In the music world, not all string instruments catch the attention of music aficionados and, therefore, their value is understated. However, when it comes to running those fingers through different strings i.e. downstroking or upstroking in a stringed instrument, ukuleles stand out. Although there are different types of ukuleles you can lay your eyes on, you can’t miss out on the best tenor ukuleles if you’re after that bright sound.
If a ukulele is something you can’t get your mind off of—no wonder, these are the sweetest sound one can ever listen to—you might’ve listened to some of the top artists, namely Jake Shimabukuro, Eddie Kamae, James Hill, Eddie Vedder, Greg Hawkes, even Taylor Swift has been seen singing “Fearless” on a ukulele.
Bending, harmonics, octaves, palm mute, or rakes—all are promising if you’ve understood the nuts and bolts i.e., you’ve mastered the art of playing a ukulele. Still, all of this takes practice, and your instrument is perfectly tuned. However, all this is only possible if you’re having a perfect-fit ukulele, and believe me—shopping for the best ukulele online is no piece of cake since you have to have all the basic understanding of uke buying.
If you’re a beginner, don’t worry—no one gets to become a Pro ukulele player within a short span of time i.e., in 1 or 2 days.
However, we don’t want you to repeat the same mistake that most people do when they buy their first ukulele online. That’s why we’ve decided to help you pick the best tenor ukulele available on the market so you could shop intelligently—without hurting yourself financially.
Plus, we’ll give you some bonus tips that will help you get the most of your ukulele playing experience.
Need a waterproof ukulele?
If you need a water-resistant ukulele so you could continue playing even when it's raining, you should try out the waterman uke from Kala.
7 Best Tenor Ukuleles in 2021
Several international brands release different types of ukuleles every year. That means, if you do some digging up, you’ll end up with loads of brands that make top-of-the-line ukuleles, which is why it becomes a daunting task to search for the best ukulele.
Every stringed instrument lover thrives to get their hands on the best ukulele ever, however, for the sake of this article, we’re only covering the “Tenor Ukuleles”.
So, if you’re a fan, continue reading because the real treasure is ahead.
1. Enya EUT-M6 Cutaway Tenor Ukulele
If you’re someone who admires the richness of mahogany wood and glossy finish property, this tenor ukulele is definitely for you for it will produce those warm tones that are perfectly balanced and will give you good vibes while you have a great time with your mates.
This ukulele has passed all the requirements of quality control i.e. “QC”. Not only is it an ideal choice for beginners, but the PRO ukulele players can also embrace this one to take their experience to the next level. The projection is louder, and there’s more than enough space between the strings so your bigger fingers can easily run through them.
If you like to be called a discerning player, you can’t miss out on a good tonewood in a ukulele because, in addition to comfort, the tone produced by the instrument is what will give you the ultimate satisfaction. It will offer you everything you’re on the lookout for—from appearance to tone, to description—you’re good to go.
Designed with ultimate craftsmanship in mind, this tenor ukulele will bring that ‘Wow’ experience to the table. If you’re still in doubt whether or not this ukulele is what you should for, perhaps, you should watch Adam Christopher’s cover of Ocean, and believe me, it will have you astounded for sure. Yes, Christopher has used the Enya M6 ukulele in that cover song.
What about durability? Is it going to last longer? Well, since it is made of pure mahogany, you can rest assured that it will offer you longevity. Since the ukulele is something you don’t purchase every day, you have to be sure of the durability, and guess, what—this tenor ukulele is a perfect uke that has been designed to last longer.
This ukulele boasts fluorocarbon strings, and as far as top, back, sides and neck are considered, they are all made with solid mahogany—something you’d wish to get your hands on while looking for the best tenor ukulele, in this day and age. Speaking of the bridge and fretboard of this ukulele, both have been brought to life by the ‘Richlite’ brand.
I’d heard big things about this ukulele and it exceeded all my expectations.
2. Kala KA-KTG Tenor Hawaiian Ukulele
This one is very much similar to the one that was used by Tyler Joseph—the frontman for ‘Twenty One Pilots’. He can be seen playing a KA-KTGE-C model in a Sydney pop-up performance, and that ukulele looks exactly like KA-KTG. Made with the Hawaiian traditional wood, koa, this tenor ukulele is a sought-after instrument by players all around the world.
Don’t get fooled by its simple looks, this tenor ukulele will have your heart in the first playing. The top of this uke has been designed using Hawaiian koa—not just that, the back and sides are composed of the same wood. Whether you are looking forward to carrying a little piece of Hawaii or you are dying to experience those highs and lows in the sound, this ukulele is for you.
The overall length of this uke is 26 inches—which is a perfect size to easily hold without hurting your hands. You’ll fall in love with its D'Addario strings and the overall appearance, and the sound quality is up to mark—needs no improvement whatsoever. In fact, what has brought a smile to most people’s faces is the strings—there’s something about them.
When it comes to customer satisfaction, it gets a 4.4 rating out of 5, which is more than recommended. Since it is priced at $299 only (which is $100 bucks less than what it has been listed at on the official website), it’s a steal for you and you shouldn’t think twice while buying this tenor ukulele.
As usual, this uke is having four strings and the headstock is slotted with a mother-of-pearl inlay which has been etched using laser technology. So, it’s pretty sure that you will have magical vibes while playing your most favorite chords on this uke.
Now, let’s be familiar with the plusses and minuses of this tenor uke:
3. Donner Tenor Ukulele with Gig Bag Strap, Tuner, Picks
Are you longing for a tenor ukulele that doesn’t make you break the bank and yet offers you the warm, crisp, and pleasant sound?
Meet the Donner tenor ukulele that has been reasonably priced. If you want a uke under $70 only to get started with your strumming journey, this ukulele is for you. This uke is easy to tune and brings better sound transmission to the table. If you’re concerned about the strings, don’t worry—this uke boasts Aquila strings that provide crystal-clear, sweet, and soft sound to the listener or the person playing the uke.
There’s a reason why it has ranked at #2 in Ukuleles (Musical Instruments) category on Amazon. Well, I don’t think it is just because of the ultimate craftsmanship, perhaps it has something to do with the extra accessories or tools you get with this uke.
This uke comes packed with a gig bag, strap, tuner, 4 extra nylon strings, and most importantly, you will also get 4 different types of picks. If after running your fingers through (i.e. while strumming a lot) your ukulele gets some dirt on it, there’s no need to worry because there’s also a cleaning cloth that you can use to clean this tenor uke.
So, is that all you get with this ukulele? Well, not really—there’re also free video lessons that will help you get started with strumming, bending, and different ukulele techniques. These tricks will be helpful, especially if you’re a beginner.
This uke is ready to exceed all the expectations of beginners and professional players. Although this one is a 26-inch uke, which is why it is called a tenor uke, if you feel like you need a smaller one, you could either go for a 21-inch or 23-inch one. The fingerboard has been designed with rosewood and we’ve already talked about the importance of rosewood in our ukulele buying guide, meaning you’ll get those wonderful tones.
Now, let’s shed light on the pros and cons:
4. Cordoba 20TM-CE Mahogany Tenor Cutaway Ukulele
This tenor uke from Cordoba is available in two variations: standard and tenor cutaway electric. Being an acoustic-electric uke, it can be used in different situations based on your personal preferences. This one, just like the previously reviewed uke, features Aquila strings that produce sweet, clear, and rich sounds to make your day like never before.
What type of wood is it made of?
Well, to be precise, the top, sides, and back of this uke— 20TM-CE—are made of solid mahogany. It’s one of the best stage-ready ukes you’ll ever find. It gives you the opportunity to expand your musical horizons. No matter if you’re just a beginner or gigging player, you’ll find this tenor cutaway tenor ukulele satisfactory in every way.
Unlike other ukes, this one boasts a low-battery indicatory that will keep you informed on the battery level. Plus, you can fine-tune the sound using treble, bass, and volume adjuster. Not just that, being a lightweight uke, you won’t have to put too much burden on your shoulder (if you’re using a strap) or your hands if you’re simply holding it.
Aesthetics has been taken to the next level, thanks to its one-of-a-kind cutaway design. Plug-and-play capability is what sets it apart from most ukuleles we’ve reviewed. The sound you hear out of this uke is perfectly balanced—a combination of highs and lows. It’s a perfect choice for those stringed instrument aficionados who are looking for the best tenor ukulele under $200.
Still can't decide?
5. Lohanu’s Tenor Ukulele Bundle (With Accessories)
In addition to looking for that bright sound in a ukulele, what most beginners wish to get their hands on is a complete ukulele pack—a bundle that includes all the necessary accessories required to get started with a uke.
If you’re someone who wishes the same, you’re in luck because this uke bundle is packed with all the things you need in the first place to learn how to play ukulele, such as learning how to strum, tune, and hold a ukulele for the first time.
This uke is perfect for those who long for the longer sustained and fuller sound because the strings that this tenor ukulele is equipped with will produce a louder and deeper sound. Two strap buttons have already been installed on it, plus, the pack consists of a padded case, and not just one or two but three stylish and attention-getting picks.
Lohanu is a Canadian company that is defined as “Love, Family, and Unity” when it comes to the definition. The company is renowned for its excellence in the ultimate craftsmanship and offering customer satisfaction. So, if you’re concerned about whether or not you’ll be satisfied with this tenor uke, you can rest assured—you’ll get amazing customer service.
What also caught our attention is that the picks included in this uke bundle are made of genuine leather so that you don’t have to struggle with those clicky noises or slipping, rather; you’ll experience warmer tones and next-level grip while you hold this beauty in your hands.
What if you have to hang this ukulele on the wall? Can you do that easily? Well, you can do that, as well. That’s because there’s a tiny hanger (ribbon). This, in turn, will also help you save lots of space—hands down, especially if you’re concerned about space management in your room.
Now, let’s crystallize the pros and cons to give you a better understanding of this ukulele.
6. KALA LTP-MH 4-String Ukulele, Right, Mahogany & White
This isn’t the first time we’ve reviewed the ukulele from the Kala brand. In fact, you could easily see that there’s already another uke ranked at 2nd position. This one is a perfect-fit tenor ukulele if you’re having around $100 bucks because it is up for grabs under $120 for all the beginners and pro-level uke players. Speaking of the material—i.e. what wood it is made of—we get in letting you know that the top and back of this tenor uke is made of top-class mahogany.
We’ve already talked about the Kala brand before. It, being one of the most sought-after brands in the world, is renowned for its top-notch stringed instruments, especially guitars and ukes, and the ones reviewed in this comprehensive article are no exceptions.
Being a top-of-the-line ukulele, this piece will offer you great sound that will have your heart. If this is your very first time playing a uke, you can go for this one because it has been designed with the newbies in mind. Like most tenor ukuleles, this uke is also having 4 strings that are made of long-lasting and a-one nylon strings.
Safety of your uke is one of the primary concerns one needs to keep in mind while playing and letting it rest after you’re done playing it. That’s why the company has already taken care of the situation by providing all the uke players with a padded uke gig bag that will keep your ukulele safe from all kinds of temporary and permanent harms.
As you might’ve seen already that this tenor uke doesn’t come with loads of accessories and perhaps you don’t need them as you can effortlessly get it in tune. Plus, learning strumming or other uke techniques with this one is super easy, and that’s why it is highly recommended for beginners.
The real question is: is it worth your attention? Well, let’s find out:
7. Kala MK-T Makala Tenor Ukulele with Hard Case, Tuner, DVD
If you’re someone who doesn’t want to spend extra for the clip-on tuner, gig bag, or an instructional DVD, then this tenor ukulele is definitely for you. The DVD has been provided by ‘Austin Bazaar’. Although you can choose other options in the series brought to life by Kala, namely Soprano, Pineapple, Concert, since you have decided to opt for tenor ukulele, that’s what you will get in the package referenced above.
The back material of this MK-T uke is made of mahogany and since it is a tenor uke, the total number of strings available is 4. The fingerboard and bridge of this uke are made of rosewood, but the neck is made using mahogany.
Let’s admit it—being a beginner means having no detailed knowledge of how to play a uke. That’s why the company has provided you with a DVD that contains the lessons to learn how to set up your stringed instrument, how to play chords the right way, among other tips and tricks.
No matter how hard you try, if the ukulele is not in tune (i.e. not tuned), you won’t be satisfied with the sound it produces. Having said that, there needs to be a tuner so that you could systematically get your tenor uke in tune and get started with your musical journey like a PRO.
Not only is it giftable but also it is value for money since it is priced under $150. That’s why if it is well suited for beginners. The quality of sound is up to the mark and tuning it requires no knowledge—even a newbie (first-time player) can handle that. Not just that, the tuner that this tenor uke boasts is—undoubtedly—a gem.
Tenor Ukulele Buying Guide for Beginners: FAQs
Since it’s your first time (most probably), we can assume that you must be having questions on your mind regarding buying the right-sized, well-tuned, and long-lasting tenor ukulele. If you would like to dig deep, you must be aware of the in-depth insights or the ins and outs of a tenor ukulele buying guide.
To help you choose the best tenor ukulele, we’ve answered some of the most frequently asked questions (FAQs). Take a glimpse at them and be at ease while making an informed decision for the tenor ukulele.
Q.1: What type of wood is better, Laminate or Hardwood?
A.1: If you wish to get the most out of the tonal experience, then you can’t miss out on a good tonewood. The classification of tonewood is basically done in the two: hardwood and laminate.
If you’re on the lookout for better sound quality in a ukulele, then we suggest you go for a solid one because a laminate one may sound thinner. Although you will find that most entry-level ukes use laminate wood because it is inexpensive.
Furthermore, if longevity is something you’re concerned about, then solid wood is something you just can’t fail to avail. That's because solid wood is designed to last. If spending more bucks is something that doesn’t bother you, then our suggestion is that you go for a tenor uke made with solid wood.
To find out more, please see our take on the “ukulele buying guide” and get your head around the different types of wood comparison.
Also, in different parts of tenor ukes, different types of wood are used. To understand what role each wood plays, please take a close look at the Infographic brought to you by ‘Kala’.
Q.2: Is Tenor Ukulele good for Beginners?
A.2: Another question that most people ask us is: will a tenor ukulele be good for beginners? Although soprano and concert are also a great choice for the newbies, they are not good for people with bigger hands or fingers.
That’s where the tenor ukuleles come in.
Not only tenor uke is good for when it comes to just getting started with ukulele playing but also you’ll be able to comfortably hold this type of uke like a charm.
What’s more, tenor uke brings fuller, deeper, and bright sound to the table for all the newbie and pro players out there.
So, yes—a tenor uke is good for you!
Tenor Ukuleles—the Best Uke?
What uke has topped the list of best tenor ukuleles when it comes to playability, fuller sound, longevity, and other vital factors? Well, of course, it is Enya EUT-M6 that has been used by Pro Uke Players, especially if spending some extra bucks is not a concern for you. However, if you're not into a top-of-the-line tenor uke, you should go with Lohanu (LU-T) because it is both reasonably priced and comes with all the accessories a beginner needs.
Get A TENOR UKE and Strum Like a Pro!
Don't miss out on the best Tenor Ukulele; rather, stay one step ahead and steal the deal. Also, keep in mind all the things we've mentioned above so you don't end up buying a piece of junk.