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Best ukuleles for beginners

Choosing a ukulele for beginners

If you want to pick up an instrument that's versatile and easy to play, consider the ukulele. It's a hugely accessible way to get into playing music since you can buy ukuleles inexpensively and you don't need any formal instruction to get started. 

Anyone buying their first uke is probably wondering which ones are best for beginners. You can find plenty of affordable yet well-made ukuleles that are perfect for beginners to learn on.

What are the different types of ukuleles?

There are four different types of ukuleles on the market: soprano, concert, tenor and baritone. Soprano ukuleles measure just 21 inches long with 12 to 15 frets, concert ukuleles measure 23 inches long with 14 to 17 frets, tenor ukuleles measure 26 inches long with 15 to 19 frets and baritone ukuleles measure 30 inches long with 19 to 21 frets. Soprano, concert and tenor ukes are usually tuned to standard GCEA tuning, while baritone ukuleles are tuned to a lower DGBE tuning. 

How much should I spend on a beginner ukulele?

Basic ukuleles may be less than $20, while high-end ukuleles can cost well over $500. Beginners may not want to spend too much on a ukulele in case they don't end up practicing regularly. It's up to you how much you spend, but the cheapest ukuleles aren't much more than toys. There are many options suitable for beginners that will cost $50-100.

14 best ukuleles for beginners 

Kadence Mahogany Wood Soprano Ukulele

This affordable beginner soprano ukulele comes with a gig bag and electric tuner so there's no need to buy these accessories separately. People with large hands may struggle with soprano size ukes, but this model is great for everyone else.

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Luna Tattoo Concert Mahogany Ukulele

With a design inspired by traditional Hawaiian tattoos, this is a great choice for anyone looking for something a little bit different from your average ukulele. It's a manageable concert size and is on the higher end of the beginner uke scale, so you can expect an excellent sound and great playability.

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Best Choice Products Soprano Ukulele Starter Kit

This ukulele is great for kids and for beginners who want something cheap to learn on before upgrading if they like playing. It includes everything you need to get started, including a case, strap and tuner.

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Mahalo 4-String Rainbow Series Ukulele

This ukulele is made from segnon, jabon and mahogany. This is a versatile option since you can choose from 10 available colors. It's well constructed and perfect for beginners, but will also work well for intermediate players.

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Enya Concert Ukulele 

This acoustic ukulele has a carbon fiber body, so it's visually quite different from a wooden uke. The side sound hole offers impressive resonance, plus the strong carbon fiber construction can take some knocks and scrapes, making it the perfect ukulele for travel.

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Fender Venice Soprano Ukulele 

This cute little uke has a classic Fender headstock and a gorgeous daphne blue finish. It's as well made as you'd expect from an instrument made by Fender and is a great choice for beginners serious about learning to play the ukulele.

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Makanu Kids Ukulele Kit

Although it's specifically designed for little hands, this uke is the same size as any other soprano ukulele, so it's great for both kids and adult beginners. It comes in a range of cool colors and patterns and includes a gig bag.

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Flight Ukulele

This soprano ukulele plays surprisingly well considering its low price. It's loud enough to fill a room with sound, but not loud enough for performing, though this probably isn’t an issue for beginner players. It comes with a soft case for transport and storage.

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Hola! Music Concert Ukulele Bundle

This affordable bundle is perfect for beginners. The set includes a basic concert uke, a strap, gig bag, tuner and picks. It's nicely made and comes in a range of color choices.

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Kala Makala Baritone Mahogany Ukulele

If you're a beginner looking for a baritone ukulele, this is an excellent choice for you. It has a warm, full-bodied tone and is great to play. People who can already play guitar will find it easy to transition to this ukulele due to the DGBE tuning.

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Paisen Rosewood Ukulele

This attractive ukulele comes in both concert and tenor sizes. Not only does it look great, but it’s also incredibly playable and comes with a selection of useful accessories, including a capo, a tuner, strings and picks.

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Ranch Beginner Ukulele

This model is available in three sizes — soprano, concert and tenor— so you can choose according to your playing needs. The arched back gives you a warmer sound and more impressive sustain, while the solid sapele wood has a lovely tone.

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Donner Ukulele Starter Kit

Another model that gives you the option of choosing from soprano, concert and tenor sizes is this bundle. You’ll get everything you'll need to start playing included in the price, too, since this kit comes with a tuner, strap, picks and spare strings, plus some free beginner lessons.

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Vangoa Ukulele Concert Bundle

This concert ukulele is affordable for beginners but sounds decent and plays nicely. The mahogany wood and arched back contribute to the tone and resonance. The pattern around the soundhole is a nice detail, and it comes with some essential accessories, such as a tuner, strap, picks and soft case.

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Lauren Corona writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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