The Ukulele Site

Different Sizes of Ukulele

There are 4 main sizes of ukulele. The soprano is the smallest, followed by the concert, tenor, and the baritone. All sizes are popular and all have their own qualities people love (or don't). 

Soprano is the small, classic uke you have seen played for so many years. For some, soprano provides the “true” sound of ukulele: a "barky" tone great for chompin' jazz chords or classic Hawaiian rhythms. At 13.5”, the shorter scale length (length from the saddle to nut) gives a more relaxed tension. This makes it fun and easy to play, but also easy for beginners to bend out of tune when chording. The soprano can also be a bit cramped for some with larger hands or who are used to playing guitar.

Concert is the next larger size at around a 15" scale, a few inches longer than the soprano. This size retains a classic uke tone while giving a bit more body and sustain to the sound. You also get an easier time with intonation in the higher register, generally.

Tenor is just a few inches longer at a 17" scale. It is still very much an ukulele, but this added length still tuned G-C-E-A gives a higher tension that adds sustain and attack. And the larger body adds a depth and wider frequency range. Most professionals here on the island play a tenor size. It's also the most popular size we sell.

Baritone is more like a 4-string guitar as it is most commonly tuned like the high four strings of a guitar (D-G-B-E). It is played with the same shapes and chords as any ukulele but is tuned down a fourth. This gives a more mellow and relaxing tone similar to classical guitar sounds.

All four sizes are wonderful and many enjoy all of them. Which one would you like best? Aaron goes over some features and demonstrates the sound in the video below.

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