Beginner Ukulele players don't need a great instrument. Scratch that. No one who is new to playing any instrument needs a great one. In fact, a novice probably won't appreciate a great instrument.
On the flip side, though, no one should have to learn to play on a poor excuse for a Ukulele. The low quality can make the instrument constantly need tuning and sound poor even when it is
The good news, if you're shopping for your first Ukulele or an upgrade to a poor first purchase, is that quality ukuleles can be found for a decent price. No Ukulele in this article is over $400, and many are closer to $100!
Ukulele Sizes For Beginners
As a beginner, there is a good chance you don't know which size you want either. Our first advice is stick with one of the major four sizes. So you're looking at Soprano, Concert, Tenor, or Baritone.
Concert and Tenors tend to be popular for beginners. These two sizes aren't as small and difficult to hold as a Soprano, but are much more traditional than a Baritone that can feel like a travel guitar.
To help with this, we've also broken this guide down into four sections, one for each of the main sizes of Ukulele. If you aren't familiar with the different sizes that are standard for Ukulele, we recommend you read our guide on the different types of Ukulele before purchasing!
If you already know what size Ukulele you'd like simply find that section and check out our recommendations!
Best Soprano Ukuleles
With Gig Bag
Makala Dolphin Bridge Soprano
Most cheap Ukuleles are more toy than actual musical instrument. In fact, with one exception we'd say that any Ukulele under $50 is probably not worth the money. The Makala Dolphin Ukulele is that exception.
You will want to change the strings, but after that is done this instrument will sound great. Especially considering the price. It comes in a wide range of colors that make it fun for kids or those young at heart.
You will want to be careful with this Uke, it's not made to take a beating. For someone who wants to learn the Uke, or simply wants to have fun at a good price, this Ukulele is a winner!
Kala KA-15S Mahogany Soprano Ukulele
If you are on a budget and but still want a great Ukulele that is a bit more traditional than the Dolphin we listed above, this is your Uke. The Kala KA-15S is made by the same company as the Makala but has a real wood look. The other major upgrade you get is a full mahogany body with a satin finish. This model can be found for under $60, making it a perfect first instrument for a beginner!
Lanikai LU-21 Soprano Ukulele Bundle
The first offering from Lanikai on this list, the LU series is the company's entry-level instruments. The LU-11 is similar to the Kala KA-15, but if you want a step the LU-21 is a great priced upgrade. Another bonus about this instrument is that it comes with a full bundle of accessories for a beginner who doesn't have any of the pieces. No, they aren't top of the line, but they are great starter package. Upgrade the parts as you need nicer ones later!
Kala KA-SSTU Soprano Travel Ukulele
The nicest Soprano Ukulele we found for a buyer on a budget, the Kala KA-SSTU Soprano Travel Ukulele. This model features a thin body design with an arch back to produce a full sound. The combination of a solid spruce top and mahogany back and sides gives this instrument a touch of quality. If you want to grab a great starter instrument or an upgrade to a poor first purchase, you could do much worse than the KA-SSTU!