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The Best Ukulele For Beginners: Things To Consider Before You Buy Your First Instrument

 

You may have done research on the internet and may be wondering what is the best ukulele for beginners? the fact is that there is no best Ukulele for beginners. It is all a matter of personal taste, and what might be best for one person is not necessarily best for another. However, if you’re scratching your head and feeling overwhelmed by the vast number of instruments out there, there are a few things you can do to narrow down your choices and make the decision that much easier.

 

The Best Ukulele For Beginners: Not One Size Fits All

If you have been doing any research into Ukuleles, you will know that there are at least 4 sizes of Ukulele you can choose from and it’s very important that the size you buy is the right fit for you. If you are small of stature with smaller hands, it might be that a Soprano or Sopranino Ukulele is the best fit for you. However, those with bigger hands may find the fret board a little cramped and therefore need something with a little more space between the frets. It is not just about the space between the frets either. Some Ukulele fret boards are wider than others so this also must be taken into consideration.

 

While the space between the frets and the width of the fret board is of consideration, you must take into account your reach for your right hand also. When strumming the Ukulele, your hand should fall naturally around where the body and fret board meet and therefore it is essential that your Ukulele is not too big or too small when sitting in the crook of your arm. Those with longer arms may find that a concert or tenner Ukulele is far more comfortable for them to hold than a soprano or Sopranisimo.

 

The Best Ukulele For Beginners: Beware The Cheap Ukulele

While we all like a good bargain, it’s not true that cheaper is always better and definitely not so in the case of the Ukulele. While you don’t have to go out and spend an absolute fortune either, a Ukulele for 20 quid will more than likely be of poor standard and you may find yourself becoming frustrated with it. These Ukuleles tend to have a cheap sound and, more importantly, don’t hold their tuning for very long so you’re constantly having to tune them up every few minutes or so. A friend of mine did exactly this as he wasn’t sure whether it would be for him but he is now finding that he’s becoming frustrated with it and, as a consequence, doesn’t enjoy his playing so much. He is considering a more expensive Uke as a consequence but it does mean that he has spent money that he could have put towards a much nicer instrument to begin with.

 

If you aim for something between the £50 and £150 mark, you will find you get a thoroughly respectable instrument that stays in tune and is pleasant on the ear. If that is out of your budget, then consider saving up a little at a time or, do what I did, and get people to chip in and buy it as a gift for your birthday or Christmas. The result means that you will have a much nicer-sounding Ukulele and the playing of it will be much more enjoyable to your ear. Who knows? It may even be a slightly more expensive Uke than your own budget would have allowed.

 

The Best Ukulele For Beginners: Solid Wood Or Not?

It is true to say that solid wood Ukes made from Cedar, Mahogany or such will have a beautiful resonance, it is not necessarily so that laminate Ukes will sound horrid and tinny. Again, this is very much dependent upon the Uke and its price. There are some perfectly acceptable laminate Ukuleles around that, for their price, sound lovely and perfectly acceptable. It’s all about the thickness of the laminate that is used on them.

 

A good compromise might be a solid top Ukulele, where the top of the body is made of a solid wood such as Spruce Or Cedar and the sides are laminate. There are also some perfectly acceptable plastic Ukuleles out there these days and if your intent is to get it out on the beach or take it with you to places it may get a little battered and beaten then it might be worth you look at a laminate or plastic Ukulele.

 

The Best Ukulele For Beginners: Online Shopping Will do for me

So, you’ve decided on a size, got your budget figured out and you’re ready to buy. Surely any online retailer such as Amazon will do won’t it? No. Not necessarily. You can buy perfectly acceptable Ukuleles from Amazon and I have done so, but really, you want to at least get your hands on the Ukulele you want by popping along to a local music shop, even if that does possibly involve taking a trip a little further away than your local shopping centre. The problem with places like Amazon is that these Ukuleles come straight from the manufacturer and are not set up. You are unique and individual and you want your Uke to reflect your uniqueness whether that means you have a lower or higher action on the strings. It is always best to buy from a music shop if you can. They will check your instrument for intonation issues, any buzzes or Ukulele imperfections and will ensure that when it reaches you, it will be the best instrument it can be. There are some shops online that will offer you a setup so while you have the convenience of buying online (if you happen not to live right by a music shop) you will also know that your Ukulele has been set up with you in mind.

The Best Ukulele For Beginners – Do Your Due Dilligence

So, in summary then, we’ve established that simply buying a Ukulele online from places such as amazon, while being convenient, may not give you the best instrument it can be. On the other hand, if you have no choice and it’s a case of play or don’t play, then the option is there, but given your Uke is personal to you, it’s really important that you consider the factors I have gone through in this article and, if you can, either get yourself to a music shop, borrow a Uke from a friend or find your nearest Ukulele group and get an instrument in your hands. There is nothing quite like the feel of a Ukulele in your hands and it allows you to hold it, hear it and really feel what it will be like to own it. It’s true to say that your instrument will “Sing” to you. Mine certainly did and it took me 3 different shops within about 50 Miles of where I live to find it. However, when I had it in my hands and heard it, I knew it was the one for me and I’ve never looked back.

Kerry

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