How to Buy a Ukulele

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Start Your Ukulele Buying Journey

So you’re interested in learning to play the ukulele and now you need to buy one! No worries. There are several things to consider before you go shopping:

  • How much money are you willing to spend? What’s your budget?
  • Will you be performing in front of audiences or just by yourself?
  • How large are your hands? Some uke’s are pretty small.

How Much Should I Spend on a Ukulele?

First thing’s first; what type of budget do you have for a ukulele? The good news is that there are instruments available to meet just about any budget imaginable; from $30 beginner models to $1500 handmade instruments and everything in between. For most beginners, instruments up to around $100 are great for learning. Moving up to the $200 range you get more professional features such as pickups for amplification and built in tuners. Beyond that, there are finer and finer instruments available as you move into handmade one-of-a-kind ukuleles.

Uke’s With Pickup Systems

If you will be performing in front of audiences, you may consider getting a ukulele with a pickup system for amplification. Then you can connect with sound systems so that larger audiences may hear you clearly.

Soprano Ukulele? Concert Ukulele?

The size of your hands is also a consideration. The small soprano ukuleles can be difficult to play for those with larger hands. Consider a concert or tenor ukulele which has a larger fretboard that big fingers can fit into.

The bottom line is if you are just starting out, there’s no need to spend over $100. If you’re a professional and play out often, go for a higher end model with electronics in the $150-$250 range. If you’re a hedge fund manager, go for broke!

Bryan and I play several ukuleles in the videos including ones from Amahi, Cordoba and Kala.

-Ashley Shepherd

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