As promised, here are answers to questions 1-3. Check out all 10 of the questions we plan on answering here and please feel free to send me any questions that you want answered in the future.
The most important reason to play ukulele is because it is fun. Other than that the ukulele is fairly easy to learn compared to a lot of other instruments. With some very simple chord shapes and only 4 strings that are easy on the fingers, the uke is a great introduction to music for people with little or no experience. Portability is another reason I love the ukulele and why it has become one of my constant companions, music can happen anywhere so its always good to be prepared!
Ultimately the answer to this question is to buy one that you like, but if you don’t know what you like yet this can be a bit more complicated. As far as price goes, if you are a beginner you want to find one that is near the $100 dollar range. There is a good selection of instruments for around that price that can work well to learn at first. You can then determine if you want to invest in a higher quality instrument later. My suggestion would be to go to music shops and play as many ukuleles in your price range as you can. Start to listen to the different sound that each instrument makes and see if there is a certain sound that you like. Some sound more “bright” with an emphasis on the higher end of the sound spectrum, while others sound more “warm” with a more “round” and bottom ended sound. Like developing your taste for certain food or drinks, you can develop your ear for hearing certain intricacies in sound. Try strumming the instrument with the sound hole facing you as you will get a better idea of what the instrument sounds like to those that are listening. Eventually you will develop your taste for what looks, feels and sounds right for you.
There are 4 different standard sizes of ukulele each with there own particular feel and sound. In general, the ukulele’s sound will get louder and deeper with each larger size. The soprano is the smallest size, it has the smallest neck and fret size which limits its range but it is oh so transportable! The concert is a sort of “in between size” that ends up being the go to for players that are looking for a good balance of small size and bigger sound. The tenor is larger than the concert and because of its increased range and deep, rich sound seems to be the standard for most professional and advanced players out there. The baritone is the largest and is in a bit of a category of its own. In my opinion the baritone plays and sounds more like a small guitar than a uke. It has a different tuning then the other three sizes which means the chord shapes are different as well.
Looking forward to answering more questions on the next post!