Best Concert Ukulele for Beginners 2020 (under $100 / $200 and $300)

When so many concert ukuleles are available on the market these days this brings up the question: what is the best concert ukulele for beginners? First things first, concert ukulele is the name of the ukulele size. And concert ukulele is an average “sister” of the three main sizes of ukulele. And the most optimal in the ratio of qualities.

Choosing the right concert ukulele can be overwhelming. There are so many options and price ranges to go with and for beginners that can be the biggest nightmare. Well, rest easy… I’ve done all the research for you right here and made a list of finest ukuleles for beginners in every price range. Don’t be confused and just pick the one you like by the look and by the price range.

Soprano vs Concert Ukulele

Concert ukulele sounds richer and louder than the soprano. And concert ukulele still not as big as the tenor or the baritone ukuleles. Concert ukulele is tuned in the same way as the soprano and tenor.

Overall: concert ukulele is better than a soprano ukulele; as it still small in size and have that nice “Hawaiian sound”. But let’s start without unnecessary words and immediately move on to the list of the best concert ukuleles for beginners.

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Best Concert Ukulele for Beginners | All Prices | Best Rated

All concert ukuleles on the list below are highly rated by customers and have good quality. Ukuleles with the low rating are not included. So pick the one you like and that is suitable for your budget. You can buy a cheap concert ukulele but then move to more expensive ukulele later if you like playing it.

Or you can buy high-quality concert ukulele right from the start. Which will cost more, will have “richer” sound,  and can be easier to learn how to play and can bring you more pleasure. Especially if your “teacher” will be youtube videos.

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Best Concert Ukulele for Beginners | Price Category: under $50

Last update was on: January 9, 2021 7:19 pm

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Best Concert Ukulele for Beginners | Price Category: under $100

Last update was on: January 9, 2021 7:19 pm

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Best Concert Ukulele for Beginners | Price Category: Under $200

Last update was on: January 9, 2021 7:19 pm

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Best Concert Ukulele for Beginners | Price Category: Under $300

Last update was on: January 9, 2021 7:19 pm

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Best Concert Ukulele for Beginners | Price Category: Above $300 | Premium Ukuleles

Last update was on: January 9, 2021 7:19 pm

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Ukulele Buying Guide

What is the ukulele? Ukulele has 4 strings and size is much smaller than an acoustic guitar. First, ukuleles appeared in the 1880s in Portugal and then extended to various Pacific islands but are primarily associated with the Hawaiian music from the time of touring musicians on the Hawaiian Pacific Exhibition 1915 in San Francisco.

Tuning for soprano, concert, tenor ukulele is: G, C, E, A
Tuning for Baritone Ukulele is: D, G, B, E

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Top Rated Ukuleles for Beginners | Valid for the UK too | All Types

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Best Ukulele Brands for Under $50. For a beginner with a tight budget.

Well, for under 50$ you can buy soprano and concert ukulele from the famous and good brands such as Makala and Oscar Schmidt but as for Tenor and Baritone ukulele size, the choices are very limited right now to the Rogue and the Caramel. But if you have a tight budget, then fear not to buy one of these ukes, they have dozens and even a hundred of good reviews and these are the best ukuleles for beginners to try before moving on to more expensive ukes.

**The Caramel CT102A and the Rogue Baritone is not available in the UK but there is a great alternative – the Brunswick Tenore and the Kmise Baritone for under 60£. 

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Best Concert Ukulele Under $200

I myself what I consider a “dabbler” and though while I’m no expert musician, I wanted to make sure I invested enough to give myself a true ukulele experience.  There’s definitely no sense in getting one that’s made from the most expensive materials and craftsmanship for someone like me, but at least I need to get one that will have enough quality to stand up and give me a true ukulele sound.

Just for the record, I ended up with the #AD Oscar Schmidt OU5 concert ukulele. As this is one of the best ukuleles for under 200$. For an experienced musician who wants to add the ukulele to their repertoire, a little higher end is usually desired (especially for a performance musician).

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What is the Best Ukulele for Beginners

Buying a beginner ukulele doesn’t have to be intimidating! Just remember to consider who is going to play it, take into account your budget, and don’t go too cheap! My rule of thumb for pretty much any product, but especially with a ukulele is to buy the budget models from the high-end trusted manufacturers.

The best starter ukuleles will definitely be from these brands and will have a good balance of maintaining quality while remaining affordable.

Example of the inexpensive and good starter ukulele:

Example: Best Ukulele for Beginners

The #AD Kala KA-15S Mahogany Soprano Ukulele is very good. It’s from a well-known brand, have amazing quality and comes with “starter pack” which include: ukulele gig bag, Austin Bazaar Instructional DVD, Clip-On Tuner, and Polishing Cloth and all that for the price of under $100! For a beginner that looking for an inexpensive ukulele, the KA-15S is one of the best choices.

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Should the First Ukulele Cost a Lot?

Moneywise is often one of the primary factors in choosing your best beginner ukulele. Oftentimes, the experienced players tend to tell you that you should plan on spending $300 for a decent quality beginner ukulele. Having said that, not everyone can afford that! Plus there’s the stuff that you need to buy with a ukulele.

If you are not already a musician you will likely need a #AD ukulele tuner (if you are from the USA then buy Snark SN6 and for UK – Anpro GT1 is the best). Also, probably a case, and some books or some sort of lessons. All of that needs to be considered as well.

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So what price I should expect when buying my first ukulele?

When I started doing my research I did see quite a few high-end beginner ukuleles, but truth to be told the best ukulele for beginners isn’t necessarily the one that costs the most. On the flipside, the cheapest ones (less than 20$) almost always will never give you a good quality sound and easy playability as more expensive ukuleles. So, we’ve got to balance that. I found myself that you can get pretty decent ukuleles for about $50-$100 and all the way up to the $200 price range.

You really don’t want to go with an off-brand ukulele in this instance, though, so I would warn you from buying a generic.  Most of the major ukulele manufacturers have beginner models that have good sound quality and well made. And those are going to be the ones you want to get, as opposed to inexpensive ukes made by a manufacturer that primarily makes inexpensive ukes.

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Best Ukulele for Kids: Are you buying a ukulele for kids or for yourself?

So, the next thing we need to think about is who is going to be playing? Is this going to be a ukulele for kids for a young child? Or perhaps a ukulele for a teenager that is getting serious about music? It could be an experienced guitar player, or it could be for the adult dabbler like myself? Will the ukulele player be playing music for themselves or for an audience?

If you want to buy a ukulele for kids then it’s easy – you can buy a cheap #AD Mahalo ukulele but when I say “ukulele for kids” it doesn’t mean an adult can’t buy ukes like that as a first ukulele to try. Even with that cheap ukulele you or your kids will have hours of fun plinking away on those things, and at around $25-50$, you won’t break your bank.

For a teenager, you probably want to go a little more in terms of a price and quality and get one of the best budget ukuleles from some of the major manufacturers. Like for example, the #AD Oscar Schmidt OU2 concert ukulele.

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Types of Ukuleles

Ukulele Sizes - Baritone, Tenore, Concert, Soprano

There are four ukulele sizes – Soprano, Concert, Tenor and Baritone (in order of smallest to largest).

Soprano Ukulele

The soprano ukulele is the smallest one and is the “true” ukulele that can be considered as a “standard ukulele size”. It generally has a high sweet tone and is also often the most inexpensive due to being the most common.

There is another soprano that is called a “pineapple” ukulele.  Pineapples have a very similar sound to a regular soprano but it has a more rounded shape, hence the name.

Concert Ukulele

Soprano is a popular size, but not the one that you would want to get for anyone who has bigger hands. I found that the soprano was just a bit uncomfortable for me, and I’m an average sized man. I did end up getting a concert sized ukulele and that one suits me the best.

Concert ukuleles I found were a good compromise – still had that characteristic of ukulele sound, but were just a little bigger and easier to play than a soprano ukulele and still good to travel with.

Tenor Ukulele

Tenor ukulele is the next step – once again, just a tad bigger than the concert ukes, and still a little easier to play. Sometimes they can start to lose that sunny ukulele sound, but I noticed that also really varies between manufacturers.

Once again, going with a budget model from a manufacturer that mainly makes the high-end ones will help with buying. Tenor ukuleles have been especially popularized by famous musicians such as Israel Kamakawiwo’ole and James Hill. The tenor is also one of the more common sized ukuleles for beginners, I think because of the easy playability and they still have a sound of the ukulele.

Baritone Ukulele

Baritone ukuleles are the biggest size, and while they are fun to play they have often lost that “ukulele” sound and looks like a really small guitar.  Baritones are available and can be a good addition to someone’s music room, but I found that they were not very common ukuleles for beginners.

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Ukulele sizes in inches and cm

Ukulele Size - Soprano, Concert, Tenor, Baritone

Soprano Ukulele Size and Tuning

Soprano uke is the smallest of the ukulele family (Soprano, Concert, Tenor, and Baritone), but is by far the most popular. Soprano ukuleles are usually around 21 inches (53 cm) in length and usually, have between 12 and 17 frets. The soprano ukulele has a wonderful, bright and lively sound that will instantly put a smile on your face.

Soprano ukuleles are usually tuned gCEA, the same as concert ukuleles and tenor ukuleles. Some people prefer soprano ukulele strings with Low G ukulele strings rather than the typical ukulele High G strings (this is then written with a capital G rather than a small g; GCEA). Some ukulele players also prefer “D” tuning for their Soprano Ukulele: aDF#B

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What is a Concert Ukulele

Concert ukuleles are the second smallest of the ukulele family and they are usually around 24 inches (60 cm) in length and usually, have between 15 and 19 frets. The concert ukulele has a slightly bigger body than the soprano uke, and so has a bigger sound, but still close to a typical ukulele tone. The tenor ukulele is bigger and sounds closer to a guitar.

Concert ukuleles are usually tuned gCEA, the same as soprano ukuleles and tenor ukuleles. Some people prefer concert ukulele strings with Low G ukulele strings rather than the typical ukulele High G strings (this is then written with a capital G rather than a small g; GCEA).

Tenor Ukulele Size and Tuning

Tenor Ukuleles are the usually around 27 inches (68 cm) in length and have between 17 and 21 frets. Many guitarists prefer to play a tenor ukulele because of the extra frets, and also because it isn’t as small as a soprano uke or concert ukulele, and so feels more comfortable. Tenor ukuleles are an important part of the ukulele family and are typically made using koa wood and mahogany wood, as with soprano and concert ukuleles.

Tenor ukuleles are usually tuned gCEA, the same as soprano and concert ukuleles. Some people prefer tenor ukulele strings with a Low G rather than the typical ukulele High G strings. You can also find tenor ukulele strings for DGBE tuning (such as the Aquila Tenor Ukulele Strings), similar to a Baritone ukulele.

Baritone Ukulele Size and Tuning

Baritone ukuleles are the biggest of the ukulele family and are usually around 30 inches (76 cm) in length, and usually, have between 19 and 21 frets. Baritone ukulele is tuned DGBE, like the top 4 strings of a guitar. This makes it very easy for guitarists to learn. The standard ukulele tuning, for soprano, concert ukuleles, and tenor ukuleles is gCEA.

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 What is the Best Ukulele Brands for Intermediate

A couple of good ukuleles brands here – they have great reputations in the industry – Oscar Schmidt (Washburn), Kala, Lanikai, Cordoba, Luna and also the major guitar manufacturers like Yamaha, Fender, etc. They have great manufacturing processes, tend to use better materials, and just, in general, take more care when building their ukuleles.  The generic brands just can’t compete with the experience and manufacturing quality.

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Three factors when choosing your first ukulele

Those three factors – budget, recipient, and size are the main factors in making your decision. Many people will ask what is the number one recommendation for the best ukuleles for beginners? I don’t really have one that fits everyone, so when it comes down to it, here’s my best advice.

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Ukulele for Kids

If you are shopping for a kids ukulele and it will just be a toy, then cheap ukulele is fine. The nice thing about the cheap ukuleles is they usually come in lots of different colors and fun prints for kids or people who just want to mess around with a prop. Amazon has a #AD zillion of them. They even have one with #AD Mr. Smiley, flower patterns, and all kinds of cool ukuleles.

In case if you shopping for a ukulele for a teenager who is musically inclined but a ukulele beginner, you may not want to spend a few hundred dollars but you definitely want to go with one that has a good enough quality to keep their interest and serve them well until they learn the instrument well.

My main recommendation for this is the #AD Kala KAA-15C concert ukulele with beginners pack – it comes with a case, tuner, and free video lessons all for under $100. This is the best concert ukulele bundle for under a $100!

Ukulele for dabbler?

If you are a dabbler, all I can tell you is that take into consideration the size of your hands along with your budget. I think we dabblers would be okay with anything from the Kala KAA-15C concert ukulele recommended above, all the way to the higher end ukuleles, depending on budget. Generally, I would not recommend spending more than a few hundred dollars, though, just in case you find yourself not playing as much as you thought you would.

I myself ended up with an #AD Oscar Schmidt OU5 concert ukulele and I have a lot of fun with mine. Remember, you can always upgrade later!

Ukulele for the professionals

For the experienced musician, or even anyone who has musical experience (especially guitar) I’d definitely recommend you to go as high end as you can afford. Many uke players who become very passionate about the instrument have several, and so don’t think this will be the only one you will ever have.

Generally speaking, an average musician is going to be very happy with something mid-range, like the #AD Fender Concert Ukulele “Mino’Aka” or really any high-priced #AD Lanikai ukuleles.

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And the last but not the least. What is the Best Ukulele Strings to buy?

Best Ukulele Strings - Aquila

Well if you want the best ukulele strings then you should choose the Aquila Nylgut Strings which you can find #AD here.

About the Aquila Ukulele Strings Range.

Aquila make a set of strings for soprano, concert and tenor ukuleles in High G and Low G. The Low G sets will have a wound 4th or G string, and the rest of the strings will be all Nylgut. There is also a tenor set for dGBE tuning – in other words, tuning a tenor like baritone ukuleles, but with reentrant tuning (in this case a High “d”).

Aquila’s baritone strings are available for standard baritone tuning – DGBE – and also GCEA tuning. Finally, Aquila makes strings especially for the #AD banjo ukulele, which have a wound 3rd string. These sets can be tuned to either C or D tuning.

When you’re buying Aquila, or any, ukulele strings, always make sure you buy from a reputable dealer who sells the strings in the official Aquila sealed packs. This way you can be sure you are getting the real deal.

But what is NYLGUT?

Aquila Ukulele Strings is made with a revolutionary material – Nylgut – with the tonal qualities of the gut, but without the negative issues such as stretching and going out of tune.
Nylgut is the result of Aquila’s research to develop a new synthetic material that can imitate acoustical characteristics of gut but without the typical defect such as short strings life, high-cost and severe instability to changes of climate.

Nylgut has a specific density and acoustical qualities nearly identical to that of gut, and is the first truly successful synthetic version of the natural product.

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Don’t forget to buy a good ukulele tuner

Want to have an easy time tuning your uke? Then don’t forget to grab a ukulele tuner which will make your time a lot easier.

Snark SN6X is cheap and has good reviews on Amazon so pick it up for such an amazing price! As for the good tuner for the UK residents, you have this highly-rated tuner. Both of them is suitable for tuning a soprano, concert, tenor, and baritone ukulele and easy to use.

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