Which Ukulele Should I Buy As a Beginner in 2024

If you are a beginner and want to learn ukulele in 2024, then you may wonder “Which ukulele should I buy as a beginner”.


Well, don’t worry. I’ve come up with this ultimate ukulele buying guide for beginners which is really going to be helpful to you in buying your first ukulele.

With several options in various shapes, sizes, tonewood and brands, it’s quite confusing for a beginner to choose the perfect ukulele for him.

So, before buying your first ukulele, you should read this detailed ukulele buying guide for beginners and you would be on your own way to choose the right ukulele best suited to your needs.

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So, without wasting any more time, let’s dive into this guide.

Which Ukulele Should You Buy As a Beginner?

Which Ukulele Should You Buy As a Beginner

Ukuleles come in different sizes, shapes, tonewoods and brands. So, choosing a perfect ukulele is really tough, especially for beginners.

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However, if you know your need then you can choose the right one.

For example, if you have a tight budget then you may not go for expansive brands like Kamaka and Ko’ Olau brands.

Though, These brands are the first choice for seasoned artists, as a beginner you don’t need them at all.

Expansive brands are made of premium tonewoods and by well-experienced hands. That’s why they are costly.

But for a beginner who just wants to learn a ukulele in his spare time, they are just useless.

In fact, you can go for budget-friendly ukuleles at first and when you start developing your skills on the instrument, you can switch to premium brands.

These blog posts that will definitely help you learning ukulele in a short time.

Features of a Beginner-Friendly Ukulele

When buying a ukulele as a beginner, you should look for several features. Such as size, construction quality, tuning stability, playability, neck comfort, sound, and affordability.

Let us discuss them all one by one.

Best Ukulele Sizes For Beginners


Ukulele comes in different sizes and shapes.

But the most common ones are,

  • Soprano Ukulele (21 inches)
  • Concert Ukulele (23 inches)
  • Tenor Ukulele (26 inches)
  • Baritone Ukulele (29 inches)

If you want to know more about ukulele sizes then you can read my blog post, “Ukulele 101: What is a Ukulele and How Does it Differ from Other Instruments?” in which I have described all the available sizes of ukulele.

However, out of them, Soprano and Concert ukulele sizes are best for beginners.

Because they are smaller and perfect in size to hold and play, even for the children.

They don’t have truss rods that’s why they are lightweight which made them easy to carry along. The small size makes them portable.

concert ukulele

But the most important factor is their TUNING which made them easy to play instruments.

You can play most of the chords with one or two fingers which is great for a beginner who wants to learn an instrument in a short time.

Also, the unique mild tone a soprano or concert ukulele produce is joyful which beginners really like to listen to.

Construction Quality

No matter if you are going for an affordable ukulele brand, you must check the construction quality and the craftsmanship f the ukulele.

Check the seals used on the tonewood and also the construction and polishing quality of the ukulele.

Also, check if the ukulele is painted and stickers are used on the body because painting a ukulele or using too many stickers on it can change the sound.

Check all this with your own eyes. If you have doubts, query the shopkeeper about them.

I recommend buying your ukulele online from reputed online marketplaces that provide return and replacement policies so that you could check if you got the best quality ukulele.

If not then you have the option to replace or return it.

On most offline shops you don’t have that option. However, at the time of purchase, you can check the ukulele physically.

With that said, I would say always go for good construction quality when choosing a ukulele.

Tuning Stability

ukulele Tuning Stability

When I was a beginner, I purchased my first ukulele from a local music instrument store. When I started playing that ukulele, I realized that it detunes after every practice session.

I called the store and they said it is obvious with a new ukulele as it has nylon strings that take time to adjust.

But, my problem did not solve.

Actually, it was a problem with the faulted neck which detuned the ukulele frequently.

I agree nylon strings take time to adjust but, it will sort out with time. That’s why I told you above that you should properly check the construction of the ukulele.

Don’t buy a damaged ukulele otherwise, you will always face the tuning problem.

Look for a ukulele with geared tuners rather than friction pegs. Geared tuners hold the tuning for a long time and make it easier to adjust the tuning precisely.

Easy to Play

easy to play ukulele

Beginners should go for a ukulele with good action. Action is the height of the strings above the fretboard.

Low-action ukuleles are easy to press the strings and hold chords for a long duration.

Especially if you are a beginner you don’t want a higher action that discomforts you during playing.

Also, the ukulele should be easy to hold while playing. It’s better to have a ukulele strap when you are playing while standing.

It prevents you from accidentally drop the ukulele while playing it.

Comfortable Neck


As most of the actions are done on the neck side of the ukulele, you need to have a comfortable neck that helps you play your ukulele for a long practice time.

I have described above the neck action which is a very important factor in neck comfort. If the action is low then you can easily press and hold the strings for a while.

But, higher action makes you uncomfortable in pressing the strings.

Also, your ukulele’s neck should have a smooth finish which makes it easier for beginners to navigate through the fretboard.

Neck shape also matters a lot. You must go for a circular and smooth neck shape that is easy to hold for a long time and keep you comfortable during your practice.

Sound Quality

Sound quality depends on the tonewood, construction and the quality of strings.

Well, expansive brands have premium tonewood and construction, for a beginner it’s necessary to go with those brands.

You can choose a budget brand that produces a good-quality sound.

Brands like Kala, Lanikai, Fender are good to go with.


As I have told you above, budget always matters for a beginner. As a beginner, we don’t want to spend a lot of money on uncertain things such as learning a ukulele.

So, in the beginning, we should go with budget ukulele brands.

With time as you start getting your hand on this instrument, you can increase your budget.

You can read my blog post on “Top 17 Best Ukulele Brands in 2024” to know more about the popular ukulele brands.


Just like the guitar, there are multiple accessories used with ukulele.

Some important ones are, ukulele tuners (if your ukulele does not have onboard tuner), Premium ukulele strings, tuning pegs, straps, picks etc.

You have to evaluate, which accessories you actually want in your ukulele learning journey.

For me, a tuner, strap, and pick are the most important accessories for my ukulele.

You can checkout all the ukulele accessories in my blog post, “12 Ukulele Accessories You Should Have“.

Do You Need a Pick-Up as a Beginner?

Ukulele Pickup

It’s not necessary to have a pickup with your ukulele when you are just starting out with this instrument.

Ukulele produces a sufficient sound to practice without amplification. However, if you want to connect your ukulele with effect pedals and amp then you need a ukulele with pickup.

Well, at first you don’t need a pickup, when you start performing then you need this to connect your ukulele with amp.

But, for practice sessions, it’s not necessary to have a ukulele with a pickup.

Best Ukulele Brands For Beginners

Kala KA-15S Mahogany Soprano Ukulele

Kala KA-15S

Kala is one of the best budget ukulele brands. It is the sole manufacturer of ukuleles so you will get perfection in their pieces.

Kala KA-15S is an entry-level ukulele perfect for beginners.

It has a Mahogany tonewood which produces a bright, warm, and full-bodied tone.

Fender Venice Soprano Ukulele

Fender is a well-known guitar manufacturer. However, it also builds ukuleles and other stringed instruments.

Fender Venice Soprano Ukulele is one of the top-selling ukulele by Fender on Amazon.

It has basswood top, back, and sides to produce a bright cheerful sound. One of the best features I like in this brand is it has no-tie bridge that makes it very easy to change strings.

Martin Smith UK-222-BK Soprano Ukulele

Martin Smith UK-222-BK

Martin Smith UK-222-BK is another entry-level budget ukulele best suited for beginners.

It has an ergonomic design that is suitable for you to hold this instrument for along time.

It has a basswood tonewood which is known for it’s bright and warm tone.

Summing Up

When I was a beginner, I got a ukulele which detuned frequently and it never got sorted.

That’s why, I came up with this blog post that will help other ukulele enthusiasts about which ukulele they should buy as a beginner.

When choosing your first ukulele you should look for multiple things from the build quality to the budget. I have covered all those things in this blog post.

I hope you’ve got an idea of how to choose your first ukulele as a beginner.

Now I’m ending this blog post here.

If you have any queries, don’t hesitate to drop them in the comment box below. I will answer all your queries about choosing your first ukulele.

Happy ukulele playing…


Gautam Roy is a recording engineer and a blogger from India. He loves listening music, playing Guitar and Ukulele, writing, and travelling. He is also an active investor and a successful entrepreneur.

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