Ukuleles are by far one of the most authentic and interesting stringed instruments you can get into these days.
They look like scaled down acoustic guitars.
But aside from their appearances, there are few similarities.
What attracts a lot of people towards ukuleles is the fact that you can take them with you wherever you go due to their small size.
This is also one of the main reasons we are seeing a spike in interest regarding ukuleles this year. They also have a very distinct sound, and sense that they’re “easy” to play, which is not always the case.
Most newcomers are looking for an affordable way to get into this instrument, so I have found 3 great beginner models which will give you a satisfactory level of performance at a more than reasonable price.
Let’s take a closer look.
The 3 Best Ukuleles for Beginners
Here is my list of the top 3 ukuleles.
I have ranked them 1 to 3 in the chart below, and feel these are a great place for the beginner to start.
These are all best sellers, and have a few slight differences as outlined in the reviews.
I have kept all the sales prices up to date in the following chart:
|1.||Kala KA-15S Mahogany Soprano Ukulele|
|2.||Lohanu Concert Size Ukulele Starter Kit|
|3.||Mahalo Rainbow Series Soprano Ukulele|
The first model I’d like to show you is an entry level soprano ukulele that is made by Kala.
This company is known for delivering well-balanced ukuleles in this segment of the market, which explains why it’s among the most popular models at the moment.
Let’s just put it this way:
It’s punching way above its weight class.
If you are looking for a reliable, proven and well-rounded ukulele, the Kala KA-15S is the one you want to be looking at.
As mentioned above, this is a soprano ukulele.
That is the most standard size of ukuleles and the one you want to get if you are just starting to learn how to play these instruments.
The body is made of mahogany, which also goes for the neck. The fretboard comes in the form of a standard rosewood design, which features twelve brass frets with standard inlays. The bridge is also a rosewood piece.
Overall, the build quality is pretty great considering how much you are asked to pay for this specific model. Right out of the box, the intonation and setup are good in most cases.
There’s a small chance that you will have to do an additional setup, so it’s good to have that in mind.
Once you strum the strings for the first time, you won’t believe that this ukulele is so cheap.
Sure, it’s not in the same class as some of the elite tier models, but most people will have a hard time discerning the difference. There’s a lot of warmth and sustain, which is usually what affordable ukuleles are having issues with.
From a perspective of a learning tool, you will hardly find a better one.
The Kala KA-15S is easily the type of ukulele you can sharpen your skill on, and still use it later on when you are more experienced.
It is just that good.
Ukulele Concert Size Bundle From Lohanu
The next thing I want to show you is this impressive bundle from Lohanu.
It comes with the ukulele, two strap pins, a strap, a tuner, case and some picks.
This is the real deal in terms of supplying you with everything you could possibly need to get started right away.
Just like the Kala above, this bundle is also one of the go-to choices for many newcomers.
The ukulele that comes with the bundle is actually a very nicely made instrument.
The tonewood they went with is a laminate Sapele and mahogany design which brings the best features from each of these two types of wood.
The neck is also made of the same materials. What really puts the icing on the cake is the handmade binding all around the top part of this ukulele. You don’t see that too often in this price range.
This is a concert ukulele, so it’s going to be a bit larger than your standard soprano.
However, it’s still pretty easy to play and brings a much louder sound to the table.
Even though it’s a laminate design, Lohanu LU-C still brings a lot of finesse with its tone.
There’s warmth, better low-end response due to a larger lower bout, and of course that crispy, punchy nature ukuleles are known for. Even though it comes with a decent set of strings from the factory, you might need to do a full setup on rare occasions.
At the end of the day, this is a very powerful and well-rounded bundle that should be on your shortlist if you are looking for affordable ukuleles.
Mahalo Ukulele Rainbow Series
Last but not least we have the Mahalo Ukuleles MR1LBU Rainbow Series Soprano Ukulele.
It’s a very lively little model that is perfect for kids and beginners alike.
Even though it might look like a toy on a first glance, you shouldn’t underestimate the capabilities of this brightly colored uke.
For the most part, this is going to be your standard soprano ukulele that comes with a set of Aquila strings from the factory.
It also features components such as Graph Tech NUBONE XB bridge saddle, which should tell you it’s definitely a serious instrument.
The uke itself comes in several finish options, including single tone solutions as well as sunburst and natural models.
The performance you can expect to get is a bit underpowered, but pretty impressive none the less.
There’s a lot of warmth in its tone, which would only be made even more impressive if there was a bit more output to work with. Overall, this is one surprisingly good ukulele that keeps on giving.
Whether you have a child who is interested in learning how to play a ukulele, or you want to do it yourself, check out the Mahalo Ukuleles MR1LBU Rainbow Series Soprano Ukulele.
There’s a lot of potential under that unusual finish.
Conclusion and Final Thoughts
Beginner ukuleles are a very competitive field on the market.
The ones I have listed here represent some of the best, while at the same time give you a good idea what you can get with a limited budget.
Chances are you will get better quite fast on these ukuleles, but don’t worry: These are all capable of keeping up with you as you advance your skills.