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Thread: Advice wanted for a begginer

  1. #1

    Red face Advice wanted for a begginer

    I’m an English pensioner looking to buy my first ukulele, a tenor up to about 100 pounds. There are very, very few music shops anywhere near me and with family commitments I’m unable to travel so it’s going to be from the internet, probably Amazon. I’ve looked at reviews on the net and are they honest of not, plus with the sound coming from my iPad and YouTube they all sound very similar. So any advice will be very welcome, good makes, bad makes and which model to buy, anything at all.
    Thank you in advance.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2020
    Durham, UK


    Amazon is not the only online possibility. I'll list some English shops:
    Duke of Uke have this one on their website, it is within your price range, and you get free p&p with the voucher you can click.
    I have not heard/played this instrument, but they are a serious specialised shop offering a laminate uke branded with their name.
    Other respected specialist shops such as Southern Ukulele Store and World of Ukes, also have their own offers, but I think that you would have to pay somewhat more.

    If you've got some time and you like to browse then I would refer you to Got a Ukulele:

    Barry has reviewed some tenors under or up to £100. Amongst them there is a VTAB laminate mahogany available from the Uke Shop in Washington in the North East.

    I have bought from Amazon and you could be very lucky. I bought a Donner DUT-3 and I was pleased with it. Then the bridge came off after 6 weeks. I got my money back and then somebody repaired it and it is still my favourite beater uke 18 months on.
    I would advise against getting a very cheap instrument and a lot of extra accessories.

  3. #3


    Thank you.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Sunny Jersey - where the cows come from!


    In the UK, my suggestion would be a Brunswick BU4T or BU5T ... well rated and well within your budget. I have one, and the "big brother" baritone, and have been totally satisfied with them
    My concert ukulele is a Kala KA-C, which is a perfectly satisfactory instrument. I'd have no reservation in suggesting a Kala KA-T based on this experience. Slightly more expensive than the Brunswick, from what little research I've done, but still (just) within budget.

    I've no experience with other makes in this size. Hope this helps

    There are those who will wax lyrical about the ability to play a double shuffle with a split fan and a tight G-string ...
    it just makes me walk funny!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2019
    Pacific Inland Empire


    My wife likes her Kala KA-PWT Pacific Walnut. It does need set up, so the key would be to get it from a UK dealer that is known to include a FULL set up. I stress full because at this price point that is the minimum requirement for a ukulele which will play correctly. You don't want to start out on the wrong foot! Cordoba, Kmise, Flight, etc all make ukuleles in this price range; same requirement for a full set up highly recommended.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2019



    I am also from the UK.

    My first uke was a Kala KAT, you get a good uke for your cash, it is a bit more than budget but worth it imho.
    From the UK with a bad case of MIAS.
    Korg PA700, Korg Kross 2, Gibson LP, Fender Jazz Bass,
    + Amps, PA, Boss GT100, mixer.
    Ukes - Kala KA-TEME and Risa ST electric solid body.
    Uke wish list, a Bass, make and model yet to be determined

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Upper Hale, Surrey/Hants border, UK.


    Kala, Ohana, Baton Rouge would be my suggestions, most of mine came from the Southern Ukulele Store, via online.

    I started when I retired, with concert scale, then got some tenor scaled, including my Kala KA-T, good uke for its price, & worth your consideration.
    Trying to do justice to various musical instruments.

  8. #8


    Thank you for all who have replied. After reading your help and looking at some reviews on the net, I think that a Kala KAT is the best choice for me , so that’s what I shall get.
    Thanks again.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Sparta, Wisconsin, USA


    Oldden, I strongly recommend that you buy your uke from an online store that will do a proper setup on it.

    Amazon offers good prices, but they don't even open the boxes from the mfg. They just send them straight on to you.

    In your situation, with few music shops near you, you will likely have a hard time finding someone to do a setup.

    Unfortunately, almost all inexpensive ukuleles need to have the string heights adjusted and often times the frets leveled. Sure, you can play them without having it done. That's what I did at first. Big mistake. A well setup uke is MUCH easier to play. Especially the barre chords. And the intonation is usually better as well.

    Good luck on your playing journey. It's great fun.
    There is a subtle yet profound difference between the learning of something and the knowing of that thing.
    You can learn by reading, but you don’t begin to know until you begin to try to do.

    —Lou Churchill, Plane & Pilot Magazine

  10. #10


    Hi, sorry if I'm a bit late to the party but would definitely recommend a specialist ukulele store online if you can - the likes of Duke of Uke, Southern Ukulele Store would ensure you buy an instrument that would be well set up.

    I have a Kala KA-TG which is a perfectly good tenor for me, which has a nice warm sound which is maybe slightly dampened volume-wise by the gloss finish, but you should be able to pick it up for around £100. They also do the Kala KA-T which I believe is the same instrument but just without the gloss finish.

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