Buying a Ukulele

Lanikai LU 21T

For a long time  I’ve been wanting to get a portable musical instrument that I could take in the camper.  I looked at mandolins and dulcimers, but as much as I wanted something to play, they just didn’t grab me.

Then, on one of the boards I follow, someone posted a ukulele thread.  Since I have a guitar background, the idea of a ukulele really appealed to me.

I did a lot of research and discovered that the Lanikai LU series got consistently high reviews as a great beginner-intermediate level instrument.  They come in three sizes:  the soprano (standard), concert (a little bigger with a richer sound), or tenor, the largest.  I decided to buy the tenor model for the deepest, richest tone.  So I ordered it.

The Mainland Classic Mahogany Concert model. This picture is from

But then I started listening to ukuleles on Youtube and realized that there were reasonably priced ukes with a lot better sound.  The one that really struck me with its rich, resonant tone was the Mainland Classic Mahogany Concert model.  Again, I checked  reviews and ukulele boards, and it seems that this one is head and shoulders above the Lanakai.  Also, the Mainland is solid mahogany, which the Lanikai is not.  AND Mainland sets up and inspects each Mainland uke to make sure the action is right so the strings won’t buzz or sound dead and it plays comfortably.  (But the Mainland also costs more.)

Also, after thinking about it, I think the concert size will be a lot more portable and camper friendly than the tenor model.

So my Lanikai should arrive tomorrow, and I think it’s destined to be returned.  I want an instrument I can enjoy for a lot of years and I think the Mainland will do that, so I’ll order one as soon as I return the Lanikai.

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