Since there are lots of ukulele types and brands to choose from the market, finding the best can be a daunting task. The ukulele is an interesting instrument to play and when you select the best, the feeling is simply overwhelming. Most people get tangled in the different types of ukuleles when searching for the best. Actually, some end up buying a bad instrument and then come back later to look for a better one. Don’t wait to make such a grave mistake as this review has all the information you need to know more about the best ukulele. Take your time and understand the ukulele if you’re a beginner and you will end up making the right choice.
Sometimes back, I made the same mistake people make by going for the lowly priced ukulele instead of taking time and identifying the best ones. This was one nasty experience that I would love to forget. But luckily for you, you can avoid such a scenario by selecting the top rated ukulele after reading this review. So, before you set out on your path of finding the best ukulele instrument read our detailed guide and review to be well informed.
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Types of ukuleles
As you set out on this tricky journey in selecting the best ukulele, you’ve to know the available types so that you pick the right one. Some are very advanced and won’t ideal for beginners while there are those that are easy and can be played by a beginner as well as a pro. These are subdivided into four as we will discuss them further below.
The moment you talk about ukulele, the soprano is the first to come in minds of many people. This is the smallest among all kinds of ukulele and has a typical ukulele sound. Most of the manufacturers refer to this as the standard size of ukulele. It measures 21 inches and has around 10 to 12 frets. This is ideal for kids or people with small hands. But it’s not good for beginners.
This size is bigger than the soprano and more comfort on adult hands. Also, it has a larger body and the neck is longer with greater space in-between the frets. When you play, it has a typical ukulele sound just like the soprano but a bit louder. It measures 23 inches and has around 15 to 18 frets. These are very suitable for beginners in playing ukulele.
This one has a bit deeper sound than the typical ukulele and sounds more like a classical guitar. They are more bass heavy when compared to the soprano and concert ukuleles. It measures 26 inches and has around 17 to 19 frets. This is more suitable for professionals.
Finally, the baritone ukulele is the biggest of al the 4 types or sizes of ukulele. It actually has the deepest tone and sounds more like classical nylon stringed guitar. In addition, it uses different tunings unlike the three ukuleles we’ve seen above. These measure 29 inches and has around 18 to 21 frets. This is a rare type and not ideal for beginners too.
Ukulele buying guide
Whether you’re a beginner or pro, there are some few things worth noting before embarking on finding out the high quality ukulele for your fun playing or profession. The tips that we are about to talk about below will assist you in your quest of detecting the best ukulele. Read further to know more.
Materials – the type of material used to build a ukulele is very important. This is because it will determine the durability and quality of sound the ukulele will produce. Therefore, choose a high quality ukulele made from a quality wood. Most of the ukuleles are created from solid or laminate wood. The most famous ukulele tone woods are such as mahogany, koa, rosewood, cedar, maple and spruce. Koa is regarded as the best due to its warm sound and lovely grain, though it is very expensive. Another popular wood is mahogany which is produces a softer sound but is less pricey than koa.
Type of string – the kind of strings you use on your ukulele is as well important. Some strings are more durable than others and they produce different sounds. Most of the ukulele strings are created from nylon polymer. One of the best strings to use on your ukulele is the Aquila nylon string. This string is highly secure from humidity, has a wonderful touch and produces quality sound.
Size – depending on whether you’re a pro, or beginner, choose a ukulele instrument that is fit for you so that you avoid getting an instrument that will give you hard times playing it. First, it should be comfortable in your hands such as concert for beginners and tenor for pros. Avoid sizes like baritone that may cause trouble handling in your arms.
Shapes – ukuleles come in different shapes and it’s good to know which one is best for you. Don’t just pick any shape as they affect the tone. Some of the usual shapes are figure 8 which is popular used and others are; pineapple, cutaway and vita, to just name but a few. Choose a shape that compliments the tone you want unless if the guitar is just for fun.
Tunes – if you want to get the best tunes and correct ones, consider buying from known brands. If you are a beginner and want the best and simplest way of learning; pick from the notable ukuleles instead of choosing an instrument that will be hard to learn.
Colors and finish – when buying a ukulele, consider looking at the type of color. Pick a color that you’re comfortable having and ensure it’s a quality one. As well, the finish should be of great quality as a low one might fade overtime. Some of the best finishes of ukuleles include satin and matte finish. Choose from one of these for a long lasting ukulele.
Uses of ukulele – if you are a beginner, pro or just want a ukulele for fun, know which one is the best for you. This is because there are different types and designs for almost everyone. As well professional ukuleles are electric/acoustic so that they can be used for recording or during concerts as well.
Brand – the brand that you pick your ukulele from is a big deal. The best brands are known to create quality ukulele that are long lasting and have the best tones. If you’re a beginner or professional, it’s good to buy from the best brands so that it can serve you for a long period of time. Some of the best ukulele brands are: Mahalo, Kala, Luna, Lanikai, Epiphone and Cordoba. Pick from one of these if you want the best quality.
Price – also, ukulele vary in prices with some being highly priced and others are lowly priced. The quality of wood and strings used to create ukulele brands differ from one brand to another. Choose a ukulele that is sturdily made with either koa or mahogany wood. Also, ensure that the strings are of a high quality. Spend slightly more to get the high quality ukulele instead of buying a low quality brand that won’t last a fortnight.
Other things to consider when searching for the best ukulele:
Which is the best, buying a new or used ukulele? – If you are not ready to buy a new ukulele or just want to have it for fun, buying a used instrument can be an option for you. But if you want the best and most efficient ukulele, consider looking for one that you like and buy a brand new one.
Speak to friends – for those who are undecided about which one to purchase, talk to your friends for help in choosing the quality ukulele. Maybe your friends have tried out different types and have a rough idea on what’s the best ukulele.
Check customer reviews – another way of determining whether the model you want to purchase is of a high quality is by checking out the customer reviews. Clients’ experiences don’t lie as they state what they encountered when using a particular type of ukulele brand. Know what to expect when you buy a ukulele when you go through customer reviews.
How to take care of your Ukulele for great performance and longevity
- Cleaning – it is very important to maintain your ukulele every time you use it for better performance. Sometimes you can play the ukulele so much that your hands sweat. To avoid dust and other particles being trapped in the wood, clean your instrument regularly.
- Guitar strings – in most cases, ukulele guitar strings need to be changed after every 3 to 5 months for greate performance. As well, if you’ve a broken string, you should change it right away.
- Guitar stand – a guitar stand is a perfect accessory for your ukulele. Not only is it a safety measure from being stepped on contacting dirt on the floor, but as well helps you from having to tune the instrument every time.
- Cover and case – this is one of the best ways to keep your ukulele for longevity.
It secures your instrument from contacting dust and also makes it easy and safe to travel with.
Best five Ukulele reviews
After carrying out cumbersome research on different types of ukuleles, we managed to come up with the best five ukuleles you will find on the market today. These instruments are made from the finest materials and will give you the best typical ukulele sounds. You can choose from this list or as well use our info above to choose one that you feels fits you best.
Cordoba 15CM Concert Ukulele (Our Top Pick)
Cordoba 15 cm concert ukulele is one of the excellent ukulele instruments. It is durable as its made from mahogany and produces a very soft and classic sound. This instrument has a satin finish that gives it a good touch and look. The strings are of high quality and will produce a great sound. Obtain this instrument today and play classical ukulele tones.
- Mahogany top, back and sides
- Satin finish
- Concert size
- Aquila Nlygut 7U strings
- Abalone style rosette
- It is very simple to play
- Produces a rich and very deep sound
- It is small and lightweight, which makes it to be very portable
KALA KA-15S Soprano Ukulele
This is considered by many as the best ukulele at a good price. It has wonderful features that make playing ukulele to be fun and interesting. It is made of a mahogany body that is not only durable, but as well produces amazing sound. The strings are of great quality and it has a satin finish to give an elegant look. Other features are 12 brass fret and rosewood fingerboards. Get this ukulele today if you a beginner and you will learn quickly and fast.
- Mahogany body and neck
- Satin finish and geared tuners
- Rosewood fingerboards and bridge
- Premium Aquila Nylgut strings
- 12 brass frets
- It’s a high quality instrument
- Its durable as its made from mahogany
- Produces excellent and classical sounds
- Its favorably priced but performs excellently
Lanikai LU-21 Soprano Ukulele
The Lanikai LU-21 soprano ukulele is a great instrument to purchase for your kids or people with small hands. This instrument is durably made and has features that make using it to be fun. It is lightweight and very easy to carry or hold in your arms as you play it. On purchase, you get a limited lifetime warranty from the manufacturer. Purchase this instrument today for a new and wonderful experience.
- Soprano size
- Rosewood bridge and fingerboard
- 12 frets
- Aquila nylgut strings
- Gear tuners
- Limited lifetime warranty
- It is small and lightweight for easy carry and use
- It is sturdily made to last long and produce quality sound
- Its greatly priced
- Comes with a limited lifetime warranty
Epiphone Les Paul Acoustic/Electric Ukulele Outfit, vintage burst
This is one of the highest rated brands when it comes to quality. The Epiphone Les Paul acoustic ukulele is an amazing instruments with features that making playing this ukulele to be very interesting. It is one of the highest rated by its previous users has an elegant Les Paul shape. Made from solid mahogany, expect this ukulele to not only produce quality sound but as well last for long. In addition, it comes with gig bag for keeping the instrument when not in use. If you’ve been looking for a high quality ukulele that will give you classical sounds and ideal for beginners as well as pros, get this ukulele for a lifetime experience.
- Solid mahogany ukulele
- Les Paul shape
- Built-in piezo film
- Geared machine heads
- AAA grade flame maple top
- Gig bag
- It produces great sounds
- It is durably made
Luna Malu Mahogany Series Maluhia Concert Ukulele
Luna is one of the notable brands when it comes to the best ukulele instruments. It is made of mahogany at the back, top and sides. It has a gig bag for carrying it and comes with rosewood fret board. With its excellent satin finish, this instrument looks elegant all the time and it’s decorated with the laser cut peace sign. Acquire this today and start your journey of playing ukulele by producing a wonderful and classical tone.
- Mahogany top, back and sides
- Rosewood fret board
- Open style tuners
- Gig bag
- Satin finish
- Laser cut peace sign
- It is lightweight and very easy to play
- Produces excellent ukulele sounds
- Has an excellent and elegant satin finish
- Durably made for longevity with the mahogany material
Finding the best ukulele is no easy task. This is because there are various types, sizes and brands to select from that makes it hard for many to single out easily. You’ve to know which instrument is ideal for you so that you can choose the best. Look at the quality of the material as it will determine its longevity and sound quality. In addition, its better if you sacrifice a little bit to get the best instead of an inferior instrument. Hopefully, our guide and review has given you a great head-start in the way you will pick your next greatest ukulele instrument.