166 of 171 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bright, fun and easy to play.
A few months ago I seized on the idea of learning to play the ukulele. I'm a drummer and so I'm cursed with the terrible affliction of "drummers hands". This is when your fingers are so short and stubby that they only just fit around your sticks and when you try and play guitar all the guitarists in your band laugh at you. In a flash of inspiration I suddenly thought of...
Published on 8 Jan 2010 by MikeyTage
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good starter.
For a beginner its a great little thing.... It plays and comes with a little carry bag.
Other than that the quality of the build is terrible. For example at the bottom of the neck where the nut is, theres s small crack there.. Other than that its playable..
For a cheap nobble its ok... and for the price you cant complain really.
Published on 21 Mar 2011 by Thoams
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166 of 171 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bright, fun and easy to play.,
A few months ago I seized on the idea of learning to play the ukulele. I'm a drummer and so I'm cursed with the terrible affliction of "drummers hands". This is when your fingers are so short and stubby that they only just fit around your sticks and when you try and play guitar all the guitarists in your band laugh at you. In a flash of inspiration I suddenly thought of the ukulele; something with a childsize fretboard for my miniature hands. After browsing for a while I chose this one and I think it is a wonderful little bit of kit.
* A great action on the fretboard. The string height is low enough that you don't have to push them so hard onto each fret until the ends of your fingers bleed.
* A nice, clean tone for the price. (Just remember, it's not a £1200 mahogany piece that's been weeped upon by 41 virgins or anything like that.)
* Proper machine heads. None of this detuning friction heads malarky.
* A great paintjob that also has the added benefit of being drool proof.
* When played a little hard the strings sometimes slipped out of the grooves on the little white bit at the bottom of the head. Although this could be down to me being a drummer and having the philosphy of PLAYING EVERYTHING AS HARD AS I CAN.
* You will still get laughed at by the guitarists in your band for playing, what they think is a child's guitar.
44 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful!,
I juggled with the idea of learning the uke for about 2 years, but it seems like one of those things you think about and never get around to. So I got off my ace and bought the dern ting. I chose green because am somewhat obsessed with it (always have been, always shall be) but if that's not your thing, this particular range of ukes come in a range of bright colours... though not in plain wood.
I was amazed at the size of it in person. I mean, I know they're small, but it really does look like a miniature guitar; a toy for children, almost. Its being such a bold colour probably adds to that slightly, so if you want something that will look authentic instead of kooky, go for plain wood. It measures about 21" from end to end, and it's incredibly light. I was really hoping Mahalo ukes were lovingly handmade in a shack on a beach in Hawaii by a wizened old chap that spends his days surfing and basking in the Hawaiin sun... alas, they're made in China. But don't let that put you off: they feel very sturdy. In fact, while I was getting used to holding it, mine took a bit of a knock from a nearby chest of drawers and it gave a fairly satisfying thwacky sound while sustaining no damage. Nice. Still, probably best not to make a habit of it.
It comes already strung with nylon strings (but no spares), and you'll find you need to re-tune it every few hours or so until it settles in. There's an excellent online tuner, so don't worry too much about spending cash on newfangled chromatic tuner jiggerypokery. The strings are G C E A (speaking of which, this uke is for right-handed bods; if you're left-handed, you'll need to get one specifically for that) and even if you're not pitch-perfect prior to picking your uke up, within a few days, you'll find your ear naturally becomes attuned to what the tone should be... that's a really nifty perk, actually.
It comes with a matching uke bag, which is awesome. The bag has a handle, and is made out of that nylon-type stuff they make kites out of... frankly, it could be made out of ear-buds and it would still be a mighty, mighty bargain. (I've added photos of both the uke and the bag so you can see precisely what it all looks like.)
There's one issue that I've not seen discussed anywhere online and it's worth mentioning... women have the bumpy bits on their front and, depending on, hahh, how bumpy they are, it can make holding the uke slightly unwieldy. It's something to bear in mind, really, as it hadn't occurred to me before buying my one, but it makes finding your uke "position" a little more complicated which, in turn, affects how you hold it which has a knock on effect with both your strumming hand and playing hand.
The ukulele, though, is a wonderful, wonderful instrument. I've owned mine for 5 days and am on my way to being able to play Over the Rainbow which feels like such an achievement. That's the joy of musical instruments, really: as you become a little more proficient (or, a little less shockingawful, depending on what sort of chap you are and how you view your glass) seeing that progress encourages you to carry on. And, it has to be said, the uke is hugely addictive. It's such a happy, cheerful instrument; equally, it's capable of astonishingly beautiful sounds, and if you've been toying with the idea of having a go, I would urge you to jump in feet first, and fill yer boots.
137 of 143 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So much fun =),
This review is from: Mahalo Soprano Ukulele with Bag - Purple (Electronics)
Talking to a musical friend recently and i mentioned i wouldnt mind learning to play another instrument, i already play guitar, violin, piano and accordion and i was advised to give Uke's a try.
Found this one yesterday, about 4pm, and thought, hell, its cheap, why not?
Today at a little over 12pm it arrived, less than 20 hours after ordering it, very speedy delivery so well done for that.
As for the Ukulele, its cute. After playing a full sized guitar this little thing feels so tiny in my hands and arms, quite delicate actually, but i had a good look at it, the neck is perfectly straight, no warping or anything unpleasant, and the paint finish was pretty good aside from one small mark on the back of the body, looks like it got scraped and some paint come off but no matter, i didnt buy a work of art so im not fussed.
All these people complaining about it going out of tune quickly, well that is natural for any new strings, and these are no worse really than most other strings, and after about an hour playing, retuning, playing, retuning, so on and so forth, the strings settled down pretty well, the bottom G string is the one that goes out of tune with a greater range than the others, but with an electric tuner, or pipes, keeping the thing tuned should be relatively easy, and there are lots of videos on yuotube which show you how to tune them properly.
I am really impressed with it, considering its price, it is absolutely fantastic, and i might have to buy a few more as xmas presents when the time comes, because i know my niece will fall in love with it.
I have now had this Uke for a few days now and I am still using the strings that came with it, they no longer go so far out of tune so soon, and i am playing the uke a lot.
As for playing it, well it helps to be able to hold it. Just because it looks like a mini guitar, dont treat it like one because its not, for a start you hold the uke in your right arm and strum where the body meets the neck, not over the hole like we do on guitar.
And dont bother using plectrums, the finger will get used to the abuse after a few days practising.
I found it really easy to pick up; i find many bar chords on guitar a stretch, literally, i only have small hands so its a push for me, but not so on the yke, it suits my small fingers very well, in fact i am doing so many bar chords on the uke that i really have surprised myself.
All in all i am exceedingly delighted with this instrument, it is a cute little thing and so simple to use, once you dedicate yourself to a bit of practice, you will be pleasantly surprised.
--------------------->7 Months Later<------------------------
I am still having so much fun with this cute Uke, i now only tune it now and then and then its barely out of tune anyway.
I have now reached the stage where i wish to advance my playing, for instance, learning the different strum techniques, like the triple stroke or the 10 finger roll, as well as finger picking. Thankfully youtube has a wealth of informative videos online to help out with that.
I also do not use standard tuning anymore, i just tune it half a step down simply because it suits my vocal range while playing, and i think by tuning it half a step down has given the uke a richer, more vibrato sound, which is really quite lovely and unexpected.
And as for bar chords, i could not do them on guitar, my fingers are to small and weak i guess, but not so on the uke, i can even hold a D with one finger now so i have come a long way since first picking this ukulele up.
Of course, now should be the right time to upgrade but, why should i? This uke does what it is supposed to do already! And i really have no need to buy a concert or a tenor uke over this soprano model, though of course the day will come when i will want to upgrade but for now i see no reason to lay this particular ukulele to rest right now, far from outgrowing the ukulele, this one has really grown on me and i just couldnt do without it.
Such a fantastic price for hours and hours of fun, so easy to pick up as well, just buy one and try prove me wrong =)
Now and then i found a funny brown mark on my middle finger tip on the left hand.... I had no idea where it was coming from, it didnt smell, and came off with a bit of effort.
After playing my uke today, i realized my finger was getting a bit brown, i then realized that the finish on the uke neck is slightly rubbing off. I put two and two together and soon realized brown finger was caused by the paint/varnish rubbing off slightly, not that you can tell by looking at the uke, but thought it worth a mention. The paint/varnish is NOT coming off in flakes or chunks, you will barely notice, which is why my brown finger mystery eluded me until now and in no way impedes one's pleasure while playing it. Just remember to wash your fingertip to avoid potentially awkward questions from loved ones.
Update Mid April 2013
So, my niece's birthday is coming up, foolishly i let her choose a uke, she chose a cheaper version by Karacha, a pink one with white flowers. Well, the product arrived today....
I was disgusted with the uke, it had a small hole between the body and neck on the topside, black paint on the brass frets from the fretboard, pink paint on the fretboard from the main body, and the nut was very much out of alignment meaning all the strings veered to the left, or upwards if in a playing position. The soundhole was also unfinished with splinters left around the rim, and the tuners themselves were useless.
review here http://www.amazon.co.uk/review/RLSNJ0O0YEVQY/ref=cm_cr_dp_title?ie=UTF8&ASIN=B00AERLTMC&channel=detail-glance&nodeID=340837031&store=musical-instruments
I did the sensible thing, i sent it back and ordered a pink mahalo for her instead, which i shoulda done in the first place.
Anyway, i still cannot find fault with this uke, not one, teh mahalo is a fine instrument, i play it for several hours a day now and am even doing sliding barre chords now! I couldnt even do a barre chord on guitar, so doing them on a uke, while sliding as well, well, it shows how easy these things are to get the hang of. The guitar was a bit big for me, its full size, i probably should have gotten myself a smaller one at the time but hey, i probably would never have had so much fun with it as i have with the uke, and i have definitely had more fun with the uke than my peavey accoustic guitar, without a doubt.
9 months on - final review update.
This little thing has done me proud, and i learned far more about music form the ukulele than i ever did with the guitar. I only ever played songs on guitar with 5 chords maximum, now i am playing songs with 14 chords in them, like Louis Armstrongs We Have All The Time In The World, on my ukulele.
Of course, now i have advanced so much, i thought it time for an upgrade, the change from soprano to concert. I feel the slightly larger body of the concert uke will enable me to play ever more complex songs and musical arrangements than i can with my soprano, so i have bought a Kala Makala MK-C uke, and am finally putting this well used Mahalo down for a much needed rest. I wont be getting rid of it just yet though =)
Now for a disclaimer.
It is said that 1 in 5 mahalo ukes are rubbish, this may be true. I have now bought 3 mahalo ukuleles, one for myself, my niece and a spare for the others to use, the spare was a limited edition smiley face mahalo. The smiley face was in such bad condition that i sent it back, the neck was not straight, and the first fret not even even, plus the A string was 5mm further than the edge of the fretboard than it should be, making it hard to play anyway. So there, a balanced review i guess, mahalo do make crappy ukes, but most of them are brilliant, like this one!
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent ukulele - and not just for beginners,
We have bought a couple of these for our grandchildren after my wife took up the ukulele. We attend a ukulele club and we know that you can pay a lot more for a poorer sound. It's great for beginners,especially children who love the bright colours! But it's good enough for serious players too, unless you're after a particular sound. (Many serious exponents have a number of ukes, each with a slightly different sound) So my advice would be; if you're a beginner and don't know the diffence between a good uke and a bad one - start with one of these.
115 of 123 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice, great for beginners,
This is a handy little Uke, at a decent price for the absolute beginner or the casual player. Comes with a small plastic case. The stand-out feature for this, as opposed to others you'll see on Amazon, is that the tuning pegs are the sort you'll find on guitars with cogs, rather than just a pin with a hole in.
If I were you I'd buy some pitch pipes as well, and a beginner's guide - the Uke is so easy to play and fun.
A word of warning: new Ukes go out of tune very quickly and you need to tighten or loosen the screws on the back of the head (the uke's, not yours!) until it settles down.
As a bonus, my cat loves the little box it came in, so everyone's happy!
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars absolutely incredible,
This is probably the best buy I have EVER made. The most amazing instrument, turns heads, reasonably easy to play, and so easy to transport! I take it camping all the time, and it's great at festivals. I even play it on stage sometimes and I'm in an electro band! It's an awesome crowd pleaser. I highly recommend it !
29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good value and great fun,
This cheap and cheerful Uke is great fun and relatively easy to play.
- the nylon strings are easy on the fingers
- the build quality is good for a cheap uke
- after the first couple of weeks it stays in tune well
- with only 4 strings it's easy to learn to play the uke
- it is very portable, perfect for camping trips!
Less good points (there are no bad points):
- it takes a few weeks for the tuning to stay in place (this is the same with all instruments with nylon strings, they need to stretch before they'll stay in tune)
- the tone of this uke is OK, mellow enough but could maybe do with a bit more body. Not bad for the price though.
- I bought mine from DJM Music with no problems.
- you can improve the tone of this uke by replacing the strings with "Aquila Nylgut Soprano Ukulele strings (key of C)". Mine now sounds almost as good as uke's costing £100+
41 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply Awesome,
I bought this because I couldn't stop playing on my friends 'Tenor' Ukulele. I was a bit worried at first because tenor is much larger than soprano. The day I got this I tuned myself with an online tuner which works wonders! I've had this for about 3 weeks and can play many songs, it's so easy to learn! I've not put this ukulele down since! Highly recommend buying this. *****
28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "If you like a Ukulele lady...",
Love it, love everything about it. The price is amazing, the sound is really not that bad, a little weak and lacking in body (but it is a Ukulele for under £20) and the more you play it, the longer it stays in tune between playings, strings have to settle in. Cheap, amazingly cheerfull and becuase the strings are nylon, easy on the fingers, you'll be playing a song within 15 minutes.
Build quality is good and well finished considering price, and when you buy one, turn it over and look at the tuning pegs detail, I won't spoil it but you'll go.. "agghhh with coolness and delight"
Cheap nylon bag keeps off the dust, magic!
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars plucking L,
Ideal for the beginner. Light and easy to handle. Obviously needs tuning when you first receive it but the 'Ukulele Tuner' on the web makes this a simple task. Good value for money.
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Mahalo Soprano Ukulele with Bag - Purple by Mahalo