Top 10 Best Ukulele Brands for Beginners in 2021 [List]


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For a long time, I didn't know how to play the ukulele.

Personally, this is because my parents never wanted me to learn how to play it and I was inclined not to pick it up when friends offered lessons… but now that I'm older with more time on my hands, I decided it would be worth investing in some quality instruments.

This led me down an internet rabbit hole of trying out different ukulele brands!

The most popular brand seemed like they were overpriced for what you get if you're just learning: strings go out all the time and even after one lesson there's a good chance your teacher will tell you that your instrument doesn't fit your hand properly or something else is wrong.

Best Ukulele Brands for Beginners

The ukes from the best ukulele brands are about sound, longevity, and feel.

I've seen many people make the mistake of buying a cheap one, only to find out if it will work.

However, most cheap ukuleles don't have any volume and they can barely produce any sound and, hence, you won't be able to hear anything while playing, especially if you're sitting with your friends outside.

Why?

Well, that's because of the manufacturer; they use cheap materials. 

Best Ukulele Brands

The most important thing in choosing the best Ukulele is that it suits your character. And, of course, you want to be able to play it. And not all uke brand can offer you that, that's why choosing a perfect-fit ukulele brand is what matters most.

My all-time favorite brand is Kala because they offer good quality ukuleles at reasonable prices for all skill levels.

When you buy an instrument, whether it is a violin or guitar or even a ukulele (I’ve used the article ‘a’ because I prefer to call it yoo-ka-lay-lee), you want to try them out before you purchase!

However, the problem is you can’t do that when you purchase a ukulele online, yet that might be possible if you go visit a store to get one.

So many ukulele manufacturers are fighting for your attention these days.

But you know who's always there, supporting you? Me. Pun intended! 😉

And I think we deserve to be together.

Here goes a list of the top 10 ukulele brands that I’ve put together for you. Take a glimpse and see why they're so great and which one you should choose for your uke hunting.

So, without ado, let’s get into it:

1. Kala

The first ukulele brand that caught my eye.

Kala is one of the most reputable and renowned brands in the ukulele industry. They have been producing world-class instruments for years.

Kala’s babies (ukes) are built with special features like natural wood and nylon strings that won't rust or corrode from sweat on the hands. Plus, its ukes have sleek curves that will make any person feel wow when playing.

Kala’s ukes are great for newbies. They're made in America, with top-of-the-line materials and stringing that is perfect for every skill level. You can get a concert ukulele or a soprano ukulele if you want something simple or go all out with a tenor ukulele!

But what's really special about Kala Ukuleles?

Yes, it’s the people who work there. They have amazing stories and they love their jobs so much it will make you want to play your own instrument forever too!

I am a ukulele aficionado. I can sing the praises of any ukulele, especially if it’s from one of my favorite uke brands.

Speaking of the favorite, one that gets me off my feet is Kala’s KA-155. Its sound quality is impeccable and it's as beautiful to look at as it is for me to play on.

It's got a warm tone that sounds great for both classical pieces like "Ave Maria" and more modern songs like "I'm Yours" by Jason Mraz.

Kala’s ukuleles are known for their quality. Their ukes are handcrafted from imported mahogany (or other tonewoods), and they don't skimp on the details.

From the delicate inlay to the glossy finish, every detail is painstakingly cared for when crafting these instruments. I don't easily find any flaw on a Kala uke.

2. Lohanu

Lohanu is another ukulele company that specializes in making small, medium-sized, and affordable Hawaiian-style ukuleles.

Lohanu is a combination of three words: love, family (ohana), and unity (in the reverse i.e., nu).

Ukes from Lohanu have been popping up all over social media lately, catching the attention of many musicians looking for something more portable to play on the go.

Lohanu ukes are the new craze in Hawaii, and for a good reason. They're beautiful to look at, lightweight on your guitar strings, and they have that traditional Hawaiian sound we all love! It's no wonder why these ukes are taking over.

The only problem is that Lohanu doesn't have enough workers to keep up with demand.

So, what did the owner do? Put an ad on Craigslist, of course!

I was excited to know about this brand’s product line and how it can benefit anyone from beginner musicians, creative types who like painting or drawing while strumming their instrument of choice, or even those seeking a way to just relax after work by playing music and singing along with friends.

I can play any song by strumming its ukulele with the skillset I have. I can play its ukes for hours, spend time just sitting on the porch playing one tune after another.

The tunes their ukes produce are mesmerizing, and that’s what other ukulists love about this brand.

3. Fender

Fender is a music instrument manufacturer that specializes in creating ukuleles, guitars, and other stringed instruments.

The company was founded by Leo Fender and George Fullerton in 1946, with the introduction of the first electric guitar called the Broadcaster.

The company has since expanded to produce amplifiers and other musical instruments such as basses, banjos, mandolins, violins, etc.

Fender is the brand that's built for you, especially you don't want to compromise on quality, however, if you’re on a tight budget, their ukes may not be your cup of tea; yes, their ukes are a little expensive.

It’s a worldwide company with over 75 years in the music industry — they’ve got the chops and they know what they’re doing.

Fender takes pride in the products created with tiny details in mind because when it comes to instruments, quality should never be compromised.

You've got to admire the innovation of the people that work at Fender, and even my friend admired the new ukulele that he got from Fender.

There's no other instrument that matches their versatility as they’ve been in the business for a long time.

I sometimes get thunderstruck by how Fender ukuleles can produce such an authentic sound and still look good on any wall—or wherever you love to put them in your room.

But don’t worry, they’ll complement wherever you lay them out.

Their ukulele line is one of the most sought-after in the market. With their gorgeous finish and ultra-satisfying sound, these ukuleles are hard to resist—and with the accessories included in the bundle, they're also surprisingly easy to play!

The first time you pick up a Fender Ukulele, you'll be immediately drawn into its charm with that iconic brand logo on the headstock as it stands there waiting for your fingers to strike its strings.

Even though Fender produces top-of-the-line ukuleles are compared to other brands, no compromises have been made with quality or design whatsoever.

In fact, their craftsmen use wood from trees such as, mahogany, koa, basswood, sapele, solid ovangkol, etc., which is chosen specifically for durability and resonance purposes.

And, its 4-in-line Tele-headstock is something you won’t see in any other ukulele brand. Yes, that's a bit of a specialty. 

The only thing that I don’t like about Fender is that they’re expensive compared to other uke brands on the market.

Anyway, if you believe you can handle the expensiveness, I’d suggest you check these Fender ukuleles.

4. Cordoba

I wouldn’t have believed it if I hadn’t seen the evidence with my own eyes. You see, I was sitting in a coffee shop minding my own business when this girl walked in with one of these…ukulele add-ons.

I watched her as she sat down by the window and started playing some catchy song for everyone to hear.

It sounded absolutely pleasing to me!

But before I could say anything, an older woman had approached me and told me that she just wanted to enjoy a little music while sipping on her cup of tea, too. I couldn't help but told her, "You beat me to it"!

Turns out that the ukulele that she was playing was a Cordoba ukulele. It was a Cordoba 15TM tenor uke.

The first time I saw this model i.e., 15TM, I knew it was the one for me.

It wasn't love at first sight or anything, but when my fingers touched the strings and created a beautiful sound that resonated throughout the room, I knew there was something special about this ukulele.

The thing is, unless you know how to tune it properly and have some experience with playing an instrument like this one before, it's not easy to get started.

For decades, Spanish guitar-making traditions have been preserved and passed on by Cordoba which has recently set out to push the boundaries of what an acoustic instrument can be.

Despite being a modern company founded in 1997 with revolutionary ideas about how guitars should sound, look and feel (lightweight but responsive), they never forget their heritage as one of those rare luthiers who maintain traditional craftsmanship without sacrificing authenticity for innovation.

The satin finish in Cordoba’s ukuleles is a great choice for beginners as it helps your uke be protected against scratches, plus the sound will resonate as it should.

Additionally, you'll have a more natural-looking instrument if you choose to go with this style of finishing.

Are you ready to get this ukulele—the 15TM one? Well, if not now, then when? The clock is ticking and I know that's what has been on your mind all day long!

5. Enya

If you are looking for a long-lasting ukulele that will accompany your musical journey, then this is what Enya has to offer.

The best features of a solid material instrument are its sounds which get better and better with time aging. That means it won't be too soon before you can take the stage as an accomplished performer.

My favorite one is this concert model, though.

But, why that one?

Well, water has always been a big problem for me. I have to put my electronics in Ziploc bags before going into pools or the ocean i.e., I'm not allowed near water if it's raining (I know, tough life).

So when I saw that Enya made a waterproof ukulele, I knew this was the instrument for me.

This ukulele is the perfect instrument for people who live in a place with lots of rain. It doesn't matter if you're singing or strumming, your fingers will always be nice and dry.

These waterproof ukuleles are created with a special coating that protects them from the elements. If you like to sing on the beach, then these instruments will be perfect for your needs.

Enya is known worldwide as one of the leading makers of stringed instruments—and their line-up includes some very unique items including water-resistant ukes which can withstand sand or rainstorms without fear.

And here’s the best part: you’ll get all the basic accessories when you shop for an Enya uke based on your personal preference.

The Enya Ukuleles are perfect for any beginner or intermediate player. It is a great take-anywhere instrument, and it's conveniently small enough that carrying around won't be much of an issue.

You can bring them along when going fishing, camping trips, coffee shops, and children's parties—as well as road trips.

6. Kmise

Kmise has come a long way since it first came into existence.

It can now be found in many different ukulele stores and on websites as well. Kmise uses high-quality mahogany for its unique sound quality that resonates well while also being strong enough to travel around with you wherever life takes you.

Many people love to play guitar for hours on end, but they might get a little frustrated when their fingers bump into the sharp edges of the fretboard.

Most want-to-be guitarists try and avoid playing because it can damage their skin with its jagged edge; Kmise’s new innovation solves that problem!

Now there are no worries about those rough spots as they have made them smooth enough so every side has been touched up nicely.

You'll never need to worry again about feeling pain from metal rubbing against your finger or wrist—these smooth edges really do make sure everything stays nice and comfortable at all times.

If you're interested in exploring the sounds of different instruments, then a Kmise should be your go-to place. A diverse range of Kmise’s guitaleles not only offers amazing tones but these guileles can also be tuned like a classic guitar.

Kmise’s ukuleles will help bring out your creative side as it is great for both beginners and professionals ukulists.

If you’re looking forward to gifting a ukulele from Kmise, I’d say, their ukes would be the perfect gift for your 7- or 15-year-old kiddo who loves to strum and sing at the same time.

The sound quality of the ukes is better than expected which makes them a great instrument for all ukulists out there, and the workmanship is impeccable!

Kmise uses pure copper because it is a more durable, less corrosive option than brass-plated zinc alloy. That means it should last longer for your adventures if you’re planning to use your uke for outdoor activities.

7. Donner

Donner’s slogan “Make your own music” took the Internet by storm, especially the ukulele aficionados.

A company that believes in the power of music to create happiness and spread joy. Their goal is for people all around the world can enjoy their passion with their high-quality instruments at affordable prices; pricing is what made me go for one of their ukes.

Donner takes care of every detail from research to production so you don't have to worry about anything other than just playing your instrument.

In the beginning, they were established as a company that loved music and wanted to share their love of all types. They researched for years before finally opening up warehouses.

This way they could provide people with an easy access point to find any type of instrument, regardless of if you are just starting out or have been playing your whole life.

Donner also has got a variety of ukuleles, guitars, keyboards, drums, and other stringed instruments so customers can experiment through their tools without having to break the bank.

They are dedicated to providing audio gear for any kind of musical interest, from ukuleles to electric guitars.

Their exclusive guitar pedals help make your instrument special and interesting by adding effects such as distortion or chorus-modding while still keeping it clean sounding at low volumes.

With quality beginner instruments like drums available on their site, Donner can provide you with everything needed to start making happy sounds!

If you’re someone who doesn’t want to break the bank while investing in a ukulele and, at the same time, doesn’t want to compromise on quality, Donner ukuleles are definitely for you.

8. Pomaikai

Pomaikai might not be the best ukulele on the market, but they are still making a profit and selling them.

This is because Pomaikai offers an affordable price for beginners or those who want to take up playing as their hobby.

A lot of people will find it a bit weird that we chose to mention Pomaikai at #8 position when talking about some good quality ukes; however, there’s a reason behind our choice here.

Pomaikai may seem like just another cheap uke manufacturer overseas with no real value compared to other competitive manufacturers, it’s still a great choice for the ukulists who’re just getting started.

Pomaikai soprano ukuleles are perfect for kids when they want a crisp and bright sound. Its ukes are made of basswood, mahogany, which is finished with high gloss -- probably why most kids fall in love with them.

If you’re considering having this for your kiddo, I can guarantee they will end up making clear notes or melodies that will take them straight to the Hawaiian Islands.

The sleek design and good-quality strings of ukuleles brought to life by Pomaikai make the playing super fun. The tiny size is perfect for little hands and its small neck allows strumming the strings with ease.

Its ukes are up for grabs for somewhere around $39.99 and feature an attractive body that will surely catch your child’s eye right away while teaching them how to play chords like a pro before.

9. Hricane

In this day and age, it's not always easy to find the perfect instrument for an unbeatable price.

From violins to guitars to ukuleles, there are so many different types of instruments out there that finding one can be a daunting experience.

As a result, we often end up spending more money than is necessary—which isn't exactly ideal.

The good news is that if you're in search of just such a thing; then your future has finally arrived—Hricane is what you need.

This brand offers quality instruments at a reasonable price point; which means that you don't have to break the bank when buying your next acoustic or electric or hybrid ukulele.

In recent years, ukuleles have become a staple in our everyday lives.

Some people even play them professionally, others play them just for fun, and Hricane has what you need.

They offer a variety of ukuleles that are perfect for beginners as well as those who are more advanced players.

Hricane's ukes are made of koa wood giving you the traditional Hawaiian sound we all love. They also offer models that come in various sizes to suit your needs and preferences whether it be for kids or adults.

The bottom line is this: if you need an instrument for singing along at home or playing some professional gigs, then Hricane has something in store for you.

No matter what ukulele you want, Hricane has got it. From the traditional Hawaiian Koa to more exotic woods like mahogany, they have got a perfect instrument for every player at any level of expertise.

If you're new to playing but still considering yourself an enthusiast, then one of their concert-sized models should suit your needs just fine as these are great for beginners. Or maybe you are after something with a bit more space on the fingerboard since your skills have improved significantly over time?

Well, that's easy: just pick up one of their tenor-size instruments!

If you can’t think of one, I’d recommend you “Hricane UKS-3”. Not only will that offer you bang for bucks, but also boosts the playability and is a good option to have those aesthetics packed in a uke.

10. Mahalo

Mahalo has played a major role in the advancement of ukulele music.

In years past, they were one of the most prevalent makers and distributors for beginner's instruments and they have helped many people get into playing it.

The first time I laid my eyes on one of their ukuleles, it was love at first sight.

It wasn’t the prettiest thing in the world, but I could tune it and play along with my favorite songs.

Their stringed instruments were a little bit cheaper than those from other brands back then and they had this weird ukulele that sounded vaguely Hawaiian.

But all of those things soon became irrelevant as Mahalo quickly became one of the leading brands for beginner Ukes—especially for beginners like me who just wanted to get their feet wet before investing in something more durable and expensive.

Mahalo’s instruments are a great choice for those looking to play more casually. Their ukuleles, from size and materials used in the body construction all the way down to their interesting designs, will make any novice player feel like they’ve found exactly what it is that they need.

They have a strong reputation for producing top-quality ukuleles and guitars, but the company's never before ventured into designing instruments with professional players in mind.

But it doesn't seem to have mattered: Mahalo’s high-quality build is felt by all their customers—beginner or pro alike.

So, which one do I suggest?

Well, if you want my suggestion. I’d say, go for “Mahalo MK1 TBR” because I can't get enough of this model.

It has a clear and beautiful sound and is super easy to tune. What’s good is that I don’t have to spend more time tuning my ukulele than actually playing it, in spite of that fact I'm so picky about the tone of each string.

That’s a Wrap!

Finding a new instrument can be really difficult and time-consuming because not all ukulele brands use top-quality tonewoods, strings, fretboards, bridge, etc.

There are so many choices when it comes to finding that perfect uke brand, and not all of them will work for you—it's hard to find one that suits your needs!

The market is flooded with thousands of brands that promise you great quality instruments, reasonable pricing, and ease of playing—all of which make choosing just one seem like an impossible feat!

Hopefully, I believe this article has helped you narrow your choices down as well as provided tips on how to find out which ukulele brand is best for choosing your first ukulele.

The best ukulele brand on the list?

Well, every single one of them is good depending on your budget and needs. I prefer to go for a more refined ukulele brand, known for excellence and loved by the thousands of ukulists out there. These manufacturers will be your best friend for years to come, as they have been for me.

If you’re looking for my suggestion on which would be the perfect one to get, here is my recommendation: Kala.

Although this is the list of best ukulele brands that you can consider, coming up next is the list of uke brands that you should avoid.

So, before that list is published, sit back, relax and enjoy your strumming patterns on the brand-new uke you bring home.

The Best Ukulele Brand for Beginners?

First time buying a ukulele? Can't think of which brand you should go for? Well, you have no idea which ukulele brand is best for beginners, we recommend that you should go with Kala. And, here's the best part: you don't have to do any research, we've already done the digging for you. Check out the best "Kala Ukuleles" below.