7 Tips For Choosing Your First Ukulele

Ukulele is one of the most popular musical instruments because it’s easy to learn. In fact, after a few learning sessions, you can play several ukulele songs quickly. However, buying your first ukulele is a different story.

Generally, the ukulele varies in price, colour, size, and model, making the selection process more challenging. So, if you’re confused with the available options in the market and want to figure out the best ukulele to purchase, here are some of the tips you should know:

  • Consider The Craftsmanship

Before choosing your first ukulele, always check the craftsmanship. Ask the manufacturer about the quality of the wooden materials and strings. You may enquire at Melbourne Music Centre and other similar establishments to learn more about how you may get your money’s worth by purchasing a good-quality ukulele.

If you’re unsure about the ukulele brand’s craftsmanship, you can check its website and read reviews from its previous buyers. It may also be helpful to compare various known brands to determine their difference in terms of craftsmanship.

  • Pay Attention To The Size

Whether you plan to pursue a music career or learn to play the ukulele as a hobby, size matters when buying your first ukulele as it equates to various tones it generates. It is typically available in four sizes: baritone, tenor, concert, and soprano. The most popular and familiar size is the soprano because it’s the smallest and is considered the traditional ukulele.

Another thing to consider regarding the ukulele’s size is the sound. For example, while a soprano ukulele provides a classic ukulele sound with a sweeter, higher voice, tenor ukuleles deliver a fuller sound with a lower voice, better resonance, and projection.

Concert ukuleles are good starter ukuleles for those who want the traditional ukulele sound with more space for their fingers to move. Some professional players opt for tenor ukuleles because of their projection, resonance, and longer fretboard, which is crucial for a wide range of notes. In addition, these ukuleles are ideal for finger-style instrumentals and solos.

On the contrary, a baritone ukulele is the biggest among the sizes and sounds more like a guitar. It’s tuned like the first four strings of guitars, making the transition much easier once you decide to play guitar over time. Unfortunately, a baritone ukulele isn’t familiar to people, and the tabs are often for the standard D-tuning and C-tuning.

  • Check The Materials Used

You need to settle on the best material when choosing your first ukulele. The cheapest ukuleles are usually made of plastic, while higher-quality ones are made from various wood types, such as maple and mahogany.

A ukulele made from laminated wood is more affordable, but its resonance and tone are poor, unlike a solid wood ukulele. The other parts of the ukuleles, including the bridge, neck, body, and fingerboard, can also be made from various materials.

  • Ensure There’s A Return Policy

Because you’re buying your first ukulele, you should ensure that the store or brand offers a return policy if you receive a damaged product. Although many stores and manufacturers have quality control in place, damages are inevitable during the shipping process. With a return policy, you can ensure that your investment is protected and you won’t get stuck with a damaged product.

  • Determine Your Budget

Like buying any product, you need to make a budget when choosing your first ukulele. If you know your budget, you can easily select a ukulele within the range you can afford.

You can consider many entry-level ukuleles if you have a tight budget. However, depending on your knowledge, experience, and skill level, you might want to raise your budget and opt for decent ukuleles with better features.

  • Consider The Tuning Pegs And Other Hardware

One of the crucial hardware parts of a ukulele is the machine heads or tuning pegs. Even if several factors may affect the ukulele’s tuning stability, tuning pegs are the most crucial. Often, cheap ukuleles are unstable and might even have poor intonation, so choosing the most inexpensive one isn’t always a good idea. If possible, go for a ukulele with quality tuning pegs because these can affect your overall experience.

  • Decide Whether To Buy A New Or Used Ukulele

A preloved ukulele can help you save more money. You may even get a better-quality ukulele for the same amount as a new musical instrument. However, used ukuleles may have some issues you might not know. So, check for loose hardware components and intonation issues to avoid wasting money when buying a second-hand ukulele.

Meanwhile, new ukuleles don’t have wear and tear problems. Because they’re fresh out of a case, you can quickly use them without experiencing any inconvenience.


It isn’t easy to choose your first ukulele, but it doesn’t have to be complicated. With the above tips in mind, you’ll be able to find the best ukulele that suits your unique needs. However, try to balance your budget and the ukulele’s good features. Prioritising tone quality and playability can also make a difference to your first ukulele experience.  


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