You can’t deny that the little ukulele has a lot of charm, yet often we see it get pushed to the sidelines for the arguably cooler and bigger guitar.
The uke may not be associated with shredding and rocking out because of its happy tone, but it is a great beginner instrument for a lot of people. It’s typically easier to play than a traditional guitar and is a great option for children and people with smaller hands.
It can even be a bit of fun, and kind of a novelty, for an experienced guitar player to see what they can come up with on those 4 strings.
If you’re looking to give these fascinating instruments a try, here are some things to help you pick the best beginner uke for you.
Unfortunately, your price range is always a factor in what instrument you should purchase. We’d all love to empty our bank accounts to get that lovely shiny new toy, but it’s not always realistic.
Fortunately, the ukulele is a very affordable instrument, making it great for beginner music lovers who aren’t ready to commit to a large financial investment straight away.
However, you should be careful not to buy one that is cheaply made. Really cheap ukuleles may have very low build quality, so it’s important to find a well made, reliable uke.
Shake It Up stocks high-quality ukuleles, at a variety of different price points. For example, the Mahalo Island Series Concert Ukulele comes in a wide range of colours and is very affordable.
If you end up falling in love with the instrument, or money is no object, you can always invest in a more expensive ukulele, that is still much cheaper than most guitars. The Kala Spruce/Ebony Concert Ukulele is a gorgeous, great sounding and well-built instrument with exotic woods that will have you feeling luxurious as you strum a tune.
Types of Ukuleles
The Soprano ukulele is the most popular style of uke, and it’s what made the instrument famous, but there are actually 4 different types of ukuleles available. Deciding which type best suits you will definitely help you in deciding the right uke for you.
The soprano, concert and tenor ukes are all tuned the same, and so the skills you learn on them are transferable, meaning you can very easily collect different sizes and still play them just as well. The baritone ukes are tuned a bit differently though, so the skills are less transferable.
A soprano size ukulele is the smallest available uke. It has that tinkly sound, or the twang, that ukuleles are so often associated with, making it great for folk and indie lovers. It’s very portable and great for children or people with smaller hands. It’s still possible to play with larger hands, just a bit more of an adjustment.
Concert ukuleles are 2 inches larger than the soprano, so they still have that charming tone, but with a bit more bass. They are great if you have larger hands and feel uncomfortable with the smaller sized uke, or if you are just looking for a good in-between instrument.
Tenor ukuleles have a fuller tone and even more bass than their smaller counterparts. These ukuleles are louder and have well-defined mids and high frequencies. It’s a great instrument if you already play the guitar and want to have some fun with a ukulele.
Baritone ukuleles are the largest size of uke available. It’s not the best option for a beginner ukulele player because of the different tuning, but if you are an experienced player you might want to add one to your collection. They have a pronounced low end and are even louder than the tenor uke.
Shake It Up has a great range that features all of the different sizes of ukuleles, all with different price ranges and styles. You’re spoiled for options here.
Yes, that’s right, you can get an electric ukulele. These instruments might be famous for their acoustic sound and being used in indie and folk music, but there are electric variants available.
An electric ukulele can be great if you are performing on stage and need a louder sound from your ukulele. While they may be electric, they keep a lot of their natural tone and are a great addition to a live performance.
This gorgeous solid wood ukulele by the 1880 Ukulele Company gets better with age and is perfect for live performances.
Why Choose a Ukulele
Ukuleles are the perfect beginner instrument. The nylon strings are softer and gentler on your fingertips, and they can be easier to learn than the guitar.
There is a strong and supportive community of uke players around the world, so there are lots of tutorials online, and passionate players eager to share their skills.
Ukuleles have a rich and fascinating history, with manufacturers such as the 1880 Ukulele Company making sure to make note of that. They state that their products “commemorates the legacy of Manuel Nunes’ instruments and honours the last Monarch of Hawaii for her part in establishing the ukulele and its music.”
Learning to play the ukulele is a great way to get in touch with this history, and enjoy some music while you’re at it.
At Shake It Up we have a large range of ukuleles for you to choose from, with lots of different colours, body shapes and sizes. If you need help making your decision, or just want to talk about music, the friendly team at the Nambour store are always keen to help you.