How easy is playing the Ukulele?
In my own opinion, I’d say that with no knowledge of any other instrument, the Ukulele is the easier option.
The Ukulele has four strings, meaning you can, in theory, use one finger per string. This isn’t quite the case in practice, but fewer strings does mean fewer things to hold down! With this, the strings on a ukulele are nylon. Nylon strings are very easy to hold down. While classical guitars also use nylon strings, the thinner strings on a ukulele have slightly less tension.
Many schools or music teachers are now starting children out on the ukulele, rather than having parents suffer from hearing the recorder all night long. This is because you can learn 3 chords and play a simple song within an hour of trying. Ukuleles are great for ensemble playing, accompanying a singer, or just playing solo. Of the two options, if you are a singer who wants to play an instrument while singing, the ukulele is a great choice.
How easy is playing the Guitar?
I would say that with a Guitar, the learning curve is a bit steeper. However, you can still learn a few chords fairly quickly. Everyone I have taught has picked up 5 chords within an hour. The problem that comes with the guitar is changing between chords. I’ve known people to pick it up quickly, or take as long as 2 months to change between chords. From here, when you hit your first barre chord, it’s easy to want to give up. You have to persevere a lot in the beginning, but once you get over the hurdles, everything comes together.
While initially harder, I would say that the guitar is more versatile, in that it can play many styles. Both instruments are great for accompaniment, or for singers who want to play an instrument. But, the guitar has a slight edge in that it can be an excellent lead/melody instrument. I have heard many incredible chord-melody guitar players, but, you rarely hear of a lead ukulele player!
Which will you choose?
Ultimately, whether you should pick the guitar or ukulele depends on your own motivations, and what you want out of an instrument. The ukulele is great to quickly move forward, and even progress to other instruments. But, if you wanted to learn the guitar and are not intimidated by any difficulty, I would recommend jumping into the deep end and just giving it a try!