In a hurry? Here are my top beginner ukulele selections, organized by price range.
Ukes Under $20
Unless you’re shopping for a toddler or just want a novelty gift, stay away from ukes in this price range. Most ukes under $20 are very poor quality and will barely function as a real instrument.
Ukes from $20 to $50
A lot of the ukes in this range aren’t very good, but I think the following models are OK considering the price point.
Mahalo Rainbow Series
While I can’t exactly give this uke a glowing endorsement, I do feel they’re some of the better ukes to be found in this price range. If you’re on a super-tight budget, you could certainly do worse than this model.
I’ve highlighted a few of their more interesting color options below, but you can click here to view the full rainbow of choices on Amazon.
If you can afford to spend just a little more than $50, these models are great starter instruments.
- I’ve written an in-depth review of the KA-15S, but the takeaway is that it’s one of the best beginner uke values out there (and 2,000+ Amazon reviewers would seem to agree!)
- While Donner and Hricane ukes may not have the name brand recognition of Kala, their DUS-1 and UKS-1 models are some of the best-rated budget ukes Amazon. These ukes come in a package that includes a gig bag, tuner, extra strings, and strap.
Ukes in this price range tend to have noticeably better build quality, tone, and playability than the cheaper ukes highlighted above.
The Kala KA-15C, Donner DUC-1, and Lohanu LU-C are all highly-rated ukes that can be found for under $100 online. The Donner and Lohanu models are bundled with a number of accessories, making these ukes especially good values.
If you have a bit more to spend and are looking for something a little more exotic, take a look the following three ukuleles:
- The Luna Tattoo Acoustic-Electric features a cutaway, electronics (for plugging into an amp) and a unique laser-etched tattoo design.
- Cordoba’s 15CM concert ukulele has a bound fingerboard and faux-abalone rosette
- The Hola! Pro Series has a solid mahogany top for a warmer, richer tone and a beveled edge for comfort