There are historic and popular ukulele methods that have used each.[51]. Sizes of classically orientated instruments tend to be more standardized, with smaller or larger models called by entirely different names. If you’re still not sure what size to get, then either go to a music shop and try some out, or just buy a concert ukulele and have fun. [15] Another British ukulele player was Tony Award winner Tessie O'Shea, who appeared in numerous movies and stage shows, and was twice on The Ed Sullivan Show, including the night The Beatles debuted in 1964. Once considered standard, this tuning was commonly used during the Hawaiian music boom of the early 20th century, and is often seen in sheet music from this period, as well as in many method books through the 1980s. Eight-string "taropatch" baritone ukuleles have been made; however, they are very rare. There are other less-common, less-known sizes of ukuleles and these include the following. In this post, we will focus on the four most common ukulele sizes. Sopranino ukulele tuning is less standardized. Generally, the larger the body of the instrument, the louder, deeper and richer the sound. Famous ukulele players who use the tenor uke include Brittni Paiva, Jake Shimabukuro, James Hill, and David Kamakahi, among others. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to,, and other Amazon stores worldwide. Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of, Inc., or its affiliates. UkuTuner offers you the most advanced and easy-to-use ukulele tuner to keep your ukulele in tune without the need of a tuning device. If you want a full, round tone comparable to that of the soprano ukulele but the depth of sound of a tenor ukulele, the concert ukulele is the one you need. Concert ukulele: The standard tuning of a concert ukulele is also G-C-E-A. Until the late 20th century, D tuning was considered by many as the standard tuning. One of the first videos to go viral was Jake Shimabukuro's ukulele rendition of George Harrison's "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" on YouTube. Soprano Ukulele. How do different ukulele sizes compare? D6 tuning with a low fourth string, A3–D4–F♯4–B4, is sometimes called "Canadian tuning" after its use in the Canadian school system, mostly on concert or tenor ukuleles, and extensive use by James Hill and J. Chalmers Doane. It still has a classical ukulele sound that is a bit louder than the soprano ukulele, and its tone is sweet and delicate. If you want a full, round tone comparable to that of the soprano ukulele but the depth of sound of a tenor ukulele, the concert ukulele is the one you need. [37], Common types of ukuleles include soprano (standard ukulele), concert, tenor, and baritone. Researching the various types of ukuleles is the best way to decide which one is best for you in the end. Even with the larger body and longer neck, it maintains the recognizable ukulele sound, but louder and richer. More expensive ukuleles are made of solid hardwoods such as mahogany. For example, a smaller violin is called a viola. If you’re looking for something a bit different, one of the less common models may be what you’re looking for. If you’re looking for a soprano ukulele, check out our recommended models: Measuring approximately 2 inches longer, the concert ukulele is slightly bigger than the soprano. It is also one of the easiest ukuleles to learn on, which is why so many beginners choose this size. Each model has a different musical range. There are so many different brands, models and woods to choose from… but that’s not the biggest issue. TAC About Us External links Disclaimer policy Address: 2731 Cerullo Road, 40202 Email: [email protected]. In addition to the four standard sizes, ukuleles are also made with different types of strings and different materials for the body, sides, and neck. It measures roughly 26 inches from end to end, and its strings are tuned to G-C-E-A. Guitars meant for children usually retain standard tuning, but with a very low string tension and, consequently, low volume. Think about why you want a ukulele. [49] The G string is tuned an octave higher than might be expected, so this is often called "high G" tuning. If you are interested to learn more, here is a brief article on how much does a ukulele cost. [20] The ensemble also introduced both the lap steel guitar and the ukulele into U.S. mainland popular music,[21] where it was taken up by vaudeville performers such as Roy Smeck and Cliff "Ukulele Ike" Edwards. Therefore, if you can play one of these models, then you can play the others too. Length: 21” Number of Frets: 12-15; Tuning – GCEA; This is the most common and standard size of uke. 12 on Billboard's Hot Digital Tracks chart the week of January 31, 2004. [54] Ukuleles may also be tuned to open tunings, similar to the Hawaiian slack key style.[55]. A bass ukulele is a modern creation, with the first models created in the early 21st century. The better-quality materials used, the more it will cost. The baritone, measuring 26 inches, has a rich, deep tone. They are also often seen in non-standard shapes, such as cutaway shape and an oval, usually called a "pineapple" ukulele (see image below), invented by the Kamaka Ukulele company, or a boat-paddle shape, and occasionally a square shape, often made out of an old wooden cigar box. It is the smallest in the family and is the one that is commonly associated with ukulele’s as it is little, thin Studying these characteristics, not to mention playing the ukulele for yourself, is the best way to make the right decision. Size and popular tunings of standard ukulele types Type Alternate names Typical length Scale length Frets Range Common tuning Alternate tunings Pocket piccolo, sopranino, sopranissimo 16 in (41 cm) 11 in (28 cm) 10–12 G 4 –D 6 (E 6) D 5 G 4 B 4 E 5: C 5 F 4 A 4 D 5: Soprano standard, ukulele 21 in (53 cm) 13 in (33 cm) 12–15 C 4 –A 5 (C 6) The tenor ukulele is the third-largest size of uke, and when it comes to different types of ukuleles, it is definitely one of the most versatile. They usually are tuned re-entrantly, but frequently at a higher pitch than C; for example, re-entrant G6 tuning: D5–G4–B4–E5. [8] Two weeks after they disembarked from the SS Ravenscrag in late August 1879, the Hawaiian Gazette reported that "Madeira Islanders recently arrived here, have been delighting the people with nightly street concerts. Alternatively, if you have $100 to spend and aren’t too concerned about the materials, then some of the cheaper brands have a variety of options available at various sizes. I have seen some players with particularly wide digits use a single finger-tip to cover multiple strings, but that’s really not ideal. The sound introduces more classical guitar tones than just the traditional ukulele sound. Also, larger bodied instruments tend to have longer fretboards and therefore longer scale lengths. It’s no wonder so many people are confused. During World War II, authorities banned most Western music, but fans and players kept it alive in secret, and it resumed popularity after the war. As you probably know, the two standard ukulele tunings are: Low G – (GCEA in ascending order) High G – (gCEA with the G-string tuned 1 octave up) And string packages for these tunings can be found in all 4 uke sizes. As a soprano is a smaller instrument, the budget models can suffer from intonation problems. The ukulele was popularized for a stateside audience during the Panama–Pacific International Exposition, held from spring to autumn of 1915 in San Francisco. The following chart shows the range of notes of standard ukulele types. A concert is a nicely balanced instrument for chords and starting to play single notes. Standard tuning on the baritone does not use reentrant tuning. The baritone ukulele usually uses linear G6 tuning: D3–G3–B3–E4, the same as the highest four strings of a standard 6-string guitar. [30], All-time best selling Hawaiian musician Israel Kamakawiwo'ole helped re-popularise the instrument, in particular with his 1993 reggae-rhythmed medley of "Over the Rainbow" and "What a Wonderful World," used in films, television programs, and commercials. The six string, four course version, has two single and two double courses, and is sometimes called a Lili'u, though this name also applies to the eight-string version. Of the standard ukuleles, the soprano, often called "standard" in Hawaii, is the second-smallest and was the original size. That’s a good question. More importantly, there are also a variety of ukulele sizes which all sound different and may have different tunings. Question: So how many different sizes of ukulele are there? Shortly thereafter, the tenor was created, having more volume and deeper bass tone. As you would expect from the name, it produces a fat, round bass tone. It is very common to find ukuleles mixed with other stringed instruments because of the amount of strings and the easy playing ability. In Indonesia, a similar Portuguese-inspired instrument is the kroncong. The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain tours globally, and the George Formby Society, established in 1961, continues to hold regular conventions.