8 Best Ukuleles for Beginners (2024 Review)


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8 Best Ukuleles for Beginners (2024 Review)

​Are you looking to embark on a musical journey with the sweet and melodic sounds of a ukulele? If so, then you’ve come to the right place! Whether you’re a complete beginner or have been playing for a little while, finding the perfect ukulele to suit your needs is essential. With so many options available in the market, it can be overwhelming to know where to start. That’s why we’ve curated a list of the 8 best ukuleles for beginners to help you make an informed decision. In this article, we’ll not only provide you with a comprehensive review of the top ukuleles out there but also share some valuable tips and insights on buying your first ukulele. So, get ready to strum your way to musical bliss, as we dive into the world of ukuleles!

What are the different ukulele sizes?

The ukulele comes in four different sizes, each with its own unique sound and playability. Understanding the differences between these sizes can help you choose the right one for your needs.

The smallest size is the soprano ukulele, which is known for its bright and cheerful sound. It is also the most common and widely available size, making it a popular choice for beginners. The next size up is the concert ukulele, which has a slightly larger body and a fuller sound. This size is a great option for those who want a bit more volume and depth in their playing.

Moving up in size, we have the tenor ukulele. It has a larger body and longer scale length, which results in an even richer and more resonant sound. This size is often favored by professional players and those who want a ukulele that can project well in a live setting. Finally, we have the baritone ukulele, which is the largest size. It produces a deep and warm tone, similar to a classical guitar. This size is a favorite among musicians who want a ukulele that can double as a small guitar.

When buying your first ukulele, it’s important to consider your personal preferences and playing style. Smaller sizes like soprano and concert are great for those with smaller hands or who want a more traditional ukulele sound. On the other hand, if you prefer a louder and more versatile instrument, the tenor or baritone sizes might be a better fit. Whichever size you choose, buying your first ukulele is an exciting journey that will open up a world of musical possibilities.

What is the best size ukulele for beginners?

The most commonly recommended ukulele size for beginners is the concert ukulele. With a slightly larger body than the soprano, the concert ukulele produces a fuller sound while still maintaining the classic ukulele tone. Its size also allows for more room between the frets, making it easier for beginners to navigate the fingerboard and play chords accurately.

Another suitable option for beginners is the soprano ukulele, which is the smallest size available. While it may produce a slightly brighter sound and have a tighter feel due to its compact nature, many beginners find the soprano ukulele appealing due to its affordability and portability. It is important to note that players with larger hands may find it more challenging to play on a soprano ukulele.

On the other end of the spectrum, the tenor ukulele is also a popular choice for beginners who want a larger instrument with a deeper and richer sound. While it may require slightly more finger strength and stretch, the tenor ukulele is often preferred by musicians with previous guitar experience or those looking to explore a wider dynamic range.

Ultimately, the best size ukulele for beginners will depend on personal preference, hand size, and playing style. It is recommended to try out different sizes and consult with a knowledgeable salesperson or experienced ukulele player to find the perfect fit for your musical journey. Remember, the most important aspect is to choose a ukulele that feels comfortable and inspires you to keep playing.

What tonewood is best for ukuleles?

​The choice of tonewood can greatly impact the sound and overall quality of the instrument. While there are various tonewoods used in ukulele manufacturing, the most common ones are koa, mahogany, and spruce.

Koa wood is often regarded as the traditional and premium choice for ukuleles. Originating from Hawaii, this wood offers a warm and rich tone with clear highs and balanced lows. It provides excellent sustain and resonance, resulting in a vibrant and articulate sound. Koa also has a beautiful aesthetic, with its unique grain patterns and reddish-brown color. However, due to its limited availability, koa ukuleles tend to be more expensive.

Mahogany is another popular tonewood used in ukuleles. It produces a slightly warmer and darker sound than koa. Mahogany ukuleles have a rich and mellow tone, with good projection and sustain. This tonewood is more affordable than koa, making it a great option for beginners or those on a budget. Mahogany ukuleles also have a distinct look, characterized by their reddish-brown color and straight grain patterns.

Spruce, although not as common as koa or mahogany, is gaining popularity among ukulele players. Known for its bright and vibrant sound, spruce produces a crisp and clear tone with good volume and projection. Spruce ukuleles are often preferred by players who prefer a more articulate and punchy sound, suitable for genres like bluegrass or country music. Additionally, spruce is a strong and durable wood, making it a great choice for those who frequently travel with their ukulele.

How much should I spend on my first ukulele?

If you’re a beginner or on a tight budget, there’s no need to splurge on a high-end instrument right away. Entry-level ukuleles can be found for as low as $50 to $100, and they can still offer decent sound and playability. These ukuleles are often made with laminate wood or synthetic materials, which help keep the costs down without compromising too much on quality.

However, if you’re looking for a ukulele that will last you many years and provide a better tone, you may want to consider investing a bit more. Mid-range ukuleles in the $100 to $300 range are often built with solid wood, which can enhance the sound and resonance. They may also have better craftsmanship and details, making them more visually appealing.

Ultimately, the amount you should spend on your first ukulele depends on your commitment to playing, your budget, and your personal preferences. It’s always a good idea to try out different options and seek advice from experienced players or music stores. By balancing quality, affordability, and your own needs, you’ll be able to find a ukulele that’s perfect for your journey into the world of music.

What strings should I use for my ukulele?

When it comes to buying your first ukulele, it is often equipped with basic and lower-quality strings. These strings might not offer the best sound and may not hold their tune for long. Therefore, it is recommended to upgrade the strings to enhance the sound quality and playability of your instrument.

When choosing ukulele strings, you’ll come across different materials such as nylon, fluorocarbon, and gut. Nylon strings are the most common and affordable option, and they provide a warm and mellow sound. Fluorocarbon strings, on the other hand, offer a brighter tone and can be more expensive. Gut strings, made from sheep intestines, are less common but can produce a rich, warm sound preferred by some players.

The type of ukulele you have will also affect the choice of strings. Soprano and alto ukuleles generally sound best with standard nylon strings, while tenor and baritone ukuleles have a more versatile range and can benefit from fluorocarbon strings. It’s important to consider the tension of the strings as well. Lighter tension strings are easier to play, but heavier tension strings can offer more volume and sustain.

How do you tune a ukulele?

​If you’re a beginner ukulele player, tuning your instrument can be a daunting task. But fear not, because learning how to tune a ukulele is easier than you might think! Before we dive into the process, let’s start with the basics. Firstly, if you’re buying your first ukulele, it’s important to choose a high-quality instrument. A well-made ukulele will stay in tune better and produce a better sound overall.

Now, let’s talk about tuning. The most common tuning for a ukulele is G-C-E-A, with G being the string closest to your chest when you hold the instrument. To start, you can use a digital tuner or a tuning app on your smartphone. Pluck each string one by one and adjust the tuning pegs until each string matches the desired note on the tuner.
Alternatively, you can also use the “reference string” method. Begin by tuning the G string using either a tuner or a reference pitch from another instrument. Then, you can tune the remaining strings using the G string as a reference. For instance, by fretting the 5th fret on the G string, you can tune the C string to match its pitch. Repeat the process for the remaining strings, fretting the 4th fret on the C string to tune the E string and the 5th fret on the E string to match the A string.

Remember, tuning your ukulele is a continuous process. Changes in temperature and humidity can cause your instrument to go out of tune. Therefore, it’s always a good idea to check the tuning before you start playing. With a bit of practice and patience, you’ll soon become a pro at tuning your ukulele, ensuring that it sounds its best every time you play.

Can you play any song on a ukulele?

One of the great things about the ukulele is its simplicity. With just four strings and a compact fretboard, it’s much easier to learn and navigate compared to other instruments. Whether you’re a complete beginner or an experienced musician, you can play just about any song on a ukulele with a little bit of practice.

When it comes to playing songs on a ukulele, it’s important to choose the right instrument. If you’re a beginner, I highly recommend buying your first ukulele from a reputable music store. They can guide you in selecting the right size, type, and quality that suits your needs. It’s always better to invest in a decent instrument to ensure a pleasant playing experience.

Once you have your ukulele, the internet becomes your best friend. There are countless resources available, from video tutorials to chord charts, that can help you learn your favorite songs. You’ll be surprised at the vast repertoire of songs that can be played on a ukulele – from classic hits to modern pop songs, there’s something for everyone.

So, don’t hesitate to pick up a ukulele and start strumming your favorite tunes. With its simplicity and versatility, you’ll be surprised at how quickly you can learn to play any song. Remember, the key is practice and dedication.

Ranch Ukulele 23 inch

The Ranch Concert Ukulele is an excellent choice for both professional and beginner players. This 23 inch classical instrument offers a beautiful sound and is very well constructed. The ukulele comes with a free online 12 lesson package, making it a great starter pack for those new to playing the ukelele. The gig bag is an added bonus, providing easy and convenient transportation. With its affordable price and high quality, the Ranch Concert Ukulele is a must-have for any ukulele enthusiast.

Comes with a gig bag and online lessons
Good for beginners

Aquilla nylgut strings are squeaky
A100 has the best sound

Material: Wood
Strings: 4
Operation Mode: Acoustic
Color: UK-23-Classical Uke
Weight: 2.29 pounds
Lessons: 12 online

AKLOT Mahogany Ukulele AKC23

The AKLOT Concert Ukulele, model AKC23, is a fantastic choice for both professional players and beginners. Its solid mahogany construction not only gives it a beautiful look but also produces a warm, rich tone that is great for any genre of music. The 23-inch size makes it perfect for adults who are looking to learn or improve their ukulele skills.

One of the standout features of this ukulele is the inclusion of free online courses. This is a fantastic addition, especially for beginners who may be unsure where to start. The courses cover everything from basic chords and strumming techniques to more advanced playing styles. Additionally, the ukulele kit comes with uke accessories such as a tuner, strap, and a gig bag, making it convenient for users to take their instrument wherever they go.

Overall, the AKLOT Concert Ukulele offers great value for money for anyone looking to purchase a quality ukulele with additional online resources. It is a great investment that will surely impress both professional musicians and beginners alike.

Solid mahogany top, back and sides
Comes with a complete package, including a decent gig bag, digital tuner, and spare strings

Tuning pegs could be of higher quality
Stained finish can be prone to showing scratches

Proficiency Level: Beginner, Intermediate, Professional
Number of Strings: 4
Material: Mohagany
Battery include: 1 CR2
String gauge: Light
Online Courses: yes

Enya Concert Ukulele Nova

The Enya Concert Ukulele Nova U 23’’ Carbon Fiber Travel Ukulele with Beginner Kit is a fantastic product for both beginners and experienced players alike. The carbon fiber construction ensures durability and a sleek look in the color black. The included beginner kit is a great bonus, providing everything needed to start playing right away.

The online lessons are a valuable resource for those who are new to playing the ukulele or looking to improve their skills. The case, strap, capo, and strings are all high-quality additions that enhance the overall experience of playing this ukulele.

Overall, the Enya Concert Ukulele Nova U 23’’ Carbon Fiber Travel Ukulele with Beginner Kit is a great investment for any ukulele enthusiast. The combination of durability, beginner-friendly features, and excellent sound make this ukulele a top choice in its category.

Comes with a lot of accessories: gig bag, strap, capo, extra strings, tuner, charging cable, and adapter
Good for the environment with a carbon fiber body
Good sustain
Carbon fiber construction isn’t affected by temperature or humidity
Comfortable to play

Slightly quieter sound than wood ukuleles
Unconventional ukulele shape

Size: 23 inch
String Material: Carbon
Weight: 2.1 Kilograms
Color: Black
Sound: Bright
Waterproof: Yes
Fingerboard: Radius
Weight: 1.25 lbs.
Wooden: No

Hricane Koa Ukulele Kit

The Hricane Ukulele is a fantastic choice for beginners and professionals alike. With its beautiful Koa wood construction and 23-inch size, this concert ukulele offers a rich and warm sound. The kit includes all the necessary accessories, such as a gig bag, strap, nylon strings, tuner, guitar picks, and cleaning cloth, making it perfect for those just starting out or looking to upgrade their instrument. The Hricane brand is well-known for its high-quality products, and this ukulele is no exception. Overall, the Hricane Ukulele is a great investment for anyone looking to enjoy the sweet sounds of this beloved instrument.

Comes with strap, tuner, gig bag, picks, and cleaning cloth
Comes with add-ons for complete starter kit

Aquila strings could be better
May require adjustments out of the box

Weight: 2.7 pounds
Finish Type: Polished
Number of Strings: 4
Item Size: 23 x 8 x 2 inch
Style: Rich Sound, Durable KOA Craftsmanship
Color: Koa matte

Hricane Hawaii Ukulele

The Hricane Concert Ukulele Ziricote 23 Inch is an excellent choice for beginners who are looking to dive into the world of music. The Ziricote wood used in this ukulele not only creates a stunning appearance but also provides a rich and resonant tone. The concert size is perfect for beginners as it offers a comfortable playing experience.

The package comes complete with a gig bag, strap, and strings sets, making it convenient for both beginners and traveling musicians. The ukulele itself is well-made and feels solid in one’s hands. The strings are easy to adjust and maintain, ensuring a smooth playing experience.

Overall, the Hricane Concert Ukulele Ziricote 23 Inch is a great choice for beginners. Its high-quality construction, beautiful design, and included accessories make it an excellent value for the price.

Great tone quality
Good build quality for price
Great for beginner or intermediate players

Can be tricky to tune
Strings aren’t as good as the rest of the instrument

Weight: 2.79 pounds
Strings: 4
Material: Ziricote (top), Wood (back)
Color: Ziricote Glossy
Size: 8.5 x 2.8 x 25 inches
Style: Hawaiian

Vangoa Tenor Ukulele

The Vangoa Tenor Ukulele is a fantastic instrument for both beginner and professional players. With its sleek design and beautiful mahogany body, it is not only visually appealing but also produces a rich and warm sound. The acoustic-electric feature adds versatility to the instrument, allowing players to easily connect it to an amplifier or other audio devices.

The starter kit that comes with the ukulele includes everything one needs to get started – a gig bag for easy transportation, picks for various playing styles, straps for comfortable playing, strings for replacement, a cleaning cloth for maintenance, and a helpful manual. This set ensures that beginners have all the necessary tools and accessories to kickstart their musical journey. Whether you’re a seasoned player looking to amplify your performance or a beginner wanting to learn a new instrument, the Vangoa Tenor Ukulele is a fantastic choice that offers both quality and value for money.

Good for stage use
Acoustic-electric capabilities
Great sound quality
Affordable price
Comes with strap, bag, picks, and tuner

Amp is quite quiet
Headstock could be better

Strings: 4
Bass, Treble preamp
Weight: 4.99 pounds
Size: 26 x 8.86 x 2.56 inch
Material: Mahogany
Style: Tenor
Usage: Manual, Electric

Flight Elise Ecklund Sunset 4-String Ukulele Bundle

The Flight Elise Ecklund Sunset Travel Ukulele Bundle is a fantastic choice for both beginners and experienced players alike. The compact size makes it easy to take on the go, while still delivering a full and rich sound. The included bundle offers great value with its high-quality gig bag, strap, and tuner, making it a complete package for any ukulele enthusiast.

The craftsmanship of this ukulele is outstanding, with its beautiful sunset design and attention to detail. The strings are durable and produce a bright and vibrant tone, perfect for strumming and fingerpicking. The overall construction is sturdy and feels comfortable in the hands, allowing for hours of enjoyable playing.

Whether you’re a casual player or a professional musician, the Flight Elise Ecklund Sunset Travel Ukulele Bundle is a must-have. Its excellent sound, portability, and accessories make it a truly remarkable instrument at an affordable price.

Eye-catching design with Elise Ecklund’s signature
Elise Ecklund signature extras included
Fun, travel-friendly design
Quality accessories, including capo, strap, and songbook

Elise Ecklund branding might turn off some buyers
Strings don’t hold tune well

Type: Ukulele
String: 4
Bundle: Elisa Ecklund Sunset Travel
Weight: 1 pounds
ABS back: wider arched
Volume: more in middle range
Size: 22.5 x 8.55 x 3.3 inches

RockJam Premium Tenor Ukulele Kit

The RockJam Premium Tenor Ukulele Kit proves to be an excellent choice for both beginners and experienced ukulele players. The kit includes everything you need to start playing right away; a tuner, gig bag, strap, picks, and spare strings. The tenor size of the ukulele creates a warm and rich tone that is perfect for both strumming and fingerpicking.

The natural finish of the ukulele adds an aesthetic appeal and highlights the quality craftsmanship. It is easy to tune and stays in tune for a good amount of time. The gig bag provides adequate protection for the instrument while the strap adds a comfortable and convenient playing experience. The extra set of strings is a thoughtful inclusion, ensuring that you have backup strings in case of breakage.

Overall, the RockJam Premium Tenor Ukulele Kit is a great value for money and offers a high-quality instrument with all the necessary accessories. Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned player, this ukulele kit is sure to impress with its excellent sound, durability, and thoughtful extras.

Cutaway shape for easier access to higher frets
Quality built-in tuner
Comes with accessories, including spare strings, strap, and gig bag

Strings may need to be changed
Strings take a while to settle in

Model: RJUK-712T-N
String material: Nylon
Size: 25.67 x 2.87 x 9.25 inches
Design: Ergonomic
Body: Sapele Mahogany
Brand: RockJam
Type: Tenor Ukulele

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