TOP 4 ANSWERS TO YOUR UKULELE QUESTIONS
Ukulele has quickly become a popular instrument for people of all ages. When it comes to picking out the right uke for you, it is important to know what you’re looking for in your instrument. With the guide below, you will be able to get an idea of different sizes, materials, and sounds of different ukuleles to help you narrow down your search.
1. WHAT'S THE BEST SIZE UKULELE FOR ME?
Ukuleles come in different sizes, and it is important to find what the right size is for you. Everyone will have different preferences when it comes to the size and the feel of their ukulele. Let's go through the 4 different sizes to help you decide what is best for you.
Soprano ukuleles, also called "standard" ukuleles, are the smallest of the 4 sizes. These ukuleles are light and easy to hold which makes them perfect for children with smaller hands. These ukes have between 12 and 15 frets.
Concert ukuleles are close in price and size to the soprano ukulele. Although close in size, concert ukes are slightly larger than soprano ukuleles. Because the body of this instrument is slightly larger and the neck is slightly longer, the sound is louder and there are 15 to 20 frets which gives you a wider range of notes.
Tenor ukuleles are popular for adult players or guitarists who are looking to venture into ukeland. The tenor has between 15 and 25 frets which are wider than those of a concert or soprano ukulele. Some players find that the wider frets make it more comfortable to play. The larger body creates a fuller tone which is great for performers.
The baritone ukulele is the largest of the 4 ukes. Because of its large size and lower tuning, it is a much deeper and darker sounding instrument. This ukulele has 18 or more frets and a wider neck so if you enjoy finger picking, this ukulele would be comfortable for you. One thing to consider is that baritone ukuleles are tuned differently than the other 3 sizes of ukulele. To find out more information about this, keep scrolling.
2. ARE THERE DIFFERENT TUNINGS FOR UKULELE?
Soprano, concert, and tenors are all tuned to traditional ukulele tuning (GCEA) while baritones are tuned to DGBE. If you’re just starting, it’s a good idea to choose a soprano, concert, or tenor because most ukulele tutorials and books are written for the tuning of GCEA. However, if you’re a guitar player who is making their way to ukeland, a baritone ukulele is an easy transition because it’s tuned the same way as the four highest strings on a guitar.
Soprano, Concert, & Tenor Tuning: Baritone Tuning:
3. WHAT'S THE BEST WOOD FOR A UKULELE?
Figuring out what the best wood is for a ukulele is dependent on what sort of sound are you looking for. Are you looking for a deep sound? Bright? Warm? Mellow? If you’re looking for a specific sound, you may be able to narrow down the uke that is right for you by taking into consideration some of the tonewoods that ukuleles are made from such as koa, spruce, cedar, and mahogany.
Koa is a dense, tropical tonewood from Hawaii that creates a balanced tone with a focused midrange. Acacia has similar properties as Koa.
Mahogany has a generally warmer and softer tone than a Koa-made ukulele
Spruce projects bright tones with lots of "zing" and a dynamic midrange
Cedar produces mellow and rounded tones and emphasizes the low notes
4. HOW MUCH SHOULD I SPEND ON A UKULELE?
Deciding how much you want to spend on a ukulele is ultimately up to you. Instead of jumping straight to price, study the difference between ukuleles as well as simply pick up a ukulele and find what you feel comfortable with. Even if you don’t know how to play yet, strum or pluck the strings to determine what feels right for your body and hand type. Also take into consideration the look of the ukulele. This is your instrument so you want to spend money on something that is appealing to you. All ukuleles are unique in their own way! Choose a uke that catches your eye, but be cautious when prioritizing looks over materials. You may end up with a pretty ukulele that doesn’t provide you with the sound you’re looking for. Once you narrow down what you like in a ukulele, consider the price point that these fall into and choose your best fit.
If you’re just starting out, don’t get discouraged if you aren’t getting the sound you want out of your ukulele. It takes time and practice. Have fun and experiment with different sizes, materials, and tunings to see what the best combination is for you! UKE CAN DO IT