How To Choose Your First Ukulele - 5 Sizes You Should Know

How To Choose Ukulele Size?

For a beginner, choosing the right ukulele size can be confusing – but it doesn’t have to be because essentially, a Ukulele is a relatively more straightforward instrument to play than the guitar due to only having four strings.

However, much like the guitar, Ukulele also comes in various shapes and sizes that you should know before making a purchase. Read more below to find out the differences in Ukulele sizes.

Why do ukuleles come in multiple sizes?

Like acoustic guitars with classical and electric alternatives, ukuleles evolve over time. The need for bigger-sounding instruments with differing tonal qualities is the primary reason other sizes are produced. In this ukulele size guide, we’ll discuss the 5 main ukulele sizes along with their pros and cons.

5 common ukulele sizes in Singapore

There are 5 ukulele sizes that are commonly played in Singapore. While the sizes for each type vary depending on the brand that manufactures it, they are still the standard sizes that can be found in the market:

  1. Soprano Ukulele
  2. Concert Ukulele
  3. Tenor Ukulele
  4. Baritone Ukulele
  5. Bass Ukulele

Ultimately, these different types of ukuleles will help discern which Ukulele suits your skills and music preferences better. Let’s check out a detailed explanation below.

Soprano Ukulele

The soprano ukulele is the most common type out of all ukulele sizes with a length of 21 inches and 12-15 frets, it is a traditional size that makes a classic ukulele sound. It is one of the smallest and lightest instruments in the ukulele family, with the tightest fret spacing as well as the shortest scale.

Due to its small body size, the soprano ukulele is perfect for younger players and those with smaller fingers. That said, it is still suitable for players of any size and expertise, although those with bigger hands might struggle with certain chords.

The soprano ukulele has a softer but brighter tone with less resonance and projection compared to the larger sizes. Additionally, it follows the standard ukulele tuning of G/C/E/A. Hence, the soprano is ideal for beginners or those looking to test their hands at playing the ukulele.

soprano ukulele size
concert ukulele size

Concert Ukulele

The next step up from the soprano is the concert ukulele type with a wider neck and longer body with a length of 23 inches and 15-20 frets, also a little bit heavier than the typical soprano. The longer body allows for more frets with broader spacing making it easier to play for those with bigger hands that struggling with the soprano size. In general, the concert ukulele is suitable for any player’s skill level.

As it is larger in size, the concert has a fuller and louder sound than the soprano ukulele. Moreover, it produces a warmer tone with more mid-range. Like the soprano, the concert ukulele also follows the standard ukulele tuning of G/C/E/A.

Tenor Ukulele

Tenor ukuleles have a scale of 26 inches and more than 15 frets, a neck barely a little wider, and a tiny bit heavier than the concert ukulele. There is an even wider spacing between the frets with its extra length compared to the concert. Due to its larger size, many professional ukulele players opt for a tenor as it’s suited for complex fingerpicking. While it’s the most popular among professionals, it is still great for players of all experience levels and more comfortable for those with larger hands.

The tenor ukulele gives off a fuller, deeper sound with a resonant, bass-like tone. It has a volume louder than the concert since it is able to project better. Similar to the soprano and concert ukuleles, the standard tuning of G/C/E/A applies to the tenor as well.

tenor ukulele size
baritone ukulele size

Baritone Ukulele

The baritone ukulele has a longer scale (30 inches) with a wider fret spacing (more than 19 frets) and neck than the tenor. People interested in fingerpicking would also typically choose the baritone ukulele as it is the perfect size for it.

The biggest size in comparison to the previous 3, the baritone ukulele has the fullest, most resonant sound with the most low end. It resembles the sound of an acoustic or a classical guitar’s sound and has a similar tuning of D/G/B/E – the tuning for the four highest strings on a guitar.

While it is the easiest ukulele size to transition to for a guitar player, it is not recommended for beginners since it does not follow the standard ukulele tuning. Therefore, those interested in the baritone should definitely consider going for ukulele lessons in Singapore to boost their basics first. Since you would be in the hands of a professional, it is one of the many advantages of learning music in a music school.

Bass Ukulele

The bass ukulele is about 32 inches in length and has more than 20 frets but of course way smaller than the actual bass guitar (electric or acoustic). It has the longest scale and the widest fret spacing and neck of all the ukulele types, so it’s a wonderful choice for players with significantly larger hands.

Unlike the baritone, bass ukuleles have a standard tuning of E/A/D/G – two and a half octaves lower than the 3 standard ukuleles. Due to its size and tuning, the bass covers a much lower register as well as a deeper tone than even the baritone ukulele!

bass ukulele size
sopranissimo pineapple ukulele size

Bonus: Sopranissimo (Pineapple) Ukulele

The Sopranissimo is a ukulele smaller than the soprano type with a 16-inch length and 15 frets, also the chances that you’ve heard about this type of ukulele are probably slim because it’s possibly not a popular type in Singapore. It comes in an oval shape that resembles a pineapple fruit; hence, many of the Sopranissimo ukuleles are available in a pineapple design. Its small size makes it a great instrument to be carried around, but it is usually very high-pitched and not very rich tone-wise.

Which ukulele size to choose for a beginner?

Beginners and new to ukulele are recommended to give the soprano or concert ukulele type a go, while those with experience should try the tenor and baritone ukuleles instead. Still, people of all skill levels are always welcome to choose whichever they want! Hopefully, this guide makes picking one easier now that you’ve learned their differences.

However, if you are still confused and need direct guidance from our team on choosing the right ukulele for you, don’t hesitate to reach us via the form below.

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