Which Ukulele Size is Right For You?
The holiday season is upon us and what better time than now to go over the characteristics of and differences in ukulele sizes to help you decide which size might work best for you. There are other criteria in addition to size to keep in mind when selecting your ukulele that we will cover in another post.
The soprano size is probably what most people picture when they think of the ukulele. It is the most common size and makes the classic, traditional ukulele sound. The soprano is the smallest and lightest uke size we offer, with the shortest scale and the tightest fret spacing. The soprano size is ideal for players of any skill or experience level, especially younger players and those with smaller hands and fingers. Due to its size, it will also have a brighter, softer tone with less projection and resonance than the larger sizes. We also offer a soprano size with a longer neck for those that desire the traditional ukulele sound and also want more frets and fret spacing. The Pineapple shape is a variation of the soprano size designed by Samuel Kamaka in the 1920s. The waist of the body on a Pineapple uke is eliminated to increase the surface area of the soundboard for a fuller sound. The standard ukulele tuning of G/C/E/A applies to the soprano size.
Concert is the next step up from the soprano in size. The concert’s scale is about an inch longer, the neck is a bit wider, and overall it’s a little heavier than the soprano. The extra length allows for more frets with wider spacing between them. The concert size is great for players of any skill or experience level, but may be more comfortable for those with a bit larger hands and fingers. Being a bit larger in size, the concert has a fuller sound and warmer tone with more mid-range than the soprano. The concert also projects better than the soprano, making the volume a bit louder. The standard ukulele tuning of G/C/E/A applies to the concert size.
Tenor is the next step up from the concert in size. The scale for the tenor is about two inches longer, the neck is just a little wider, and overall it’s a little heavier than the concert. The extra length allows for wider spacing between the frets. This makes the tenor suited for fingerpicking. The tenor size is the most popular among professional players, but is great for any skill or experience level. A tenor may be even more comfortable for those with larger hands and fingers than the concert size. The larger size gives the tenor a deeper, fuller sound with a resonant, almost bass-y tone. The tenor also projects better than the concert, making the volume a bit louder. The standard ukulele tuning of G/C/E/A applies to the tenor size.
Baritone is the next step up from the tenor in size. The baritone has the longest scale - about three inches longer than the tenor - with the widest fret spacing of all the sizes we offer. The neck on a baritone is also wider than the tenor. All of these characteristics make the baritone great for fingerpicking. The baritone size is great for all skill and experience levels, but especially for those with large hands and fingers. The baritone has the deepest, fullest sound with the most low end, sounding similar to an acoustic guitar. The baritone’s similarities to guitar continue with the tuning - D/G/B/E - like the four highest strings on a guitar, making it the easiest transition for those already familiar with guitar.
Hopefully that helps you get an idea of the characteristics and differences of the different sizes of ukulele we offer. There are other considerations other than size to take into account and we will delve into those in a future post.
What size uke do you have or which size are you planning to get? Why? What else do you look for in an ukulele? Let us know in the comments.
Disclaimer: There are other ukulele sizes, we are only covering sizes we currently offer.