If you are thinking of buying your first Ukulele, want to understand the difference in sizes, or just want to learn some Ukulele basics read our basic Ukulele guide....
With the huge rise in popularity of Ukuleles we thought we'd write a little article explaining some Ukulele basics and help you get off on the right foot.
First of all, why are Ukuleles so popular? The attraction is obvious; they're small, extremely affordable, are easy to learn and are perfect at home, in the garden, around the campfire or as a travel companion!
Ukuleles come in 4 basic sizes Soprano, Concert, Tenor and Baritone (that’s in order of size from smallest to largest). The Soprano Ukulele (about 21” in length) is the most common / standard size. It’s the smallest of the Ukulele family – great for travelling, the beginner or child (be aware many pros choose to use Sopranos, so don’t be put off by the smaller size). The Concert (approx. 23” in length) and Tenor (approx 26”) Ukuleles are great for someone wanting a larger, fuller sound or for those with bigger hands – due to the longer necks it makes playing chords slightly easier. Finally we have the Baritone Ukulele (again approx. 30” in length), the biggest Uke in the family – it delivers a deeper sound and utilizes a different tuning as standard.
Video showing a comparison between a Soprano, Concert and Tenor size ukuleles:
Talking of tuning, here is the Ukulele tuning for the 4 models we have discussed. As standard the Soprano, Concert and Tenor Ukuleles are tuned GCEA – there are variation tunings for these models but this is considered standard. As we said the Baritone Ukulele is tuned differently – DGBE.
Playing chords on a Ukulele is easy. As a little helper, here are a few basic Ukulele chord shapes that'll get you playing something straight away - some chords only require ONE finger to play...try playing a C to A minor.
Ok, let’s now look at some Ukulele models. As a beginner model (and possibly aimed at children) we have the coloured Makala Ukuleles (a sister brand of Kala, more of which later). These Ukes are a budget friendly option that come in a range of eye catching colour options – for the record, these are all Soprano sized Ukuleles. Next we have the Makala MK-S (Soprano), Makala MK-C (Concert), Makala MK-T (Tenor) and Makala MK-B (Baritone), all from the same range. These deliver classic looks, excellent build and super value for money, they are a great option for the beginner and for someone not quite fitting a bright yellow or pink model!
Stepping up from the Makala range we now enter the world of Kala. Kala are the leading Ukulele brand delivering superb quality, excellent build and a huge selection of models. To go through every model and range would be extremely time consuming and potentially boring for you, the reader, so let’s pick out a the few of the popular models. The Kala KA-S Soprano Ukulele is a best seller, hosting the iconic Kala brand and quality at a price that’s right. The Kala KA-C Concert, Kala KA-T Tenor and Kala KA-B Baritone from the same range are also very popular. The Kala Exotic Mahogany range is also a leading line, they look great and there is even an electro Uke in the range (meaning you can amplify it!). As we said the range of Kala Ukuleles is quite expansive, so you can browse the full selection available at GigGear.
A great feature of all Kala Ukuleles is the addition of Aquila Strings. These are the industry standard for Ukulele strings - delivering great tension, tone and longevity. A set of Aquila Ukulele strings will enhance any Uke and bring out the best of it.
A Ukulele is a great instrument for the beginner musician or as an additional instrument for the guitarist, bassist, pianist and even drummer (no drummer jokes please...they can play a proper instrument too!). Ukuleles are fun to play, easy to learn and are highly portable.…join the Ukulele revolution today!