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Ukulele


Ukulele History

Ukulele (sometimes referred as Uke) is a stringed instrument and looks like a smaller version of guitar. The roots of this instrument is with Portugese immigrants, who settled in Honolulu (now in USA).The local people and the king of Hawaii, King David Kalkaua fell in love with the instrument and the instrument became very popular and is now a part of the local Hawaiian culture. The biggest advantage of the instrument was its portability and pleasant sound which has now spread across the globe. Somewhere over the rainbow (Artist: Israel "IZ" Kamakawiwo╩╗ole) remains one the biggest hits with this instrument.

Ukulele Instrument

Ukulele looks like a smaller version of guitar and is made up of wood and nylon strings. While generally the Ukulele comes with a ukulele shaped body, it also comes in pineapple or bell shapes. Most of the Ukuleles comes with 4 strings and this is best choice for beginners. But some advances Ukulele players use Ukuleles of 8 strings and now even electric version of Ukuleles are available in the market. But remember the best choice for the beginner is a 4 stringed Ukulele

Different types of Ukulele

Ukulele can broadly classified in 5 types based on different sizes, smallest to largest. They are:

  • Piccolo : 40 cm / 16 inches long
  • Soprano or Standard : 53 cm/ 20 inches long
  • Concert : 58 cm/ 22-23 inches long
  • Tenor : 66 cm/ 26 inches long
  • Baritone : 76 cm / 30 inches long
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Piccolo Ukulele
Piccolo is the smallest ukulele with just 10-12 frets, technically just one Octave in a string. Easiest to carry, a great choice for young kids.

Soprano or Standard Ukulele

Soprano or standard is most widely used Ukulele and this is the one you see often in live or youtube performances. This ukulele is generally considered as classic and has "traditional" ukulele sound and has 12-15 frets. This is ideal for those who want to start learning Ukulele and who has got smaller hands and fingers making it ideal even for kids starting their music journey. Soprano is ideal for all skill levels and all age groups.

Concert Ukulele

The concert is relatively next in size provides soft but relatively brighter tones while playing. If you have slightly bigger hands or fingers, the concert Ukulele is good choice as it relatively has more fret space and distance between the strings making the learning and playing process relatively easier.

Tenor Ukulele

The tenor ukulele is the next in size and generally has 17-19 frets. The extra size lets the fret sizes to be higher and relatively more distance between the strings than that of Sopranao Ukulele. This makes it an ideal choice for those who want to play finger plucking style. Therefore this one suits for people who want to improve their skills and those playing professionally and live shows

Baritone Ukulele

The baritone ukulele is the largest one in size and generally has 18-21 frets, remember a standard ukulele has 12 frets. It's the widest in the fret spacing and those who are heavy into finger picking style or with larger hands and fingers will find baritone models as their best choice. The baritone model has the fullest, deepest and a low end sound.

Ukulele Standard Tuning

The standard 4 string Ukulele is tuned with G C E and A notes. (Thickest to thinnest string or low to high string). The baritone ukulele is sometimes tuned like that of bottom 4 strings of the Standard ukulele tuning - E B G D (Thinnest to thickest sting) and advanced players use A D F# B in Tenor and Baritone Ukulele.


You can learn to tune your Ukulele using our Online Ukulele Tuner.