The ukulele is used by more and more musicians as a fully-fledged accompaniment instrument. The nice thing is that ukuleles are also quite affordable due to their compact size. But the offer is huge, so you may be wondering which one to choose. We answer the most important questions!
The ukulele is a small stringed instrument with a high-pitched, recognizable sound. Due to its size and only 4 strings, many people find it easier to play than guitar. As a result, the ukulele also fits well with young children.
- ‘Soprano’ is the standard format. A safe choice for young and old. However, the slightly larger ‘concert’ or slightly larger ‘tenor’ can be a bit more comfortable for people with larger hands. If you want to play regular guitar chords, choose a ‘guitar ukulele’.
- Some are electric-acoustic . You can connect it to a sound system, but you can also use it acoustically. A handy extra.
- Furthermore, it is mainly a matter of budget . Usually applies: the higher the price range, the better the sound: fuller, warmer, more refined, more sparkling … Also, a more expensive ukulele will often look nicer and stay in tune better. But even the cheapest ukulele in our range will already sound great and be easy to play.
- An essential accessory for a ukulele is a tuner . It is quite normal to tune in before you start playing for a clear sound.
What is a ukulele?
The ukulele – pronounced ‘joe-ke-lil-le’ in Dutch, with an emphasis on ‘lil’ – is a small, four-string instrument with a fairly high, bright sound. You mainly play chords on it. Due to its compact size and small number of strings, many people find it less difficult to play than the guitar. It is also a good entry-level instrument for children, as the longer and wider neck of a guitar can be difficult for little fingers.
The ukulele is very similar to the acoustic guitar. The parts also have the same names. Yet it did not arise from this, but based on traditional Portuguese stringed instruments, such as the ‘machete de braga’ and ‘cavaquino’, which Portuguese immigrants introduced to Hawaii in the 19th century. The ukulele was the instrument of choice for King David Kalakaua, who has ensured that the instrument is inseparable from Hawaii and still exists today. Why the name ukulele? In Hawaiian it means ‘jumping flea’, perhaps because of the way your fingers move when you play.
How big is a ukulele?
Well, you want to become a ‘ukuleleist’. The first step is to choose the correct format. The fairly compact soprano ukulele (about 50 cm long) is known as the standard ukulele.
If you want an even smaller instrument and your fingers are small enough, then you go for the sopranino , also known as piccolo. People with larger fingers usually choose the concert ukulele (also called alto ukulele) or sometimes even a tenor (approx. 65 cm). Most ukulele players start at least on a soprano or a concert.
Are you a guitarist who wants to make the switch, but can’t get used to those cheerful highs yet? Then the lower-sounding baritone is a good choice. For guitarists who are nostalgic for the six strings of the guitar, there is the guita (r) lele (aka: guitar ukulele). Finally, the extra low sounding bass ukulele usually ends up in the hands of bass players.
How do I tune a ukulele?
The standard tuning of a ukulele is GCEA (ADF # B-is also used). Most stringed instruments, such as guitar, have the strings going from low to high. This is also the case with a normal ukulele, except for the first string, which sounds higher than the second. The soprano , sopranino and concerto are often given the GCEA tuning and certain tenor ukuleles as well. However, some tenors have a low G. Then the first string just sounds lower than the second, just like with a guitar.
For guitarists , the step to ukulele is not that big. The GCEA tuning of a ukulele is very similar to the top four strings of a guitar, but with a capo on the fifth fret (and the first string tuned an octave higher). As a result, the chords will look very familiar to you. For an even smoother transition, choose the baritone : it sounds exactly the same as the top four strings of the guitar (DGBE). The guitalele ‘s mood is ADGCEA. This means you have the exact same fingering as on guitar, but five frets higher. Bass ukuleles are tuned just like the 4-string bass guitar: EADG.
What kind of strings do I put on a ukulele?
When you buy a ukulele, the strings are already on it. All you have to do is vote it. But when the sound starts to lose its sparkle, it’s time for a new set of strings. Replacement is not that difficult. And by occasionally choosing a different brand or type of strings, you automatically develop a preference. By the way, also remember that the factory probably won’t have put the most expensive strings on the ukulele.
Like the strings of a classical guitar, the strings of a ukulele are generally made of nylon . Never put steel strings on a ukulele! The much higher string tension could seriously damage the instrument.
If there is no type indication on the packaging, it is often a string set for soprano. If you want to be sure of your business, it is wise to simply choose a set in which, for example, soprano, concert, tenor or baritone is clearly stated on the packaging.
If you are looking for Best Ukulele for Beginners you can research on Google and view different Ukulele.
What else do I need with a ukulele?
Just like a guitar, you have to tune a ukulele regularly, so a tuner is very handy. If you want to put it away safely, use a Best Ukulele stand . And in addition to a set of spare strings , it is never wrong to take your ukulele with you protected. Cheaper models are often transported in a bag (also called a ‘gig bag ‘), but the more expensive ukuleles are usually carried in a sturdy case . Most players hold their instrument lightly between their upper arm and body. Do you want the same convenience as other musicians who play standing up? Then a special ukulele strap can be used very handy. Traditionally, the strings of a ukulele are struck with fingers or at most a soft, felt pick . But because many guitarists have also picked up this handy nephew in the meantime, regular guitar picks are increasingly used, for an extra clear sound.