The Best Ukuleles for Beginners in 2019 – reviewed and rated here!
You don’t have to wait for a special occasion to get yourself or a loved one the best ukulele for beginners. You can buy one today and start learning right away at your own pace!
We’ve selected the best candidates for the task so you can easily find a good fit for your preferences and budget. We have here the most beginner-friendly ukes on the market, from well-respected and established brands such as Cordoba, Kala, Luna and Makala. All of these ukes have been tried and tested by beginners such as yourself so you can feel confident in your purchase.
Our Top Beginner Ukulele Picks
|Cordoba 15CM Ukulele||The Cordoba 15CM is a concert-size ukulele that’s expertly handcrafted using traditional Spanish methods of acoustic instrument manufacturing. It’s a classic beauty that features a mahogany body with ivoroid binding, an abalone rosette, chrome tuners with pearl buttons and a smooth satin finish. The Cordoba 15CM is a wonderful little instrument you won’t regret buying as your first ukulele.|
|Makala Dolphin Ukulele||The Makala Dolphin may look like a toy, but it’s a real instrument that’s more than perfect for beginners. This soprano uke comes in a variety of colors including pink, light blue, pearl white and red. With its dolphin-shaped bridge, this ukulele is seriously one of the cutest beginner ukuleles you can find. It’s affordably priced too!|
|Mitchell MU70 Ukulele||Another great ukulele for beginners is the Mitchell MU70, a concert uke featuring a spruce top and rosewood sides and back. This uke also has an abalone rosette and purfling, mother-of-pearl dot inlays as well as a natural gloss finish, giving it a beautiful, timeless look. The Mitchell MU70 has a bright ukulele tone that’s a joy to hear.|
|Donner Concert Ukulele||The Donner Concert Ukulele Mahogany DUC-1 hits all the right spots: it’s budget-friendly, easy to play and sounds fantastic. Plus, for less than $70 you can get it bundled with a gig bag, strap, extra strings and a digital clip-on tuner. The fretboard of the Donner Concert Ukulele is also wider than usual, giving a little more room for playing.|
|Kala KA CEM Ukulele||The Kala KA-CEM Concert Exotic Mahogany is a highly recommended uke for serious beginners. This ukulele features a striking figured mahogany body, sealed geared tuners, silver nickel frets and a rosewood fingerboard and bridge. The mahogany construction delivers a full-bodied mellow tone with good clarity across the frequency range. The Kala KA-CEM is a quality instrument at a reasonable price.|
|Cordoba 15SM Ukulele||Another fantastic ukulele for beginners is the Cordoba 15SM, the soprano-size version of the Cordoba 15CM. Like its slightly bigger sibling, the Cordoba 15CM features a mahogany body with ivoroid binding, an abalone rosette and a satin finish for that timeless appeal. Just looking at the Cordoba 15SM can make you sigh in wonder. Well, playing it feels even better.|
|Kala KA-TE Ukulele||Kala really makes some amazing instruments for players of all budgets and skill levels, and the Kala KA-TE is no different. If you find soprano and concert sizes too small for you, check out the Kala KA-TE, a tenor ukulele that comes equipped with electronics. This is a great instrument for beginners who are looking forward to gigging sometime soon.|
|Luna Vintage Ukulele||The Luna Vintage is another soprano ukulele that makes it easy for beginners to get started with its affordable price and comfortable playability. This ukulele is ‘vintage’ in that it has a traditional style with a Polynesian-inspired design. The Luna Vintage uke features a spruce top, a mahogany body, open-style tuners, a rosewood fingerboard and bridge and natural satin finish.|
|Kala Color Chord Ukulele||The Kala Color Chord has got to be the most beginner-friendly ukulele on the planet. It’s really designed for helping beginners learn how to play ukulele in the easiest way possible. Part of Kala’s Learn To Play series, this uke teaches beginners four basic chords used in thousands of songs. You can learn to play in no time at all!|
Cordoba has long been a trusted name in the realm of acoustic instruments. Musicians are particularly fond of the brand’s classical guitars, which are handmade using traditional Spanish methods. Cordoba used the same time-tested techniques in making its ukuleles, including the concert-size Cordoba 15CM.
The Cordoba 15CM features a mahogany top, back and sides with a classy satin finish. The neck is also made of mahogany and it’s topped with a rosewood fingerboard with 18 frets. The ivoroid binding on the neck and body gives the ukulele a striking look, and an abalone rosette adds to the instrument’s aesthetic appeal. Even the geared chrome tuners look pretty with their pearl buttons.
If you find soprano ukuleles too small for your hands, this concert uke would be a more comfortable size for you. It has a nut width of 1.37 inches, a scale length of 14.75 inches and an overall length of 24.21 inches. It’s well-built, durable and will last for many years with proper care and maintenance.
This concert ukulele not only looks gorgeous, it sounds wonderful as well. The mahogany body creates a lovely ukulele tone you would want to hear again and again.
Makala is a line of ukuleles under Kala. The Makala line is known for its quality ukes offered at entry-level prices, making Makala ukuleles some of the best uke models for beginners.
The Makala Dolphin is one such model. This soprano ukulele comes in a variety of appealing colors and it looks cute with its dolphin-shaped bridge. Available colors are Green Apple Burst, Charcoal Black, Candy Apple Red, Pearl White, Purple and Metallic Blue, Pink Burst, Light Blue Burst, Yellow Burst and Red Burst. That’s a lot, and you’ll surely find a color (or two, or three) you’ll find irresistible.
The Makala Dolphin soprano ukulele features a kauri top with composite wood for its back and sides. It also has a mahogany neck and a walnut fingerboard with 12 frets. This construction gives the Dolphin a nice ukulele tone while keeping costs down. The composite back and sides also make the ukulele more resistant to changes in humidity and temperature.
Makala’s Dolphin uke has a scale length of 13.625 inches and an overall instrument length of 21.375 inches. It’s just the right size for children, teens, petite adults and just about anyone who’s looking for a great beginner uke.
The Mitchell MU70 is a concert ukulele that really looks like a mini acoustic guitar with its laminated spruce top and laminated rosewood back and sides. The laminate construction makes this uke a hardy instrument to bring along with you on trips because it won’t succumb easily to changes in temperature and humidity.
The MU70 also has a mahogany neck and an Indian rosewood fingerboard with 16 frets. The frets are nicely finished – no sharp edges that could hurt little fingers! The combination of spruce, rosewood and mahogany produces a full, bright and sweet ukulele tone that would make ukulele beginners want to practice all day long.
The body of the MU70 has a natural gloss finish while the neck has a plain gloss finish, providing a smooth and fast playing feel. The abalone rosette around the soundhole, abalone purfling with custom multi-ply ABS binding and mother-of-pearl mini dot inlays on the fretboard accentuate the looks of the ukulele.
The Mitchell MU70 concert ukulele has a scale length of 15 inches and an overall length of 23.25 inches. The sealed tuners do their job well in keeping the uke in tune once the strings have settled.
- Performance can compare to that of more expensive ukes
- Easy and comfortable to play
- Durable and less sensitive to humidity and temperature changes
- Not as loud and resonant as other ukuleles
- Can feel heavy
The Donner Concert Ukulele Mahogany DUC-1 is no ordinary ukulele for beginners. It’s a terrific first instrument not only because it comes included with a case, digital tuner, strap and an extra set of strings but also because it’s very easy to play with its wider-than-usual fingerboard. For the price, this beginner ukulele bundle can’t be beat.
This concert ukulele features a mahogany body and neck, producing a bright and rich sound. The neck has a comfortable C-shaped profile. The uke also has a rosewood fingerboard with dot inlays and 18 frets.
The body has a smooth satin finish, maximizing resonance and resulting in the best sound quality – and indeed the sound is something you wouldn’t expect to hear from a sub-$70 uke. It’s clear, sharp and bright.
The Donner Concert Ukulele is also pretty special because it has carbon nylon strings from Japan. The strings are smooth and soft to the touch so that learning to play will be a pain-free affair. If you are looking for ukuleles for children, this model is certainly worthy of consideration.
Other specs include a total instrument length of 23 inches, guitar-style tuners and a rosette with a concentric ring design.
- Comes with all the accessories a beginner needs to get started
- Beautiful aesthetics, especially the mahogany wood grain
- Strings take more time than usual to stretch and settle
- Goes out of tune easily
The Kala KA-CEM ukulele is a great first instrument for beginners or a second one for those upgrading from their entry-level uke. Even advanced players looking for another uke to add to their collection will find the Kala KA-CEM a wonderful addition to their uke family. CEM stands for Concert Exotic Mahogany.
The KA-CEM is a concert-size ukulele made of exotic mahogany wood. The figured mahogany gives the ukulele a bold, striking look. The pattern of the wood grain varies from uke to uke, which means no two are the same – the one you’ll get is 100 percent unique!
The Kala KA-CEM also features a 24.375 overall body length, a rosewood fingerboard with 18 silver nickel frets, chrome die-cast sealed geared tuners and a rosewood bridge. The chrome tuners are reliable and keep the uke in tune well even after hours of practice. The Aquila Super Nylgut strings it comes with are also easy on the fingers.
You will also find it easy to bring this ukulele along with you on trips to the beach, your friend’s house, a coffee shop or wherever you want to play because it already comes with a padded gig bag.
You’ve already been introduced to the Cordoba 15CM, now come meet its smaller sibling, the Cordoba 15SM. The 15SM is simply the 15CM in a reduced size, so basically you get the same features in a more compact package. This uke comes highly recommended for beginners, especially those with small hands or short fingers.
The top, back, sides and neck of the Cordoba 15SM are all made of quality mahogany wood. The all-mahogany construction gives the uke a rich and full sound that projects well despite the uke’s size.
Both the body and the neck are bound with ivoroid binding, giving the ukulele an Old World charm and setting it apart from other entry-level ukuleles. And like its bigger sibling, the 15SM also has an authentic abalone rosette that adds to its beauty. A sleek satin finish makes playing a more enjoyable experience.
The 15SM ukulele by Cordoba also has a rosewood bridge and fingerboard with pearloid dot inlays, silver geared tuners with pearl buttons and a total of 17 frets. The scale length measures 13.5 inches, with the overall length measuring just 21 inches. It’s definitely easy to carry around and play wherever you go!
- Available bundled with a gig bag, tuner, instructional DVD and polishing cloth
- Rich sweet sound
- Reasonable price for a quality instrument
- Can be difficult to play standing up without a strap
- No strap buttons
For beginners who are looking for something larger than soprano or concert ukuleles as their first instrument, here’s the Kala KA-TE ukulele. This is a tenor-size uke that would prove to be more comfortable to play for those with larger hands or those wanting to have a louder sound from their uke.
Projection with the Kala KA-TE is not a problem, especially as it’s also equipped with a UK-300TR pickup/preamp system. An acoustic-electric ukulele like the KA-TE is just what you need if you’re looking forward to performing or recording with your ukulele in the future. You just need a mini amp and a cable to pair with your uke. Simply plug it in and you’re good to go! The KA-TE also has a built-in tuner, so that’s another plus.
The Kala KA-TE features a mahogany top, back and sides with cream binding and a smooth satin finish. The neck is also made of mahogany while the fretboard is made of walnut. The scale length is at 17 inches. This tenor ukulele measures 26.125 inches long overall – not too small and not too big for most adults. It’s comfortable and fun to play too!
- Well-built using quality materials
- Comes with built-in electronics and tuner
- Available bundled with a gig bag, instructional DVD, polishing cloth and clip-on tuner
- Price not that beginner-friendly
- No buttons for strap
Luna ukuleles are beautiful to look at, enjoyable to play and sound amazing. The Luna Vintage Spruce Soprano Ukulele is no exception. This ukulele boasts a solid spruce top, mahogany back, sides and neck, a rosewood fretboard with 12 frets, a rosewood bridge and black open-gear tuners. Triangular mother-of-pearl ‘shark teeth’ inlays serve as fretboard position markers and a laser-etched tribal rosette gives off that vintage vibe.
What’s more, you can get the Luna Vintage soprano uke bundled with a gig bag, an instructional DVD, a clip-on tuner and a polishing cloth – all for less than $70! For thar price, this beginner ukulele package is definitely a steal.
The construction of the ukulele gives it a sweet, pleasing tone – just what you’d expect from a soprano ukulele, but not from a soprano ukulele in this price range. The Luna Vintage sounds like a more expensive model!
The Luna Vintage uke also has a set neck with a C shape for better stability and playing comfort. Because of its size, it’s also very lightweight – so light that you would hardly notice it in your hands as you play. Because of this, you won’t get tired easily even after long practice sessions.