Best Ukulele for Beginners

Best Ukulele for Beginners

There are a ton of options out there for someone who wants to find that perfect ukulele to start with. We’ve reviewed several beginner bundles to help you know the differences, and choose the right kit. Many bundles come with necessary accessories that every player needs when they first start out. It is always important to know what you should be looking for, and what characteristics you should avoid when buying a ukulele.

Our Rating of the Best Ukulele for Beginners

VICTORY Concert Ukulele 23 Inch Spruce Mahogany Painting Style With Beginner Kit: Gig Bag, Tuner, Straps, Picks, and Nylon String $

Victory doesn’t fail to create beautifully-finished ukuleles that really stand out from your standard instrument’s look. Their products lean to towards a more festive element of style that will really set you apart from other performers. This instrument meets all of your basic playing needs too. It’s more suitable as a gift or a beginners ukulele, but with the added benefit of a professional-quality artist finish.

Great Features

This Victory Concert ukulele is constructed from surprising good-quality and hand-selected woods. The body and neck are crafted from durable African mahogany that makes it a great practice instrument. Its spruce top adds good projection for sound too. This model has die-cast tuners that are decent for holding a tune when playing. The artwork and quality of the woods used are this model’s best characteristics.

Spruce is a great choice for any acoustic instrument. That quality alone adds a lot of depth to notes that will not disappoint any player. An Indonesian Rosewood fret-board makes playing comfortable and ensures that the neck will last years with proper care. This package includes a strap, picks, a set of nylon strings, a carrying case, and even a digital tuner.

Performance

You’re going to get good tones from this ukulele due to the spruce soundboard, but it’s not going to compare to a professional grade instrument. The finger-action will be comparable to any other mid-level instrument. You can expect a medium-loudness when playing with a pick. The real value of this kit comes with the added accessories. It’s perfect for someone who wants to learn to play or wants an instrument that they don’t have to be as careful with when handling. It’s going to stand up to normal wear very well without much of an issue.

Problems

The biggest issue with this ukulele is going to be the die-cast tuners. They are just generic-quality at best. You might find yourself having to tune it fairly often, so be prepared for that. The bridge on this instrument makes changing strings easy, but it adds extra strain on the bridge because of that design. Instruments usually have string-pegs that go into holes which are drilled through the soundboard. This model has slip-through slots cut into the wooden bridge. You should use lighter gauge nylon strings with this model throughout its life to avoid separation of the bridge.

Recommendation

This Victory Concert ukulele set is a great choice for beginners and practicing. The added bonus of an electric tuner and other accessories in this set makes it really convenient.

Pros:

  • Beautiful Style
  • High-Quality Woods
  • Useful Accessories
  • Durable

Cons:

  • Lower-Quality Die-Cast Tuners
  • Bad Bridge Design

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Concert Ukulele, 23 Inch Mahogany Ukuleles For Beginners, Waterproof Resistance Soprano Ukulele For Kids $

This is a Soprano ukulele that’s a huge upgrade to a toy-quality instrument. Don’t let the name fool you. This ukulele made by Inncen is great for kids, but completely suitable for adults who want a higher-pitched instrument. This ukulele is slightly smaller than traditional concert-size. Incenn has been manufacturing instruments for over a decade with a focus on the convenience of playing at an affordable price.

Great Features

This Inncen ukulele goes above-and-beyond on the accessories kit. It comes with a digital tuner, a set of nylon strings, a waterproof carrying case, an instrument strap, picks, a learning booklet, a cleaning cloth, and even free redeemable video lessons. It features steel tuning pegs that are above-average quality. The fretboard is made of rosewood, and the frets are coated with anti-oxidizing barriers that ensure smoother playing throughout the life of the instrument. The entire body is made of African mahogany which is going to stand up very well to damage.

Performance

This ukulele isn’t going to be very loud due to the soundboard being made from mahogany, but that’s just the trade-off of it being more wear-resistant. You shouldn’t have any issues with maintaining good-tuning between practices once the new strings stretch and settle into place. The bridge and saddle are exceptionally great quality for a standard ukulele. The saddle itself is made of bone which may help to bring out brighter tones in your music. The bridge is a slip-through string design that makes changing strings easier, but it’s designed very well. You shouldn’t have any issues with this bridge separating.

Problems

This ukulele is made of a great quality mahogany, but it’s just a poor choice for the soundboard. It’s not going to project the same amount of sound as a softer wood like spruce. The high-quality bridge is a good step towards solving that issue, but even a bone saddle won’t change the fact that this soundboard is made of an extremely hard wood. This ukulele will already suffer greatly from low-volume because it’s the smallest standard ukulele size.

Recommendation

This model is going to be great for kids or players who want to enjoy practicing with a very quiet instrument. This is not a good choice for anyone who wants to play for friends or in public. The main focus is on quality, but it sacrifices volume for it.

Pros:

  • Quality Wood
  • Great Bridge/Bone Saddle
  • Tons Of Accessories
  • Lessons Included
  • Durable/Compact

Cons:

  • Mahogany Soundboard
  • Very Low-Volume

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Ukulele Soprano Size Bundle From Lohanu (LU-S) $

Lohanu makes intermediate-grade ukuleles that are often made of unique woods. Their line of instruments is studio-quality in most cases. This Soprano model is no exception to that. You’ll find that many professional musicians use Lohanu instruments because of its reputation of sounding great without costing a fortune.

Great Features

The LU-S has a sapele top, mahogany body, and rosewood fret-board. It also includes accessories. This Soprano’s best aspect is it’s sapele sound board. The amount of volume you get from this small-size ukulele will be more than enough for any setting. It also comes in larger sizes for players who prefer more room for their fingers. The die-cast tuners are of average quality but are chrome plated. This kit comes with a strap, a digital tuner, a carrying case, picks, a pick holder, and an extra set of strings. The strings that it comes with are nylon Aquila strings and that adds a decent amount of value to this kit alone.

Performance

This ukulele performs very well overall. You shouldn’t get any buzzing from the frets, or experience any major problems while playing it. It’s going to have a very welcoming-sound with plenty of volumes. The finish shouldn’t detract from the quality of your music either. It’s made from extremely resonate woods that will transfer your notes perfectly.

Problems

There aren’t any major problems with this model. The issues you’ll have with it are going to be based on your preferences. It doesn’t look very fancy and is pretty plain. There aren’t any bells-and-whistles with this ukulele design. It already has strap-hooks installed which some people might not find very useful. The strings must be tied and looped through the fret-board. That feature helps with the performance of your instrument but will be a little too complicated for some players when replacing a broken string.

Recommendation

This Lohanu ukulele is a great choice for teens and adults. Its suitable for recording, and public performance. Most players will be more than satisfied with this as their main instrument of choice.

Pros:

  • Sapele Soundboard
  • Unique Quality Woods
  • High-Volume
  • Intermediate-Level
  • Great Bridge Design

Cons:

  • Plain Looking
  • Tie-Through Strings
  • Average Die-Cast Tuners

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ADM Ukulele 21 Inch Soprano Wood Beginner $

This ukulele is only suited for a beginner who wants to have a fun while learning a new hobby. It’s extremely affordable which makes this a thoughtful gift for children that might be interested in music.

Great Features

This ukulele comes in really bright colors that are easy on the eyes. The sound board is made of basswood, and the sides are made of linden wood. It is painted rather than stain-finished. This kit comes with a carrying bag, a digital tuner, an extra set of strings, fret-board stickers, a chord chart, a strap, picks and a cleaning cloth. The stickers are a really nice addition because they can help children learn finger-placement and notes.

Performance

There’s not much to be expected from this ukulele. It’s really more of a learning tool than an instrument. You’ll learn the basics and be able to play songs on it with the included accessories. It will perform at a decent level for small children to have a blast discovering how music works. The bridge is tie-through which is good for sound quality, but that’s not going to make much difference due to the choice of materials it’s made from.

Problems

This ukulele is a learning tool and a novelty gift. Basswood is not a very good choice for any acoustic instrument. The heavy finish and wood choice will take away most of the tone you would want from a Soprano. The tuning assembly is bad quality with plastic components. You shouldn’t expect it to stay in tune very long. Volume is going to be fairly low for this ukulele.

Recommendation

This isn’t going to be suitable ukulele for a musician to play. You should consider getting this a gift for a very young child, or for someone who wants to have a bit of fun without investing much.

Pros:

  • Inexpensive
  • Accessories Included
  • Learning Charts/Stickers
  • Bright Colors

Cons:

  • Poor Wood Choice
  • Plastic Components
  • Low-Volume
  • Novelty-Level Quality

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Kala KA-15S Satin Mahogany Soprano Ukulele Bundle $

Kala makes decent quality instruments and includes valuable learning tools in their accessories bundles. The Kala KA-15s combines really fantastic learning resources with an instrument that’s suitable for professional playing.

Great Features

The KA-15S has a mahogany body, mahogany neck, and rosewood fret-board. It comes with an extra set of Aquila strings, a carrying case, a strap, a digital tuner, an instructional DVD, a cleaning cloth, and two free months of one-on-one lessons. The DVD and live online lessons make this kit absolutely amazing. It comes in satin finish, and has a GraphTech NuBone Saddle. The bridge is also extremely high-quality. The natural finish and engraving make this ukulele gorgeous.

Performance

The tone and easy-fretting of this ukulele is going to be enough for anyone who wants to learn. It’s going to be durable because of it’s mahogany body, so it will withstand normal wear very well. This instrument will work well for someone who is just starting until they reach intermediate level.

Problems

The awesome online lessons and DVD might make up for a lot of the downsides for the average player, but a mahogany soundboard is going to greatly affect the volume that this ukulele projects. The bridge has a tie-through system that could make replacing strings complicated for some people. The carrying case is lower quality than some bundles.

Recommendation

This Kala ukulele is perfect for someone who wants to learn and grow without having to upgrade to a different instrument later. The online lessons and DVD make this one of the most valuable beginner bundles you’ll find for the price.

Pros:

  • Free Live Online Lessons
  • Extra Aquila Strings
  • Accessories Included With Learning DVD
  • Exceptional Bridge/Saddle
  • Gorgeous Design

Cons:

  • Mahogany Soundboard
  • Tie-Through Strings
  • Low-Quality Carrying Case

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Naneki Soprano Ukulele Bundle. World’s Most Traditional & Popular Sized Uke – Exceptional Quality for Beginners $

Naneki is smart about the woods they choose when crafting their instruments. Most of their ukuleles are built with great soundboards that won’t take away from those great soprano tones. This is more of an intermediate-level instrument.

Great Features

This ukulele from Naneki has a sapele wood soundboard, a mahogany body, and a rosewood fret-board. This bundle comes with a carrying bag, a digital tuner, a strap, and an extra set of Aquila Strings. The tuners are above-average in quality and made of stainless steel. The bridge and saddle are above-average quality too. It has a very attractive engraving with a nice light-brown top.

Performance

Sound quality will be excellent with this model. That sapele soundboard will add clarity and volume. It will be perfect for performing for family, or at an event. This ukulele doesn’t have any exceptionally great qualities, but it isn’t lacking very much. You should get plenty of use out of this instrument with no issues in the long-run.

Problems

The ukulele doesn’t really have any problems, but the accessories aren’t as great as with other beginner bundles. The included digital tuner isn’t very accurate. It doesn’t come with any guidebooks, or lessons. The only downside to the ukulele itself is the tie-through bridge that some beginners might not prefer.

Recommendation

This ukulele will be great for someone who already knows how to play and wants to move up to a better model. It doesn’t come with any resources for a beginner to learn from.

Pros:

  • Sapele Soundboard
  • Stainless Steel Tuners
  • Extra Aquila Strings
  • Attractive Design
  • Loud Volume/Warm Tones

Cons:

  • No Lessons/ Learning Materials
  • Poor Quality Digital Tuner
  • Tie-Through Bridge

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Ukulele-Tiamo 21 Inch Solid Spruce Wood Soprano for Beginner $

Great Features

The Tiamo soprano ukulele comes with a complete spruce wood body, which is going to make it sound uniquely loud and clear. It has an Indian rosewood fretboard and bridge. This bundle contains a carrying bag, a strap, a high-quality digital tuner, and one set of carbon nylon strings. The tuners are above-average quality as well.

Performance

This is instrument is going to be unusually loud. You’ll get fantastic tones and melodies out of its spruce construction. The fret-board will last a long time, and the bridge shouldn’t cause any issues for you. The tuners should keep your strings from slipping out of key when you aren’t playing it.

Problems

This bundle doesn’t come with any educational resources. There aren’t any lessons or guides with this kit. This guitar would be a really good gift for someone who already knows how to play. An experienced player will definitely appreciate the quality of sound and action of this instrument. It is going to be more delicate and less durable than a mahogany body ukulele, so it’s not a good choice for young children. It also features a tie-through bridge that some might find too complicated to resting on their own.

Recommendation

This a very unique ukulele being with an entire body constructed from spruce. An intermediate to an advanced player would get the most out of its unusual tonality and delicate construction. This one is going to be too easy for young kids to damage.

Pros:

  • Very Loud/Great Tonality
  • Exceptional Craftsmanship
  • For Intermediate to Advanced Players
  • High-Quality Digital Tuner

Cons:

  • No Lessons / Learning Materials
  • Delicate/Fragile Woods
  • Tie-Through Bridge

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Buyer’s Guide

The difference between a professional-grade instrument and a decent ukulele isn’t going to matter all that much to someone who is just starting out. You want to avoid getting a bad deal that you’re going to grow out of right away, but it doesn’t have to be the most expensive model. Look for the bundle that gives you the best features to suit your needs.

Look out for ukuleles that use poor-quality woods. Pay attention to how the bridge is attached to the body and if it might become an issue later on. Die-Cast tuners are a hit and miss when it comes to keeping your ukulele in the right key, so it’s best to find one with stainless steel components. You’ve got to decide what you want the most from your ukulele. Some might prefer a better sound and others might get more value from free lessons.

Lots of manufacturers include extra strings that can save you a significant amount of money. Keep in mind that any ukulele can be restrung for a left-handed player as well, so you don’t have to go looking for a left-handed version.

Short Summary

Learning to play a new instrument can be really fulfilling. Just set your mind to it, and don’t stop practicing. Pick the right instrument for you, and you’ll be playing your first song in no time!

Our Best Choice Pick

The Kala KA-15S Bundle is our recommendation for beginners. It looks beautiful, and it’s very durable. What it lacks in volume is made up for with its accessories. The DVD will really help you along on your journey to becoming a ukulele player. The free online lessons with a real instructor make this bundle perfect for beginners. The Kala KA-15S is a high-quality ukulele and amazing accessories all rolled into one great kit.

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