Ukulele Buying Guide

Ukulele Buying Guide

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The ukulele is back—with a vengeance! If you need help finding your first (or next) ukulele, you've come to the right place.

There’s never been a better time to get started playing the ukulele, given the hundreds of available models to choose from in every price range. Today you’ll also find lots of resources to help you learn the ukulele and develop your playing skills. We’re committed to helping you find your way through the dizzying array of ukuleles on the market to that model which makes sense for your musical tastes and budget.

Sometimes thought of as a toy in the past, the adoption of the ukulele by artists like Paul McCartney, Eddie Vedder, Dhani Harrison, and Jason Mraz has given the little instrument newfound respect. Jake Shimabukoro’s astounding mastery of the instrument has proven that in the right hands, the ukulele is capable of creating remarkably nuanced music. His rendition of George Harrison’s “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” has been an internet sensation with more than 12 million views as of this writing!

The popularity of ukuleles shouldn't be surprising; with just four nylon strings they’re easy to learn and play, and also easy on newbies’ fingers. In this guide we offer a brief history of the instrument then give you the information you need to choose the right one to match your aspirations and budget. At Musician’s Friend we carry a wide selection of ukes from very affordable starter ukuleles to the highest-quality instruments built to meet the needs of professional musicians.

Table of Contents

A Brief History of the Ukulele
Types of Ukuleles
Ukulele Shapes
Parts of the Ukulele
Ukulele Construction Methods and Woods
Specialty Ukuleles
Ukulele Tuning
Ukulele Accessories
Getting Started Playing the Ukulele
Summing Up

A Brief History of the Ukulele

Based on several small members of the guitar family, the ukulele was first developed in Hawaii during the 1880s when Portuguese immigrant cabinet makers fashioned instruments similar to those popular in their homelands. The ukulele quickly gained popularity in the islands thanks to the enthusiastic support of King Kalakaua whose court often featured ukulele performances. Incidentally, the ukulele’s name is derived from “jumping flea” in Hawaiian, and is based on the islanders’ impression of the quick movements of players’ hands on the fretboard. (By the way, our British cousins spell it ukelele.)

The ukulele’s popularity spread to the U.S. when American songwriters began composing music with Hawaiian themes and sounds during the 1920s. Ukulele players proved popular on vaudeville stages, and the little instrument became strongly associated with the Jazz Age. The image of a raccoon-coat clad college student strumming on a uke became an icon of pop culture, and publishers began issuing songbooks for the ukulele. Taking notice of the fad, U.S. instrument makers such as Martin and Harmony began producing ukuleles. String bands of the era also brought the ukulele into their instrument lineups.

Although the presence of ukuleles in pop music continued from the 1940s through 1960s, in part thanks to the production of millions of inexpensive plastic ukes and Tiny Tim’s 1968 hit, “Tiptoe Through the Tulips.” the instrument's popularity declined. The uke staged a comeback in the 1990s, spurred in part by the immense popularity of a medley of “Over the Rainbow” and “What a Wonderful World” performed by Israel Kamakawiwo'ole that turned up in TV ads and movies. Since then, the ukulele’s comeback has been reinforced by countless YouTube video performances, and by rock, pop, and folk performers who have taken up the instrument.

Types of Ukuleles

Most ukuleles fall into one of four standard sizes and tonal ranges: soprano, concert, tenor, and baritone.

Ukulele Type Scale Length Overall Length Tuning

Soprano (or Standard)

13"

21"

G4-C4-E4-A4 or A4-D4-F#4-B4

Concert

15"

23"

G4-C4-E4-A4, A4-D4-F#4-B4, or G3-C4-E4-A4

Tenor

17"

26"

G3-C4-E4-A4, G4-C4-E4-A4, A4-D4-F#4-B4, or D4-G3-B3-E4

Baritone

19"

30"

D3-G3-B3-E4

The original ukulele was the soprano. The smallest instrument in the family, it typically has a scale length of about 13” and is about 21” in overall length making it ideal for smaller kids. The soprano’s bright sound is the one we usually associate with ukes, and some manufacturers refer to their soprano models as”standard” ukuleles.

Rogue Hawaiian Sapprano Ukulele

Despite its very low price, the Rogue Hawaiian Soprano Ukulele has excellent playability and makes a great introduction to the fun of playing a uke.

Next biggest is the concert ukulele with a scale of about 15” and a 23” overall length. It produces somewhat deeper and louder output than the soprano, but still offers a sound similar to that of the soprano.

Martin C1K Concert Ukulele

The Martin C1K Concert Ukulele is crafted in beautifully grained koa wood and typifies the superb build quality the company is renowned for.

The tenor ukulele has a deeper, more resonant sound resulting from its scale of about 17” and length of about 26”. Its roomier fingerboard can accommodate larger hands more easily.

Fender Montecito Tenor Ukulele

The Montecito Tenor Ukulele from Fender plays as beautifully as it looks, and gets great reviews from Musician's Friend’s customers.

With its 19” scale length and an overall length of about 30”, the baritone ukulele is capable of much deeper bass notes than its smaller brethren. It’s tuned like the four highest strings on a guitar, making it a great second instrument and easy transition for guitarists. We’ll discuss ukulele tuning in more depth below.

Oscar Schmidt OU53S Baritone Ukulele

With its spruce top and rosewood body plus abalone binding and rosette, the bold tone of the Oscar Schmidt OU53S Baritone Ukulele is matched by its attractive cosmetics.

Because of their affordable prices, ukuleles are popular with both gift buyers and musicians looking for a budget-friendly addition to their collection. Here are some of the most popular ukulele models we sell:

Cordoba 15CM Concert Ukulele

The hand-built yet affordable Cordoba 15CM Concert Ukulele has all-mahogany construction for rich sound and sports deluxe touches like a fully bound body and fingerboard.

Mitchell MU40 Soprano Ukulele

The Mitchell MU40 Soprano Uke is designed to help newbies get comfortable with their first stringed instrument.

Kala Satin Mahogany Soprano Ukulele

With its geared tuners and beautifully finished mahogany body, the Kala Soprano Uke makes an affordable choice that’ll stay in tune under heavy strumming.

Luna Guitars Tattoo Concert Mahogany Ukulele

You’ll be feeling that island vibe with the Luna Tattoo Concert Ukulele and its eye-catching looks inspired by traditional Hawaiian motifs.

Ukulele Shapes

Most ukuleles fall into one of three basic shapes:

Guitar/figure-8: This is by far the most common shape among ukuleles. Resembling a guitar, the curved portion of the upper body, referred to as the upper bout or shoulder, is usually somewhat smaller than the lower bout. The narrow area between to the two bouts is called the waist. Some modern designs have cutaways in the upper bout that permit easier access to the upper frets.

Martin OXKUKE Soprano Ukulele

The Martin OXKUKE Soprano Ukulele has the traditional ukulele figure-8 shape.

Pineapple: As you might guess, the pineapple body profile with its rounded back was a Hawaiian innovation first used on instruments made by the Kamaka Ukulele Company.

images/ukulele/Luna-Tattoo-Pineapple-Soprano-Ukulele-Mahogany.jpg

An all-mahogany body gives the Luna Pineapple Soprano Ukulele warmth that’s enhanced by cool Hawaiian tattoo graphics.

Boat Paddle: The name says it all; this profile is the least common shape among ukuleles.

Parts of the Ukulele

Ukulele Parts, Anatomy, and Diagram

Headstock or head » Attached to the neck, it holds the tuning pegs or tuning machines.

Tuning pegs » also called tuning heads, tuning machines, tuning keys, or simply, tuners. They are geared mechanisms that hold the strings and are turned to adjust string tension when tuning the ukulele.

Nut » Works together with the saddle to keep the strings in correct alignment.

Neck » It extends from the headstock to the body and supports the fretboard.

Fretboard » also called a fingerboard, it holds the frets and often has position marker dots or other images to orient the player. The first fret is nearest to the headstock.

Body » Consists of the top (sometimes called the sound board), back, and sides. The top is primarily responsible for transmitting the strings' vibrations. Its sound hole helps to project the ukulele’s output. Some sound holes have a decorative rosette.

Bridge » Mounts on the ukelele’s top and holds the saddle. The strings are are secured by knotting them on the tail end of the bridge.

Ukulele Construction Methods and Woods

Ukuleles are made using a variety of woods and construction techniques. There are a few made of synthetic materials and metal. We’ll cover the most commonly used wood varieties here, but as you’ll see when you browse Musician’s Friend’s large ukulele selection, there are numerous variations and combinations of woods. Because a ukulele’s sound is the result of many factors including its body shape and size, soundhole size, tuning, and type of strings, there is no one perfect ukulele wood any more than there is one perfect guitar wood.

Solid woods vs. laminated wood

Generally speaking, higher quality ukulele bodies are made with solid woods while more affordable models are made with laminates—several thin layers of wood glued together and sometimes topped with attractively grained veneers. In some cases, ukulele bodies are made with laminates while the top, which most strongly influences the instrument’s tone, is made of a solid tonewood such as spruce or cedar.

Though not as resonant as solid-wood ukuleles, those made of laminates tend to be somewhat stronger and less prone to the splitting and cracking that can sometimes be an issue in cold and dry climates. Solid-wood ukuleles, like other stringed instruments, tend to mellow with age, producing richer tones. Laminates on the other hand will sound the same throughout their life.

Here are some of the most commonly used ukulele tonewoods:

Koa » This dense tropical wood that’s native to Hawaii was the traditional wood of choice for ukuleles, and is still among the most popular for its beautiful grain patterns, wide range of colors, and balanced tone. Acacia, which is botanically related to koa, has similar properties.

Mahogany » Since it includes many varieties grown in various regions of the world, it’s hard to generalize about its tone, but mahogany generally imparts a darker, warmer tonality. Mahogany is often used for ukulele necks.

Spruce » With the recent popularity of ukuleles, many guitar builders have begun making them using the same woods used in guitar tops. A top choice of guitar makers, spruce’s dense grain produces loud and bright tones with lots of “zing.”

Cedar » Being softer than spruce, it offers tones that are much more mellow and round. It’s a good choice for bringing out the lower notes produced by tenor and baritone ukuleles. Western red cedar is one of the most popular varieties.

Redwood » Tonally, redwood resides in the middle between spruce and cedar, offering much of the clarity of spruce with the warmth of cedar. Because of overharvesting, redwood is scarce and expensive. Often redwood used in musical instruments is salvaged from old decks and furniture.

Rosewood » Commonly used on ukulele fretboards, this dense wood can also be used for ukulele bodies. Aside from its hardness, rosewood’s rich coloration and figuring can add to the ukulele’s visual appeal.

Maple » Another wood often used in guitars, it has a dense grain that is sometimes attractively figured. Its hardness lends itself to ukulele bridges and fretboards.

Today, you’ll find ukuleles made from dozens of wood varieties including ovangkol, cocobolo, nato, beech, myrtle, cherry, bubinga, mango, pau ferro, sapele, wenge, and many more.

Specialty Ukuleles

With the enormous popularity ukuleles have recently gained, manufacturers have begun offering many variations and refinements on the original little “jumping flea.” Here are some of the more common specialty ukes you’ll encounter:

Acoustic-electric ukuleles: They have an electronic pickup that detects the ukulele’s vibrations converting them to electronic signals that are then transmitted via an on-board preamplifier to an external amplifier or sound system. Acoustic-electric ukes are ideal for performers who play their ukelele in a band setting in which the little uke has to compete with amplified instruments. While a microphone can be used in such situations, feedback sometimes is a problem, and being tethered to a microphone can cramp your stage presence and mobility. The preamp usually includes both volume and tone controls that help get the natural tone of your ukulele projected to the audience. A few acoustic-electric uke models include a USB output for recording direct to a USB device capable of recording.

Luna Baritone Acoustic-Electric Baritone Ukulele

The striking zebrawood construction and abalone detailing of the Luna Baritone Acoustic-Electric Baritone Ukulele combined with an onboard preamp and pickup make it a great stage uke for use with amplified bands.

Six-string and eight-string ukuleles: Usually based on a baritone or tenor ukulele scale length, their compact size make them a worthy traveling companion and alternative to a travel-sized or ¾-scale guitar.

Hybrid Ukulele-like Instruments

Some manufacturers have begun building instruments that blur the lines between a traditional ukulele and other instruments such as banjos. “Banjoleles” incorporate a banjo-type head, rim, brackets, and resonator. Some are tuned the same way as a ukelele, making them instantly familiar to a uke player.

Recording King U25 Banjolele

The Recording King U25 Banjolele combines the size and playing simplicity of a ukulele with the sound of a banjo for an altogether different musical experience.

Another hybrid is the resonator ukulele that borrows elements from traditional metal resonator guitars. Instead of traditional wood, the body may made partly or entirely of metal. A spun aluminum cone produces a distinctive, loud sound that can cut through in dense mixes of acoustic instruments.

Kala KA-RES Tenor Resonator Ukulele Brass

Kala KA-RES Tenor Resonator Ukulele offers steel-guitar looks and a sound all its own.

Ukulele Tuning

The three smaller ukuleles—soprano, concert, and tenor—are usually tuned to the open- string notes G-C-E-A. Baritone ukuleles are typically tuned to D-G-B-E—the same way the four highest strings on a guitar are tuned. D-tuning is also a popular option that some players feel brings out a “sweeter” sound on smaller ukuleles. D-tuning is A-D-F#-B. Other tunings are possible, and as your skills develop you may want to experiment with them.

Use of alternate string types and arrangements can also produce interesting musical variations.

Using an electronic tuner makes the process of getting your uke in tune much easier. Many such tuners have a mode that matches up with the strings on the ukulele. Clip-on models that attach to the headstock of the ukulele and sense its vibrations are very easy to use.

Keep in mind that new nylon strings tend to stretch, so retuning more frequently after buying a new uke, or putting on a new set of strings is normal.

The quality of the tuning pegs or tuning machines on your ukulele can impact the ease with which you get in tune, and how well your uke stays in tune. Most metal tuning machines have set screws on the buttons used to rotate the tuner. Tightening these periodically can help stabilize tuning.

Ukulele Accessories

As mentioned above, an electronic tuner makes tuning your ukulele a much easier process.

Also consider buying a case or gig bag to transport your uke. It’ll help keep your ukulele safe from the perils of the road and protect your investment.

Some uke players prefer using a felt pick or standard guitar pick as opposed to using their fingers, and you may want to experiment with the different sounds picks can produce.

Strings can have a significant impact on the sound and playability of your ukulele. We offer a wide assortment of replacement nylon ukulele strings as well as titanium, aluminum, and fluorocarbon sets to meet just about anybody’s needs.

Getting Started Learning to Play the Ukulele

With the explosion of interest in ukuleles, this is a great time to get started thanks to all the resources now available to help you master the instrument.

At Musician’s Friend we offer a huge range of ukulele learning tools, instructional guides, and songbooks that will keep you happily strumming until you can practically smell the pineapples!

Music publishers have adapted some of the best-loved pop, folk, rock, country, and blues songs to the uke. Many include lessons that are tailor-made for absolute beginners as well as ukulele tutorials for more advanced players.

There are also lots of simplified tab songbooks that show you how to play easy chord-based arrangements for songs you know and love.

Many of these songbooks and tutorials include online access to even more resources, including ukulele how-to’s, tuning tips, care and cleaning advice, and forums for ukulele students and players.

Summing Up

In the end, choosing the right ukulele is about finding the one that works for you; a ukulele that’s fun to play and to hear. So though you now know more about how ukuleles are built and what materials go into them, let your fingers and ears guide you to the right uke.

We want you to be pleased with your ukulele purchase, and offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee and generous return policy so you can order your new ukulele with confidence.

After reading this guide, if you’re still not sure what ukulele is right for you, we invite you call to one of our friendly and knowledgeable Gear Heads at (877) 880-5907.

Read How to Choose the Right Strings for Your Ukulele.

Tags: Ukuleles

Comments  

# Amanda R 2017-01-16 03:49
Hi,
I'm looking for a uke for an 8 year old. Something of good quality, most likely a soprano, perhaps a concert. Can anyone suggest a good brand/model?

Thanks!
Reply
# Austin 2016-12-11 20:19
Need to buy my husband a uku for Christmas. He already plays both acoustic and electric guitar and has been for years, so I have no clue what type (concert or ?) or what brand to get. Suggestions?
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# Steven L 2016-12-20 11:39
I am a longtime acoustic guitarist that recently became enamored with ukes. I would go for a concert size to start rather than a soprano. The slightly deeper tone, slightly larger size makes the shift from guitar to uke easier than on a soprano. Go for something around $200 - built with quality but won't break the bank if he doesn't like it or want to continue.
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# Darcey 2016-12-05 09:01
I'm currently 15 (and female), pretty short for my age, but with fairly long fingers. I've never seriously taken up any instrument before but (like most people) I've played a bit of guitar and keyboard in school. I've been considering learning to play the ukulele, but I never realised how confusing everything was!

I just need advice on what type/size to buy, where to get it from, any accessories or help guides which would be beneficial for me, and just where to begin. Thanks!
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# sue jones 2016-11-26 05:23
I would like to buy a Ukuele for my husband . He has never played one before, but has always expressed a desire to learn. Which one would be suitable for him. Many thanks, sue.
Reply
# Sandra 2016-11-26 01:47
Hi,I have never played any musical instrument in my entire life but would really love to learn playing uke.I would appreciate it if someone tells me how and where to begin!
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# Zayn 2016-11-22 07:05
Hey. I want to learn how to play the ukulele and I'm buying one for myself on my birthday because I'm really really really in love with the uke for weeks now. I know how to play the guitar and the piano so I'm guessing it'll be easier for me to play the uke as well?? Idk yet, but I'm really willing to learn. I'm 5'6 and I've got long fingers. What kind of ukulele would you guys recommend?
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# Jacob 2016-11-22 08:38
A concert or tenor probably would be best.
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# Devika 2016-11-14 02:20
Hi, I'm not sure what kind of ukulele to buy. I'm 13 and I don't play any string instruments but I know how to play keyboard. I was also wondering would it be tough for someone with no string experience to learn to play the ukulele. Please suggest a good ukulele for a beginner preferably a cheaper one since I'm just starting out. Thank you!
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# Jacob 2016-11-18 18:58
It's awesome that you have a background in piano and are looking at branching out. To answer your questions. One of the great things about uke is how easy they are to pick up and play. Chord structures and individual notes can be picked up after a few lessons or tutorials. As far as what to buy, I would recommend getting a Concert sized uke under $100. A few companies that I have had good luck with are Córdoba, Mitchell, and Lanikai. Your looking for an instrument that feels solid and has good metal turners that hold the tune really well.
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# Abigail 2016-09-25 11:35
Hi, I'm 13 and looking for a good but not expensive ukulele. I have never owned a ukulele but I borrowed my friend's ukulele for a few weeks. I'm very short for my age. Any suggestions?
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# Leo 2016-09-30 02:37
Learn a few songs on your friends uke, set a price range (say 50$). Once you've got that done go to a music store and play the songs you learned to try out the ukuleles in your price range. I'd recommend the sopranos, they are usually more affordable than others, and it's great to learn as the instrument can be carried anywhere (you can put it in a backpack) and the strings are close together, which avoids the pains you can feel when learning the guitar. Once you find one you like... Buy it :)
I'm not an expert but I've had a soprano for years in that price range and I found it a good investment to learn and have fun.
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# Amit 2016-08-31 04:42
Hi, I was a guitar player once. Now i want to start learning ukulele. The Baritone ukulele is the best fit for my type of learners but is there enough learning materials available online for this type of ukulele. As this is I think is the least common type of ukulele.
help
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# Jacob 2016-11-18 19:06
You typically will find very little material for a baritone. The most common will be for a standard tuning uke, soprano to tenor. If you like the feel and range I would suggest looking into what's called a guitarlele. It's a hybrid that yahama makes.
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# ToriB23 2016-08-30 15:57
I'm thinking of getting a ukulele and I'm not sure if I should get a soprano or a concert uke.
I've been playing the guitar for about 12 years now - I'm not sure if that should make a difference while choosing a uke. I'm also quite small myself - 5'2" - should that be somewhat of a factor?
any suggestions?
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# Alanna 2016-10-08 19:01
Honestly, I play around on both and personally I prefer the concert ukes. They sound very similar as the tuning is the same, but I find that what people describe as the "brighter" sound that we conventionally assosciate with ukuleles, which the sap ramp produces... to me just sounds kind of tin- ey. But that may just be me. The slightly more mellow sound of the concert ukes just sounds fuller to me. Also if you are accustome to playing the guitar I have a feeling that the saprano may just feel too tiny under your arms. Keep in mind you don't wear a strap with an ukulele as you do with a guitar- so I feel like having a slightly larger instrument is just easier to hold to your chest while learning. Just a little more surface area. So yeah, my vote is with the concert but then again it's such a minor difference in sound that if you are looking for something tiny to take with you everywhere a saprano will be great. Good luck!
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# Kim 2016-08-23 05:13
I would like to get my husband a nice (but reasonable) ukulele for Christmas... (Yes, I plan ahead)
He can play all string intruments well, and has mastered out sons little mahalo ukulele. I have no idea what kind of ukelele that is - so I don't know which way to go from there. I would like the same type (soprano, tenor, etc), but a better quality.
Any suggestions?
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# Alanna 2016-10-08 19:05
Kala and Luna make very nice good quality ukuleles. After living in Hawaii and having the opportunity to play around with all different ukuleles, those are the two brands that seem to offer quality sound at a fair price
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# Dillon 2016-08-15 18:15
So my voice is a tenor, and i was wondering if a tenor uke would be the best way to go. thoughts?
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# Jacob 2016-11-18 19:19
Your voice range is not the same thing as the size of the uke. A tenor uke isn't necessarily a different pitch than a concert or soprano unless you change out the g string to a lower g string. What is more relevant to your voice will be the key of what you like to sing in.
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# Diego 2016-07-21 03:29
Hello
I am new to play music and want to buy an uke but I fancy more the pineapple shape more than the fig of 8 one which seems more anatomical. What are your thoughts on that?
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# Diego 2016-07-21 03:27
Hello there I'm planning to buy an Uke and I fancy more the pineapple shape, I am completely new to playing music and I wondered if the shape would mean anything important, I guess the guitar shape figure of 8 one is more anatomical than the pineapple one. What are your thoughts on this?
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# Patricia 2016-08-16 10:50
The shape doesn't really affect the sound. The basic sound lies in the size.
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# michael prichard 2016-07-12 08:26
Wish me luck
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# Kirsten 2016-07-07 13:57
Hi! I'm looking into buying my first ukulele but I'm unsure on what type to get. I don't want something too pricey but I want a good one for beginners. I'm 13 by the way. I need help choosing.
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# michael prichard 2016-07-12 08:23
I am with all those guys how to choose how to play what music to learn on,and how much to spend I'm 62 and a beginner
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# Ashley 2016-06-24 12:51
I really want to learn how to play the ukelele. Any suggestions on what type I should get?
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# Oliver 2016-08-01 23:43
Hey Ashley! Sorry this is a bit late, but I saw your comment and thought I might reply. I just got a ukulele in December and it was a soprano ukulele! I highly recommend getting a soprano as a good beginner uke and if you want, you can get other kinds once you can play! You can also go to a local music store that sells uke's and ask what they think! Hope this helps!

-Oliver
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# Mikey 2016-04-17 07:35
Hello my son has been using a ukulele now for a year he loans it from school he says it sounds tinnie and wants his own trouble is I'm not musical at all I don't want to buy him a cheap crap one but I'm not spending loads either !
Any suggestions ??
Thanks mike.
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# Fred Jones 2016-05-05 06:00
Hi Mike. Has the ukulele always sounded tinnie or did the sound change recently? If it's recent, I'd recommend changing the strings. You can also make it sound more tinnie intentionally by playing closer to the bridge.

Otherwise, I'd recommend going to a local music store and having him test out different types of ukuleles -- without looking at the price tags. More expensive doesn't necessarily mean better, and you can get a great ukulele for under $100. Get whichever he thinks sounds best and feels most comfortable to play within your budget.
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# David 2016-03-19 12:12
Hi all, I'm new to the uke, and have a soprano, but I prefer a less 'tinny' sound...would it be too much of a leap for me to get a tenor uke - does it sound closer to a guitar than a regular uke?
(I've been playing for only 3mnths but love it). Thanks in advance
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# Tony 2016-03-24 23:17
Hey David, it really depends on how you feel and if you like the wider frets and sound of a tenor. Tenor has a more mellow and resonate sound, but it still sounds like a ukulele. The only uke that may sound like a guitar is the Baritone so dont worry about that.

I recommend stopping by the local music store and trying some out yourself. If the tenor doesnt suit you then try the concert. The concert is extremely similar to the soprano, but the it has a wider range, a bit more comfortable to handle, and in my opinion feels like what a ukulele should feel like.

Some popular and great brands of ukuleles are Kala, Mahalo, Lanikai, Pono, Kamaka, Luna and Kanilea.

Good luck on finding the right ukulele!
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# Frank 2016-02-15 13:19
You left out bass uke. Also I have a concert uke. I find it a little tight regarding the neck. I am an old guitar player and find that playing the concert can give my left hand cramps. Do you think moving to a tenor would be beneficial for me?
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# Jacob 2016-11-18 19:15
For size purpose yes. I would also use the lower g strong to extend the range. Since your a guitar player I would also suggest looking into an instrument called a guitarlele. They are a guitar and uke hybrid that are really fun.
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# Annika 2016-01-09 04:52
Can a uke mimic the sound if a cuatro? If so, which one/what kind comes closest to the sound?
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# Annette 2015-11-17 18:31
I got my first ukulele for Christmas and I have been playing for about a year. my first one was a Makala soprano beginner and I think I have the hang of it. i am looking at getting a new one and trying something a little different. I don't think I would like a baritone so that leaves tenor and concert. what is a good price and brand?
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# Jacob 2016-11-18 19:12
Good price will range between 80-160. The brands I like, because they are solid are Córdoba, Mitchell, fender, Lanikai
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# Sarah Maikalui 2015-12-29 16:01
Tenor and concert ukuleles are the same thing, people just generally use concert as another name.
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# What??? 2016-01-07 01:26
Sarah is incorrect.

Concert and Tenor are not the same thing.

The choice of instrament would totally depend on what you are looking for. The sounds of each are slightly different.

I personally play Tenor, but i'm a big guy with fat fingers.
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# Kate 2015-05-30 11:10
So, I am 14 years old looking to buy a ukulele. My parents are letting me get one for a graduation gift. My problem is I don’t know which one to get. My parents said it should be around or lower than $150. Please help me with some choices of a good concert uke. :)
Thanks,
Kate
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# Jacob 2016-11-18 19:10
I have had good luck with Córdoba, Mitchell, fender, and Lanikai. All carry concert size under 150
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# Julie 2014-09-07 16:20
I want to know which ukulele I should buy for country western music. Also where is best place to learn on a budget?
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# Kevin L 2016-11-27 14:50
I do not, and would never, recommend "learning" on YouTube unless the "instructor" has credentials. I find far too many poor teachers, poor methods, etc.

Just remember -- anyone with a pc and camera can post their "lessons" online regardless of ability... and they do.

I would highly recommend any of the successful, professional online courses available on the Inte[blocked].
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# Jacob 2016-11-18 19:08
YouTube is always the best place to learn on a budget. As far as which is best for western I would suggest a concert or a tenor (with the low g string) to get more of a bass sound.
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# Bobbie H 2014-06-06 17:36
Herb Ernst makes a valuable suggestion: a sample sound of the variety of ukes would be helpful when deciding which purchase to make.
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# Sam Hargrove 2014-02-28 14:27
interesting,
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# MichaelC 2014-02-28 12:13
Great info
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# Herb Ernst 2014-02-27 12:09
This article is very informative and well-written. I only wish it had embedded links to actual music samples of the instruments being played with their characteristic sizes, woods, string types and tunings -- that would have been the icing on the cake!
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