1. Set a price
We don’t expect newbie Uke players to spend fortunes on their first instrument, but it’s perhaps worth bearing in mind when buying a Ukulele, (like most items!) you generally get what you pay for. At Uke Universe we offer a range of prices to get you up and running; most beginners spend £30-£70 on their first Ukulele.
2. The Sizes
The Soprano Ukulele is the most common and plays that renowned ‘’traditional Ukulele sound’’ most associated with the instrument. It’s modestly sized at 20 inches (51cm) and makes a great travel companion for kids and grown ups!
Coming in at 23 inches (58cm), the Concert Ukulele has a longer neck whilst the general body of the instrument is also bigger; there is more room in-between frets which make it a little easier to move your fingers around the fret board (very useful for adults!) It’s similar sounding to a Soprano but definitely louder!
The next size up to the Concert is the Tenor Ukulele. Approximately 26 inches (66cm) long and sounds louder/deeper – not too dissimilar to a guitar and perhaps less like a Ukulele. The Tenor Ukulele is played by many professionals, so this instrument is often more widely chosen by intermediate and above players.
The final and largest sized Ukulele is a Baritone 30 inches (76 cm). The tone of the instrument is very deep & full- sounding very similar to a guitar (loud also). This is the most rare Ukulele size as it’s a little bulky so cannot be very easily transported; choose this instrument once you’re ready to hit the stage and entertain the masses!
3. The Woods
Ukeleles’ can be created with many types of wood including Curley Mango, Ebony, Koa, Mahogany, Walnut, Cedar Acacia, Monkey Pod, Rosewood, Acacia, Spruce… the list is truly endless.
The most common wood is Spruce. The wood is tight and light, which makes it a dream for strummers/finger pickers. This makes the most perfect Ukulele sound – bright, full and fun. The wood is a light blonde, which turns yellow with time.
Koa is the original Ukulele wood from Hawaii. Accompanied by visions of palms swaying in the wind, it has a beautiful colour range from blonde, to auburn red to chocolate brown. The sound is warm, easy on the ear and all round very special. Koa is used on the most expensive Ukes.
Mahogany is another warm sounding Ukulele. It’s particularly woody with a direct/clear sound and dark brownish in colour – this is most commonly used on mid-range Ukes.
On a final note, a mention for laminated and solid types. Solid means the wood is the same on inside and out. Laminated is the cheaper version, with cheaper wood on the inside and a higher quality wood on the outside.
4. Which Brand to pick?
We’ve handpicked a selection of the finest Ukes, from the best brands across the globe. Our beginners’ bestsellers are Flight, Octopus and Mahalo which are are great value especially during this pandemic.
5. Do I need any accessories?
It’s recommended to buy a gig-bag & tuner with any Ukulele you buy, purely for ease. That way your Uke can travel safely with you & can maintain the sound it’s so world-renowned for! As a treat, all Ukes at Uke Universe come with a free bag!
Now you’re armed with all the facts, get strumming! If you need a hand- feel free to give us a call or drop us a message, we are happy to help!
With the world in lockdown and many of us stuck at home, it really is a fantastic time to fill your soul with the sounds of the South-Pacific… Happy strumming!