What is a Concert Ukulele?

What is a Concert Ukulele? Ukulele is one of those most unique string instruments that can be a breeze for beginners to even highly skilled professionals due to its easy yet versatile performance. But not all ukuleles are perfect for all kinds of users. Depending on the size, sound quality, design and build quality one must choose the right one that would fit one’s criteria. There are typically 4 types of ukuleles found on the market: Soprano, Concert, Tenor and Baritone.

All of these vary in size, sound quality and in hand usage and this proves the fact that ukuleles are not just another instrument with 4 nylon strings. There’s a lot to know and grasp about each one of the types. Especially as a beginner concert ukulele is a perfect choice. Concert ukuleles are best known for their resonant and more sustained sound and a balanced design. So, if you are curious about the Concert Ukuleles then you are at the right place.

The Body: 

Concert ukuleles are an upgrade from the soprano ukuleles in terms of size and sound quality. There are many significant differences that make a concert ukulele stand apart. 

  • Material: Generally, the ukuleles are made of plywood or laminated woods and sometimes spruce is used as the tonewood material. These materials are for the low to mid end price brackets. But the high-end price brackets include solid hardwoods as materials like mahogany. Along with these some other wood varieties are Cedar, Rosewood, Koa and Ovangkol.  Koa is normally used for the traditional Hawaiian ukuleles. 
  • Length & Size: As discussed before the concert ukuleles are the next step from the soprano in terms of size. The size is generally 15 inches. This scale length is measured based on the distance from the nut and the saddle. Here the saddle is the bottommost part where the strings get attached with the ukulele and the nut is the bridge between the headstock or the topmost section and the fretboard. The concert ukuleles are generally 3 inches larger than the soprano ukuleles and 2-3 inches smaller than the tenor ukuleles.
  • Fret: As the concert ukuleles are a bit larger hence there is more space to accommodate between the frets. There is more finger space to play the ukulele compared to the soprano ukulele. For this reason, the ones who prefer more finger space and ease of playing due to larger hands can easily go for concert ukuleles. The finger space in the fret is a bit smaller comparatively from the tenor ukuleles. 

The Strings: 

  • Number: The typical concert size ukuleles come with 4 strings. 5/6/8 varieties are also seen but rare to be found. 
  • Length: The ukulele string length depends on the size and type of the ukulele. The concert size ukuleles usually have a scale length of about 38.5cm. 
  • Material: The most used material in any typical ukulele is nylon. Fluorocarbon strings, Steel strings, Wound nylon strings, Wound metal strings are also used widely after nylon.
  • Winding material: The winding materials of the ukulele ranges from Aluminium, copper, silver to phosphor bronze. 

Tuning:

The most common tunings in the typical concert ukuleles are G-C-E-A or g-C-E-A. These two types of tuning are known as the low-G and high-G tuning respectively. 

  • Low-G (g-C-E-A):

The low G follows the ascending order of the 4 notes which is G3-C4-E4-A4. This allows the notes to follow an order of gradual progression and that is why it is called the linear tuning. 

  • High-G (G-C-E-A):

The high-G tuning is basically the same as the low-G tuning but it follows G4-C4-E4-A4 order. Here the tuning starts from one octave higher than where the G note usually stands. This tuning is called the re-entrant tuning. 

The concert ukuleles are extremely versatile and a wide range of songs can be covered with the usual tuning of the scale of C major.  However, some of the most notable alternative tunings for the concert ukuleles are A4-D4-F#4-B4 and C3-G3-D4-A4. 

Also Read: A Step-by-Step Guide on How to Tune a Ukulele for Beginners

Sound Quality: 

The sound quality varies quite a lot in terms of the ukulele size. The smaller ukuleles provide lighter and more sparkly sound whereas the bigger ukuleles provide a deeper, richer, and warm sound that resembles a lot with the guitar or heavy stringed instruments. The soprano and concert ukuleles are usually considered as the small ukuleles whereas the tenor and baritone ukulele is the typical larger ukulele sizes. So, concert ukulele always offers a little warmer sound than a soprano but it is comparatively a lot lighter, sparkly, and brighter.

Recommended Users:

If you are someone who wants an easier hand feel while playing the instrument and more finger space between the fret this one’s for you! Also, the ones who want lighter sound comparatively with a warm touch in terms of the sound quality then go for the concert ukulele without any hesitation. Most of the professionals prefer concert ukuleles for beginners too. It is extremely versatile hence skilled professionals also prefer this for regular performances. 

Price: 

The low-end concert ukuleles are mostly less sustainable and the wood is less expensive. The price bracket generally starts from 35 USD and can go up to 45 USD. The mid ranged ones are a bit more balanced in terms of sustainability and provide better quality. The mid-range is mostly from 45 to 55 USD. The best quality high end concert ukuleles can go way beyond 55 USD. That depends on the wood quality, string material, additional items, sound quality and warranty. But it is recommended to stay between the mid and higher mid end price bracket for a balanced price and best value for money.

Conclusion

We hope this guide has surely sharpened your ukulele knowledge further. Now that you know everything about the concert ukuleles and all the in-depth factors, don’t hesitate to make the right choice and find the right fit for you if concert ukulele is your thing. 

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