April 22, 2021

Best Ukulele Brands For Beginners: A Complete Guide

The best ukulele brands for beginners will provide you advanced products that will create catchy sounds and let your hair down after a long working day. More importantly, they will offer you an aesthetic look, making you elegant in front of your beloved ones.

However, not all ukuleles can give you the best quality, and you may have a sense of frustration at some. A few items with no satin finish for protection may last for a short period. And you may have to spend more money to buy again. 

Choosing the right one for you is not easy at all. There are plenty of products available on the market with different functions. Not to mention, some companies try to distort the quality of their goods to boost sales.

The below is the top 5 manufacturers you can have a look at. We've read hundreds of reviews to make sure you're getting the best product for your needs.

Top 5 Rated Ukulele Brands

Below are the 5 most trusted brands that we’ve picked out for you. Read them carefully to find the great one!

Kala Ukulele - Best For Overall

If you want to find a brand that aids you in learning ukuleles, you can think of the Kala. 

Features

  • Many reasonable ukuleles with a bright tone
  • Great for newcomers
  • Products come with accessories
  • User manual included
  • Protection cover

The most noticeable amazing advantage is the easy-to-use feature from the brand. It comes with a tutorial book that shows you how to play the instrument. Most importantly, users can download the Kala app with a tuner, play-along songs, and easy to follow lessons. Thus, it is really useful for beginners.

Pros

  • Their products usually come with a page-by-page instructional booklet that contains information about your new ukulele.
  • The products go with other accessories, including quality open gear tuners, GraphTech NuBone, Aquila strings, and brass frets.
  • There is a Kala logo tote bag on each product to prevent it from any damage.

Con

  • Not all of their equipment come from high-quality tonewoods.

Kala KA-15S Mahogany Soprano Ukulele

Fender Ukulele - Best For Different Novelty Ukulele

Do you want to enjoy the different and unique strong signature uke sound? Then the Fender is just right for you.

Features

  • Many quirky designs
  • Reliable Fender
  • Rich sounds

The unique feature is the various hybrid designs. There are many products with novelty, such as The Grace VanderWaal series. The instruments will help you create new sounds and bring a new refreshment to you. 

Pros

  • Lots of quirky designs: There are many mini versions of iconic Fender and the Telecaster design, allowing different and special sounds.
  • The maker uses some traditional tonewoods including koa and maple, enabling you to produce a strong signature ukulele sound.
  • It is a musical juggernaut that attracts a lot of fans all over the world.

Con

  • A bit difficult for beginners: As they make the tuning knobs plastic, so their items are hard to get tuned.

Fender 0965061021 Seaside Soprano Ukulele, 16 Frets

Luna Ukulele - Best For Beautiful Appearance

If you want to impress your friends with an elegant ukulele, the Luna brand is the best option for you.

Features

  • Accessible learning platforms
  • Good customer service
  • Many interesting and loud designs
  • Beautiful appearance

The Luna can offer you an elegant appearance. The co-founder utilizes great tonewoods to produce ukuleles with open pore finish. For example, the Luna Tattoo Concert Mahogany Ukulele with Gig Bag has tattoo design laser etched with many shapes and symbols representing the natural island

Pros

  • The manufacturer uses great tonewoods to make the items, so the products sound fascinating.
  • The products have elegant and beautiful design from the co-founder, Yvonne de Villiers, who is an artist specialized in stained-glass.
  • Learners can get access to the Luna tribe and learn to play ukuleles in Luna learning platforms.

Con

  • The design of some items is for right-handedness, so if you are left-handed, you should read the information of the product carefully.

Luna Tattoo Concert Mahogany Ukulele with Gig Bag

Cordoba Ukulele - Best For Great Finish

The Cordoba doba productss are famous for their detailed finish, and you will feel satisfied with these handmade concert ukuleless. 

Features

  • High quality with all of their models.
  • Mahogany material 
  • May have electronics for amplification.
  • Full and rich sound
  • Different sizes

What makes their instruments outstanding is the great finish. The brand’s products have a satin modern edge burst finish with some appointments.  They also have silver tuners with pearl buttons, and premium Aquila strings. And these characteristics will ensure easy playability and rich rounds.

Pros

It is worth noting that their item features mahogany material and nylon-stringed style, enabling amazing sounds.

Some of their items go with electronics for amplification, allowing the louder sounds for you to listen to.

The brand offers different dimensions, which can be suitable for various users, regardless of their hand size.

Con

Some products can be delivered without the protective case, and you may need to contact the company for the accessory.

Cordoba 15CM Concert Ukulele

Lohanu Ukulele - Best For A Complete Set

The Lohanu brand may help you save a lot of money as you don't have to pay extra for the accessories.

Features

  • Good customer support.
  • Reasonable models with reliable quality
  • Lifetime warranties
  • Easy-to-use

You don't have to spend more money on the accessories as their products usually come with a complete set. There is a shoulder strap for you to wear the instrument when playing it, while a carrying case will help protect your device.

Pros

  • The manufacturer will back up most of its items with lifetime warranties, and you don't have to worry about the maintenance fee.
  • Beginners can have free access to some ukulele lessons..
  • The materials used for the instrument are a wide variety of different tonewoods, making it sturdy.

Cons

  • The tuners are quite loose and do not hold tune well
  • Some of its models are not traditional in their tonality.

Ukulele Concert Size Bundle From Lohanu (LU-C)

What Do You Need To Keep In Mind To Buy A Good Or Best Ukulele?

Look at some criteria below as they can help you find the best ukulele brands for beginners.

Ukulele Size

There are four main sizes of ukulele, including concert, soprano, baritone, and tenor. 

Their appearance seems to be the same, but the sound and playability each produces are different. You can tune G, C, E, and A from a concert, soprano, and tenor sizes, whereas a baritone has the strings tuned to D, G, B, and E.

  • Concert: 15–20 frets
  • Soprano: 12–15 frets
  • Tenor: 15–25 frets
  • Baritone: 18 + frets; tuned DGBE

One fact is that the bigger the fretboard, the more space between frets is. If you have large hands, then the extra space will be suitable for you, and you will feel less crowded.

People with smaller hands should go for a smaller ukulele. One reason is that it enables you to form chords easily.

The size of the body will also affect the sound and playability. Generally, the bigger body will allow a bigger tone.

If you are searching for a brighter tone, a soprano is just right for you.

Ukulele Shapes and Types

The types and shapes will be the deciding factor when choosing a good item.

  • Figure 8: This traditional type possesses the 8 body shape equipped with two inward curves. This shape is common on the market, and you can easily find it.
  • Cutaway: Similar to the 8 body shape, removing a small, C-Shaped portion near the neck base. Users find the instrument easily accessible to the upper part of the fretboard. The type is suitable for intermediate and advanced players.
  • Pickups/Electric: The instrument has pickups that can help capture the sounds, enabling ukuleles to be amplified or plugged into a mixer or amp.
  • Pineapple: The shape of the product is similar to a pineapple, and it does not have the curves of figure 8.
  • Novelty/Hybrid: Hybrid is the combination of different parts from some musical instruments such as guitar and banjo. Different designs of the novelty type can fit everyone's taste. 

For example, the guitalele combines a ukulele body and a guitar neck. Thus, people can produce sounds, and the item resembles a ukulele yet a mini guitar. 

It is advisable for beginners to go for a standard product, but a hybrid can have a lot of fun to play with.

Budget

The companies with long-term establishment are trustworthy, and you can ensure the quality and consistency of the instruments.

However, some newer brands, such as Honu and Kala can still provide high-quality products.

Whether you should go for a prestigious company or not will depend on your budget. Keep in mind that the cost of an item from a high-end brand is more expensive than the common one!

Besides, you can consider buying a complete set. Some instruments will come with bundles with padded gig bags, capos, tuners, extra strings, straps, humidifiers, and even free online lessons. This feature will allow you to save more money for buying them.

Advantages of Owning A Ukulele For Beginners

If you just start using ukuleles, the reasons below will help you make the wiser decision.

Increased Coordination

The strings of the item are fine, and players have to continuously focus on which ones they are plucking to stay in the right tune. 

As a result, the exchanging speed of information from your eyes to your brain and then to your fingertips will increase, allowing the enhanced hand-eye coordination.

Stress Relief

The ukulele sounds are great for de-stressing and avoiding some negative physical symptoms such as muscle pain or tension, elevated blood pressure, sleep problems, chest pain, upset stomach, or headaches.

Promotes Social Skills

Playing ukulele can also be a great way for you to improve your social skills. When you play the instrument, you can open yourself to other people who share the same interest in music.

After playing the product for a long time, you may get an opportunity to take part in an orchestra or a band. 

Frequently Asked Questions

The below are some questions people usually ask. You can read them to know more about ukuleles.

What is the best wood for a ukulele?

There are various types of wood, but mahogany is a great choice if you want to have a durable product as the material will not crack easily. Another interesting feature is that the tone from the wood is high and rich.

What are the best strings I should get?

The strings need to be smooth, durable and offer great tone, and many players consider Aquila nylgut strings as the best ukulele strings. They are suitable for all kinds of players, including beginners, intermediate, and professionals.

A bonus is that these strings can withstand harsh conditions such as rain or hot and stay tuned for so long.

Is a concert or soprano ukulele better for beginners?

Both types are suitable for beginners. A soprano ukulele would be appropriate for kids younger than 10. It is often the best beginner ukulele for kids to choose a soprano ukulele for those with smaller hands and fingers. Despite this, the soprano can still be played by players of any level and size. Because the body size of this model is smaller, the tone will be softer and brighter with less projection and resonance than the larger models.

What size ukulele is easiest?

As shown above, the soprano ukulele is designed to be small and easy to get used to even by children. That's why the soprano ukulele is the easiest uke to get used to.

What ukuleles do professionals use?

Celebrities have distinct musical tastes and preferences for each of their instruments. Of course, they can't choose a poor-quality ukulele. Their ukes are all heard by the artist's ears - themselves. Tyler Joseph has beautiful ukuleles, if you want to check him out, go here.

What is the most popular ukulele brand?

To talk about popularity all the most popular and widely used brands are present in our ranking above. But if you do a survey of 100 or 1000 people about the ukulele brands they know, I guess Kala will take the top spot in that survey.

Which is easier ukulele or guitar?

An easy answer to this question is the ukulele. Technically speaking, uke is lighter than guitar and has much less strings (4 vs 6 strings). This makes a uke easier to manipulate, the number of chords to memorize for beginners is also less, not to mention the ways to play uke are still much simpler than guitar.

Does the ukulele hurt your fingers like the guitar?

Maybe but not much. For newbies, pressing chords to get used to them always causes a certain monotony. However, the degree of pain will depend on the type of rope you are using. Levels will increase if you use metal or alloy wires. As for the plastic wire, the pain will be significantly reduced. So if you're a newbie, whichever of the two you play, you should be familiar with plastic strings.

Should I learn ukulele or guitar first?

Learning the guitar first will already give you a good understanding of playing the ukulele. To play the guitar correctly, you will need to unlearn the sloppy habits you will develop when learning the ukulele first. If you learn the ukulele first, you will still need to figure out how to play the guitar.

Do you have to cut your nails to play ukulele?

As you develop coordination, control, and relaxation in your right hand, start without nails to get a warm tone and focus on the motion of your fingers. Several great guitarists continue to play with their fingers clean and their nails are cut properly.

While strumming and picking individual notes, some people use a plastic thumb pick to add volume. In order to use the thumb pick, you need to elevate your thumb above the strings so the pick can clear the strings.

While learning any musical instrument I don't think you should keep your nails for any purpose.

Conclusion

The above are the best ukulele brands for beginners. The products from these manufacturers will be of immense help to you as they help reduce stress and improve hand-eye coordination. Not only that, but you can also enhance your social skills if you play those ukuleles.

If you want to find great products that can meet your needs, there are some criteria for you, such as size, budget, shapes, and types. Our top pick is the Official KALA-LTP-S Learn to Play Ukulele Soprano Starter Kit from the brand Kala because it has almost all advanced features, including many tutorial lessons and accessories.

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