce bright but mellow tone. Simple theory, the cheaper u buy, the life span will be shorter as your skills will improve n you will not like it and want to upgrade, so must well push your budget higher thus life span is longer.
This is best comment/advice to other beginners.
Hi Sarah, thanks. Haha, I think I can be your assistant liao
I have a budget of $50 below and would like to get it to learn Canon in D not sure this the deal below is it good or not can you please advice me thank you
The designs are actually an imitation of a higher grade of ukulele but they’re ridiculously cute. The deal doesn’t describe what wood it is or strings it has. It has a half-half chance of being good but I cannot tell since I haven’t tried it out in real life. However, if you have a budget of $50 below, you could go to Thoh Music School to get a ukulele with that price. If you do choose to get the deal, the most you need to do is change its strings to Aquila strings and it should sound better.
Thanks..for the advice.I will head down to the place to take a look at it.
Thank you so much for this blog, especaiily great as that I want to learn the ukelele and search the websites to research for a good one. I living in Singapore and am quite confused whether I buy from local shop or websites. I saw many on Amazon, Qoo10, Google Shopping… many.. But those are overseas website, and paying the shippingh quite expansive. I read alot on Amazon between Kala and Lanikai.. what you think? I saw comments on LU-21 and KA-S… and also found a local sell at Qoo10 for Lanikai.. what you thin?> http://list.qoo10.sg/item/LANIKAI-UKULELE-LANIKAI-LU-21-UKULELE-SERIES/405905934
Hope you can help me.. thank you!
Oh that is the standard price for that model I saw in stores too except a bit more expensive due to adding shipping, I’d think. I forget where I saw the lanikai though cause I visited a bunch of stores. Well, the uke itself is ok but for that price you can also get other brands if you want to check out in stores too, to try it out. It’s an up to you thing cause it is not a rip off but with the same price you can also have fun window shopping and trying out before buying one, plus sometimes the stores got seasonal discount sale or clearance and would tend to give a case free with the purchase of the uke.
I strongly agreed with Sarah, since now is end of year, some of the stores will or having sales. So Tran Nguyen, must well u buy in Singapore. If you buy from Internet, you can’t try n feel at all.
Hi to Wendy, if u want to learn cannon in d, and your budget is only $50, n if u r an adult, this range of ukulele might not able to produce a good sound once u master the song. Since u r going down to thoh music Sch, you try other higher range then you decide again. Good day
Hi sarah. What is the best choice of brand for tenor or concert ukulele with the budget of $300 to $500? I plan to upgrade to a good quality ukulele. Currently using tone drive concert ukulele… Good sound… Cheers…
I usually go with the usual brands, anueanue, kala etc? But since you have a good budget, you SHOULD check out the physical store of Ukulele Movement to see what you like yourself. Unless you are buying online? But anyway, you should just go over to the store to have a feel for the different brands since that is the only dedicated ukulele store here stocking up most of them. If you had a budget for a few thousand, I’d say you could set up an appointment with http://www.dreamukes.com/ since they are in SG.
Hi Riduan, if you have budget of 300-500, I like to give you another suggestion or another option. Prillante have custom made ukulele, pre-order. Your own selection of wood to be the back and side plus top. Certain choice of machine heads n binding. It is because they have their own production line. Waiting time is about 6-2 weeks. Also possible to have your own brand at the headstocks or label inside the ukulele. You may contact Mr Alan, 97616311 for more details. Why I know, I saw the adv. good luck.
Hi! I’m a beginner and just got my Makala Dolphin at Ukulele Movement! It comes with a Makala bag which is REALLY thin and can only keep dust away but not good enough to protect the instrument. Any recommendations for good & affordable gigbags to protect my instrument? My budget is around $20 though..
Unfortunately, padded gig bags would probably cost the same or if not more than your ukulele itself. The cheapest is $48 for a soprano padded one at Ukulele Movement. You might have seen it in the shop. I don’t know where else you can buy with $20 budget cause even for regular guitars or other instruments that is not enough to buy a new gig bag or case.
You could try making your own one though if you are the craft-y sort. Or if you are lucky on ebay to see one selling.
wow. Thank you Sarah for answering! I will buy in Singapore physically store then!
Hi, with budget of $20, yes, you can buy from Thoh music school. They have 2 colours, black or red. Padding type.
Hey,I bought mine for $10 at Davis guitar. Seems to fit soprano and tenor. Maybe you’ll want to check it out.
Ooh read Tony and Connie’s comments, they found bags more to your budget!
Hi, can I check with u that the soprano bag that u bought, it it with padding???
Hi Sarah,, I wonder can we upload pictures in your blog??
Only as image links or maybe if you did the < img src=" etc etc code from wherever you host your photos! It SHOULD appear, if not I'll see if I can repost it somewhere in the post.
Hi crystal, u may visit http://www.thohmusic.com to view the soprano ukulele padding bag.
Hi Sarah, any idea where I can have a plug-in device installed on my concert ukulele and also, how much would this cost? Would it be cheaper to buy off the rack a ukulele that comes with a plug-in?. Thanks and regards
So far, I think only Maestro and Ukulele Movement does it. Not sure if it is cheaper to buy off the rack uke with plug in cause it depends on the installation cost and the piezo pick up for it. You will have to ask them if they even have the pick ups available in stock first.
I went to Davis to look for ukelele and I fell in love with a concert ukelele! And then I came across this website called ukelele-tab where they give chords and kidda teach you how to play. Just want to ask you is there a difference of the chord chart between a soprano and concert? And the concert ukelele cost $105 and it doesn’t come with bag,strings or anything. Do you think it is worth it? If I am not wrong it is a Japanese brand.
P.S your website is super useful!! Thanks for giving me a direction to hunt for a ukelele!
When you mean the concert uke doesn’t come with strings or bags.., is it just the body?! That means you can’t play it straight away?
I think for just a twenty or so more you can get a concert uke with a bag. But usually ukes do not come with extra strings if you mean that.
Anyway the tabs are the same! Concert and soprano difference is just the size. Also concert has more frets.
If you mean it does not come in a special bag, you can get your own padded bag at Thoh music school, they are having some on offer. Ukulele movement has the fancier ones which is more expensive. Look see or ctrl&f to find in my comments about the uke bags.
What’s your opinion on Lanikai? Im interested to purchase LU-21P as Im very much attracted to Pineapple Soprano. Also I have a FOC yellow soprano uke – brand unknown when I signed up lesson with Cristofori. As per your earlier post, by changing the strings to Aquila improve the sound quality. Is it worth the change?
Lanikai is cool but no matter what brand, do test it out first! Also yes. Changing strings do make a difference but if you are getting a new uke, do you want to restring your nameless one then? A bit wasted unless you want to use your nameless one often too.
Hey sarah, i went to sv guitars to go hear out the ukuleles and was recommended the tonedrive concert that cost $75 as seen on their website. But i found the tone weaker and less resonant compared to the other tonedrive concert which cost $95 however reviews from above has mentioned that the 75bucks one was satisfactory and good.hence i would appreciate your two cents worth on this. Also, i heard the salesperson demo a puka concert uke which sounds better than the 95 tonedrive, but it was a pricier 129 and only came in dark blue as seen again in sv guitar website under puka ukes. BUT when i came home to check out their web i realised they have abt five other puka ukes similiar to the blue uke and same ptice… Other than colours wise i do not seem to find any difference!! 🙁 could u possibly recommend or rank these few ukes i have seen? And definately in comparison to kala and lanikai which would u rank as the better more reliable uke under a budget of abt 100 plus minus if the uke is of better quality and sound like the blue puka. And i am buying this as a gift for my friend who has played the uke for abt a year? And has found interestib this. His previous uke is a mahala and i hope to find one that id a suitable upgradeTHANK YOU and sorry for the longggg message
Waaah ok. First thing if it is a GIFT. You must find out in hints to ask what your friend likes. Sometimes it is the design more. On terms of kala and lanikai both are already pretty much equal for that range.
As for your tonedrives and puka, you tested it out, sometimes it is a bit obvious why some are more expensive than the others. The $75 one is good but then as you say it is just good, people who have more budget can get BETTER. This time it is more on preference already.
Not everyone wants bright tones for their ukes, some like mellower ones. This time you really have to decide what you like and if you can afford it.
I give you example, my “main” uke is a super cheap one but I changed the strings because I like the tone like that compared to my other more expensive uke which is an electric uke.
Your mission now is really, you need to ask your friend how he likes to play or rather by now he should have a type of ukulele he might like or have been eyeing at then.
Ooh yeah but its a surprise gift hahhahha. But yupp will try to find the preference. However puka, tonedrive, kala and lanikai, how would u rank them in overall when considering quality tone reliability price. And whats the norm price for lanikai and kala so as for me not to get it for an overly expebsive price:) thanks again
Kala and lanikai you can check online at ukulele movement webby for pricing cause that is average price I see for most shops here, unless any of the stores have sales.
For me, my PERSONAL pref is: kala, lanikai,puka then tonedrive. Also cause kala has more funky designs while still having that really nice sound.
I saw the Prillante concert model priced @ $85 about two weeks ago at Yamaha Music and is very much surprised that somebody in this blog could get it for under $30 from, if I am not wrong Thoh Music @ Simei. Does anybody have their phone contact and full address. I am dying to get it at such low price as I have tested the ukulele at Yamaha and quite like it.
Is this shop having a “closing down sale” or what?
http://thohmusic.org/ shop details is there and no it usually sells at that price at the music centre there.
The under $30 Prillante ukulele mentioned in this blog is certainly not the “Concert model” but the “Soprano one.” Was told by THOH Music they have completely run out of stock.
Very disappointed as I was trying to get this for my 8-yr old grandson.
@111 (Sept 12) poster Tony mentioned that he managed to get 3 pieces for his kids @ $28 each. Wondered whether he could spare and let go one of those… would Sarah be kind enough to arrange for us to contact each other? BTW if Tony is reading this can please SMS me @ 90690831.
Or anyone who is selling off his Prillante can contact me.
HOW DO CONTACT YOU? PLEASE LEAVE YOUR CONTACT NUMBERS!
September 17, 2012 at 8:44 pm
Hi all Ukulele enthusiastic,
I have just started learning ukulele at Jalan
Kayu RC situated at blk 546 Serangoon
North ave 3, whole course is FREE, anyone
interested can contact me, itâ€™s every Friday
7.00 to 9.30 pm.
I repeat itâ€™s totally FREE and learning in
My friend was introduced to this ukulele by the brand name CONGRESS sold at Suntec costing about $60. He intends to take up the ukulele as a new beginner. As I am not familiar with this ukulele brand I was not able to give any advice, but I do recall that years ago the Congress name was associated with a range of low-end inexpensive guitars. Wonder whether they are from the same factory? Also is this a German manufacturer’s brand?
I have no idea if it’s the German manufacturer’s brand but I did look at it when I passed by before at another shop in city hall area. It is definitely a beginner ukulele. Nothing special but not too bad either. It suffices for a beginner. It’s just like that. Average.
Hi, all ukuleles if the price range is below $800, all are made in china, Indonesia or Vietnam .
Hi Sarah, are we only can talk about ukuleles or can we also talk about other music instruments such as guitars, violins, drums etc??? It will be more interesting…
This post is about ukuleles, you can talk on other instruments but from stats, most people come here just to know the basics of the ukuleles just so you know!
Where’s the cheapest place to get Aquila ukulele strings. I was a bit surprised that even Thot Music doesn’t stock them. Even those on eBay are fairly expensive put up by US seller. Couldn’t find any seller from HK or China. They advertised the Fender guitar strings quite cheap. Guess they produced them in China, like most low-end ukuleles.
The only place that I know that DOES sell Aquila strings around here is Ukulele Movement. Davis guitar at Peninsula might have them but I don’t know if it is confirmed stock as compared to UM.
Hi, I heard Thoh music is going to import by themself directly. Btw, FYI, there r fake Aquila strings in the market. You have to use uv light to shine on it, if it appear to have luminous, they r geneniue. Just like how you check the currency notes…
Is D’Addario or Martin’s Darco strings a good alternative for Aquila. D’Addario cost around $7 only for a set of 4 from Swee Lee Music. The cheapest Aquila set at UM cost around $11.
May I know what is the average price of changing normal nylon strings to aquila strings? Thanks a lot in advance!
Last I knew it was four dollars to change NOT including the strings. That is just the service to change strings at UM.
I was introduced to this ukulele pack by the brand name Alfred.
Can anyone comment on the effectiveness of using this tutorial pack to learn ukulele and to what level would one be able to attain learning from this tutorial.
Hi, I saw a Ukulele by this brand ‘Stage’, have you heard it before? Its a nice looking instrument made of solid mahagony wood. But its rather pricy at S$125. No bags. Should I get it? I am a begginner by the way.
I’ve only seen Stagg, not Stage. Depends on you cause it is after all solid mahogany. It should be in the upper better range? How are the strings, the tuning pegs etc. It’s not pricy if it is the at least higher end of beginners. You can buy a bag separate but it’s a bit wasted since you can buy a ukulele at that price, a good brand with a bag included. Also, what size is it? If it is tenor or concert, that’s the usual basic price.
If you’re reading this post this week, UM is having a year end sale. You can check there too since they might have cheaper ukuleles just for the sale. Other wise, the other places like Davis or the basement of Peninsula plaza will have cheaper ones but really REALLY basic quality that you might need to change strings etc.
Sarah, thanks for the quick reply. It looks like a soprano to me as it is rather small. I will take a look tonight again when I go to the shop to confirm if it is stagg or stage. Also to look at other parts which you have mentioned. If I need to change the strings etc than maybe its not worth it.
Hi, Thoh music at Simei mrt station also having 30% off , there is is model lanai n Hilo, solid cedar top or solid sapele top , after discount only 90+ with bag. These models are even cut away.
You may try to contact 67825137 for further enquiry
Hey guys. I’m sell my ukulele. If anybody is interested,you can contact me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org . Will throw in the tuner,bag,felt pick and two books. Strings are aquila nylgut. Brand name is Aria. Thanks!
Oops I meant selling. Also,it’s a soprano.
Hey Sarah, I am thinking of getting a Eddy Finn EF-MN. Saw it at SV guitars. What’s your opinion on that. I am a beginner with no musical background at all. Thanks!
It is ok! But with all ukes test and try out to make sure you like the tone and it is not defective. You can see other commentors here who like eddy finns.
Hi, I am currently considering buying an entry-level ukulele. I have no prior experience and am seeking to learn how to play the ukulele. I recently went to UM which currently has an ongoing year end sale which offers a maximum discount of 50%. Should I get a ukulele priced originally at $200 but now going for $100 for value of money or should get the cheaper ones at a beginner’s level, like the Makala dolphin, but with lesser or no discount at all in your opinion?I am more inclined towards taking the more expensive one but was thinking that as a beginner, I may not need one as expensive as that after all. I would like to ask if a price difference does reflect the quality of the ukulele in terms of the materials used for the construction of the ukulele as well as the sound produced by the ukulel as I know that the materials used to construct the ukulele affects the sound produced. This is also the one and only ukulele I will ever buy. By the way, the ukulele originally priced at $200 but now selling for $100 is the aNueNue U900 Series Rabbit and Bear Model which comes with a gigbag I think. I would greatly appreciate any advice on this. Thank you!
Hi Sarah! Just saw this Groupon deal on ukelele and I was wondering is it a good deal?
I’m new to string instruments and I’d like to try out a ukelele!
Take the rabbit uke! I tested it out before and it is good. Also YES there is a difference too with the cheaper ones. If this the only uke you are gonna buy, do not take the cheaper one since the sale is on. Not sure if you tested at the shop both of them but there is a heck lot of difference between the two.
Just don’t forget to check the piece you buy for any defects etc before buying!
Ps. The design is from a ukulele stop motion animation duo. You could check them out on youtube too since they play really nice songs.
It is the same that others have asked before. Ctrl+f groupon or deals in comments since I’ve wrote extensively on it. It really depends on your use.
Hi Lin, since sales is on everywhere such as UM, SV, THOH etc, you may consider to check them out to make full use of their discounts. Since you have view U900 rabbit series, after discount is $100.51 with gst, but the spec for this model is just a soprano size, the smallest size, not a solid top n price at $100.51, to me still consider high even after discount.
The formula to buy an instruments is : $ = time been used /played by the player. It is because, when u have the interest to learn, your skill will improve, when your skill improved, u might not like the sound of your first bought instrument. That time, you are looking for a better sound instrument, so your amount that u want to spend will need to increase to get a better one. Thus, if budget is allowed with a strong interest of learning, I suggest increase your budget, so that this will be your instrument (ukulele) that able to last you much longer, unless u want to become a performer.
As u r an adult, I suggest you buy either concert or tenor size with larger volume n size. Btw, base on your budget of $100, you r able to get a solid cedar/spruce top with cut away (solid top is important in the instruments as it is a whole pc ( not laminated plywood) thus the sound vibration is much greater) such as the model of lanai and Hilo with normal black nylon strings. U just need to change into Aquila strings to make the sound even much better all within your budget of $100.
Heh, I decided not to buy cheap ukeleles from Groupon deals cause I’m afraid of bad strings and quality so I bought a Makala Dophin from Ukelele Movement! Now I can’t wait for it to reach! (I ordered online!)
May I know when do I have to change the strings to a better brand? Is it when it frequently becomes out of tune? I’ve seen alot of reviews and advice online and they all mentioned to change it to Aquila strings.
Your makala should be aquila strings, so no need to!
Thanks for this comprehensive guide; I have been reading extensively to decide which ukulele to get!
I went to Maestro website and watched their videos on guitar making… I thought that being a local maker is really impressive.
But so far… I don’t think I’ve seen anyone who bought a Maestro ukulele commented? Just wondering, how is the sound like?
I know they have a promotion on their 10 series now… $99 for soprano. Should I get this or should I head down to ukulele movement for something of the same price range?
Many thanks! And kudos once again for the guide!
Either way, yeaah. I don’t know who bought Maestro ones or maybe they’re contented with theirs that they didn’t comment! Nonetheless, they aren’t bad at all, it’s up to you to check if you like the design and tone though since Maestro themselves SHOULD at least give you good after service since they make the ukuleles themselves too.
Hi sarah and tony. Thanks for the respond. I just saw ur post cause just get back to this blog. Btw tony u speak about prillante can make a custom ukes for me. How much does it cost? Do they have solid mahogony? I wish i could make all solid mahagony concert ukes with built in pick ups… Hahaha… Thanks for the idea tony.
1 more question sarah. Is eddy finn a good brand?
It is not bad, at least a lot of people commented getting it here and they seem to like the tone or design. So it is not horrible, it’s pretty much okay so far for the models it has produced recently at the time of this post.
@214 December 25, Tony mentioned the lanai and Hilo ukuleles at a budget of around $100. May I know where do get them, is it concert size, solid top and what is the brand name. I am a new ukulele beginner. Thanks alot
Hi mr David Yeo, the lanai is a solid spruce top, cut away, sapele back n side with binding, box up quality machine head. The Hilo is solid sapele top, cut away, sapele back n side with binding, box up quality machine head too, but they r all tenor size, suitable for adult with a larger volume. If you r looking for concert size, you may try the kona extreme, cedar top, sapele back n side, box up quality machine head, for this kona, I think after 30% off, it is below $70. Brand-PRILLANTE. All comes with bag. They are selling at Thoh music Sch at Simei mrt station, ground floor, #01-08. I heard their new arrival of cartoon series are coming at around 10 jan 2013, which include hello kitty and Ganam style characters. Of I had bought of their cartoon series, their machine heads are quality type which will not go out of tune. Good day.
Hi Riduan, regard Prillante custom made ukulele, you may call Alan to enquire. I had one too which is all solid of Koa. Very nice binding n sound, concert size. It cost me $450 only. I think they still have one handmade tenor size all solid maple which cost only $380 before 30% off. It has a quality bright crispy sound, I am saving money to buy that too.
The $380 handmade solid tenor size ukulele, after 30
% discount would be $266, right? I want, where do get it. The sound must be clear and sharp like those I hear on YouTube played by UkuleleMike or Jody Kamisato of Ukulele Hale
Hi daisy, u r right. U can go down n give it a try. If I have extra money, I will buy too. Is ok, first come first serve.
Hi Sarah, if I have $250+ to spend on a ukulele shouldn’t I be investing in one of those long established Hawaiian/US brand names of equal specifications. Brand prestige aside, the obvious reason being able to command a better resale value should I decide to upgrade later. What’s your recommendation?
Then I recommend that you have to to go the actual Ukulele Movement store since with THAT budget you can get the better craftmanship or at least design and wood.
Technically you can build your own uke with that budget here but if I had that budget and want to sell it, I’d go (if soprano sized) with an acoustic electric uke. I am not stating brands at the moment cause at this point of year there’s the sale and not sure of what stocks that are confirmed in store.
Nonetheless even with building your own uke or buying a good brand uke, please do test it all out for your own specific piece in case that particular uke has dings or defects.
Hi Peggy, just want to highlight even though is a Hawaiian / US brand, as long the retail set below $800, they r all made in China. What kind of sound don’t really depend on the material used, it depend on which is the factory able to produce a quality stable products as they r so many factories in China, they r all have their own specification. Once again, even though a good material been used to make an ukulele but the person who in-charge of the factory production line does not do the job, the outcome of the ukulele is beautiful but average sound.
It’s a known fact that most consumer products nowadays (especially the lower end ones) are produced in China which includes musical instruments. The point is that established brand names are serious in safeguarding the quality and reputation of their brands and insisted vigorously on the QC (quality check) in the manufacturing process. A fine examples are Apple and Japanese branded electronics/cameras/hifi which are outsourced to China.
Unfortunately, there are unscrupulous businessman who dumps the market with factory rejects or “seconds” /blemished items. I came across an established ukulele brand “Lanikai” on eBay which offers “factory/blem” at heavily discounted prices.
Hi ah kong, I agreed with u, thus buying instruments (ukulele ) , brand is not important anymore, buyers gave so many choices to select. Choose the right sound that u want. Even branded instruments when they choose the china factory to produce for their brand, his brand will not permanently produce by this factory, it is because nowadays Chinese workers turnaround rate is very high, especially after Chinese New Year. Thus, they have to re-train the workers again.
So it should be which reliable factory producing the instruments. Unfortunately , local importer, wholesaler will not review where is their source.
I’m currently looking at Anuenue U900 ($100.51 at UM), Kamoa E-S ($83 at UM) and Maestro US-10 ($99).
I don’t know which to choose. Which would you recommend?
Anuenue U900 is cute but I can’t help wondering why there is such a huge discount? The usual price is like, $200… :/
Thanks in advance!
So where in Singapore do they sell eleukes?
There’s nothing wrong with the Anuenue U900. It’s just that it’s now an “old” design! They probably need to clear stock… And ok. I don’t know which to recommend to you because those are all good. OK. I would be biased and choose the Anuenue because it is CUTE and the tone is good. The other two is like, you see which design you like and how the sound etc cause they’re kinda similar.
Please do test ALL first to see which you like best, all three are pretty good already.
I only know they have it at Ukulele Movement.
Okay sure! Thanks for the advice! 😀
Hi glen, anuenue is a Japan brand thus retail it at high price. It able to drop so much because is made in china due to low cost!
Hi glen, but is true, it has a good sound.
Hi Sarah. I took up playing ukulele 2 months ago learning through tutorials found on YouTube. I found some sites on the internet which have songs lyrics accompanied with guitar chords. Can I follow these same chords and used them on the ukulele but played with ukulele chord patterns? Also is it alright to use guitar nylon strings of similar guages for my inexpensive (under $40) ukulele.
@tonytan You can use the guitar ones but SOME songs will sound a bit weird at times. I use guitar chords to play with my ukulele and most of the time it works but for others, you might need to transpose it. It’s music! Have fun trying it out.
Also I never tried using guitar nylon ones for ukes before so I am not sure of the results exactly since they’re not really the same gauge for ukes. Theoratically it should work but I don’t know how the sound will be.
Hi Sarah, I’ve been comparing ukulele prices and apparently, those sold online are considerably cheaper even taking into account shipment costs and charges of a US forwarding company. For example, a Kala Tenor Ukulele solid spruce top is currently selling at UM for close to $500 after discount. The Hong Kong Ukulele store sells this off the rack for HK 1500 (SGD240). Amazon sells for US 159 (SGD 200). Taking into account shipment costs, it is still a huge savings. I am just wondering whether you have had any bad experience buying online, particularly, a delicate instrument like a ukulele. Regards
For other items, it’s all been good when I bought online. I haven’t bought an uke online before though. However, some of the readers here have done that for brands not found in SG. It’s all cool ONLY if you did get from a rated seller and not from dodgy places. They would know how to pack an instrument properly.
Hi Tony. You mentioned that you brought a full solid koa custom concert uke from prillante @ 450. I inquired and a full solid koa tenor cost many times more (thousand plus usd) why is there a huge price difference? In that case I might as well get them from UM for ssame price and established brands? I though size difference in ukes for different size is quite minimal….
Hi Jason, there are several type of “Koa”, original is Hawaii Koa, others will be Australia Koa, name-Blackwood”, last is the Chinese Koa. I choose the Chinese Koa, thus so much cheaper. Too bad, over here I can’t upload pictures. If you have email, I can email picture to you. This price at UM, I don’t think so. I personally don’t go for brand, I go for the sound. My view posted on 29 dec. happy new yearðŸŽŠðŸŽ‰ðŸŽŠðŸŽ‰
Hi Tony. Great info! Do drop me a mail at lctan80(at)hotmail(dot)com. Yeah what I meant is high thousand plus usd is mid two thousand in sgd. Can afford entry level full solid koa ukes from brands liao…. Cos from my little browsing the increase in price if same model up a size is only about 5 to 20 percent. I definitely know koa is expensive but too much difference from yours so… Yeah…. Have a great holiday year ukeing!
Hi Sarah, I gathered from this blog here that one can have a custom built ukulele for a budget of even only $250 with your own preference of wood, tuning post/gear and general design/make-up. What would happen if I am not satisfied with the tonal quality or craftsmanship of the finished product. Can I refused to accept it, what is the recourse for me. Go to CASE, persue the lemon law? Worse still, the manufacturer is from overseas (China). Unlike, buying off the rack where I can see, feel and test play it to my satisfaction. What’s your take on this?
Hi Jack! If I wanted to custom build an uke, I would get the local makers so that they would know what I want. It would most probably be the same as how one would comission to get a guitar made. Mostly, to double check with the person you want to get to built it from what the exact details are. It’s not anyhow buffet choose which wood etc etc, if you want to do this please do double check what it entails. If they would give you work in progress updates and what warranty.
They would most probably have samples of their work prior building yours too.
For really high end ukuleles, they are also custom built and cost a few thousand dollars. They have a reputation etc etc. And they have their own comissioning rules since it does take time to build one.
Tony might know more about getting a custom built one since I haven’t bought one like that yet.
Hi Sarah, I saw this new Mahalo Concert Ukulele U320C/All Mahogany Body complete With Free Black Bag advertised in eBay for US$55(S$67) inclusive of shipping to Singapore. I was attracted to its clean, simple design and the fact that it is a popular branded name though it is made in China. I am not certain of its tonal quality and would be taking a big risk buying online. What is your advice? This is my first ukulele purchase.
Have you tested a few brands that are available in Singapore first? Like a trial of what size you like. The thing of buying Mahalo online is that the tuning pegs sometimes might not be very good if you are unlucky. They do sell Mahalo at Davis guitar but soprano size. There are other brands that is a simple design like this model but I don’t think they are as cheap as the one you saw online unless the stores have sale going on.
I suggest to try a few stores here, and compare if the price there will be “balanced” with the one you buy online. If they will ship to you good (check the seller’s ratings) in a proper package and for you to check online if any reviews or youtube has someone playing it if you want to know how it sounds.
Also, if you buy instore, you got the perks of warranty or exchange easily instead of shipping back the uke etc. Ebay is after all, you have to go with your own luck and reputation of the seller.
Hi tony if you don’t mind can you email me the photos and video of your custom koa prillante uke that u make? I wish to see n hear the sound quality. My email is email@example.com thank you for the good opinion and option, i will try to make one too… 🙂 Appreciate it.
Walked past thoh music school yesterday and saw hanging on the rack the $350 Prillante spruce top ukulele. It doesn’t look too attractive to me design-wise, very plain and simplistic. As I was in a hurry I didn’t go in to ask for a try-out… maybe I do it next week. Just wonder whether the sound quality would be exceptional, at that price!
I noticed that my ukulele came with white coloured strings, and my cousin’s ukulele come with black strings whereas my friend’s is fitted with guitar-like nylon strings. All of our ukuleles (different brands) were the under $50 range. What is the difference of these various strings, does it affect the sound quality.
Hey Lynn. Why don’t you all strum them? Then listen if you can catch any difference. There are many brands of strings but what matters most is the sound you like.
Hi Riduan, had email pics to u Liao. Good day
Hi mike, the wonderful part is hidden behind……. Maple !
Thanks tony. 🙂
Thanks. Great info for beginners like me.
I bought a Kahua Soprano Uke for $85 (did not include case) today from Davis Guitar although now after looking online I cant find any reviews of this brand, do you know anything about it? After reading your blog it seems I may have gotten a better brand for this price, I hope I haven’t bought an imitation..??!
I wish I had have checked it out before I purchased!
What do you think?
Thanks in advance!
Hey Kelly what matters now is more like does it sound ok? Did you test out instore and if you did like it and bought it then, it is alright. I am not sure what strings it uses or what wood it is since there are many brands now but the tag on the ukulele usually says what it is made of etc. It might be similar to the other brands too even if it is a different brand.
You can obviously still play it, though i guess you can buy a cheap bag for it at thoh music school. You can probably return it if it really has a fault to it but so far, play with it first and check it all? Are you satisfied with it?
Meanwhile, you can always upgrade in the future if you really want a higher grade uke cause I think what you have now should suffice for a beginner or average playing.
Was at Yamaha Music, Plaza Singapura today. Wow, I couldn’t find their ukulele range and not a single unit was in the showroom, only guitars. I checked with the sales assistant and was told they were totally cleared of stocks (Prillante brand)and new ones would only come in a couple of months. Also enquire whether they carry Aquila ukulele strings which they do not.
Disappointed, I headed for Ukulele Movement at Dunlop Street, Little India. Walked the whole length of the street but unable to find the shop. Have they re-located from this place?
Hello Jake. Yes they have. Since last year. You should check their website for the new address.
Hi Sarah. I would like to have some opinions and feedbacks on the KONAME Soprano which is selling at SV Guitars website for $45 and fitted with Aquila strings (got bag?). Is it recommended for ukulele beginner, and is the tuning stable. I supposed they are made in China.
Hi Jan Li. I don’t know since I have no tested it out. You can check other sites if they reviewed it but you are the first here to ask about that brand. I would think it is super basic at that price and you will have to test it all out in real life to hear it. It is a plus that it is Aquila strings though!
Where can I buy a ukulele for left-handed player. My budget is $70-$100. Are they priced differently? Are there special chord diagram book specifically for left-handed player?
Hi John: I don’t know anything about left handed chord diagram books or ukuleles at that price. It’s not just for ukulele cause stringed instruments for left handers are not sold in that much variety here. Maybe if you got one built cause technically it’s just the string slots that need to be reversed then. A lot of articles say that it’s ‘easier’ to try it the standard way since all other chords and tabs will be in the standard notations.
You could go to a shop and ask for suggestions though since it’s better if you try it to test out if you can strum and play it that way.
Hello Sarah, happy new yr!
I not come here for long time and now seeing many posts by many people. I am happy Singapore friends learning ukulele. Anyway, I update you.. in the end, i got Lanikai LU-21 from online shop Qoo10… cos I see reviews is quite good and i like wood color not multi color… I playing almost everyday and loving it everytime.. the sound is really good…the price ok, i think is good for me. Paid $95 and inclding transport. The seller very good svc to me too! I recommend My another friend and she buy this very nice brand call “lag” from the same Qoo10 web… its french company, although make in china.. but i hear the sound very good also and i feeling the quality good good… ok.. i will come often here and see posts by manyu friends.. really thank you for having this page for us!
Logically any regular ukulele (maybe except cut-away model)could be re-string for left-handed player by reversing the sequence of the strings. As for chords they are played mirror-images of regular chords. I saw this left-handed young lady playing “I’m Yours” on YouTube strumming with her left-hand and fretting the chords with her right. Observe closely her C, G, Am and F chord formations.
Hey Uncle Woon! I thought of that too but for higher end ones or those crafters who pay attention to details, if you reverse the strings, it can be a bit hard cause the slots are matched to the thickness of the string. It’s like, half half chance can work.
If that is the case, reverse also the nut and and if need be the saddle as well. I supposed these are removable. That would solve the problem, right? Just my thought.
It would work! But it’s more on the budget if it gets reversed, not sure if John can do it himself or the shop can do it instead.
Been following this thread since I bought a ukulele last year. Problem is, I can’t commit myself to any lessons. Only had once at UM cos I don’t have any string instrument experience at all. I’m wondering if there’s any lessons in the East (pref PASIR RIS / tampines / Simei). Private would be a plus cos having a toddler and full-time job, my free time is quite limited. Really hope to master it one day so I can play to my son effortlessly.
Really appreciate your kind help and look forward to hear your reply.
At east area, u can try Thoh music school. Below semei mrt station, corne unit.
I didn’t know until now that Aquila ukulele strings are also made in China when I saw this $45 ukulele fitted with Aquila strings and the label stated that it is manufactured in China. I wasn’t too impressed with the sound coming out from this ukulele though. The sound lacks sustainability.
Hey Robert! I think a lot of us prefer the one made in Italy aquila strings. Sheesh, I haven’t come across the made in china ones yet. Just searched online after your comment and I see they make it now. This is probably why some readers have commented on imitation aquila strings flooding the market too.
Edit: i checked it and the china one is legit although, the websites ARE warning the use of imitation ones which are copying their packages etc.
Then I will say it is fake as there are in the market. The real Aquila strings are made in Italy! And there is a way to check whether they are real or fake! But then again, even a $45 ukulele is possible to fix with real Aquila strings to make the cheap ukulele sound better.
Hi Sarah, Do you or any poster here know whether Thoh Music has started selling Aquila strings. I understand that genuine Aquila can be verified by using a violet-ray device to proof its authenticity. Wondered whether Thoh provides such a service for their customers.
Hey Lee! I don’t visit Thoh that much. I visit UM more since I know they won’t bring in fake strings. However, I haven’t changed my strings for at least three years now, so I haven’t been looking for replacement aquilas since they are still going strong.
What do you think of a Kala travel uke? Other than its usefulness for travelling because it is slim, is it comparable to regular ukes in terms of handling and sound quality?
It’s out of my budget but I did try it at UM before. It’s coooool. Handling is ok and sound is pretty good, somehow they balanced it out in the construction. But it also depends on the person cause it does feel light and so thin! You might have to be used to it before getting comfortable, I think. In any case, if it’s not sold out try it, sometimes it’s the minor details in shape construction that while it’s good for a lot of people, it can be annoying to others.
Hi Sarah! Wow, what a blog you have! Thanks! Have you tried a Hulala uke? How do you rate the sound, esp the soprano? Thanks again!
Hello Gpheng. No, I haven’t tried out that uke before. But you can always try yourself since you encountered it and compare to other models in the shop?
Hi Sarah, I doubt the authenticity of this post(from “William”) concerning free ukulele lessons at Jalan Kayu RC as the person who posted it has not up to now responded to poster Jean Wong’s request for the telephone contact. I have also tried contacting the Jalan Kayu RC directly to clarify by calling their listed telephone number but all I get each time is always a fax ringing tone.
“Jean Wong says:
December 10, 2012 at 9:41 am
HOW DO CONTACT YOU? PLEASE LEAVE YOUR CONTACT NUMBERS!
September 17, 2012 at 8:44 pm
Hi all Ukulele enthusiastic,
I have just started learning ukulele at Jalan
Kayu RC situated at blk 546 Serangoon
North ave 3, whole course is FREE, anyone
interested can contact me, itâ€™s every Friday
7.00 to 9.30 pm.
I repeat itâ€™s totally FREE and learning in
I recently bought this concert size ukulele posted online for $69 and replaced the black strings to a new set of Aquila strings costing $10. I was amazed at the improved tonal quality and consider myself very lucky to have chanced upon this deal. Most ukuleles advertised for sale are usually soprano size and I am more comfortable with concert size uke because of its wider frets.
Thanks Uncle Sam!
To everyone else, do check out like what Uncle Sam did if you are checking out for courses. To see if it is legit.
hey:) I really enjoyed your post. I called up Ranking store at bras brasah and they have the $39 Makana model. Since it’s an imitation, I was wondering if it would be ok for a beginner like me.(I’m planning to pick it up myself)
Hey jeesi, it is ok but make sure it works ok! Test it out that the tuning pegs don’t go out easily, the frets are ok, that nothing weird is with the construction.
You will find that there is a whole lot difference with the makana with higher grade models. But if you just want to learn, it should suffice. You WILL be tempted to get a better one after that though.
Hi Sarah, I like the sound of a “low G” stringed ukulele played on Youtube. Apart from just replacing the standard G alone to a “low G” one, I do not have to do anything to the rest of the other 3 strings, is that right? How to I go about tuning the ukulele. Is it still the standard “my dog has flea” formula. If it is different how do I get hold of tuning reference. I own a concert size ukulele.
Hello Tony! Yes. It is just one string. The rest are the same. The tuning is still gcea.
I came across this on Youtube which may be useful to those who are thinking of converting their ukulele to a low G without having to buy new string.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z1PwUvjSTz4 (How to restring to low G without new strings)
I’m interested in buying a ukulele for my girlfriend.
As I know those $30 ukulele in Gmarket/Ebay goes out of tune very fast.
I saw a Ukulele in Jcube “SVGuitars”.
I would like to check if the following ukulele is wroth buying.
They look the same as the one posted in Gmarket/Ebay, Except it has a brand on it.
“Koname UP-MI-NA Soprano Ukulele”
“Eddy Finn EF-MN-BL Minnow Black Soprano Ukelele”
This is the website that I found these ukulele:http://www.svguitars.com/ukelele/?sort=priceasc
Yes, those are cool. If you managed to scroll through some of the comments on this post too, you’ll notice there are people who bought the Eddy Finn or Koname. Just be sure to try out at the store to check through it before you give it to her.
Hi Sarah. I came across this ukulele by the brand name Waikiki (which sounded Hawaiian) in a Katong shop. It’s a tenor sized and selling for $79. Have you any comments or pointers on whether this ukulele would be suitable for a new beginner like me. I noticed that it is very much bigger than the little sized ukulele that I often see. What is the difference in terms of performance between the two. Are they using same strings and tuned differently.
Hello Eddy! Yes it is tuned the same way. The strings are similar only that if you do need to change, you might need tenor strings for they are LONGER and the circumference is just a bit bigger.
If you are in a quiet place, you can notice the very slight difference between the tenor and the soprano aka the tiny one you usually see when you strum. It is the same note but the tone is a bit deeper.
You can try out a tenor for a beginner. There are a lot of beginners who like concerts or tenors because it is easier for them to press on the frets if their fingers are too big for sopranos.
Like I advise to anyone, whatever brand it is, just make sure YOU like how it sounds and that it is constructed well. That after testing it won’t go off tune easily, the sides of the neck are smooth, the strings are aligned properly and that the shop will at least give you a warranty or replacement thing if you notice there is something wrong with it within the few days or week of playing it.
I have large hands so think I’ll need a concert size. Any suggestions on a beginner concert ukulele under $100?
I saw SVguitars has tone drive concert 99, but they dont see to have it in wood finish anymore. (listed at 75, but really 79 or 85 for a painted in stock version)
For concert, searching something under $100 is a bit hard. You could try Thoh music if they have any stock though since they usually sell them cheap http://thohmusic.org/ or maybe Davis guitar if they have any stock on concerts since I remember their prices are around that range unless they increased.
Hi sarah, can i have your permission to use ur blog here to sell my 3 months old ukulele to those who want to buy with a low budget or give away. Can i? 🙂 As i have 3 ukulele but this ukulele i seldom use.
Hey Riduan, you can comment here but then, you should post in music forums like SOFT or selling threads in places like hardwarezone or something cause you’ll get more response that way.
I picked the Cordoba UP100 Concert Ukulele Pack
over at The Guitar Gallery near dhoby ghaut. Acceptable price of $126. Sounds ok to me (untrained ear) and seems to be of good quality- came with aquila strings, gig bag and a pitch pipe.
what do you think of the tuning apps for iphone and android? Been using ‘pitchlab’, seems good.
That’s cool! Also I don’t use tuning apps since I got the tuner. However, the annoying thing of tuning apps is that if the place is pretty noisy, you can’t use it as easily. Otherwise, it’s pretty cool since it’s convenient whenever you have your phone near you.
Hello! I just wanted to ask you how tgm ukeleles sound like? I bought a Makana ukelele ($39) from Ranking Sports and Music and I found out that it was an imitation product. However, it has Aquila strings. Should I opt to pay slightly more for a tgm ukelele or stick to the Makana one? The lady on the phone told me that Makana is better than tgm. I’m quite confused. So please tell me your opinions on both ukeleles and what I should do. Please do reply me on my email. Thank you so much!
As of well, if you noted my edit in the post, once Makana started out with the Aquila strings, they upgraded their construction like woah! I can’t say which is better because both Makana and TGM have the super basic versions which if you do check or ask the shop keeper, the wood might be the same range of wood too.
Anyway, you have to go check it out yourself because BOTH at the range of $39 are still super beginner and will probably sound similar anyway. It’s when you buy the more expensive ones that’s when you could see a difference in the craftmanship/design, the parts and perhaps the sound.
Emailing you this comment!
I hope you won’t mind this post.
My son needs a ukelele that he can use in school.
Is there anyone here who wants to sell his or her ukelele?
You can email me the photos and contact number at: firstname.lastname@example.org
I have the misfortune of having the plastic knob on my ukulele tuning head broken while I was tuning it. The plastic knob cracked and came loose from the tuning post.
I attempted to fix it with super glue but I guess it is only a temporary measure as I reckon it would not withstand repeated turning when I need to rewind the string again. Is there a place where I can buy replacement. Do I have to replace the whole set or just the defective one. Also can I just replace the knob alone without disturbing the rest of the tuning post. From my observation it takes only two screws to put it in place if a new tuning peg is replaced. My ukulele is a fairly old one.
Hi Douglas! You can go to guitar repair shops or well, ukulele ones. The bigger music stores, not the small ones. Peninsula plaza stores will help you more as they have some crafters there so they might sell some parts.
I only know Ukulele Movement does fix ukes but not sure if they sell parts so try peninsula plaza!
I came across your blog. And i just want to ask. There is a shop at orchard central.
They sell ukelele and the brand name is toms. Are they of good quality?
Isit possible to play a ukelele with a strap? And how do i actually fix a strap button on my ukelele, does UM do it?
Thanks so much in advance!
While I can’t know every brand that comes out cause, well, you get to know the most popular ones around and not the less known ones, you should just check what it is made of, how it is constructed etc! Just test it out!
Also, UM puts buttons on by screwing said button in. Most of the time, the ukulele might have it already. You can also buy a strap without screwing that bit in. They DO sell those at UM, it is a hook that hooks from the soundhole.
I saw the shop at OC before but it was just opening when I visited it. I remembered that they have pretty good uke cases though.
Anyway, just get the strap that doesn’t require screwing said button in. Unless you really want to use specific guitar straps on it. Then get a professional to install it, pro guitar shops could do it too. As for the sound, I don’t know since it all depends on fhe person who installs it and hopefully they are good enough to do it.
Hi, u may get the ukulele strap without drilling the hole. U may get it less than $12 at Thoh music Sch.
Just wanted to say – THANKS! for the awesome blog post. everyone has been bombarding you with questions, sometimes without even saying thanks. you deserve a giant thank you for providing us ukulele beginners with so much information.
i have been a proud owner of a makala for about a year. i had chanced upon your website previously when i was doing research on getting my first ukulele. now, i’m ready to move on so i’m once again doing research over the internet when i chanced upon your website again. i simply had to say thanks again! let’s uku on!
You’re welcome! And heh yes play on indeed!
I’m a beginner player. Bought the teach yourself to play ukulele complete pack from Cristofori Music School recently, but it seems to go out of tune after a few plays.
Does it help if I change the strings ? If yes, what string shd i change to and where can I get it changed and roughly what is the cost to get it changed? Thanks so much !
No, it won’t help that much to change strings. It looks like your tuning pegs are the problem. This is why one gets to test their uke their buying instead of buying those box packs.
You should try return to Christofori and state them your problem and see if you can get an exchange or if they can do anything about it for you like fix the tuning pegs or something.
Mind you, how is your few plays? If it is like a few strums, definitely tuning peg problem. If it is one session and then another session after packing up etc then it is normal cause you usually retune it before playing.
Guess i should have patiently read through all your inputs and some others on your blog, before i rashly did a purchase today —
Coz my kid’s school is trying to get the kids to perform something for their year end concert, parents were given an option of purchasing one for their kids.
I asked around, and one of my bosses had one that he was willing to let go off – and before i knew it, I’ve agreed to pay $25 for it, just like that! Sigh.
Its a TGM, no idea what size, probably a concert, and came in a casing/cover.
Brought it home, and started to play with it – i’ve got some music and simple guitar background –
1. the strings keep getting “untuned” easily – within minutes, and seems like even within a song!
Guess its the pegs? Anyway i can get this “repaired”?? or i’d just have to live with it? (argh)
2. Any songs you know, with just c and f chords? for the 5 year old?
Thanks so much!
The strings getting untuned easily when playing is DEFINITELY the pegs then. Not sure if you can get it repaired depending on how it is. Here’s a method: http://www.ukeschool.com/ukulele/tuning/wont_stay_in_tune.html it’s just to screw the small screw harder but not sure if it’ll 100% work for you. Worth a try though.
No way to get a replacement from the school or something? My own fav default uke is a TGM but it doesn’t have that problem so it might just be your piece :c .
As for two chord songs, mostly is just C and G7 and not C and F in ukulele songs.
You can teach and play together Row Row Row Your Boat. http://suite101.com/article/play-ukulele-tunes-with-two-chords-c-and-g7-a70262
I think I might have 2 more songs that use just 2 chords, I’ll edit this comment at night when I check my own notebooks.
Download this book for your child! It has a lot of 2 chord songs.
thanks, Sarah. It gets untuned after a session. In this case, does changing of string helps ?
Should have done more homework before getting one. 8-(
Then no, it will be that way as long as you put in your bag etc cause the pegs get moved then if you jostle it. This is normal! Also with ANY instrument, you would tune it before playing. Or it gets untuned if you really play wildly during your session.
However, if you scroll just above, SL has a major tuning peg problem and would need go fix his pegs. That’s what I mean by a few strums or even when playing it would make your ukulele go out of tune.
Changing strings might not help you on this but we’d change them if we just wanted a different tone since different strings give a different feel too.
Thank you so much for your replies!
checked out the various sites – interesting thing –
Perhaps my boss who sold me his TGM ukulele had really not been using it… Coz as i played and played with it the whole of yesterday and today, i noticed it is starting to “stabilise” a little more as time passes. As in, it doesn’t un-tune itself as quickly anymore. Can even last a few songs! That should be quite ok, right?
Between plays and going into the case, ya, needs re-tuning after, like you said.
So i’ll sit on it, maybe it’ll turn out to be a good 2nd hand buy after all! *fingers crossed*
I’ve downloaded that beginner book, THANK YOU soooooo much!!!
Hahah great! Yes, it should be ok. Note, if your TGM isn’t with the Aquila strings, you can upgrade it IF you want (it’s not necessary) and it’ll sound better too cause that’s what I did with mine compared to the default black strings if it’s one of the early generations of TGM ukuleles that you got.
I am new to ukulele or i should say i am new to music, never touch before. After reading the post I went to Peninsula Plaza have a view at all the shops, however i still dunno what to choose, seems like they no longer carry Kala or LANNIKAI and all seemed to sound alike. Hope you could recommend some brand for newbie like me to get started.
Hi JT and SL,
The strings that go out of tune are normally the E and A string right?
Guess its rather normal even mine runs out after a few days… But nothing a little tuning can’t fix 🙂
That is why see what your budget and what design you like. Don’t look at just brands. For the super beginner range all of them are nearly the same. Have you seen any that attracts you? After that test it to make sure the piece you want is all ok.
i think i am only attracted to the design and color insead of sound haha. By the way i was thinking of getting a tenor, do you know what is the price range like? i saw all above 100 is there any in the market that is of lower price? You mention test it, mind telling me what to test and how? sorry for noob question
For tenor all IS above $100 because it’s bigger. Also, you could try Thoh music school, not sure if they have a sale for that size but generally if you want tenor, it’s already that price.
Hmmm the easiest way to explain how to test it is strum on it and check the tuning pegs won’t go out of tune easily. Check the sides by running your fingers along the neck that there’s no pointy edges and that the frets (the metal thingies) are smooth on the sides. See if there’s no dents or weird things on the ukulele? That one standard must see that you didn’t get one that someone knocked over or whatever. If you don’t know how, ask the shopkeeper to help you out.
Hi, Sarah is correct, check it out at Thoh music Sch, their tenor ukulele is quite unique design with cut away. Moreover is a solid cedar top, most important is under your budget which is less than $100!!!
Hi Tony and Sarah,
Thanks for the info. Just to check do I need to change the string to Aqulia ? cause from reading the post it seems like the uke will sounds better.
It depends on what kind of sound you are going for! In any case, I think they would be stringing it with aquila. Check label or ask the seller. It is not a must to change strings anyway, only if you want to.
Thanks for the insights, I shall drop by there 🙂
Hello Sarah! I love reading your reviews. I’m interested in the ukulele recently but I still could not differentiate between the soprano and concert ukulele. Besides the concert one being just a bit longer than the soprano, is there other noticeable differences? Can the soprano ukulele play tabs and chords too?
That is it really. The concert just has more frets. This is most helpful when you want to play classical songs or something.
My usual default is a soprano! And yes of course you can play a soprano with the usual tabs and all, that is the most popular size to use.
Oh I see. So since a concert ukulele has more frets, it can play a wider range of notes? The soprano ukulele is cute though!
Hi bear, technically yes!
But most songs use the top frets anyway. It is if you want to do fingering or really fancy songs like waltz or something, you won’t use the extra frets that the concert has.
Cool! Do you know any places in Singapore that sell the Lanakai soprano? (:
Nope! You have to check the different stores yourself to see if they have stock. Ukulele Movement might have but other stores might stock it too.
Haha alrights time to save money! (:
Hello Sarah! I’m planning to buy a ukulele but can a soprano ukulele play tabs too? The internet and youtube focuses a lot on strumming for soprano ukuleles
Yes of course! You have to know that soprano is technically the default of the ukuleles. You can do fingering and strumming.
Tabs are just notations for strumming. Some have fingering too so… Of course you can use a soprano!
And unless you know how to play classical songs and what not, you probably won’t need a concert ukulele. Cause if you’re asking this soprano ukulele question, chances are you don’t need a concert.
If you want to reassure yourself, look at your tabs, see at what point is the ‘maximum’. Most songs will end waaaay before fret 12 which is where a soprano ends.
If your tabs have fret 13 or 14 then that song is for a concert or tenor. Note, out of all the songs I have played, which is well, a LOT only one has ever reached past fret 12 and that’s just because it was a freaking Hayao Miyazaki waltz from Howl’s Moving Castle. And THAT is a freaking expert piece that needs a concert.
I want to start playing ukulele, so I’m looking for “Alfred’s Teach Yourself to Play Ukulele, Complete Starter Pack”, does Cristofori have it?
I have no idea! You have to check Cristofori yourself. Be sure to check which branch you’re calling though since they have a few branches and not sure if they have whatever stock of that pack. I think Yamaha had that, the one at Plaza Singapura.
Meanwhile when buying starter packs like this, BE CAREFUL cause you sometimes can’t open the box there and just test it. One of the readers have done that before and got a uke that went out of tune fast. For ‘safety’, you can always ask if any shop has a package where they can sell you with discount for buying uke+books+tuner+any extra stuff.
Okay Thank you 😀
There’s this shop called Moosic at Coronation Plaza, do you think its good if you have seen it?
I haven’t been there. But you should check what they have. Could be the standard ukuleles. In any case, test before you buy and see if got any warranty for any shop you choose to get from.
Okay 🙂 Thanks once again:D
Also, what is considered ‘cheap’ for a ukulele? <$40? <
And thanks for the quick answer!
Hey Esther, yes that is considered super cheap already!
If you find ukes that cheap always double check what they are made of and their construction cause this is below average price. Can find ok ones though it will sell out fast if it is good.
Hi guys, $40 cheap? Ha, GSs sale at Thoh music school, I saw the adv 2 days ago. All instruments at 50% off, soprano basic model, after discount , less than $40!!!
Oh yah GSS!!
Okay thanks 😀
Just got a Makana UK-2100 for $39.00 today at Ranking Brash Barsah shop.
Good build but come with Aquila strings. So i am happy
The down side is the it goes out of tune with a few songs, so i hope that it will stabilize shortly.
Just a tip, i didn’t get the digital tuner. just got an iphone and download the app : “Pitch Perfect” by NCH.
And yup, functions like one good tuner 🙂
I bought PR Sapele LT23 at thOh Music today, was $107 but had 50% off and it came with Aquila strings 😀 I just want to ask, is this good? and the tune goes off quickly…
Did it sound good to you? Did you like the design? Hahah it’s pretty subjective to ask if it’s good or not. In any case, the price is definitely nice. On the tuning bit, how quick is quickly? Sometimes it needs time to season the strings though but if it goes quickly like within one song and didn’t give any improvements even after playing a while, you should ask the shop to help out.
Hi Esther, this is how I do. Tune to correct tone for all strings, then pull all individual string at the soundhole area, pull it several time, say 3 times for each string. After this procedure then tune to correct tone again. The strings will then stable! The technical part is because nylon strings unlike acoustic steel strings where they have ball end. Nylon strings are just tying a knot at the end thus need pulling to get them tighten. This is also the way to test the tuning pegs.
Ooh okay thank you Tony and Sarah! 🙂
Have you experienced travelling and bringing your ukulele as hand-carry? My boss was asked by SIA to check hers in as she wasn’t allowed to carry it on board. I didn’t know about that policy until she encountered it.
Any suggestions where to find good hard cases that aren’t too expensive too? Thanks.
Whaaat, you can’t hand carry it? I think some people have done that before but maybe it’s diff airline. Anyway, I didn’t know that was policy too maybe cause use ukulele as a weapon… Hardcases I’ve only seen at Ukulele Movement or the music store at the upper floors of Orchard Central. They are pretty expensive already unless you try ebay or second hand.
Hi Sarah! 🙂 may sound like a noob here haha recently just got interested in ukulele and decided to get one a pick up a skill during the June holidays but have absolutely no idea where to buy it. Since I’m currently cash tight and am a student with no income so feeling guilty for using my parent’s money, my budget will prolly be $50. Do you know where to get a good ukulele that is below $50 and will last for long since I’m really interested in picking up a skill by myself? 🙂 would prefer if the ukulele is in color but doesn’t rally matter. 🙂 thank you!
With that budget, go to Thoh music school. Current GSS so got discount. There will be ukuleles there for you to check out! In case of anything, you still can upgrade to another ukulele once you have budget but their ukes should suffice you in playing!
Thank you so much for the response. Me and my colleagues will try with Silk Air in the 3rd week of June on our trip to Cambodia. But we want to be prepared with hard cases if they ask us to check the ukuleles in. I will let you all know how it goes. I know in the US, it isn’t an issue for the airlines. But as you said, maybe it differs?
I bought a set of D’Addario soprano ukulele strings at Bras Basah recently. I later found out that on the packaging it states that the string notes were B, F#, D & A instead of the normal G, C, E, A.
Do you think they are suitable for my ukulele which I normally use GCEA strings.
Does it mean if I decided to use it I have to tune them to B, F#, D & A. Will it affect the chord formation and sound of it.
I just checked a few sites to double check, looks like some others who bought D’Addario online seem to have this problem. It’s ok though! Just tune it like how it says here: http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?33980-BF-DA-vs-GCEA-strings
Or in other words, string your ukulele to these positions:
A = G
F# = E
B = A
I was looking for Aquilla strings for my uke and chance upon this D’Addario strings which the shop person told me they are as good as Aquilla and also Made in USA. I was a bit sceptical as the price is almost half that of the Aquilla set. But they do not carry Aquilla strings. May I have your feedback on this D’Addario strings, are they as good? I also notice that the strings notation are not GCEA.
Personally I haven’t tried them but I know they are reputable string makers at least. If you scroll up in comments just a bit before yours, someone bought them and the tuning is answer there. You could try youtube to see if anyone plays with them but so far I don’t know how bright or mellow it is in terms of tone.
Hi guys, I just know that Thoh music school have another new branch at Katong shopping centre, b1-35. They also having 50% off for all instruments include ukulele. And free instruments when u sign up for the courses. Wow! Today I will go down n check it out!
Are you sure you’re not staff of Thoh? I don’t mind if you are, cause that means we might at least know the latest updates from there. But that’s cool on the sale!
I just their loyal fan due to their friendly services. I learned a lot of things from them regard purchasing of raw woods into ready products to sell thus I knew some technical n products knowledge. Their supplier Prillante music instruments has their own factory in china, that is why their ukuleles can sell that cheap. Imagine their tenor size cut away, solid top ukulele, after 50% off only at $67.5.!! Moreover now have free Hilo (tenor size, solid top) free when u sign up their course…..
I think I can volunteer to become your assistant to help u reply some of the knowledge that I knew. If u don’t mind.
About this Thoh Music sale, may I know when is it happening. When is the sale ending as I am leaving town tomorrow. If it is ending by end June (tomorrow) then I think you are not doing anyone much favour broadcasting it now at such a late hour. By the way when you say 50% off, are they selling the instruments at regular prices (pre-sales) and not revised mark-up prices.
Another point of note is that I guess Sarah is right – I think you are associated with Prillante. Because whenever the name Prillante or Thoh Music is mentioned your name would appear. Are you a music teacher with them. Come on don’t be shy.
I have been thinking… another point to note. If retailer can sell at 50% off, Thoh Music and Ukulele Movement can sell their instruments at half price then their mark-up and hence profit margin must be quite fantastc. I am sure many of their customers would be upset if they have bought from them a month or two earlier.
So it is prudent to take note of their Sales pattern and plan your purchase accordingly if you are looking for spare sets.
Hi Anthony, as mentioned, I am just a loyal fan of Thoh, as they impart lots of knowledge to me, as a repayment, I just highlighted of what I know. They can have 50% off , probably due to they are the manufacturer of ukuleles, also I think they r clearing their stocks as they said, new range of ukuleles are coming. No mark up of the prices then offer discount.
Regard high profits?? Some of the popular apparel of electrical appliances retailer also can even offer as high as 60% off. A t-shirt used to sell at $19.9, now only at $5, what will u think.
Who cares, what I know, at the end , it benefits to consumers. What we also know, these retailers are clearing their old stocks.
Btw, anthony, Thoh 50% off for instruments ends at 15 July.
Hi Tony (if I may respond)
I think Anthony is trying to drive a point. The retailer is clearing his marked-up $19.90 regular priced t-shirt at $5 (at his cost price) to get rid of old or out-of-season range or over-stock. This still show that his profit margin is quite high as much as 400% i.e. four times his cost price when he was selling at $19.90.
At the the end of the day it does still benefit the end-users who are looking for a bargain and not too particular of old stocks.
Only pity the poor re-seller who is stuck with his stock of regular priced items. Or the consumer who recently or just bought prior to the commencement of the sales.
Are u guys joking about the markup? If you’re purchasing a musical instrument you should very well know the markup will be at least in that range. Ukes arent necessities and you dont change ukes every year, let alone every month or week, so obviously the markup is going to be higher than say your char kway teow and carrot cake. How do u expect instrument sellers to survive if they sell their products to an already niche market at just a 50% markup?
Regarding the sales pattern, if you’ve been in the country for a few years you’ll know that the sales period of most stores is during june-july. If you want to wait 2 months for the lower price then by all means go ahead. If you cant wait and wish to buy something now then well no one is stopping you and as the saying goes, “time is money”, so the time u save waiting is what u gain in exchange for giving the sale price a miss.
I’ve personally been to thoh at simei before (about a year back) and i would say the advice their sales staff provided me was pretty useful. They were very helpful and exlained things such as the wood and craft of their ukes although i did not buy one from them, and this helped me make an informed decision when i eventually decided to buy a uke at ukulele movement. Personally, i was more unsure about the brand prilliante at that time since it was still very young (and still is now) hence i decided to check out ukulele movement’s range of products. From what i see though, i have been spotting more prilliante guitars around recently so i think they are gaining some popularity, probably for the lower price and the fair quality and i would believe the same for their ukuleles.
I was shopping in Katong and came across this Ibanez ukulele set nicely packaged in a colourful box. It is on sale for slightly under $100. As I am intending to learn the ukulele I wondered whether this set is of any good. Would you be able to offer some kind of advice and opinion on this brand. I am a complete starter when it comes to playing any instrument. Thank you.
I’ve no idea what the Ibanez ukulele is but you can check this website more info since I have no idea which model it is nor what it is made of since there are many: http://ukulelehunt.com/buy-ukulele/brands/ibanez-ukulele/
In any case, if you take note of my tips including testing and and all it should be good, but what else is included in the set? Ibanez makes good guitars so they should probably be good in basic ukulele too. Do read my testing a ukulele post so that you can check yours out too.
Just to relate; one of our friend came boasting he got a soprano size ukulele for a steal for under $25 at a music shop in simei. We were all admiring his new “toy” when one of us pointed out that two of the tuning pegs were “misaligned” i.e. they were not fitted parallel to the other. Another production defect we spotted was the brand name and logo was not properly printed with glaring imperfection visible. Worst of all, the overall sound of the ukulele was not very impressive. Just wondered whether he has gotten himself a “lemon” in his haste to finish his purchase. You think he can still bring it back to the shop for an exchange.
Hi Paul, I don’t know if that is a rhetorical question or if you wanted to warn others but if that wasn’t rhetorical, it will depend on the shop’s policy. Personally I buy from UM or Ranking and they are good with service. Otherwise, to all also remember to test and check before buying, that is why I say always test your uke out in case of these things. It doesn’t matter the cost if it is super cheap or expensive, testing and checking is important.
Hi Sarah! I’ve just got interested in ukulele really recently. Would need your advice, as a beginner, what kind of brand is suitable for me? My main focus would be Makala. But not sure what kind really is good for beginners. By the way I’m just having it to fill my free time ad not for professional play. Would be very much glad if you could advice. Thanks a lot. (;
Hi Nurul, looks like you did your research! A makala will work for you. Just see what designs you like and which shop you’re buying from. You can at least get yourself an average beginner uke so that it won’t be annoying if you got a super cheap but not worth it one.
am interested in getting a ukulele. may i check if the ukulele given lesser string compared to guitar, can play all songs? i meant is there a limitation what it can’t play? i would like to play chinese classical song…
I’m not exactly sure how to answer this because there are so many other instruments that have lesser strings than guitars and can play complex songs while having more strings than a guitar won’t also mean it will be able to play them. You might want to get a concert ukulele because it has more FRETS and that means more notes.
As it is, I leave you with this guy: https://www.youtube.com/user/jakeshimabukuro/videos
The limitation is more on yourself as ukuleles are higher pitched BUT you can always transcribe your own music to fit it. So I can say yes, it can play Chinese Classical songs only that you have to transcribe or arrange them on your own if you don’t have the notes.
Also here, have some Sungha Jung https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=24el6drbsJg
There are other players but yeah there you go. Best if you are unsure to go test out in a shop to hear the range of notes and remember, a ukulele is not a guitar so it will sound more cheery.
Could you let on where you bought the Eleuke electric uke?
My Eleuke was from Ukulele Movement.
Compare Kala and tgm, which is better? 🙂 thank you
Hi Jaslin, Kala > TGM. Kala is an actual uke company specializing in it and TGM is for super budget basics.
Not sure why you’re asking this though if you know Kala is a uke brand. Go look in real life or online on the model you want not just the brand.
Haha. I was thinking if worth ot to get a kala ukulele for $60. Not very sure about the model though.
Hahah I seee. Well, Jaslin you still need to TEST. Check my ukulele section/tag and make sure you test the uke you want. You still have to know the model, not just the brand. Also they’ll describe to you what it is made of, etc and you need to see for yourself if it is ok.
Thank you! Just wondering, what’s the cheapest price for a kala ukulele?
I don’t know. I can only look in general at the Ukulele Movement website since they have an online store but you can get in store offers from other music stores or if it is a sale season at UM too. Generally around $80? If it is from the nice material with design and bag included.
MAKE SURE when you buy a ukulele from ANYWHERE that there is a bag included in the price and that if it is a good ukulele, the bag should not be the crap one.
Okay. thankyou very much. is it worth it to get lanikai lu 11 soprano for $70? What do you mean by a crappy bag btw?
Well Jaslin, a crappy bag is the one that is super flimsy. Like plastic. For those brands sometimes you get a nicer one like a padded bag. If not, it would be STURDY plastic bag if not the padded bag.
And Lanikai is good and that price is pretty reasonable but be sure you LIKE the design and are attracted to playing with it. Including how it fits with your hands and how it sounds.
Hmm, I am not particular about the design. haha. Oh dear. The bag that comes with it is flimsy. Should I still get it?
Jaslin: Well get it! Haha if you like the ukulele, you can buy a cheap sturdy bag from Thoh Music school. Also if you’re not going to be rough with your uke, the bag should be ok for you in the first place. Just like a cover.
Hey! Thanks a lot. I just got it! 🙂
Hi Sarah, should I get a Prillante solid top tenor ukulele for $80 or go for the Makala MK-T from UM? I have a restricted budget of hopefully not more than $100, and this will be the first ukulele I’m getting. Since I already play guitar, I think I’ll still play the ukulele after getting it.
Hi JW, I see you are choosing tenor sized. Either is good if you can get it under hundred since most ukes at that size is around hundred anyway. See which you prefer since both are really similar already. Just see if the shop will give good after service or warranty.
The Makala MK-T is more expensive than your $100 budget but it is indeed confirmed good. However if you really want to go under that budget, go with the Prillante solid top. Either way, you need to check if you like the sound and design. Also, from where you get your prillante, make sure the shop has a good warranty or after service since I know UM at least provides that service. In general all tenors from various brands usually hit around the $100 plus range because of the size too. The Prillante should be pretty ok but you just need to check like how you check your own guitar in the action/fretboard/etc.
I’m so happy to come across ur blog.
I’m trying to get a good concert for my husband. Budget wise $150. Is there any recommend brand?
Will I able to get a good pcs, so it can last longer. Afraid of those keep running out of tune fast…
Saw online selling Lanikai LU-21C Concert Ukulele at $138.
Do u think it good n worth?
Hi Jen, $150 budget for concert is good. You can get the good ones at that price. lanikai is indeed good but with that budget you can look around more to see any other design you like too since you can have more choice in checking out other brands like Kala. Go looksee Ukulele Movement too, they’ve been sending out a newsletter a few days ago on discounted prices for some models.
Have a look at their website. Seems like Kala concert is way above my budget.
Done some research… Lanikai seem like run out tune quite often.
Now I’m quite lost of selection.. Hehehe!
hi Jen! heh for all ukes you need to test out, in real life though the lanikais don’t get out of tune THAT often. I hope you are trying it in the stores instead as you will see that it doesn’t do the weird out of tune thing. Either way, check it on site! if it really does go out of tune, you can get it fixed or replacement from shop. Do this for any brand you decide to pick!
Thanks dear. Will have a look at their shop soon. *^^*
Which brand do u think it better? Makala Concert Model MK-C or Lanikai LU-21C Concert ?
This might be short list brand that I will consider but i will still head down n have a listen to their sound.
As my getting for my husband bday present, wanted to ensure it good. *^^*
Hi Jen, ahhh tough to decide both are similar except the wood on the body. I prefer the makala but that is personal bias. Also when buying see if the shop will include a nice bag to go with it for him!
Yes indeed, that made me hard to decide. Hehe!
I know that Lanikai LU-21C Concert come with bag but no warrenty, as I’m be buying online.
Seen his reviews, look like not bad lor.. Haiz! Will test it out in store first. Thanks dear!
Oh Jen! Try call up Davis guitar at peninsula plaza, they might have lanikai but I don’t know if they have any concerts. just check,lanikai resellers in singapore, there sure is a list.
Wow… Thanks dear!!
Hey, Ukulele Movement no longer brings in Eleuke.
For those interested in electric ukuleles.
I have a Teton electric ukulele for sale here, it is made by the US distributors of Eleuke. Set up by the reputable Mim from Mimsukes.
Hi! I looking for a concert ukulele, budget will be $50-100. Any recommendation?
If you looked through comments you’d see there’s some. However for CONCERT it’ll be more of $80-$150 range mostly because it’s bigger than Soprano. You could looksee online at Ukulele Movement first or check the shops at Peninsula Plaza. From what I remember it’ll be mostly around $120 unless there is a sale?
Hi Sarah, I actually quite keen to get a Tone Drive concert 99. Is it nice? It costs around $89.
Or u may try yamaha, they carry Prillante concert size, cedar top, sapele back n side withaquila strings, with quality padding bag. Around your budget.
You need to try in real life to see if you like it but the other readers who got that one did like it cause of the design/sound.
Hi Sarah, can I check where to change the string for my ukulele. The thread here is too long and you may have mention but I will appreciate your help. The ukulele I bought from Qoo10, the string is quite tough and my kids have problem strumming it. So which type of string should I change?
First, just to note strings should be strummed quite often at least when you first buy them to season them.
Secondly if you do want to buy strings, I’m not sure what’s a ‘soft’ string but the most popular one that everyone uses is Aquila around here.
Ukulele Movement always stocks Aquila strings and does provide stringing service.
Peninsula basement, Davis guitar possibly stocks them you should call them up just in case they didn’t have it in stock when you want to visit. In fact, the basement of peninsula plaza, you will see a lot of guitar shops and they would possibly stocks the strings just in case too.
At Bras Basah, the first floor, there is a Chinese Bookshop with a tv in front, they do sell Aquila strings but they do not provide stringing service. If you go up to the upper floors, Ranking Sports & Music, I can’t remember if they have the strings BUT they should be able to provide the service cause they sell guitars an other instruments too.
Ironically, Swee Lee doesn’t sell Aquila strings for ukulele but they do provide a stringing service.
For all the shops, stringing services cost money (around $1 per string?) but if you just buy a pack on your own and slowly remove the strings from the ukulele and replace with the ones in the pack, it’s doable too. I tend to just go to Ukulele Movement first because all the other shops aren’t confirmed to keep the strings in stock all the time.
I rate the ones who’d have most likely in current stock is:
1) Ukulele Movement (you can buy online on their shop. For one pack of strings, I checked it’s around $0.80 to ship to you.)
2) Davis Guitar
Oh and if you decide to choose any shop, make sure you choose the CORRECT pack of strings! See the size of your ukulele. If you bought from Qoo10 I will assume it is soprano and the pack should say GCEA regular strings for Soprano.
HI Sarah, thanks for the reply. I’ll check out Ukulele Movement.
Hi Sarah, where can I find ukulele’s for around 40 to 50 SGD? Any recommendations such as stores and brands? The TGM looked pretty good, where can I find it? (I’m planning to buy one as a present for my friend)
The TGM was from Ranking Sports & Music which is at Bras Basah. It’s around your price range if it’s not sold out! Thoh music school at Simei MRT too has cheap ones like Prillante. But note these are for soprano size and that you might need to change your own strings depending on the cheap model you buy. The strings that come in is playable though.
Or the Eddy Finn at SV Guitars! Some people like it and it’s $49 so it’s really JUST in your budget.
My friend recently has dealing with this botak Chinaman guy who call himself mightytony, treebonding or simply Tony. He has been promoting the Prillante ukuleles for sale of late online and also always seem to be vocally getting himself involved whenever the name Thohmusic or Prillante is mentioned in your blog.
We really suspect he is associated with or from Thohmusic. Guesss many of your readers knew about it too, even yourself had mntioned it in one of your earlier blog.
Talking about Thotmusic we came to know that they are now having their year-end sale but lo and behold their Prillante prices have shot up by as much as 60%, a $135 tenor is now $216! Talk about inflation and only months ago during GSS they were giving away 50% discount.
Really appalled and shocked by their pricing tactics. How to support Prillante?, have to change allegiance to some other cheaper brands.
Are u sure u r Cecilia, u r petty old man, Daniel Yue from ukuleke interest group. Just because u can’t get a good deal from me through st classified which is link to “carousell”, a phone apps able you to sell your products. U r here to throw…
U said I always appeared when Thoh or Prillante mentioned, why don’t u said Sarah always mentioned about UM, does that mean she also associated with UM too?
I think you r living in the well as nowadays rental, labour cost are so high, even in China, labour cost also increase 100% as compare to 3 years ago. in order to have the profit to continue, a reasonable profit margin is necessary. I went to shanghai music show several time during my business trip there, where all the instruments manufacturer are there. Do u want to know the popular japan brand Anuenue but made in china, how much UM mark up? As long the price that u bought belong to the market price, I can accept either have discount or not.
Last time LED 55″ TV cost you 6-8k, now, u can get $2-4k. Then how, you sue them, complain to them?
Why not u ask for 100% discount from UM and see they want to sell to u or not.
Hi Sarah Like to have your opinion on ukuleles built with plastic body (back and sides) but wood top. I came across one and it is with arched back. It sounded reasonably good and comes in an attractive colourful design and also has a dolphin bridge. Are they durable and would it crack easily. Are they suitable for a 10-year old. My boy is interested to take up playing the ukulele. I understand they are available at UM.
Hey Anthony, if you do like the sound and design, it SHOULD be suitable for your boy. It sounds like the Makala dolphin that you’re describing? Then yeah, it won’t crack easily. But I mean that it won’t crack easily like any other pure wood ones too cause it’ll obviously break if you smash it against things on purpose. It seriously won’t crack under normal use.
If for some reason it does crack, you can get a replacement/get it fixed at UM. Mind you this isn’t just at UM but it should be for any other music shop too, they would have warranty for it or the length of time from your date of purchase. And it wouldn’t be just for the Makala Dolphin but any other brand of uke you decide to buy.
My wife and I recently join up a ukulele interest group. We are quite new with this instrument and have alot of fun joining in the singing although we are not good at handling the chords. We are beginning to get the hang of it as days progresses. What we find lacking in this interest group sessions are the absence of a competent instructor or any form of audio-visual aids. We understand these programmes supported by the community centres are sponsored by PA to foster community bondings.
Instruments are available for loan to participants without their own during these sessions.
I’m approving this comment but you don’t seem to have a question…? But it’s good to know there are interest groups at least.
Hi Sarah, I took up ukulele recently and got myself a Prilante ukulele which comes with black nylon strings. After playing on it for half an hour or so I feel
uncomfortable as my left hand fingers began to ache. I notice that they are impression marks on the “meaty” part of my fingers where I pressed the strings. Are my strings too tight or are they too hard. Are there softer type tht I can replaced for better playability.
I have heard about this Aquila strings. Is this the type pople normally use. Any recommendation on balms to soothe the pain.
I don’t think it’s your strings. I’ve touched them or ‘see see’ it in stores for fun, they’re kind of regular strings but it’s more of you need to practice more. Even if you changed to Aquila strings you might find them too ‘hard’ although changing to Aquila strings WOULD make it sound much brighter.
You’re just pressing onto the strings too hard, I’ve done that in the beginning when I’ve first learned ukulele. You need to have a break and come back again later. Eventually you’ll find yourself able to figure out how much pressure is the minimum to just press them down.
As for balms, not really you can get regular moisturizers?
Others feel free to comment to him because this is a normal problem for those who just took up ukulele and advice how you got over pressing the strings too hard too.
I too have exprerienced sored fingers when I first took up playing the uke six months ago. I was on the verge of giving up playing because of the pain in my fingers. I gradually realised that that I was pressing the strings too hard when forming chords. Then I experiment with applying just the right amount of pressure on my fingers when forming chords and found that it hurt less. I am now able to enjoy my playing more. I also play with some ice cubes after my uke sessions and this really soothes the ache
I read with interest and so do alot of my friends about this chap who call himself Treebondtony in his recent blog. Just wondered his motive in responding to Cecillia’s posting. She was merely only relating her friend’s experience with him so called Treebondtony who has been and still is promoting his “$80 Prillante ukuleles” in Carousell as well as STClassified while Thoh and his other resellers are still selling at over 100 plus or more. Take a visit to Yamaha or Maranatha.
If he is not hiding himself behind the moniker Treebondtony and we are definitely sure he is someone from or associated with Thoh Music then why is he so adamant in coming to Thoh’s defense about their price increase citing China workers wage increses and other expenses to justify it. He even tried to equate his less than a hundred dollar and couple of hundred dollars ukuleles with thousands of dollars plasma TV.
No comparison at all just like he was trying to compare himself with UM. You are in a different league, if you did’t already know. No one is living in the well if he happens to know whats going on around him. Nothing wrong being old of age and by the way you are not too far off from there too yourself.
Interestingly, why have your soprano ukuleles suddenly dropped to basement bargain level of $18 each. So your contention of increases in wages and rental and other expenses are all hot air.Can we look forward to a reversal and return of the old Prillante prices. Am sure treebondtony can answer this question.
Hi Sarah I was feeling bored last weekend after an hour of uking on my TGM concert and I decided to change the strings (transposing the last three strings) to simulate a low G tuning. Fortunately the fourth string was long enough to go in the second peg and I accomplished the feat successfully. I am proud to announce that this is workable and the sound does give it a “bassy” effect. I encourage others to try if you are feeling adventurous.
Hi sarah, I am celebrating my 60th birthday this weekend and is given a budget of $200 to get myself a nice ukulele as a birthday present.
Presently I am using a crappy Prillante Gangnam style soprano and find it very unsatisfactory. The strings sitting on the saddle in the ukulele bridge I noticed it far too high as compared to my friend’s one. This affects the tuning somehow and I have to re-tune the ukulele frequently as the strings go off-tune quite often.
What would be the best buy for a $200 budget. I am interested in a concert size ukulele and have often heard about this Tonedrive Concert. Would $200 buy me a solid top instrument. I want one that produces mellow and crisp distinctive ukulele sould. Which brand and model would you recommend. Thanks alot.
Hahah happy birthday. I think at a budget of $200 you can definitely get a good one especially since it’s going to be Christmas sales at various music shops too.
The Tonedrive is available at SV Guitars! It’s definitely under your $200 budget. Actually from the same shop, you can also get the Eddy Finn, Countess or Puka within that budget range. All the different ones have different design/colour but if you read the stats, it’s either mahogany or sapele, depending on brand. To me they LOOK like solid tops but you need to double check with the shop if it is since it’s not exactly stated in the descriptions.
On a PERSONAL bias, I’d go with Puka because it has nicer colours but Tonedrive in itself is pretty cool too. You’ll have to test it out if it has that sound you like but they’re using Aquila strings and yeah, their construction is pretty good. Still, test it in real life.
I wanted to check for you if Maestro had anything under $200 but they didn’t put prices on their website so oh well. Oh and if you wanna blow your budget by around $30, you could actually go higher up in the range by getting a Kala. This one has an EQ which means you can really use for concerts and stuff with an audio set up.
I’d go with the Tonedrive and such if you just want a good concert without any extra stuff though!
Hi Sarah I think your recommendation to Uncle Wong with regards his buying of a new ukulele to replace his crappy Prillante soprano with a Tonedrive Concert is a very sound move indeed (pardon the pun).
With the leftover money he can even invest in another tenor size ukulele. I have observed that of late there is this chap under the monikor “mightytony” who has been touting his “$80 Prillante tenors” online in STClassified as well as Carousell. It is been said he operates out of Tai Seng MRT as if he is a drug dealer.
The price he is offering beats getting it from Thoh or elsewhere. However, I am not sure whether he is a fraud or hoax as on one ocassion he even puts up a brand new Lanai Tenor for sale at $55 (original priced 100+)It was almost immediately sold the very next day when somebody enquired!
So Uncle Wong we wish you many more happy years of uking.
I am planning to buy a ukulele and my budget is about $150. Can I get one with solid top. I understand such instrument sounds better. Which wood should I go for Cedar, Spruce or Mahogany or Sapelle. All this sound so confusing. Which wood produces what tone. How do I differentiate them. Can I go by recommendation and listen to instrument being played and see if I like the sound?
For starter what do you recommend and where do I go to get it? Much appreciate your help.
Hi Anne, I like to go to this page as a cheat sheet regarding wood tones. Just scroll to the wood tone section. Mid range frequency is kinda like what you usually hear. http://www.svguitars.com/countess-uke-10cam-concert-ukelele/
However, all this only really will be noticeable when it ages. For your budget, you can probably get a solid top of soprano and of reputable brand.
And yes. It is pretty much test and see how you like the tone. Don’t rush into buying one if you can but try out until you are sure you like it!
Just ask the store if it is solid or laminated. Mostly, the more expensive ones will be solids aka cut from one piece of wood.
Oh and check my post on where to buy a uke in the related uke section. It has addresses for the shops.
I intend to buy a ukulele for myself. You mentioned solid or laminated, how to check whether EDDY FINN EF15S is a solid or not? Kindly advice.
Well for one thing it’s on the website! http://www.svguitars.com/eddy-finn-ef-15-s-solid-mahogany-soprano-ukulele/
That means they’re PROUD to note it is a solid, so thank goodness they put it especially in the specifications. Secondly, hmm, laminated is kinda like LAYERS? Kind of like plywood. To describe without seeing is hard but solid won’t be like plywood. Or, you can go to the shop keeper and ask the person to show you the diff of a solid and a laminated because they’d totally want you to buy a more high end piece aka a solid instead of an average construct.
I’m very interested in Ukulele ever since I saw your posts.
I’m just wondering, should I buy a Ukulele and learn by myself or should I take lessons?
You can do either! Firstly, do you have music background? If you do, you might want to learn by yourself. However if you don’t it’s also ok too, just check on youtube if you can follow ANY tutorial video that says “How to play a ukulele”. If you know yourself and can follow online videos or buy one of those uke kits that come with a CD or a separate CD, just learn by yourself.
If you need motivation or others to help you out, you can take lessons!
Hi Fion You can check out Thoh Music or Msranatha Music Sch. They have music lesson promo currently whereby new subscriber are even given a FREE ukulele if yu sign up their course. For some whacky ukulele style perhaps you can turn to Peter Sng ukulele tuition at Rangoon Rd. But nothing beats Ukulele Movement; they are consider pro. in the game.
I often come across the name Thoh Music in your blog being mentioned and have visited their Simei shop before to browse at their ukuleles. I remembered they were even offering 50% discount during GSS. I was interested in a tenor size ukulele but was not ready to make the purchase then and ended up buying a crappy cartoon soprano at 50% discount for my nephew. I kept off buying the tenor unkulele (priced $135 then) until now.
I dropped by their shop recently and was so glad they were having a year-end sale offering up to 40%. My joy was short lived as I began to realised that they have revised their prices by more than 50% for the Prillante range. The sales person was not able to give a satisfactory explanation and I walked out of the shop in disguise. Are shopkeepers allowed to sell their goods at inflated prices in the guise of holding a “sale” by offering a sales discount. Isn’t it the rule that retailers have to sell their goods at an offer “sale discount price” which have been the prevailing prices for at least the past six months?
As a matter of fact, Thoh have “sales” quite frequently but this is the first time I have encountered them revising the prices to such a level.
I can only comment on ukulele playing/tips/buying but I can’t on selling as I don’t have a shop myself to know the ‘law/rule’ for it about sales. However, I’m leaving this comment up since it’s always up to people to read/check for themselves.
I think a lot of people on my blog will know which music store I prefer for accessibility and price anyway. But the other stores are for people to look see for themselves so that they know why I like to recommend my top choice for a store. I don’t force anyone to go to whatever shop it is and maybe other people will have their own reasons for visiting it?? But yes, ALWAYS check the prices and stuff before buying anywhere, anyway.
Hi Sarah Guess you’re right. No one can force me buying anything if I’m not happy with the pricing, product or service. That is why the group of us have decided to abandon “Prillante(Thoh)” and look for cheaper and better alternatives.
Yea, we found it in Synchronium,Tonedrive, TGM. Local brand, China made ukuleles of similar quality at almost half their prices. Are they also not faced with escalating cost in Chinese factory worker salaries, rentals and other expenses? Quality construction and value for money and moderate pricing which we found previously in Prillante ukuleles. Not anymore, they have jumped on the bandwagon to join the ranks of ridiculously priced ukulele retailers. Foolhardy. Well, good luck to them.
I fully support you Tony. I used to be also a long time supporter of Prillante over other brands like TGM, Makana, Mahalo, Tonedrive, Koname and Firebrand (Cristofori). Not anymore.
I was disgusted and shocked by their new pricing of their Prillante range when I visited the shop recently. Supposedly, they were having a “20% and 2 at 40% off discount” sale. But be aware that they have sneakily raised their prices by more than 50%! What a lousy way to do business.
Hi Guys, really? Prillante prices have skyrocketed. Siow liao so I want sell off my Prillante Lanai and make a tidy profit. I got it at around $60+, 50% off during GSS few months ago. I understand it is selling at 200+ now some more my model no stock. Woh, song man with the profit I can get two pieces of Tonedrive from SV Guitar one concert and one soprano. Thank you Thoh Music! or uncle Tony.
Gathering from recent comments from your blog I think more of their ex-customers would be disgruntled at the way Thoh Music School revise prices as they like without even the courtesy of offering some sort of explanations.
This says alot about their PR gestures.
I am one of those who bought for my son one of their Gangnam style ukulele at a so called “introductory price” of $45 after a 50% discount from $90 only a few months ago. It sickens me to discovered that they are now selling this ukulele for only $18. I really guestion their business integrity. Somemore one of their guys can now tout their stuffs online in Carousell under a new “signboard” hardi.fool which used to be Treebondtony or Mightytony!
Merry christmas! I was hoping to get myself a tenor uke and hope to get some of ur advice! Actually i first wanted to get a prillante tenor uke but i read some feedbacks and that you also think that the sound quality is not really that good. So maybe can u recommend me some models of tenor sized ukulele maybe from um or other places its fine too! Just hope that i can get one with a good sound. It will be better if it comes with pickup and input tuner if u hv any to recommend. My budget is around $300 and abit more lah!
Your budget for a tenor is pretty good. Like VERY good. You can hit the upper range of quality ukes with that price. From UM, I prefer Kala and with that budget you can get ones with EQ meaning, you can plug in an amp since it will be acoustic/electric ukuleles and sing on stage, without EQ there are those around $200+ and can be solids too.
At SV Guitars, you can get SOLIDS which means the woods are not laminates and will mellow/grow the tone with time.
Either way, you can go to the shop and just test out now, I recc to go with brands that are usually well known for ukes around the world if you want to go all out for it. ALSO, do check if any of the shops are open during this Christmas season. And today is the last day for UM to have their sale on specific brands so yeah.
I’d recc the other one at peninsula plaza’s basement aka Davis Guitar but it’s hard to know specific brands there since you have to go yourself and see what’s available and if you’re in luck they might have it.
Also, it’s not easy to find any uke in Singapore with input tuner. Pickup yes but input tuner no, hence why a lot of people just buy the clipons.
Hi sarah. I actually went to um to buy a cordoba LP tenor which cost me $250 after discount but i tried playing the uke and the A string goes out of tune REALLY FAST. Like 10 mins i checked and it becomes flatter. I tried many times but the other strings are really fine, only the A string. Really dk what to do. Tried stretching the strings abit but dont work too. Pls advice on what to do as i didnt spend a small sum on it, i worked the whole holiday for it actually.
2 options. Just return to UM and explain your problem. If you JUST bought it, can be replaced or they might fix it for you. Second option, screw the tuning peg for that string tighter, could be it really. But if it goes out of tune so fast, the staff did explain about warranty too right and for you to come back if anything while giving you receipt?
Yes i could go back to um but they are closed tmr. Hemce the earliest i could go is thurs? Would it still be i JUST bought it? The staff explained its 3 yr warranty but the warranty is for cordoba? And i havent registered for the warranty yet. Really confused now idk what i can do abt it. But really thank you to reply on christmas
Hi Gerald, Don’t panic! Looks like you totally can return there to get it fixed. Or if you are really worried, just call them on Thursday before coming in to ask. Even if the warranty is with Cordoba, UM knows how to fix ukes and wouldn’t want you to have a faulty uke if you just realized your A string goes out of tune goes faster than the rest. Just keep your receipts first too. I can’t tell by comments if it is because it is a new uke or your strumming technique but in general if worried, always go back to the shop to check if you have no uke playing friends to check with in real life.
Thanks alot sarah! Will make a trip down tmr to check what i can do.
Hi sarah! The ukulele, fortunately is working fine now. Thank you very much! One more question, do u know where i can get a pickup installed into my uke? Its currently without a pickuo and idk where else provide such services other than um. The pickuo at um is quite pricey at $200. Are others the same too?
Ahh, hurray that it worked! Was it the uke itself or did they fix that tuning peg or something? Also, besides UM, MAYBE Maestro could have or Davis Guitar but this is not confirmed. I only say those two because they usually can build or fix GUITARS in general and Maestro does make custom ukuleles.
Was the $200 including installation? Cause I think it is in general that price but you can search for ‘piezo pickups’ online and it can be MUCH cheaper but you have to install it yourself.
Would like to purchase a simple but good ukelele on Ukelele Movement as a gift, but do not know which is the best. Under the budget of less than S$150. Can you pls adviced?
If it is a gift, and the recipient doesn’t know how to play that much ukulele and wants to start, you could just go for the simple makala dolphin. It’s colourful and cheap but GOOD enough for beginners. Within that $150 budget you can also buy a tuner too if the person doesn’t have and so you have one ‘set’ and add a ukulele strap if you want too.
If the person knows how to play one, the Kala sopranos are good and come in a lot of designs too. Makala too. Actually just go to UM and ask the staff for recommendations would be good too since your budget is ok for soprano sized ukuleles plus accessories.
Thank you for your fast reply. Just a few more enquiries; if I were to buy them at Cristofori Music School, will they have the same brands? Which is more preferable? And, between Kala and Makala, what is the difference, and which is the better choice?
Cristofori totally doesn’t have the same range as they’d sell more pianos and guitars? Their uke range is just the BASIC and some are brandless. It’s ok if you’re going super budget and not really going for serious performance on stage or gigs, I guess? It’s not bad but it’s not so woah awesome until you make your own changes.
Also the difference between Kala and Makala is just that they’re different companies, so that they have different designs which is why both are OK. Makala only has the cheaper range available in cute colours with their dolphin range. Makala though has limited designs and if you go a bit more expensive for the mid beginner quality, Kala is there too but has more designs. I hope you can understand what that meant?
Makala: Has the cheaper ones. Has also the mid range ones but limited designs
Kala: Has the mid range ones with more designs. Has higher than mid range ones since it also has the acoustic/electric ones.
On personal bias, I go for Kala IF I have mucho budget because might as well go to the top.
But if for gifts, I’d go with Makala and buy bonus accessories since it’s good enough for playing at performances also but is still in beginner range that whoever the recipient is, if they want to upgrade, they can still upgrade or if they don’t want to upgrade, it is STILL a good enough ukulele. Unless they’re already an experienced uke player, then I’d give them the higher range Kala with acoustic/electric plugs in and whatever.
Thanks Sarah! That helps so much!
Hi Sarah! I went to Davis Guitars & they recommended me a piccolo ukulele ($65), & the quality is even better than their $85 soprano ukes. The only thing is that it’s really small, will I have problems playing some chords? also, should I get a brand new uke @$85, or a 2nd hand one of higher quality at the same price? Not to forget, thanks for this post! It’s really helpful & informative 🙂
OH MY GOOD GRIEF. GAASP, they stock piccolo ukes now? Firstly, I got to say not ALL stores stock up on this size so woah on them. The only time I saw this size before was at Ukulele Movement. Now let’s get back to you.
Ok, Piccolo ukes are awesome BUT yes.
Yes you will have problems playing chords if you don’t practice. Ok, here’s the thing soprano is like the ‘basic’ size. If you can master a soprano size, you’re awesome already. Concert’s similarish to soprano but with just more frets and just a tiny bit more spacing. Tenor is bigger etc and good for those who have larger fingers. So here you go, if you try playing a piccolo, it’s going to be tougher for you, kind of like going into the deep end advanced stage if you have never played a ukulele before with level up in difficulty.
It’s really cool and all but it really depends on you if you really want to go for a tiny uke. It’s going to be you, on your own because these ukes are so small and not sold that often (everyone goes for soprano/tenor mostly, that’s why) that you won’t get much ‘help’ in advice for playing in Singapore anyway.
As for your second half of the question, get the second hand one. If it’s in good condition, second hand is still pretty good for a uke.
My reasoning? Don’t think about whether it is new/old if it is good quality and you like the sound, in the end the wood will age and that’s what makes the sound even cooler. Um, think of ukes like wine. If it was crap in the first place, no matter how it ages, it’s going to be crap. If it’s good, it’s going to be even better as long as it is taken care of.
I trying to find a good brand and good wood that gives quality sound Saproni.
Budget around SGD250 +_. Which brand would u recommend?
Firstly, I’m not sure what Saproni means. Do you mean soprano or something? Maybe it is my limited knowledge that I don’t understand that term. In any case, I can’t just say which brands I would recommend because it’s really up to you and I’ve stated in my blogpost about how to buy it. Good wood is too generic. And brands, you can just check online to see if they’re reputable.
I highly recommend you to instead go to the shop and then see what’s available and then see from there if you’re taken with the design and SOUND and the quality. Different woods or the combo of strings give different tones as they age hence I can’t say which is good wood because it is more of a person’s preference.
Your budget will definitely be able to buy a pretty good ukulele though which you can check under my post of where to buy one and how to test for it.
i’ve this ukulele and i realise that the 3rd fret of the second and third strings give off a little bit of buzzing noise when they are finger pick or strum. Is there a way this problem could be rectified as it is quite irriating when chords are strum using these strings and frets.
Just got to your comment. Uh, I can’t give tips but then it’s usually just the technique of strumming or picking? At least that is TO ME, not sure if others can give tips. The buzzing is usually when you don’t put your finger on the fret close enough to ‘prevent’ buzzing. It’s not just the 3rd fret anyway but onwards.
People who play guitars or other stringed instruments mostly have trouble with buzzing strings and it’s when that happens. You’ll have to search about ‘buzzing’ strings. For guitars it means that the action might need to be adjusted by the shop BUT it also means sometimes it’s the technique of pressing on the frets. For the ukulele it might be the same since the strings should lay nicely just a bit above the frets but not too much.
Hi, I found this ukulele in street deal. Do you think it is a good deal for a beginner?
Thanks for your help 🙂
Hi Nee, It’s just ok. It’s cheap but it doesn’t really give you details of what it is made of or video reviews and stuff. So it’s really more up to you to see.
If you’re going to be a beginner that’s really keen, maybe you should go to a real shop instead but if you just want to try try for fun then you can just get it.
Im looking for the soprano Lanikai U21. Do u know where I can get it in Singapore?
I have no idea but the ones at Peninsula plaza might sell Lanikai. I don’t know all the stocks of what the shops have since they’re seasonal or if they bring in more brands. Just check around, I’d think!
Have by your website a couple of times. I’m a beginner looking to get a Ukulele, and I need you suggestions. Base on your knowledge, will it be better for me to get the CÃ³rdoba UP110 Ukulele @ $125 (comes with pitch pipe tuner and gig bag) or Tone Drive Concert 99 @ $79 (comes with gig bag). Or if you have got any other recommendations!=) Reason for getting is to learn I’m Your by Jason Mraz and surprise my wife to be on our wedding day! Haha! And surely looking to be able to play and learn more songs with it. Hope you can give me some suggestions and help! Thank you! =)
Below are the links to the Ukulele:
Hi Gaps, if like that, get the tonedrive and then your own clip on tuner. It would be more helpful to you to just get a cheap clip on and easier for you to use. Also, tonedrive is pretty ok for beginners.
hi Sarah, I’m inclined to start learning ukulele.
Is it better to buy Eddy Finn EFTS-5-S or Kala KA-15S?
and is it alright to buy from Amazon?
Like my post said, it really depends on you! What design you like and how you like the tone. Also, you can buy from Amazon but it really depends on you too, since you’re buying online check if the shop is reputable etc etc. It’s not just ukuleles, it’s for any product you buy online, it’s up to you to make sure it is good or if they have good return policy.
Really appreciate your reply 🙂
Thanks for the reply to my prev query.. Can you also suggest some not so expensive place/tutor to learn ukulele in SG?
You can try community centres. They come in either free or cheap! Hahaha.
I’ve found a lot of knock-off ukuleles in Australia as well. I personally don’t mind the cheap ukuleles when they are branded as their own brand, but when they try to ripoff someone elses brand it’s just really shocking behaviour.
Another thing I will add is my favourite brand of ukes are the Koa Pili Koko ukueles, these are solid acacia wood ukes and are excellent value for money for a solid-wood uke. Have you tried a Koa Pili Koko?
Hi heh, ukulele for sale,
Nah, I don’t think we have koa pili koko-s here in Singapore.
Hi Sarah, just for info, KPK (koa pilikoko) ukueles can be bought online from Q0010 (Singapore). btw, could you elaborate on your notice “I am available for advertorials”?
Well that’s interesting to buy KPK from Q100. I buy other stuff there like clothes stuff instead, heh. Anyway, more info on advertorials is here. Because some agencies or companies ask if I could do product reviews or the such, I’m finally making it public that I am available for it so they can email me about it. Those posts would be marked advertorials or sponsored posts.
Is a $70 Makana concert ukulele worth buying?
The seller did mentioned about using Aquila strings.
Thank you in advance!
Hi Lynn, it is if you make sure it is ok! Strings are not the only thing to watch out for. Usually testing out to see if you like the feel and sound is better too. Plus you could check if it has any knocks or loose tuning pegs.
I really want to buy a ukulele but i dont know where/which one to buy. Is it possible for me to find a good quality and a branded one at $35-50 ? And i hope that it will be worth it too.
Did you see my reply to your previous post? It has the answers for it.
Hi Sarah it’s great to read thru before i mage the purchase. I tried a Lula at Davis.selling 150. A Makana Maple laminated at music theme. 150.both are tenor. Then I went through the UM website. I have up my budget from 100 to 250.coz I prefer a bigger size uke. This is my first uke. As I have been playing guitar all these while. Not sure I should spend this much but all my guitar are full solid.
Hi, I’m thinking of buying a soprano ukulele.. do you have any list of suggestions that is best for a beginner?
I’ll direct you my post for WHERE to buy a uke because it has many suggestions then. Mainly, like in my buying post. You have to see your budget, then look see what you want.
Hi. I would like to ask if where could I find a cheap ukulele as I’m gonna buy it for my niece which is quite young.. budget around 20 to 35!
Basement of peninsula plaza, Davis Guitar has really cheap ukes but I don’t know of the quality of it, it’s just passable playing though for they stock the better quality ones too but that indeed depends on your budget.
Hi Sarah, I am keen to replace my standard G to a low G string as I quite like the tone of it when I hear it being played. Do you know where I can get one and how much does it cost. Apart from Aquila does other brand carry this particular low G string. Is that right I got to change only the G string and leave the remaining three intact. Thanks for your help.
Hi howlowcanyougo, You are correct! Leave the other strings alone. You just need to change the G.
Anyway, you can check ukulele movement online for the price because it is standard for other shops too.
I do not know if other stores stock other branda besides Aquila for low G though since it is a most popular brand for retailers here.
Oh and low G is not convenient to find besides at UM. I might have seen it at a music store, level 1 at Bras Basah but do check out where you bought your uke too since they might have stocked it.
Hello, May I know where can I get a good ukulele or Maybe some with good quality? But my budget is below $40..
You can check my post here or in the comments too.
Hi Sarah! I’m planning on getting a ukulele, and I’ve been checking different sites. I plan on getting a mahalo ukulele, but it seems that quite a few experienced people like you think that mahalo isn’t really all that good. I know that you said that it goes out of tune real quick, but does it sound different/cheap/odd? Cause I know that different brands some different – cheaper ones sounding more awful, of course. Thanks 🙂
Hi Amanda, I’ll delete your double post!
Haha, anyway it doesn’t sound horrible. It just is kinda troublesome if you have to keep retuning it, that’s all. Do try it in a shop and compare with other brands, maybe the model you want will be ok?
Nice site u hav, i was interested to buy for the kids,
for them to strum away not serious…. if they like it then they can continue using it
what do u think of this frm qoo10
Huh, that IS actually pretty good for that price! The only downside I see is that you can’t test it before getting it but otherwise it is ok if it is as stated in the description!
Thank you for the knowledge on Buying the Ukulele. I am interested in playing the Ukulele, but I am not sure on what type of model, type of ukulele or how much I am suppose to spent on an ukulele? As, I am just a beginner.
Thank you Sarah.
Then you should just try out and test it because my post pretty much just told you all the stuff you should look out for. How much you’re supposed to spend is up to your own budget.
Hi Sarah Are Low G string suitable for sopranos. I heard Low G are recommended only for concert ukes or bigger. Is it true. And is it advisable to just transpose the C string (THICKEST)to 4th position and MOVING THE ORIGINAL 4TH & 3RD STRING TO 2ND & 3RD POSITION RESPECTIVELY, so you now have CEGA string sequence with the C string (4th string) tuned to low G pitch
Low G string is pretty ok for sopranos. I have an actual soprano with a low G string, it’s recc-ed for concert ukes or bigger is probably cause everyone likes to have happy sounding ukes for sopranoes or something. Anyway, there’s no reason why you can’t change it.
Also on transposing, well good luck to you if you want to do that since it’s just going to make things complicated and if you can remember how to tune it. I’d just get a low G string instead of transposing since it does make a difference. Unless it is a budget thing? Ok, then go ahead but it’ll just not be the same somehow.
dont forget to mention that lazada.sg has more than 10 ukulele to choose from and free shipping to doorstep as well.
buy Ukulele online
Hi, can you recommend some models for absolute beginner?
I am a guy and have tried the guitar for a while but seems like a little difficult for me haha. So decided to try the ukulele. Also because it’s so much more cute and unique!
It seems like I can get a decent one within a $100 budget?
I think if you see the above comments and all, you can just find either at SV Guitars or Uke movement or Peninsula Plaza to see which you’d like. The Tonedrive is nice.
1st of all, tks for all the useful info in your blog, hope my question reaches u since it’s been quiet for some time.
Prillante is having sale online and I’m interested to get their display set @$59.90 (Lanai,TOP: Solid Cedar,BACK AND SIDES: Mahogany, FINGERBOARD: Rosewood, STRING: Savarez). Do you think this is a good deal? Tks very much.
It sounds alright because it’s a display set. But since it is a display set I don’t know any warranty and such about it. Look out for any dinged up parts because at that price it’s pretty good if it is okay.
Good to know you are still active in your blog. I didn’t get the Prillante,… didn’t get the right feel. In the end I got a preowned but very lightly used Aleho (Soprano). I reckon I got a very good deal. Uke+bag+tuner=$30 only. It’ll be a good one for me to begin with.
Hi Marcus, Hahah I was looking through it because a recent reader told me that the physical shops closed for Thoh Music and it was also one of those stores that stocked it. Not sure if it’s the same store you were going to? But yeah, good that you got an Aleho then! That’s actually a really good deal to have tuner and bag included.
I’ve seen a uke on one of those online tutorial fitted with a “wound” third string instead of low G and the tuning is the standard GCEA. I quite like the sound but it is not as mellow as a low G tuning. What’s the difference and advantage of this setup?
I wouldn’t know the ‘advantage’ of this set up because the wound third string instead of low G string because it’s really just the difference in sound. You can check more of it here: http://liveukulele.com/gear/strings/
But pretty much the difference is the tone you like? As you’ve noted yourself, that you like the sound.
Thanks for all your advice. It has been really helpful in getting me playing. I have started up a beginners class and everyone enjoying the strumming patterns. Wish I had started playing years ago…
I am keen to try a Low G string on my uku.
Just want to know how will it affect the sound of overall chords/songs that require to use the G string to play for example – Am, F etc.
It just makes it sound more guitar cause it’s lower than higher sounding G.
My 8 year old is new to Ukulele and wanted to join a class. Though I saw from online that some music teachers do not recommend this brand Mahalo… Do you think it’s ok to get her a Mahalo Kahiko Series? https://mahaloukuleles.com.au/ukulele-series/kahiko-series-soprano-ukuleles/
It’s okay if she likes the design and the feel of it to keep on playing. It’s a not bad brand but it’s more of, it won’t also be so heart pain because it won’t be so super expensive compared to the rest. This will actually be ‘basic’ for her and just a good start until she wants to upgrade. You can check depending on your budget too in actual stores to see and even better if you bring her along to choose it.
Thanks for your prompt reply!!!
Iâ€™m not bringing her there to choose as she is completely new and would probably choose her fav color! Haha..
May I know where you bought your TGM Ukulele from? It looks good on your video and my budget is below $40 for a start.
Hi Veron, it was at Music and Ranking at Bras Basah! Not sure if they still have that model any more. If your budget is around there also check the basement of Peninsula Plaza if that’s closer to you there’s at least two shops that sell ukuleles in the guitar shops.
Hello Sarah! May i ask what are your thoughts on the Mahalo MH2-VNA Concert Ukulele please?
I haven’t been out to the ukulele store since shops are closed during this period of time so I looked at that model you referred to online and listened to it on youtube. I think it’s pretty ok, kinda like basics range, not bad kind of uke with a bright sounding tone. The design is simple, no fuss too. I don’t have any ‘complaints’ thinking about this model though but you need to do your own due diligence to check from the seller if you wanna buy it, especially if you can’t check it in real life due to covid measures and shops not opening yet. FYI, there really IS a difference when you FEEL a basics kind of ukulele compared to a higher end but I’d always go with what your budget can afford first and this is pretty not bad.
Thanks so much Sarah for the reply!
I’m actually considering the Mahalo MH2-VNA Concert Ukulele and the Kala KA-C (which is roughly double the price of the Mahalo).
Not sure if there’s any significant difference between the 2 ukes. But guess Kala would be better in terms of quality. What do you reckon?
I truly appreciate all the info that is shared on your page. You have no idea just how many times i’ve perused the content here… Haha! 😀
Hahah I hope you get notification when I reply to you then! And you know, the difference could be craftmanship and pre-covid I tried out playing and Kala’s shape feels a bit more ‘sturdy’ and neat than Mahalo for this model? It’s really just how it’s made. It’s like comparing your mcd burger with a gourmet burger… both are good but you can tell the difference only if you get to try both out in real life. I think the stores are finally open (not sure if you need to make an appointment though). You can totally make do with a Mahalo but sometimes if you CAN afford it, it’s just like a bit extra fancy. If you’re just going to play for yourself and others, they’re not going to tell the difference in tone THAT much.
I did it… I bought the Kala… I love gourmet burgers… Hahaha
Thank you so much Sarah! Will update on the uke once i receive it 😀
LOOOOOOL. You already knew it was going to be a higher quality and just went for it. But yes, hope you get to play it or take pics with it or something!
Heyyyy Sarah! The Kala KA-C is amazing! Well-built for the price and it retains its tuning well. Frets are nice and smooth. Sound is nice and sweet. Overall, i’m tremendously happy with it.
A piece of advice to all future uke-logists, when in doubt, always opt for the gourmet burgers. You’ll never regret it.
I KNOW RIGHT?? Hahah I know the smooth feeling and it has that ‘solid’ touch. But yah I mean that’s the diff between different ‘burgers’. Hahah I always go IF you can afford it though because in the end, I like everyone to at least have a fun time playing music with what they can afford.
Hi! I play guitar and I want to try the ukulele. Any recommendations for a full solid wood one? Should I consider the ones made in China? Some of them cost more than 500$… Tx very much in advance!
Hi David! Don’t buy a ukulele made from China if you’re buying them ONLINE unless they’re from very good rated online music shops. If you do get to go to a physical shop that does stock made in China ones you can hear their sound and I do remember some are pretty great! But really, it’s not just for made in China ones, it’s for ANY country if you’re buying the ukulele. Full solid ones do cost more than $500 in general for good ones. Maybe $300+ if it’s on a special last minute sale or something. I won’t say specific full solid wood brands because there’s so many out there and some might catch your eye but just do your research of the shop itself too, if they give you warranty or fixing etc. I would be more worried if you decide to buy online and if the shipping dings any part of the ukulele instead. But if it’s a real life store, well, it makes things much easier.
Thank you very much for your help!