How To Buy A Ukulele?

How To Buy A Ukulele

They say without music life would be a mistake. In fact, if you love music you agree with me that it has the ability to move us to different places without ever leaving our seats.

Musical instruments on the other hand make music complete. However, most people do not achieve this due to the complexity of playing most of the instruments and the cost associated with it.

Ukuleles however tend to be easy to learn and play especially when you buy the right one. The choice of the ukulele that you purchase have a propensity to determine the time you take to learn and thus, the decision on which to buy is not one that you want to make in a hurry.

Things To Consider When Buying A Ukulele?

1. Cost

As in any other products, the cost varies greatly. There are ukuleles that cost as low as 20 dollars and others as high as 500 dollars. Most people take cost to be a reflection of quality and consistency of the instrument.

Nonetheless, if you are a beginner, purchasing one that is very expensive may not be a very good idea. You also do not want to spend too much on something that you are just paying for fun and on very few occasions. Ukuleles ranging from 30-50 dollars are very appropriate.

Note: ukuleles that are very cheap are hard to tune and hardly stay in tune. This alters the sound making it very frustrating, boring and difficult to learn.

2. Size

Ukuleles come in diverse sizes. Although this parameter sounds more of personal preference, some of the sizes can be limiting to the user especially if they are beginners.

There are four types of ukuleles. The distance from the nut to the bridge, commonly known as scale, determines the type.  The four types also vary in terms of length (the length from top to the end part of the instrument.

In most cases, it is clear that Soprano has frets that are smaller. This makes stretching easier. It is therefore ideal for but not limited to beginners. Concert ukulele is medium sized and stretches pretty easily too.

It is important to note that the size of your fingers is not an issue. As a matter of fact, there are many people with tiny hands that prefer tenors while others with large hands prefer sopranos.

3. Tuners

In some brands of ukulele, the tuners are clipped at the end of the ukulele. Friction tuners are much cheaper than geared tuners. However, they are difficult to tune and therefore unbecoming for beginners.

4. Number Of Strings

In market today, there are six string and eight string ukuleles. The Ukulele with eight strings have a tendency to be more exigent to play as compared to the one with six strings.

This makes it inappropriate for beginners. The extra strings in addition put more stress on parts which may result to broken bridges and necks. Nevertheless, it delivers quality sound that is very consistent as it provides greater strumming volume.

5. Electro-Acoustic, electric or Acoustic

The main difference between acoustic and electro-acoustic ukuleles is that electro-acoustic can be plugged into an amplifier. They have a pick-up which detect and convert the sound into electrical impulses which are in turn amplified in the amplifier.

This ukuleles tend to be a bit more expensive than acoustic ukuleles. It can be played either plugged in or unplugged, acoustically.

Nonetheless, if you do not plan to be plugging in your ukulele into an amplifier, then it is unnecessary to purchase the electro-electric type. Conversely, when plugged into an amplifier, the sound quality tend to be altered as some of the tonal qualities are lost.

Purely electric ukuleles hardly produce any sound when not plugged into an amplifier. They are suitable when you are playing in a very quiet environment, say late night.

6. Accessories

This include tuners and case. When purchasing, it is important to confirm whether or not the case and the tuners are included.

If the case is included, you do not have to worry about the size. However, if it is to be purchased separately, it is imperative to ensure that it has an ideal size such that the ukulele fits in perfectly.

The durability of the case is key. Some of the cases are hard while others are soft. Here, it is difficult to state which is better since it is all dependent on how much you will be travelling.

A soft bag is ideal for individuals who are just purchasing it for storage. However, if you keep travelling, a hard bag is much better as it is durably and cushion the ukulele from shock.

7. Type of Wood

Ukuleles can be made from different types of wood such as mahogany, mango, cedar, Acacia among others. It can be made of one type of wood or two, where the neck and the body are made of different types of wood.

In this case, the baseline is looking for one that will stand the test of time. Acacia for instance is very durable and delivers ukuleles with a beautiful tone.

Most ukuleles that have mixed wood do not last long. Conversely, this do not apply to all as we have some that last very long.

It is also important to note that different types of woods produce different tones. It is therefore imperative that you try a few types before settling with one. This can be done by visiting a ukulele club around.

8. Strings

Different Ukuleles come with different types of strings. The strings may be nylon, plastic or even metal. It is very tricky to play a ukulele that has four metal strings. In some ukuleles, mostly Tenor, one of the strings is metallic.

Although the type of the string mostly depends on one’s preference, nylon strings are durable and deliver rich sound. They also hold their pitch which is actually a plus.

Note: the strings need to be changed from time to time. The duration of time is nevertheless not specific since it is dependent on factors such as the quality of strings, how much you play and how hard.

The instrument should always be re-stringed with a similar string in case of breakage.

Shape and Weight

Ukuleles are lightweight as most of them weigh less than a pound. This makes carrying and playing it very easy and expedient. Still, this weight may vary depending on add-ons such as case and straps.

There are various shapes of ukuleles in market today. Different people prefer different shapes of ukuleles thus it is more of personal preference.

Note: Although V-shaped ukuleles are cheap, elegant and good-looking, they are a bit uncomfortable when playing. The quality of the sound is also inferior.

Final Verdict

Getting the right information about it is as important as purchasing one. From the foregoing discussion, it is clear that there is an assortment of ukuleles in market today.

Most of these instruments requires some research in order to find the best. Failure to this, one may end up getting very low quality instrument with a very low quality sound.

This explains why you should purchase the instrument from a professional who will be able to held you find the right product that delivers quality sound.