Which Size Ukulele Should I Buy?

Which Size Ukulele Should I Buy?

Ukuleles come in four basic sizes. From smallest to largest, they are soprano, concert, tenor, and baritone.

Soprano Ukulele

The soprano ukulele generally a good standard ukulele to start with, unless you have chunky fingers like me, then you might feel more comfortable with a concert ukulele, the next size up. The size of the ukulele also affects the range of notes it can play and the size of the sound box. The soprano ukulele has twelve frets, giving it a range of twenty-two notes and it has quite a piercing sound to it that can be heard very clearly despite its smaller size.

Concert Ukulele

The slightly wider fret board of the concert ukulele makes it easier for some people to play. Plus, concert ukuleles usually have between fifteen and twenty frets, giving them a broader range of notes than the soprano. The slightly larger sound box also gives the concert a warmer, rounder tone.

Tenor Ukulele

The tenor ukulele is less than six inches longer than the soprano ukulele but it looks twice the size. Although it has the same number of frets as a concert ukulele, the tenor has a wider body, bigger frets, and a fuller, deeper sound.

Baritone Ukulele

Baritone ukuleles are large enough to be tuned to the same notes as full sized guitars, which are (from low to high) D, G, B, and E. They are really just like guitars that only have the four highest strings.

Despite its size and its guitar tuning, the baritone still gets more of an overall ukulele tone than a guitar sound. Remember, because the baritone’s strings are tuned to different notes than those of the soprano, concert, and tenor ukuleles, the basic chord shapes will make different chords, so perhaps not the ideal starter ukulele. You will need books and chord charts that are specifically written for the baritone ukulele.

Still not sure?

• If you’re mostly interested in strumming chords, you may find yourself leaning toward the soprano or the concert.

• If you’re thinking you’d like to be more of a soloist or a finger style player, the tenor or baritone may appeal to you.

Finally, after all that thought and consideration, enjoy playing your new ukulele and have fun with the happiest instrument in the world.


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