What Ukulele should I buy?
This is a question that everybody in the world should be asking themselves – even if they already own several. I have quite a few ukuleles and even more guitars. Once you start playing the uke and realise how much fun it is you’re on the slippery slope to full-blown UAS (Ukulele Acquisition Syndrome), which is terminal, and can only be held at bay by regularly buying ukuleles.
But where should you start? Get something cheap that works. There is no point in spending money until you know you like it – then go for it!!
What kind of ukulele?
There are a number of different ukulele sizes, but your first uke will probably be a soprano or a concert because they are the most readily available, however a tenor will be fine as well. These three are all tuned the same and most of the learning material on the internet is aimed at them. Don’t get a baritone or a U-bass because they are tuned and played differently.
Physical shop or on-line?
If you have a local music shop, go and see them and get whichever one they recommend.
This will usually be the cheapest one that they stock because they wont hold anything that doesn’t do the job. But beware - you will be tempted to spend more, and that’s ok! If you buy a uke from a shop it will be slightly more expensive than on-line but they will set it up for you and it’s a nicer shopping experience.
If you don’t have a music shop near you get online and go for one of the ukes that I recommend. I’ve tried them all and know that they work. When your new uke arrives, follow my string stretching video to get it ready to play. You can comfortably buy any of the cheaper or moderately priced ukuleles on-line without trying them.
When you decide that you want to get something a little better than a beginners/intermediate uke I would always recommend going to an in-person shop. It’s just always nice to pick an instrument up and see how it feels, especially if you’re spending $200+. In the upper price bracket, everything works and is well made, which means it all comes down to personal preference – how it sounds and feels. These are things you can only judge when an instrument is in your hands.