How to Choose Your First Ukulele: 5 Tips Every Player Should Know
If you are reading this, chances are you are in the market for a new ukulele! You may be overwhelmed with the many options out there. There are a multitude of sizes, shapes, and styles to choose from. It is important you buy the instrument that best suits you. Here are some tips to get you started:
- Identify the best size for you,
Ukuleles come in four main sizes. Starting from smallest to largest they are: soprano, concert, tenor, and baritone. The soprano, concert, and tenor are all similar in the way they are tuned, but differ in their size. The baritone is appropriate for players transitioning from the guitar, as the four strings mirror the top four strings of a guitar.
When choosing your first ukulele there are two main factors to consider: 1) Size and 2) Sound.
The size of your ukulele is dependent on your hand size. Are you shopping for a child? Best check out the soprano ukuleles. If you are an adult with medium to large hands, the concert or tenor may be best for you.
The size of a ukulele impacts it’s sound. A smaller instrument will make for a brighter, more colorful sound. A larger body creates warmth and fuller tones. It’s all about preference! Uku has already analyzed these differences and included in this blog: https://ukuglobal.com/what-ukulele-size-is-best-for-you/
- Solo or group? Acoustic or electric?
Where will play your instrument? Are you the introverted type looking for an at-home hobby? In that case, you wouldn’t want to worry about amplification or an electric instrument. You can find many acoustic ukulele models out there to fit your needs!
Maybe you see yourself being part of a club or a ukulele orchestra. Consider whether or not you will want your voice amplified in these settings. Uku offers some wonderful models with EQ that can take your public playing to the next level. Our Tempest Concert Uke w/ EQ is highly recommended for any player looking to amplify.
Or, maybe you are looking to fill out your group’s sound with the bass ukulele. The possibilities are endless, and certainly important to think about as you pursue your first instrument.
- Is there a particular style you are interested in?
The soprano ukulele is an incredibly popular choice for beginner players, especially kids. Ukuleles come in all shapes and sizes! At Uku, we also offer the pineapple ukulele. If you are interested in the soprano ukulele, check out this pineapple model. The larger body creates a more resonate sound that you may be drawn to! Learn more here: https://ukuglobal.com/what-is-a-pineapple-ukulele/
Maybe you are interested in the lower notes of the instrument. Although Uku does not have a baritone model, we do have a bass ukulele. Anyone transitioning from bass guitar would find this instrument feeling like home. To learn more about the bass ukulele, check out this blog: https://ukuglobal.com/what-is-a-bass-ukulele/
- Consider what the instrument is made of.
Many affordable ukuleles are made of plastic. A plastic ukulele comes with a fair share of downsides. While one might think they are durable, they actually crack very easily. Additionally, you would be severely sacrificing sound quality, and oftentimes the tuning will not hold.
If you are already committed to purchasing a wood ukulele, that’s wonderful. We would like to offer some guidance on that direction as well. Many affordable ukuleles are made from rosewood. Rosewood is endangered and illegal to use for instrument making. If sustainability is a value you hold close, do some research into the types of wood used in your new instrument. At Uku Global, we use sustainable materials and absolutely no rosewood in the making of our instruments.
- Don’t sacrifice quality for looks.
Ukuleles are known for their magical, warm, colorful sounds. If you choose to purchase an instrument based on looks, chances are you will be sacrificing quality sound. The right wood will make a warm and colorful sound. If you are using false wood or plastic, chances are the sound will be bright, but it won’t carry and it might sound sharp.
Below are a few beautiful instruments created by Uku that are durable, and in our opinion, beautiful.
For example, the Summer Haze Soprano Uke is made of sapele wood.
And, if you are looking for a lighter wood, our Day Hiker Soprano is made from spruce and mahogany.
If you are looking for an instrument with especially high-quality wood, look no further than the Kono Koa Concert Ukulele. Koa wood only grows on the island of Hawaii. It is uniquely beautiful in both color and sound. Learn more about the Kono Koa Concert Uke here: https://ukuglobal.com/what-is-koa-wood/
This short guide had a lot of information about ukuleles to share. If you have any questions about our instruments please do not hesitate to contact us at email@example.com.
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