About the Ukulele

The ukulele has become very popular over recent years and the song “Im Yours” by Jason Mraz in 2008 has become the best selling ukulele pop song having over 6 million downloads in the USA. George Harrison from the “ Beatles” was also a keen ukulele player and the ukulele orchestra of Gt Britain play all over the world playing music from all genre’s.


Other keen ukulele players are Neil Armstrong the astronaut, Elvis Presley, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Phil Jupitus, Mick Fleetwood (Fleetwood Mac), Pierce Brosnan, George Benson, Taylor Swift, Elvis Costello, Robert Plant and many many more famous people.

More than 1.4 million ukuleles were sold in the USA in 2016 so there is becoming a great re-interest in the instrument especially with young people.

The ukulele originated from Portugal and was taken to Hawaii and became extremely popular there.

There are 4 types of ukulele: Soprano, Concert, Tenor and Baritone.


soprano ukulele

This is the smallest and most common ukulele and is about 21 inches long, it is suitable for all players; especially children as it is easier for small hands although many adults also play a Soprano instrument.


concert ukulele

The concert ukulele is a bit larger than the Soprano and is about 23 inches long with a slightly bigger body and more frets to extend the note range available. It has a more mellow sound compared to the Soprano.


The Tenor ukulele is bigger than the Soprano and Concert and has a deeper sound it is about 26 inches long with a larger body and projects a warmer more powerful sound than the other two types mentioned.

The Soprano, Concert and Tenor instruments are all tuned the same: G C E A  or C6 tuning although sometimes the Tenor can have the G string an octave lower than normal if desired.

tenor ukulele


This is about 30 inches long with approximately 18 frets and is the largest type of ukulele. Baritone ukuleles are tuned differently to the other types and the strings are tuned the same as the first four strings of a guitar: D G B E  so chord shapes and note positions are in different places compared to the Soprano, Concert and Tenor instruments.

A lot of guitar chords can be played on the Baritone ukulele or adapted quite easily.

Wood types for manufacturing ukuleles

Popular wood types for manufacturing ukuleles are shown below. As different woods give various sounds it is important to consider this aspect before purchasing


A nice warm and mellow sounding wood which I personally like and have an all Mahogany Acoustic guitar I use a lot.


Koa is an attractive wood with lovely grains and has a nice sweet sound, but it is a little more expensive.


This is a light coloured wood and very bright sounding.


A hard wood with very bright tone.


A red wood with a very mellow sound.

Buying a guitar or ukulele advice

My advice as to buying a guitar or ukulele is try different sizes and woods and find out what you personally like the sound and feel of!

If you have any questions on Guitar or Ukulele lessons please ring me on 07962 101386 or email:

Thanks Steve