Learn Differences And Similarities – Soprano Vs Concert Ukulele Guide!
In case you are unfamiliar with ukuleles, you might be wondering if there is that much of a difference between a soprano and a concert ukulele. Because when it comes to size, the concert ukulele is only a bit bigger than the Soprano ukulele when we put them side by side.
You’ll discover a whole lot of differences between these two models. It might not mean a lot to someone, however, if you want to learn more about the ukulele and you have an interest in playing one, understanding what they are, will help you determine which one is best for you.
When the majority of people think about a ukulele, they think of the soprano ukulele size. It’s the most typical size and you will get the standard, traditional sound from it.
The soprano ukulele is also the lightest and smallest of the ukes with the tightest fret spacing and shortest scale. No matter whether or not they’re a beginner or professional, the soprano is a perfect selection for musicians of all levels.
If you’re “cursed” with slightly smaller and stubbier hands and fingers, a soprano ukulele will be a great option for you. Because of its dimension, the sound is also softer and brighter with lowered resonance and projection when compared to the larger-sized ones like Concerts or Tenors.
You can find sopranos with additional elongated necks in case you care about the frets and fret spacing. Samuel Kamaka designed the Pineapple shape – a type of soprano size in the 1920s.
The design eliminates the waist of the body to lift the surface area of the soundboard, giving it a fuller sound. The soprano ukulele size could be tuned with the standard ukulele tuning of g-C-E-A, just like concert and tenor ukuleles.
The Concert ukulele is a step up from the soprano ukuleles when it comes to ukulele size. The scale is nearly an inch longer than the Soprano uke; a wider neck and overall a bit of additional bulk define the Concert over the Soprano.
This additional length allows it to have extra frets plus larger spacing between them. You could be a beginner or a professional and discover this size easy to play on, however, the ones with bigger hands and fingers might find this much more inside their comfort zone.
A Concert ukulele falls in the mid-range category and emits a warmer tone and fuller sound. It additionally projects better than its smaller counterpart, giving the volume some boost.
This ukulele was named Concert because it was built for performances. Just like the Soprano, the standard ukulele tuning (g-C-E-A) applies to this uke size.
Soprano Vs Concert Ukulele – Similarities
The Soprano and Concert ukuleles are the most common sizes by some different calculations, however, the Tenor Ukulele can be put also with them as one of the most commonly picked ukuleles.
For example, they’re tuned to the same notes (g-C-E-A). As these notes are the same, the scales and chords are identical too. Thus, it’s quite easy to change back and forth between these two.
Soprano Vs Concert Ukulele – Differences
A soprano has an average dimension of 21 inches or 53 cm, with the scale length or the space between the saddle and nut being 13 inches or 33 cm. Due to its short fingerboard, it only has 12-15 frets with a narrow space in between frets.
A concert ukulele, on the other hand, has an average dimension of 23 inches or 58 cm and a scale length of 15 inches or 38 cm with 15-18 frets (more frets than a soprano) that has an extra space between frets.
The soprano has a smaller body and shorter neck in comparison with the concert ukulele, which is wider and thicker all around. They’re both light in weight although the concert is slightly heavier than the other. The difference in ukulele sizes may be a few inches, but the effect on the sound and playability is quite noticeable.
The bright and cheerful sound of the ukulele is what makes it different from other string instruments. With the soprano and concert not having an identical sizes, there is going to be a difference in the sounds they produce.
Having a smaller physique implies that the soprano has a smaller resonating surface leading to a higher pitch or a plinky sound. It would sound best when strumming chords. Sometimes, as you progress up the neck, the sound would get out of tune.
The concert, which is a bit larger, wider, and has extra depth, would have more resonance so that the sound can be mid-range and have a bit more bass.
It will sound great not just with playing chords but additionally with some single notes. The sound stays in tune even as you progress up the neck due to having a longer and wider neck.
Tenor And Concert Ukulele Playability
The ease with which you’ll be able to play the soprano vs. concert for some might depend on whether or not they’ve small or big hands.
Having a shorter and slim neck means much less spacing between frets and between strings. This could make it a bit difficult for players with big hands or fingers to play comfortably, especially if they’re just beginning to get a feel of playing this instrument.
Others discover the concert size more ideal for playing just because it has a slightly larger body and an extended neck. However, people who are serious about learning to play uke wouldn’t mind playing with both of them, because it becomes easier the longer you practice as you get used to it.
In this video you can see the comparison between the Tenor and Concert ukulele:
This is the place where the soprano and concert ukuleles are the same in the sense that both of them have a reentrant tuning of GCEA, which is called the standard tuning.
On ukuleles, the four strings aren’t ordered from the lowest pitch to the highest pitch or vice versa. The final string or the bottom-most string is often tuned to a higher note than the one above it; it will be like high-low-high-higher.
Additionally, given that they have different sizes and the number of frets, the range of notes would vary in that soprano would be C4-A5 while the concert would be C4-C6.
As ukuleles are available in a wide range of designs, shapes, features, and materials used, it implies that their prices would differ as well.
There would naturally be soprano and concert ukes which are costly and those that are easy on the budget. However, you’ll discover that soprano is more common and widely available, making it cheaper than the concert.
People who are thinking about learning to play this instrument but are not sure of their level of commitment to it or if they are going to like it, wouldn’t invest a lot in their first uke; they would usually get the soprano, which is considered the standard ukulele.
Which type of ukulele is best for beginners?
Generally, the soprano ukulele can be for anyone who wants pleasure from that traditional classic tune of the uke that one is most familiar with.
Due to its smaller dimension, some said it’s easier to play the concert ukulele, which is slightly bigger and longer. Nonetheless, it is a matter of personal choice. It may not work for others, however, it might work for you and vice versa.
If you are a beginner, it’s advisable that you just try each one to see how it feels in your hands while you strum the strings and do chords.
Just be sure that the quality of your uke is good so that you wouldn’t have to deal with it getting out of tune often. It doesn’t have to be costly. If you search online and in the right place, you will have plenty of choices.
It’s quite easy to learn how to play one whether you’re using a soprano or concert, especially when you begin with easy chords or tunes. However, it might take months for you to play comfortably; it will additionally depend on how much you practice.
Is the Soprano ukulele good for beginners?
Because of the different compositions, you can be sure that the soprano is appropriate for younger kids. It has small dimensions and is low in weight.
The space between the keys is also very close, making it easy for players to control and use small hands. Especially children under 10 will do nicely.
As a result of the soprano’s short neck and tight keys, players with large hands can’t play this instrument.
Usually, older players will play the concert ukulele. The long neck, spaced keys, and different sounds of a concert ukulele are what adults need.
We covered pretty much everything that you need to know when you compare Soprano and Concert ukuleles.
As we already concluded, if you are buying this instrument for younger kids or you don’t want to spend that much, the Soprano ukulele will be better for you.
But, if you are looking for more playing space and a bit of a different sound, then the Concert ukulele will be the right choice.
Both of these ukuleles can produce a great sound and it’s up to your personal preference when choosing one. If you spend a little more and get a quality uke, you won’t regret your choice no matter the size you pick.