Hawaii has culture running through its veins, from the amazing foods to the incredible landscapes. I simply can’t think about Hawaii without instantly being reminded of the sweet sounds that are native to the islands, such as the ukulele.
The ukulele (or commonly known as the uke) has recently become one of the most popular instruments due to its rise in pop music and 21st century culture. It’s no surprise at all, given the affordability. You can find budget ukuleles from as cheap as £15 - £30, making a perfect beginner instrument to practice the basics. With this in mind, I thought it would be beneficial to share my top five best ukuleles for beginners from my own experience and research.
It’s easiest to think of the ukulele as a miniature acoustic guitar, but don’t be fooled – ukuleles come in many different shapes and sizes too.
There are four main types of Ukulele’s – soprano, concert, tenor and baritone. Soprano ukuleles are the smallest of the uke family, and are most commonly used for children (or adults with small hands!) and ends with the Baritone Ukulele, the largest of the group.
Now that you’re familiar with the different types of ukuleles, you should have a better idea of which style to go for, so let’s kick off the list of my top five beginner ukuleles.
Mahalo Ukulele Java MJ1 Mahogany Finish
This beginner ukulele is the classic, traditional and instantly recognisable uke. Mahalo 2515 ukulele features superb fittings, including Aquila strings that are renowned for their ability to keep in tune as they contribute to a rich, resonant sound. Good quality, geared machine heads make the tuning process very easy and keep your ukulele in tune really well. The MJ1 uke has an arched back and outstanding quality Canadian NuBone Extended Bass bridge saddles that help improve the overall tonal harmonics, keeping the bass, treble and middle notes in perfect balance.
3rd Avenue Soprano Ukulele - NaturalThe natural finish, gives a striking appearance to make your Uke stand out. Although this is a budget Ukulele, it is fitted with geared tuning mechanisms, ensuring that your Uke will be easy to tune and stay in tune. Making sure you’ll always strike the right chord! These 3rd Avenue models are ideal for first time beginners, education or ensemble work. The Soprano Ukulele is the most popular of the family, manageable in size and easy to get involved with a group straight away. Equipped with a carry bag so you can take your Uke everywhere you go, whether that be school, lessons, friends house or even on holiday! At a great value price tag, the 3rd Avenue Ukes aren’t something to be missed.
Stagg Soprano Ukulele - Flower motif
This great quality soprano ukulele offers fantastic value for money and features a tattoo flower motif design that will make you stand out.
The geared tuning pegs make the tuning process easy and lasting and the instrument produces a very nice, resonant sound that will make you want to play for hours.
Rocket Ukulele Starter Pack - Natural
Perfect companion for every musician, the Rocket US10R Ukulele is easy and fun to learn and play!
Featuring a well-built body, geared machine pegs, fingerboard and bridge as well as high quality nylon strings, this little instrument is perfect for a beginner and experienced ukulele enthusiasts! Includes a good quality bag for easy transportation.
Stagg Traditional Soprano Ukulele with Tattoo Design
This is a ukulele that stands out. This great quality soprano ukulele offers an excellent tone projection and features a distinctive tattoo design around the sound hole that will make you stand out from the crowd! The non-geared tuning pegs ensure the instrument holds its tuning very well and it also comes supplied with a nylon carry bag.