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Types of Ukuleles: A Guide to the Different Kinds of Ukuleles

different types of ukuleles

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:

  1. Soprano (smallest)
  2. Concert
  3. Tenor
  4. Baritone (largest)

Different Types of Ukuleles

These are the 4 most popular models, with the soprano generally associated with the ukulele.

There are a handful of different sizes of ukulele, and each offers its own benefits, drawbacks, and tonality.

soprano concert tenor baritone ukulele sizes
The Four Different Ukulele Types or Sizes

Soprano Ukuleles

Length: 21″
Tuning: GCEA
Number of frets: 12-15

Fender Grace Soprano Ukelele

The Fender Grace Soprano Ukelele – a great soprano ukulele

  • Common among ukulele players
  • Easy to purchase
  • Perfect size for carrying around
  • Usually somewhat cheaper
  • Strings hold little tension, making it easier to play notes out of tune
  • Small, close-together frets are harder for players with larger hands

For more info, see our reviews of the best soprano ukuleles.

Concert Ukuleles

Length: 23″
Tuning: GCEA
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.

Luna Tattoo Concert Mahogany Ukulele

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.

  • Easy to play
  • Better note range
  • Fuller sound
  • Slightly louder sound
  • More room between frets
  • A bit more expensive than the soprano
  • Still relatively small for those with larger hands

For more info, see our reviews of the best concert ukuleles.

Tenor Ukuleles

Length: 26″
Tuning: GCEA
Number of frets: 15+

Cordoba 20TM Mahogany Tenor Ukulele

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).

  • Perfect for men learning the ukulele
  • Room to stretch for difficult chords
  • Even better range of notes
  • Louder, fuller sound
  • The similar price point to the concert
  • Less portable than the smaller sizes

For more info, see our reviews of the best tenor ukuleles.

Baritone Ukuleles

Length: 30″+
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.

Kala KA-BG Mahogany Baritone Ukulele

The Kala KA-BG Baritone Ukulele – a great baritone ukulele

  • Perfect for guitar players
  • The deeper, warmer tone
  • Easy for men to learn
  • Not easily portable
  • Usually a bit more expensive

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!