The Best Ukulele for Beginners: Complete Guide!

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. They also won’t know what a high-quality instrument is. To make this better we’ve put together a complete guide to the best ukulele for beginners!

I looked and played more ukes than I could have counted to come up with this list. I played sopranos, concerts, tenors, and banjos of tons of different brands and styles to pick out ones that would be perfect for both the budget and the needs of a beginner ukulele player

If you’re shopping for your first Ukulele or an upgrade to a poor first purchase, we can tell you that you can get a quality ukulele that can be found for a decent price. No Ukulele in this article is over $400, and many are closer to $100!

Recommended Ukulele Sizes For Beginners

As a beginner, there is a good chance you don’t know which size you want either. Our first piece of advice is to 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 For Beginners

Kala Purple Burst Dolphin Makala Soprano Ukulele - MK-SD/PLBURST Bundle with a...
Top Pick!
Kala KA-15S Satin Mahogany Soprano Ukulele Bundle with Gig Bag, Tuner, Strap,...
Lanikai Ukulele (MAS)
Kala KA-SSTU Soprano Travel Ukulele
Product
Kala Purple Burst Dolphin Makala Soprano Ukulele - MK-SD/PLBURST Bundle with a...
Kala KA-15S Satin Mahogany Soprano Ukulele Bundle with Gig Bag, Tuner, Strap,...
Lanikai Ukulele (MAS)
Kala KA-SSTU Soprano Travel Ukulele
Reviews
91 Reviews
1,252 Reviews
25 Reviews
59 Reviews
Stars
Price
$60.50
$89.99
$83.21
Price not available
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Kala Purple Burst Dolphin Makala Soprano Ukulele - MK-SD/PLBURST Bundle with a...
Product
Kala Purple Burst Dolphin Makala Soprano Ukulele - MK-SD/PLBURST Bundle with a...
Reviews
91 Reviews
Stars
Price
$60.50
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Top Pick!
Kala KA-15S Satin Mahogany Soprano Ukulele Bundle with Gig Bag, Tuner, Strap,...
Product
Kala KA-15S Satin Mahogany Soprano Ukulele Bundle with Gig Bag, Tuner, Strap,...
Reviews
1,252 Reviews
Stars
Price
$89.99
Lanikai Ukulele (MAS)
Product
Lanikai Ukulele (MAS)
Reviews
25 Reviews
Stars
Price
$83.21
Kala KA-SSTU Soprano Travel Ukulele
Product
Kala KA-SSTU Soprano Travel Ukulele
Reviews
59 Reviews
Stars
Price
Price not available
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Makala Dolphin Bridge Soprano

Sale
Kala Purple Burst Dolphin Makala Soprano Ukulele - MK-SD/PLBURST Bundle with a...
91 Reviews
Kala Purple Burst Dolphin Makala Soprano Ukulele - MK-SD/PLBURST Bundle with a...
  • A fun looking ukulele the Soprano Purple Burst Dolphin is great for beginners to advance players with the unique dolphin design on the top with a sleek gloss finish
  • This ukulele has a Composite Back & Sides, Kauri Top, Mahogany Neck, Plastic Nut & Saddle, and Aquila Super Nylgut Strings
  • The small design of this ukulele makes it easy to pack and travel with
  • Soprano Ukulele is the most common and smallest size of ukulele, with the shortest scale length and tightest fret spacing, tuned G C E A
  • What you get: Tote Bag, Tuner, and Lumintrail Polishing Cloth

Most cheap Ukuleles are more toys than an actual musical instruments. 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.

Our one major complaint about this ukulele is that the strings are pretty poor, so 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, the Makala Dolphin Ukulele is a winner!

Kala KA-15S Mahogany Soprano Ukulele

Kala KA-15S Satin Mahogany Soprano Ukulele Bundle with Gig Bag, Tuner, Strap,...
1,252 Reviews
Kala KA-15S Satin Mahogany Soprano Ukulele Bundle with Gig Bag, Tuner, Strap,...
  • Mahogany Body
  • Soprano Size
  • Rosewood Fingerboard and Bridge
  • Mahogany Neck
  • Geared Tuners

If you are on a budget 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!

We’ve added a link to the beginner bundle that Kala offers, but you can find just the ukulele if you don’t need the extra items!

Lanikai MAS Soprano Ukulele

Sale
Lanikai Ukulele (MAS)
25 Reviews
Lanikai Ukulele (MAS)
  • Smooth action good quality Chrome open back tuners for tuning accuracy and a light headstock for player comfort
  • NuBone XB nut and saddle for maximum Sustain and best tone
  • Wide comfortable neck profile for player comfort
  • Chrome strap buttons are standard for safety and comfort
  • Mahogany provides a traditional look and a pleasant warm tone

The first offering from Lanikai on this list, the LU series is the company’s entry-level instruments. The MAS is similar to the Kala KA-15 but we consider it just a step above, so for a few extra bucks, you get a great little upgrade.

The mahogany top on this instrument is the first real wood top we’ve got on this list as well, giving this instrument both the look, feel, and sound of an instrument worth twice the price!

Kala KA-SSTU Soprano Travel Ukulele

Kala KA-SSTU Soprano Travel Ukulele
59 Reviews
Kala KA-SSTU Soprano Travel Ukulele
  • Solid Spruce top, Ultra thinbody
  • Made in China
  • 1 1/4 to 1 3/4- Inch archback thinbody depth
  • Mahogany back and sides

The nicest Soprano Ukulele we found for a buyer on a budget, is 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!

The Best Concert Ukuleles for Beginners

Luna Tattoo Concert Mahogany Ukulele with Gig Bag, Satin Natural
Cordoba 15CM Concert Ukulele
Top Pick!
Oscar Schmidt OU5 Koa Concert Ukulele Bundle with Gig Bag, Tuner, Strap, Fender...
Magic Fluke Co Flea Designer Floral Natural Concert Ukulele
Product
Luna Tattoo Concert Mahogany Ukulele with Gig Bag, Satin Natural
Cordoba 15CM Concert Ukulele
Oscar Schmidt OU5 Koa Concert Ukulele Bundle with Gig Bag, Tuner, Strap, Fender...
Magic Fluke Co Flea Designer Floral Natural Concert Ukulele
Reviews
1,381 Reviews
959 Reviews
558 Reviews
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Stars
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Price
$99.00
$99.00
$179.99
$304.00
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Luna Tattoo Concert Mahogany Ukulele with Gig Bag, Satin Natural
Product
Luna Tattoo Concert Mahogany Ukulele with Gig Bag, Satin Natural
Reviews
1,381 Reviews
Stars
Price
$99.00
Cordoba 15CM Concert Ukulele
Product
Cordoba 15CM Concert Ukulele
Reviews
959 Reviews
Stars
Price
$99.00
Top Pick!
Oscar Schmidt OU5 Koa Concert Ukulele Bundle with Gig Bag, Tuner, Strap, Fender...
Product
Oscar Schmidt OU5 Koa Concert Ukulele Bundle with Gig Bag, Tuner, Strap, Fender...
Reviews
558 Reviews
Stars
Price
$179.99
Magic Fluke Co Flea Designer Floral Natural Concert Ukulele
Product
Magic Fluke Co Flea Designer Floral Natural Concert Ukulele
Reviews
-
Stars
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Price
$304.00
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Luna Mahogany Series Tattoo Concert Ukulele

Sale
Luna Tattoo Concert Mahogany Ukulele with Gig Bag, Satin Natural
1,381 Reviews
Luna Tattoo Concert Mahogany Ukulele with Gig Bag, Satin Natural
  • This Tattoo Concert Uke Takes Its Design From Traditional Hawaiian Body Ornamentation
  • The Designs Were Monochromatic, Tattooed In Black Against Brown Skin
  • The Patterns And Layout Were Strongly Geometric And There Were Many Shapes And Symbols Representing The Natural Island World
  • The Fret Markers Are Stylized Sharks Teeth

The Luna Mahogany Series Tattoo Concert Ukulele is a design dedicated to Hawaiian tattooing traditions. The design is based on a “Honu” (turtle) in a Polynesian tattoo style. Not only does this Ukulele have a distinctive yet traditional style it’s got a solid spruce top with mahogany sides and back. This Uke is great for individuals who don’t want something as small as a Soprano but still want the classic Ukulele sound.

Cordoba 15CM Concert Ukulele

Sale
Cordoba 15CM Concert Ukulele
959 Reviews
Cordoba 15CM Concert Ukulele
  • Rich, Bright Sound: The Mahogany Top, Back, And Sides, Give This Small Bodied Ukulele A Rich, Clear, And High-Quality Sound.
  • Easy Tuning: Córdoba Silver With Pearl Button Tuners Make It A Breeze To Tune Your Ukulele And Maintain Tuning For Uninterrupted Playing.
  • Classic Aesthetics: Showcases A Solid Mahogany Top, Back, And Sides, With Quality Construction All Around. The Handcrafted Body Also Includes An Abalone Rosette And An Ivoroid Binding To The Body And The Fingerboard That Distinguishes It From Other Models.
  • Satin Finish: Additional Features Include A Sleek Satin Finish, Silver Tuners With Pearl Buttons, And Premium Aquila Strings.

Cordoba was started as a guitar company but they had so much success they’ve moved into other stringed instruments. Fun fact, my first guitar was actually a Cordoba model that was handed down from an uncle!

Of all their other instruments the most notable is definitely the Ukulele. The Cordoba 15CM Concert Ukulele is their best selling offering featuring a Mahogany body and rosewood fretboard. This Ukulele can also be had in Soprano or Tenor sizes, or in an acoustic-electric Edge Burst model (for a few extra bucks).

Oscar Schmidt OU5 Concert Ukulele

Oscar Schmidt OU5 Koa Concert Ukulele Bundle with Gig Bag, Tuner, Strap, Fender...
558 Reviews
Oscar Schmidt OU5 Koa Concert Ukulele Bundle with Gig Bag, Tuner, Strap, Fender...
  • Hawaiian Koa top, back, and sides
  • Abalone binding and rosette
  • 16-fret nyatoh neck
  • Grover chrome tuners
  • Bundle includes Oscar Schmidt OU5 Concert Ukulele, Gig Bag, Austin Bazaar Instructional DVD, Clip-On Tuner, and Austin Bazaar Polishing Cloth

No “top instrument” list would be complete without an offering from Oscar Schmidt. The company has been making stringed instruments since 1871 and is truly a master of their craft.

The OU5 Concert Ukulele is made with a Hawaiian Koa top, sides, and back and their unique Nyatoh neck gives this instrument an authentic feel. As you learn more about ukes you’ll realize how special of a wood Koa is to the ukulele, it brings a level of authenticity to the instrument. This is also one of the instruments on the list that will last you far past the beginner stage.

Oscar Schmidt also has a lifetime warranty backing up this great-sounding Uke.

There are several options for packages with this model. You can simply get the Ukulele with the link above or check the “also viewed” section for several different bundle options.

Magic Fluke Co Flea Standard Natural Concert Ukulele

This might be the most unique of the Ukulele’s making this list. The Flea is a custom design and uses a molded plastic and wood combination to produce a great sound. The resonant thermoplastic body gives off a light and energetic sound and is more durable than a traditional wooden instrument.

Best Tenor Ukuleles for Beginners

Oscar Schmidt OU2T Mahogany Tenor Ukulele
Kala KA-TE Mahogany Tenor Electric Ukulele
Magic Fluke Fluke Standard Walnut Tenor Ukulele
Top Pick!
Lanikai Ukulele, Natural (MA8T)
Product
Oscar Schmidt OU2T Mahogany Tenor Ukulele
Kala KA-TE Mahogany Tenor Electric Ukulele
Magic Fluke Fluke Standard Walnut Tenor Ukulele
Lanikai Ukulele, Natural (MA8T)
Reviews
68 Reviews
64 Reviews
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19 Reviews
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Price
$149.00
$199.00
Price not available
$212.97
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Oscar Schmidt OU2T Mahogany Tenor Ukulele
Product
Oscar Schmidt OU2T Mahogany Tenor Ukulele
Reviews
68 Reviews
Stars
Price
$149.00
Kala KA-TE Mahogany Tenor Electric Ukulele
Product
Kala KA-TE Mahogany Tenor Electric Ukulele
Reviews
64 Reviews
Stars
Price
$199.00
Magic Fluke Fluke Standard Walnut Tenor Ukulele
Product
Magic Fluke Fluke Standard Walnut Tenor Ukulele
Reviews
-
Stars
-
Price
Price not available
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Top Pick!
Lanikai Ukulele, Natural (MA8T)
Product
Lanikai Ukulele, Natural (MA8T)
Reviews
19 Reviews
Stars
Price
$212.97

Oscar Schmidt OU2TG Mahogany Tenor Ukulele

Oscar Schmidt OU2T Mahogany Tenor Ukulele
68 Reviews
Oscar Schmidt OU2T Mahogany Tenor Ukulele
  • Mahogany top, back & sides
  • Ebony headstock and bridge
  • Ivory body binding, Satin finish, Chrome tuners

The Oscar Schmidt OU2T Mahogany Tenor Ukulele brings a classic style that has the quality and looks you want from a ukulele. The instrument is completed with a full mahogany body and rosewood bridge. You have the option of a rosewood fretboard or an engineered wood one. If you can afford it the rosewood not only sounds better but will last MUCH longer!

I really like the instruments from Oscar Schmidt. Full of quality but without some of the frills and “extra” designs that many manufacturers are adding in today’s market.

Kala KA-TE Mahogany Tenor Electric Ukulele

Kala KA-TE Mahogany Tenor Electric Ukulele
64 Reviews
Kala KA-TE Mahogany Tenor Electric Ukulele
  • Kala Ukulele, known for high-quality instruments, is the most recognized and sought after ukulele brand in the world. Kala ukuleles are the instrument of choice for schools - more people learn to play on a Kala than any other ukulele brand

Another solid offering from Kala, The KA-TE Mahogany Tenor Electric Ukulele is the first of two acoustic-electric Ukes to make our list. The full mahogany body of this instrument sounds great acoustically, and when plugged into an amp the Nano-Flex EQ system provides great output.

Most beginners don’t need the pickup that comes stock with this model, and if you’re never going to play for people or with this ukulele plugged in you should grab the KA-T instead (save a few bucks!). I know that any instrument I buy might go on stage with me, so having the factory-installed pickup of this quality was a nice bonus.

Magic Fluke Co Fluke Designer Tenor Ukulele

Magic Fluke Fluke Standard Walnut Tenor Ukulele
  • 17in scale
  • 24.5in overall length
  • Nyltech strings.
  • Easily accommodates GCEA tuning but can also handle the lower DGBE tuning (high D).
  • Molded polycarbonate fingerboard

Just like the concert Ukulele from Magic Fluke we listed earlier, the Fluke Designer Floral Mango Tenor Ukulele has a great, unique style all its own. Due to its flat bottom it can actually stand up by itself, how many Ukes can say that? It is made with the same combination of molded thermoplastic and wood as other Magic Fluke Ukuleles.

The size of the tenor makes it perfect for standard GCEA tuning, but capable of sounding great in High D (Baritone) tuning as well! ​

Lanikai MA8T Natural Ukulele

Lanikai Ukulele, Natural (MA8T)
19 Reviews
Lanikai Ukulele, Natural (MA8T)
  • Good quality Chrome open back tuners for tuning accuracy and a light headstock for player comfort
  • Bone nut and saddle for Sustain and tone
  • Wide comfortable neck profile for player comfort
  • Chrome strap buttons are standard for safety and comfort
  • Mahogany provides a traditional look and a pleasant warm tone

Lanikai as a brand has made it a point to produce traditional Ukuleles using Hawaiian woods and materials. This does tend to make their instruments fairly expensive for a beginner, but not having one on this list would have been a crime. I almost didn’t add this instrument due to the fact its an 8-string uke, but I had so much fun playing it I couldn’t leave it off.

The 8-string design is set up like a 12-string guitar, meaning you have 2 strings for each note. If you are an absolute beginner this might make fingering some chords more difficult, but if you can work through the initial struggle you’ll be awarded with a phenomenal, rich sound that a regular 4-string instrument can’t replicate!

Best Baritone Ukuleles for Beginners

Caramel 30 inch CB103 Zebra wood High Gloss Baritone LCD color display Electric...
Top Pick!
Kala MK-B Makala Baritone Ukulele Bundle with Gig Bag, Tuner, Strap, Aquila...
Kala KA-B Mahogany Baritone Ukulele
Oscar Schmidt OU57 Spalted Mango Baritone Ukulele
Product
Caramel 30 inch CB103 Zebra wood High Gloss Baritone LCD color display Electric...
Kala MK-B Makala Baritone Ukulele Bundle with Gig Bag, Tuner, Strap, Aquila...
Kala KA-B Mahogany Baritone Ukulele
Oscar Schmidt OU57 Spalted Mango Baritone Ukulele
Reviews
255 Reviews
1,573 Reviews
126 Reviews
26 Reviews
Stars
Price
$139.99
$124.99
$149.00
$369.00
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Caramel 30 inch CB103 Zebra wood High Gloss Baritone LCD color display Electric...
Product
Caramel 30 inch CB103 Zebra wood High Gloss Baritone LCD color display Electric...
Reviews
255 Reviews
Stars
Price
$139.99
Top Pick!
Kala MK-B Makala Baritone Ukulele Bundle with Gig Bag, Tuner, Strap, Aquila...
Product
Kala MK-B Makala Baritone Ukulele Bundle with Gig Bag, Tuner, Strap, Aquila...
Reviews
1,573 Reviews
Stars
Price
$124.99
Kala KA-B Mahogany Baritone Ukulele
Product
Kala KA-B Mahogany Baritone Ukulele
Reviews
126 Reviews
Stars
Price
$149.00
Oscar Schmidt OU57 Spalted Mango Baritone Ukulele
Product
Oscar Schmidt OU57 Spalted Mango Baritone Ukulele
Reviews
26 Reviews
Stars
Price
$369.00
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Caramel CB103 Zebra Wood Baritone Ukulele

Caramel 30 inch CB103 Zebra wood High Gloss Baritone LCD color display Electric...
255 Reviews
Caramel 30 inch CB103 Zebra wood High Gloss Baritone LCD color display Electric...
  • ♪ EXOTIC HIGH GLOSS ZEBRA WOOD BODY - Caramel CB103 30 inch Baritone Ukeleles are made of Zebrawoods and edge framed by xylonite makes the perfect choice for moonlit beach strolls and bonfire singalongs, as well as a guaranteed conversation starter in any performance setting.Looking outward, mahogany neck yields rich sustain and a versatile playing experience for a wide range of hand sizes,high gloss finish makes it more gorgeous. Caramel ukuleles are the instrument of choice for both profession
  • ♪ ONE STEP TO AN UKULELE PLAYER - Do you want to learn to play Ukulele? This starter Ukelele kit gets you started! Comes with: 1x CB103 Baritone ukelele (D-G-B-E), 1 extra set G-C-E-A strings ,gig bag (12mm padded, made of 300D 6CD polyester yarn),3x guitar picks,1x cleaning cloth ,1x ukulele wall hanger,1x ukulele strap(with pegs), 2x bridge pins ,1x metal nail drawer ,1x EQ cable,1x instructions
  • ♪ UNMATCHED UKULELE - 3 bands EQ built in tuner with LCD color display,ready this one-of-a-kind acoustic-electric for natural-sounding sound reproduction into an amp, PA, or recording medium.! Adjustable Truss Rod inside the neck (wrench included) ,so players can adjust the action according to their needs.Rare ukuleles have such feature.Aquila Strings to create a Full Sound.Caramel ukalalee sounds almost like a pricey professional Ukulele. Luthiers tuned it one by one before we ship your ukulele
  • ♪ HIGH QUALITY AT LOW PRICE - Start your musican journey with a real wood ukulele ,stop buying PLASTIC TOYS !Baritone ukulele is bigger than other size ukuleles that is more comfortable for larger hands and preferred by professional musician. It has a longer scale with more frets and makes a deeper, fuller sound than a soprano or concert - tuned D-G-B-E.Considering some ones not used to D-G-B-E tuning ,we also give G-C-E-A strings freely.We are not the cheapest one,but we are the Best Buys.
  • ♪ MONEY BACK GUARANTEE - Try it today RISK-FREE with our 30 days Money Back Guarantee.If you for ANY reason don't like the Ukulele Kit, simply return it for a FULL REFUND. No questions asked.

The first Baritone Ukulele on our list is also the only one that uses Zebra Wood for its body. The CB103 sports a mirror polish finish as well, giving it an eye-popping shine.

At 30 inches long, the CB103 is big even for a Baritone Uke. This makes it a great choice for guitarist that want to switch to the Ukulele. Tune it in High D tuning which will match the highest four strings on a standard six-string guitar.

This model is also an acoustic-electric hybrid and comes stock with a three-band EQ tuner.

Makala MK-B Baritone Ukulele

Kala MK-B Makala Baritone Ukulele Bundle with Gig Bag, Tuner, Strap, Aquila...
1,573 Reviews
Kala MK-B Makala Baritone Ukulele Bundle with Gig Bag, Tuner, Strap, Aquila...
  • Mahogany Body
  • 18 Brass Frets
  • Walnut Fingerboard and Bridge
  • Mahogany Neck
  • Geared Tuners

The Makala (made by Kala) MK-B Baritone Ukulele Bundle is a great mixture of quality and price. This Ukulele has a mahogany body with a mahogany neck and rosewood fretboard.

The model we’ve linked to comes with a gig bag, clip on tuner, instructional DvD and polishing cloth. You can buy the Ukulele alone, but it will only save you $7 and the pieces in the kit are worth much more than what you’d save!

Kala KA-B Mahogany Baritone Ukulele

Kala KA-B Mahogany Baritone Ukulele
126 Reviews
Kala KA-B Mahogany Baritone Ukulele
  • Kala Ukulele, known for high-quality instruments, is the most recognized and sought after ukulele brand in the world. Kala ukuleles are the instrument of choice for schools - more people learn to play on a Kala than any other ukulele brand
  • Country of origin: CN
  • Model: KA-B
  • Brand: Kala Brand Music Co.

The step up from the Makala MK-B is this uke, the Kala KA-B Mahogany Baritone Ukulele.  The $40-$50 dollar difference may be out of your budget, but if not we suggest spending the extra here. For the extra money you’ll get a full mahogany body and Aquila Nylgut strings that will play better right out of the box. As a beginner, you may not be able to tell the difference, but as you advance you’ll start to notice the quailty of the KA-B.

Oscar Schmidt OU57 Spalted Mango Baritone Ukulele

Oscar Schmidt OU57 Spalted Mango Baritone Ukulele
26 Reviews
Oscar Schmidt OU57 Spalted Mango Baritone Ukulele
  • Baritone Style
  • Mango Top
  • Mango Sides and Back

Last, but certainly not least, is the Oscar Schmidt OU57. This beautiful instrument is constructed from Spalted Mango wood which gives it a great resonance and a look that is both unique and eyecatching.

While this is one of the more expensive instruments on the list it’s still less expensive than many guitars of much lower quality. Experienced guitar players and ​beginning Uke players alike will enjoy this instrument greatly!


How We Judged The Ukuleles

When we selected these ukuleles we had a LOT of options. As you can imagine, we quickly had to figure out how we were going to differentiate and make sure we present the best ukulele for beginners. I brought several friends with me on different trips to stores to play and judge instruments, and on many of these instruments, we had students who owned them.

So, after lots of strumming, fingerpicking, and music store jams we picked out four different categories we considered: Material, Strings, Price, and Sound.

Material

Ukuleles are either made out of some sort of composite, (which is basically plastic), laminated wood, or solid wood.

Plastics make up the bottom of the line, toy-type Ukuleles and we generally will recommend you stay away from them. There are a few exceptions, but most of these produce poor sound and will need to be replaced very quickly.

Laminated woods make up most of the Ukuleles on our list and vary the greatest in terms of price and quality. You can find some that are mostly cardboard or plywood shavings that aren’t much better than plastics, while the good ones are nearly as nice as solid wood instruments.

Lastly, solid wood instruments are exactly that, made from a single piece (each side). Most of these instruments are out of a beginner’s price range so we haven’t added many.

Strings

Until you are experienced enough to hear the difference strings can make we don’t really recommend you pay much attention to them. When you are ready to explore your options you can read our post giving you 8 string options!

Price

As a beginner, you probably don’t want to spend a ton on an instrument. So, we wanted to make sure that we balanced quality with price to find the best values possible.

Sound

Most importantly, your instrument has to sound good. If your instrument doesn’t ring true or quickly needs to be re-tuned, it will make learning much more difficult. We’ve made sure that all of these instruments produce the highest quality sound.

Did we miss a Ukulele you think deserves to be on this list? Please, leave us a comment and we’ll look into it! Your suggestions are welcome and appreciated!

How Much Should a Beginner Spend on a Ukulele

While there is no one hard and fast rule for this, I’ve always told my students they should spend between $75 and $200 on a beginner ukulele. At this price range, almost every one of the best ukuleles for beginners in within your price range. This allows you to look at the features and style of the ukulele you want, rather than just a number.

While you can spend less than $75 on a good ukulele, you have to be much more careful with picking them out as there are lots of bad ukes in this price range too. As a beginner, you can really spend as much as you want on a ukulele if you can afford it. Some of the quality and niceties might be lost on you, but you won’t have to upgrade nearly as soon as those who save money on their first uke!

The Final Note

There you have it! The best beginner ukuleles regardless of the size of instrument you are looking for!

If you find this list before you are ready to buy make sure you come back, I do my best to update it regularly and add new ukes or take ones away that either go out of production or make a splash!

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Edward Bell Author

A ukulele player pretty much from birth, Edward has gone on to play banjo, lead guitar, and bass for a number of bands and solo projects! Edward loves talking, teaching and writing about music!

Last update on 2022-06-09 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API