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beginner ukelele

Sue Kleeburg — Jan 28, 2015 08:17PM HST

I am a beginner and I'm not sure if I should purchase a soprano or tenor ukelele? From the viewpoint of learning is there any major difference? I sing as a tenor so I am leaning that direction.
Is it harder to find music or is it any harder to learn? Thanks for your input!

9 Community Answers

Andrew Kitakis - Jan 29, 2015 at 09:42AM HST

The Ukulele Site Agent

There is no difference in the tuning of soprano, concert, or tenor ukulele. So the only factors are feel and tone. You learn the same way on any of them. Many people feel more comfortable on one size and many people feel comfortable on each size. If you can get to a store and try the different sizes you can see if one appeals to you most. If you can not then check out Aaron's video on this page and see which size you like the sound of-

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David Whitman - Jan 29, 2015 at 01:50PM HST

Don't forget the concert size as well - another great choice. I've played a parlor size (000) guitar for years and thought the slightly bigger size might work well in switching back and forth. Last May I decided to try to pick up the uke and ended up getting the solid spruce top Luna concert from the Ukulele Site. I have been super impressed by the quality of the set up and playability.

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Katya Medeiros - Jan 29, 2015 at 11:58PM HST

I also recommend trying some out, if possible, before purchasing. I have small hands and feel that the larger sizes would be difficult for me to play. I had the chance to stop in to the retail location of the uke site last year while in Hawaii. Not only were they super helpful, but feeling the ukes definitely helped me out! I went with a Kala Soprano and it was perfect for my needs!

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Tom Muncey - Jan 29, 2015 at 11:59PM HST

Even more important than what size ukulele should you get is getting one
that has been "set up" to make it play better.

Check out the video here set up video on this site if you're not familiar
with the process.

As far as what size uke to get....Soprano, Concert and Tenor sizes all are tuned the same....if you learn to play one, you and play them all.

If you can, try to play the different sizes to see which one you like best....but many people end up getting more than one uke. :-)

Good luck!

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Jody Bennett - Jan 30, 2015 at 12:01AM HST

I bought the concert size Luna solid spruce top ukulele as well and love it. :-)

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Bob Stretch - Jan 31, 2015 at 04:45PM HST

I have two Lunas (a tenor and concert) both from here and I love the both. I have big hands so the tenor is a bit easier to play but the concert isn't really that much smaller in the frets and the sound is very sweet.

Having purchased two ukes elsewhere that were not set-up, I can tell you that no matter which uke you buy, if you buy it from here it will be easier to learn and more fun to play.

Good luck!

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Rémy Ginoux - Feb 02, 2015 at 09:02AM HST

May I say that size will also depend on which tunes or which style you would like to play and which style you will use for playing... Strumming, fingerstyle, all those kind of criterias will guide you in choosing the model.
As for me, I was already guitarist and I was looking for a kind of good first instrument, with a good playability (low action) for fingerstyle.
I chose the ISLANDER MAPG-4-T FLAME MAPLE GLOSS TENOR as my really first uke, it's a reasonable budget and I requested a low action as setup... I would say I've been fully satisfied by HMS work quality and release done, I love it !

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Jacob Henderson - Feb 10, 2015 at 09:32AM HST

Hi Sue,

I would advise to get a tenor ukulele. Don't think about the fact that you sing as a tenor; that doesn't really matter here. There is no difference in learning on a soprano or tenor. The reason why you should choose a tenor instead of a soprano, is because the sound of a tenor is much fuller. It sounds stronger and you can perform and sing better with a tenor. A soprano would do you great also, especially if this is your first ukulele, however a soprano does not have to be your first ukulele. But if you are looking into buying several ukuleles down the road, then either one would do you great. You can't make a wrong decision here; either would be great, but I would also lean towards the tenor. Enjoy playing your new ukulele and enjoy life!

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Karen Nelson - Feb 26, 2015 at 07:56PM HST

Hi Sue--I went with the tenor upon the recommendation of the staff. I find it to be great. As the others stated.....any choice will be great. To me the tenor has a fuller sound.

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