117 of 122 people found the following review helpful
So much fun =),
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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!
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Showing 1-10 of 10 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 12 Feb 2013 22:27:40 GMT
Thanks for the helpful review, also Loving your dedication to keep us updated! :)
In reply to an earlier post on 13 Feb 2013 11:20:54 GMT
Awww your welcome, nothing worse than seeing a review from someone who has just opened the box and used it once, which could lead many to believe its a novelty item, well it may be, but its still damn good and im still playing with it, and i very rarely tune it anymore, it holds tension well after a period of time, like all strings, they need to be broken in so they can settle, once they do their absolutely fine.
Anyway, im glad you found the review helpful, im sure those who buy these and stick with them get as much enjoyment as i do from them =)
Posted on 10 Mar 2013 18:18:05 GMT
Awesome review- great detail!!! I was having a mental battle about whether or not to buy one (i get put off instruments very quickly after obtaining them) and whether it would be easy or not to learn but you say it's good so I'll give it a try!!
Posted on 20 Mar 2013 10:45:49 GMT
Elle Kennedy says:
Thank you for your most helpful and entertaining review, I think it's the most helpful I've ever read on Amazon! and thanks for the brown finger warning too!
Posted on 3 Jun 2013 05:57:04 BDT
Ms. Aj Houseman says:
Posted on 23 Jun 2013 13:38:41 BDT
Sadly, I don't play any instrument, even if I had piano lessons as a kid, but I would like my daughter to start very young with anything she likes, so I am going to fill the house with things she can find inspiring and hopefully she'll pick up something :) She is very young, only 18 months old, but many toys look so stupid to me, and I think kids are often underestimated in what they can do. I don't mind her playing with our things, as long as I am there to supervise of course, and I am definitely gonna put this little gem in my basket . Thank you so much for your review!!
Posted on 29 Jun 2013 23:09:59 BDT
Thanks for your brilliant review and updates! Thanks to you I've finally decided to give the ukulele a try - I've no musical ability whatsoever and I'm blonde LOL! Looking at all the different makes of ukulele I was confused as to which one to try, thanks to you I now know!!!!
Posted on 1 Jul 2013 13:42:11 BDT
To all those who have left comments, i thank you so much, i enjoyed my time with my mahalo, it was a great gateway uke, though i had no idea how obsessed with uke's i would become, i have just built a banjolele,from a spare uke neck and a hand drum, and now in the process of rebuilding my old purple mahalo after stripping it of paint and taking it apart, i plan on re-veneering the front and having a star shaped soundhole, some of which is already done, just serch youtube for "rebuilding a ukulele".
So now i know how to play them, how to take them apart and how they go together, the next logical step will be to build my own uke from scratch myself, which i will do very soon because i have really got the urge to build and design my own ukes eventually, so who knows what i will end up doing in the future, all because of a cheap little ukulele from amazon.
Anyway, enjoy your ukes, practice practice and practice, watch youtube videos, learn different songs/styles/techniques, and be patient, and dont over analyze ukes, there is no need to make them complicated, all the information is out there on the net, and dont get hung up on tricky chords or songs becuse you will get there eventully. Have fun my friends.
Posted on 7 Aug 2013 17:21:50 BDT
well you sold it to me
In reply to an earlier post on 5 Oct 2013 17:59:54 BDT
thank you for taking the time to update your review. Fab.
My son plays violin, do you think he will need a beginners music book, that they put as a buy all three together on amazon? thanks
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