Considering the types, size, woods, and brands, finding the right Ukulele can be a challenging task. Ukuleles are available in four popular sizes, Soprano, Concert, Tenor, and Baritone. Several artists have been using Ukuleles for music performances related to pop, rock, and folk as well. To help you out with the buying process, we have prepared this buying guide which includes the important things that you must consider before buying alongside the highlighting features of every product that we’ve mentioned. Without any further adieu, let’s begin.
Things to consider when buying a Ukulele
When it comes to choosing a Ukulele, the most important thing you need to understand and consider is the type and size.
As already mentioned, Ukuleles come in four different sizes, and the soprano is the smallest amongst them. Surprisingly, it is this type that people always assume whenever they hear the word “Ukulele.” Sopranos features the smallest body amongst different Ukulele types and have 12-15 frets. In addition to that, it produces that classic “twangy” sound, which is normally produced by a ukulele. Since it’s the smallest in size, many people prefer to buy them as they are great for traveling and could be easily carried along.
Comparatively bigger than sopranos and other small-sized ukuleles, is the concert. Concerts typically feature 15-20 frets. Since they are bigger, they produce a sound that is fuller as well. For beginners, concerts tend to be the favorite as they are neither too big nor too small. Not only are they portable, but they also produce a solid sound. Interestingly, they produce that classic “twangy” ukulele sound as well.
The tenor is comparatively bigger as compared to both sopranos and concerts. Normally, tenors feature 18 frets or more. Since it has a larger body, you will have more frets to play with and produce an even fuller sound. This type is the professional’s choice as the larger size provides the players more room for the fingers on the fretboard.
Lastly, the baritone is the biggest amongst the types that have been mentioned earlier. For guitar players, this is going to be the perfect crossover. In addition to that, the tuning of baritones also differs from other types such that it does not follow the standard tuning of g-C-E-A. Instead, it follows the same tuning as that of the top four strings of a guitar i.e., D-G-B-E.
Affordability and high-quality are the top reasons for Kala KA-155 Mahogany Soprano Ukulele to be Amazon’s choice. It is a perfect instrument for practicing and acoustic performances. It features a satin finish along with a warm, bright, full-bodied tone. In addition to that, it has a mahogany neck, walnut fingerboard, and bridge plus 12 frets made from brass, Aquila Super Nylgut strings from Italy, and GraphTech NuBone. This brand is amongst some of the most well-renowned brands, and therefore, you cannot go wrong with this one.
- 12 brass frets
- Mahogany neck
- Aquila Super Nylgut Strings
Value for money, the Mahalo Hano Series MH2 Concert Ukulele features a Segnon Arched back new wood and fingerboard. In addition to that, there is a mahogany bridge; Gold plated vintage geared strings and 16 Aquila frets. It is offered in several colors for you to choose from. The Mahalo Hano Series are made from Indonesia’s best tonewoods, which allows the instrument to deliver impressive sound quality. The combination of Segnon neck and body along with the mahogany bridge and fingerboard makes this Ukulele a good option for professionals.
- Aquila 16 frets
- Segnon neck and body
- Mahogany bridge and fingerboard
Hola! Music’s HM-21BK Soprano Ukulele has its back, top, and sides made from maple in addition to being painted in several beautiful colors while Rosewood has been used to construct the Bridge and Fingerboard. It is equipped with nylon strings and tuners that are silver geared. There are 12 frets made from silver nickel with marks of fret position at 5th, 7th, and 10th. Lastly, the instrument has been crafted such that it produces perfectly pitched and warm Hawaiian melodies and harmonies.
- Made from maple and Rosewood
- 12 Silver nickel frets
- Fret position marks
The Afuaim Concert Ukulele’s both neck and body are made from high-quality Sapele, which allows it to produce clear and melodious sounds. In addition to that, its neck has a curved design with a seamless joint, which not only makes it sturdy and durable but allows a comfortable and easy grip when you are using the instrument. The gear heads are enclosed, providing tuning effects that are long-lasting and precise. This ultimately results in enhanced resonance and stability of the Ukulele. Lastly, the plain wood feels as if the instrument has been finished in matte.
- Neck and body made from high-quality Sapele
- Enclosed gear heads
- Sturdy & Durable
Measuring only 43mm in thickness is this Ukulele from Hricane Tenor. This Ukulele is made from a body that is ultra-thin and is lightweight as well as allowing easy storage and portability. More so, the top is solid spruce along with cutaway back, which allows brighter and richer sound. The fingerboard is smooth walnut while the strings are Aquila nylon, enabling comfortable playing. The gearheads are enclosed, which can lock the strings to make the Ukulele stay in tune. As a great addition, the manufacturer provides a 30-day money-back guarantee in addition to a 12-month warranty as well.
- 43mm thickness
- Ultra-thin and lightweight
- Aquila nylon strings
- Solid spruce top and cutaway back
Enya EUT-70 Tenor Ukulele is made from KOA materials, which ensures great durability and quality along with a balanced tone. These high-quality materials work together to produce premium sound. The fingerboard has been designed for comfortable performance for hours. It is made from Richlite with high-end tuning pegs and Enya carbon strings, which are G-C-E-A tuned. It also features a mahogany neck and strings made from advanced fluorocarbon to ensure impressive sound quality. Regardless of you being a beginner or a professional, this instrument is going to be well worth the money.
- Made from KOA materials
- Advanced fluorocarbon strings
- Richlite Fingerboard
The Kmise Baritone Ukulele is the one with stunning looks. Not only that, this baritone features a set of 18:1 high-quality tuners. These tuners allow the instrument to remain perfectly tuned without needing to tune it frequently. The strings are made from high-quality and premium nylon & metallic material, which is further proof of the craftsmanship behind this Ukulele. There is an adjustable trussrod as well, which the player can adjust according to his/her needs. The fretboard is smooth while the fretwire is neat. The overall combination of adjustable tussrod and smooth fretboard along with high-quality strings, make this Ukulele a worthwhile option.
- 18:1 high-quality tuners
- Adjustable trussroad
- High-quality nylon & metallic strings
This Soprano Electric Ukulele from Caramel is a 21inch instrument that has its back and top made from solid mahogany wood, allowing the instrument to produce and sustain, pure, and stable sounds, resulting in better resonance along the way. Furthermore, it features a built-in three bands EQ tuner with LCD color display. In addition to that, there is a classical guitar headstock with machine heads that are high precision combined with Aquila strings.
- Made from mahogany wood
- Built-in 3 bands EQ tuner
- LCD color display
- Aquila strings
The Cordoba 20TM-CE features a top and back that is made from mahogany wood, producing a rich sound, while the sides are completed in a satin finish. It also features a nice cutaway that allows the user to work with the upper frets by easily forming chords. To keep the top strong and sufficiently allowing the soundboard to vibrate, the instrument features a bracing fan pattern. The fingerboard, as well as the bridge, is made from Rosewood in combination with a mahogany neck. The strings are Aquila Nylgut while the tuning machines are Chrome. Lastly, there is a 2-band EQ and a UK2000 Active Piezo pickup, allowing the user to easily plugin for amplification.
- Mahogany neck
- Aquila Nylgut strings
- Chrome tuning machines
- 2-band EQ
- UK2000 Active Piezo pickup
This brings us to the conclusion of this guide. By now, you must have become familiar with different types of Ukuleles and the features that differentiate them. Our pick for beginners would be the Kala KA-155 Mahogany Soprano Ukulele. This instrument perfectly balances reliable build quality and premium quality sound while being budget-friendly. Whereas for professionals, we would recommend the Mahalo Hano Series MH2 Concert Ukulele as it offers everything from premium quality tuners and strings to splendid tonewood, suiting every professional ukulele player needs.