Ukulele Sizes Explained!
Ukuleles come in many different shapes and sizes, this can sometimes be daunting for new comers trying to pick out the right size for them. In this ukulele size guide we'll give you all you need to know about ukulele types by breaking down the four main sizes' pros and cons so you can make an informed decision when selecting your next Kala ukulele.
The soprano ukulele 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 ukulele is ideal for younger players and those with smaller hands and fingers, making this size often the best beginner ukulele for kids. Still, the soprano is still suitable for players of any skill level and size. Due to its body size, it will have a brighter, softer tone with less projection and resonance than the larger sizes. We also offer a soprano ukulele 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 ukulele 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 ukulele has a fuller sound and warmer tone with more mid-range than the soprano. Concerts also project better than the sopranos, making the overall 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 ukulele 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 tenor ukuleles suited for fingerpicking. The tenor size is the most popular among professional players, but is great for any skill or experience level. A tenor ukulele 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 ukulele 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.
The Tenor XL is a newer type of ukulele that has been growing in popularity over the last few years. This unique size is larger than a traditional tenor ukulele. It offers even more comfort to those with larger hands. Our Tenor XL models come with a longer neck, a longer body, and a wider lower bout than traditional tenor ukuleles. The longer neck has a 19” scale length and better fits the wider lower bout/longer body of this ukulele size. The Tenor XL also has a deeper and warmer sound with more resonance due to its increased lower bout size. Another benefit of this size increase is excellent string spacing and louder projection than traditional tenor sized ukuleles. The standard tuning of G/C/E/A still applies to the Tenor XL size; however, they traditionally come strung with a Low G string.
Baritone is the next step up from the tenor in size. The baritone ukulele 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 type of ukulele for fingerpicking. The baritone size is great for all skill and experience levels, but especially for those with large hands and fingers. The baritone ukulele 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 ukulele type to transition to for those already familiar with guitar.
Hopefully this helps you get an idea of the characteristics and differences of the different sizes of ukulele we offer! Check out our other posts for more great ukulele guides and don't hesitate to ask us questions!
What uke size do you have or which type are you planning to get? What else do you look for in an ukulele? Let us know on social media @kalabrandmusic!