Ukulele Types and Sizes: Great Guide To 5 Different Kinds of Ukuleles!

Ukulele Types and Sizes


Having a tough time determining what size of ukulele to purchase? Perhaps you’re making an attempt to determine what size of ukulele you have? Whatever your questions are, we’re going to take a look at the completely different sizes of ukuleles and the benefits and downsides of each one.

When most consider the ukulele they imagine the small, jangly sounding instrument that the uke began as.

Like many stringed instruments, though, the ukulele has grown and been adjusted to suit completely different kinds and sounds. The several types of ukulele each have features, advantages, and shortcomings. We’ll undergo all of them!

Whereas the standard ukulele is precisely what you’ll anticipate it to be, the baritone uke resembles more of a guitar than the Hawaiian instrument. We’ve additionally seen the emergence of the Banjolele, a hybrid mixture of banjo and ukulele.

This article will deal with the four main sizes of Ukulele – soprano, concert, tenor, and baritone. Also, we are going to mention the bass ukulele and give you some short insights on that one too.

Ukulele Types and Sizes

Ukulele Sizes

There are a lot of completely different shapes and sizes of ukuleles available. The commonest sizes are soprano, concert, tenor, and baritone. Some producers make different configurations and dimensions, such as the smaller piccolo or sopranissimo models, bass ukuleles, banjo ukes, or the novelty pineapple form (often in soprano size). This article pertains to the preferred, standard sizes.

The sizes should not be designed to match the bodily size of the player, akin to in fractional sizes you’ll see for violin and acoustic guitars. Relatively, the scale is related to every size’s tone and application.

Though the names of the completely different sizes suggest completely different tuning, you could be shocked to learn that soprano, concert, and tenor are tuned precisely the same as each other to G, C, E, and A.

The soprano ukulele has a shallow, plinky tone. However, the tenor ukulele has a louder, fuller, and deeper sound as a consequence of its bigger body and longer size of strings. Nevertheless, the tenor ukulele size is tuned to the same pitches and octaves as the soprano. The concert ukulele has a tonal character that’s between the soprano and tenor ukulele size.

Soprano Ukulele

The soprano ukulele dimension might be what most individuals imagine once they consider the ukulele. It’s the commonest measurement and makes the traditional, conventional ukulele sound. The soprano is the smallest and lightest uke dimension we have in this guide, with the shortest scale and the tightest fret spacing.

The soprano ukulele is the right size for younger ukulele players and people with smaller hands and fingers, making this measurement usually one of the best newbie ukuleles for youths. Nonetheless, the soprano remains to be appropriate for players of any skill stage and size.

Attributable to its body measurement, it would have a brighter, softer tone with much less projection and resonance than the bigger ukulele sizes.

There additionally is a soprano ukulele measurement with an extended neck for people who want the standard ukulele sound and likewise need extra frets and fret spacing. The Pineapple form is a variation of the soprano size designed in the 1920s.

The waist of the body on a Pineapple ukulele is eliminated to extend the surface space of the soundboard for a fuller sound. The usual ukulele tuning is on the soprano measurement as well.

Soprano Ukulele

Concert Ukulele

The concert ukulele, generally known as the alto, is just a bit greater than the soprano and a few would think about it to have a fuller sound. It’s generally tuned in standard tuning just like the soprano uke though some individuals will decide to tune their g-string down an octave to low G tuning, often known as linear tuning.

Because a concert uke is longer than a soprano, there might be extra tension on the strings. This may be useful if you end up bending strings out of tune as you press your fingers down on the strings towards the frets.

Moreover, the frets are barely more spaced on a concert ukulele versus a soprano, so people with bigger fingers would possibly find it easier to play. There could be as many as 20 frets on a concert ukulele, which permits players to navigate to larger notes on the fretboard which is helpful for playing in styles like fingerstyle.

Concert Ukulele

Tenor Ukulele

The tenor ukulele has gotten increasingly more common as individuals get used to the less-traditional ukulele sound. It gives the longest common scale ukulele size for G, C, E, and A tuning.

This makes for a good string feels superb for fingerpicking and any application that wants a stiff response.

The tenor is essentially the most trendy, “cool” ukulele size. Due to the huge frets and fuller sound, it’s usually used to pursue intricate modern music. It’s frequent for a tenor to be strung with a low-G for a good lower sound.

In case you have larger hands, a tenor ukuleles fret spacing will really feel roomier than a bit soprano. However, it’s additionally a great deal heavier due to the quantity of material used to craft it.

Tenor Ukulele

Baritone Ukulele

The baritone ukulele size is the following step up from the tenor in dimension. The baritone ukuleles have the longest scale – about three inches longer than the tenor – with the widest fret spacing of all of the ukulele sizes, there are.

The neck of a baritone ukulele can be wider than a tenor ukulele. Also, the baritone ukulele is the largest of the most common ukulele sizes.

All of those traits make the baritone a nice type of ukulele for fingerpicking. The baritone ukulele measurement is nice for all skill and expertise ranges, however, particularly for those with larger hands and fingers. The baritone ukulele has the deepest, fullest sound with essentially the most low end, sounding just like an acoustic guitar.

The baritone ukulele similarities to the classical guitar proceed with the baritone ukulele tuning – D/G/B/E – just like the 4 highest strings on a guitar, making it the simplest ukulele kind to transition to for those already familiar with the guitar.

Baritone Ukulele

Bass Ukulele

Like there’s a bass guitar, there may be additionally a bass ukulele. In 2007, the ukulele brand Kala created one thing referred to as the U-bass which is a very fashionable bass ukulele. Nevertheless, there are quite a lot of different ukulele sizes and choices available on the market to select from.

Bass ukuleles are tuned the same as standard ukes, however, they cover a lot lower register and deeper tone than even the baritone ukulele. Bass ukuleles are usually round 30-32 inches in measurement, so they’re nice even for uke players with bigger hands.

bass ukulele

What is the best ukulele for beginners?

Briefly, if you would like that traditional ‘plinky’ sound, in case you’re of a smaller body or you want a beginner’s ukulele for a kid, begin with a soprano.

If you’re a grownup with bigger hands, maybe strive for the tenor ukuleles or concert-size ukuleles as they’re nonetheless small in scale and utilize the ukulele tuning, however, are a bit bigger than a soprano.

The scale of your palms will dictate which choice could be the finest for you but overall, we’d advocate beginning out with a soprano ukulele (beginner ukulele) first and making an attempt out the concert ukuleles (concert-sized ukulele) and then transferring to the tenor ukuleles.

Tone Variations

Because the body of an acoustic instrument will get bigger, its tone will have extra volume, bass, and total resonance. For this reason, concert and tenor ukuleles are likely to sound bigger and fuller than the same soprano uke.

Many players choose the warmer, fuller tone of those bigger ukulele sizes and feel that their fuller voice offers them extra versatility than sopranos. However, lots of people love the standard sound of a soprano ukulele and discover the intense, tinkly tone endearing.

There’s no right or wrong right here–it’s actually only a matter of personal desire.

Price Variations

Soprano ukuleles are usually the most reasonably priced instruments within the ukulele family, which might make them a good selection for players on a budget.

​The price difference will differ relying on the brand and model, however, a soprano might be 10% to 25% cheaper than the next measurement up (concert).

There are many excellent soprano ukuleles available on the market, however, the majority of poor-quality ukuleles also are typically sopranos. We know it’s tempting to purchase one of those $20 soprano ukes on Amazon, however, it’s hard to seek out good quality at that value range.

Conclusion on Ukulele Types and Sizes

For beginners, the commonest alternative would be the soprano ukulele size due to its price. It’s possible you’ll take into account a bigger or costlier model for a fuller tone, bigger fretboard, extra versatility, and the power to “grow into it.”

Realistically there isn’t a right or wrong ukulele to start out on however consider these elements. We believe that we provided you with enough information to already know with which size you will decide to go.

Also, we listed some models and sizes of ukulele that you can try out if you need some help with picking the right instrument for you.

If you have any questions, please direct them to the comment section and we will certainly look into them and provide you with more details on the manner.

Charles Steinhoff

Charles Steinhoff

Charles is here and I am guitar and ukulele enthusiast. Been playing these instruments for over 10 years now and I decided to share some of my knowledge and expertise with the world in terms of these stringed instruments and it's accessories.

Strings Kings
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