Top 8 Best Ukuleles
Music is the soul of a musician and the way of tranquility for any individual. It helps you escape from your worries and problems, allowing you to relax your mind. Instruments are those valuable possessions of any musician, that helps in the creation of music. There are diversity and progression in the number of musical instruments that have been originating since ages.
This article focuses on one of the popular instruments coming from the member of the guitar family- The Ukulele. Ukuleles originated in the 19th century to Hawaii by the Portuguese immigrants. This is a smaller version of a guitar that is designed to include four nylon strings attached to it. There are four types of Ukuleles based on its size and tone which you can read about in the next section of this article.
With all the advancements you can easily find out best ukulele in India along with the best ukulele model for beginners. You can know more about this instrument by reading about the parts of a Ukulele. Choosing the ideal Ukulele for yourself can be a bit of a task. Hence, for this reason, we have provided a Buyer’s Guide that will help you make the right choice. This article also contains relevant sections like parts of a ukulele and its types.
You can purchase a Ukulele from the list of top 8 ukuleles provided by us. We have reviewed each of them in details and have also mentioned the links to buy them from Amazon. The last section provides the answers to the most frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) related to Ukuleles.
Top 8 Ukulele
The Diverse Ukulele
Durable with Good Build
Attractive Color and Look
Best Sound Quality
The Vintage Ukulele
Parts Of a Ukulele
The headstock is also referred to as the head of the ukulele. It is made using wood or high-quality plastic. The primary function of this part of the ukulele is to support the tension of the strings and the tuners.
The tuners are known by many names like pegs, tuning pegs, tuning heads, machine heads or tuning keys. The ukulele has four tuners located at the headstock. The primary function of the tuners is to tune the strings of your ukulele.
The top end of the string is connected to the tuner. You need to turn the tuner to tighten or loosen the strings depending on your requirement. Certain tuners are geared that are easier to set while others rely on friction.
It is the ridge between the head and fretboard of the ukulele. It consists of notches on which the strings are spaced evenly. The nut is an essential part of the ukulele on which the strings rest on. The absence of this part would cause the strings to slip out of its place.
The nut also raises the strings off the fretboard by a few millimeters. This allows you to play the instrument conveniently by pressing down the strings.
This is the front part of the neck of the ukulele on which the strings lie. This part is usually made from dark hardwood such as rosewood and ebony. It is strong, smooth, and is easily fitted on to the neck.
The frets are the small bars that are seen on the fretboard at specific intervals. They are slightly raised from the surface of the fretboard. The reason for this is that it helps the ukulele play in semi-tonal increments by stopping the strings instead of the finger when it is placed behind a fret. The intervals between the frets reduce as it starts getting closer to the soundhole.
Fret markers are white dots that are usually present on the third, fifth, seventh, tenth, and twelfth fret of the ukulele. These marks help the player find the way from one note to the other. They are accommodating when moving more considerable distances up and down the fretboard.
This is a curved part that is located in the back of the ukulele behind the fretboard. It is made using wood or plastic and helps the player cup around the neck and fingerboard of the ukulele. This ensures a grip which allows the player play easily and comfortably.
This is the central part of the ukulele that comprises of the soundhole, back piece, sides, and front piece. It amplifies the sound of the vibrating strings. They are of different shapes and sizes, that is dependent on the type and is constructed using wood like Mahogany. They have a structure similar to that of modern or classical instruments and guitars.
The sound hole is around cut-out located above the bridge of the ukulele on the body. It resonates the sound of the vibrating strings. Strumming the strings over the soundhole will provide you with a louder sound. On the other hand, strumming below or above the soundhole will give you a quieter sound.
The bridge is located at the bottom of the body. It is the part where the strings of the ukulele are attached to the body. The bridge may be of two types- tie bar where the strings are threaded through the small holes of the bridge and the standard bridge containing notches where the knotted strings are inserted into.
The function of the saddle is similar to the nut. The only difference is that it is located at the bottom end of the string on the bridge. It consists of notches where the strings are attached to and evenly spaced. The saddle also raises the strings at a consistent distance from the fretboard.
Last but definitely not the least, the strings of the ukulele is the main part which produces the sound on strumming and pressing them on the fretboard. Soprano and concert ukuleles have nylon strings. On the other hand, the tenor and baritone have a mix of nylon and metal-wound strings to produce bass and fuller sound.
Types of Ukuleles
The Soprano is the most common type of Ukulele that has a size of 21 inches, making it the smallest ukulele among the models. It has 12-15 frets that are narrower, making the chords easier to play. It has a tuning of G-C-E-A (High G) and is also cheaper than any other ukulele. Thus, it is the best option for beginners.
The concert is slightly bigger compared to a Soprano as it has a length of 23 inches. It has a traditional sound. However, the music is louder, deeper, and fuller. The concert ukulele has a standard tuning of G-C-E-A (High G).
Apart from this, the concert ukulele has wider frets with a 15-inch scale length. It is an excellent option for beginners that offers versatility in sound quality.
Tenor ukuleles are bigger in size than both soprano and concert ukuleles. They have a length of 26 inches and have a scale length of 17 inches. The tenor ukulele has a deeper and fuller sound and is very popular among professionals.
It has a common tuning of D-G-B-E which can be fitted with a lower G string as well as a high G string. It is a great choice if you are looking for a deep tone. However, a concert and soprano ukulele is a more preferred option for the traditional ukulele sound.
The Baritone is near the size of a guitar with a common tuning of D-G-B-E. The four strings are tuned in a similar way as that of the higher four strings of the guitar. Moreover, it does not sound as light and bright as that of a soprano or concert.
It has a scale length of 19 inches while the overall length is of 30 inches. It is not a suitable choice for a beginner even though it retains some of the ukuleles feels.
We already know that a Ukulele is divided into four major types- Soprano, Concert, Tenor, and Baritone based on its size. If you are a beginner looking for a brighter sound, the soprano or concert would be an ideal choice. While a professional can even go for a Tenor or Baritone as it provides a deeper, fuller sound which can add variation to the music.
Build and Finishing
The Ukulele you purchase should be made using a hardwood like Mahogany, basswood, or rosewood. This ensures a premium quality build that also comes with high durability. Moreover, looks of the ukulele also matter. So, the instrument should have a glossy, polished, or matte finishing that adds sophistication and elegance to your ukulele.
The fretboard should be made using hard dark wood like rosewood and ebony. This ensures comfortable and easy playing. It also ensures a clear sound quality.
Quality of tuners
The tuners are the pegs present on the head of your ukulele that help you tune the strings of your instrument. Always ensure that the tuners are geared and are of good quality. This allows you to easily turn them in order to loosen or tighten the strings and preventing them from breaking easily.
Go for a ukulele that comes with accessories like picks and a gig bag. A gig bag is extremely important as it helps you carry your instrument outdoors. So, you can play a rich, bright tune for an evening outdoor party.
The ukulele should also have other features like in-built equalizers. This allows you to connect it to an amplifier to enhance the sound and volume of the instrument.
The ukulele should be constructed using hardwood that ensures a sturdy, durable, and premium quality construction. The body should be made using Mahogany, basswood, or even Linden wood. The neck should be made using maple while the fretboard and soundboard should be made using rosewood or ebony for comfortable playing.
The strings should be made using high-quality nylon so that you can play comfortably. It should be super light to prevent you from cutting or hurting your fingers while playing. Moreover, it helps in providing a richer and clearer sound.
1. Kadence Concert Sized Ukulele – Our Choice
The Kadence ukulele is a 24-inch concert-sized ukulele that is suitable for both a beginner as well as professional. The instrument is known for its great quality, and superb Mahogany build, making it highly durable as well. The action of the product is good, and it has an in-built equalizer that allows you even to connect it to an amplifier. Along with these features, it also comes with a tuner making it our number one recommendation.
- Type: 24-inch concert size ukulele.
- It is made using Mahogany.
- It has a built-in three-band equalizer.
- It comes with a bag and a tuner.
- Has great quality and finishing.
- It is highly durable.
- The ukulele is suitable for both beginners as well as professionals.
- Issues related to noise and sound quality were seen when the ukulele was connected to the amplifier.
2. Vault UK-003 Soprano Colourful Ukulele – The Diverse Ukulele
The Vault UK-003 is a Soprano Ukulele that is available in different colors of red, blue, black, yellow and white. It is ideal for beginners and professionals who can use it even outdoors because of its gig bag that ensures its portability. The ukulele is sturdy and has a glossy finishing.
Moreover, the instrument ensures a variety of sounds along with rich, clean, and warm tones. So, if you want a diverse product, this is the ukulele to go for.
- It is a Soprano ukulele.
- It has a maple neck and a basswood soundboard.
- The back and side are constructed with basswood.
- The fingerboard is constructed with rosewood.
- Comes with Aquila strings.
- Machine Heads: Chrome Nut and Saddle: PVC
- Has a gloss finishing.
- Comes with a gig bag.
- Ideal for beginners and professionals.
- Comes with a one-year Standard Manufacturer Warranty if purchased from Bajaao
- It has a sturdy construction.
- The gig bag makes it portable and easy to use outdoors.
- Maple Neck, Basswood Back and Sides and Rosewood fretboard adds a variety to the sound of the Ukulele, giving rich, clean and warm tones.
- Available in different color options: Red, Blue, Yellow, Black, White.
- The bag is of cheap quality.
3. Juarez JRZ21UK 21″ Soprano Ukulele Kit – Budget-Friendly Ukulele
The Juarez JRZ21UK is a 21-inch Soprano ukulele that comes with a high build. It has a Mahogany body with a matte finish. The ukulele is a suitable choice for any individual, be it a kid or an adult.
It is easy to learn, and the Aquila brand super light nylon strings allow you to play comfortably, providing a clear sound. If you are looking for a ukulele in a budget, this would be a great buy.
- It is a 21-inch Soprano Ukulele.
- Has a Mahogany body and an Okoume neck.
- The Aquila brand nylon strings are made in Italy.
- Has a Rosewood fingerboard and bridge.
- Comes with a matte finish.
- High quality ABS nut and saddle.
- The machine head is a black and open type.
- Comes with metal chrome tuners.
- Comes with a gig bag and two picks are included.
- It is easy to learn and stimulate the potential of stringed instruments.
- Brings you a richer and brighter sound.
- Ensures comfort while playing while also providing a clear sound.
- Compact and light-weight design.
- Improper distance between frets.
- The strings get detuned easily.
4. Kadence Ukulele Tenor – Durable with Good Build
The Kadence Ukulele Tenor comes with a Mahogany matte finish body with a great build. The equalizer is built-in, allowing you to connect it to the amplifier. The bridge and the fretboard ensure comfortable and easy playing for anyone, be it a professional or a beginner. It is the best durable and sturdy product to go for.
- It is a 26 inch Tenor Ukulele.
- Has a built-in equalizer and pick-up.
- Has a Mahogany body.
- The bridge and fretboard are made of rosewood.
- Has a matte finishing.
- The equalizer allows you to connect it to an amplifier.
- It has a good build and high durability.
- Easy to use for both beginners and professionals.
- No bag is provided with it.
5. Zabel Soprano Ukulele – Attractive Color and Look
The Zabel Soprano Ukulele is another great budget-friendly product. It comes with a bag, and the strings are made of nylon, providing a good sound quality. The build is sturdy and durable. However, the highlighted feature is the dark blue color matte finish that gives it an attractive as well as the sophisticated look, making it a desirable option for any beginner or professional.
- It is a Soprano ukulele.
- The color of the ukulele: dark blue.
- It comes with a bag.
- The strings are nylon strings.
- It has geared tuning.
- Has a matte finishing.
- Great sound quality.
- Easy to carry around, making it perfect for outdoors.
- The dark blue gives it an attractive look.
- It has good quality and is durable
- It goes out of tune very fast.
6. Filia, Ukulele UK1-F-Brown – Best Design
The Filia Ukulele UK1-F has premium quality. It is a Soprano ukulele that is made from Linden wood while the bridge is made from plastic providing amazing sonic performance. Apart from this, the ukulele is a combination of great looks with an innovative design that ensures good sound quality. It also allows you to reach higher notes easily.
- It is a 21-inch Soprano ukulele.
- The neck and body are made from Linden wood.
- The bridge is made using plastic.
- The fingerboard is made from Linden wood.
- The strings are made of nylon.
- Warranty: 6 months.
- Color: brown
- A premium quality product that comes with a great tone.
- The selected tonewoods ensure amazing sonic performance.
- The cutaway design allows better reach to the higher notes on the fretboards.
- It has an attractive and stylish look.
- Light-weight design.
The string is buzzing on the first fret.
7. Zabel Ukulele Mahagony Wood – Best Sound Quality
The Zabel Ukulele is a 23-inch concert ukulele constructed using mahogany. It has good quality and is highly durable. You can play with this cute instrument for hours comfortably. Moreover, it ensures great sound quality and can be played for outdoor events as well to brighten up the audience.
- It is a 23-inch concert ukulele.
- It is made using Mahogany wood.
- Comes with a gig bag.
- Has a polished finish.
- Has a 6-month manufacturing warranty.
- It has great sound quality.
- Good quality and durable.
- The bag helps to be carried easily.
- Suitable for outdoor parties.
- It loses tune easily.
8. Kala Makala MK-CE Concert Ukulele – The Vintage Ukulele
If you are looking for a vintage looking concert ukulele that can be connected with an amplifier for an enriched sound experience, this Kala ukulele review is an ideal option to go for. It has an excellent sturdy build with a satin finish that adds to the vintage look. Apart from the look, it also produces a fantastic sound while ensuring smooth playing on the fretboard.
- It is a concert ukulele.
- It has a Kauri build.
- Has a satin finishing.
- The neck is made of Mahogany.
- It has a rosewood fingerboard and a plastic nut and saddle.
- The headstock is standard while the strings are nylon.
- Overall instrument length: 24.125 inches and body length: 11.125 inches.
- Scale length: 14.875 inches.
- It has 18 frets.
- Width at the upper bout: 6 inches, width at lower bout: 8.25 inches and width at waist: 4.875 inches.
- Has a good and sturdy build.
- Comes with a vintage look.
- Produces a fantastic sound.
- The fretboard is smooth and easy to play.
- Comes with equalizer allowing you to connect with an amplifier.
- No cons were observed for now
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How to hold a ukulele properly?
For a beginner, it is essential to understand the way of holding a ukulele before you start learning to play the instrument. The most common way of keeping the ukulele is holding it against your chest while cradling the body with your right arm at a 90-degree angle. You can re-adjust its position as per your comfort.
The thumb should be behind the neck between the nut and the third fret while the four fingers should be placed in front to form the chords. You need to strum the strings using your thumb or index finger of your dominant hand while keeping your wrist straight with fingers cupping the bottom.
2. Which type of ukulele to go for if you are a beginner?
If you are a beginner, the best option would be the soprano ukulele. However, you can also go to the concert as well. Baritone and tenor are not ideal choices for a beginner as they produce a more fuller sound, and the chord is not as easy to play.
3. Which wood type ukulele is considered best?
The best wood type would ensure the best sound quality. The traditional wood types are koa and mahogany. However, you can also go for ukuleles having wood types of cedar, spruce, rosewood, ebony, and basswood.
4. How do you tune a ukulele?
Ukuleles are tuned by turning the tuners present on the headstock of the instrument. Tuning them will tighten or loosen the strings as per the requirement. However, you should unwind the tuner slightly before tuning it to the correct note. This prevents breakage of strings, especially in case of metal-wound strings.
Ukuleles are great options for a stringed instrument that will make an individual’s mood happier and brighter because of its traditional rich and bright tone. If you are looking to buy a ukulele for yourself or as a gift for your loved one, this article issue to help.
The buyer’s guide provides all the essential factors you need to consider before making a purchase. On the other hand, the top eight ukuleles offer you with options to choose from. The detailed reviews will help you analyze and make the right choice.
You can go for our number one choice- the Kadence concert-sized ukulele which is ideal for a beginner as well as a professional. The Vault UK-003 Soprano Ukulele is another excellent choice if you are looking for colorful options to a great product. With this, we now come to the end of this article. We hope that you make the right choice from the list of available options and purchase it from the links provided