Higher? To the place where blind men see?
March 23, 2008 10:51 PM   Subscribe

So I play guitar (fairly well) and ukulele (passably). I'm thinking about getting a baritone or tenor ukulele, but also strongly considering a guitalele. Where can I get one in America (in VA, DC, or NJ?)

The specific guitalele that I've been looking at is the Yamaha GL1, and there have been reports of special-ordering it from CA, but I'm not sure? I'd like to figure out
  1. Whether getting a guitalele is a terrible idea. I've taken lessons from Tom Barth and loved his A-tuned guitars, but I'm wondering if there's a catch (tuning problems?) with smaller-scale, higher-tuned guitars.
  2. How much would this be? It seems like they're incredibly cheap (enough that I might make it an acoustic/electric with a Mi-Si pickup for less than a comparable classical guitar.
  3. What to do!? All right, thanks for any help. I'm going to stick with my current instrument count for now (is 4 unacceptable?), but my next 'thing' will almost certainly be a non-guitar.
posted by tmcw to Media & Arts (3 answers total)
The House of Musical Traditions in Takoma Park, Maryland sells a large variety of traditional musical instruments including ukeleles - not sure about the guitalele. Very knowledgeable staff.
posted by extrabox at 4:42 AM on March 24, 2008

Just my opinion: if you love guitar, get a guitar; if you love ukulele, get a ukulele. I belong to a pretty big uke club, and it always strikes me as a little pitiful when someone brings in their (usually wildly expensive) new bouzouki/uke or trombone/uke or what-have-you. The ukulele sounds like a ukulele because it IS a ukulele. I understand having fun with hybrid instruments and messing around to get a new sound. And honestly I haven't heard a guitalele. But, in general, if you want tiny for tiny's sake, get a good little ukulele (some of them sound great); if you want a guitar because you're good on guitar, get a guitar. And perhaps you've answered your own question, if you want a guitar because you're good on guitar but want the portibility of a uke, then, no, it's not a terrible idea to get a guitalele!
posted by largecorp at 6:14 AM on March 24, 2008

Try the guitarele out before buying. i bought one and loved the portability for camping and such. But even though i paid about €70-80 for it, it was basically a crummy guitar. Buzzing, a bitch to tune, and I never was able to get a rich, full sound out of it. Maybe that was just my (lack of) skills, but it seemed more like an expensive toy guitar. (Also, playing with other guitars was tricky since the guitarele was 4 semi-tones higher.)
posted by kamelhoecker at 7:15 AM on March 24, 2008

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