Venturing into a store full of ukuleles is one of the most exciting things a newbie or an aspiring musician will experience. However, picking your first instrument can be overwhelming if you are unfamiliar about their types and purpose. This article will discuss the difference between each type so you can choose which ukulele to buy.

Ukuleles in Various Shapes and Sizes

There are basically four types of classic ukes based on sizes: the soprano, the concerto, the tenor and the bass. An electric uke is a specialty version. If you want to know which ukulele to buy, read on:


The Soprano Ukulele is the smallest of the bunch with an overall length of 21 inches. It is the most common version available in the market and often the cheapest.  Hence, it is also referred to as the standard size. The soprano has a high pitch which makes it ideal for cheerful music.

Beginner compatible
Too small for most adults
Limited music variation
Difficult to manipulate


Also referred to as Alto, this instrument is only about three inches bigger than the soprano. It has a fuller sound compared to the soprano which makes it a good soloist instrument. The Concert has about 20 frets that give it more range in notes. It is suitable for people who prefer the original Ukulele sound but needs an average-sized instrument.

More fret board space
Dense sound
Basic size for adults
Pricier than soprano
Small functional difference with soprano


The Tenor Ukulele is perfect for low octave enthusiasts who like finger play. The bigger sound it produces is great for large-crowd performances. Despite the lower key, it still bears the distinct frill of the Ukulele variety.

Spacious board than the smaller versions
Great for shows
Good for Fingerpicking
Less upbeat than smaller ones


The Baritone ukulele is the largest of the family. This thirty-inch beauty is often termed as the “little guitar” due to its similar tuning to a full-sized guitar. The deep sound it produces is favored by jazz players and guitarists who want a smaller instrument. Since the chords are leaning towards guitars, it is harder to fit with traditional ukulele songs and chord books.

Preparatory/Alternative instrument for guitar
Powerful sound
Easy to handle size
Not for beginners
Non-travel friendly


Recent musical variations have given birth to specialty ukuleles like the acoustic-electric. Band players pick this style because of it gives the traditional sound a modern twist. Electronic Ukuleles have a built-in electric signal detector that convert normal sound waves into electronic ones then transmits them to external speakers through internal preamplifiers.

Can compete with amplified band instruments
Two-in-one instrument
High impact instrument
For experienced players

Deciding on which ukulele to buy can be a tough task so here are some key points to consider:

-Soprano ukuleles are compatible kids because of its compact size.

-The Soprano is recommended for newbies due to its affordability and availability.

-The concert uke is a great substitute for the soprano if the user prefers a bigger size.

-A Tenor uke is suggested for lone performances.

-Baritone ukuleles are alternative for guitarists.

-An Electric uke is a great option for performers.

Choosing a ukulele ultimately boils down to preference. Although each one has its own specification, a confident user knows how to exceed people’s expectation.