You are looking for the best ukulele on the market, that is to say, the instrument that will meet your expectations whether you are a beginner or an experienced musician. You’re on the right page! To help you inevitably find “YOUR ” ukulele, the one that will perfectly match your musical project, your desires, and your portfolio, we have tested for you, different models from various brands. We deliver below the results of our comparison.
Faced with the wide choice of ukulele models on offer, it is always better to be an informed consumer, especially if you are a beginner. Also, to help you in your approach, we have established a buying guide for the best ukulele. It will effectively inform you about the essential criteria to remember for you to make the right purchase of ukulele, at the best value for money.
Do not hesitate to consult it, you will undoubtedly find their information which will be of invaluable help to you in the choice of your instrument!
If you are looking for a quality ukulele, discover among those listed below the one that could meet your needs.
Best concert ukulele under 150
If you want to know how to choose the best concert ukulele under 150, this model is the best performing. With a larger dimension than its peers, it produces a richer and deeper sound. It is therefore ideal for concerts and ideal for professionals. You will see that you will only be proud to hold it in your hands once on stage. Besides, its finish will not leave you indifferent either.
This wooden instrument is of good quality, it is the best and cheapest ukulele of all the models on our list. Its nylon strings and rosewood finishes give it a unique design. If you don’t know which ukulele to choose, this may be for you. Its price-performance ratio is excellent. Its chrome button gives it a very elegant look.
Unique design: The curvature of her back offers her an extension of sound, ideal for performing during a concert.
Beautiful finish: A ukulele is not only for music, but the aesthetic also counts and this is precisely the case of this model whose finish is very interesting.
Excellent protection: The textile used, water repellent oxford with a 10 mm bead and a foam pillow, offers optimal protection for this ukulele.
Best electric ukulele
The quality of this model makes it a great item if you want to buy and confirm which the best electric ukulele on the market is. With its nylon strings from Spain and its unique quality tuners, this instrument allows you to play in harmony. It offers a most melodious sound and is perfectly suited for a professional or family performance.
Made with rosewood, this ukulele is robust. It does not shrink easily. Its delicate design and elegant color, as well as the properties specific to rosewood, give it a delicate and elegant appearance. It is also very comfortable to use with its strap buttons which facilitate the change of chord. No more wondering where to buy the best ukulele.
Very high-quality material: Rosewood is the best you will find in any comparison. It is both robust and produces high-quality sound.
Excellent configuration: This model is very practical, moreover, it comes from the best brand of ukuleles with fully closed rope buttons, a wooden handle body, and a set of complete accessories (pick, strap, tuner, spare ropes…), but also a small guide.
Best ukulele for beginners
This beginner’s ukulele comes from a good brand. Inexpensive despite its properties, it has a smooth and very good quality surface, with a touch and a rosewood bridge. Its included guitar bag gives it extra protection and a very practical way to transport it. It’s the perfect product if you’re wondering where to buy the best ukulele for beginners.
It is equipped with very soft nylon strings which are ideal for beginners, as they are easier to play. It is a real musical instrument that allows rapid learning. Its size is also optimal, especially for transport, because you can easily put it in your trunk or on your car seats. Its design will not leave you indifferent. You can take it everywhere, during your concerts, on stage or at a group party.
Pleasant to use: Beginners will easily learn to play with the accessories and the lightness of this ukulele model.
Excellent sound: The sound of this Hurricane model is attractive.
Best tenor ukulele under 200
This ukulele happens to be cheaper compared to the others, but it is just as efficient. It has the advantage of being easy to transport while producing excellent sound. It is suitable for both singing and playing. Resulting from a traditional manufacturing process, this instrument produces a very high-quality sound, with high treble and deep bass. It is possible to make the sound even clearer by folding back a little when using it.
This ukulele is designed for professionals. It has a louder sound and its spacing is wider, which is better suited for large hands, especially adults. The rear panel further improves sound quality and resonance. This ukulele is also very resistant since it is made of rosewood. It has a beautiful design.
Excellent configuration: With fully closed rope buttons and a wooden handle body, this ukulele facilitates learning. Even if you are a beginner, therefore, you can use it and take it everywhere.
Beautiful wood: The rosewood of this instrument is not only pretty to look at but can last several years to make your purchase profitable.
Best tenor ukulele under 1000
It is sometimes complicated to find good quality baritones at around $200. Compared to other models, the Kala is less “bling-bling” and quite simple in its design. On the other hand, it is endowed with timeless elegance. This Baritone has a 514 mm head nut, with a combination of mahogany on the body and solid spruce on the top. This wood is of a remarkable finish, lets out a wonderful grain. The clear aspect of the spruce is in perfect harmony with the elegance of mahogany. The stability of the mahogany allows perfect restitution of the vibration of the strings through the body.
To conclude, the Kala is a versatile baritone ukulele, which has it all. The wood is of good quality, the finishes are clean and the sound is very good. A great purchase!
Best bass ukulele
This model remains the most interesting of its generation. It is the best bass ukulele in our ranking. With its head nut and bone bridge, this inexpensive musical instrument is complete and easy to use. Ergonomic, its design is elegant and suitable for professionals and beginners.
It is equipped with a microphone and an equalizer to facilitate learning for beginners. Its flat wound ropes are also practical. As for its material, the solid spruce with which it was made is beautiful. You will be proud to take your ukulele and play it. Besides, you may be jealous around you, given the beauty of your instrument. The sound it produces, with its back and sides in solid maple, is quite honorable. You only have to compare it with the other models on the market, you will see that it is worth your investment.
Ergonomic design: An aspect as beautiful as it is efficient for beginners and professionals.
Quality solid wood: Spruce and maple are both strong and graceful solid wood.
Best cheap ukulele
Ideal for beginners and children, this cheap ukulele is one of the best models on the market. If you are looking for an article for a child, but also for a beginner adult, take a look at this one. Its size is ideal for small children, adolescents, and students. Built with a very solid material, its body is hard, as well as its handle, its fingerboard, and its bridge. Rosewood and laminated lime are very hardwoods.
The sound produced by this instrument is at the same time soft, rich, and dynamic. It is a real pleasure to use it. In addition to being efficient, this ukulele is also cheap. Its shiny brown color makes it a very elegant model, even if it is designed for little ones. It is also very easy to adjust with its included electronic tuner. Very light, this ukulele is also excellent to the touch.
Very fast tuning: With its electronic tuner provided, it is easy to adjust. This will save you time when you need to start training. Besides, it is useless to do it often.
Easy to carry: It is very convenient for children and students when they take their course. It is not at all bulky.
Best kala ukulele
With a mahogany body and a refined finish, this ukulele has an aesthetic and mad grace. It is one of the first ranges of the Kala brand. With its very light and soft finishes, the sound produced by this instrument is rich and melodious. It is the most beautiful and solid of its series and it remains however accessible to all the budgets.
The texture of the wood is pleasant to look at and to touch. Its body darker than its other parts makes a striking contrast. On the sound side, it has nothing to envy to other models. It produces a rich, hard, and deep tone, to thrill emotions when used well. Its value for money is recommended for comparison and its aesthetic details of colors and materials appeal to more than one. Its retro aspect is indeed much appreciated.
Tuning that hold: Its tuning can last several days unlike other brands, which is a significant advantage for this ukulele.
Quality aesthetics: It’s color and design are both more than satisfactory, despite the cheaper price displayed.
Best baritone ukulele
Already, the fact that it is made of mahogany is a good point that allows it to be among the most prominent ukuleles this year. Then, its 4 rosette strings in Aquila from Italy are more than beautiful. This model also has a nut and a nut made of real bone, for the quality of the sound and a high aestheticism. The fingerboard and bridge are made of rosewood, which adds even more value to the robustness of this baritone ukulele.
The spreads for this model are 4 cents, which is very reasonable. If you are used to playing the guitar, you will immediately feel comfortable with it. The reason is that the strings were arranged in the same order as with the latter. In addition, this model of Kmise seems a little larger than the other models. It is perfect for beginners.
Beautiful finishes: The aesthetic side of this ukulele is very attractive despite its cheap price.
Perfect for guitarists: The arrangement of the strings resembles that of the guitar. This makes it a perfect model for those who are used to playing this instrument.
What is a Ukulele?
It’s a good question!
The general viewer may say, ‘A ukulele is just a small guitar’ – but they would be wrong to reduce it to that. It is a completely different instrument, although the two have common points…
Ukulele vs. Guitar: The Similarities
At first glance, one can understand why someone can confuse a ukulele with a miniature guitar. In fact, the general anatomy of a ukulele will be very familiar to anyone who has played the guitar.
Whatever the size of the instrument, it will be equipped with a body, a handle, a fingerboard, and ahead, as well as a nut, an easel, a saddle, strings, and tuners. Like a guitar, a ukulele can sometimes include electronics, in the form of a microphone under the saddle and a preamp with different volume and equalization settings.
Ukulele vs. Guitar: The Differences
However, there are more differences than similarities. First, in most cases, a ukulele will only have four strings, compared to the six found on a typical guitar. They will also have fewer frets. From soprano to baritone, you will find between 12 and 21 frets. This is significantly less than standard guitars, which generally have between 19 and 24 frets.
Ultimately, this means that ukuleles are slightly easier to learn and play than guitars. They also require less pressure to play due to the lower string tension. This means that they are brilliant for beginners.
Another key difference is that ukuleles sound much brighter and happier than a guitar. Sure, a scintillating soprano ukulele will sound different from a deeper tenor ukulele, but all have a sound that’s easily distinguished from a guitar.
It is half the size of a ukulele compared to a guitar, but also because they are tuned differently. Typically, a ukulele has a GCCEA tuning, although a baritone ukulele is an exception with DGB E.
Finally, be aware that a ukulele generally costs less than a guitar. Obviously, that’s not always the case, but you’ll find that a decent entry-level ukulele can cost $ 40, while a decent entry-level guitar would be closer to $ 100.
In the high end, $ 500 would give you a great ukulele, but you may have to spend double that to buy a guitar made of wood, sounds, crafts, and similar electronics.
What is a good ukulele?
A good ukulele is a ukulele that can be made by just about any established brand, can be of any size, and can come from a wide range of price categories, as long as it has some important features.
One of the most important of these characteristics is the tone of the ukulele. Although the tone is very subjective, a good ukulele will be bright, lively, focused, and happy – that’s what a ukulele should look like.
Of course, a baritone ukulele will sound much deeper and softer than a soprano, but you can quickly recognize the quality of a ukulele by listening to its ukulele.
The playability of a ukulele will also be an important factor in determining whether it is good or not. You want something solid to hold, smooth to play, free of rough spots, and well-dressed frets (i.e. without sharp edges).
In the end, provided the ukulele is made of wood (not plastic) and comes from a reputable brand, you can be assured that it is pretty good no matter how much it costs.
How much does a good ukulele cost?
As we have just noted, a good ukulele can be very inexpensive. Don’t be surprised to find a great ukulele that sells for between $ 50 and $ 100.
That said, some ukulele players will define “good” like a ukulele that rises above the entry/beginner level. Perhaps a model with a more refined sound that would suit both solo and group concerts as well as recording.
It’s not a high-end ukulele, but something solid that looks like a quality instrument – perhaps a unique style, better projection, and improved components. For a good ukulele like this, between $ 200 and $ 300, this is the ideal place.
Which brand of Ukulele is best?
We come to another delicate question because nowadays, so many brands offer quality ukuleles at various prices. Some brands are new and not well established, while others have been around for decades.
Some companies – like Kala and Lanikai – mainly focus on ukuleles. By specializing in the ukulele, they have become very experienced and always produce a good instrument, whatever the price.
Other brands, such as Fender and Cordoba, also produce some of the best ukuleles on the market. Although they mainly specialize in guitars, the companies are so large that they can devote a lot of time and labor to developing a large ukulele.
Finally, the American brand Luna, which also manufactures acoustic guitars, specializes in attractive ukuleles with unique finishes, so it is worth checking if the aesthetics of a ukulele is important to you.
Find the right size for you
By browsing this article and this table, you will understand that there are four main sizes of ukuleles: soprano, concert, tenor, and baritone.
You can find others, like miniature pocket ukuleles and large double bass ukuleles, but the four sizes listed above are the most popular and, as such, the main focus of the current market and our graphics.
Although you can learn more about the different sizes on their respective pages, here they are in summary:
Of all the popular sizes, the soprano ukulele is the smallest – and usually the size that is associated with the ukulele. A soprano has a typical length of about 21 ″, with 12 to 15 frets, and the standard ukulele tuning from GCEA.
It produces the classic sound of the ukulele – vibrant, bright, and cheerful! It is ideal for children due to its small size, although adults can certainly find as much fun with a soprano.
Another small ukulele, although slightly larger than a soprano, is the concert ukulele. You will usually find a length of around 23 ″, with 15 to 18 frets, and the familiar GCEA tuning.
Although a concert ukulele always offers a brilliant sound, it is a little louder and richer than a soprano. It is also great for beginners, as there is a little more room to maneuver while remaining compact.
A tenor ukulele is again larger – usually about 26 ″ in length, with between 17 and 19 frets, and this traditional tuning of the ukulele in GCEA.
The larger size means that the sound is slightly deeper and fuller and that it projects very well. He’s a great stage performer and another ukulele that’s great for adult beginners because of his larger neck.
As you might have guessed, a baritone ukulele is the largest of the popular sizes, with a typical length of 29 ″, and around 18 to 21 frets. The chord is the same as the highest four strings of a guitar: DGBBE.
Although a baritone is less suitable for beginners in ukulele, it is ideal for guitarists who are familiar with tuning and configuration. Sound-wise, a baritone offers a deeper and stronger ukulele experience.
As the banjolele is a mixture of a ukulele and a banjo, in essence, the bass ukulele is exactly what the name describes – a mixture between a ukulele and a bass guitar.
These bass ukuleles tend to be about the same size as a baritone ukulele – typically 30 ″ in length. However, they offer a unique bass tone and playing experience, which is largely due to the thickness of the polyurethane strings. This relatively new instrument is one that we discuss in more detail in our main guide to the bass ukulele.
The differences between spending $ 50 and $ 500
In the ukulele market, you can find a great ukulele for both $ 50 and $ 500 – although there will be huge differences in quality. We will briefly touch on some of them.
Brands that make a cheap ukulele are more likely to use glue-laminated wood in body construction, as opposed to solid wood, which can provide a larger, more characteristic sound. This is not always the case, as some high-end models may use laminates, but generally, a $ 500 ukulele will be made of solid wood.
The know-how of a high-end ukulele will also be much better than that of a cheap ukulele and will come out of the packaging as smooth as butter, without rough spots, sharp frets, or suspicious electronics. Again, however, some cheaper models show good workmanship, even if produced in series.
You’ll also discover that the more expensive ukuleles come with more advanced electronics, which provide clearer, more natural sounds, with more versatile EQ controls, while you can also find some innovative features – like the Tuna Ukulele system by Lanikai, which allows individual adjustments to the intonation of the strings.
Finally, although the tone of a ukulele is subjective, it is almost guaranteed that a high-end ukulele – thanks to the quality of its solid woods, its construction, and its electronics – will offer a more complex, characterful sound and projection, compared to a fully laminated business model.
Should you buy an electro-acoustic ukulele?
It depends on your aspirations – where do you take your ukulele?
If, like many players, you dream of playing ukulele on a Hawaiian beach around a campfire for a small group of friends (it’s the dream of the ukulele, right?), It is unlikely that you need electronics.
The same goes if you’re more of a bedroom gamer, or if you are traveling, or if you are a complete beginner – while electronics may sound cool, when you are just starting out, it provides little more than ‘a distraction.
If you’re buying a stage ukulele, electronics are suddenly a better idea, allowing you to easily plug in an amplifier. This is also the case if you plan to record with your ukulele, as you can easily connect to recording systems.
When it comes to electronics, you can actually find some decent electro-acoustic ukuleles in the budget ukulele category, although the more you spend, the better mic quality and more versatile the preamp system.
However, each brand and each model varies so much that there is no universal solution for ukulele electronics.
Should you buy new or used?
Buying a used vehicle is always a risk, although it certainly has its advantages. For example, provided that you can overcome the fact that it will not be “cool boxed”, you can find a more expensive ukulele for anything up to half the original price. So if you are considering a high-end ukulele, buying a used ukulele could prove to be very profitable.
However, if you are looking for a budget ukulele or something with a lower price, buying new ones is usually your best option, unless you are on a very tight budget.
You guarantee a quality ukulele, without wear, damage or electronics problems. In addition, you have the security of a return and refund policy, whether you buy from a reputable online market (such as Amazon or Guitar Center) or from a local trusted guitar store.
If you take the second-hand course, make sure you can test the ukulele thoroughly before buying it, especially if it is equipped with electronics. And make sure you are aware of the return policy for where you buy the instrument.
The final word
Buying a new ukulele is a fantastic feeling, although it is only the beginning of a long and entertaining journey to become a great ukulelist.
When you buy a ukulele in any price range within your budget, be sure to take your time on the decision. Compile a small list of your favorite models, read reviews, watch videos, and test them if possible. Do not rush this important decision.
Whether you are a complete beginner or an experienced player, we hope you have found the table and guide useful in hunting for your ideal ukulele. Good luck!
The 15 best brands of ukulele for beginners and intermediate players
All of these brands have at least some good ukuleles that are affordable, of good quality, and relatively simple to play.
Several of the brands we mentioned have many high-quality options for beginners, which we also looked at later in the article to give specific examples of some of the options available.
Here are the best brands of ukuleles to watch:
Kala is a very prolific manufacturer of ukuleles. They are based in California, rather than Hawaii, and the brand has transformed the love of ukuleles into a huge range with something for everyone.
They don’t stop either. Kala is constantly releasing new models, with four new ukuleles released in 2018.
This range of ukuleles has everything from beginners and affordable models to very expensive professional models, and their range includes some of the best-selling options on the market.
The list of ukulele players using Kala is huge, which shows faith in this massive brand.
Donner manufactures many different instruments, including guitars.
Their ukuleles are of good quality, and although they were founded in 2012, they do not have the long history that some of the other brands on the list have to offer. However, some of their ukuleles cost less than $ 100 and are great options for beginners.
Donner also has a few models that are quite unusual, including electric bass ukuleles, not as great for beginners but as part of a wide and interesting range.
Lohanu is a company from Canada, which is not necessarily a country associated with ukuleles! However, the brand has definitely developed its ukulele in the spirit of Hawaii.
The brand itself is even made from a combination of three Hawaiian words. Thousands of purchases, hundreds of positive reviews, and some of the best-selling models for beginners on Amazon and elsewhere online make it a brilliant brand. They even offer a lifetime warranty on their products.
Hricane is a brand with a slightly smaller range, although some of their ukuleles offer a brilliant choice for beginners.
They have different sizes of the ukulele as well as different materials including Koa, which can give a very traditional sound to your ukulele because it is the Hawaiian wood originally used to make these instruments.
In addition to a relatively low cost, the Hricane brand is proud of its know-how and the sustainability and quality of its brand image.
According to them, “there are more than 100 processes in the production of hurricane ukulele and this does not allow the slightest negligence in each process”.
Pomaikai is a brand that can cause a little controversy being on the list. If we were just looking for the best ukulele models, then Pomaikai might not be on our “best” list.
The fact is that a large part of the range provided by this brand is available for less than $ 50, and therefore can be a decent choice for beginners on a budget.
Some models are also very suitable for children because of their compact size. Many aspiring players start with a cheap but well-made Pomaikai ukulele.
This is a brand you will probably have heard of, but not necessarily speaking of ukuleles! Fender has a history of decades of making guitars, and some of the most popular and iconic electric guitars are made by this brand. They are also known for producing some of the best electric guitars for beginners.
Their expertise in creating quality instruments was transferred brilliantly by launching excellent ukuleles.
Some of these ukuleles are good options for beginners, and although many models have references to guitars, such as a telecaster style doll, the ukuleles have a good tone and are comfortable to play.
Lanikai is a brand located on the Hawaiian island of Oahu. Their instruments reflect what the ukulele is, which is probably why their motto is ‘Makes me happy’.
In the grand scheme of things, you could say that Lanikai ukuleles belong to any segment, from entry-level to high-end category. Their most affordable models are by far the most popular.
If you ask some of the more experienced ukulele players, they will probably tell you that Mahalo was the brand of their first ukulele.
Compared to other manufacturers that we have listed, and that we will list later, Mahalo is more dominant in the beginner segment of the market. In fact, they don’t build anything else.
Mahalo is known for the effort they put into the design and construction of large beginner ukuleles. This is why we have included them in our list.
Although Hola! is one of these little known brands, their ukuleles are more and more popular. This is especially true for beginners looking for their first instrument.
In our opinion, their entry-level is decent, especially considering the price.
Luna instruments are well known and include a variety of different types. In other words, this brand does not work exclusively with ukuleles. With that in mind, it’s worth saying that their reputation is good no matter what type of instrument you are looking at.
The ukuleles made by Luna are solid no matter which segment you look at. They make impressive high-end ukuleles, but also good beginner models.
If you are familiar with acoustic guitars, you have probably heard of Oscar Schmidt. Their instruments are generally first quality and affordable compared to their immediate competitors. The same goes for their ukuleles.
Although the brand’s exposure is limited, everyone who owns an Oscar Schmidt instrument is almost always satisfied with their choice.
Although not as widely known as Kala, ADM is the type of brand that produces solid ukuleles in the entry-level segment of the market.
If you look at their current lineup, the functionality seems to be the name of the game. As a beginner, purchasing an ADM ukulele is an option that you should consider.
ukuleles are mainly intended for beginners. The Sawtooth brand is not really known for its high-end models, but its beginner models are creating waves in the market.
Overall, the quality is there and makes Sawtooth a real bargain compared to other brands. If you need affordable ukulele, we can recommend Sawtooth as a viable option.
Diamond Head, like the two previous brands we talked about, is a relatively unrecognized ukulele manufacturer outside of the affordable range. Their best work is in the form of traditional entry-level ukuleles that emphasize sound rather than aesthetics.
The quality of Diamond Head instruments is good in most cases. You can expect a perfect fit and finish, although small manufacturing errors are possible.
Cordoba is a very important brand in the world of high-end classical guitars. Their knowledge and experience translated well when they decided to start building ukuleles.
Fortunately for us, Cordoba offers a very nice selection of entry-level ukuleles as well as mid-range ukuleles. With this brand, you can expect quality in all aspects of the instrument.
What type of ukulele is best for beginners?
There is not a single ‘best’ type of ukulele for beginners. Although baritone ukuleles are unusual for starting to learn to play, any of the other three types, soprano, concert, or tenor, is a viable option.
If you are of a larger build with large hands then the soprano ukulele may seem a bit small, especially on the neck.
Brilliant sound is popular, and soprano ukuleles are often the cheapest options, so they are a good choice for young beginners.
Concert ukuleles and tenor ukuleles both have a slightly fuller tone in terms of depth and give more room for the fingerboard.
If you are concerned that size is an issue, these models might be worth considering.
Whichever you choose, you should know that you will be comfortable playing. The key is that you will need to get used to the hand positions and be able to fret properly.
The soprano, concert and tenor ukuleles all have the same tuning, so you can easily switch to another of these types in the future.
The materials of an instrument are always important. Not only because you have to look for a long-lasting ukulele, but also because the type of wood (and other materials) makes a big difference in terms of sound.
The wood used on an acoustic instrument has a great impact on sound.
It is normal to have hardwood on the sides and back, while the top of the ukulele often has softwood for better resonance.
This design is popular because it helps the instrument to ring and project, which sounds better for most.
The wood on the handle also has an effect, mainly in terms of comfort for the player and ease of maintenance.
For example, rosewood is very popular among guitars and ukuleles for the fingerboard material.
The wood that gives the sound of the instrument varies enormously from one model to another. Many of the highest-rated ukuleles use Koa wood.
Koa was a popular wood in Hawaii when this instrument was invented, so the traditional sound of a ukulele may well use this type of wood.
Whether it is the best or not is a matter of debate, but it is one of the things that can make a ukulele unique, so many people like to opt for Koa wood.
There are many other kinds of wood used including mahogany, cedar, spruce, and rosewood.
The truth is that one is not necessarily “better” than the others. All tonewoods have their own charm, and they all have their own sonic qualities, of course.
The truth is that for a beginner, this is not the main concern. Something comfortable to play is probably more important when choosing your very first ukulele.
How much to spend on a beginner ukulele?
The amount you spend on a ukulele will be a unique and individual choice. It depends not only on what you think you can afford but also on many other factors to consider.
For example, if you buy a child’s ukulele to see if they have a hobby, don’t spend hundreds and hundreds of dollars if you don’t think it will be used in the long term.
It is best to buy an affordable option in these circumstances and see how it goes.
Good quality ukuleles tend to cost $ 50 or more, even for a small soprano ukulele.
There are models that cost as little as $ 20, but they are unlikely to be quality. Playing a poorly constructed ukulele can also make it less likely that you will stick with your hobby.
The major brands of ukuleles tend to have a few options that are fairly affordable, and most have an option for less than $ 100.
In fact, many of the best ukuleles under $ 100 are suitable for beginners and intermediate players.
Ukuleles are among the cheapest instruments to start with, and although some professional models (the most expensive brands of ukuleles) can cost up to $ 500 or even more, most beginners will not be interested in these.
What to look for in a beginner’s ukulele?
What are the criteria for a good quality ukulele? What are the best features for a beginner?
Ukulele “Kits” for Ukulele
There is a large market for beginner ukuleles, due to the popularity of the instrument for amateurs. For this reason, ukuleles are often sold as kits for beginners, where not only is the instrument itself included, but extras like a concert bag, a tuner and sometimes even lessons can be included.
Some instruments can be more finicky than others. A reliable instrument is unlikely to break, will not need new strings all the time, and will stay tuned.
All these functions are very useful, especially for beginners who are not always very comfortable with tuning, for example. For more information, check out this simple ukulele tuning guide.
While this is not our primary criterion for any instrument, we normally fall in love with instruments based on their appearance. It’s human instinct!
The design of your ukulele is important and will help you want to play it and be proud of your instrument.
Some ukuleles have a lot of different options in terms of colors. For adults, this may mean choosing the finish of your wood, but for children, there may be additional fun with bizarre painted patterns and block colors. Who doesn’t want a pink ukulele?
Playability and comfort
It is a somewhat abstract concept, which can be difficult to define. But in the age of consumer criticism, it’s easy to see whether or not people find a ukulele easy to play and master or not.
Comfortable touch and neck are essential, as is the size of the instrument itself. It is worth taking this into account when reading ukulele reviews.
This is largely the purpose of this article. The brand is absolutely vital, not only does it impact the quality of a product and the customer support you will receive, but a good brand can mean higher resale value.
With any instrument, it’s a bonus if you can sell it for a good price, upgrade to a better model, or just lose interest. See your instrument as an investment.
All of these features are important, but the only way to make a decision is to look at certain makes and models and see what best suits your own unique needs.
For a beginner, developing a little understanding of the features before deciding can give you a great overview of your future of playing a ukulele.
There is never a better time to buy a ukulele than today. Known for its easy-to-play characteristics, the ukulele has serious potential indoors. Just practice unleashing the wonders hidden in the ukulele.
Although there are hundreds of models available in stores, one must be specific about investing in the right candidate. Right now you will find many articles on the right ukulele, but it is our passion that sets us apart.
In this article, we are committed to guiding you from zero to hero. Theoretically, we will list all the information related to the ukulele so that you can judge between the devil and the innocent. From history to ukulele accessories, the writing below covers everything to give you all the knowledge of ukulele.
The ukulele belongs to the lute family, it is generally equipped with nylon strings for an easy to play touch. Ukulele was created in the 19th century by Portuguese immigrants who landed in Hawaii.
This little guitar-like instrument gained a lot of popularity in the 20th century and would have known that musicians would have gone crazy for this invention.
It is important to know where it all started. To do this, stay calm, follow us, and go ahead to find out what made the ukulele so popular.
Three different scenarios ended up marking this little guitar instrument like a ukulele. First of all, the movement of the players’ fingers reflects the word ukulele which basically means jumping off chips in Hawaii. Second, one of King Kalakaua’s officer nicknames was a ukulele, so due to its small size, playing expertise, and flexibility, the king declared the instrument like a ukulele. Finally, according to Queen Liliuokalani uku means gift and lele means to come – so it’s like a gift from the Portuguese people who came there.
Although these small guitar-type instruments were developed in the 1880s, they get their name from the country of Hawaii (click here to read the study). Three immigrants of Portuguese origin went to Hawaii and introduced these instruments. King Kalakaua promoted this instrument and supported immigrants, which is why the ukulele is only related to Hawaii.
Now, in the good old days, since ukuleles were cheap, an educator, J. Chalmers, changed the music program across Canada using the ukulele which increased popularity by a huge margin. Likewise, a Japanese man of Hawaiian origin returned to Japan and introduced the ukulele.
The rapid success of jazz and Hawaiian music began to grow in the country and people began to learn ukulele. Due to the simplicity and portability of ukuleles, the hype also gained momentum in the United States when American songwriters began composing music with Hawaiian themes.
In the present, ukuleles are everywhere on the Internet and in the music industry because everyone likes to experience professionalism and crisp sound at an affordable price.
Now back to the presentation and discuss the types of the ukulele.
Types of ukulele
There are about seven types of ukulele, but most of the time, you will only find four. Each one has its own characteristics and its own style of play. Before getting your hands on a ukulele, you need to know which type is best for you.
Beginners are often wrong to buy because they do not know the different types of ukuleles. Below we will cover the seven kinds of the ukulele to give you the best idea.
Also known as piccolo, this ukulele measures a maximum of 41cm in length with a scale length of 28cm. Usually, users who just want to have fun around 10-12 frets will find this ukulele attractive. In addition, it covers a range from G4 to E6 with a joint agreement from D5-G4-B4-B4-E5. Pocket ukuleles are rare on the market because the idea is exchanged by the next online ukulele.
Sopranos are called standard ukuleles. These sopranos are considered the smallest in the family. These standard ukuleles have a typical length of 53 cm with a scale length of 33 cm, which makes them the ideal partner for beginners. These ukuleles have a decent range from C4 to A5 with the common tuning of G4-C4-E4-A4.
Next, we have concert ukuleles that are a little bigger than the sopranos. They have a length of 58 cm and a scale length of 38 cm, which produces a sound a little deeper and louder than the sopranos. This ukulele has 15 – 20 frets and more space between each, which makes it easier to handle.
Also known as the lili’u or taro patch, this ukulele has a total length of around 66 cm with a scale length of 43 cm. The tenor produces a classical sound and has more than 16 frets with a range from G3 to D6.
Bari, Bari ukulele or baritone, whatever name you give it (click to know where its name comes from), it promises deep and resonant sounds, all thanks to its 74 cm in total length and its 48 cm range. You get 18-21 frets on this ukulele with a range of D3-A # 5.
Although bass ukuleles are not popular enough on the market, some musicians prefer to get that bass punch. With a typical length of 76 cm and a length scale of 51 cm, this ukulele produces serious warm tones. The bass ukulele has a range from mi2 to si4 with a common chord of mi2-A2-D3-G3.
Bass Contract bass ukuleles are designed to cover the opposite side of the bass sound. Also known as U-Bass or Rumbler ukuleles, they are 81 cm long with 53 cm scale length. Offering a range of Mi1 to B3 with a common agreement of Mi1-A1-D2-G2, this ukulele is very rare.
Above we have described each type of ukulele so that you can judge and choose the best one based on your needs.
Now let’s move on and look for different forms of ukuleles available in stores.
Different forms of ukuleles
Although the shapes don’t count much on the budget side, different shapes can produce different tones. We are going to look at the most common forms that ukuleles offer.
This body profile is linked to the land of Hawaii. The pineapple body was a Hawaiian innovation used on instruments made by the Kamaka ukulele company.
This shape gives a soothing Hawaiian look to your ukuleles.
Like any other typical guitar, this shape is very common among ukuleles. This shape has a curved part of the upper body, called the upper body, which is smaller than the lower body. Modern designs have cutouts at the top, allowing easy access to the upper frets.
Of the three forms, the paddle is very rare for this model is hard work but does not work very well, especially if you are a beginner.
So which form do you prefer?
Ukulele construction process
It is important to know which construction method uses ukuleles as it greatly affects the sound quality. Stay with us to immerse yourself in the details of the construction.
The construction methods are divided into three sectors, we will explain each of them so that you can have a good idea of what is offered.
Cheap ukuleles for young children are often made of plastic. Plastic is the strangest material when it comes to making ukuleles. You should not invest in plastic ukuleles if you want to seriously start a career.
If you are buying a birthday present for your five year old son, then investing in a plastic ukulele will not be a decision but for serious needs we do not recommend the plastic made.
Glued laminated timber
For mannequins, ukuleles made of glued laminated wood aim for the affordable side. In theory, a glued laminated wood ukulele has several thin layers of wood glued on top of each other.
On the bright side of history, glued laminated timber is a little more resistant and more prone to cracks.
While glulam ukuleles are affordable, don’t expect much in terms of sound quality.
Made of a single wood species, a solid wood ukulele promises serious resonance. Solid wood construction is mainly found in medium and high range ukuleles.
Solid wood ukuleles tend to produce richer tones with a deeper sound, making it the option with which you can go far.
Plastic is out of the league if you want to be a serious musician trying to impress the masses, it is not even an appropriate choice if you are a beginner but want to take music professionally. Solid wood is the best choice among building materials. However, beginners can also consider laminated wood ukuleles to create unique tones.
Now let’s take a look at the most common types of wood used in making ukuleles.
Most common wood species
This wood is grown in many parts of the world, but all share almost the same characteristics. Mahogany is used to build necks to get a darker, warmer tone.
Directly from the jungles of Hawaii, this dense tropical wood is among the popular choices. Beautiful grain patterns, a wide range of colors and a balanced tone give priority to this wood over other woods.
Known for its hardness and density, this wood is commonly used for making keys and bodies. Its rich color combination and resistance to decay make it the ideal choice for adding spice to the visual appearance.
To obtain a soft and round cedar wood, we use cedar wood which is softer than the others. It is mainly used to produce low notes in tenor and baritone ukuleles.
Let us now examine the main components of the ukulele.
Pieces of a typical ukulele
It attaches to the handle by keeping the pegs or the tuning machines pressed.
These rotary knobs keep the strings in one place and can be adjusted to tune the ukuleles.
Also known as the fret board, it encases the frets and has position benchmarks for player feasibility.
The bridge holds the saddle and the rear end of the strings is tied there. Basically it supports the strings from the bottom end.
To keep the strings aligned correctly, couple the nut with the saddle.
Common chords on a Ukulele
A ukulele is capable of developing versatile sounds, but you must compose the chord required to listen to the required output. We will list some common agreements that will help you build and experiment more and more.
The C6 is the most popular and common tuning (G4-C4-E4-A4). To increase the close harmony chord, the G string is tuned an octave higher. Similarly, to lower the effect, the G string is tuned to a lower octave.
Also known as D6 tuning at higher string tension, it is one step higher than C6 tuning (A4-D4-F # 4-B4). This tuning was considered to bring the Hawaiian boom to music because it produced softer but smaller sounds – read the study on frequencies and sounds of sound here. To bring the Canadian effect, you can lower the octave of the.
Connect to a Dotara
You can also tune your ukuleles as dotara. EBEEA is the easiest way to tune your ukuleles in dotara mode. You can now add this Bangladeshi sound to your personal ukuleles.
All types of ukulele have alternative tuning. Different arrangements and alternative chords can be used to produce interesting sounds.
Using an electronic tuner
You can use the electronic tuner to tune your ukuleles easily. The tuners have a mode that matches the strings of the ukuleles. Now you can experiment with different settings to create something innovative.
After all the juicy gossip, you also have to look for accessories that you can use to master the ukulele experience. We are going to list some important accessories that one should choose next to the ukuleles.
An electronic tuner makes it easy to tune your guitar. Just turn on the tuner, play the strings, and adjust the tuners according to the signals displayed there. You can also set different chords using this function.
For most beginners, it is difficult to play strings with your fingers. In this case, one can buy a set of high-quality plectra for a better start in the journey of ukuleles.
Apart from the strings featured in the guitar, we need to have a backup as we never know what could break it. Aquila nylgut strings are state-of-the-art to make your viola experience unforgettable.
Huff! Yes, we know this article has been long as hell, but by going through it thoroughly, you will be able to choose the best and most suitable ukulele for your needs.
Something is missing, isn’t it? Yes! Now is the time to present the three best ukuleles that we have handpicked to meet everyone’s needs. So without further ado, let’s get started!
What is Ukulele and what is the history of Ukuleles?
As you can see, this question has two parts. We will respond to both separately.
Ukulele has been around for a while, but it would not be wrong to say that it is only recently that musicians have started to take it seriously. Previously, it was generally considered a toy and nothing more. The adoption of artists like Eddie Vedder, Jason Mraz and others have persuaded others to take Ukulele more seriously – and why not, because it produces such a pleasant sound.
Another famous musical artist, Jake Shimabukuro, has shown the world that this instrument can work miracles if it is in the right hands. This little musical instrument similar to a guitar is quite capable of producing nuanced music. Jake’s play “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” is the result of his incredible talent with Ukulele and has been viewed more than 12 million times on the Internet.
Most beginners tend to confuse Ukulele with a guitar because of its appearance. It looks a lot like a guitar, but in reality, it is much simpler. It has only four nylon strings, which are easy to handle, easy to learn, and make this instrument one of the favorites of beginners. There are mainly 4 types of Ukuleles – Standard (also called Soprano), Concert, Tenor, and Baritone.
The length of this cool musical instrument ranges from 21 to 30 inches, which makes it very practical. The length of the ladder, however, remains between 13 and 19 inches. For beginners, the Soprano or the switchboard is highly recommended. Not because it is the smallest but because it is very easy to learn. For professional players, Baritone is most likely to meet your needs.
Now let’s go to the history of the ukulele.
The Ukulele was first developed in Hawaii in the 1880s (read the study). The inventors were Portuguese immigrants who were mainly carpenters, masters in the art of wood crafts. These immigrants were passionate about music and wanted to create something that they used in their country of origin. Ukulele they created in Hawaii was not entirely similar to what they had in Portugal, but it produced the same soft music.
In its early days, it was not very popular, as immigrants only played it in small gatherings and nothing really fanciful. Thanks to the support of King Kalakaua, this musical instrument has grown in popularity. Passionate about music, he was quick to identify Ukulele and his potential in the world of music. The ukulele was regularly played in its lessons at this time.
The term Ukulele means a jumping chip in Hawaiian origin. The main reason why it is called Ukulele is because of the rapid movement of the player through the fret board. FYI – The British spell it Ukulele. The trend shifted to the United States in the early 1900s where songwriters began to draw inspiration from Hawaiian culture and music.
The American people really liked the players of Ukulele and soon the ukuleles made their way into the jazz age. People really started to like the music he produced and his cool new style. The image of a college student, wrapped in a raccoon coat and holding a ukulele, quickly appeared everywhere. Publishers quickly realized and began to publish the potential and growing popularity of ukulele songbooks. Instrument manufacturers were not late as they quickly started building different types of ukuleles for the masses.
The use of these musical instruments continued from 1940 to 1960, but unfortunately, its popularity declined. But that quickly changed with the success of 1968, tiptoe through the Tulips. The music world started to take Ukulele seriously again, and manufacturers began to receive massive demand. One more reason for its popularity is its inexpensive plastic design.
The music enthusiast of the time preferred Ukulele guitars to guitars to learn the basic tricks of the game. Since 1968, the popularity of ukuleles has only known an increasing trend since they have been the subject of numerous television commercials and films. Solo YouTube artists and adoption by rock, pop, and folk musicians also gave this cute little instrument a big boost.
How to choose the best Ukulele?
Well, there is no universal approach to this. There are different types of Ukuleles made by the manufacturers – the one you should choose will depend on various factors like your level of expertise, your requirements, your budget and most importantly what you are trying to produce with it. If you are a beginner on a limited budget, you should surely opt for the Soprano type. If the budget is not a constraint, you can also try the Concert. Ukulele can cost anywhere from a few hundred to thousands of dollars. It all depends on your needs.
A cheap ukulele might serve your purpose but it would not be the best choice for someone who is a professional musician, trying to impress the masses. Likewise, if you are new to the world of music, you should not opt for a Ukulele that is over 15 inches long (as it is easy to learn and master). However, if you are already a master, opting for the high end may be the best choice for you.
Here we would also like to suggest that a little research on the types, sellers and different manufacturers of Ukuleles could go a long way. Buyers with more knowledge about a product are more likely to buy the best thing for themselves.
So, in summary, the choice of Ukulele would depend entirely on your needs, combined with research and knowledge on ukuleles.
What is the best Ukulele for beginners?
The first thing to keep in mind if you are a beginner is that you BUY IT! Don’t think too much and focus more on learning. That said, here are a few basics for buying your first ukulele.
Before buying your first ukulele, it’s always a good idea to have an idea of what you’re going to experience first. One way to do this is to borrow it from a friend or family member. You can’t always expect others to just give you their ukuleles as there is a chance – they too are in love with it. If you cannot convince your friends to lend you their instrument, you can always contact your local music store and try the ukuleles firsthand for a few minutes. It will also give you an idea of whether you really want the instrument or not (we highly doubt that you don’t want it). If so, you have every reason to keep reading….
A beginner usually considers two things before buying ukuleles. First, there is the price tag and second, there is the ease of use. With these two elements in mind, we have a perfect product that can put a big smile on the face of beginners. Yes, it is the Cordoba Concert. This cute musical instrument has everything you could ask for. The price tag is something that can make you pick it up in an instant. The size is ideal for beginners and the learning time is quick. Overall, this is a complete package for beginners.
How much should I spend on a Ukulele?
It is not an easy answer. People spend hundreds and even thousands to buy a perfect Ukulele. And guess what, they’re all very happy with what they’re buying. So how much to spend becomes an even more difficult question to answer.
We believe it all comes down to two things. What do you expect from your instrument and what is your budget?
We have seen professional musicians create magic on a cheap Ukulele. That said, there will always be limits when buying a low-end instrument. Whatever your skill level, you will face an obstacle that will prevent you from fully exploring your potential. But it will surely do the trick.
So, if you are a pro on a tight budget, you should try to choose different ukuleles with low price labels and that feels perfect should be purchased. And if you’re a pro with no budget limit, you should definitely consider buying a high-end one with all the features possible.
However, if you are a beginner, you should think about buying the cheapest. This is because it is very unlikely that you can predict your future as a ukulele player. Once you start finding your feet with the instrument, you can always update.
Ukulele comparison: What are the different types of ukulele?
We have already named the 4 best types of this musical instrument above. In this question, we will try to explain them briefly.
Ukulele at its most basic level is what we call Soprano. It is a standard instrument with basic construction. It usually costs less than other types too. It is the smallest instrument available in the family and therefore considered the ideal choice for beginners and music lovers. The length of the Soprano ladder measures approximately 13 inches while the total length does not exceed 21 inches. These small dimensions make Soprano extremely easy to handle and learn. The sound it produces is the benchmark for which so many people fell in love with this instrument in the 1960s. Some manufacturers also call it the standard type, because it is the closest instrument to what was originally produced in Portugal.
The next type is the Concert Ukulele. It is a little larger and the sound it produces is somewhat different from that of the Sopranos. The scale is 15 inches while the entire length is approximately 23 inches. The loud sound it produces makes it an ideal choice for live performances in front of a small or medium crowd.
We will now hear from Tenor Ukulele. The size of the ladder on this one is about 17 inches with its body measuring 26 inches. It is not something you would like as a beginner, but surely a classic when a pro takes care of it. It has a wider touch for more experienced and taller players. It is an ideal instrument if your job is to impress medium to large people. It is also extremely gentle on the fingers, ensuring long hours of continuous play.
The Ukulele Baritone is the 4th most common type of instrument on the market today. Its scale length is 10 inches while the total length is 30 inches. The baritone is also the most expensive of the lot. However, when you talk about the value for money aspect, nothing is more important than the value for money aspect. The sound it generates has a much deeper base which is perfect for professional musicians. If you like guitars, you can tune it easily. We say it may be your ideal choice for the second instrument. Because of the ease of use, many guitarists find the transition to Baritone very easy.
What are the different parts of Ukulele?
Typical ukuleles consist of the following parts.
This part is the upper part most attached to the handle of the instrument. It is used for tuning.
The tuning pegs are small screws like things attached to the headstock. These keys are also known as chord keys, which are used to adjust the tension in the strings.
This is the central part of the instrument, which connects the head of the instrument to the main body. It supports and maintains the touch.
This is the main part of the ukulele, which is hollow and is mainly used to send the vibrations of the strings to produce what we call music.
It is mounted at the lower end of the body. It is a place where the strings are tied.
We have reviewed the different sizes of ukuleles, but they also come in many different shapes.
The guitar form is the most common form for ukuleles. It looks like a guitar and the curved part of the upper body (called the upper part) is generally smaller than the lower part (lower part). The narrow area between the two fights is called size.
The shape of the pineapple has a rounded back and a streamlined body. It debuted in the 1920s and is generally attributed to Samuel Kamaka for designing the design. The novelty of the pineapple shape was that it made the ukulele more distinctive and not just look like a small guitar. This allowed the musicians to start taking the ukulele more seriously and to diversify to try new things.
A cut shape is when the right shoulder has been cut to facilitate play on the upper frets of an instrument. Sectioned ukuleles are usually found in music stores and are found more often on concert instruments, tenors, and baritones than on sopranos. This form is also very common in acoustic-electric ukuleles.
Types of tone woods from Ukulele
When choosing the type of wood that is right for you, your main consideration should be the amount you are willing to spend and the sound you are looking for. The main types of wood used to make ukuleles are koa, mahogany, spruce, cedar, maple and rosewood.
Mahogany is one of the most widely used woods for musical instruments. Mahogany is a hardwood but much less dense than rosewood. Mahogany ukuleles produce a warm, rich sound.
Koa is an original Hawaiian wood that produces a bright and beautiful tone. Traditionally, this is the standard wood used for ukuleles.
Spruce is a softwood and tends to be more popular with guitars, but it is becoming more and more popular with ukuleles as well. It is known to produce a bright and strong sound.
Rosewood is often used in acoustic guitars but is becoming more and more common in ukuleles. It produces medium and low harmonics. Rosewood is generally associated with a softwood table.
Ukuleles can also be made of maple, mango, cedar, and wild cherry. And you could also find plywood ukuleles, which means they were made from cheaper laminated wood. A solid wood ukulele will almost always give a brighter and more complex tone than plywood ukuleles.
With the growing popularity of the ukulele as an instrument, there is a flood of different models on the market, some good and others not so good. There’s also a lot of information on this, and it can be overwhelming to get involved in everything.
How to maintain a ukulele?
Clean it after playing.
You can find all kinds of cleaning products, but all you have to do is try your ukulele with a soft cotton cloth (avoid paper towels, which are rather hard and bad for wood). This passage of the cloth helps prevent sweat and dust from clogging your instrument.
Even if you don’t play regularly, invest in a small protective bag. Your ukulele will thank you! Also, avoid leaving it in direct sunlight, radiators, and other hot sources. If the air is rather humid, leave a silica gel to prevent the ukulele from deforming.
With these tips, your ukulele should last quite a while!
As they are one of the cheapest models to buy, ukuleles are also one of the cheapest to make, which means that many brands have plunged their toes into the world of ukuleles.
The fact that there are a number of different varieties and models gives you a world of choice, and this article is designed to help you decipher all of these varieties and find what works best for you.
While many are looking for an affordable ukulele for their first one, this only really makes sense if you are not sure whether you will continue with the hobby, or if you are just looking for more than one product to have fun with.
If you stretch to a product that is a little more expensive, it is likely to keep its value a little better.
When it comes to the best brands of ukuleles, there are so many choices to make, and there will also be an element of personal preference, as you decide if you want a classic design and a ukulele made of traditional materials (a brand like Kala) or something a little more modern and quirky (Fender, for example). The choice of design, tone-on-tone wood and size is the key to the decision you will ultimately make.
Whichever ukulele you choose, spending some time evaluating your brand options can help you make the right choice and stick with the hobby.
Table of Contents
- 1 Best concert ukulele under 150
- 2 Best electric ukulele
- 3 Best ukulele for beginners
- 4 Best tenor ukulele under 200
- 5 Best tenor ukulele under 1000
- 6 Best bass ukulele
- 7 Best cheap ukulele
- 8 Best kala ukulele
- 9 Best baritone ukulele
- 9.1 What is a Ukulele?
- 9.2 What is a good ukulele?
- 9.3 How much does a good ukulele cost?
- 9.4 Which brand of Ukulele is best?
- 9.4.1 Find the right size for you
- 9.4.2 Should you buy an electro-acoustic ukulele?
- 9.4.3 Should you buy new or used?
- 9.4.4 What type of ukulele is best for beginners?
- 9.4.5 How much to spend on a beginner ukulele?
- 9.4.6 What to look for in a beginner’s ukulele?
- 9.4.7 Types of ukulele
- 9.4.8 Different forms of ukuleles
- 9.4.9 Most common wood species
- 9.4.10 Common chords on a Ukulele
- 9.4.11 What is Ukulele and what is the history of Ukuleles?
- 9.5 How to choose the best Ukulele?
- 9.6 What are the different parts of Ukulele?
- 9.7 How to maintain a ukulele?
- 9.8 Conclusion