View Full Version : Type of music, to type of ukuleke

05-28-2011, 09:48 PM
Hello there!

I am a newbie looking into purchasing a 'ukulele of my own! But I have one question..

I am looking to purchase a 'ukulele that will fit to the type of music that I am going to be playing. So, if I were to buy a concert 'ukulele would that be more suitable to play more modern music(rock, punk, pop songs, ect.)? would the concert be the best way to go? I can't decide between the concert, tenor, or soprano..

(sorry if this question was answered in a previous thread, I looked and looked, but couldn't find anything like my question(s) )

Thank you all for your help!

05-28-2011, 10:09 PM
The Re-Entrants,a very good ukulele duo here in the
UK play one soprano and one concert.They play all
manner of music with no problems at all! So your
question is redundant really! If you have the skill,
the ability and the patience,you can play virtually
any sort of music on any sort of ukulele!

05-28-2011, 10:29 PM
I agree with Luthien, except that there are ukes with different designs and sounds that may suit some better. Some ukes have special finishes, shaped like certain guitars (mostly cosmetic but shape does affect tone), some have pickups built in to play amplified, etc. etc. to the point that amplified, they sound more guitar-like. You get the picture.....but when all is said and done, a uke is a uke and size is more a matter of look, feel, playability (read hand size) etc. Good luck. Start shopping and look at lots of ukes. You'll see one that strikes your fancy, then you can see if there are any in a store near you, listen to them on YouTube, use the UU search engine, etc.

Check these guys out, see what they play:


mm stan
05-29-2011, 12:05 AM
Aloha Ninarose,
Welcome to the UU and our forums....have fun and enjoy...Actually the ukulele has alot of range and can play almost any types of songs.. but the sopranos have a traditional hawaiian sound and it is higher tone due to it's small inner sound cavity...as you get bigger to the concert, tenor, and baritone...it will get richer and warmer sounding and louder.. the best way to find what size works
for you is to go in a music store and try them out for sound, playability and comfort..good luck and if you need further assistance just ask..Have fun and enjoy..Happy Strummings....Let us know
what you get...MM Stan Hope it helped..good luck..

05-29-2011, 06:22 AM
You can play on any of the sizes. But I find I get a fuller sound that I like better playing a tenor or concert rather than a soprano. I mostly play a tenor with a low G string. Having an extra few notes at the bottom of the uke's range allows me to play some things I couldn't otherwise.

05-29-2011, 06:33 AM
the best way to find what size works
for you is to go in a music store and try them out for sound, playability and comfort..

For me, that ended up being a soprano. My favorite band is the Clash, whose songs sound great on the soprano ukulele. My favorite reggae songs sound great, too. Of course, this is because I love the sound of a soprano ukulele. Find which size uke sounds best to you, and you can't go wrong.

05-29-2011, 07:11 AM
You can play on any of the sizes. But I find I get a fuller sound that I like better playing a tenor or concert rather than a soprano. I mostly play a tenor with a low G string. Having an extra few notes at the bottom of the uke's range allows me to play some things I couldn't otherwise.
Keep in mind that the longer scale of a tenor affords you more notes up top as well. I've seen it said more than once here that you just run out of frets fingerpicking a soprano.

05-29-2011, 07:31 AM
Okay I am going to throw in my 2 cents worth. First off welcome NinaRose and congrats on your decision to play the ukulele. Do you already know how to play the ukulele? As everyone is saying any uke will work and I personally think that what you think is "the" uke today won't be true tomorrow. So many of us have so many because we are figuring out our own preferences. For me playing a uke at the music store is not the same as spending some days with a uke in the privacy of my own home. So what is your price range? My advice is to determine what size you think would be the most comfortable and then purchase a well set up reputable ukulele based on whatever you can afford. Entry level laminates by Kala and Lanikai with professional setup are great choices. Ohana and Mainland solid wood ukes are a good bang for the buck. I think you will be happy with whatever you get as long as it is a good player and as you mature as a player you will more easily be able to determine your own personal taste and nobody can answer that question for you.

05-29-2011, 07:57 AM
Thank you for the welcome.

I know how to play some (a few chords, the tetris theme), but I'm really hoping to become a better player. I learned because my friend loaned me hers. My Price range is from 20-50$. After reading up I've decided that I'm going to go with a Tenor. I have small hands, but bigger fingers. So I'm going to start looking today. Unfortunately.. I recently moved to a very rural area.. So I will not be able to go to a music store to test out any. I hope to find an online 'ukulele store with a return policy.

05-29-2011, 09:44 AM
In case you aren't aware, there are some amazing sounding long-neck sopranos with concert scale necks and even a few with a tenor neck (Ohana for one). You can have the best of both worlds, soprano sound with longer scale. Also, here's something for you to consider....an Ohana Vita Uke. Listen to some sound samples.


Also some decent black tenors out there if you want a tenor for not a lot of $

05-29-2011, 09:54 AM
My Price range is from 20-50$. After reading up I've decided that I'm going to go with a Tenor
I could be wrong, but I think you may have a difficult time finding a decent tenor at that price point, how about starting off with a Makala Dolphin and then you can use it as a beater or travel uke later.

mm stan
05-29-2011, 12:50 PM
Being in that budget range, a Oscar schmidt Mahogany Laminate concert runs around 56.00 from Musicians Friend, and free shipping..http://www.musiciansfriend.com/navigation?q=oscar+schmidt+ou2+ukulele hope it helps....MM Stan

05-29-2011, 01:00 PM
The only really significant factor relating style to ukulele size is, I think, the fact that longer scales (i.e. tenor over concert, concert over soprano) will give you more notes (more frets) for doing long melodic runs and other picking stuff. That's why most of the pickers seem to favor tenors, I suppose. Otherwise, though, there is nothing saying you can't rock the house on a soprano (check out GUGUG on YouTube for guys having a blast doing country/new wave/rock/metal on cheap plastic soprano ukes. For that matter, check out Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain - they've been doing all styles of music for twenty years and most of them play sopranos and concerts.


05-29-2011, 02:32 PM
$50? How about a Dolphin set up by Uke Republic?


05-29-2011, 02:42 PM
Ha ha ha, Sorry but it amused me that after all this talk about what type of uke for Ahhh Zombies type of music when the real questions was what uke can I get for 20 to 50 dollars. Ahhh Zombies you can get an entry level soprano. Get a dolphin or a Lanikai or a Makala. Okay, I will be right back

05-29-2011, 02:46 PM
AhhhZombie if you can triple your budget here is a nice tenor for $140. http://cargo.ukerepublic.com/product/kala-exotic-mahogany-tenor
If you double your budget you can get a concert. Concerts are nice middle of the road ukuleles,

05-30-2011, 08:41 AM
My humble suggestion ... start with something quality in your price range. If in doubt, a soprano. After 6 months review and move ahead. You can sell your first uke to mitigate the impact of the second purchase.

As for type for music type, I agree with most here - it's the player not the instrument. Search YouTube with a combination of your fave song titles and "ukulele". You'll find that some people do amazing things with not much, others not much with amazing instruments.

I'm currently moving from a soprano to (this Friday!!) a tenor. Reason? Larger fret board and more bass. At bottom, it's the same instrument.

Plus, a quality soprano can blow a crappy tenor out of the water in every department.

05-30-2011, 11:56 AM
Okay! Thank you everyone!

I have decided that I'm going to start out with a Soprano because A) most are in my price range B) there are some really good 'ukulele's to be starting out on,and C) in the long run they are all the same instrument! Once I get more experienced with the instrument I will be hoping to move up to the tenor.

05-31-2011, 01:31 AM
Play whatever you want. I play folk, rock, reggae, blues, lots of vintage songs from the 20s and 30s... any musical instrument is a tool of infinite variety and potential.

Playing popular music on a uke gives it a different tonal quality that lets you mold it to your own style.

05-31-2011, 07:26 AM
As Ian has said above,all types of music can be played
on whatever ukulele you opt for! I play a lot of Beatles
music,old music hall stuff (vaudeville) ,some jazz 'standards'
and a lot of blues.All on the same ukulele,or ukuleles!
It's not about which size you play,its HOW you play
and how you relate to your instrument.Case in point,
at a recent Gathering,I heard Pete Howlett,the luthier,
play some blues on a tiny bodied soprano.It sent
shivers down my spine,as a blues addict.Robert Johnson
had a full sized guitar,and Pete was replicating it on a
soprano ukulele! Learn your instrument,and FEEL the
music that matters to YOU and you will be there!