Whether you’re a musician interested in exploring new realms of sounds or just a friend looking for awesome gifts for 12-year-old boys or inspired Christmas gift ideas to greet your dear ones, finding the best ukulele for beginners might prove a daunting task considering the richness of products available on the market. To simplify your shopping process, we have compiled a list of ukulele reviews so you can get one step closer to your decision.
Kala Starter Kit
Designed by one of the most appreciated ukulele brands in the world, this Ukulele Starter Kit is an option you might want to consider if you are new to this instrument and want to learn the basics of ukulele playing. The package includes the instrument, a Kala ukulele app with tuner, a ukulele playing quick start guide, FREE online lessons, and a Kala logo tote bag.
The high-quality Italian strings are soft and will help you create a clear, sweet sound. The instrument is made of mahogany and features a satin finish. Thanks to the beginner ukulele tutorial included, you will learn how to use this instrument to create your own sounds.Buy from Amazon.com for ($59.99)
If you intend to express your creativity and explore new sonic experiences with a ukulele, you might want to keep in mind this model from Cordoba. The handmade instrument comes with mahogany top, back, and sides that will help the player create full and rich sounds.
The small-bodied ukulele boasts premium Aquila strings, silver tuners with pearl buttons as well as a satin finish. The easy playability this model offers is paired with good looks both professionals and beginners will appreciate. The 15CM model can also be found in tenor (15TM) and soprano sizes (15SM).Buy from Amazon.com for ($99)
This model from Donner was designed to help players enjoy the rich and bright sounds of tropical atmospheres. The precise craftsmanship ensures long stability, sweet sounds, and a comfortable grip. The carbon nylon strings are soft to touch and the tuner included in the package will help you make sure you get in tune and stay so throughout your playing.
The ukulele comes with a colored ukulele strap, a bag to carry and store the instrument, and a carbon nylon string. The battery you need for the high-quality Donner DT-2 tuner is also included.Buy from Amazon.com for ($59.99)
If you want to go for a soprano-sized ukulele, the most iconic size of this instrument, you might want to consider the PUKT55 model from Pyle. The instrument was designed to provide the player with easy playability, satisfying sounds, and stylish looks. The unit is made with high-quality woods such as spruce, mahogany, and walnut that together create excellent acoustics.
Thanks to the die-cast tuning pegs and the gears used, the high-quality Aquila strings won’t shift out of tune. This model is ideal for both beginners and professionals as it features a light action that will enable the player to reach the highest notes without additional effort.Buy from Amazon.com for ($49.99)
Another option to consider when looking for a good ukulele for beginners is the HM-121MG+ Deluxe Ukulele from Hola! Music. This soprano ukulele features a mahogany body, Walnut fingerboard and bridge, and a Nato neck. The most popular woods have been used to create the clear, warm, Hawaiian harmonies.
The unit also boasts Aquila strings, silver-plated geared machine heads, traditional white bindings, and 15 silver nickel frets. The quality of the sound is paired with stylish looks professionals and beginners alike will appreciate. The package includes a padded gig pad to help you store and transport the instrument safely, a colored strap, and three picks.Buy from Amazon.com for ($49.95)
How to find a good ukulele for beginners
A gift is an expression of what you feel for your dear ones, be it fondness, gratitude, or respect. If the special person in your life celebrating his/her birthday soon is a musician interested in playing the ukulele and you’re on the lookout for such an item, you’ve reached the right place as the following buying guide might be of some assistance.
Finding good ukulele for beginners might turn out to be rather challenging considering the many products you will find on the market and their various features. If you need such an instrument to greet one of your friends or family members, things might get even more complicated.
To save you all that trouble, we took the time to read some of the top ukulele reviews, examine product specs, and compare guitars for beginners. We have thus compiled a buying guide to help you filter all those instruments and narrow down the list to the products that would best suit your needs.
To make sure your shopping session will be simplified, we have also taken into account the most important features customers have considered when buying ukulele for beginners and the specifications people new to this instrument could benefit from.
How we chose the best beginner ukulele
Because the market offers many models of ukulele yet your time might not be that generous, we want to help you find the best product for your needs without spending too much time. With that in mind, we have highlighted the most important features you need to consider in order to get the best ukulele for your birthday boy/girl or even for yourself.
Size, tone, and playability
Ukuleles come in four sizes: soprano, concert, tenor, and baritone. Even if they are tuned and played the same, size does trigger some changes. They affect the tone and playability. The original and smallest ukulele is the soprano which is 21 inches in length and thus ideal for smaller kids. Moreover, the sound of a soprano ukulele is often referred to as the standard sound.
Bigger bodies usually mean bigger tones. Therefore, concert and tenor ukuleles are richer, warmer, and more resonant than small-sized ukes. They also create more volume and bass. As far as tone is concerned, soprano ukuleles tend to be quieter.
The size of the instrument will also increase or reduce the ease of playability. Tenor and concert ukuleles feature a longer scale length. This means the space between the frets is greater, which offers the player more room for fingers. Such sizes are easier to play, especially if the player has thick fingers or larger hands. Soprano ukulele might be better for kids and people with small hands.
Concert and tenor ukuleles seem to be a better choice for beginners, though, due to their easy playability and richer tone. However, if the beginner is a kid, the soprano size might be better given its scale length.
The woods used to create a ukulele count a lot when it comes to the sound the instrument produces. This is another major feature you need to consider to make sure you get a quality instrument. Even if you opt for a cheaper model, go for one that uses some of the following popular woods.
Although there are many types of wood involved in the making of ukuleles, the most common ones include mahogany, Koa, and spruce. Most ukuleles you will find are made of mahogany. There are many varieties of mahogany grown in different regions, so it is difficult to generalize about its tone. Such ukuleles have a warmer and darker tonality, though.
Koa is native to Hawaii and is the traditional wood used for ukuleles. The beautiful grain patterns, the rich variety of colors, and the balanced tone make this wood one of the most popular types used for ukuleles.
You will find ukuleles made of spruce as well. This type of wood is popular thanks to its dense grain that creates bright and loud tones. Even though these three woods are the most common ones, you will also find ukuleles made of redwood, rosewood, and maple, just to name a few.
The type of strings the ukulele you choose comes with will affect the overall experience and sound. Just like in the case of guitars, you will find different types of strings. The most common strings are made of various nylon polymers, which explains why the sound created by nylon strings may vary from one brand to another.
What you need to know about nylon strings is that, even if they are not affected by humidity, they might require re-tuning when there are temperature shifts. Plus, they stretch more when they are new and need time before “settling down”.
Then there are ukulele models featuring titanium strings. They offer increased durability, strength, and a brighter tone than nylon strings. Also, titanium strings create more volume and a greater projection. Steel strings are found on certain types of uke hybrids but they exert extra tension on the top, bridge, and neck of the instrument, so they will most likely damage it.
Starter kits and brands
If the person you need ukulele for is a beginner, it is best to go for a starter kit that includes the necessary accessories to make the whole new experience easier and more pleasant. Try to opt for one of those kits that include an electronic tuner as this will simplify the tuning process.
Plus, you might want to consider a model that comes with a case or gig bag to store and transport the instrument safely. Some kits even include picks, a beginner ukulele sheet music, and good beginner ukulele songs.
When it comes to ukulele, there are several brands that offer high-quality instruments. The most appreciated brands include, but are not limited to, Kala, Lanikai, Cordoba, and Luna. The recipient’s level of experience and the budget you have at your disposal are also important factors that will help you filter all the products stores offer.