So you’re looking for a quality ukulele? Well you’ve come to the right place. This in-depth ukulele buyer’s guide goes over the different types, brands and models of ukuleles so you can wade through the sea of choices.
The ukulele first appeared in the 1800s and has grown more popular in recent years as a wide variety of artists have added the ukulele sound to their music. It’s a great first instrument because it’s relatively easy to learn and play. But if you’re an experienced musician it’s also a great way to expand your musical horizons.
If you’re looking for a good ukulele, there are plenty of models to choose from in all different sizes and types, from cheap plastic toy models to expensive solid wood options. But with all the options out there, finding the best sounding ukulele can be a challenge.
Whether you are new to the ukulele or you are an experienced player who is looking to upgrade your instrument, this article will help you find the perfect ukulele to fit both your interest level and budget.
A ukulele for every player
And there you have it, the our top picks for the best ukuleles you can get today. We’ve made our list as comprehensive yet concise as possible to include different kinds of ukes, from beginner-friendly models to professional-level instruments equipped with electronics. We’ve also selected the best ukulele models from different price categories so no matter your budget, you’re sure to find the perfect fit!
Which size is best for you?
Ukuleles come in four main sizes: soprano is the smallest, followed by concert, tenor and baritone. Soprano is the size that often comes to mind when talking about the ukulele. The tenor and baritone sizes are often mistaken for travel guitars when viewed from afar because they are very similar in size.
The size of the ukulele influences its sound. The soprano has that classic tinkly ukulele sound. The pitch or tone of the uke becomes deeper as the bigger you go, which means the baritone uke has the deepest tone of all. In addition, since the tuning of the baritone is similar to that of an acoustic guitar, it also has a similar sound.
So how do you choose?
Some players choose the size of their ukulele based on the tonal output they want. If they want to have the classic ukulele sound, they go for the soprano or the concert, which is just a bit louder than the soprano because of its slightly bigger body. If a player wants a deeper sound that can be likened to the sound of a classical guitar, they can go for a tenor or a baritone.
You can also choose the size of your ukulele based on your playing comfort. Some musicians find the soprano too small and difficult to play at first, while others find it to be just right. Family members looking for a ukulele to give to a child often choose a soprano or concert ukulele because of their kid-friendly size.
Guitar players who want to play the uke may want to choose a baritone-size ukulele because it offers a familiar size and tuning, or they may also go for a guitalele, which allows them to play chords they already know.
If there’s a music store near you, we highly recommend giving it a visit and trying out different ukulele sizes. That way, you would already be able to determine the size that you find the most comfortable to play and the tone that sounds like heaven to your ears. It will help you narrow down your options the next time you do your research on which ukulele would be the best for you.
What accessories do you need?
Every ukulele player needs to have some accessories that can help them play better and keep their instrument in good condition. Here are the basic accessories you’ll need:
1. Ukulele case or gig bag – it’s important to make sure your ukulele is not exposed to extreme changes in humidity and temperature and that it doesn’t suffer damage. A gig bag or better yet, a hardshell case will not only keep your uke from bumps and scratches but also provide it with a controlled environment for safe storage. Tip: Learn when to use a humidifier or dehumidifier!
2. Electronic tuner – the first couple of weeks after getting your new ukulele or changing strings, the ukulele would need to be tuned constantly until the strings settle or stabilize. You would need an electronic tuner handy to make the task easier.
3. Extra strings – broken strings are a fact of life if you play a string instrument like the ukulele, so make sure you have an extra set with you so you can change the strings when needed. A good set of replacement strings is also recommended if the strings your ukulele comes with don’t quite sound as bright as they should. Do some research about which strings are compatible with your ukulele and which can give you the best tone.
Those are the absolute basic accessories you’ll need when you start playing the ukulele. Other accessories, such as straps, picks and pickups can come later on.
Even if you don’t know anything about Ukuleles, you can still make a smart buying decision with the right information in hand. At Swipereviews, we perform extensive research in every product category. To avoid bias, we always decline offers from manufacturers for “free” samples. We want to be your go-to source for honest, thorough product reviews you can trust.