questionscan anyone give me suggestions on purchasing a…

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Original tags: ukelele Arthur-Godfrey Israel-Kamakawiwo'ole ear-plugs

Israel Kamakawiwo'ole -- now there was a great musician/singer!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w_DKWlrA24k

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Don't.

All told.

What is the coolest thing about a ukelele?

It burns faster than a mandolin.

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What's the coolest thing about a mandolin?

It burns faster than a banjo.

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@jumbowoot: Oh, lordy! That's ominous. In the 15 years we've been together, the spouse-shopping has been as easy as possible: gift card to Amazon or any bookstore on earth, which is spent within 15 minutes. (He was rereading James Joyce's Ulysses for pleasure when I first met him; his reading is totally eclectic.) This is the only time I've heard him express an interest in anything not book-oriented.

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We offered one in a woot plus event some time ago. I thought at the time that it was a pretty good deal. It may come around again.

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@jumbowoot: LOL! I started to ask (in reference to your comment about a Woot deal coming around again) if you couldn't apply your powerful reach and influence to hurry that along..... and VIOLA!, as my son used to say when he was about six!

Many thanks!

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@barnabee: Thank you for thinking of me! Fortunately, our house has a detached garage, which is where his workshop is and which is where he'd probably do his practicing. Still, better to be prepared, hmm?

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@magic cave: Are we offering it now? I couldn't find it. That would be providential. :)

Those two deals above are from Guitar Center and rakuten shopping.

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@jumbowoot: No, it's not currently a Woot offering, but your links were perfect for me. The same brand/models are also available on Amazon, and I'm kind of leaning toward keeping the purchase "in house," so to speak. The Lanikai LU-21 has good reviews and fits into my budget nicely. I really hate buying things when I don't have a single clue as to how to judge quality vs. price, and I've relied on Amazon reviews with great success.

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There are a shocking number of deals on Ukuleles on this site. I commented on a deal the other day and in searching for "Ukulele" to find my comment it found 2 pages of Ukulele deals. And I don't think that even included the RIP'd deals.

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It's always sketchy buying an instrument online. I had a friend bring me back a ukulele from Hawaii, and even that has some issues. I bought one online before that ($20 on amazon), and it was unplayable even to me! It wouldn't stay in tune for more than a few strums. Some of that is breaking in the strings, but an instrument that isn't made correctly will never sound quite right, which might discourage being played. You can probably find one at your local Sam Ash or Guitar Center for around $50. Ask the guys there for help. Most will even play it for you, so you can at least make an informed decision.

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Thanks, everyone. I've made a purchase through Amazon (Yay, Prime!) for a Lanikai LU 21, bundled with a hard case and a tuner. I went with Amazon because they have such an easy return system in the event the spouse ends up wanting a different model.

Now I just have to find a place to stash if for nearly a month.

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@magic cave: Oh noes! Why didn't I see this thread?! I'm a pretty big Ukulele user here, I've actually bought three from Amazon.

1st Ukulele - Makala MK-S: Soprano - I gave this one to my grandpa because he loved it. I also changed up the strings the AQUILA NYLGUT (if your ukulele doesn't have this, I highly recommend it).

2nd Ukulele - Kala KA-C: Concert - I switched up to the larger sized ukulele (concert) shortly after I gave my 1st uke because I have fairly big hands. But I later realized that it doesn't sound as pleasing as a soprano. Aquila nygult pre-installed.

3rd Ukulele - Kala KA-15S: Soprano - @joshobra lived happily ever after.

The Lanikai you got is very comparable with the Kala KA-S like mine and I'm sure you're gonna love it. I think your model has aquila strings too.. if it comes white that should be it. If not, it's not that hard to switch strings.

Don't forget to tune it!

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@joshobra: Thank you so very much for your input! I looked at the Kala model you have now, but the Lanikai LU-21 seemed to be a better deal at the moment. I'm so glad to hear you think it will be fine. Although this bundle comes with a Cherub tuner, I ran into a couple of reviews that didn't like that tuner and recommended one by Snark, so I also ordered a Snark tuner. If he's happy with the Cherub, he can return the Snark. The Lanikai does indeed come with Aquila nygult strings, so I'm glad to hear from you on that point as well. Most of the reviews mention having to re-tune it frequently for the first 2-3 days and noted that after that the strings have stretched properly so it stays in tune well. (Huh? Stretched? Who knew? Logical when I think about it, though.) Oh, and I also picked up a beginner's lesson book that came highly recommended.

Until I actually hand it to him, I think I've got the matter covered. If something comes up, though, may I call on you again?

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@magic cave: you're welcome! I'm glad I was able to help a little!

As for the tuner, I was going to get a snark as well (based on good reviews).

But if you have a smartphone (or similar) there is this app called tun-d free. It's free and I use this every time.

Indeed you have to re-tune the uke constantly for the first week (more or less) because the strings "stretches" every time you strum. It's pretty normal. You'll know that it's "broken in" once you have to re-tune less often.

Just @-tag me and I'll be here!

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@magic cave: Hard cases are the best! I once tripped and fell directly onto my (fairly nice Martin) ukulele inside its hard case; if I'd had a soft one it would have been full of kindling. Once your spouse gets the hang of tuning and the strings stretch he probably won't need a tuner any more, assuming he grew up with Looney Tunes cartoons (My Dog Has Fleas). It's only four strings, you know?

And now you'll be able to shop book and rummage sales for vintage sheet music!

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@mossygreen: :::laughing::: just what either of us needs: a new excuse to go researching, tracking, hunting, and buying! Thanks for the suggestion, and for the support for the hard case decision. He once tripped a bit while helping to move furniture and sat down -hard- on a concrete stair. He was okay, but the Palm Pilot in his back pocket didn't survive. "Hard case" was an easy option.

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@mossygreen, @joshobra, @liss, @scmtim, and @jumbowoot: I just wanted to tell you again how much I appreciate your help with a ukulele purchase.

Today is Spouse's birthday, and he loves his gift! I think this is the most successful gift I've gotten him in the 15 years we've been together.

Thanks again!