Beginner Ukulele 60-Second Shopping Guide

In a hurry? Here are my top beginner ukulele selections, organized by price range.

This isn’t intended to be a comprehensive list–it’s just a quick guide for people who want to make a decision quickly without doing hours of research!

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

Mahalo Rainbow Series Ukuleles - All Colors
Mahalo Rainbow Series Ukuleles

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.

Around $50

If you can afford to spend just a little more than $50, these models are great starter instruments.

Under $100

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.

Over $100

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