Ukulele for Guitarists: The ukulele is an amazing musical instrument, its small, light and compact design lets you carry it around anywhere with ease. You can play a ukulele wherever you desire and bring joy to the people around.
Many ukulele players have often said that the moment they start strumming their uke it takes them to this beach with a Hawaiin setting, where the instrument originated from, and it’s just peaceful with the gentle crashing waves and the sweet sound of the ukulele.
The ukulele has recently been getting popular with guitarists too! It’s easier to pick up the ukulele and master it if you’re used to playing the guitar, though both the instruments may be quite similar in the looks department, the ukulele is not a guitar that just looks small, it sounds way different and it’s own unique characteristics.
Things to Look into
There are a number of things to consider if you’re an enthusiastic guitar player making your way to a ukulele.
Thickness of the Neck
This is something to look out for if you’re coming from the guitar. Smaller ukuleles have a much thinner fretboard, which might make it a bit difficult. Going with a thicker neck brings you closer to what you’re used to with the guitar.
Size of the Body
When starting out it might feel a bit weird to play it compared to a full-sized guitar. But there are ukuleles of larger sizes that make them more suitable.
Tuning of the Ukulele
The traditional ukuleles are tuned much differently from a guitar, which translates to changed positions of the chords. If you want to avoid the hassle of getting used to new chords you might as well pick up a baritone ukulele which is essentially the lower four strings of your guitar.
Range of Notes and Number of Frets
Typically your average guitar has around 22 to 24 frets, but smaller ukuleles tend to have somewhere between 12 to 15 frets, though there are larger ones that go up to or even over 20 frets.
Sound Quality and Tone
Of course a ukulele sounds very different from a guitar. The smaller ukuleles tend to have a higher and more airy tone which is the common ukulele sound tone.
The larger ones however provide much deeper sound that comes pretty close to a guitar, though a baritone ukulele can be described as more of a mini guitar than an actual ukulele due to the deep and rich tones it offers.
It’s more than obvious any ukulele in general is much more travel friendly than a guitar. The compact size of the ukulele makes it easy to carry anywhere.
Types of Ukuleles
There 4 types of ukuleles, the soprano, concert, tenor and baritone, going from smallest to largest.
Tenor and baritone are the bigger ones which means it’s easier to get used to for a guitarist and they offer a closer number of frets to the guitar. Smaller ones like concert and soprano will most likely be too small and awkward to handle, moreover they probably won’t produce the type of sound you may be looking for.
Now with all that said, let’s jump into our selection of some of the best ukulele for guitarists!
5. Kala MK-B Baritone Ukulele
One of the best entry level ukuleles out in the market. The MK-B is made by Kala, few of the most top ukulele brands. Being finished with walnut and mahogany it definitely checks out the looks department as well. A great choice for guitarists looking for a deeper sound similar to that of an acoustic guitar.
4. Lohanu LU-T Tenor Ukulele
The arched back design on this tenor ukulele produces much louder, deeper and rich quality sound compared to cheap wood flat backs. It’s constructed from Rosewood and Mahogany and goes up to 26 inches in length. Comes with almost $50 worth of accessories in the box, picks and uke hangers and many more.
3. Cordoba 20BM Baritone Ukulele
Made by a reputed and respected company in both the worlds of guitar and ukulele, Cordoba. The 20BM is constructed from mahogany and has a satin fish to it. It’s a great choice if you’re looking for a great baritone ukulele.
2. Kmise KMU30B Baritone Ukulele
If you have a low budget but still want a good quality baritone then this is the one for you. With a mahogany and walnut build and a satin finish it looks amazing and sounds great too. It comes with accessories that you would have to normally spend extra money on, like picks, a strap and also a tuner!
1. Kala KA-BE Baritone Ukulele with EQ
Another one by Kala, the KA-BE is considered to be one of Kala’s flagships. This amazing mahogany and satin build offers a built in tuner as well. It has a walnut fretboard with 18 frets so it’s one of the larger ones and great for a guitarist’s hands.
Also Read: Best Concert Ukulele under $300
That’s our top 5 picks for ukulele that are good for an avid guitarist. Hope you find one that suits your playing style and comfort and add another instrument to your repertoire!