How to choose a ukulele
TIP FOR BEGINNERS:If you’re a beginner and are wondering what the best ukulele is, it is the soprano ukulele. This is one of the most common types and will give you exactly what this musical instrument is famous for: a thin, high sound, a traditional body size and standard g / C / E / A tuning. If needed, our experts will be happy to help you make up your mind at the telephone number 020 8089 1481( Mon–Fri 9:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m.) or at the email address .
The soprano ukulele is the perfect start for every beginner, including children.
Basic types of ukuleles
The ukulele is a musical instrument from Hawaii that resembles a small guitar. It usually has four nylon strings and is divided into four types according to size:
It is the smallest one (about 53 cm long) and you can make the high, thin sound from it which is typical for the ukulele. When purchasing a soprano ukulele, make sure that thanks to its compact dimensions, the frets are relatively close to each other (to get a better picture, two would fit into the first fret on a western guitar). It is definitely more suitable for players with thinner fingers or even children as their first instrument.
Do not be put off by the word concert, this ukulele is likely to satisfy a wide range of players. It has a bigger body (the length of the instrument is about 58 cm), it offers a louder, fuller tone, and it is easier to hold for most players thanks to its larger size The spaces between frets are large enough even for wider fingers, and so you can also reach the upper positions more comfortably. The concert ukulele is an ideal compromise between a compact body, a classic ukulele sound and playing comfort.
This is a good ukulele if you long for a larger instrument (length about 66 cm) and strive to constantly improve your playing. Thanks to its larger body, the tenor ukulele gives off a louder sound as well as wider and stronger tones compared to the first two. The fretboard is ideal for bigger hands and enables playing the ukulele with all the finesse.
It is the largest one (74 cm long) and feels like a small guitar. Do not expect a classic higher tone from it. As the title suggests, the sound of the baritone ukulele is deeper. The tuning corresponds to the first four strings on the guitar (the thinnest). So, they will be familiar and comfortable to learn on for guitarists. Their robust body and rich spacing between the frets capture attention. Those interested in a classical ukulele tone should look for one of the first three variants.
There are also different specific types of ukulele, such as the bass ukulele. They are designed in the traditional ukulele shape which is combined with various unusual structural elements. For the bass ukulele, there are thick strings that allow players to play in bass tuning E, A, D, G.
Acoustically or with a combo?
When choosing a ukulele, it's good to think about where and how you want to play the new ukulele. If you are alone and play mostly at home, the acoustic variation should suit you fine. But if you plan to perform out from time to time, it’s better to opt for a version with a pick-up. The ukulele can be conveniently connected to a combo or a mixing console using a cable. To use a microphone for amplifying the ukulele can be quite a bother during a live event. In addition, a pickup will offer you the ability to expand your sound with other effects, and it will be useful when recording.