The ukulele, a wooden stringed instrument made of wood, produces a pleasant sound. There are many ukuleles available to choose from. They come in different sizes and wood types. Some even have specific playing styles. There are so many types of ukuleles that it is important to know the differences to choose which one suits your needs best. This guide is for you, whether you are a beginner or a seasoned player.

The Four Main Types Of Ukuleles

Soprano

The Soprano ukulele has the largest standard size, measuring around 20 inches (51cm). These ukuleles are the lightest and smallest of the four main types. They have the tightest fret spacing and the shortest scale. Although the Soprano ukes can be held easily and are great for people with smaller hands, there are some important things to remember.

The smaller neck and neck limit players. You will hear the difference in the tuning if you move up the fretboard. The soprano ukulele is great for strumming chords but not for picking notes.

These ukuleles are popular because they produce a clearer, brighter and softer tone. However, they are also known for having less resonance and projection than other sizes.

Which Ukulele is Best for You: The Soprano Ukulele

Players of all skill levels can use these ukuleles, but they are particularly well-suited for smaller hands and fingers. These ukuleles are an excellent entry-level model that produces a traditional sound.

This type of uke is great for strumming chords. However, it’s not the best instrument for picking up notes. We recommend other sizes and classes if you want to play your ukulele more technically.

Concert

Concert Ukuleles have a larger body than soprano ukes and a longer neck. This gives them more versatility. Concert ukuleles are longer and heavier than regular ukes. Concert ukuleles have a longer neck and more frets, with wider spacing between them.

You won’t be limited to playing chords with the Soprano Ukuleles. Instead, you can also play notes. You can intone them better if you move higher up the fretboard.

Concert ukuleles produce a richer sound, which is more pronounced and louder than other instruments.

Which Concert Ukulele is Best for You?

Players of all skill levels can play concert ukuleles. However, it is more enjoyable for those with larger hands and fingers. Concert ukuleles are a great choice for experienced players, as they can be used in various styles. Concert ukuleles are also great for performing, as they are small enough to be held without the need to attach a strap.

The Concert size ukuleles are great for a bit older but still learning how to play the ukulele. Concert ukuleles are a popular choice because of their sound quality and playability.

Tenor

The Tenor ukulele is a size larger than concert ukes. It has a scale that is approximately two inches longer than the concert. The weight difference between a Concert uke and a Tenor ukulele is noticeable. They have longer necks than the other sizes of ukuleles we’ve discussed. Tenor ukuleles are great for fingerpicking putting fewer restrictions on players due to their extra length and wider spacing between frets.

Tenor ukuleles have a richer, deeper sound due to their large size. The overall tone is bass-rich. They sound louder than concert ukuleles but still have a natural sound when strumming the chords or picking up notes on the scale.

Low G String

A Tenor ukulele can have its G string changed to a lower G. This is something we recommend, as it gives your instrument more versatility. You will notice that the sound of any scale played on a ukulele that has a high G string is a bit awkward because it jumps higher as you reach that fourth string. Playing a scale with a low G will sound natural.

Although a low G can increase the instrument’s range, it won’t give you the traditional ukulele sound due to the “bassier tone”. High G and common are excellent, creating a unique sound that suits different styles. Both are great options for ukulele players. However, it is best to have at least one. Your musical preferences and playing style will determine which one you choose.

Which Tenor Ukulele is Best for You?

Professional players love the tenor-sized ukuleles, but they are still very popular. They are ideal for larger hands and those who play a lot with their ukuleles.

You can choose to have a high or low G tone with your Tenor ukulele. This gives players more flexibility, range, and versatility.

Remember that the tuning for the tenor ukulele is the standard G/C/E/A. The wider spacing on the fretboard might make it more difficult to play certain chords that require stretching.

Baritone

IMAGE BY HJROH88 FROM PIXABAY

We will be discussing the ukulele. It has a longer scale than the tenors. They offer the largest fret spacing of all uke sizes. Baritone players will find their necks wider than other sizes.

The deepest, most full-bodied sound is the baritone ukulele. However, the lowest end makes the ukulele seem more bassy. It sounds similar to an acoustic guitarist. These similarities do not end there. Baritones’ standard tuning would also be D/G/B/E. This is the same as the four highest strings of a guitar.

Which is the best baritone ukulele?

If you are already a guitarist, it can be easier to switch to the ukulele with a baritone instrument. It can also work the other way. A Baritone uke is a good choice if you want to learn how the ukulele to help you transition to playing the guitar. It has a similar tuning to a standard guitar and is larger than a regular one. This makes it a great ukulele to help you transition to playing guitars.

We recommend that you look at the 3 other sizes if the ukulele is your primary instrument.

Different types of wood

We now have a better understanding of the types of ukuleles you should be looking at. Let’s talk about the wood used to make them. There are many models of ukuleles made with different wood types. We won’t go through every type of wood variation available in ukuleles. Instead, we will discuss the most common ones.

Mahogany

Mahogany is one of the most common woods for building a ukulele. Mahogany ukuleles have a balanced tone between the high and low treble notes. This gives them a traditional sound. The midrange tones of Mahogany wood instruments make them stand out. They produce a more punchy sound than other woods. You can expect hardwood to feel heavier and denser.

Koa

This is a popular choice of wood, especially if the instrument is made in Hawaii. The sound of a Koa ukulele is clearer and has a longer sustain. Like Mahogany, Koa ukuleles have a nice overall tone but shine with their midrange. The Koa ukuleles look great. They have a clean, slick body and are very attractive. This is a popular choice for ukulele players at all levels.

Spruce

Spruce is a strong softwood with a vibrant and crisp sound. It emits a warm tone, dominant in the lower register and mids. It has a great bass response and consistent note articulation. A ukulele is distinguished by its pale yellow wood color. Spruce ukuleles are excellent at wide frequencies, making them a popular choice for dynamic strumming.

Maple

Maple ukuleles have a distinctive treble sound and clarity. These ukuleles are often paired with spruce and can be very durable. They don’t sound as well as other woods, and they aren’t as durable as some others. However, Maple ukuleles can be used for certain styles, where clarity of notes is a priority (fingerstyle). Maple ukuleles have a beautiful aesthetic and a bright sound.

Rosewood

Rosewood is a wood that you won’t see very often in the ukulele world. However, you will be impressed with the balance of low and mid-range tones as well as the highs that Rosewood can create. Rosewood is most commonly used to make ukulele fretboards. However, you can also find Rosewood-built ukes. It is popular to cover the sides and back of wooden instruments like ukuleles or guitars. This helps produce warmer tones and resonances.

Are you looking for laminate or solid wood?

Laminate

Laminate ukuleles make great gifts for children because they are more affordable, last longer, and are easier to maintain. A laminated uke is great for traveling because of its durability. Although the sound is not as natural as a real wood ukulele, they are still great instruments that any player can use.

Solid wood

Solid wood ukuleles have an unbeatable sound quality and a unique tone. Solid wood ukuleles will produce the best sound possible. However, they may be more expensive than their laminated counterparts but are worth it if you have the cash.

Solid wood ukuleles can also develop a richer, more resonant tone if properly maintained.

Ukulele String Types

Many different strings are available, each with a distinct sound and tone. You can find our guide here if you’re looking for new series.

Nylon

Nylon is the most common string used on a ukulele. There is a wide variety of nylon strings available that produce different sounds. This is because the sound of nylon strings for ukuleles can differ from one brand to another.

The nylon strings can stretch over time, so you may find yourself turning your ukulele a lot more often. The columns will extend more at certain temperatures, but not by humidity.

Fluorocarbon

Fluorocarbon strings made from polymer were originally designed for fishing lines. They produce a brighter sound and are less sensitive to temperature changes.

Titanium

Ukulele strings are stronger, durable, and slightly higher in tone than nylon. These strings are made from monofilament material. They produce more sound at higher volumes.

Wound Nylon

Wound nylon strings are made with a nylon core and a wrap of a polymer winding. These strings are often used in conjunction with the tenor and Baritone Ukuleles. These strings can produce finger squeaks when you slide from fret to fret.

If the wrapping material begins to separate from the core, it may be irreparable if you cut the strings too long.

Wound Metal

Similar to wound, nylon strings can be used on smaller ukuleles and lower notes. They are often made of copper or aluminum winding materials. They are susceptible to making finger squeaks.

If the wrapping material begins to separate from the core, it may be irreparable if you cut the strings too long.

Steel Strings

It may not be a good idea to string your ukulele using steel strings. Steel strings create additional tension on the neck, bridge, top, and neck of your ukulele.

Some instruments use steel strings, such as banjoleles and guitars/ukuleles made for them.

Before replacing the strings on your ukulele with a set of steel strings, it is a good idea to speak with a professional.

Last Thoughts

It’s so much fun to play and learn the ukulele. We hope you found our article helpful and that it has helped you choose the right ukulele for you. There are so many options available, and it is easy to find the right uke. All the best with your ukulele journey.

 

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