If you’re planning to start playing a ukulele, you’ll see that they’re dozens of models out there for each type of the ukulele. That’s why I’ve prepared a short guide on a few popular ukuleles, to help you make up your mind and choose your first ukulele.
1) Hricane Concert Ukulele UKS-1
Hricane is one of the most famous manufacturers of ukuleles. This time we’re going to talk about their Hricane Concert Ukulele UKS-1 model.
You can get this ukulele in three different sizes: 21″, 23″ and 26″. The size you’re going to fit will mostly depend on your height, weight and the size of your hands. Also, the 26″-model has bigger frets, which makes it easier for players to finger the fretboard. If possible, first try to hold and play each of these three variations to see which one suits you.
The body and the neck of the Hricane Concert UKS-1 ukulele are made of sapele wood. The fingerboard is made of rosewood. This combination provides enables players to produce bright and ample sound and a smooth playing feeling.
The distance between the strings and the fingerboard is optimal, so even beginners should be able to produce clear tones.
When talking about the playing comfort, you should know that this guitar is equipped with four carbon nylon strings. Combined with the sapele body, it generates deep, rich and powerful tones with great resonance.
Here you can see how to unpack and start playing your Hricane Concert Ukulele UKS-1.
2) Lohanu Concert Ukulele Bundle
Another well-known producer of ukuleles, Lohanu manufactures a wide range of ukuleles and accessories related to them.
The next ukulele I’m going to present in this guide is the Lohanu Concert Ukulele Bundle.
First, let’s say a few words about the instrument and then we’re going to move onto the entire package.
The Lohanu Concert Ukulele
This 24″-ukulele is a great value for beginners. The concert size provides a comfortable playing position while generating a bright, resonate sound.
The body is made of sapele and mahogany, while rosewood is used for the fingerboard. The entire instrument is covered with laminate, which is a great advantage when it comes to shipping and temperature variations.
Further, the Lohanu Concert Ukulele come with Aquila strings already on it, so you won’t have to bother with string installation.
On the negative side, the laminated body does dampen the sound a bit, so your Lohanu uke might sound a bit dark. Still, the quality of the tone it delivers surpasses many low- and mid-priced ukuleles, putting it closer to high-quality products.
The Lohanu bundle
A ukulele beginner will waste a lot of time looking for different accessories they’ll need to play their instrument in a proper way. That’s why the bundle option offered by Lohanu can save a lot of your time.
As for these extras, you’ll get a tuner, a strap and a few picks in the package, together with a small pick holder that’s attached to the back of the body. Although you might want to play your ukulele with picks at the beginning, the best sound is obtained through fingerpicking, so try both tactics.
Also, the gig bag is included in the price of the bundle.
In this video you can learn how to start using your Lohanu bundle and make the most of first steps on this practical uke.
Obviously, the Lohanu Concert Ukulele bundle isn’t an instrument for music pros, but it can come in very handy for beginners who are just paving their way to learning how to play the ukulele.
3) Kailua 4-String Soprano Ukulele
The Kailua Soprano Ukulele is a great choice for beginners who would like to afford a mid-class instrument with remarkable sound quality and a handy body.
The body is made of first-class mahogany wood, which ensures a profound and resonating sound.
This Kailua model carries some special design features. The space around the sound hole is decorated with a carved rosette, which gives the entire body a special vintage look. Also, the headstock is embellished with pearl-like tuners, enriching the entire instrument with a unique Hawaiian image.
Since it’s a 21-inch long soprano model, the Kailua Soprano Ukulele has a compact shape, which makes it a perfect choice for beginner ukulele players.
Although you get a nylon case with this ukulele, it’s not the right protection for bad weather or humid conditions. That’s why you should get a real gig bag when you’re buying the Kailua Soprano Ukulele, to protect it properly from day one.
4) Donner Soprano Ukulele Spruce DUS-3 Bundle
Another ukulele package, the Donner Soprano Ukulele Spruce DUS-3 represents a great value for money for new ukulele players.
One of the most popular manufacturers, Donner provides top-notch craftsmanship and smooth playing experience.
The back and sides of the body of this ukulele are made of mahogany, while the top board is made of spruce. This combo delivers a steady, bright sound with fine resonance.
The fingerboard and bridge are made of rosewood, so that playing this ukulele provides a gentle and comfortable experience.
The Donner Soprano Ukulele Spruce DUS-3 is equipped with chrome-covered tuners, which resemble the ones installed on guitars. In turn, they ensure durable tuning.
Since ukuleles are usually associated with Hawaii, the Donner guitar craftspeople decorated this model with a Sun symbol. It embellishes the space around the sound hole. Also, there are painted clouds on the fingerboard.
Finally, apart from the ukulele, this bundle contains a clop-on tuner, a ukulele bag, a set of carbon nylon strings and a ukulele strap. In a nutshell, you’ll have everything you need for your initial ukulele experience.
5) Kala MK-B Baritone Ukulele
Guitar players sometimes find the transition from the guitar to a ukulele a bit difficult. You can bridge that gap by getting the ukulele that’s played in a guitar-friendly way, so to say. If you’re looking for such a uke, think about getting the Kala MK-B Baritone Ukulele.
What makes this instrument similar to the guitar is the order of strings: E-B-G-D, from high to low. That’s the exact order of the first four strings on a regularly tuned guitar. So, if you can play the guitar, you only need to adjust the playing style a bit to be able to play the Kala MK-B Baritone Ukulele.
The body of this instrument is made of mahogany, while the fingerboard is made of walnut wood. Also, the finish is done with satin, which adds to the already warm sound of this uke.
The color of the body is extremely attractive, since it’s somewhere between the color of chocolate and burgundy. As such, it looks like a meticulously crafted cello or violin.
The length of the entire instrument is 30.5″, which makes this ukulele a pretty bulky instrument, compared with soprano or concert models. But that’s why your MK-B Baritone will generate a rich, bright sound that can cover a wide range of playing occasions.
Although the Kala MK-B Baritone Ukulele isn’t an instrument for professional concerts, it’s a great choice for beginner to intermediate players, especially if they play the guitar, as well.
When buying it in a bundle, you get a richly padded bag and a tuner with it.
This tutorial will help you get through the initial playing phase of this Kala uke, so have a look at it.