Best Ukulele for Beginners
What is the best ukulele for beginners - there are so many sizes to choose from!
Choosing the right ukulele can make all the difference to a beginning ukulele player. It can make the difference between their wanting to continue on with their lessons and giving up in frustration. But with so many different styles and models available, sometimes making that first choice can seem a bit overwhelming. Luckily there are a few things that you can keep in mind as you peruse your choices in ukes.
What to Look for in a Beginner’s Ukulele
When you are looking to purchase the best ukulele for beginners, one of the first things to look at is price. While this may seem like a no-brainer, price can indicate LACK of quality in a ukulele.
Due to the costs of tone woods and construction methods, it is rare that you can purchase a good quality ukulele for under $99, and the quality of the instrument is definitely something that will affect a beginner. Beginning ukulele players tend to respond better to ukuleles that have a better tone and an ease of playability. Good tone and playability are directly related to the quality of the instrument’s construction which includes not just the way that it is put together, but the materials that it is made out of.
Of course you are also going to want to take a look at the different sizes of ukuleles that are available when considering the best ukulele for beginners. Depending on what sort of sound you are looking for and how big (or small) your hands are, you may wish to choose a different sized body ukulele. You can get an idea of the difference between the various ukulele body sizes
Another thing to look for is solid top ukuleles. Solid top ukuleles are definitely a better choice of instrument for beginners than are ukuleles with laminate tops. Solid tops give the uke a better tone and resonance; something that makes the instrument sound better and will keep the beginning player playing longer than they might otherwise.
And finally, you will want to pay attention to the kind of wood that is used in creating the ukulele that you choose. While a ukulele can be made from most any kind of wood, more often than not you will find them made out of mahogany, spruce or koa woods, though maple and ovangkul are not unheard of.
While there is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ tonewood, different types of wood can definitely create different tones and cause your ukulele to take on a different ‘flavor.’ For example, a ukulele made out of mahogany tends to have a warmer, richer flavor. Mahogany tends to give a ukulele a bit ‘darker’ of a tone than most people are used to hearing from this particular instrument, though it can sound very nice. Koa wood on the other hand tends to give a uke a lighter, brighter sound and one that is more often associated with authentic ukuleles. Choosing the kind of tonewood that most appeals to you makes it more likely that you will continue playing your instrument.
Also, while you may be able to find a ukulele with a solid top at an affordable price, chances are that you will not find a ukulele that is made with a solid wood body. More often than not, the wood that makes up the back and sides of your instrument will most often be a laminate of the wood advertised.
Below you will find the five ukulele models that we recommend for beginners.
Mahalo U-350 Deluxe Soprano Ukulele w/Case
The Mahalo U-350 Deluxe Sorprano Ukulele
is probably the best ukulele for beginners that you will find; especially if you are looking for a uke that has is the traditional size and sound. Made with a solid mahogany top
and curly koa wood back and sides, this gives you a rich, traditionally woody flavor that sounds exactly as you would expect a ukulele to sound. At just $99 this is not only a bargain, but an investment in your musical future.
Lanikai S-B Baritone Ukulele
This Lanikai Baritone is made with a solid spruce top. Since it is deeper and longer than standard-sized ukes, this model will give you a deep resonance that smaller sized models just don’t seem to have. With a price tag of $219 the cost may be a bit steep, but the tone is worth it.
Silver Creek All Solid Soprano Ukulele
At just $149, the Silver Creek is a bargain if you are looking for the solid tone that only a solid wood ukulele can deliver. Made out of solid mahogany, this instrument is a little rough around the edges but amazing tone.
Lanikai O-6 6-String Solid Spruce Top TenorProbably the best choice of ukulele if you are looking for an instrument that will help you to transition to a guitar, the O-6 not only has a solid spruce top and ovangkol back and sides, it has six strings, which makes it a great transitional instrument to guitar. At $289 this may be a bit pricy, but it is definitely worth the investment.
Cordoba UP110 Concert UkuleleThis concert sized ukulele is a great bargain. At only ~$79 (and with a solid mahogany top) the UP110 is a great choice for beginning musicians on a budget.
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