Ukelele Buying Guide

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Ukuleles are a string instrument, which players also refer to as ukes, made from a hollow soundboard and four strings. They resemble a small guitar as they feature an hourglass base along with a fingerboard neck. Often, ukulele manufacturers make the strings from stainless steel or nylon, and the instrument's tuning should be in the notes of G, C, E, and A in a sliding order. Most ukuleles have wood construction. However, musicians may find less expensive versions built from plastic.

Types of Ukuleles

As musicians begin searching for the right ukulele, they'll find a variety of models including soprano, concert, armadillo, pineapple, and banjo along with tenor and baritone.

Soprano

When buyers select a soprano ukulele, they'll have a musical instrument that is 21 inches long. It also features the highest ukulele pitch. Since the instrument has limited resonance and amplification, most musicians use them in small entertainment venues. Often, children play soprano ukuleles because of the instrument's reduced weight and reachable neck.

Concert

With a concert ukulele, performers can share their music with a broader audience since it features a wider soundboard that is more resonant. The instrument has the same pitch as the soprano ukulele and is 23 inches long. Musicians frequently play the instrument in ensembles and solo.

Armadillo

When musicians prefer a unique instrument, they can purchase an armadillo ukulele. However, they are expensive and rare. The ukulele features the back plate of the creature, which allows the instrument to expel remarkable resonance while their sound quality is top notch.

Pineapple

With their box shaped base, straight sides, and wide bottom, pineapple ukuleles have a distinctive style. The ukulele's body shape offers listeners an appealing sound since it provides a full, loud tone.

Banjo

Banjo ukuleles have a circular banjo styled body that manufacturers cover with a taut skin. Most musicians tune them like a basic ukulele and perform them at a higher volume. Music stores also list them as banjoleles.

Tenor and Baritone

When musicians select a tenor or a baritone ukulele, they'll have an instrument that is from 26 to 30 inches long. Manufacturers build them in four, six, and eight-string models. In addition, if the ukulele features a higher number of strings, then it will usually play an octave higher than the G and C strings.

Ukulele Buying Suggestions

As musicians consider the variety of ukuleles sold on the market, they should purchase an instrument that has a moderately bowed back as it will resonate pleasantly with improved volume. Often, flat-bodied instruments have reduced sound quality. However, the size is typically better for child performers.
While reviewing material options, musicians should assess quality ukuleles constructed from koa wood or mahogany. With an instrument built from these wood materials, performers will receive a comfortable, rich sound. In fact, a ukulele's sound often becomes better as they age. Instrument shoppers should try to find a ukulele built from one wood section. In addition, stainless steel strings are the best material for professional musicians who perform regularly. However, nylon is a safer material that parents should buy for their ukulele-playing children.

Ukulele Accessories

Once musicians have selected a ukulele style, they may consider investing in several accessories to enhance their performances and maintain their instrument. Ukulele owners can purchase accessories such as felt picks, humidifiers, and hangers.

Ukulele Capo

A capo will help musicians play in different keys. The device will clamp down on all strings at a set fret level, which helps the performer play. Ukulele players can choose from elasticated or lever capos. With an elasticated mechanism, musicians will have an affordable fabric version while the lever option is a clamp for the instrument.

Felt Picks

Musicians should avoid using classic guitar picks because they are heavy and may harm nylon ukulele strings. With felt picks, they will have a softer and damage resistant material. In addition, the felt pick will make a better sound. Musicians can use plastic picks, but they should select a slim width.

External Pickups

When musicians need to amplify the sound of their acoustic ukulele, they can use an external pickup. Some instruments may include the device while players can add them to their unit if it doesn't have one. They are simple to attach and should not leave a mark on the instrument. In addition, musicians are not limited to a dedicated ukulele pickup as a guitar version will work well.

Ukulele Hanger

 

 

Once musicians buy one ukulele, they are likely to acquire more. Therefore, performers may need a ukulele hanger. With the hanger, they will have safer, cleaner storage. When musicians decide to invest in a hanger, they should buy one built for ukuleles to prevent damage or mishaps.

Pitch Pipe

Despite newer ukulele tuning technology, performers may consider buying a pitch pipe to keep their instrument in tune. A ukulele pitch pipe features four holes, and each hole emits a pitch that aligns with one of the instrument's strings. They are an affordable way to tune the instrument. However, musicians may need practice to tune their ukulele properly.

Straps

Most musicians can securely hold their ukulele, but they may consider adding a strap for extra protection. When performers play intricate pieces, they may struggle to hold onto their instrument during the tricky sections. Ukulele manufacturers do not include pegs for straps. Therefore, musicians can buy a ukulele thong, which loops around the performer's neck and under the ukulele. Players can attach it to the sound hole.

Humidifiers

When musicians reside in areas that feature little air moisture, they should invest in a small instrument humidifier to prevent cracking. The device is affordable and worth the investment because it will extend the instrument's life.

Stands

If performers use their ukulele often, then they should buy a stand for their instrument. The stand will protect the ukulele from scratches and keep the instrument ready for use.

Tuners

Musicians can select from several different tuner styles including dedicated ukulele tuners, chromatic, and clip-on tuners. With a dedicated tuner, performers will have a device that will review each string while chromatic tuners work with all string instruments and may be more cost effective. If performers select a clip-on tuner, then they'll have a convenient device that they can use in any entertainment venue.

Selecting the Right Ukulele

Novice ukulele players should buy a concert or soprano instrument as they feature a simple neck section and a smaller body. They are also more affordable. Buyers may consider a ukulele that features a mahogany wood neck, satin finish, and geared tuners. If performers need a concert ukulele, then they can choose an instrument that features a rosewood fingerboard and bridge along with body binding and fingerboard board inlays.
Once performers have mastered their beginner ukulele, they may be ready for an advanced instrument. With a high-end ukulele, performers can start creating their own style and sound. In addition, advanced instruments feature premium tone woods and quality elements. For instance, musicians can purchase a style built with acacia wood.
If ukulele players require an acoustic-electric instrument, then they'll have a unit with an onboard pickup system along with 1/4-inch outputs that attach to guitar amplifiers. As musicians begin shopping for their ukulele, they can choose an instrument with features like African mahogany sides, matte finish, and an abalone rosette.
Musicians can even purchase stylistic ukuleles with painted designs and unique body shapes. Today's ukulele market features instruments that are painted with wave designs while stylistic ukuleles include distinctive body styles that are reminiscent of an electric guitar. A stylistic instrument features a poplar body, maple wood neck, and a rosewood fret board.

Buying a Ukulele from eBay

Internet shopping offers a number of conveniences including home delivery, affordable prices, and a variety of products. When musicians decide to purchase a ukulele, they should review eBay's many instrument options. After arriving to the company's homepage, shoppers can use the search bar to locate the exact ukulele model they would like to buy.
If Internet shoppers prefer to browse through a complete list of ukuleles for sale, then they can select All Categories from eBay's homepage. The next step is to click on Musical Instruments & Gear followed by String where they'll find an option for Ukulele.

Conclusion

Ukuleles feature a distinctive sound, and when musicians learn to play the instrument, they will enrich their skill set. Musical instrument manufacturers make ukuleles in various styles that include pineapple, concert, and soprano. When music lovers hear a ukulele, they are sure to smile as the recognizable tone is friendly and joyful.

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