You’ve decided to play the Ukulele, and now you are looking to purchase your first one. You’ve read Ukulele For Beginners and know what size ukulele you want. Now the question is what brand of ukulele should you purchase as a beginner in 2021? There are a lot of ukulele brands, and as a beginner, knowing which ones are good can be difficult. This article should should help.
Once again I should start out by saying that how serious you are about playing the ukulele will decide which ukulele brands you should consider. As I mentioned earlier you shouldn’t go for the very bottom range.
However, while I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it, you could go for the higher end and spend hundreds or thousands of dollars. Since this is a site about Ukulele For Beginners, I will be focusing on ukulele brands that are good for beginners. This means I will be focused on the lower-middle range. Some of the most common ukulele brands for beginners are as follows.
Best Ukulele Brands in 2020 for Beginners
1. Kala Ukuleles
A California based company that specializes in producing quality, but affordable ukuleles. The company was started by Mike Upton, a Hawaiian representative for a large music company who felt there weren’t many options for good, affordable ukuleles.
Kala Ukuleles are a relatively new ukulele brand, but have made a big impact. They are a great choice for people who want a well-made, quality ukulele at a decent price.
Kala currently offers many different models made from a variety of woods including: Lacewood, Acacia, Koa, Mango, Mahogany, Flame/Spalted Maple, Spruce, Bocote, and many others. We have all of the traditional sizes and models of ukulele.
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2. Lanikai Ukuleles
A branch of the Hohner music company, Lanikai initially started making ukuleles on the low end of the scale. However, over the years they their quality has improved and they now make decent ukuleles for beginners in the mid range.
Lanikai offers a variety of instruments with exceptional sound quality and beautiful craftsmanship to satisfy players and enthusiasts of all levels.
Lanikai ukuleles are one of the most popular brands of ukulele around – particularly for beginners. Their LU-21 range is a step above the cheap, entry level ukuleles in terms of quality and price. This makes them great for people who are new to the uke but want a good quality ukulele to start on.
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3. Luna Ukuleles
Luna’s new ukuleles combine the best of traditional profiles and wood selection with fresh new designs to suit the unique players that are making the ukulele their own. The Tattoo and Hona series utilize traditional Polynesian body ornamentation while the Floral and Dolphin Ukes are litle sisters to Luna’s beloved Flora and Fauna guitars.
The High Tide series are crafted of tropical woods and feature a mother-of-pearl full moon at the first fret with abalone wave markers rising like the tide in response.
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4. Riptide Ukuleles
Riptide feature is the oddly placed soundholes – one in the top corner of the soundboard and one on the side. The one on the soundboard is presumably to make way for some fancy bracing on the inside. The one on the side lets the player hear more clearly.
The exclusive “Dual Port System” projects the sound to both the audience and the player.
Moving the front sound port away from the center of the soundboard helps to increase volume, tone, and sustain on all Boulder Creek ukuleles. Die cast tuning machines and perfect fret leveling make them stay in tune and play easier than ukes costing much more.
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5. Mahalo Ukuleles
Mahalo are a very cheap, Chinese made ukulele sold mainly in the UK. Their bright colours and low price tag mean that they are very popular with schools and ukulele groups.
They’re not the world’s greatest uke by any means but, considering the price, it’s a decent ukulele. The Mahalo is often the choice for new ukers just getting started with the ukulele.
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6. Applause Ukuleles
Applause by Ovation has been making guitars with their famous roundback. Their ukuleles are the most popular brand of electric ukulele around.
And no wonder, the roundback body is particularly effective in projecting the midrange and bright tones of the uke, giving it surprising volume and clarity.
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7. Oscar Schmidt Ukuleles
Oscar Schmidt has been in the music business since the late 1800s and they know what they are doing. However, they tend to be a little more expensive.
Oscar Schmidt are an offshoot of the Washburn guitar company. They started out as the ‘folk instrument’ wing of Washburn and seem to focus on Autoharps more than ukuleles.
Oscar Schmidt Ukuleles are crafted of bodies, tops, fret boards and bridges offered in an array of artisan woods, with mother of pearl or abalone inlays and featuring Aquila or GHS strings. This diverse offering promises to resonate all of the island colors.
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8. Cordoba Ukuleles
Cordoba are mainly a guitar company – specialising in nylon string acoustic guitars. Their ukuleles & world instruments capture the charm of traditional Portuguese ornamentations and exotic woods.
Available in African mahogany or solid koa. Completely handmade.
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All of these companies offer decent ukuleles at decent prices. Depending on the size that you want (soprano: 20-21 inches, concert: 23”, tenor: 26-27”, baritone: 30+”) the prices will vary from about $50 to $300. It all depends on how much you want to spend. But, like anything else, someplace in the middle ($100-$150) is usually a good balance of cost, performance and quality.
If you want to find even more information about the different ukulele brands, please check out the link to wikipedia below. But be careful, there are a lot of brands and it can be a bit overwhelming. This lists includes several all Ukulele brands as well as various others from around the world.
Also, please leave comments with your reviews and recommendations about what ukuleles you like and why.