The Parts of a Ukulele: Learn Uke Anatomy 101!

Understanding the parts of a Ukulele is essential for you to restring, tune, and maintain the instrument easily. It is also vital to know the parts in case you want to explain some aspects of the Ukulele to other players or need to compare features when deciding to purchase a new uke. Good news, it’s not super complicated!

These parts are the same on a Kala beginner ukulele as they are on a high-end Martin instrument, so once you know what you’re looking at you are good to go!

Parts-of-the-Ukulele

Parts of a Ukulele

We should note that many parts of the Ukulele have numerous names, but if you refer to parts of the ukulele as we have labeled them they will be easily recognized. The following are parts of a Ukulele:

Headstock

This part is at the top of the Ukulele, and it is used for holding the tuners. The headstock is the furthest piece away from the body of the Ukulele, and it is made of a solid piece of plastic or wood.

This part is designed to be hard and strong to support the tension from the tuners and the strings.

Tuners

Tuners are located on the headstock of the Ukulele, and as the name might suggest, they are used for tuning strings. You’ll see two common styles, those that point out to the sides while others point backward.

The top end of the string are threaded through and wound around the tuners so that tension on the strings can be changed, thus, changing the notes that are played when a string is plucked.

Tuners have multiple names following their design over the decades. Some tuners rely on friction to turn while nicer ones tend to be geared.

Nut

This is a ridge between the fretboard and the headstock that the strings rest on. The nut has notches that help keep the strings in place at the top of the Ukulele. Additionally, nuts are used to raise the strings off the fretboard, allowing you to change notes by pressing down on different frets.

Neck

This part is situated behind the fretboard, and it is designed to curve from side to side to allow the Ukulele player’s hand to cup around the fingerboard and the neck. This part is strong to support tension from the strings.

Frets

These are small bars placed into the fretboard at particular intervals. They are used in the Ukulele to play semi-tonal increments.

Fret Markers

These are small inlaid white dots on the fretboard; however, they can be of other colors and shapes. They are used to help the player to find a way from one note to another. Fret markers are located at the third, fifth, seventh, tenth, and twelfth fret.

Body

This is the central part of the Ukulele, and it consists of the front piece, sides, and back piece. It is used to amplify the sound from the vibrating strings.

This is also where you’ll find the Soundhole, Bridge, and Saddle, where the strings are mounted.

Soundhole

This part is situated under the strings in the center of the body of the Ukulele. For acoustic instruments, the resonance of the strings is picked up here, bounces around inside of the body of the Uke, and projected outwards.

Strings

Most Ukuleles have either nylon or metal-wound strings; they are used to create the tone in the Ukulele. This might be the most subjective piece of a ukulele, as everyone has strings they tend to prefer, both for play ability and sound reasons.

Saddle

This is located down the bottom end of the string, and it performs the same function as the nuts. It raises the strings to keep them distanced from the fretboard.

Bridge

This is the part of the Ukulele where the strings are attached to. You’ll find it mounted right behind the saddle and this piece is normally glued into the body of the Ukulele.

The Final Note

There you have it! You can now knowledgeably talk about the pieces of your ukulele with anyone!

There are some parts of a ukulele that specifically belong to electric ukuleles that we did not list here, things like pickups that only will be found on instruments that need to be plugged in.