Choosing a ukulele for a beginner is not rocket science. Either take advice from Ukulelko.cz or use your own common sense. In the following lines you will learn some important tips to help you choose a new ukulele.
Concert ukulele Body: mahogany (plywood) Back: mahogany Neck: mahogany Fingerboard: pau ferro
Soprano ukulele Body: mahogany (plywood) Back: mahogany Neck: nato Fingerboard: walnut
Concert ukulele Body: mahogany Back: mahogany Neck: mahogany Fingerboard: rosewood
Soprano ukulele Body: agathis (plywood) Back: agathis Neck: mahogany Fingerboard: mahogany
Four types of ukulele
The different types of ukuleles are divided into four main sizes. From the smallest to the largest. As a beginner ukulele player, choose from 3 sizes: soprano, concert, tenor ukulele. Then there’s the baritone, but it’s tuned differently from the three previous adepts. Yeah, well, I haven’t really narrowed it down much. So read on.
What type of ukulele to choose
The soprano ukulele is the traditional choice of most beginners. It is small and easy to carry. However, the truth is that tenor and concert ukuleles, unlike soprano ukuleles, give you more room to maneuver around the fingerboard because they are longer. Tenor is a sort of happy medium for musicians, but it’s not the rule. It’s up to you. Small or bigger? All three are tuned the same, so it won’t be a problem to get teaching materials.
When choosing your first ukulele, you need to know that it is further divided into acoustic, electroacoustic and electric. Electroacoustic is equipped with a pickup. An electric ukulele must be plugged into a combo. Electrics are kind of fun, but you can get by without it. Well, you’ll have to consider that for yourself.
What is the price of a ukulele
Nowadays, you can find really cheap no-name pieces that start at 20 USD. For myself, I would recommend to save a little and start with a price from 120 USD for a ukulele. For this price you will get a solid instrument that sounds good, plays well and has quality mechanics.
The golden mean
Salespeople often recommend a happy medium. I think it’s a cheap ukulele and I wouldn’t recommend buying a cheaper one. The cheapest ones are actually low-quality toys. If you reach right off the edge for the cheapest one, you risk future construction problems that may discourage you from playing again. And you don’t want that.
I would also discourage you from buying a premium piece for tens of thousands. Leave that choice until you know how to play and have a clearer idea of the genre you’re going to pursue. As a beginner, you won’t be able to “appreciate” its sound properly anyway.
Use common sense. The same rules apply to the ukulele as to any other product. The more expensive the instrument, the “better” the quality of workmanship and equipment. Quality determines the sound.
What brand of ukulele
The best choice is to buy a brand of ukulele that already has some history (tradition) of production and has managed to gain some reputation with customers. Not only in the beginner ukulele category, it’s worth heading straight for manufacturers such as Cordoba, Ibanez, Ortega, Fender, Ohana, Eddy Finn, Makala, Lanikai, Donner, Darestone, Mahalo or Kala.
Cheap ukuleles today are made of plastic. Sometimes ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene) is mentioned in the description. This is, in my opinion, also plastic. I have nothing against plastic instruments. On the contrary. They are very useful for a campfire by the water. You don’t have to worry about them getting wet. When choosing one, you have to be careful about the quality of the tuning mechanics.
Mid-range ukuleles are usually made of plywood. Plywood is actually a layered material made of thin sheets of wood (veneer). The wood for plywood varies according to the price of the instrument. Mostly materials used are mahogany, walnut, sapele and the more expensive ones are Zebrawood or Ziricote for example. And many others.
Polomasive is another material designation you will come across in the store. It means that the front board is solid wood. The back and sides are plywood. Such an instrument should already have a better sound compared to plywood.
Solid or full-mass ukuleles are higher-end instruments. Made of solid wood. Not laminated plywood, but a wooden ukulele. That doesn’t mean their price is too high. You can buy a ukulele like this for as little as 200 USD. In case of a higher budget, be sure to choose in the all-wood category.
I think that’s about all you need to look out for when buying a ukulele for beginners. Do you already understand or is there anything else you’re wondering?