In this guide, I’ll explain the different types of ukuleles, including hybrid models that seem to be getting more and more popular, which will open your eyes to the world of ukulele and hopefully help you decide which ukulele to buy.
There are 4 main types/sizes of ukuleles:
- Soprano (smallest)
- Baritone (largest)
Number of frets: 15-20
Only a couple of inches larger than the soprano, the concert ukulele produces a rounder sound due to the slightly larger frame.
The Luna Tattoo Concert Ukulele – a great concert ukulele
It generally conforms to the same tuning as the soprano (GCEA) and is a popular choice for people with bigger fingers because there is more space between the frets.
Guitarists like the size of the concert not only because of the sound but because there is more tension on the strings, which makes it beneficial for players looking to bend strings since you won’t be bending them without tuning as often. Having up to 20 frets means players can head to higher notes on the fretboard.
For more info, see our reviews of the best concert ukuleles.
Number of frets: 15+
The Cordoba 20TM Tenor Ukulele – a great tenor ukulele
The tenor uke is quite a bit bigger than the soprano uke and due to this, you will get a much richer and fuller sound along with a heavier and heavier instrument.
This ukulele is a popular choice for artists due to the tonal qualities and abilities to achieve higher notes on the fingerboard. It is usually tuned to standard tuning (GCEA), but sometimes it can be tuned lower as a baritone uke (DGBE).
For more info, see our reviews of the best tenor ukuleles.
Tuning: DGBE, GCEA
Number of frets: 19+
The baritone is the daddy of the ukulele family. The baritone uke is closest to the standard guitar in size. In fact, baritone ukuleles are tuned in the same way as the four highest strings on a guitar.
This ukulele produces a deeper sound.
The Kala KA-BG Baritone Ukulele – a great baritone ukulele
For more info, see our reviews of the best baritone ukuleles.
Which One Should You Buy?
The best type of ukulele for you depends on your playback level, the sound you want, and the type of music you want to play.
Size is also something to think about. If you have smaller hands, a soprano or concert ukulele will be the most comfortable for you. If you have bigger hands, a soprano ukulele may end up being too small. But no matter what size you choose, you are guaranteed to have a background with your new ukulele!