How to choose a ukulele
Many beginning musicians don't know which musical instrument to start with. Starting with a complicated violin or piano right away is not always the right decision, so it is best to start with a simpler instrument. The ukulele, a small musical instrument that looks a lot like a guitar, but is more modest in size, is suitable for this purpose.
Its alternative name is "Hawaiian guitar". This is explained by the fact that it is on these islands, this instrument is very popular. But the fashion for the
Hawaiian guitar is gradually appearing in our country, so it is important to know how to choose a ukulele, as well as what kinds of this instrument there are.
History of origin
This instrument is popular in Hawaii, but its origins lie in a completely different country. In the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, Portuguese settlers moved to this island in search of a better life. Around the same time Manuel Núñez went there - the man who is believed to have the idea of creating the ukulele.
A popular Portuguese instrument, the "braguinha," was taken as the basis. The result is an amazing "ukulele", which in the local language is called "jumping flea". This comparison is quite appropriate, because its joyful sounds are really reminiscent of something impetuous and chaotic.
Ukulele for beginners: features of the choice
Answering the question of what ukulele is best to buy for beginner musicians, it is important to note that there are several varieties of this musical instrument. This is the main thing to focus on, and only then pay attention to the material, manufacturer, etc.
The following types of ukuleles are distinguished:
Soprano. Distinguished by its small size (the smallest of all) - the length is only 53 cm. The traditional tuning allows to get the very characteristic sound of this musical instrument.
Concert. Practically does not differ from the soprano except for the length - it is 58 cm. This variant is suitable for those who want to get a compact instrument, while he wants to expand its performing capabilities.
Tenor. Its length is 66 centimeters. The enlarged body allows to reproduce a richer, stronger sound. Unlike the two previous types, this instrument is suitable for playing in a sitting position with support on the legs.
Baritone. Similar to the classical six-string guitar, including the tuning of the first four strings (system DGBE - D-Solo-Si-Mi). The length - 74 cm.
Bass. Sounds like a small bass guitar, most often used as part of musical ensembles and orchestras. This instrument has the largest body length - about 76 cm.
For beginner musicians, it is best to choose a soprano or concert bass, because they have the smallest number of frets. With them, you can "get your hands on" and move on to more complex instruments.
The standard of quality when making ukuleles and other musical instruments is solid mahogany. It is not very resistant to vibration, so the sound is as "lively" as possible. But keep in mind that a solid wood instrument needs to be looked after, avoiding drastic temperature changes and high humidity.
An alternative is laminate, which is reliable and resistant to moisture and other environmental influences. This option is cheaper than solid wood, but the problem is that it more strongly absorbs vibrations, i.e. the sound quality will not be as good.
When choosing an instrument, you should definitely consider the manufacturer. There are many of them, but the most reputable brands are Kala, Kamaka, Cordoba, Ohana, Lanikai and Martin (yes, they produce not only excellent acoustic, but also Hawaiian guitars).
Here are a few recommendations to help you figure out which ukulele is best to buy for a beginner in music:
The first point is that you should like the instrument in terms of aesthetics. Hold it in your hands, listen to your inner feelings and this will help you make your choice.
Look at the body. Particular attention should be paid to the presence of small cracks - there should not be any defects.
The fingerboard should also be inspected carefully, to check the correctness of its geometry. It is better to do it from different angles.
The choice should not always be guided by the price, because even an inexpensive musical instrument from a little-known manufacturer can be quite good. The main criterion is the quality of the reproduced sound and your personal comfort in playing the ukulele.