Be it the soprano, ukulele, guitar, or banjo, they all seem similar in nature. So, why not just pick one and start your music journey without any confusion or worry?
Well, here’s the catch. While these instruments may look the same, they’re all unique and different.
Each has its own charm, playability, and features that set it apart from each other. The kind of music produced is also catered to different genres of music. This may be a lot to wrap your head around, however, you need not stress out too much.
We have put together some of the basic elements that make two of these string instruments different. The soprano and concert ukulele is what we will be focusing on for now. Let’s have a look at what they are and what all they have to offer, shall we?
What is a concert ukulele?
The concert ukulele is a string instrument that is similar to a guitar and soprano. It is commonly found with 4 strings, however, some ukuleles can have 6 to 8 strings as well. These strings are made of nylon polymer, aluminum, or fluorocarbon which makes the concert ukulele easy to play and learn. It is also gentle on the fingers and doesn’t form too many calluses, unlike traditional guitars.
What is a soprano?
The soprano is the smallest of the ukuleles found in the market. It has the tightest spacing between the frets and has the shortest scale. It is smaller in size and comes with 4 strings attached. The soprano can easily be found at any music store and is easier to pick up on than the guitar.
The Differences Between a Soprano vs Concert Ukulele
The structure that both instruments share may make both look confusing and the same to someone who doesn’t have much experience with string instruments. However, there are a few small differences that set the two apart and make them easy to distinguish. Let’s have a look at the most common differences between a soprano and concert ukulele.
1. The Size & Weight
The size and weight of the soprano and concert ukulele are what makes them easier for people to make the right pick. The soprano for instance is smaller in size and weigh less as compared to the concert ukulele. If you are someone who prefers larger instruments or has longer arms, then the concert ukulele should align perfectly with your body and allow you to play the instrument with ease. Also, since the soprano is smaller, it can be easily carried and transported as well. You can fit it into a case and carry it on your shoulder without worrying about having to carry a heavy weight on your shoulder.
2. The Price
Soprano ukuleles can be found at a price much cheaper than concert ukuleles. This is since sopranos are a lot more popular among young musicians who wish to start their music journey and learn how to play a unique instrument.
3. The Sounds Produced
The concert ukulele produces a fuller, warmer, and richer sound. This makes this ukulele ideal for pop music as it can produce louder sounds as well. The soprano on the other hand has a brighter sound that is more fine and bright. Experienced musicians can pick up on this difference right away. However, you can learn how to do this as well. Click here to learn some of the few differences in the sounds produced by each.
4. The Playability Of Both Instruments
Additionally, the soprano is easier to pick up on as well. This is why most music instructors recommend the soprano ukulele to beginners. The concert ukulele is more suited for people who have prior experience. However, if you are someone who likes a bit of challenge, then picking up the concert ukulele may be a lot more exciting and fun for you.
Which One Should You Go For? The Soprano or Concert Ukulele?
The soprano and concert ukulele sit differently with different musicians and audiences. Each brings a whole new perspective and touch of personality to the song being played. This is why opting for either one of these instruments depends entirely on your preference and interests.
If you have an interest in pop songs, or tunes that are high pitched and loud, then the concert ukulele would work best with your needs. A concert ukulele is similar to how a guitar sounds as its tunes are richer and deeper. Here is a video that you can watch to get an idea of how the ukulele sounds. The soprano on the other hand is more bright in nature. Watch how the soprano sounds by watching a video here.
Tips On How To Take Care of Your Ukulele
Be it a soprano ukulele or a concert ukulele, you can follow the tips below to keep your musical instrument looking in top shape.
- Restring your ukulele as needed. You can have this done professionally if you are a beginner.
- Wipe down the surface of your ukulele with a micro fiber cloth after every use. This will help prevent finger print stains and keep the strings clean.
- Store your ukulele in a case that is sturdy and durable. Ukuleles can be fragile and break easily if not stored properly.
- Avoid keeping your ukulele under direct sunlight or exposing it to extreme temperatures.
- If you live in an area that experienced dry weather, then investing in a humidifier can keep your ukulele from cracking and retaining the right moisture levels.
- Avoid using harsh chemicals to wipe down your ukulele. This includes lemon juice, baking soda, vinegar, and even dish soap. You can use mineral oil however and wipe your ukulele with a dry cloth to keep it looking brand new.
Investing in the String Instrument of Your Dreams!
Now that you are aware of what sets the soprano and concert ukulele apart, you can make the right pick. To be 100% sure you can even head on over to your nearest music store and give each instrument a try. For most musicians, how well an instrument sits with its playability makes all the difference. Everyone’s comfort level is different, so don’t be put down if you really want to learn the ukulele but find the soprano easier to hold. Once you master playing the soprano, you can easily switch gears and give the ukulele a try as well!
If you wish to learn more on everything related to musical instruments, different genres of music, and tips on how to produce unique music, then check out the guides and blogs provided on Musician Authority! We are the premium online platform that offers a wide range of resources designed to help you expand your music knowledge and learn all the basics in no time. Head on over to our website to learn more today!
Eduardo Perez is a multi-instrumentalist with over 20 years of experience playing instruments such as piano, guitar, ukulele, and bass. Having arranged songs and produced music in a recording studio, he has a wealth of knowledge to share about analyzing songs, composing, and producing. Currently pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree in Interdisciplinary Musical Studies at Berklee College School of Music. Featured on Entrepreneur.com. Subscribe to his YouTube channel, or follow him on Instagram.