Ukulele is the first choice for most beginners out there. It is smaller in size and looks less intimidating than other instruments. You can totally learn the ukulele with a bit of dedication and practice. However, getting a ukulele for yourself is more complicated than it looks.
There are various details and features that go into a ukulele. There are so many brands, models, and wood variations to make a choice from. There are different ukulele sizes, and each can be different in terms of tone and sound quality. Are you more confused now? Well, it is entirely normal to feel this way.
Today we are going to guide you through the different sizes of ukuleles and how to measure them. You will know more about each of the ukuleles and their different types by the end of the article.
Keep reading this article if you want to clear all the confusion out.
What Are The Different Sizes?
Ukulele can come in different sizes and shapes. They are even divided based on the colors and tone they give off. However, only 4 of the ukulele sizes are most popular and common. They are Soprano, Concert, Tenor, and Baritone.
The sizes are mentioned in ascending order as the first one is the smallest in size, and the last one is the largest. Ukuleles give you the chance to choose the perfect size as no one size fits all. You get to make a choice but be careful about the measurements. Remember to match the measures as the brands can falsely advertise you.
How to Measure Them?
There are many ukulele brands out there, and they will mention to you the sizes. However, you must cross-check and ensure that you are getting to the extent you are paying for. First of all, before buying your ukulele, check the description to see the length, giving you a rough idea. Most companies maintain the length thresholds no matter what. But if you already bought one, you can measure it by checking its length. How would you do it?
Take a measurement tape or a scale and measure it from the bridge to the nut. The length you will be getting determines the size of the ukulele. So what are the length thresholds?
What Is The Difference Between Them?
As we have mentioned before, the lengths will be different according to the ukulele size. Here is what you need to know about their measurements:
- Soprano ukulele size is 21 inches in length
- Concert ukulele size is 23 inches in length
- Tenor ukulele size is 26 inches in length
- Baritone ukulele size is 30 inches in length
So, look for these size measurements if you are purchasing online or take a measurement tape with you. However, you will be able to tell the difference just by looking and holding over time. The brands can change the lengths here and there, but you would be able to say the difference.
In terms of tuning, all Soprano, convert, and Tenor size ukuleles are similar. They follow the G-C-E-A tuning, which is considered the standard tuning. That means you can easily use any of the 3 types to play because they have the same tuning.
However, Baritone follows a different tuning set which is the D-G-B-E. It is essential to consider that most of the lessons you will find online will be provided in the standard tuning set. So, consider this before you buy a ukulele.
The tones of the ukuleles will change as you size up them. Usually, an acoustic instrument tone changes with more volume and bass as they get bigger in size. So you can safely assume that the tonal ability of Concert and Tenor ukuleles will be much fuller than a Soprano.
If you prefer something with more resonance and warmer tone, Concert and Tenor should be your choice. But if you think Soprano is more your vibe, then go for it. The Baritone ukulele will sound similar to a guitar as they have the same tuning.
Soprano and Tenor ukuleles are often the standard choice for many players. The most likely reason behind it should be the scale length. This is the area of the strings from the nut to the saddle that will vibrate when you are playing.
The fingerboard on your ukulele has frets which are the thin metal bars. Depending on the size you are using, the distance between the frets will be far apart. So if you need a bigger space in the fretboard, you should consider sizing up. Also, size down to Soprano if you think you don’t need so much space.
The Soprano ukulele is usually on the more affordable side between the four. So if you are trying to stick to a low budget, it should be your choice. The price will increase as they size up accordingly. The price also depends on the brand and build of the ukulele you are getting. Most of the soprano ukuleles fall under $50 or more. However, try to invest in a ukulele of good quality. They will tend to be more durable and have good tones.
How to Choose the Best Size for You?
We have mentioned most of the defining factors in making your decision. But that revise them for one last time.
- First, know what tuning you want. If you want a standard tuning, go for Soprano, Concert, or Tenor.
- If you have more extensive hands, you should opt for Concert, Tenor, or Baritone.
- Set a budget and then choose one of the ukulele sizes and what tonewood you want.
That was the complete guideline on measuring a ukulele and determining what size is right for you. Refer back to this article if you get confused again. Ukuleles are a great way to start your musical journey if you select the right one for you.