Ukuleles have been around for over 100 years. While we think of ukuleles as being “Hawaiian” they actually originated in Europe. They were introduced to Hawaii in 1879 where they became wildly popular. Ukuleles have enjoyed multiple waves or popularity with current players including Tyler Joseph of Twenty One Pilots, Billy Corgan and Jimmy Stafford of Train.
Ukuleles are available in both acoustic and acoustic/ electric models which feature electronics for live performances and recordings.
Ukulele Body Sizes
Soprano – Generally 21″ in length, they are know for bright tones however quieter than larger ukes. A great choice for young beginners.
Concert – Around 23″ in legenth, slightly warmer tone at a bit larger than a soprano.
Tenor – A larger uke with both brightness and warmth. Great for most adult players.
Baritone – The largest comes in at about 30″ in length. Rich bold tones are typical of a Baritone Uke.
Ukulele Body Shapes – Ukes come in a variety of body shapes however the main body types include a figure eight (similar to most 6 string acoustic guitars) and an oval pineapple shape.
Wood species has a huge impact on the tone of the Ukulele.
Mahogany – Full rich low end and mid range tone with a muted top end
Koa – Balanced tone and bright mid range
Spruce – Used for Uke tops, provides a bright midrange and top end
Cedar – Great for finger styling resulting with a darker but mellow tone
Rosewood – Often used for fingerboards and backs.
Maple – Balanced without a lot of sustain
Redwood – Known for very crisp tone