What You Need To Know Before You Buy A Ukulele

One of the most popular instruments in the world is the ukulele. There are a few reasons why it’s earned such an enthusiastic fanbase. It’s very easy to play; you’ll be able to strum along to some simple tunes within a few minutes. It’s also highly compact, so you’ll be able to take it on holiday with you. Because of their popularity, there are hundreds of different types of Ukulele available on the market. So, it can be hard to know which model you should pick. Let’s look at some of the things that you should know when you buy a ukulele. 

Different Types Of Ukulele

One of the biggest mistakes that people make is assuming that there is only one type of ukulele. This isn’t the case. There are four main types on the market, depending on the kind of sound that you want to make. Let’s look at a quick look at each one.

First, you have the soprano ukulele. This is the most common version, producing the iconic sound that most people hear when thinking of the ukulele. It’s also the smallest option on the market, with most models being 20 inches (51 cm). There are a few reasons why you might want to consider this type of ukulele. First, because it’s the smallest, you won’t need to stretch out your fingers to play it properly. It also tends to be the most affordable option and the easiest to transport.

The second option is the concert ukulele. This produces a similar sound to the soprano ukulele, but it’s often a little louder. Because of this, it can be more versatile, giving you more sounds that you can explore. The frets also tend to be further apart. Generally, this is slightly larger than the soprano, measuring around 23 inches (58 cm).

Third, you can get a tenor ukulele. This produces an even lower sound, resembling a guitar. It can also give you more musical options, as it can be fitted with both the lower G and the higher G, while the previous types can only accommodate the higher G. It’s also become more popular amongst professional musicians. Typically, the tenor ukulele will be 26 inches (66 cm).

Finally, we come to the baritone. This sounds similar to the nylon strings on a classic guitar. It also has a guitar-like tuning process. Because of this, they might not be the best choice for a beginner, as they can take more skill to learn how to play them properly. Also, at 30 inches (76 cm) it’s the biggest ukulele, which makes it the least portable option. Based on this, the baritone is the least popular type of ukulele.

Electric Vs Acoustic

As we’ve seen, there are plenty of ukulele options on the market. To make choosing one easier, we can split them into two types; electric and acoustic. Each of these has different pros and cons you should know about before you decide which option you want to purchase.

Let’s start by looking at the acoustic version. This is the classic type of ukulele, allowing you to achieve the traditional sound. It’s also easy for you to play, as you don’t need to plug it into anything. However, you might not have the same options available to those who prefer to use an electric ukulele. For example, you won’t be able to turn up the volume.

The other option that you might want to explore is the electric ukulele. There are a few different models for you to explore. First, you can get a hollow body electric ukulele. You can play these like any normal ukulele and don’t need to plug them in to get a great sound. However, if you want to, you can plug it into an amplifier, letting you turn up the volume. The other option is the solid body ukulele which only work properly if you connect them to an amp. However, because of their solid body, they will be more durable than a normal ukulele.

Ultimately, the type of ukulele that you purchase is up to you and how you intend to use the instrument. For example, if you are looking for the base model, and want to keep the budget to a minimum, you can stick to an acoustic ukulele. However, if you want to spend a little more money on a more advanced model, you’ll often be able to get the best experience from an electric ukulele. Often, these will give you more musical options to explore. For example, you can hook up pedals to change the type of sound that you’re producing.

Type Of Accessories That Are Included

Hopefully, you should now have a better idea of the type of ukulele that you want to purchase. Now, you can focus on the kind of quality that you’ll be getting. In this area, you might want to think about the type of tuning heads that are attached. You don’t want to get something that you’ll have to re-tune every few minutes. You might also want to think about the type of wood that the ukulele is made from. This can affect the type of sound that it will be able to produce.

Finally, some ukuleles might come with accessories. For example, you might find some that come with straps or carry cases included. This can be a great way of saving you money. However, remember that in the clear majority of cases, you will also be able to buy these elements separately.

Conclusion

The ukulele is one of the most versatile instruments on the market, compact enough to take with you anywhere in the world. As we’ve seen, there are hundreds of different options for you to choose from. This can often get overwhelming. If you want a little more guidance about what to look for, check out this comprehensive analysis of electric ukuleles for beginners. Pick the right ukulele and start learning how to play your favorite songs!

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