Ukulele Sizes and Types - A Beginner's Primer
By Ben BlakesleyGeorges Music
So you fancy yourself a ukulele player? Good for you!
But just what are all of these different instrument sizes? Am I stuck with the size I started with?
Let's run down the different types and sizes of ukuleles and their similarities and differences.
Also known as the Standard Ukulele, this is what first comes to mind when people imagine a ukulele. It's the smallest size uke and gives you a short 12-fret fretboard and although great for those with smaller hands, may pose a challenge for those of you with thick fingers. I must say, although I fall into the latter category, I still enjoy playing Soprano ukes the most. You can expect a scale length of about 13" and a total length around 21" for these instruments.The tuning follows your typical "My Dog Has Fleas" uke tuning with, starting from the top: G - C - E - A
Concert ukes are great for those of you who love the smaller size of a traditional ukulele, but find the Soprano to be just a bittoo small. It's just like the Soprano in terms of tuning, but adds a couple of inches to the length (both scale and total lengths). Tuned the same and sounding the same, a Concert uke gives your fingers just a little more room to work.
Much like the Concert, Tenor ukes are tuned and sound the same as the two smaller versions, but have a scale length in the neighborhood of 17" and a total length of about 26". Definitely easier for those with larger hands/fingers.
These ukes take it up a notch and can almost be classified as "little guitars." They run about 30" in length, just a tad bit smaller than many student guitars.
Most notably, they're tuned differently than the three other uke varieties. With a tuning of: D - G - B - E, you'll notice that it'sexactly the same as the last 4 strings of a standard guitar. That makes it a breeze for any guitar player to make the switch to get that ukulele sound without learning an entirely new instrument. For those who are uke players only, this will have a small learning curve due to the different tuning.
So there you have it. A uke to fit any occasion and any player.
Check out our extensiveuke collection online and get strumming!
Ben Blakesley works in Marketing and Technology for George's Music and happily strums away on his Soprano ukulele despite the looks he gets from his wife for playing such a small instrument.