A ukulele is a small 4-stringed instrument, slightly resembling a guitar, that traces its roots back to Hawaii. It has gained and lost popularity over the years, but it is now one of the most recognisable stringed instruments in the world.
Types of ukulele
There are four main sizes of ukulele:
- Concert - The concert ukulele is 23 inches big and it has a longer neck, which allows for more room between the frets. It is slightly easier to play and handle because of its size and design
- Baritone - This is the largest of the ukuleles at 30 inches. It has a deeper tone compared to other ukuleles and the sound is often mistaken for a classical nylon stringed guitar
- Soprano - The most traditional size of ukulele, the soprano is 20 inches big and is popular for its classic ukulele sound
- Tenor - The tenor is sized at 26 inches and is the most popular of all the ukuleles. It is recognised for the deeper sound it produces, more like a classical guitar. The tenor is most commonly used by professionals
Why invest in a quality ukulele?
- Material - Quality ukuleles are built using solid wood rather than laminate wood or plastic. This increases the sound quality as the wood responds to the vibrations in a uniform way, eliminating the distorted sound that cheaper ukuleles are known for. Ukuleles can be built using different types of wood, which affects the tonal characteristics of the instrument. Some woods are rarer than others and will cost more, but will have a more unique sound
- Design - High end ukuleles often feature intricate detailing like mother of pearl inlays, which can look beautiful, highlighting the design of the instrument. Quality ukuleles are often handmade, which ensures the best possible finish due to the unique craftsmanship
- Tuners - The tuners are possibly the most important part of the instrument, responsible for tensioning the strings that produce the sound. A quality set of tuners will not only make the ukulele sound better, but it will also be able to hold its tune for a greater length of time