View Full Version : Looking for a good starter uke!

03-30-2014, 07:38 AM
Hello everyone. I have always wanted to learn how to play ukulele and the first step is actually buying one. I have been looking for a quality starter uke for around $50.00 to $60.00. So far I have been checking out the soprano Makala Shark bridge ukuleles. But I am probably unaware about many of the brands out there and I was wondering what other good starter ukes you guys would recommend. :)

03-30-2014, 07:59 AM
In that price range the most important thing is that you buy from a real uke dealer who is going to set it up properly (unless you have the experience to do it yourself). The Sharks, Dolphins, plain Makalas, plain Lanikai LU-11 / LU-21 series ukes can all be decent ukes but setup on them from the factory varies from unplayable to just okay. Setup means that the uke will sound right (in tune with itself when you play chords), be easier to fret, and will have decent strings. Get any of those ukes without a setup and it's pretty much a crap shoot.

If you can afford more, and you think you're going to stick with it, I recommend spending a little more. If you can't afford more at least make sure you get it set up. I'd rather have a $40 uke that is well set up than most $200 ukes that haven't been. (Well...except that I have all the tools and can do a setup myself...but hopefully you get the idea.)


03-30-2014, 09:50 AM
My Dolphin sounds better then my Lanakai. I spent about the same on them both.

03-30-2014, 10:29 AM
Another vote for a dolphin, but only after modifications to lower the nut and saddle (not by me I might add) before it was poor.

03-30-2014, 12:13 PM
Here's the place to start. Most of your questions have been covered here: http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?69058-Info-Thread-Entry-Level-Ukuleles

03-30-2014, 12:20 PM
What OldePhart says Kyles - perfect advice.

03-30-2014, 12:33 PM
There are dealers who are UU members who will make sure that a uke you buy from them is properly set up. I'm sure others will give personal recommendations which I can't as I'm in the UK and have not bought a ukulele from any of the US based dealers.

03-30-2014, 05:38 PM
Thanks for all of the advice everyone! :) I have not made my decision yet but I will be sure to have whatever ukulele I get properly set up.

03-30-2014, 06:15 PM
Kyle, at that price, I'd probably get something from MIM - who will do a nice setup on it. And she's in Virginia so it'd be quick shipping up to NY: