People tend to find musical instruments as the way of reducing stress. Also, for Ukuleles, players love the rich and cheerful sound that they can make. However, you can lost in the ukulele world when trying to find the best one fitting your requirements; therefore, we are here to help you guys with our recommendation of the top 05 best ukulele brands in 2020.
Our guide to choosing the best ukulele for beginners is designed to help you to avoid the pitfalls and to make sense of some of the terminology and different types of ukulele, as well as the best brands.
What Are the best ukulele brands for beginner?
We’ve done in depth loads of researches through many various products and chosen five different models to compare. Have a look through all our pros and cons for each one to find your best ukulele brands.
Our best ukulele brands picks
The #1 of our chart. An inspiring instrument and perfectly designed for beginner
A budget-friendly ukulele but still has a very good quality
A good looking ukulele with the impressive tone. Overall value is medium.
The sound and playability are good but it’s not a top notch in quality
An ukulele has a great build quality and reasonably price but it’s not made for high-end use
With a famous history dating back to 1946, Fender has a history of many decades making guitars, and some of the most popular and iconic electric guitars are made by this brand.
Their expertise in creating quality instruments has transferred brilliantly as they have launched some excellent ukuleles. Some of these ukes are good options for beginners.
Top Pick – Fender Zuma Concert Ukulele – Natural
A top rated ukulele from Fender? Absolutely! The Fender Zuma Concert Ukulele is a uniquely-styled mahogany uke that features head-turning looks and beautiful sound straight from the iconic guitar maker.
Super portable and instantly playable. From the beach to the stage, they’re the perfect addition to any creative outing.
Sound and function
The action is low and the aquila super nylgut strings tuned up well. The sound and intonation on this instrument are near perfect. The Concert body style provides full sound and comfortable playing experience for players with larger hands. It has 4-in-line Tele headstock with vintage-style tuners.
Shape and material
The ukulele has a gorgeous tone matched by its gorgeous rosette. The solid koa wood top is beautifully book ended and the frets are bounded to the fingerboard.The fit and finish on this instrument was terrific and you couldn’t find a single flaw.
If you wanted a Koa tenor ukulele without having to spend a couple thousand dollars, you should give it a try.
You will find it hard to ask any ukulele players about famous brands without receiving the name of Kala brand on the list.
They’ve become equivalent to quality ukuleles and they’ve succeeded in earning lots of fans since 15 years ago when they started producing musical instruments. It offers a vast range of instruments for everyone from beginner to professional.
Top Pick – Kala Ukulele Soprano Starter Kit
The Kala Ukulele Soprano Starter Kit is a great starter package. It includes online lessons, tuner app, booklet and a high-quality Mahogany Soprano Ukulele with traditional Polynesian Shark Teeth laser etched rosette, Aquila strings from Italy, quality open gear tuners, and GraphTech NuBone nut and saddle. This is a quality, affordable ukulele that’s perfect for those just starting out.
Sound and function
Built with the mahogany, it is a strong and long-lasting instrument having a rich sound and minimalistic look.
The intonation is great, which can be an issue on cheaper instruments. It projects well and sounds bright and clear. As with any nylon stringed instrument, it will take at least a day of re-tuning before the strings stretch and stay in tune.
Shape and material
The Kala Ukulele Soprano is elegant and classy. It has a beautiful mahogany body, and it’s decorated with a simple white binding. It features chrome die-cast tuners that make tuning a breeze.
This starter package includes online lessons but the video in the app doesn’t show a good enough angle, and the person playing doesn’t say a word. No explanation of finger position or anything so if you need a lot more hand holding.
Lohanu is a Canada-based company that has developed to become one of the well-known ukulele manufacturers in the industry. They are famous for offering a number of top quality budget ukuleles that have received more positive ukulele reviews than many brands on the market.
Top Pick – Lohanu Ukulele Concert
Lohanu provides a full necessary package for one product
Aside from the ukulele, this kit comes with a nice, padded Lohanu gigbag, a strap, a clip-on digital tuner, plectrums and even an extra set of Aquila strings. Want all the info on the Lohanu Ukulele Bundle?
Sound and function
For the price, this ukulele concert has a lovely quality sound. It has closed Gotoh style tuners and an arched back for better sound projection.
Shape and material (hardware)
The ukulele is made of Sapele, which is an identical type of wood as mahogany.They all come pre-installed with a high G string
The ukulele itself comes installed with two chrome-plated strap buttons (many other models fail to include these), along with a set of chrome die-cast tuning machines. Simple enough, as a good ukulele should be.
It’s not susceptible to change in temperature and humidity or fragile due to its all-laminated body.
This goes a long way in making the instrument more playable—-a beginner has more on their mind learning chords, music theory and strumming and doesn’t need to add worry about holding onto the instrument!
Oscar Schmidt is a branch of the Washburn guitar company. They began as the ‘folk instrument’ wing of Washburn and seemed to concentrate on Autoharps more than ukuleles. Oscar Schmidt ukes are likely to be at the cheaper end of the price scale but have a good reputation for quality.
While the brand has limited exposure, anyone who has an Oscar Schmidt instrument is almost always happy with their choice.
Top Pick – Oscar Schmidt OU2 Mahogany Concert Ukulele
This brand is outstanding for your budget due to a quality build and tone while their products do not cost a fortune.
Their popular concert uke, the OU2, a price that promises a lot more than an entry-level toy. Let’s see what it’s all about.
Sound and function
For a plywood top, it sounds like a super accurate pitch for a uke. Its tone and volume are great.The action set up is perfect – right out of the box
Shape and material (hardware)
The tone and projection of the Ukulele is excellent. The dark stained matchbook top is gorgeous. The multi-layered inlay around the top and sound hole is stunning.
This is a wonderful ukulele with a great deal for the package price.
Luna Ukuleles are an incredibly respected brand of Ukulele with a vast range of series including the traditional Soprano, Concert, Tenor, Baritone and exotic models such as the Tribal series.
Drawing inspiration from their line of acoustic guitars, Luna Ukuleles are internationally recognised for their high-quality and unique designs. One of many stunning designs is the Luna Tattoo Concert Ukulele which features a mahogany body for rich overtones and a satin finish.
Top Pick – Luna Tattoo Concert Mahogany Ukulele with Gig Bag, Satin Natural
Another beginner ukulele review for you – The Tattoo Concert from Luna – is quite common with all people knowing Ukuleles.
Their eye-catching, wallet-friendly Tattoo Concert ukulele comes in at the top end of our chart on the best ukuleles under $100 and is a very popular model – let’s see why.
Sound and function
This amazing ukulele features an all-mahogany build, resulting in a warm and lively ukulele tone. Mahogany produces plenty of treble tones and rich, resonant warmth. Additionally, the mahogany body offers more volume, and a strong balance between high-end and bass, which enables this instrument to maintain a classic ukulele tone.
Shape and material
Construction looks very good, wood quality, design work, seems, body, neck, fretboard…, etc all check out. String seems nice too.
Finish is beautifully crafted, and the tattoo design is a knockout. This attractive ukulele features an unmistakably Hawaiian design, featuring swirling waves inspired by traditional body ornamentation, tattooed in black across the lower bout, with a shark tooth-inspired soundhole rosette.
There’s a set of open-gear tuners with charming pearloid buttons, which are decent – they are responsive to use, and hold tuning reasonably well. The bridge matches the fretboard in using rosewood, while the nut is graphite – better than plastic, as you’d find on some other budget ukes.
Ukuleles for Beginners Selection Tips
Choosing a very first musical instrument is always a difficult task and that’s exactly similar for Ukuleles. With a whole bunch of models available in various sizes, wood composites, surface textures and decorations, Ukulele may make you stunned at first sight and confused in choosing which one. Therefore, hope you find easier after reading a few selection tips from us, especially for entry-level uke players
Ukuleles come in four different sizes—soprano, concert, tenor and baritone. The soprano is the smallest and baritone, sitting on the other end of the spectrum, is the largest.
In general, if you are spank new to the world of stringed instruments and the playability of the instrument (rather than tone, range, etc.) is your primary concern, we highly recommend that you settle either for a soprano or a concert ukulele.
Smaller instruments obviously come with smaller things like smaller fretboards. That means you may find it easier than playing any bigger instruments since you don’t need to stretch your fingers too much. Moreover, a smaller scale means lesser octaves, so you can play many basic chords easily often using only one or two fingers. This way, you catch up first with the playing and can start to make music very fast (often within a week or two) and this is always inspiring for entry-level players and will help boost their confidence.
To settle for a Concert-size uke or a Soprano one, it depends on the size of your hands and even your physical size. Soprano should be an ideal choice for children due to a rule of thumb, while Concert may be suitable for adults better on their uke journey.
That said, it still all boils down to individual preferences. In many cases, larger adults (even those with bigger hands) find little problem with a soprano ukulele and if they feel more comfortable starting out on a soprano than on a concert, by all means they are welcome to it!
Tenor ukes are likely to be preferred by intermediate to professional players (for whom the sound, tone and a wider range hold more importance than the playability of the instrument); therefore, we’ll talk about them in other posts.
The baritone ukes, on the other hand, is more of a cross between a guitar and a ukulele. The sound is fuller and heavier and is normally a far cry from a traditional ukulele sound. The string arrangements are different as well and accordingly, the tabs you’ll get for ukulele songs and the string and chord arrangements therein will not correspond if you try to play them on a baritone.
However, as a beginner, you may start out with a baritone uke only if your aim is to shift to guitar once you’ve packed in some experience and skill by playing the uke. For a situation such as this, the baritone uke is actually an ideal choice since its strings, DGBE, correspond exactly to the four high strings of the guitar. This makes the transition easier since you won’t have to learn new chord positions once you’ve made the shift to the guitar.
Another factor needs noticing when selecting a uke for a brand new is easy and smooth playability.
So, always look for a uke with lower action so that your fingers will not get unduly stressed while playing. Also, pay attention to the strings and see if they are soft enough for your fingers. You may either go for gut strings or fluorocarbon strings or any other variety as long as they go soft on your fingers.
Make, Wood & Sound
The construction influences tone and sound strongly. For instance, different woods and wood composites make the differences between these factors.
However, the ‘make’ factor is important. The top soundboard should be entirely flat; the neck should be joined flush with the main body of the instrument and there should be no gap for air to intrude; the back of the body will have a little curved shape, but see to it that there are no uneven bulges and so on.
Normally, if you are buying from a reputable brand or a popular uke model, the make would be alright. All the same, make sure to check on these factors (for you never know!). A ukulele with an improper make can seriously interfere with your playing (buzz, uneven tone, etc.) and surely you don’t want that to happen!
Also, as an amateur, you would be better setting up your uke with geared tuners rather than friction pegs. As tuning machines, the former allow for more precise and accurate tuning whereas tuning through friction pegs is somewhat more challenging.
Now, as to the price, you certainly don’t need (or want) to spend a fortune on your first ukulele. However, do resist the temptation to go for the extremely cheap versions available for $30-$40. For one thing, the build quality is often extremely poor for these ukes and this can compromise the playability as well as the intonation of the instrument. Usually, as a beginner, it is best to settle for models falling in the price bracket of $60-$120.
Average Ukulele Pricing
Here’s a small and simple list of average ukulele pricing that will help you get a general idea of ukulele prices.
- Budget: Around $60
- Beginner/ Entry-level: $60 to $150
- Mid-Level/ Intermediate: $150 to $500
- High-End/ Professional: $500 and Up (with the solid wood tops easily running up to thousands)
The fact that you have a world of choice in selecting a very first Ukulele; however, this article comes to help you find out the most suitable Uke to you.
The quality of a product usually comes with the price of them and that’s why an expensive uke can hold its value better. However, most people tend to look for an affordable uke for their first, it would be easy to understand if you guys are not sure to pursue Ukulele as a passion for a long time.
In terms of the best ukulele brands, there are so many out there to decide between, and there will also be an element of personal preference, as you decide whether you want a classical design and a ukulele made of traditional materials (a brand like Kala) or something a bit more modern and quirky (Fender, for example). Choices on design, tonewood and size are key to the decision you will end up making.
For a beginner, developing a little understanding of features before deciding can give you a big insight into your future of playing uke.