Selecting a `Ukulele

Selecting a `Ukulele

Buying and supplying your UAS ( `Ukulele Acquisition Syndrome ).

Published: Jan 2, 2005 Updated: Dec 3, 2017

ukulele | Subjects: beginnerintermediateadvancedinstruments

The 'Ukulele (pronounced oo-koo-lele) comes in four standard sizes: Soprano (sometimes called Standard), Concert, Tenor and Baritone. The Baritone is tuned just like the four thin strings of a standard tuned guitar and called "G" tuning (D G B E). The Soprano, Concert and Tenor is typically tuning in a "C" Tuning (G C E A) or "D" tuning (A D F# B). The Tenor can also be tuned like the Baritone ukulele with a high or low string four.

A `Ukulele is:

  • Light Weight and Portable
  • Easy on the Fingers with Four Strings and Four Fingers - a perfect match
  • Less Need for Strumming Accuracy
  • There isn't a lot expected from a ukulele player

The music you play can be as simple or complex as you want. The Ukulele is a powerful musical instrument for communication in its own right.

And, did I mention it’s a lot of fun to play and explore.

And a side note - the ukulele community is one the most welcoming and helpful communities among musicians. Open to helping and sharing with any level of player.

Step One - Get A Ukulele

I would actually recommend to NOT get your ukulele without trying it out. There is a lot a variety in the number of manufactures making instruments, types of wood, solid tops vs. laminated tops, different string material, the various sizes and shapes, etc... You need to get your hands on one and - more importantly find a reputable shop that, just doesn't have a few ukuleles and actually has a wide selection of instruments and knows what they are talking about. A lot of "guitar" stores think they are little guitars - they're ukuleles not guitars - same string family but a different personality and their own why of doing thinks. Only the chord shapes look the same, albeit different names. More importantly I've found the ukulele community to be very generous, accepting and open to new players, completely different than guitar community.

So that leaves out the Amazons, WalMarts, Guitar Centers and Sam Ashes of the World. With more and more stores popping up that cater to the ukulele crowd and ukulele festivals with vendors as well as meetup ukulele groups ( here are the groups within 50 miles from Funky Frets in Boyertown, PA USA ) you can find a good source of ukuleles and knowledge people.


End of Lesson - Thanks, Hope You Enjoyed It!


Related Lesson Files, Resources and Assets

Related Assets for Selecting a `Ukulele at this time.

Basic Ukulele Chord Chart

A chart of the most common ukulele chords in the most common keys.

Related Lessons

Related Lessons for Selecting a `Ukulele at this time.

Tuning Your `Ukulele

From tuning by ear to using an electronic tuner. The below lesson goes over the various tuning methods for tuning your ukulele. You ALWAYS need to play in tune.

Banjo `Ukuleles

The banjolele (brand name; sometimes banjo ukulele or banjo uke) is a four-stringed musical instrument with a small banjo-type body and a fretted ukulele neck. 'Banjolele', sometimes also spelled 'banjelele' or 'banjulele' is a generic nickname given to the instrument, which was derived from the 'banjulele-banjo' introduced by Alvin D. Keech in 1917.

Baritone `Ukuleles

The Baritone ukulele is the largest of the standard, most common sized ukuleles. It is tuned just like the thin, higher four strings of a standard tuned guitar (D G B A). This makes it a great starting instrument for little tikes wanting to play guitar but can't handle the steel strings and larger body size of the most acoustic guitars.

Bass `Ukuleles

Four sizes of ukuleles are common: soprano, concert, tenor, and baritone. There’s also the less common sopranino and the bass ukulele at the extreme ends of the size spectrum.

Concert `Ukulele

The Concert ukulele sized in between the smaller Soprano ukulele and the tenor ukulele.

Solidbody Electric `Ukuleles

Most acoustic ukuleles can be plugged in with the addition of a internal pickup or stick-on pickup.

Guitar `Ukuleles (Guitarele, Guilele)

The **guitarele, **guilele is a tenor body sized ukulele with additional stow strings, five and size. Tuned A D G C E A. This is the same tuning as the top four strings of C tuning with a low G with an added A and D.. Also the same tuning as a standard tuned guitar an a capo at the fifth fret (A D G C E A).

Novelty `Ukuleles

Ukuleles can come all manner of shapes and sizes. From smaller than soprano ukuleles, triangle shaped, plastic, etc. They will most likely be a standard sized soprano, concert, tenor or baritone ukulele - just a crazy shape.

Resonator `Ukuleles

A resonator ukulele or resophonic ukulele is a ukulele whose sound is produced by one or more spun aluminum cones (resonators) instead of the wooden soundboard (ukulele top/face). These instruments are sometimes referred to as Dobro ukuleles, however the term Dobro is currently trademarked by the Gibson Guitar Corporation.

Soprano `Ukuleles

The Soprano ukulele is the smallest ukulele. This is the size ukulele that most people associate as being a ukulele. It is the size that most people will remember Tiny Tim playing.

Tenor `Ukuleles

Next size up from the Concert ukulele is the Tenor ukulele.

Related Lesson Files, Resources and Assets

Related Books for Selecting a `Ukulele at this time.

A Guide to Ukulele Chords for Lefties

Covering the basic ukulele chords that ALL ukulele players SHOULD know. Plus, an introduction to movable chord forms, rock chords, how to transpose chords, jazz chords and more. FOR LEFTIES.

A Guide to Ukulele Chords, 2nd Edition

A Guide to Ukulele Chords, Second Edition is designed as a guide to ukulele chords. Covering the basic ukulele chords that ALL ukulele players SHOULD know. A Guide to Ukulele Chords covers movable chord forms, rock chords, how to transpose chords, learning the ukulele fingerboard and includes an introduction to 4-part, a.k.a jazz chords and more...

Ukulele Chords

This mini (1/2 size) chord book is the perfect size for every ukulele gig bag or case and a great addition to you music book library.

Related Lesson Series

Related Lessons Series for Selecting a `Ukulele at this time.

No related lesson series for Selecting a `Ukulele at this time.

Related Songs

Related Songs for Selecting a `Ukulele at this time.

Any Song Will Do

This is not really a song, but simply saying that for the purposes of a lot of the lessons and lesson series on this site ANY song will do for exploring the lesson's material and concepts presented in the lesson.

Related Videos

Related Videos for Selecting a `Ukulele.

No videos for Selecting a `Ukulele at this time. Filming a lot of videos for various lessons, songs and books.

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I can highly recommend Curt's Uke books — I have four of them and they are excellent.fatveg — Portland

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