It’s a guitar, it’s a ukelele; no, it’s a Guitalele!

gl1-0001I’d looked at this little beastie before, and managed to resist, but the price is now lower than ever, so I gave into temptation.

The Yamaha GL1 Guitalele is the size of a Tenor Ukulele, but has 6 strings. Commonly tuned to A, it is like playing a guitar on capo 5. It is not a sophisticated instrument, and nowhere near as finely made as my Tenor Uke. But it is cheap (57 quid, including case) and a bit of fun.

Taking it out of the case and tuning up, it sounds horrible. The strings it comes with are absolutely terrible, the worst I have seen. Yamaha are really doing themselves no favours in this respect; had I picked it up in a shop, I would have put it down immediately; and had I known differently, I would have considered sending it straight back to Amazon as useless.

Fortunately, as ever, I had read reviews; and so knew of this problem. I had also ordered a set of D’Addario extra hard tension strings, and so the cheap strings were retired with extreme prejudice. Even with the D’Addario strings, it isn’t as sweet as my uke, but it is quite an acceptable sound, and the extra hard tension lets you be a bit more flexible with the tuning. Currently I have it tuned right down to E (i.e. standard guitar pitch), and although the strings are a little sloppy, it sounds OK. I’m going to play with it, and think it will probably end up being tuned in G.

Did I need it? No. Is it probably the crummiest instrument I own? Well, no, I still have my harmonica. Will I get some fun out it? Undoubtedly, and that’s what it is all about.

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