You’re interested in learning to play the ukulele. Where should you start? The Pacific Winds Music staff has the interest and expertise to help you choose your instrument from a large collection of ukes at prices to fit almost any budget. We carry many name brands including Kala, Moku, Kanile’a, Islander, Kiwaya, LoPrinzi, Kamoa, Magic Fluke, Cordoba, Ohana, Breedlove, and Kamaka. Instruments range from $50 to $1500.
Here is some help choosing a ukulele that is right for you.
Soprano is the smallest ukulele, also called “standard”. It is very portable and has a bright sound. The fret board typically has 12-15 frets. The instrument is about 22” long. Because of the small size, we recommend these instruments mostly for children or those who truly want the soprano sound.
Concert ukulele is slightly larger (about 24”) and has a fuller sound with 19 or 20 frets, typically. Since the frets are spaced further apart, this instrument is easier for many people to play, and is a good starter size.
Tenor ukulele is slightly larger yet, about 27”, the tenor is a popular size among performing artists and intermediate to advanced players. The frets are farther apart, making it easier to play up the neck. The sound is generally bigger and richer than its smaller counterparts.
Baritone ukulele is the largest ukulele and is usually tuned to D-G-B-E, like the top four strings of a guitar. It has a very rich tone and might be preferred by a guitar player who wants the sound of the uke without learning all new chords.
The type of wood, quality of other materials, and the care in construction will dictate the sound and the price of any ukulele. Popular woods are spruce, mahogany, and koa. Inexpensive to moderately priced ukuleles may be made of laminates and still deliver a good sound.
So….what are you waiting for?
Looking for lessons? We maintain a list of ukulele teachers, Pat teaches beginners in the store, and we sponsor classes and workshops in the store from time to time. Join our email list and you will have access to all the latest information.