Top 10 List: Best Ukulele for Beginners (Updated 2020)

best beginner ukulele

So you’re interested in buying one of the best beginner ukulele to learn on. Perhaps you’ve been thinking what ukulele to buy for beginners.

First of all, congratulations on starting this exciting learning experience! Before making your purchase, you should know that there are four main types available. The standard and most popular one is the soprano due to its distinct sound.

The ukulele is something which is a lot of fun to play and provides enjoyment to everyone who picks it up. Of course, it can sometimes be challenging to try and decide exactly what kind of ukulele you should be playing. There’s a fair number of them out there, and they all have different characteristics which make all of them a viable option in one way or another. To try and help you make sure that you do choose the correct model for your needs, we’re going to be taking a look at three different options which are all quite accessible for people who are just starting out.

The other three types are concert, tenor, and baritone. So I’ve listed out the best beginner ukuleles available for the soprano and further down you will see the best options for the other types. This article will help you find the best options for starters. Ready? Set… Go!

Best Beginner Ukulele List for 2019

1. Kala KA-S Soprano Mahogany Ukulele

Buying your first uke is an important decision. You can’t go wrong with the Kala KA-S because it offers great quality at an affordable price. I would generally recommend that you avoid getting a uke that is lower than $50. So this fits a comfortable price for the value you get. This soprano is hard to resist due to the laid-back vibe that this little four-stringed strummer creates. So whether you’re new to the ukulele or you’re a seasoned player, you’ll appreciate the high quality and amazing bang for your buck you get with this ukulele. These are simply gorgeous instruments that sound and play like much more expensive, one-off, boutique-grade ukes.

Amazon Customer Reviews:

  • “Just got this baby a couple of days ago and haven’t stopped playing since. It stays in tune and has a nice rich tone. I tried comparing it to my friend’s Lanikai, and Kala overexceeds all aspects of the Lanikai. Rich tone, stays in tune, and overall beautiful. All this for a good price!” M. Lee
  • I received mine just two days ago and began playing it yesterday. The instrument, so far, stays in tune pretty well, and has more rich and beautiful tone than I expected! A great buy for the price. – Suzanne Suzy
  • I really enjoyed playing it and made me want to learn and play it for the rest of my life. Good starter uke. – Mark B

 

2. Lanikai LU-21 Soprano Ukulele

There are many discussions on the internet on whether Lanukai LU-21 or Kala KA-S (above) is best for beginners. The truth is that there are mixed reviews as both are really good to start with and you can’t go wrong with either. This model is one of Lanikai’s most popular and affordable ukuleles. It offers a classic, sweet Hawaiian sound, it’s a great choice for beginner players or for guitarrists looking to expand the sounds they produce. The LU-21 uses rosewood for its fretboard and nato wood for top, back and side construction.

Amazon Customer Reviews:

  • “After spending two days using a brandless one from a music store, this little baby came in the mail, much to my delight. With Aquila strings, low action, and beautiful craftsmanship, the quality of this product is apparent before even the first strum.” – Scott K.
  • “I purchased both the Kala KA-15S and the Lanikai LU-21 to teach my kids uke. Both came with AQU-AQ-S strings. The Lanikai LU-21 has a richer tone, and the sound projection is much louder. If you are purchasing an entry level uke, go with the Lanikai LU-21.” – kenwakoo
  • “SO pleased with this instrument! Great price, great sound. I am a beginner, but know many who have bought this and it grows well with them. Would recommend this to anyone who is looking for a good sounding uke without a high price tag.” –
    berryblossoms

3. Kala KA-15S Soprano Ukulele

The Kala KA-15S is another great uke you can start with. What I love about these instruments is that they can be easily carried around due to small size and weight. It’s pretty cool to bring and sing and play ukulele at parties and family reunions. The great sound, playability, and price puts this uke on the top 5 list. The rosewood fretboard and mahogany body make the Kala KA-15S a great ukulele for beginners or four-string strumming professionals.

What makes this particular one a fantastic buy is that it’s easy to learn for beginners. It comes with the best strings available. It doesn’t sound like a toy and it has a very crisp and clear professional sound. In addition, this one plays far better then most Ukulele’s that cost $100-$200. This Ukulele is ideal for those looking to try out a fun new instrument. They are known for easy playing and great sounding instruments.

This particular brand of instrument is one which is well known for being of a high quality and suitable for a lot of different players but is especially suitable for beginners. What you get is an instrument which is comprised of a good quality mahogany, which means that not only is it durable, but it is also lovely to look at. However, people interested in this model will be pleased to know that it is not just a pretty design and poor craft. The frets are well built, and sit correctly on the neck of the model, ensuring that each note provides crisp audio from start to finish. The ‘nut’ on the instrument should be designed in such a way that it does not affect the performance of the ukulele, and this is something which has been crafted to a high level with this model.

Regarding quality, this instrument does deliver exceptional performance. Every note is clear, easy to play and does not suffer from poor performance. It does not matter if you’re playing single notes or more, the ukulele provides the same consistent level of quality throughout. This is an instrument which would be perfect for a beginner and is one of the better choices, often available at a lower price.

Amazon Customer Reviews:

  • “…workmanship is exceptional for such a cheap musical instrument. Since we now have three Kalas and none have flaws, I wholeheartedly recommend this brand.” – Kate J.
  • “I’ve tried dozens of all makes and sizes in stores in California and Hawaii, and I had to get up to the $400 range before I found one that sounded better than the Kala KA-15S. ” – A techno geek
  • “Boy, what a difference in quality! I wasn’t a uke player until I started messing around with this one, and I bought my own KA-15S ukulele to get started because I love the tone and the quality construction of it.” – Robert R.
  • “I have been playing guitar for 40 years and just started picking up the Ukulele. I had tried a few at local guitar stores that were asking $75-150 and I wasn’t impressed with the sound. This simple Kala Mahogany Soprano sounded at least as good or better than the $150 options. Go for it!” – Jonathan M.

4. Makala MK-S Soprano Ukulele

This uke is also rated as one of the top 5 to get for your learning endeavors. However, if you can afford a little more, I would suggest getting #1 or #2. It will benefit you to have a higher quality instrument in the long run. This is of course my humble opinion, but if you’re on a strict budget this uke works great as well. With anyone you get you will need a tuner handy to keep the strings in tune, so keep that in mind so you can practice and invest your time while actually playing in tune.

Amazon Customer Reviews:

  • “After doing a significant amount of research, I finally settled on this uke. This is my first and I have to say, it’s great! The only thing I would recommend is getting better strings right off the bat. The ones that come with are fairly cheap and once I changed mine, I could really tell the difference” – kelsey0106
  • “I am pleased with this ukelele. It shipped quickly. The tuner is a big help for a beginner. The case is nice. At first it did not stay tuned very long, but as I used it more, the strings stretched and now it stays tuned. Overall I am very happy with this ukelele. I think it is great for a beginner and I like that it came with everything needed.” – John

5. Mahalo U-30 Painted Economy Soprano Ukulele

These are cool ukulele’s due to the range of colors you can choose. I would say these are great to get for others as gifts. Especially for children, they would really love this. I will very likely buy the pink one for my daughter for Christmas. Coming to think of it, this makes a perfect Christmas gift. It’s extremely affordable and will satisfy the curiosity of anyone wants to play a stringed instrument or get started in music in general. The colors are very appealing and they are indeed playable. So as long as they are in tune, you can get started playing your favorite easy ukulele songs on these. Priced under $50 this ukulele comes in 9 different colors. They are made out of plastic but have a great tone and they are easy to play. I suggest that you upgrade the strings but this one is easy to through in your backpack and get playing.

Amazon Customer Reviews:

  • “For its cheapness, this uke still sounds great, and it seems solid enough (good for kids who might be careless with it). Also, I was surprised by how well the strings hold tuning:” – Elizabeth W.
  • “I ordered this because I decided I finally wanted one after playing my uncles ukulele for a while. This is a really good for really cheap. As far as the size goes, it’s tiny because it’s a Soprano, it has a brighter sound to it because of this and it’s really neat. ” – Ezekiel C.
  • “For the price ($30 shipped) it can’t be beat. Free shipping via Amazon Prime. I got it for my 3yo daughter for christmas, and she loves it! I taught her the C-chord, and I play the G-chord… so we play the Moldy Peaches “Anyone else but you.” It’s a great little starter musical instrument, and a great beater uke that I don’t mind getting a bit banged up.” – A Conrad.

6. Lohanu (LU-S)

The next model on our list is the Lohanu ukulele. This is a model which is sometimes slightly more significant than others, but it is also exceptionally good quality and is perfect for someone who is just starting to learn the instrument. Not only does this model look exceptional, but it also performs very well too. It is comprised of mahogany in places, which is typical for a lot of ukulele models but is also gifted with rosewood on the fingerboards. Regarding the strings, you’ve got the best possible ukulele strings outfitted onto the instrument, so you can be sure that it is going to work well. It’s quite a durable model as well, being capable of going wherever you go and not being damaged or dented along the way.

Regarding performance, this is something which performs exceptionally well from start to finish. It’s easy to tune, and one particular advantage is that it does not need to be tuned continuously, with the ukulele strings retaining their position and rigidity even when used on a constant basis. The sounds which you get from each note and chord are all crisp and free from problems, so it sounds as good as it looks. The best performance is one which you get from using your fingers to pluck each string, but the good news is that the strings aren’t massively abrasive on the fingers, but are still sturdy enough to last. This is another example of a good ukulele and one which would be just perfect for a beginner.

7. Cordoba 15SM Soprano Ukulele

The last model we’re going to look at is by no means the least on the list, and that is this model by Cordoba. As a soprano, it’s a little on the big side, but this is complemented by exceptional quality and sufficient space to work every string. It’s made of mahogany like the other two models and is made to be durable and sturdy, making it quite a forgiving instrument if you’re rough with the strings on the first few attempts.

It’s a model which is better for beginners, as the strings are not as abrasive and damaging to the fingers, so those who need to practice a lot will find that it’s not so bad after a while. The ukulele performs well and offers a good standard of sound with each note or chord that you play. The strings are designed to be light and easy to play, which is something that makes this all the more desirable as you can get the same quality of sound no matter how hard you pluck at the strings. The full and rich sound that you get from this model is something which will entice almost everyone and makes this one of the better choices for a beginning model.

Overall, these are just a few ukulele models who are comfortable to play and designed to be suitable for beginners. When it comes to learning a new instrument, the kind of model you get is a critical part of the process. People who are trying to get to grips with an instrument need something which is easy to play, easy to tune and a little bit more forgiving with mistakes. Not every model is designed to cater to beginners, and this means that people who are trying to learn can quickly become discouraged and put off when their musical education doesn’t entirely go according to plan. A ukulele which is geared up to suit beginners is, therefore, something which is important, but you also want to make sure that you’re getting a reasonable level of quality. You might not have that one model forever, and you may find yourself upgrading to a more advanced instrument, but getting the basics done is something which requires a good quality ukulele. Later one when you gain more experience you may want to look at handcrafted ukes.

I hope this article helped you pick out the best ukulele for beginners that you can find in the market. If you want to learn ukulele, definitely look for the best you can afford that will give you the best learning experience.

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