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Waterphoenix

Is it a good idea to start learning to play the ukulele after a month of learning on an acoustic guitar?

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Hello, 

I've started playing acoustic guitar nearly a month ago and make good signs of progress and most importantly really enjoy it. I am studying in London but will be going home for Christmas (if Covid allows me to) by plane and thus it would be too expensive to bring my acoustic guitar with me. I started wondering whether it would be a good idea to also get myself a ukulele which I could take with me over the Christmas holidays (+- 3 weeks). I thought that if I am home for that long without taking my guitar I might get out of practice and was wondering if it would be an option to practice on the ukulele. 
The question however is, do you think that after only playing the guitar for nearly a month (I know the main chords and can play about 5 songs), it is too early to get myself a ukulele? Do you think there is a risk that I might mix up chords and strings and thus not make any progress on either of the instruments? Or do you think it is a good idea to learn how to play the ukulele alongside the guitar? Could playing the ukulele alongside the guitar maybe even complement my "skills"? 
Maybe any of you has made the experience, please let me know. 

Thank you!

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Everyone learns differently. However, if this were me, I’d be dreadfully confused by the introduction of an instrument with less strings and a different tuning so early on in my learning journey. Your experience may be different, but I’d avoid the uke.

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I love the Uke, it's silly and simple and fun, but the shapes are different, and early on most people tend to think in terms of shapes. It's not insurmountable in terms of confusion, and I suspect in the long run there would be some kind of benefit, but I think it would be more beneficial for your early progress, to try and source a cheap/borrowed/ used guitar to play at home, and leave it there for when you visit in future if that's possible.

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I should think it will be a bit too convincing. Hell, after playing guitar for closing in on thirty years (badly, mind), I'm still not sure I'm ready for Uke having tried and failed at five string banjo! 
The better alternative if this is going to be a regular thing - wanting to travel with your guitar -  is to go looking for a guitar design specifically for travel. A few years ago I bought a used Steinberger Spirit (basically the Squier version of a Steiney.... Ed Roman hated them, which is always a plus, ha!) for travel. The ideal travle guitar is one with minimal body, so the neck is the main thing. Most are electric (allows it to be as small as possible ). You could find a used Martin Backpacker cheaply, but  I wouldn't. A friend bought one years ago ,and oh my did it sound.... well, shite. Better a travel electric and a tiny headphone amp. TBH, for acoustic sound in a quiet room on my own, an unplugged electric is grand for me; plug in if you want distortion. One of those cigarette pack sized amps, or the ones on Etsy in an altoids tin are fine. 

I'm thinking something like this - https://www.amazon.co.uk/Anygig-Electric-Guitar-Strings-010-046/dp/B07M6XLV2M/ref=sr_1_8?dchild=1&keywords=travel+guitar&qid=1604072293&sr=8-8 

61IBiVOJrVL._AC_SL1500_.jpg

 

Not played one, but it seems to have reasonable reviews, and it's what I'd buy if I was looking for something now. Actually, I am tempted.... 

THomann has some options, both cheaper (but a bigger body - basically looks like a headless strat with a small body the size and shape of the PG) and more expensive, depends on your needs and budget. 

Another option, if your folks are groovy with it - would be to buy a bottom end (but reasonable) acoustic  - maybe something like this at £62 - https://www.thomann.de/gb/harley_benton_hbd110nt.htm - or a cheap second hand one - when you're at your folks, and then store it there for when you do visit. I've done that for years, though my folks are moving and downsizing soon, so I'll soon have to review that. 

Finally, there's always the option of a forty quid cigarbox-guitar (see Amazon)  - buy a three stringer, tune it to EAD and practice your powerchords while you're away.... 

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'Cross training' by playing another instrument will make you better on both. Contrary to what you might expect the effect of different strings, spacings and chord shapes will actually broaden the very specific set of skills you are developing. Basically it stops your brain from getting in a rut. Things like playing with a capo or the same tune in a different position help too. I won't say I'm brilliant at all (any) of the instruments I play but I never get confused by which one I'm playing.

But it sounds like an excuse to buy a new acoustic guitar to keep at your parents to me 🙂

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