It’s Time to Spice Up Your Music with the Ukuleles
Ukulele is a world-famous instrument and is one of the lute family instruments that have been used for years. Musically speaking, an ukulele is an instrument rich in not only in the music history but also in tradition.
Buying an ukulele is not the easiest thing to do, especially if it your first ukulele to buy. The instrument, like their players, comes in different sizes, shapes and sounds. But before purchasing an ukulele, you deserve a brief history of this antique instrument. So, read on…
The special instrument was invented in the 19th century as a Hawaiian version of the Portuguese machete. And after the small instrument similar to the guitar was introduced by Hawaiian Portuguese immigrants, it gained great popularity, especially in the United States, during the early years of the 20th century. After it gained popularity in the USA, the ukulele started to gain approval in other parts of the world and within a short period of time, it became an internationally recognized instrument.
The Ukulele is mainly from a hybrid of machete and the famous Portuguese chordophones, the cavaquinho, rajão, and braguinha. However, the small instrument falls under the family of guitar-like instruments that have been with us for decades. And just like playing the guitar, the instrument is played by plucking the strings with your fingers.
Depending on the size and the construction of the ukulele, you will be able to get a soprano tone, a concert tone, a tenor tone or a baritone. Good for you if you have a good ear for music because the ukulele is a timeless instrument that you will really love. But because they vary in size and features, here are some helpful tips for finding the Best Tenor Ukuleles.
- The brand –There are many decent ukulele brands out there, making it quite a challenge. However, the best brands that are available in the market now include Luna, Kala, Makanu, Caramel, Pono, Lohanu, Kalinea and Hricane to mention but a few. Out of all these brands, the Kalinea and Pono are the finest ukulele brands that come with starter kits. So, find a brand that suits you and one that you are comfortable playing.
- The wood–If you know your way around ukuleles, then I am sure you know that there are different types of woods that are used for the instrument. If not, with a little research, you will find that some of the best woods used for ukuleles are Monkeypod, mahogany, mango, Koa, rosewood, cedar and the acacia.
That said, let’s talk about the two most common woods used for ukuleles out of the ones mentioned above.
- The Koa – This is the type of wood that comes from the motherland of ukulele, Hawaii. The ukuleles that are made in Hawaii are made of the Koa wood. The Koa has a stunning grain, produces a warm tone and other than it been quite expensive, it is just amazingly beautiful.
- The mahogany – This is the second-best type of wood for making the ukuleles. Unlike the Koa ukuleles, the mahogany ukuleles are not expensive. However, their tone is softer and expert ukulele players say that Mahogany is a good wood though not as good as the Koa.
- The dimensions–Ukuleles are not of the same size. That said, you have to know the right size for your ukulele before shopping for one. Furthermore, the size of the ukulele determines the tone that you will get after plucking the strings.
- The soprano ukulele – This is the smallest of all ukuleles and is normally about 16-20 inches or40-50 cm in size. Experts say that if you are looking for an ukulele that will give you that original and classic ukulele sound, the soprano ukulele would be the perfect choice.
- The concert ukulele – This is the second in size after the soprano ukulele. The concert ukulele is about 24 inches or 58cm in size, just inches bigger than the soprano ukulele. The body of the concert ukulele is bigger and the neck is a bit longer, making it easy to handle and play.
- The tenor ukulele –26 inches or 66 cm in size give you the Tenor Ukulele. Because of its bigger size, the tenor ukulele doesn’t give the classic ukulele sound or tone but more of a classic guitar tone. The good news is that most professional ukulele players find tenor ukuleles to have the best tone.
- The baritone ukuleles – This is the largest ukulele and is about 30 Inches or 76 cm. Because of the size, the baritone ukulele produces the deepest tone of all the other ukuleles. The smaller the instrument, the sharper the tone and the bigger the instrument, the deeper the tone.
Most players will not go for the baritone ukulele just because it is big in size and it can be quite challenging to move around with it. And for this reason, the baritone ukulele is the least popular of all the ukuleles.
- The weight – The weight of course is determined by the size of the instrument. So, it is quite obvious that the soprano is the lightest ukulele to carry around while the baritone ukulele is the heaviest. And since players do not want to struggle with heavy instruments as they perform, it is advised that you choose a light ukulele for ease.
In conclusion, it is imperative to do a thorough research about this small but magical instrument. For you to enjoy your instruments for the longest time, you cannot rush into making a decision. So, take your time, talk to other ukulele players and get recommendations and advice before you shop for one.
In addition to this, go through numerous online reviews and visit several websites and music blogs to see what other folks have to say. With the reviews, you will have an idea of what ukuleles are all about, especially if you are just getting into it. What is more, such reviews are a perfect guide to finding the best ukulele sellers.