When you’re on the hunt for a new ukulele, finding the perfect ukulele can be extremely difficult especially if you don’t know a whole lot about the instrument. If you understand the very basic facts about ukuleles, the entire shopping and buying process will become a lot easier.
Ukuleles come assembled from different woods, with different brands, and different sizes. There are many kinds of ukuleles available on the market today and find the one that best suits your personal needs can be extremely rewarding.
What are the different types of ukuleles?
The four different sizes that are available are soprano ukuleles, concert ukuleles, tenor ukuleles, and baritone ukuleles. As for the sizing of these different types, soprano ukuleles start off at 16 inches and will run as large as 20 inches. If you are looking for a concert sized ukulele, these are typically 23 inches long, where are tenor ukuleles run around 26 inches, and baritone ukuleles will be approximately 30 inches.
Most professional ukulele players use a tenor sized ukuleles, but most beginners typically start off using a soprano ukulele. Baritone ukuleles have the deepest tone and sound, producing a sound that’s similar to a guitar-like tuning. Tenor ukuleles are larger than soprano and concert ukuleles, which means that the music that they are producing is broader and more profound than that of smaller ukuleles.
In the list of ukuleles that we have shortlisted, we have instruments that are appropriated for ukulele players of all levels and skill sets. Good luck finding the ukulele that best fits your personal needs and tastes!
Fender California Coast Seaside Soprano Ukulele from Reverb.
If you’ve ever been involved in the guitar world, you will probably recognize the brand name Fender. The Fender Montecito Koa Tenor is a ukulele that is comprised of a Koa body, with acrylic abalone binding and an acrylic abalone rosette.
If you take a glance over at the headstock on the Montecito Koa, you may also notice that the headstock on this ukulele has the same appearance as the famous Telecaster headstock shape. As for the sound quality of the Fender Montecito Koa, this ukulele produces a warm and exquisite sound quality, with excellent intonation and even better sustain.
A tribute to one of the most revered musicians in Hawaiian history, Israel Kamakawiwo'ole, aka Iz.
Being the most expensive instrument on this list, the Martin 1T IZ Tenor is a ukulele that was built to fit the needs of an experienced or professional ukulele player.
What’s interesting about the Martin 1T IZ Tenor Ukulele is that it is built in tribute to the Hawaiian musician Israel ‘Iz’ Kamakawiwo’ole along in collaboration of his wife, Marlene Kamakawiwo’ole, whose signature is on the inside label of every Martin IT IZ ukulele.
This tenor ukulele is comprised of a solid quilted mahogany body with an East Indian Rosewood heat plate. The head plate is decorated with a hibiscus flower in pink Awabi pearl, as well as an ‘IZ’ in Hawaiian Koa. As for the overall sound of this ukulele, you’re going to be getting your hands on an instrument with a beautiful, deep tone and incredible sound projection for being an acoustic instrument.
The 15TM is based on Cordoba’s best-selling 15CM, offering the next size up for players who find the concert ukulele a bit too small.
Cordoba is a ukulele brand that is well known for producing ukuleles of all different prices, qualities, and sizes. While some brands on the market are known for producing ukuleles that are aimed to suit professional needs, musicians of any experience level can find a ukulele from Cordoba. The 15TM ukulele model is priced under $100 and makes a great instrument for those who are looking for an affordable ukulele to begin learning on. If you’re interested in looking at different sizes of the 15TM, Cordoba offers this model in concert, soprano, and tenor sizing.
The Cordoba 15TM tenor ukulele may be an affordable model, but the sound projection that this instrument exhibit is comparable to the sound projection you’d find on a professional model. With the use of mahogany on the back, sides, and top of the ukulele, the Cordoba 15TM produces a well-balanced, warm tone.
Cordoba ukuleles capture the charm of traditional Portuguese ornamentation and exotic woods.
The Cordoba 20TM Tenor is comprised from a solid mahogany top, solid mahogany back, and solid mahogany sides. The cosmetic appearance on the 20MT is less striking than the appearance of the 15MT, as it is much more natural and simplistic looking in comparison to the 15MT.
The Cordoba 20TM is perfect for beginning and intermediate musicians, but this would not make a great ukulele if you’re looking for a budget option. The overall design of this instrument is sensible, but the sound on the 20MT is surprisingly deep, with a clean tone, and a great sustain.
As for the sound that this ukulele produces, you’re going to be getting your hands on a warm and vibrant sounding ukulele that has a unique and distinctive personality. The sound projection that this instrument produces is surprising, but the bright Hawaiian sound is not lost in the incredibly large sound projection.
While the initial price of the ukulele may not be costly, if you are a beginning ukulele player, you’re going to have to purchase additional accessories. The Cordoba 20TM-CE Acoustic Tenor price tag is simply for the instrument itself and does not include any additional accessories along with the instrument. The strings that are installed on this ukulele are Aquila Nylgut strings, and the fingerboard and the bridge are made from rosewood.
If you’re a beginning ukulele player and you’re looking for a way to save money, purchasing a ukulele may be something that you want to keep in mind. The Lohanu ukulele is an instrument that produces a large, loud sound.
The Tattoo Mahogany Tenor Acoustic-Electric Ukulele from Luna features a laser-etched tattoo design that takes its inspiration from traditional Hawaiian body ornamentation.
The Luna Mahogany Series Tattoo Tenor Ukulele is instantly recognizable due to the traditional tattoo marking that’s located on the front side of the ukulele, which really adds an artistic touch to the instrument. The tattooing on the ukulele will not ever fade away, because it’s laser etched into the front of the instrument.
Apart from the stunning cosmetic features of this ukulele, the back, the neck, the sides, and the top of the instrument are comprised of mahogany. Using mahogany to manufacture this instrument provides this ukulele with an incredible sound, especially when you consider the price point. When picking up this instrument to play, you will notice the full and deep resonance that this ukulele provides with, due mostly to the tonewood that was used to create the instrument.
The Kala Koa Tenor Ukulele is a premium ukulele model produced by Kala. The Kala Koa ukulele is comprised from Hawaiian Koa on the top and the sides of the instrument, which helps the instrument to produce a rich tone that makes this ukulele so popular among both professional and beginner players. The use of the tonewood that is used to comprise the Kala Koa provides this ukulele with a bright, full sound that still has a bit of a twangy sound that makes a ukulele’s sound so unique.
While the physical appearance of this guitar is very similar to that of an acoustic guitar, the gloss finish that’s on the Kala Koa adds an extra level of classiness to the cosmetic appearance of the instrument.
Whether you’re looking to purchase a tenor ukulele as a gift for a loved one or you’re looking to purchase one for yourself to begin learning on, getting your hands on a ukulele of good quality can provide you with a greater range, a deeper sound, and an increased amount of versatility than if you were to end up purchasing a soprano or concert ukulele.
Tenor ukuleles also provide musicians who have more extensive hands with the opportunity to play a smaller bodied instrument, whereas soprano or concert ukuleles would make playing the ukulele with larger hands much more difficult. Any of the tenor ukuleles on this list would make a fantastic first instrument or serve as a great addition to your collection!