Ukulele is an improved Portuguese guitar from Madeira Island that looks like a smaller version of a large classic guitar and commonly has 4 strings. This is a type of guitar that conquers many music fans with ease in training. If you are looking for the best ukulele for beginners, it’s better to pay attention to the units with nylon strings, as it is easy to clamp chords on it. Moreover, a barre clamping on the ukulele is much easier than on a guitar, since the fingerboard is smaller and the strings are fewer.
The smallest ukulele’s length is only 21 inches (soprano), so such an instrument can easily be put in a backpack and taken along. Ukulele weighs a little (more or less than 1.5 pounds) and it means that you don’t even feel that you have a musical instrument in your backpack. Despite a lot of pros, the unit has some cons, just like fragility and nonuniversality, as there are songs that just don’t sound on ukulele (blues songs and those pieces of music with bass notes). Before the quality ukulele for beginners choosing, you should get acquainted with decent ukulele reviews for beginners that include all the positive and controversial points about popular Hawaiian guitars.
Remember, starting learning to play the ukulele from scratch, you can encounter many problems, from pain at the fingertips of your hands, to a misunderstanding of how to tune the ukulele. All of that come with experience. The most important thing is not to give up when the first difficulties appear. It is better to start with the lightest songs, gradually improving your skills and expanding the repertoire.
Ukulele for Beginners Reviews
The Lohanu Concert ukulele is made of mahogany that doesn’t afraid of attacks of fungi and insects and theoretically guarantees the durability of the unit. The presented set includes the strap that hangs on the neck and hooks to the resonant aperture. This contributes to greater mobility of the hands. It is convenient to play instrumental compositions at a Lohanu ukulele (due to the long fingerboard), where you need to move the fretboard in the upper positions. It’s comfortable to hold the instrument clutching to the chest, sitting, or leaning on your feet. It sounds powerful, bright, and voluminous (in terms of the surrounding sound volume). This is achieved due to the fact that the strings feel are tightly stretched. The Lohanu Concert guitar can be probably perceived by some people as the best concert ukulele for beginners because this small unit doesn’t produce buzzing noises and has no tuning problems.
- The instrument produces a satisfying volume due to the arched back and lightweight construction (1.3 pounds).
- Used tuners are made of the die-cast chrome and look reliable.
- The ukulele comes with quality Nylgut Aquila strings.
- The intonation up the fingerboard is off. While beyond the fifth fret playing, the notes are a bit out of tune.
- The case that comes with the set is too thin and isn’t padded.
Video Lohanu LU-C
This student ukulele has a classic wooden design and looks like a full-fledged guitar. The satin finish on this model is performed on high quality level, but the structure of the mahogany and its pores are still visible, giving the ukulele elegance and a light flair of vintage and simplicity. The mahogany gives the instrument a soft smooth sound that is of medium depth and each string sounds good separately. It’s a good choice for people with short fingers, otherwise, the person has to adapt to the construction and keep the fingers in semiflexed position. The ukulele is greatly adjusted right out of the box, which makes it very convenient to start playing right away. If there are some problems, the user can easily download the Kala app and get the tuner, popular play-along songs, and even some lessons. Moreover, the company website presents the tutorial that can be easily performed via this good ukulele for beginner.
- The set contains solid strings and manual with useful usage tips.
- It weighs only 1.32 pounds and can be easily transported in a bag.
- The unit is small (3.2 x 8.4 x 22.6 inches), so it can be placed anywhere in a room and won’t take much space.
- The bridge isn’t glued as it has to.
- The storing case is rather thin and has a chemical smell.
The Everjoys Soprano is a good starter ukulele for children and adults, as it’s compact (21.3 x 6.9 x 2.5 inches) and produces a rich sound that can be described as playful and informal. In other words, this is exactly sound that most people associate with a ukulele. It’s possible to choose the mode just pushing a power button, but if the strings are not tuned correctly, it’s better to recheck and repeat the process. Pay attention that the sound might be not clean and the reason for it is not securely screwed tuning pegs, which can be easily tightened. I really don’t like the instruction that comes with the instrument as it doesn’t demonstrate or describe how to tune the musical instrument, so it might be difficult to perform this procedure for the first time (it’s better to use YouTube tutorials). Perhaps, the specified instrument isn’t the best soprano ukulele for beginners, but this item is regarded as a good choice for those ones who want to get acquainted with the ukulele and take first steps in studying.
- The pack contains all the beginner needs: the ukulele, case, strap, picks, and tuner.
- It’s not the most lightweight unit, but it is comfortable to keep in hands while paying (1.7 pounds).
- The body frame can have various colors, so it’s easy to choose a decent variant for personal use or as a gift.
- The case doesn’t protect from the water so it’s not really convenient to take it while raining.
- Strings come out of tune and require periodical adjusting.
Video Everjoys Soprano Beginner Pack
The Kmise Tenor ukulele has a walnut fingerboard and the mahogany body frame (is complemented with a satin finish). This good beginner ukulele does not contain plastic elements; varnish coating with which the instrument is processed is non-toxic and environmentally friendly. I definitely like the produced sound because it’s bright and pronounced; due to the fact that the body of the instrument isn’t small as soprano variants (27.4 x 9.4 x 5 inches), the sound is quite loud and rich. The Kmise Tenor has pre-installed carbon strings that are adjusted as they have to, so it’s possible to start playing the Hawaiian guitar right out of the box. Leave open the possibility to call the small Kmise guitar the best beginner tenor ukulele because this unit is a reasonably good choice for those who want to study ukulele playing and get almost a professional sound.
- The increased fingerboard is suitable even for people with large hands.
- Due to its small size, the tool is mobile; it can be transported without difficulties.
- It’s convenient to use it when sitting.
- Some fretboard edges seem to be unfinished as they are not smooth.
- There are some rough spots on the body frame.
Video Kmise Tenor 26 Inch
Some people believe that the Bondi belongs to the best ukulele brands for beginners, as its starter kit presents to the user all the required elements and even quality Aquila strings made of nylon. It is also covered with a special matter, one of the qualities of which is increased wear resistance. The product is characterized by a high degree of tone control: the sound of a guitar can be clearly controlled from soft and velvety to hard by adjusting the attack. There’s a powerful and punchy midpoint, focused and assertive sound without a pronounced high-pitched ringing. Draw your focus toward the fact that this item is a concert type, so it’s probably hard to call the best beginner ukulele, but it depends on the goals and the user’s size preferences.
- The ukulele is acoustic and can easily be played without an amplifier.
- This Bondi ukulele is comfortable to play by both the left and right hands.
- The set includes a special book with the ukulele history, some tips on playing, and basic chords.
- This Hawaiian guitar is rather heavy (3.96 pounds) and might be uncomfortable for some people.
- The case is made of thin cotton and has struck out threads.
Video Bondi Starter Kit
The ukulele body frame resembles the shape of a classic full-size guitar. In combination with the beautiful color of the mahogany, rounded edges, and shiny metal elements, the instrument looks like a luxury thing. The AKLOT unit has a comfortable body and fingerboard. Moreover, the dimensions of the instrument (23 x 8.5 x 2.8 inches) make it possible, unlike the soprano type, to easily take complex chords and conveniently commit the instrument during the performance. Maybe, some people will call it the best ukulele for beginners, but it has an unpleasant smell of a glue (perhaps, some guitar parts were agglutinate with not really quality product). I also don’t like that only some of the frets are smoothed; others are stuck out or slightly jagged. It has a loud sound, a powerful upper middle, and tops.
- The logo is made on wood using laser engraving and looks decent.
- The set includes everything the starter needs, so there’s no need to purchase the essential elements additionally.
- The auto-tuner instruction isn’t clear for those people who have never tuned the instrument.
- It doesn’t have a rich sound scale; therefore it is important to observe the rhythm of a musical work precisely.
Video AKLOT Solid 23 Inch
The VI VICTORY Hawaiian guitar can be probably the best beginner ukulele due to the wooden basic (mahogany) and the various prints availability, which make this simple instrument a good choice for present and mood rising. The structure of the musical instrument is almost similar to the structure of the acoustic guitar on the fifth fret (except for the fourth string, which sounds an octave higher). Respectively, you can freely play the same melodies that you play on the guitar (it’s better to choose only positive songs, as dramatic music won’t sound well on ukulele). I like that the frets on all strings don’t ring after tuning. There’s also a possibility to call the guitar the best starter ukulele because of the strings that are pressed easily (especially the strings of the first-second fret), moreover the distance between them and the fretboard isn’t big.
- There are no options for left-handed players, but it’s possible to change the string’s position.
- I like the included in the kit bag as it’s sturdy and protects the instrument from the rain.
- The unit’s base is made of mahogany and the fingerboard – indonesian rosewood, so there are no worries about the quality.
- It’s hard for E strings to stay tuned, so I have to retune them periodically.
- There are some small but visible scratches on the body frame.
Video VIVICTORY Concert Painted
The ukulele comes with a signature zippered black case, handles, and a convenient pocket in which you can, for example, put a pick. Inside, there’s a cover made of the soft lining. An adjustable strap on the back is firm and used for carrying on the shoulder. The Hawaiian guitar has a pleasant color of natural wood but isn’t lightweight (3.09 pounds). The assembly as a whole is neat, although there is a slight defect on the fingerboard – a crack on the overlay, but it does not particularly affect anything. The Hricane Soprano can also be potentially perceived as the best first ukulele for children and adults, as it provides a pleasant-to-ears soft ukulele sound with soaring mid frequencies. By the way, all the melodies played via this instrument are a little bit quiet and there’s a great desire to connect the sound amplifier.
- The model has a natural satin gloss, thanks to which the natural beauty of the tree is embodied and emphasized.
- The sound of the strings during the performance is the same in volume, it’s smooth and clear.
- There’s no tuner together with the ukulele, so the adjusting has to be provided aurally or after the specified unit purchasing.
- Fret edges are really sharp and need to be filed.
Video Hricane Soprano 21 Inch
Ukulele for Beginners: How to Choose?
If you are wondering what kind of ukulele should I buy for a beginner, then here are the basic moments to pay attention to:
- Decide on financial opportunities.
- Choose the type of instrument (soprano, baritone, tenor, and concert).
- Find the preferred ukulele shape (Guitar/figure-8, pineapple, or boat paddle).
- Come up with the wood type (koa has an amazing sound, expensive models are made from it; mid-range ukuleles are most often produced from mahogany that sounds a little softer than koa; budget models of ukulele are usually made from spruce).
- Highlight color points (it all depends entirely on your taste preferences. Bright colors will be appealed by young musicians and adult beginners will most likely prefer a strict instrument design. Shades of natural wood, which are often used in the design of tools, are always relevant).
- Check the weight of the instrument (it has to be comfortable to hold in your hands).
When purchasing a ukulele for a music newcomer, it is important to make sure that the strings are clamped easily, without effort. Of course, you should like the sound. What is the best ukulele for a beginner? It is the one you fell in love with at first sight. Among the variety of ukuleles presented by leading companies, there is certainly a tool that will satisfy the most demanding and reverent musician.
Get Acquainted with the Most Widespread Ukulele Types
Hawaiian small guitar is represented in several varieties and all the ukulele types for beginners differ in sound and features of appearance. The differences are also in size: a larger size of the scale leads to lower sound.
- Soprano is the smallest guitar, with a length of only 21 inches. This variant is really decent for a beginner guitarist as it’s called a children’s ukulele and is suitable for very young musicians. Due to the small fingerboard, the guitar comfortably lies in the hands. Of course, you won’t be able to play intricate compositions on this instrument (it only has 12 frets).
- Concert ukulele has a slightly larger size comparing to the soprano (23 inches). Due to the instrument having 18 frets, its sound is more complete, louder, and deeper; therefore the нguitar can be used for amateur or professional performances on stage.
- Tenor is a large version of the ukulele, the size of which is 26 inches. It has a sufficiently loud sound, can be used to perform complicated musical compositions. It is this type of ukulele that is ideal for creating instrumental music and sound experiments performing.
Each of these 3 types can be possibly regarded as the best ukulele size for beginners but the person has to choose according to his/her personal preferences.
The Wood Effect on the Ukulele Sound
Various woods on the Hawaiian guitar produce a different sound. The mahogany’s constant density slightly compresses the midrange, and this can be perceived as a full sound; moreover, the low and mid-low frequencies are also reproduced well. It filters more frequencies in the upper middle, which gives a more nasal sound. The linden dampens and softens sharp highs and leads to weak bottoms. Specified wood is great for a typical guitar range and for a solo guitar, due to the expressive melodious sound. The alder adds rigidity and the saturation of overtones. It holds more high frequencies that the linden; it also brings a wider range of tones, which is perceived as a less mid-range sound compared to linden. Walnut is denser and harder than mahogany, so the sound is brighter, but the openness of the pores leads to the complexity of the mid-frequency range. In some areas, it seems to be compressed, in others – dynamic. Koa refers to oily species and slightly dampens the upper frequencies, but its density compensates this. It brings a musical sound and basic tones that is useful for someone who wants to play different music.
Strings for Ukulele Peculiarities
Pay attention that the material of the strings largely determines the sound. Nylon ones can be Ground and Extruded. The least expensive elements are made from the polymer by extrusion – the molten polymer is passed through holes of a certain diameter. The more expensive strings are also created by using extruded technology, but then they are processed to obtain a more sustainable size. Before thorough tuning, it would be nice to first stretch the nylon thread and wait a bit. Fluorocarbon is a transparent polymer that was created for the production of the fishing line, so it’s less affected by the temperature. It distinguishes itself by a brighter and sharper sound than nylon. Titanium is the unique material for ukuleles due to its vibrant sound and enhanced sound projection, resulting in greater volume, clarity, and dynamics.
If after buying new strings, you have to tune your ukulele every day or even 2-3 times a day, maybe the reason is in the following moments.
- The room where your ukulele is stored has temperature ration and it is very bad for a guitar, you need to store it in a case.
- It is possible that the hitch-pins poorly hold the strings. In order to fix this, you need a screwdriver. All you need to do is to tighten the screw, but not too much so that the pegs can turn.
Hi everyone! I’m Thomas Moody, also known as Guitarzan.
All my life, the guitar has always been my real love. I played as a featured guitarist in several bands over the years.
My extensive experience of teaching lessons and blogging taught me to write useful texts. I tried to keep as many notes about musical instruments as possible. So stay tuned—new articles are coming.