5 Best Ukuleles For Beginners of All Ages

You want a ukulele that fits you as a player. One that doesn't cost hundreds of dollars. Forget the mile-long lists and overwhelming buyer guides. Here is our pick for the best ukulele under $200 for each size (soprano, concert, tenor and baritone) from smallest to largest, with an extra pick for players who need more flair.

Model Type Best For Price On Reverb
Lanikai LUTU-21S Soprano Children, smaller hands $95 - $100 Shop Now
Cordoba 15CM Concert Classic ukulele sound $95 - $100 Shop Now
Kala KA-T Tenor Players looking for a fuller sound $100 - $120 Shop Now
Cordoba 20BM Baritone Guitar players crossing over $120 - $170 Shop Now
Luna Tattoo Concert Players who want to stand out $95 - $100 Shop Now

Lanikai LUTU-21S Soprano Ukulele

We're not going to wax poetic about amazing tone or quality woods here. The main reason the LUTU-21S earns our pick as "best beginner soprano uke" is its wider (37 mm) compensated nut and adjustable "TunaUke" saddles. This makes it a rare bird: a sub-$100 ukulele that can actually achieve correct intonation across the entire fretboard.

Most ukes at this price point are hard to tune, hard to play and never sound quite right past the seventh fret. Here's to Lanikai for actually making an affordable soprano ukulele that will make beginners want to keep playing - instead of second-guessing whether they're doing it right because the tuning is so bad.

Cordoba 15CM Concert Ukulele

This is an accessible uke that doesn't feel like it was made exclusively for beginners. With all-mahogany construction and visual appointments like an abalone-style rosette and ivoroid binding, the Cordoba 15CM doesn't look or sound like a toy.

The mahogany body gives it a stronger low/mid emphasis than other concert ukes, lending a fuller, more mellow sound. Most importantly, the 15CM is incredibly playable. Concert size is slightly larger than soprano (23" vs. 21" in length), so it may be a better fit for players with longer/larger fingers. The quality and feel you get is uncommon at this price point, making it one of the most popular entry points for new uke players.

Kala KA-T Tenor Ukulele

Tenor ukes are slightly larger in size than their "concert" cousins, with a fuller sound, more frets and 3" of additional length. As with the Cordoba 15CM, the Kala KA-T earns our pick due to the quality of construction for the price and the amount of positive feedback we hear from players and the feel and tone.

The mahogany body will soften some of the twangy harshness that ukuleles can create. The Kala KA-T is resonant and robust, surprising listeners who are used to hearing thin-sounding ukes. This is a great pick for people with larger hands or those who are turned off by shallow, toy-like tones they associate with most ukuleles.

Cordoba 20BM Baritone Ukulele

Cordoba has a long history of making nylon-stringed instruments (their classical guitars are popular with beginners and professionals alike), so it's no surprise that their entire ukulele line-up is strong. The 20BM is a particular standout.

Again, an all-mahogany body fosters a warmer tone. The comfortable rosewood fingerboard and longer length (29") make this feel more like a small, four-string parlor guitar than a ukulele. In fact, the tuning, DGBE, mirrors the four-higher pitched strings of a guitar, making it the perfect crossover for guitar players. Even if you've never played guitar, this is a great pick if you prefer deeper, more mellow tones over the snappy, high-pitched jangles of smaller ukes.

Luna Tattoo Concert Ukulele

We realize that quality, playability and price are not the only things players look for. After all, your ukulele is something you wear, just like the outfit you picked out for the day. The Luna Tattoo isn't necessarily flamboyant, but it adds just enough character with its patterned top based on traditional Polynesian tattoos.

The mahogany body provides warmth, and the construction is quality. If you're looking to plug into an amp or PA, Luna also offers a pickup-and-preamp-equipped version.

Choosing A Ukulele

Here's the most important question to ask when picking out any new (or used) instrument: do you love playing it?

It doesn't matter what other people think, how expensive or cheap it is, or what color it is. What matters is that it makes you want to pick it up and make music with it. For some people, that may mean it has to have a cool design on it. For others, it may mean that it has to have a wider fretboard. If these picks don't speak to you, check out our full ukulele selection by clicking the banner below.

Need help getting started? We have plenty of ukulele instructors happy to guide you on Reverb Lessons, whether it's in person or online.

When an instrument makes you happy, it's obvious. And if it doesn't make you happy, you can always sell it on Reverb to someone else who might enjoy it.

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