Ukulele, known as the Hawaiian instrument actually has a Portuguese origin. Since its arrival, it has changed the musical instrument industry upside down and it has not been the same. From beginners to professionals, ukulele is a must have.
There are many ukulele brands and why will not there be, its demand is enormous. Ukulele is affordable and much easier to play which makes it more attainable for even beginners to start something with. It is that instrument that has brought down all the barriers of intimidation and made all sorts of people bond over music.
Choose Your Ukulele Wisely
There are many factors and types in ukulele. If you are a professional you have somewhat of an idea. However, not all brands have the same quality level or tone. Each of them is known for something distinct.
But if you are planning to buy a ukulele for the first time, although you are a professional it can get a bit tricky. So, don’t worry because we are here. Make sure you keep reading as we will be covering a lot in this article.
Before you go any further, you should look into few pointers we have listed that will give you a greater understanding about ukuleles. It can help you to make a better decision. So, let’s get into it, shall we?
The material that is used in making the ukulele is certainly one of the top things you should be looking at. It determines the sound, durability and the tone of this 4 stringed instrument.
However, we will be getting into the tone wood in a bit with more details. The quality of the strings and the overall build makes the ukulele long lasting and a good investment. So make sure you look into it very diligently.
The type of wood used in the ukulele’s construction changes the entire dynamic of sound and tone. It directly affects the quality of the ukuleles. Initially the ukulele brands used to use one tone wood for the sides, top and back of a ukulele but that has changed. They use softwood for the top and hardwood for the back and sides.
Softwood can resonate very well and hardwood reflects sound. The most used wood in ukulele construction is the Koa wood. It produces really good sound. Mahogany is another great choice for most ukulele brands.
It makes a softer sound than Koa. Spruce and Cedars are softwoods that are commonly used too. You will be hearing a lot about ebony, walnut and rosewood as well.
Space between Frets
The space between the frets is determined by the length of the neck. We will be talking about this in more details in the next point.
As a professional you will be playing different chord and complicated notes, so you need a bigger space to be able to move your hands. So longer necks might be something you need for bigger space between frets.
Range of Notes
A ukulele comes in a variety of sizes and it affects the length of the neck as well. When you are a professional player you need a wider range so that you have the versatility to do anything with your ukulele.
So if you want a wider range, look for more frets. There are some that have 15 frets while some have 20 or more. So, look for what you need accordingly.
Ukulele is obviously more portable than most instruments. It comes in different sizes which affects the portability. Since you are an advanced player you will surely be spending a lot of time with it on the go.
So you need something easier to carry. The smaller ones would be the best however it affects the quality too. So go for something that is the middle ground.
A ukulele has majorly 4 types. If we are going from smallest to largest, it would be Soprano, Concert, Tenor and Baritone. Soprano and concert ukuleles are something that beginners gravitate most towards.
But advances players need a wider range which we have covered already and you can find them on Tenor and Baritone. However, the size of your hands also matters here to be able to play it comfortably.
Tenor and Baritone has a deeper tone whereas the Soprano and Concert has the normal ukulele tone. So, think it through all these factors before you choose your ukulele size.
Ukulele comes in a wide range of prices. It mostly depends on your budget. Beginners go for a $50 to $100 threshold. However you as a professional player can go for $150 to even $500 or more. But it doesn’t necessary mean you cannot buy a budget ukulele. Like we said it depends on what you are looking for.
Now what you were waiting for, we will be covering some of the best ukulele brands for professionals and recommend their ukuleles in this article. Keep reading so that you don’t miss out.
Best Ukulele Brands for Professionals in 2021
Started in 2005
Wide range of ukuleles
Affordable price range
Mahogany build used commonly
Electronic amplifications included with some products
Both for beginners and advanced players
Classical ukulele tone
Built in electronics in ukuleles
Made in Indonesia
Affordable price range
Started in 1907
Established in 1999
Handcrafted from Hawaii
Wide range of ukuleles
Made in Japan
Sustainable wood used for build
Started back in 1800s
Durable construction in ukuleles
Offers Lifetime warranty
Free ukulele lessons
Started in 2011
Great customer service
Lots of premium options
1. Kala Ukulele
Kala takes the first spot for the best ukulele brands for professionals list.
Kala was started by Mike Upton back in 2005 in Honolulu then moved to California. Kala is a very popular brand worldwide. They manufacture a wide range of ukuleles. They have been around for quite a while as they celebrated 15 years in 2020.
Although there are older brands than Kala but they have been able to win many hearts. They are known for their high quality product and innovative product lines. They made the Waterman, Makala line and also the Sparkle series. We are recommending the Kala KA-15 which is a concert size.
2. Cordoba Ukulele
Cordoba made into the list for the best ukulele brands for professionals and gets the second spot. It has been around since 1997. Some famous musicians and designers like Luthier and Pepe Romero helped to make this brand since its inception.
They have brought the classical way of instruments like nylon strings into ukuleles. It was never a brand for ukulele at first but for guitars. However they introduced soprano and other size ukuleles.
The products are really well priced for the quality and they seem to use Mahogany tone wood a lot. We recommend the Cordoba 15 CM concert ukulele from their brand.
3. ADM Ukulele
ADM is relatively a small company but however they do manufacture great ukuleles. While they may not be as renowned as some of the brands we have mentioned here, they are creating some durable and good quality ukuleles.
They have released some great baritone ukulele and they are said to be sold out last year. We are giving ADM the third position for the best ukulele brands for professionals list as they cater both beginners and advanced players.
We will advise you to check out the ADM soprano ukulele that is 21inch and has a mahogany body and rosewood fretboard and bridge.
4. Luna Ukulele
The brand Luna takes the fourth place for the best ukulele brands for professionals list. Although Luna started out making guitars in the first place but once they made ukuleles it overtook their guitars in terms of popularity.
The co-founder Yvonne De Villiers who is an artist wanted to experiment with the brand and create loud and fascinating designs. Their ukuleles produce the classical sound in a Hawaiian body with art. They use good tone woods and most of their ukuleles sound really great.
They have some amazing ukuleles models like the Vingtage Mahogany Soprano, Starry Night Soprano ad Vista Wolf, Owl and so much more, Luna also has an online platform called “Luna University.” We are suggesting the Luna Tattoo Concert Mahogany Ukulele.
5. Ibanez Ukulele
We have the Ibanez brand as the fifth place for the best ukulele brands for professionals list.
Hashino Gakki, a Japanese firm started making Spanish styles acoustic guitars and sold them in the Japanese market in 1935. They adopted a western name called Ibanez Salvador to market them. Later on in 2009, the brand changed their name to Ibanez and started making ukuleles.
Initially they were many guitars and after making ukuleles, their sopranos and concert instantly became popular. The brand offers affordable prices and built-in electronics. We suggest you to look into the Ibanez UEWS5 which is an open pore natural ukulele.
Fender gets the sixth place for our list of the best ukulele brands for professionals. This brand is pretty much known by most musicians all over the world. However, most musicians associate this brand for their guitars which is transferring now to their ukuleles.
Their ukuleles are more in the mid range in terms of price. Fender maintains a good craftsmanship and high quality in all of their ukuleles. We would recommend the Fender Seaside Soprano Ukulele Pack. It has mahogany build and a no tie bridge.
C.F Martin & Co has a history of producing good quality guitars for a long time. But they started making ukuleles back in 1907 with their first six ukulele production by the request of Bergstrom Music Co. The brand started the ukulele production in full swing in 1916 and offered various designs and price ranges.
This brand makes to our list of best ukulele brands for professionals with the seventh place. It is difficult to avoid this brand as they offer great craftsmanship and quality. The price is bit in the expensive area but it’s worth it. We recommend the Martin S1 Soprano Ukulele Natural for its solid mahogany build and quality.
8. Magic Fluke
Magic Fluke was established in 1999 by the founders Dale and Phyllis Web. They made it pretty clear that they wanted to sell affordable and high quality ukuleles.
Since then they have been making tenor, concert, baritone, banjo and even electric ukulele. The brand collects their materials and parts as responsibly as possible by giving back to the community. Magic Fluke has the specialty of making innovating ukuleles in nontraditional shapes.
This brand is our eight number choice for the list of best ukulele brands for professionals. We would also like you to look into the Magic Fluke Co. M10 which comes in a mahogany body with a natural finish.
9. Lanikai Ukulele
The Lanikai ukuleles are handcrafted and made in the O’ahu Island that is in Hawaii. They are distributed by the Hohner Music Company. Lanikei has been offering some unique design and different variety of materials for their ukuleles. They come in a wide range of colors and sizing.
They make five string, six string and even eight strings ukuleles with the usual sizes of ukuleles. The Julia Michaels Signature ukulele was released by them. We are giving the ninth spot to the Lanikai brand for the best ukulele brands for professionals. Also check out their LU-21C Concert Ukulele as it is their best selling concert size ukulele.
10. Mahalo Ukulele
Mahalo is definitely a renowned brand that is quite popular worldwide. It has the traditional feel of original Hawaiian ukuleles. However, the brand makes their ukuleles in Japan. They offer different variations of ukuleles, much of them are very affordable.
But it does not mean they compromise with the quality whatsoever. The brand uses sustainable wood from renewable to build their ukuleles. We are giving Mahalo ukuleles as the tenth best ukulele brand for professionals.
We would suggest you to look into the Mahalo Hano Series MH2 Concert Ukulele. It comes in some funky colors and you are getting a great quality with accessories.
11. Oscar Schmidt
The foundation of Oscar Schmidt goes way back in the 1800s. Like many brands, they started making other stringed instruments like guitars first and sold them via travelling salesman. They tried to spread the joy of playing instruments in places where there was no music stores.
They make ukuleles, banjos and classical guitars now. Oscar Schmidt also makes zithers and autoharps. Making high quality instruments is one of their top commitments for both beginners and advanced players. They are getting the eleventh place for the best ukulele brands for professionals. Also look into the Oscar Schmidt OU2 mahogany ukulele.
Although the name Lohanu comes from the Hawaiian traditional language, it has its roots from Canada. It always comes in the top rank lists for ukuleles. They offer some great options for ukuleles and a wide range of tone woods which is great because that versatility is needed in brands.
Lohanu offers lifetime warranties for their ukuleles and it is something we can all appreciate. The quality they offer is durable and their customer service is quite responsive. Lohanu offer free online lessons too. For all of these reasons they get the twelfth position for the best ukulele brands for professionals list. Look into their Lohanu (LU-C) concert ukulele.
13. Donner Ukulele
The brand Donner is not certainly a very popular brand but it made into our list for the best ukulele brands for professionals as the thirteenth spot. They are pretty good and have a good customer base that is loyal to them. They make good budget ukuleles which are pretty standard in quality.
We are suggesting the Donner Tenor Ukulele from the brand as it has a mahogany body and produces rich, crisp tone. The Aquila ukulele strings used on this ukulele makes it even better. Donner also offers free ukulele lessons. Check them out to know more!
14. Hola Ukulele
The brand Hola gets the fourteenth position for the best ukulele brands for professionals. Although the name suggests a Spanish heritage, it is not from there. But the brand has maintained this named and made sure to bring a flare of Spanish instruments into their ukuleles.
They have some good quality ukuleles. We have picked out the concert ukulele bundle from the Deluxe Series by Hola! It has a mahogany body and walnut fingerboard and bridge. They are also providing a bundle that includes accessories with the ukulele. You are also getting a 2 month worth ukulele lessons which you can gift it to a friend who is trying to learn.
15. AKLOT Ukulele
The last spot goes to the brand Aklot for the best ukulele brands for professionals list. It is relatively a new brand and has more of a young customer base. They have a clean and detailed craftsmanship which is good for the price point they offer.
We would recommend you to look into the Aklot Concert Ukulele for Professional Players. It has a solid mahogany build and comes with the infamous Aquila strings.
That marks the end of our article for the best ukulele brands for professionals. We have covered quite a lot of brands in this list, 15 to be specific. Each of them is special in their way. While some of them are very popular and some very new, they have equally released good ukuleles.
We would recommend the Cordoba brand for their refined history and great craftsmanship. However, go for the one you like the most. Have a good day!
You may also like to read: Best Ukulele Brands for Beginners.