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The 2 Best Ukuleles  Jul 2017

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1
Top choice
Best Ukuleles - Kadence Ukulele Tenor 26 inch, Mahagony Top Review Kadence
9.8
2
Best Ukuleles - Zabel Soprano Ukulele, Red Review Zabel
9.3

Your Guide To Buying a Ukulele

By Nicole Blanckenberg

    Portable, classic, and a fun addition to any jam session, ukuleles offer a unique sound that people have grown to love. With their growing popularity, so grows the number of available options, and choosing one can be a complicated affair. To eradicate that confusion, this ukulele buying guide has been put together to help you quickly make the right ukelele investment.

    Ukuleles come in five main sizes: soprano, sopranissimo, concert, tenor, and baritone, and can be either boat paddle, guitar, or pineapple shaped. The size of the ukulele affects the sound that is produced and the shape will determine how it’s played. Here are the main type of ukuleles for you to compare:

    Soprano Ukuleles: The most traditionally-sized ukulele, sopranos are 20 inches in size and produce the most popular classic ukulele sound.

    Sopranissimo Ukuleles: Sopranissimo ukuleles are miniature sopranos and are normally only about 16 inches in length. Perfect for travel!

    Concert Ukuleles: Designed with bigger bodies and longer necks, concert ukuleles are 23 inches. With a louder sound and more room for frets, these ukuleles are easier to handle.

    Tenor Ukuleles: 26 inches tenor ukuleles offer a deeper sound, similar to that of a guitar. Tenor ukuleles are a popular choice for experienced ukulele players and professional musicians.

    Baritone Ukuleles: Baritone ukuleles are the largest type of ukuleles and offer the deepest tones. Producing sounds similar to that of a classical nylon string guitar, they are the ideal choice for people who prefer sounds closer to that of a guitar but want the portability of the ukulele.

    Guitar/Figure 8 Ukuleles: These ukuleles have a smaller upper bout (or shoulder) than their lower body and mimic the shape of a guitar. The most popular ukulele shape, they more often than not allow for easier access to the upper frets.

    Pineapple Ukuleles: Designed in Hawaii, these ukuleles are shaped like a pineapple and have a rounded back.

    Boat Paddle Ukuleles: Shaped exactly like a boat paddle, boat paddle shaped ukuleles are best suited for for the ukulele connoisseur looking for rich, full-toned sounds.

    Acoustic-electric Ukuleles: Acoustic-electric ukuleles are instruments that include an electronic pickup and an on-board preamplifier that transmits electronic signals to a sound system. Perfect for ukulele performers, these are professional ukuleles designed for the stage.

    6/8-Stringed Ukuleles: Based on the same scale as a baritone or tenor ukulele, 6-string and 8-string ukuleles are speciality ukuleles designed as an alternative to a travel-sized guitar.

    Hybrid Ukuleles: These are instruments that have combined ukuleles with other instruments such as banjos and often incorporate materials other than wood (such as metal) to create unique sounds without losing the comfort of the ukulele shape and size.

    Based on all the consumers' reviews we've scanned, these are the top things they mentioned about their new stuff:

    1. Sound: Ukulele sound is important, and sub-par quality models often mean toy-like bad quality sound and therefore are not reviewed well. Search for a top rated brand with good sound reviews and consider the shape, size, and strings to ensure you get the sound you want. Most ukulele owners recommend buying an additional electric tuner to help get your ukulele sound just perfect.
    2. Value for money: For beginners especially, ukuleles with quality sound and builds at around the $50 dollar mark seem to be the best value for money units and are rated well accordingly. As an intermediate player looking to upgrade, however, you may want to invest a little more in a better quality instrument.
    3. Build: Design and size is an important reviewing factor, and ukuleles that offer beautiful design craftsmanship are rated higher by online reviewers. It is important to note that owners who did not choose a size best suited for their skill are not as satisfied. This is particularly relevant for the two smaller sizes that may be difficult to handle for people new to ukuleles.
    4. Accessories: Ukuleles that come included with quality (already installed) strings and carrying cases get good reviews from their owners. Not only do the owners feel that it saves them the additional cost outlay of buying those items themselves, but they also feel these added accessories save time and energy searching for them themselves.
    • There are a number of things that will contribute to the sound of a ukulele, including its shape, size, soundhole size, tuning and the type of strings it has, and all these things need to be considered when choosing a ukulele to ensure it has the sound best suited to your taste.
    • Ukuleles are mostly built from wood and the type of wood used will not only affect the sound, but also the cost. Koa comes from Hawaii and is widely considered to make the best sounding ukuleles. Mahogany offers softer sounds and is a popular choice for beginners wanting quality sound for less expense. For the most cost effective buy, ideal for beginner ukulele players, opt for a unit made from spruce. Other woods available include cedar ,for mellower tones, redwood that offers the warm tones of a cedar and the clarity of a spruce, rosewood, chosen for its visual appeal, and maple, a harder option ideal for ukulele bridges and fretboards.
    • A ukulele will either be solid wood or laminated woods. Solid wood are the best quality ukuleles, and have the same wood inside as they do out. Laminated ukuleles are far more cost effective and will have an expensive wood on the outside, and a better value on the inside to save you money.
    • Some helpful accessories to consider buying with your new ukulele are an electronic tuner, a ukulele case, a pick, and strings. The better the quality of the strings that the ukulele comes with, the less likely it is that you will need to upgrade with your purchase.

    Mahalo: Mahalo specialises in ukuleles and provides models of all shapes, sizes, and colors and is a popular ukulele brand.

    Oscar Schmidt: A musical instrument expert, Oscar Schmidt has been producing quality instruments since opening in 1911 and is known for their quality wooden ukuleles.

    Luna Guitars: Luna Guitars have been producing quality guitars, ukuleles, and accessories since opening in 2005 by an experienced musician.

    Kala:Started in 2005 by a passionate Ukulele player, Kala builds over 120 types of ukuleles to suit any need and preference.


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