Every now then people come across musicians who are exceptional when it comes to playing their instruments. This often inspires individuals to either take up music as a hobby or as a professional career. Exceptional artists and bands from the golden age of music such as Queen, Led Zeppelin, Nirvana, and many more have inspired a whole generation of people to enjoy and take up music. Whenever you are out to buy a ukulele, it must be very confusing as to which brand or model to prefer. We are going to make it easier for you with our guide on the best ukulele brands.
Moreover, everyone into music has at least once thought about being as successful in this field as the above artists and bands were. Now, be it a hobby or a gateway into the music industry, mastering the ukulele is the all-new trend.
Being able to master the fine arts of playing the ukulele requires extremely hard work. But the most important thing is to first get the best ukulele for beginners from the best brands.
What are the best ukulele brands?
Now, that you have an understanding as to how to choose the best cheap ukulele for yourself that suits your needs perfectly, let’s get to know about the various best ukulele brands around the form which you can buy from.
Kala is a ukulele brand that is quite well-renowned for its quality and value for money ukuleles. They have a wide collection of ukuleles ranging from the best soprano ukulele, the Waterman to the durable and heirloom-style Koa Elite models. They have always kept the player in mind while making their ukuleles. Thus, they offer a variety of differently styled ukuleles for different tastes and preferences.
The majority of HOLA made ukuleles come fitted with silver geared tuners and nylon strings. They have 12 nickel frets of silver with their positions on the 5th, 7th, and 10th fret. Their best ukulele for beginners is crafted to enable the player to create warm harmonies that are pitch-perfect. Owing to this factor, they are easily considered one of the best ukulele brands for beginners around.
LOHANU concert ukuleles
This type of ukulele from LOHANU has a very high rate of customer satisfaction and offers a lifetime warranty on them. Ukuleles are constructed intricately from a Mahogany shell, Aquila strings, and Rosewood fingerboard. Hence, making these types of ukuleles one of the best in the world regarding quality and construction. They are considered as the best makers of best concert ukuleles for beginners.
Cordoba 15TM Tenor Ukulele
Cordoba 15TM Tenor Ukulele is easily considered one of the best tenor ukuleles around in the world. Its sides, back, and top are all made out of Mahogany, giving it a natural and polished look. More importantly, it has a Satin finish, making its playability quite easy and smooth. Given its size, it is one of the best tenor ukuleles for beginners to start with.
Diamond Head DU-106 Rainbow Soprano
Considered one of the best ukulele brands, the Diamond Head’s Soprano comes in varying colours to choose from. It has a good built and is constructed from sturdy maple wood. The neck and body of a ukulele have a gloss finish which increases the durability of the instrument. It comes equipped with tuners that are geared styled. Thus, with so many beneficial features for any player, it is one of the best ukulele under 100 around the globe.
Well, that’s about it! Now you know all there is to about ukuleles and the best way to go about purchasing one. So why wait? Get yourself a brand new ukulele and get strumming!
What are the things to look out for in a beginner ukulele?
Purchasing a ukulele is quite troublesome and difficult owing to a variety of ukuleles available today. Hence here are some of the things an individual needs to consider while buying their first ukulele –
The first thing one must always remember is to take note of the different prices of the numerous ukuleles available. Keep in mind as this is your first ukulele, you would not want a very costly or a very cheap one. Have a thorough look around and find a cheap ukulele but a quality one that suits you perfectly.
In the majority of cases, it is seen that ukuleles around the medium price range are the best ukulele for beginners around. They are quite well-made and sturdy instruments that produce excellent sound, and it feels extremely comfortable while playing them.
Do not buy extremely cheap ukuleles
It can be quite tempting to buy a cheap ukulele as it may not look like any different from the higher range models. However, the primary issue with such ukuleles is their built and construction.
Buying an extremely cheap ukulele not only affects the tone but also is quite difficult to play. In honest opinion, these low-cost ukuleles hardly qualify as instruments. Now, as cheaper the ukuleles the chances of facing trouble increases exponentially.
Size of the body
Many beginner musicians get quite a bit intimidated by the variety of ukulele sizes available today. However, getting the best ukulele for beginners is not that difficult as it looks. All the various sizes of Soprano, tenor, and concert ukuleles are all played and tuned in the same way.
Hence, if individuals learn how to play the ukulele on a soprano, they will do just fine while playing a tenor or concert. Now, all the ukuleles are played and tuned in the same way, So, it should not be quite difficult in choosing the best tenor ukulele. Or you can opt for the best concert ukulele too!
Various types of Ukuleles
Now, getting to know that there are different types of ukuleles available from the best ukulele brands. Let’s further get to know more about them to understand better the type of ukulele best suited for you.
These ukuleles are primarily known as the classic ukuleles. They tend to produce the iconic “plinky” sound that most individuals associate a ukulele with. This because tends to have a smaller body structure than a guitar, tenor, or baritone ukulele. In case one is wondering about which is the best ukulele for beginners, this one fits right into the picture.
A concert ukulele is one the best ukulele for beginners around. Because they are neither too big nor too small in size, they are quite comfortable and easy to play. Hence, all the best ukulele brands tend to keep a concert ukulele in their collection.
Also, this kind is quite a cheap ukulele available without compromising the quality. It is ideal for amateurs to start off playing the ukulele. Due to its long scale length, it makes playing even more smooth and fine.
A tenor ukulele is generally a little bigger than a concert ukulele. The overall tone and sound that it produces are even more complete than the other types. This is one of the best ukuleles for beginners who are aspiring performers. The best tenor ukulele tends to give a finer sound and has more frets.
This enables the musician to reach higher notes, which is not possible with its smaller brothers. So, in case you are out to get a brand new ukulele for yourself. Buying this cheap ukulele from the best ukulele brands is a viable option.
This type of ukulele is the biggest amongst its brothers. It is generally tuned down to a low DGBE which is equal to the standard tuning of a guitar. Thus, it helps in producing a much deeper sound.
As it quite closely resembles a guitar both regarding structure and sound, it is considered one of the best ukuleles for beginners. All the best ukulele brands have a collection of such cheap ukulele to choose from. The best baritone ukulele gives you a fuller and deeper sound than the rest.
So, after knowing about the different types of ukuleles around. There is a need to find yourself a ukulele that perfectly suits your requirements. In doing so, some factors need to be considered. Let’s have a look at what these variables are.
How to Find the Best Ukulele Brand
Now we know a brief history of the Ukulele and the names of all famous and reputed Ukulele brands, but how one should see and finalize that which brand suits best. Who is using the best-recommended material and giving the finest Ukuleles which can easily spellbind anyone with its music?
Let it be your very first time buying a Ukulele for yourself or you are a professional player who is looking for a new instrument of better quality and usability, it is obvious for one to get confused after seeing numerous brands available in the market.
The first and foremost question for anyone who is looking to buy a new Ukulele should be, “What is my purpose for buying it?”
A beginner trying to learn will need a very basic and easy to grab on Ukulele while a professional player will look for a sturdier, portable, and better quality instrument for himself.
Therefore some major points that one should consider every time while buying a new shining Ukulele for themselves are:-
Range of Notes
It is obvious that all ukuleles are not created equal; they are available in varying sizes, shapes of the body, length of its neck, etc.
This change in the shape of the body and the length of the neck decides the Range of Notes available in the Ukulele.
More the range of notes better the quality and type of songs that can be played using the Ukulele. That is why, while choosing a brand one should look for the number of frets it is offering.
Smaller Ukuleles comes with 15 frets, which is best for a beginner who is just starting to learn how to play, while some Longer ones have up to 20 or more, which is what an advance player looks for in his instrument as more fret means more range of notes allowing to play a wider variety of music and also truly develop their talent.
Space between Frets
Again referring to our previous point, that ukuleles neck length can vary sometimes which means a lesser number of frets, as well as, smaller space is given in-between each fret.
Wide space between each fret helps a player to play more complicated chords and semi-tones of the Ukuleles.
Beginners won’t even notice how tight space is between their frets, as they are more focused on learning the simple chords and getting used to playing the Ukulele, while an advance player will always look for longer necks, as it helps them to play alternate and more complicated chords easily and provides greater control over their music and style.
We all know that in any kind musical instrument the type of material used always affects the resulting sound, in either a good or a bad way and decides the richness in the music of that instrument
Similarly, in Ukuleles the type of wood decides the quality and tone of the sound. If the wood used is of low quality, it will negatively affect the sound produced, and ultimately how you sound playing it!
Therefore, while buying a new Ukulele one should always consider the type of wood used by the brand.
The most common wood type used in reputed branded ukuleles is Koa wood which is the original material used in ukuleles, the other can be Mahogany, it produces a slightly softer sound than the Koa wood, and Ukuleles built using Mahogany also comes a little cheaper than the Koa wood ones.
Also remember, always look for solid wood without any laminate over it, which is a sign of good quality manufacturing, giving a richer tone to the Ukulele and also better sustainability to your instrument.
Now we know that Ukuleles come in varying sizes and have different types, from smallest to largest, these are soprano, concert, tenor, and baritone.
For beginners generally, small sizes are suggested like soprano and tenor, as they are both easy to play, carry around, and also they have less number of frets means a low range of notes making them easier to learn. The most popular and well-known is Soprano in all Ukulele types.
While an advanced ukulele player will always consider longer length ukuleles due to their larger range of notes, like in tenor and baritone ukuleles.
And we already know why larger range and wider space in frets is considered good and preferred.
That being said, some advanced players who don’t mind tight fret spaces in between or smaller neck Ukuleles, can find good concert ukuleles as well, of their preferred brands that fit their needs of trying to get that high, airy sound that is normally associated with the ukuleles.
Because tenors and baritones tend to produce a somewhat deeper tone compared to the concert ukuleles.
So, the first thing is keeping in mind your use and motive while considering which type and brand of Ukulele will suit you and then all the above points to decide which brand caters your needs and give the best quality product available at your preferred price range.
Different parts of a ukulele
A ukulele has the same built as a guitar but with fewer strings and a smaller body. It has all the same parts as a guitar but it has a different sound and tuning. Let’s look at different parts of a ukulele:
- Body- This part consists of the soundhole and the bridge. The material it’s made of is very important as it impacts the quality of sound. The wood it’s made of comes in different varieties.
- Soundhole- The cavity in the body, right beneath the strings, is called a soundhole. One must always strum right over the soundhole to get the best possible sound. Its role is to amplify the vibrations.
- Bridge- It is installed on the body with the strings attached to it above the fretboard. It keeps the strings in place.
- Fretboard- As the name suggests, a fretboard is where all the frets are found. Frets are counted from the head of the ukulele.
- Frets- They are the metal bars on the fretboard. You keep your finger right beside the fret while playing. Each fret depicts a different musical note.
- Neck- It connects the head and the body of a ukulele. It is a piece of wood that supports the fretboard.
- Head- It is situated at the top of the neck and consists of the tuning keys. The brand logo can also be found on the head.
- Tuning keys- Each string is connected to a tuning key. These are used in tuning the instrument. You turn the key to either side to tighten or loosen the strings.
- Strings- There are four strings in a ukulele. They are made of metal. Strings need to be strummed to produce a sound. The strumming creates vibrations that travel into the soundhole and are reverted with an amplified sound.
Don’t worry if you are a beginner because we got you covered. Now that you are familiar with the anatomy of a ukulele, let’s look at some factors to consider before buying one.
- Sound– The sound of a ukulele depends on the material of wood it is made of. Generally, Koa is preferred because, traditionally, ukuleles were made from it. Now they also come in maple, mahogany, etc. you can test the sound from each of these and then decide what’s best for you.
- Construction– Ukulele is relatively small than any stringed instrument but it comes in different shapes and sizes. You must choose a ukulele depending on your built and your style.
- Function– If you are a beginner then a low priced ukulele would be better. There is a different kind of ukulele for different purposes. Professional ukuleles have better construction but are expensive.
There are different types of ukuleles available in the market from the top brands.
- Concert ukulele– Cheap ukuleles with great quality. Best suited for beginners.
- Soprano ukulele- These are known as the classic ukuleles.
- Tenor ukulele- They are bigger and have a bigger sound range. They can be used by beginners and professionals alike.
- Baritone ukulele- They have the biggest size and are tuned like a guitar. They produce deeper sounds. Its structure and sound is exactly like a guitar and is suitable for beginners.
How to choose the perfect ukulele for different requirements?
Usually, for amateurs, the soprano is the best ukulele for beginners and at a low price. However, it is best if one goes down to a music shop and feels the ukuleles themselves to get a better idea of what they want. Even in doing so, there are certain things that you can keep in mind while choosing a ukulele for yourself. Here are some of the things that are worth considering.
Before selecting a ukulele from the best ukulele brands, one must consider the functionality it will provide. An individual must consider all the various functions a ukulele shall provide.
It may be just for wall-piece or for casual strumming for a hobby or professional performances and many more. All these factors need to be considered before choosing the best ukulele for beginners.
This is an aspect that varies from person to person. However, a basic similarity that all budding musicians will have is getting a ukulele with a fine sound. One must always remember to check the sound and tone of the ukulele before purchasing one from the best ukulele brands.
It is seen that all different ukulele brands use numerous different methods while building a ukulele. Thus, depending on the built construction of the ukulele, the sound, tone, and playability are going to differ. So, it is quite important to find a ukulele that suits your built and playability before buying the best ukulele for beginners.