Walking into a display of ukuleles can be a little daunting. So many ukuleles, so many sizes. Which one do I start with? Soprano, tenor - what are all the sizes? Which is the best one to start on?
Ukuleles normally come in four sizes, however you might see even more sizes around in the playing groups.
- Soprano. This is the 'standard'. Soprano is the one that sounds just like a ukulele. That bright, upper register sound you expect to hear from a ukulele!
- Concert is the next size up. The scale length is longer. Scale length is the measurement from the saddle on the bridge to the nut at the headstock. The tone of a concert ukulele is a little fuller or warmer than a soprano ukulele.
- Tenor is next. Again, the scale length is longer than a concert. With each size up the body is also a little larger. This is what gives the Tenor and Concert sizes their fuller tone.
- Finally is the Baritone. It is bigger again. In some ways it is a different instrument to learn as the tuning is different and you will be learning different chord shapes.
So, which one is right for you? If you are starting out leave the Baritone ukulele alone. With different tuning and chord shapes it will be confusing in the early lessons. It really is a specialist instrument.
That leaves Soprano, Concert and Tenor ukuleles. As the scale length increases on the larger sizes so does the distance between frets. If you have bigger hands a Concert or Tenor will be a better fit.
Most people will start with a Soprano and perhaps 'move up' at a later stage. Buying a Concert or Tenor will not change the way you learn, however in the medium term you might be happier with the tone.
The answer? Get the three sizes side by side and strum a few chords. You will know. Do you want the traditional Soprano sound or perhaps something a bit warmer?
Begin the journey...
See our ukuleles at www.villageukuleles.com.au