If you are looking to learn to play the ukulele, you may be confused as to which size of ukulele you should buy. Many people settle on a cheap model in the beginning and often end up purchasing a soprano sized ukulele. This is the smallest of all the ukulele sizes and it is often too small for many players.
The concert ukulele is larger than a soprano but remains affordable for the beginner. The size of the concert ukulele is perfect for a beginner. While the soprano size may be a bit small for many people, the concert is in that sweet spot zone and should work well for most people.
When I was first beginning my journey into playing the ukulele, I was surprised at how small the ukulele is. The soprano, being the smallest ukulele is extra small and I didn’t feel comfortable at all playing something of this size as a beginner.
I was used to playing the acoustic guitar and it seemed very difficult to get my big fingers spaced out on the small frets of a soprano.
I then tried the concert size and felt that this was a great starting point for me. It was larger than the soprano size but still small and affordable so it was a great starting point for my journey into this instrument.
If you are looking to play the ukulele and do not have tiny fingers, you may want to lean towards the concert-sized ukulele. If you have large hands, a tenor may be even better.
How Big Is A Concert Ukulele?
A concert ukulele has a total length of around 24 inches. It has 18 – 20 frets along the fretboard and has a scale length of approximately 15 inches. These measurements will differ depending on the brand but this is a general size that you can expect.
Among the four different sizes of ukuleles, the concert ukulele is second to the smallest. Its size is about two inches longer in total length than the soprano but it is about two inches smaller than the tenor, which is the next size up.
The size of the concert ukulele makes it a good value and a good size for a beginner.
Is A Concert Ukulele Better Than A Soprano?
A concert ukulele isn’t necessarily better than a soprano. The comparison between the two comes down to the size of the ukulele that you are comfortable with. A soprano has a scale length that is about an inch smaller than the concert ukulele.
The frets are smaller so if you have larger hands and fingers, it may be a challenge for you to form chords and effectively work between the frets.
The concert ukulele is going to have a slightly deeper tone than what a soprano would. This is because of the larger body and more wood surface to resonate the sound. The soprano ukulele will give you that traditional, bright tone that a ukulele is known for.
If you aren’t sure of which one would be best, take a look at the video below which gives a comparison of three different sizes.
The larger the ukulele, the more full-bodied sound you will get from it. The larger body will also make it easier to hold than a small soprano. I would suggest going to a music store and trying out both sizes of ukuleles so that you know which one is best for you.
3 Awesome Concert Ukuleles For Beginners
There are many great ukuleles on the market and the following ones on my list below are among the most popular for beginners. These are great options for anyone just getting started with a ukulele or anyone who wants a good one without spending a fortune.
Although there are better quality ukuleles on the market, the options below provide a great balance of quality and price. They are laminate models that are easy to find and can be purchased from most major music retailers.
1) Kala KA-CG
This is a perfect beginner ukulele and is what I chose to go with many years ago. I have had it for about seven years now and it has provided me with a solid instrument that sounds pretty darn good. This is a pretty basic ukulele that is made from mahogany laminates and has a gloss finish on it.
It doesn’t have any electronics in it so it provides you with a basic, acoustic ukulele that will provide you years of enjoyment. During the time that I have owned mine, I have played it on multiple days nearly every week. I take care of my instruments and this one is just like new still. It has been a great ukulele and I would say for the beginning player, the KALA KA-CG is perfect.
Currently, this ukulele can be purchased for around $125.
2) Cordoba 15CM
Cordoba is one of the top brands in ukuleles and the 15CM is perfect for the beginner looking for a quality instrument. This instrument is also made from mahogany laminates and is finished in a satin finish. This ukulele has a few features that you might not commonly find at the price range it is sold for. Things like an abalone rosette and Ivoroid binding are extras that make the instrument stand out more.
The Cordoba 15CM has the look and feel of a ukulele that you would expect at this price range. Currently, you can find this ukulele selling for around $100 brand new at most music retailers.
It’s a great choice for a beginner because it is a high-quality instrument that allows you to get started playing. It will last for many years and Cordoba is a name that you can trust in ukulele instruments.
3) Luna Tattoo
The Luna offers a ukulele that is a little more unique than other offerings. These are popular for those who want a ukulele that makes a statement. The Tattoo model has a subtle carving on the body that gives it a unique look. The body is made out of mahogany and it is also made of laminated material like the other two instruments mentioned above.
This ukulele has unique shark tooth style inlays on the fretboard. This feature is something that isn’t commonly found on cheaper models like this. It’s just another design feature that will make your instrument stand out from the others.
This is a basic ukulele and great for beginners because the price is also around $100. It’s a small price to pay for a quality instrument.
How Much Should A Beginner Spend On A Ukulele?
If you are a beginner looking to purchase your first ukulele, you are presented with lots of different options. The prices can vary depending on the size and quality you choose. Some ukuleles can be as cheap as $50 but these are typically not good options to purchase.
If you are serious about learning to play the ukulele, you will want to purchase one that has a decent quality to it. The ones listed above are all tried and true models that have been used by many ukulele players. The price range of these is around $100 or a little bit above which I consider a good amount for a beginner to expect to pay.
If you are looking for a better option, like one that is made from solid wood, you will have to spend quite a bit more. These can range from $300 into the thousands. A beginner probably doesn’t want to be in this range, especially if you have never picked up a ukulele before.
I would suggest sticking with the price range of around $100 and no more than $150.
This price range will get you started with a high-quality instrument and you can always upgrade once you know how well you like to play. You may find that you don’t like it and decide not to even use your purchased ukulele.
Keep it simple and stay within this range until you have some experience under your belt and are sure that it is something that you will stick with long-term. Once you are sure that you enjoy playing and know that you will get lots of use out of it, you can upgrade to a higher quality model that will last a lifetime.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking this is necessary though. An expensive ukulele isn’t needed to become a good ukulele player. You can purchase one in the range I mentioned above and it should give you many years of enjoyment as long as you take care of it.
A concert ukulele is perfect for a beginning ukulele player. Although you could choose any model or size of ukulele and it would be fun, the concert size provides a good-sized ukulele for a great price. This is a popular size so there are plenty of options on the market for you to choose from.
Go play a few at your local music store and make sure that the concert size is the right one for you. You may prefer a smaller one or you may prefer a larger one. The options are available and it’s up to you to choose the best one for your needs. Everyone is different so we all have different preferences.
Whatever you choose, learning the ukulele is fun and playing it provides a relaxing way to spend time. Be sure and purchase the right one for you so that you will get the most out of it.