Few instruments are as beginner-friendly as the ukulele. Simple to learn yet fun to play, this stringed contraption will have you plucking and strumming your favorite songs in no time.
While any ukulele can deliver a quick introduction to stringed music, some are better suited to beginners than others. Below, we highlight the best options for getting started:
1. Everjoy Soprano 21-Inch Ukulele Beginner Pack
If you’re brand new to the ukulele and in need of a variety of accessories, you can’t go wrong with this small instrument from Everjoy. An attractive and affordable soprano ukulele, this 21-inch instrument is especially popular among parents and children.
- This is one of the most affordable ukuleles available, especially given its quality.
- The small size makes this ukulele appealing for a variety of beginners, including children.
- Many accessories are included to make it easier to begin learning the ukulele.
- In addition to sounding wonderful, this ukulele is aesthetically pleasing.
- Minimal adjustments are needed after the instrument is exposed to a new climate.
- Some players find this ukulele flimsy and worry that it won’t hold up to heavy use.
- The ukulele doesn’t hold a tune as well as many of its competitors.
- The tuner can be difficult to use.
- The frets may be jagged enough to cut some users.
- Larger players may struggle to hold the instrument properly.
The Everjoy Soprano may not be the most durable ukulele on the market, but its affordable price makes it an enticing option for anybody eager to get started. With a variety of accessories included, this option streamlines the process so that the fun of playing can begin as soon as possible.
2. Donner Concert Ukulele Mahogany DUC-1
Available in 21, 23, and 26-inch versions, the Donner Concert Ukulele Mahogany DUC-1 features a rich mahogany body, along with a rosewood fingerboard. While it’s reasonably affordable, this ukulele is also built to stand the test of time.
- The craftsmanship is exceptional given the modest price.
- This ukulele comes with a padded gig bag.
- Extra strings are included.
- The high-quality strap is comfortable enough to make long-term use enjoyable.
- This instrument’s mahogany finish is beautiful.
- The bridge may snap off surprisingly soon.
- The G string can be prone to buzzing.
- This ukulele’s limitations quickly become evident as players advance.
- Some users claim to struggle with the A chord.
- The included strings may warrant frequent re-tuning.
The Donner Concert Ukulele Mahogany DUC-1 is an accessible option that appeals to a wide variety of aspiring instrumentalists. That being said, its exceptional craftsmanship makes it a wonderful choice for anyone determined to continue playing the ukulele in years to come. A gorgeous appearance and even better sound only add to the appeal.
3. Hricane Concert Ukulele
It may be referred to as a concert ukulele, but this Hricane instrument provides plenty to keep beginners happy. It’s a popular choice among adults who struggle to handle the cramped frets on smaller instruments. The sound quality is wonderful, as is the bag in which the instrument is carried.
- Frets are spaced further apart to aid beginners with large fingers.
- The action is low enough to make this ukulele appealing to beginners.
- A thoroughly padded bag makes it easy to carry this ukulele without accidentally damaging it.
- The gorgeous design includes a border that provides a hint of shimmer.
- This ukulele can easily sustain notes.
- Players with smaller hands may struggle due to the spacing of the frets.
- The A string sometimes holds a tinny sound that can be unappealing.
- The bridge is prone to damage.
- The flower pattern is fainter in person than it appears to be in photos.
- Many players complain that the ukulele comes without the tuner and strap.
If you struggle to deal with the small dimensions of conventional beginner ukuleles, you’ll find a lot to love about this lovely option from Hricane. Make the most of its enticing sound and its padded bag. You’ll love the look, feel, and sound — not to mention the sheer convenience — of this instrument.
4. Luna Vintage Spruce Soprano
The Luna Vintage Spruce Soprano appeals to anybody hoping to hit the road with their ukulele. Both the instrument and its carrying case feature lightweight builds that allow for comfortable transport. Other highlights include fun bonus features and a versatile build that appeals to many players.
- Despite its lightweight nature, this instrument has a sturdy feel.
- While it is also lightweight, the carrying case provides great protection.
- Bonuses include a DVD and a polishing cloth.
- This versatile ukulele works well for both children and adults.
- The instrument features an attractive rosewood fretboard.
- Picks are not included.
- The tuner can be frustrating for those not already familiar with tuning.
- Regular tuning is required to maintain this ukulele’s sound.
- Some players find it upsetting that the seller proactively requests reviews from customers.
- The instrument looks significantly bigger in photos than it does in real life.
While some players may struggle with the frequent need for tuning, there’s still plenty to love about the Luna Vintage Spruce Soprano. Versatile and attractive, it provides an accessible learning experience for a wide array of aspiring musicians.
5. Hola! Music HM-21BU Soprano
If you prioritize aesthetics, you’ll quickly fall in love with the many design options that the Hola! Music HM-21BU Soprano provides. The greatest appeal for beginners, however, lies in the instrument’s inclusion of lessons, which help musicians get started with minimal effort.
- Choose from ten available colors.
- The ukulele comes with three picks, with each featuring a different color and width.
- Get started with two included months of TakeLessons Live.
- Left-handed players will appreciate how easily this ukulele can be re-strung.
- Over time, tuning requirements are minimal.
- Strings need to be stretched out before players can get started.
- The included strap may be difficult to attach.
- Over time, the edges of the fret bar often become sharp.
- The colors sometimes look different in person than in pictures.
- As this ukulele ages, the sound grows increasingly buzzy.
The fun design of the Hola! Music HM-21BU Soprano clearly stands out, but that only covers a small portion of the instrument’s appeal. From included lessons to re-stringing options for left-handed players, this ukulele’s unique attributes are worth considering.
6. Kala KA-15S Mahogany Soprano
A rich and surprisingly loud sound emanates from the Kala KA-15S Mahogany Soprano. Quality construction grants this instrument greater durability than players might expect without compromising ease of use.
- This ukulele is impressively durable.
- A louder than expected sound makes this instrument ideal for early performances.
- The ukulele features high-quality Aquila strings.
- A deep finish grants the instrument an appealing appearance.
- The tuning pegs are excellent.
- The included tuner could be more precise.
- Limited finger space can make this ukulele problematic for those with large hands.
- A strap button is not included.
- Frequent tunings may be required before the strings eventually stretch out.
- A slight buzzing sound may be present at times.
If you demand exceptional durability in your ukulele, you will appreciate the solid build of the Kala KA-15S Mahogany Soprano. Make the most of this instrument’s excellent strings and tuning pegs, which grant it an edge over other beginner ukuleles.
7. Enya Concert Ukulele Nova U 23’’ Carbon Fiber Travel Ukulele
While a minimalist design sets this Enya ukulele apart, there’s far more to the instrument than aesthetics alone. It stands out with its carbon fiber construction, which help it resist damage due to extreme temperatures. It’s also sturdy enough to hold up to heavy use.
- This ukulele has a sleek design.
- Excellent sound quality is made possible by the carbon fiber construction.
- Another benefit of carbon fiber: no warping in hot or cold temperatures.
- This large ukulele has a sturdy build.
- After the strings are properly stretched, this instrument maintains its tune.
- Not all users like the strings, with many choosing to replace them.
- The neck may be too narrow for some players.
- Because the frets are the same color as the board, they can be difficult to spot.
- The instrument does not come with a tuner.
- The tone isn’t as warm as some ukuleles.
Style is a big deal for the Enya Concert Nova U, but it’s by no means the only advantage that this unique ukulele offers. Its carbon fiber construction won’t appeal to all users, but many appreciate the special benefits that this build provides.
8. Hola! Music HM-121ZW+ Deluxe Soprano
The Hola! Music HM-121ZW+ Deluxe Soprano is one of the most attractive ukuleles available to beginners. It’s also extremely durable, making it a popular choice for parents of small children.
- The zebrawood body and walnut fingerboard look lovely.
- The frets and tuning gears are constructed from metal.
- The strings remain in tune for a long time after they’re stretched out.
- Durable construction prevents the instrument from breaking easily.
- Given the low price, this ukulele provides excellent sound quality.
- The strings take a long time to stretch out.
- The frets may be a bit rough.
- The included strings could require replacement.
- The color might differ slightly from what is displayed in pictures.
- Tall players may struggle with the included strap.
The perfect blend of durability and aesthetics can be found in the Hola! Music HM-121ZW+ Deluxe Soprano, as can a nice sound and a limited need for tuning. All this is available alongside a reasonable price.
9. AKLOT Tenor Bamboo Ukulele
Bamboo distinguishes this aesthetically-pleasing AKLOT ukulele, making it uniquely durable and resistant to warping. This tenor offers a great opportunity to get started on the ukulele without opting for a soprano instrument.
- Bamboo delivers a solid instrument with superior craftsmanship.
- Warping in humidity can be avoided due to the bamboo.
- The strap buttons come already installed.
- The tuning pegs are smooth and durable.
- The ukulele has a sleek and stylish appearance.
- This ukulele isn’t particularly loud.
- The visual appeal may be damaged by the laser-engraved signature.
- The bamboo makes for a heavier-than-average instrument.
- Cracking issues may occur on the back.
- Tuning can be inconsistent.
Bamboo certainly isn’t for everybody, but it offers a number of benefits worth considering as you seek out your preferred ukulele material. Either way, the AKLOT Tenor Ukulele provides a nice introduction to tenor sounds.
10. Ranch Tenor Ukelele
A slight hint of southwestern appeal grants the Ranch Tenor Ukulele fun vibes. Beyond surface-level appearance, it’s beloved for its excellent craftsmanship. This tenor instrument makes it easy to start playing in style — and continue far into the future.
- The frets boast superb craftsmanship.
- Start playing right away on an instrument that is in tune out of the box.
- All-metal tuning gears exemplify the ukulele’s high quality.
- The sound is surprisingly loud.
- A gorgeous mahogany design attracts attention.
- The back strap button’s placement isn’t ideal.
- Other ukuleles include better tuners.
- Not everybody appreciates the headstock’s engraved design.
- This ukulele may require frequent tuning after the break-in period.
- The sound may be solid but it’s not spectacular.
If you prioritize loudness and durability, you will be a huge fan of the Ranch Tenor Ukulele. Other instruments may deliver a richer, more stylized sound, but that doesn’t take away from this option’s appeal for beginners.