Ukuleles, like most stringed instruments, come in multiple sizes. The two most common are the Concert and Soprano Ukulele. Both models are tuned to the same notes, and at a glance look very similar. So, what are the differences?
1st Difference | Size
If put side by side, the Concert Ukulele is larger than a Soprano Ukulele. This is for a number of reasons. The neck is roughly an inch longer on a Concert Ukulele. Anyone with large hands who may have struggled with a Soprano Ukulele might find themselves a bit more at home with a Concert, without sacrificing the general tone, pitch or chord shapes of a Soprano.
While many people will be comfortable playing a Soprano Ukulele, their shorter neck makes them ideal for younger players. This is why they’re so popular in schools and as first instruments.
2nd Difference | Sound
Like the neck, the body on a Soprano Ukulele is smaller than the body on a Concert. This does two things. Firstly, due to there being more space within the body of a Concert Ukulele, the sound has more space to resonate, which in turn projects more volume. Therefore, this type of Ukulele is called a “Concert” Ukulele, because they are more suited to performance as they are louder.
This also ensures that the instrument sounds slightly warmer or more “full”. While the Concert Ukulele still has the traditional sound of a Ukulele, it does sound a bit “bigger” as well as the physical size.
3rd Difference | Price
Generally speaking, Soprano Ukuleles are available for a much lower price than Concert models. This is due to Soprano Ukuleles being the more popular and widespread style. This does mean that if you are a complete beginner, a Soprano Ukulele might be more appealing, as you won’t be making such a big investment to start learning the ukulele.
Who is the Soprano Ukulele for?
The short answer is everyone. I would say that anyone who picks up a Soprano Ukulele will be able to get a simple 3-chord tune within an hour or so.
As mentioned, the smaller size makes them perfect for younger players in school or other education. But players of any age will feel at home on a Soprano with a few chords under their belt.
Who is the Concert Ukulele for?
Concert Ukuleles are generally preferred by people with Ukulele experience. Though, as previously stated, those with larger hands would find a Concert Ukulele ideal to start on.
Aside from live performance, the different tonal characteristics of a Concert Ukulele can also be ideal for people in Ukulele groups. The difference in sound from a Soprano to a Concert can ensure that two instruments can play together and the tones will complement each other rather than clash.