Choosing your first ukulele can be tough, especially when you’re not sure what to look for. Music teacher McKegg C. suggests checking out a few great models by the best ukulele brands around…
When it comes to picking out a new ukulele, be wary of what to buy. As a beginner you want to make sure you’re getting the best deal, but you also don’t want to spend too little and buy something that will fall apart in a month’s time. So, before you embark on your quest to ukulele rock stardom where you can blow $2,000 on a handcrafted ukulele straight from Maui, here is a guide to some more affordable ukuleles that will give you the best bang for your buck.
Mahalo U-30 Painted Soprano Ukulele
This, small, nice-sized ukulele has been noted for being perfect for beginners because of its size and affordability. These little fellas usually go between $30-40, which is a hard price to beat compared to most other ukuleles. Also the color customization makes this a standout as well, though the color you want depends on where you buy it. For instance on Amazon, you can only get it in pink and on Guitar Center in yellow, etc. Reviews on this one range from beginners liking it, but some folks complaining that you constantly have to keep retuning it and that the strings you’re provided don’t sound as good. It’s hard to beat the price though, but it may end up as a buyer-beware situation.
Epiphone Les Paul Acoustic Electric Ukulele Outfit
For you classic guitar fans out there, this ukulele will surely bring you one step closer to rock stardom. This concert size ukulele is a little bigger than the typical soprano ukulele, but what it lacks with its size it makes up with style. At $100, it’s not a bad price for a quality ukulele that sounds great as well. Most reviewers find that this ukulele sounds good right from the start and lasts a good long time. There are some reviews that complain of the ukulele’s sound one stating that though the strings were replaced, the sound was still “dead.” These are only a few opinions though as the general consensus is positive for this one.
Kala KA-C Satin Mahogany Concert Ukulele
This bad boy was voted as number one on Comparaboo’s List of the Ten Best Ukuleles. At $103, this little ukulele provides a great sound that keeps buyers satisfied. With the right care and time, this ukulele should last you a long time. There are a few negative reviews for this little number, mainly complaining about the intonation of the instrument, but these negative reviews are lost amongst the higher praises for this one.
Oscar Schmidt OU5 Concert Ukulele Bundle
This one may be the one of the best deals out there, though it will cost you a pretty penny. At $200, the ukulele comes with a case, an instructional DVD, a clip on tuner (which is always a good thing to have), and a polishing cloth. With a lot of these ukuleles, the higher the price goes up, the lower the number of negative reviews becomes: universal acclaim all around with no review dropping below three stars, but nonetheless stating satisfaction with this ukulele.
There you have it, four affordable models from the best ukulele brands, with a good deal of positive criticism backing them. For the prices these ukuleles cost, any of these are good investments. Picking a ukulele is a process, but it shouldn’t be something to stress over. Just take the time to compare the reviews, make your choice and start playing your heart out.
Looking for more ukulele guidance? Taking private lessons with an experienced instructor is one of the best ways to learn more. Search for your ukulele teacher today!
McKegg C. teaches acting and screenwriting online and in Brooklyn, NY. A graduate of Fitchburg State University with a BS in Communications with a duel concentration in Film-Video Production and Theatre, he was named Theatre Student of the Year in 2014, won Best Drama at Campus MovieFest for his film Ticker, and was a finalist in the Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship Auditions (Region I). Learn more about McKegg here!
Photo by Ryan Ozawa