5 Best Ukuleles I Recommend


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A ukulele is a great choice of instrument if you’re looking for something different and something simple.

With only four strings, ukuleles are among some of the easiest stringed instruments to pick up and learn, with a unique sound that can be used to make a variety of wonderful music.

Ukuleles sound great on their own, but can also be a great addition to a band or song when you need something extra and exotic.

When you go into a music store, you’re likely to find a whole range of 6-string and bass guitars. These are the more popular stringed instruments on the market.

But you’re much less likely to find a variety of ukuleles. Although in recent years ukuleles have sky-rocketed in popularity, you might find it difficult to work out where the best place to start with the instrument is.

So let’s say you’re looking for a ukulele, but with so many options out there, how can you know where to start? What is the difference between a 20 and 22-inch ukulele?

Should I get acoustic or electric, concert or beginners? If you find yourself at the edge of the vibrant world of ukuleles, struggling to find a way in – then don’t worry! This guide has been written for you.

Below is a list of the 5 best ukuleles we could find. We’ve ranked them in different categories including the best for beginners, simplest, best for concerts, and best for kids!

We’ve also added a handy buyers’ guide that will take you through each stage of the selection process – from the best size for a ukulele, through materials, to the nuances between electric and acoustic.

At the end of this article is a short FAQ section that will walk you through some of the more common questions you might have.

Best For Beginners

ADM Soprano Ukulele

ADM Soprano Ukulele for Beginners 21 Inch Hawaiian Wood Ukelele Kit Free Online Lesson for Kids Adults Students Starter Professional Ukalelee Pack Bundle with Strap and Gig Bag etc, Brown

First on our list is a simple ukulele set that is tailored for beginners. This ukulele would be perfect a perfect gift for someone just starting out because of its simplicity and additional items.

The ukulele itself is made of high quality, solid basswood and is 21 inches – making it a soprano ukulele. Soprano just means that it is a small ukulele with a high ‘plinky’ kind of tone.

We have a full explanation of all ukulele sizes in the buyers’ guide at the bottom of this article. It has polished nylon strings that aren’t too painful on the fingers, as well as 15 gear tuning machines that allow for easy and fast tuning.

We found the sound of this ukulele to be impressive considering its simplicity.

It’s important to note that this ukulele comes with a large variety of additional items, including a digital tuner (which is essential if you’ve never played ukulele before), a bag to keep everything in, spare strings, picks, microfiber polishing cloth to take care of your uke, fingerboard stickers and a strap.

These items come together to give you everything you could possibly need on the first steps of your ukulele adventure.

We recommend this product highly if you want a complete package that will get you or a person you’re looking to gift started!

Pros:

  • Soprano Ukulele – bright, high sound!
  • Sturdy despite simplicity – simplistic basswood ukulele.
  • Additional Items – ukulele set allows for an all-in-one package with everything you would need to get started.

Cons:

  • Beginner –  very much for beginners, fast learners might outgrow this ukulele quickly and want something more complex.
ADM Soprano Ukulele for Beginners 21 Inch Hawaiian Wood Ukelele Kit Free Online Lesson for Kids Adults Students Starter Professional Ukalelee Pack Bundle with Strap and Gig Bag etc, Brown
  • ♫【SUPERIOR-QUALITY CRAFTSMANSHIP】ADM Soprano 21" ukulele are made of high-quality solid basswood which offers a bright and distinctive tone whether you solo, play along or singing with friends. Highly polished smooth nylon strings with elevated resistance to wear under tension and the eco-friendly design make it your favorite musical instrument
  • ♫【COMPREHENSIVE ALL-IN-ONE SET WITH FREE LESSONS】Our ukulele beginners set includes a 21" soprano ukelele, a handy digital tuner, a ukalalee gig bag, two spare picks, a spare string, a microfiber polishing cloth,a strap, a convenient storage bag,a fingerboard sticker, a chord card and you will also enjoy extra one-month lesson by contactng us when the item arrive
  • ♫【HAPPY PLAYING & EASY TO TUNE】12 Nickel Silver Frets with correct frets positing marked on 5th, 7th, 10th of blackwood fingerboard. The string height at 12th fret is 3-3.5mm, best for kid or beginner. The right string height makes it easier to play and reduce your fingure pressure. Most string instruments initially need time to adjust to the climate and such. Continue tuning it every time if it goes out of tune, and eventually it will adjust
  • ♫【GREAT GIFT FOR BEGINNERS】Save your hand and earned money on costly lessons, our ADM soprano ukulele together with the beginners pack is the best choice for adults or kids who are just getting started with Ukulele. Great for birthdays, Christmas, Children’s Day, housewarming, graduation gifts and much more. Now you can teach yourself the ukulele, thanks to our all-inclusive beginner's kit
  • ♫【EVERYONE CAN PLAY】Suitable for music lovers of all ages.Whether you are a child, a student, an adlut or an elderly, novices or professionals, this beginner ukulele set is suitable for everyone who starts to play a musical instrument. Our soprano ukulele together with the beginners pack is your best choice and worth giving it a shot to see if it interests you

Simplest

Harley Benton Ukulele

We’ve selected the Harley Benton Ukulele for similar reasons to the one above, except this is as simplistic as it comes.

If you’re looking to make a quick purchase, without worrying about quality, then this is going to be the ukulele for you.

The Harley Benton Ukulele has a bright, calm tone, with a basswood body and retro-style machine heads. We found it to be very sturdy considering its simplistic design and it has a great feel to play.

Like the ADM Ukulele above, it is a soprano ukulele that is great for beginners because of its bright sound. We also found that this ukulele holds its tune much better than expected.

It also comes with a carry bag, which although is not the most sturdy or impressively made item, makes a nice little addition which we weren’t expecting.

Pros:

  • Simplistic – as simple as you’ll find.
  • Sturdy – sturdy considering its simplicity
  • Carry bag – to move your ukulele around, great to protect it from rain.

Cons:

  • Size – Soprano is great in terms of sound but can be unsuitable for larger fingers-types/awkward to play if you have big hands.

Concert Ukuleles

Paisen 23-Inch Concert Rosewood Ukulele

Paisen Concert Ukulele Rosewood 23 inch Hawaii Ukulele with Gig Bag Aquila Nylon Strings Tuner Picks Full set of Ukele Accessories Professional Ukalalee Yukalalee

Next up is the first ukulele in our ‘concert’ section. This 23-inch Ukulele has been made by Paisen, who have created a strong concert ukulele with additional accessories. A concert ukulele just refers to its size.

23-inch ukuleles have slightly wider necks and are a little heavier. This makes their tone sound deeper with a stronger middle range of notes.

This ukulele has been made with a traditional Hawaiian manufacturing process. It has a curved back, it’s made of rosewood panel and it has soft nylon strings. We found it to be sturdy and good-looking.

It also comes with a variety of accessories including an electric tuner, picks, a strap, replacement strings, and a capo tailored to ukuleles.

We found the inclusion of this capo especially good – if you’re new to learning songs on a stringed instrument you will likely find that capos are required for a lot of music, so having one included in this set was a great addition.

An important note here – there is also a 26-inch version with the same accessories included, so if you’re looking for something bigger, Paisen has options for that.

Pros:

  • Quality – this is a very good quality ukulele that feels great to hold and play.
  • Concert – concert size which is good for darker tones.
  • Capo – capo included which is a nice touch.

Cons:

  • Complexity – not as beginner-friendly as other ukuleles.
Paisen Concert Ukulele Rosewood 23 inch Hawaii Ukulele with Gig Bag Aquila Nylon Strings Tuner Picks Full set of Ukele Accessories Professional Ukalalee Yukalalee
  • 1. This is an upgraded ukulele version :No engraving "Ukulele" on the surface of ukulele, Rosewood panel , with 199 Hawaiian traditional manufacturing process, with excellent sound, treble bright, midrange clean, deep. Curved back, make ukulele sounds louder and clearer. Three-dimensional three-dimensional sense of stronger.
  • 2.Material:The ukelele body,neck,fingerboard and bridge are made of rosewood.High quality production process bring you more delicate and brighter sound.
  • 3.Easy to learn this concert ukulele, anyone can do it !
  • 4.Size:It is C-type 23-inch concert ukulele, not only has S-shaped 21-inch sound brittle and easy to carry the advantages, but also has a T-shaped 26-inch tenor ukuleles excellent sound. Not only suitable for singing and playing, Finger style effect is also very good.Two strap buttons installed.
  • 5.What you get :A rosewood concert ukulele send with a thick ukulele Bag, Strap, Spare Strings ,Tuner, Picks,Capo and Tutorial. And we promise lifetime warranty for ukulele and all accessories!!!

Vangoa Electric Acoustic Concert Ukulele

Vangoa Acoustic Electric Ukulele Concert Mahogany 23 Inch Electro Ukulele Bundle Guitar Luthier Tools Set

Electric ukuleles work the same way as acoustic guitars, it’s just that they have the ability to be connected to an amplifier for extra volume settings.

An electric ukulele also gives you a whole host of options when it comes to connecting your instrument to pedals, which will give you a variety of options in terms of modifying the sound of your uke, looping sounds, and replaying them, and ease of recording.

If you’re looking for an electric ukulele, then this concert ukulele by Vangoa is a great pick for you! It’s made out of gorgeous mahogany that we think looks great, with nylon strings and chrome tuning pegs.

We found that the mahogany body gives a great concert sound, especially with its arched-back design. It also has a simple electric panel on the side to modify treble, bass, and volume.

It’s worth noting that this ukulele can also work acoustically, so you don’t have to choose between the two.

Vangoa has also included a lot of extra accessories, including a tuner, picks, replacement strings, a strap, an instruction manual, and a carrying bag.

We found the carrying bag, in particular, to be of better quality than some of the other products on this list.

Pros:

  • Electric or Acoustic – choose between the two!
  • Material – Mahogany and arched back.
  • Carry bag – great, sturdy carry bag!

Cons:

  • Strings – fairly soft for an electric ukulele.
  • AMP – the amp is sold separately which is vital for an electric instrument.
Vangoa Acoustic Electric Ukulele Concert Mahogany 23 Inch Electro Ukulele Bundle Guitar Luthier Tools Set
  • [Quality Material] String Action Ruler is made of high-quality stainless steel with precise engraving and complete and clear scales. You can accurately measure and set your guitar.
  • [Multifunctional] It can be used to measure the string distance, bridge saddle height and depth, fret groove depth. The edge of the measuring ruler is carefully polished and polished, so you can use it at any time without worrying about scratching your fingers.
  • [Widly Used] It is suitable for string instruments, such as guitar, bass, banjo, ukulele, mandolin, etc. It is light and portable, you can put it in your pocket and carry it with you.
  • [Good Material] Exquisite mahogany body makes the concert ukulele sound full and warm. Special arched back design has a good resonance effect. Smooth mahogany neck and walnut fingerboard improved comfort when you play. Chrome-plated fully closed knob, quality nylon strings keep your ukulele in tune.
  • [Easy to Play] 23 inch ukulele, medium size, suitable for almost all ages. The 23 inch uke has a full-bodied sound and resonance. It is suitable for solo and fingering, suitable for children, young people, adults beginners and professionals. For the festival, it is a best gift for family, children and friends.

Best For Kids

Mahalo Rainbow Series

Mahalo Ukuleles Rainbow Series, 4-String Ukulele, Right, Brown, Soprano (MR1TBRK)

A ukulele can be a great gift for a child. Full-sized guitars are often too big and complex for them to use. Ukuleles are lightweight with soft strings and can be played with much simpler chords.

It’s the difference between 4 strings and 6! If you’re looking for a comprehensive gift set for a child, then we recommend the Rainbow Series by Mahalo Ukuleles.

This ‘starter pack’ has been created with all of the essentials somebody new to a ukulele would need.

It comes with an electric tuner that clips on, replacement strings, picks, sticker sheet, carry bag, and downloadable video lesson. We found the inclusion of a lesson great as something that could help a child get started without paying for lessons.

Pros:

  • Simplistic – Great for kids!
  • Downloadable Lesson – for extra beginner support!
  • Color options – a variety of different color options available!

Cons:

  • Quality – Not the most well-made Ukulele or case.
Sale
Mahalo Ukuleles Rainbow Series, 4-String Ukulele, Right, Brown, Soprano (MR1TBRK)
  • Mahalo rainbow Series ukuleles are back, and brighter than ever with the learn 2 play essentials pack
  • Learn 2 play essentials kit includes clip-on Tuner, extra set of Aquila Super Nylgut strings, ukulele picks, beginners guide, Mahalo sticker sheet, and a downloadable video Lesson with ukulele Bartt
  • Mahalo rainbow ukuleles come Strung with Aquila Super Nylgut strings and Graphtec NuBone nut and saddle
  • Available in 10 vibrant finishes, express yourself in both sound and color
  • Make sure to download your free Lesson with ukulele Bart covering tuning, strumming patterns, chords and more

Buyers’ Guide

We know that trying to figure out what the best ukulele for you is can be difficult. With so many different options, terms and opinions, it can feel overwhelming.

That’s why we’ve created this short buyers’ guide to explain each part of the process.

First, we have laid out a short explanation of each type of ukulele, to help you understand the differences between Sopranos, Concerts, Tenors, and Baritones.

Size of Ukulele

The size of a ukulele affects a lot more than just how easy it is to carry and hold.

Ukuleles have a rich history, and through time there have been many different versions of the instrument which are used for different things.

More than anything, the size of your ukulele is going to determine the sound your instrument makes, and this is a very important factor to consider when making a purchase.

Below are the most common words you’ll see that describe different sizes of ukuleles. We’ve defined each of them for you.

Soprano Ukuleles

A soprano ukulele is usually around 21 inches. This is the smallest ukulele size you’re likely to find.

It is the most authentic to traditional ukulele sizes and has the sound profile that is most like what people know ukuleles to sound like. A soprano ukulele is one of the most common sizes you’ll find.

It is easy to hold and play and often comes with soft strings. That said, the main downside to a soprano ukulele is that they don’t cater to large finger sizes.

Concert Ukuleles

A concert ukulele is typically around 23 inches. This slightly bigger size allows for a louder, slightly deeper sound due to the extra space within the ukulele.

Concert ukuleles also have a larger neck which allows for easier handling with those who can’t handle the more delicate and small soprano.

As its name suggests, it’s also a lot better for acoustic performances because of its volume capabilities. Performing with an acoustic soprano is going to be a lot quieter than a concert uke!

Tenor Ukuleles

Tenor ukuleles are around 26 inches and the point where you see and hear a difference. Concert and soprano ukuleles could easily be mistaken for one another, but a tenor ukulele has a much deeper sound.

Tenor ukuleles are generally chosen by musicians who want to have more precision and control over their instrument, as the wider neck and deeper frets give you more options to perform complex songs.

The tenor ukulele is best if you’re looking for something more advanced. It is generally picked up by experts or those who are looking for an instrument they will not outgrow any time soon.

Baritone Ukuleles

Baritone Ukuleles are 30 inches and one of the biggest sizes you’ll find. One thing to mention right now is that baritone ukuleles are a much more comfortable size than smaller ukuleles.

One of the difficulties new players have – as well as more expert musicians who are used to larger stringed instruments – is that ukuleles are very small instruments and are difficult to navigate.

A baritone ukulele is a much more natural size than its smaller counterparts. It’s still not large enough to rest across your lap when you’re playing, but its neck has a lot more room to maneuver.

The main thing you lose if you opt with a baritone ukulele is the unique sound of a soprano. It sounds a lot deeper and a lot further away than what comes to mind when you think of a traditional ukulele.

This is a more specialized instrument, so if you’re a first-time player looking to pick one up – we’d recommend going for the soprano or concert instead!

Acoustic VS Electric

The difference between acoustic and electric ukuleles is the same dilemma you’ll find with virtually all stringed instruments. Truth is, the two just sound very different and are used for different things.

An acoustic ukulele is a lightweight instrument – as simplistic as they come, and as soon as you add electric components it is likely to lose some of its charm.

But on the other hand, an electric ukulele gives you options that an acoustic never could. You’ll be able to connect it up to amplifiers which are essential in performance, or you can modify the sound and easily record without needing microphones.

Like the electric ukulele on our list – you can find those that work as both electric and acoustic, but these aren’t necessarily the best of either world and if you’re looking for something specific, they might not be the product for you.

We recommend deciding what you want before you go looking. If you’re a beginner to the instrument and are not sure if the ukulele is something you’ll play for a long period, it’s best to go for a simplistic acoustic soprano or concert version.

Wood For Ukulele Body

The wood that is used to make your ukulele is important because it can change how your ukulele sounds, as well as how it feels in your hands.

The most common woods you’re likely to come across are basswood, rosewood, cedar, and mahogany.

Generally, any of these materials are a great choice, though we found that the general consensus around experienced ukulele players is that mahogany has the best sound and feel.

We would also suggest staying away from plastic ukuleles, these are likely to lack the craftsmanship needed for a good, consistent sound.

Final Thoughts

We hope that this guide has helped you understand some of the options you have when it comes to buying your perfect ukulele.

There is a huge range of different ukuleles at different prices that you can find on the market, but the most important things to consider are their size, the materials used, and the accessories that come with them.

Ukuleles are a great, simple yet versatile instrument that makes a great hobby for any musician of any skill level!

We hope you find the right one for you – happy playing!

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is Easier, Guitar Or Ukulele?

With two fewer strings, ukuleles are the easiest instrument to pick up and start making music.

Their chords are much more simplistic than a guitar and often have much softer strings which make them a lot easier on the fingers. That said, guitars have much larger frets so if you have larger hands/fingers it might be a better start for you.

What Is The Difference Between A Ukulele And A Banjo?

A ukulele and a banjo differ in their shape and sound. Though both instruments have four strings, you would find it very easy to recognize the difference in them if you heard them play one after the other.

This difference in sound comes from the shape of their bodies.