Blog Ukulele

2019 Buyer’s Guide and Ukulele Reviews (25+ different models of all types and sizes)

So you’re in search of a top quality ukulele? Nicely you’ve come to the suitable place. This in-depth ukulele buyer’s information goes over the different types, manufacturers and models of ukuleles so you’ll be able to wade via the ocean of decisions.

The ukulele first appeared within the 1800s and has grown extra in style in recent times as all kinds of artists have added the ukulele sound to their music. It’s an excellent first instrument as a result of it’s relatively straightforward to study and play. But when you’re an experienced musician it’s also a good way to increase your musical horizons.

In case you’re in search of an excellent ukulele, there are lots of models to choose from in all different sizes and types, from low cost plastic toy models to expensive strong wooden choices. However with all the choices on the market, finding one of the best sounding ukulele is usually a problem.

Whether you’re new to the ukulele or you’re an skilled player who’s trying to improve your instrument, this article will provide help to find the right ukulele to fit each your interest degree and price range.

There are a number of different sorts and sizes of ukuleles to select from, and every has its personal strengths and distinctive tone. Under is an outline of every sort of ukulele, as well as our prime picks for every.

Soprano Ukuleles

Soprano ukuleles are the smallest measurement of ukulele and have the very best pitch. Soprano ukuleles are thought-about to be the standard measurement at 20 inches and are typically what most rookies begin with. As a result of of its measurement, the soprano ukulele has a smaller range of notes that it could play and it tends to have a very distinct, glad sound.

Prime Decide: Fender U’Uku Soprano Ukulele

A prime rated ukulele from Fender? Absolutely! The Fender U’Uku soprano ukulele is a uniquely-styled mahogany uke that options head-turning seems to be and lovely sound straight from the long-lasting guitar maker. U’Uku is the Hawaiian phrase for “tiny,” but the tone this little uke places out is something but.

The strong mahogany body and neck produce a very warm, vibrant and well-balanced tone. The rosewood fingerboard is straightforward to play and it has correct intonation up and down the neck. This ukulele can also be very well-made with delicate rock ‘n’ roll styling, and it stays in tune with the perfect of them. We wouldn’t anticipate anything less from a company like Fender.

Concert Ukuleles

Concert ukuleles stand at 23 inches and have a slightly larger fretboard that makes them simpler for some individuals to play. When you’re a newbie, this can be a great measurement to start out with. Live performance ukuleles often have between 15 and 20 frets and can play a broader vary of notes. The tone is deeper and fuller than soprano ukes, but nonetheless has that signature ukulele sound.

Prime Decide: Cordoba 15CM Concert Ukulele

Cordoba 15CM Concert Ukulele

That is one of our all-time favourite ukes to advocate. The Cordoba 15CM options mahogany prime, again and sides, which give it a uniquely wealthy and complicated tone. This ukulele is completely handmade, the construct high quality is second-to-none, and it consists of some options discovered only on rather more costly ukuleles.

The 15CM has a modern satin end, abalone rosette, silver tuners with pearl buttons, and it comes inventory with premium Aquila strings. It seems to be very stylish, however still has that straightforward basic look that you simply anticipate from a standard ukulele. This ukulele is a superb choice for both newcomers and experienced players.

Tenor Ukuleles

Tenor ukuleles stand at 26 inches lengthy and are often the selection for skilled and well-known ukulele players because of their distinctive sound. The tenor sometimes has between fifteen and twenty frets and has a wider physique, greater frets and a deeper sound than soprano or concert ukuleles. Tenor ukuleles are especially good for individuals with greater palms or who’re transitioning from bigger instruments such as the guitar.

Prime Decide: Kala KA-KTG Hawaiian Koa Tenor Ukulele

Kala KA-KTG Tenor Hawaiian Ukulele - Koa Gloss, MultiColored, Tenor

The Kala KA-KTG is a stupendous, all-solid Koa uke that drastically exceeds what you’d anticipate from an excellent high quality ukulele. Koa is the Hawaiian wooden traditionally used to make ukuleles, and the KA-KTG has a lovely, wealthy, brilliant, throwback ukulele tone.

This tenor ukulele can also be a looker, featuring white maple trim and mother-of-pearl inlay. Not to mention the deep grain of the gorgeous koa wooden. It’s not marvel that is our top choice for a tenor uke.

Baritone Ukuleles

Baritone ukuleles are the most important measurement of ukulele and might be 30″ plus in scale length. They’re tuned in a different way also – they share the identical tuning as the highest 4 strings of a guitar (DGBE). But, for those who favor normal ukulele tuning, you can too purchase Baritone ukulele strings in GCEA tuning. Baritones are fashionable among guitar gamers because they will don’t need to study new chord shapes. In spite of its bigger measurement and its guitar tuning, the baritone still has extra of an general ukulele sound than a guitar sound. Baritone ukuleles produce the lowest tones of all the ukuleles.

Prime decide: Alvarez RU22B Regent Collection Baritone Ukulele

Alvarez RU22B Regent Series Ukulele, Natural/Satin

If you need a no-frills tenor ukulele that doesn’t compromise within the musical department, then look no further than the Alvarez RU22B. Alvarez makes prime notch instruments all around, and this ukulele is not any different.

The all-mahogany development provides the RU22B a deep, complicated, woody tone. An indicator of Alvarez ukes, the smooth-playing neck is hooked up to the body using a standard dovetail joint for optimum power and power switch. Premium tuners, bone nut and saddle, and rosewood fingerboard trim out this superior package deal.

Beginner Ukuleles

The ukulele is a superb instrument for starting musicians normally. It’s much simpler to select up than guitar, and many chords might be played with only one finger. But what makes a great uke for novices?

We usually advocate starting off with a live performance or tenor ukulele. These sizes are simpler to play than the smaller soprano, and still have that basic ukulele sound. You’ll additionally need one thing inexpensive however nonetheless quality. Luckily there are lots of nicely made, reasonably priced ukuleles on the market.

Prime Decide: Kala KA-C Mahogany Concert Ukulele

Kala KA-C Mahogany Concert Ukulele Bundle with Gig Bag, Tuner, Austin Bazaar Instructional DVD, and Polishing Cloth

The Kala KA-C Mahogany Live performance Ukulele is light-weight and very reasonably priced, which makes it the top ukulele for newbies who don’t need to compromise high quality for worth. The body and neck are made of mahogany, and it has a full bodied tone with a really rich sound.

The intonation is superb proper out of the box, and it holds a tune very nicely with its chrome die-cast tuners. This is a wonderful little uke for newbies and more advanced players alike. You actually can’t go incorrect with the Kala KA-C, and you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better ukulele for the worth.

​Specialty Ukuleles

Specialty ukuleles embrace the banjolele, guitalele and other non-standard ukes comparable to Kala’s well-liked U-Bass. The banjolele is an instrument with 4 strings, a small physique that’s just like the banjo, and a fretted ukulele neck. The guitalele is a cross between a normal ukulele and a guitar. It has six strings, it’s tuned like a guitar and sounds closer to a guitar than a ukulele – principally a mini guitar. The U-Bass is an awesomely distinctive ukulele that’s meant to be played like a bass.

Selecting one of the best ukulele to buy is usually a troublesome activity, particularly in case you are new to enjoying. There are various different sizes, woods, types, and manufacturers available on the market and finding the correct one could be a complicated course of, particularly in case you are a beginner.

The first thing you need to contemplate if you end up purchasing for a ukulele is your degree of curiosity in enjoying and how a lot you wish to spend money on an instrument. What’s your ukulele worth range? Do you want an expensive professional instrument or are you on the lookout for a good low cost ukulele?

The wonderful thing about the ukulele is that it’s attainable to seek out a top quality instrument for anyplace between $50-$200, so there isn’t any want to spend so much of cash if you find yourself just starting out as you possibly can all the time improve later.

Learn our ukulele evaluations to familiarize your self with the different types of ukuleles and take into consideration the dimensions and sound you’re in search of. High quality ukuleles typically come premium strings, but you’ll be able to simply upgrade the sound of any ukulele by including some good ukulele strings. It’s also helpful to research the different types of wooden that ukuleles are made out of. Mahogany could have a different than Koa, for example.

The knowledge under will briefly clarify some of the different types of ukuleles, in style manufacturers, and some of the top models from each brand. This provides you with a head start on getting the knowledge it’s essential make the most knowledgeable purchase.

The Greatest Ukulele Brands

There are lots of good ukulele manufacturers on the market, but the brands under are the most typical. They all have strong ukuleles for freshmen and additionally supply some prime notch professional-quality ukes. There are also other manufacturers on the market like Pono and Kanilea that provide only very high-end ukuleles.

Kala​

Kala Ukulele was started in 2005 by Mike Upton and has its fundamental office situated in California. Regardless of being a more moderen brand, Kala is now one of probably the most well-known manufacturers of ukuleles on the planet. It might be the perfect brand of ukulele for freshmen and intermediate players trying to get critical about enjoying the ukulele because they supply top quality instruments at very reasonably priced costs.

Cordoba​

Began in 1997, Cordoba is a guitar firm based mostly in California that makes a speciality of nylon string acoustic guitars. Cordoba offers light-weight, responsive instruments and they’ve a wide variety of ukuleles across the soprano, live performance, tenor, and baritone sizes. Cordoba ukuleles are well-known for their high quality. They’ve a big fan base of well-known musicians together with Bon Iver, One Republic, Leonard Cohen, and the Decembrists.

Luna​

Luna Guitars was co-founded by Yvonne de Villiers, who was an completed stained-glass artist. She was impressed by her bass enjoying mom to begin making guitars that have been each lovely and unique. Luna was founded on Yvonne’s perception that clients ought to be seen as greater than just a sales transaction however half of a larger group. Since 2005, Luna ukuleles have been recognized for his or her distinctive seems and top quality.

Lanikai​

Lanikai was founded in 2000 and is distributed by Hohner, a company well known for producing high quality people devices. Lanikai is a popular model for ukulele gamers and is one of one of the best ukelele manufacturers because they offer a wide range of each entry degree and high finish models at an inexpensive worth point.

Alvarez

Alvarez has been in the guitar recreation for decades, however they’re newer to the ukulele scene. A severely underrated instrument-maker, Alvarez makes makes awesome guitars that sound and play great – and their ukuleles are not any different. Decide up any Alvarez uke, and you’ll know you could have a top quality instrument.

Ukulele Shapes

We’ve gone over the different ukulele sizes, however additionally they are available several different shapes.

Cordoba 15CM Concert Ukulele

The guitar form is the most typical form for ukuleles. It appears just like a guitar and the curved portion of the higher body (referred to as the upper bout) is often smaller than the lower portion (the decrease bout). The slender area between the two bouts known as the waist.​

Luna Tattoo Mahogany Soprano Pineapple Ukulele Pack

The pineapple shape has a rounded back and profile body. It debuted within the 1920s and is often credited to Samuel Kamaka for arising with the design. The novelty of the pineapple shape was that it made the ukulele grow to be more distinctive and not simply appear to be a tiny guitar. This allowed musicians to start to take the ukulele more critically and branch out to attempt new issues.​

Cordoba 20TM Tenor Ukulele Bundle with Hard Case, Tuner, Austin Bazaar Instructional DVD, and Polishing Cloth

A cutaway form is when the right-hand shoulder has been reduce to creating enjoying on the top frets of an instrument easier. Cutaway ukuleles are often found in music shops and are found more typically on live performance, tenor, and baritone devices than on the soprano. This shape can also be very common on acoustic-electric ukuleles.

Types of Ukulele Tonewood

If you find yourself selecting what sort of tonewood to go together with, your most important consideration must be much you’re prepared to spend and the sound you’re in search of. The primary types of tonewood used to make ukuleles are koa, mahogany, spruce, cedar, maple, and rosewood.

Mahogany is one of the most typical woods used for musical devices. Mahogany is a hardwood however is far much less dense than rosewood. Mahogany ukuleles produce a warm and wealthy tone.

Koa is a native Hawaiian wood that produces a vibrant, lovely tone. It has historically been the standard tonewood used for ukuleles.

Spruce is a softwood and tends to be extra fashionable with guitars but is turning into more and more widespread with ukuleles as properly. It is recognized for producing a shiny and loud tone.

Rosewood is usually utilized in acoustic guitars however is turning into more widespread in ukuleles. It produces mid-range and low overtones. Rosewood is often paired with a softwood prime.

Ukuleles can be made out of maple, mango, cedar, and cherry wooden. And you may also discover ukuleles constructed from plywood, which suggests they have been constructed from a less expensive, laminated wooden. A ukulele constructed from strong wood will virtually all the time give a brighter and extra complicated tone than ukuleles constructed from plywood.

With the growing reputation of the ukulele as an instrument there’s a flood of different models available on the market, some good some not-so-good. There’s additionally lots of info out there, and wading via every thing can get overwhelming.

Conclusion

This ukulele buying guide should offer you a superb deal with on what to look for and what ukuleles could be the only option for you. Any of the ukuleles we shout out right here will make an awesome instrument, regardless of in case you are choosing up the ukulele for the very first time or have been enjoying for years.

Finally, the objective is to seek out the ukulele that’s the proper match for you and your way of life and will give you years of pleasurable enjoying.