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So, you like the overall feel and sound of a ukulele, but need a bit more? Why not get an electric ukulele?
Chances are that many of you didn’t even know that they existed, due to just a few acoustic electric ukulele reviews on the internet.
That’s exactly why we are going to cover the basics when it comes to ukes, see the best electric ukulele options out there, as well as the electric ukulele reviews we’ve written after testing them out.
Whether you’re looking for the best acoustic electric ukulele, or just want to learn about this small yet amazing instrument, let’s get started!
- 1 Best Electric Ukulele: What to Look For
- 2 Our Top Picks For The Best Electric & Acoustic-Electric Ukuleles
- 3 Different Ukulele Sizes
- 4 Ukulele Tuning Options
- 5 Build Types
- 6 Tonewood Choice
- 7 How Much Money Should I Spend?
- 8 Time for the Reviews
- 9 Conclusion Time
Best Electric Ukulele: What to Look For
Before we dive into the world of the best electric ukulele brands and models on the market, you should first get to know the instrument.
You may ask, “What is the best electric ukulele to buy?”.
In order to understand the specs and features of different options, you need to know exactly what you are looking for.
Our Top Picks For The Best Electric & Acoustic-Electric Ukuleles
Different Ukulele Sizes
Unlike guitars, which, though there are a couple of different sizes, are pretty much standardized, ukes come in 4 different sizes.
Depending on the size of the musician, mainly their hands, the main purpose of the instrument, and the sound you want from your uke, you can choose from these 4 types:
The soprano type is the oldest type of ukulele.
It is the smallest member of the family, with the overall length of around 21 inches.
Due to its compact and lightweight design, it is perfect for smaller musicians and kids looking to take up music.
It’s definitely the go-to option for anyone looking for an instrument to take with on trips with their friends.
As it is considerably smaller than the other types, the 13-inch scale may seem as too small for anyone transitioning from an acoustic guitar, but after some time of getting used to it, it’s very fun and easy to play.
The sound also differs and can be described as bright. When you think of a ukulele sound, you’re thinking of a soprano.
Next, we have the concert type. It is a bit larger than the previously mentioned soprano and definitely offers a different feel.
Concert ukes usually boast a 23-inch body and a 15-inch scale. While this may not seem like a huge difference, it gives this type a couple of advantages.
With a slightly larger scale, you will be able to adapt more quickly and easily.
Though it is not as compact as the soprano, the concert uke is small enough to carry around.
As far as the sound goes, a larger resonance box makes for a richer low end and higher volume levels.
It still has that authentic ukulele sound, but with a smooth bass flavor and stronger overall presence.
The tenor type has an overall length of around 26 inches and a 17-inch scale.
If you have any experience at playing an acoustic guitar, you shouldn’t have any problems handling this instrument.
Having more space to maneuver your fingers around makes it very comfortable and easy to play, especially if you have slightly larger hands.
As expected, a larger body gives you the ability to produce a very resonant and deep sound.
Though straying a bit from the classic bright sound of the soprano, the tenor ukulele type is an interesting instrument to experiment with.
And finally, the biggest of the bunch, the baritone.
With a huge body (at least in the world of ukes) at around 30 inches in length, the baritone offers a unique musical experience.
A 19-inch scale almost feels like you’re playing the guitar, but with a nice twist to the sound.
As the tuning of a baritone ukulele is the same as of a guitar (the four highest string of a guitar), you can simply pick one up and start playing in no time.
Offering a very deep yet warm sound, the baritone couples nicely with other uke types, as well as acoustic guitars and similar instruments.
Ukulele Tuning Options
While you could tune your ukulele in almost any manner you may come up with, there are certain standards that are important for you to know.
Soprano, Concert, and Tenor ukes are usually tuned like this: G C E A.
Baritone ukes, on the other hand, have a different tuning: D G B E, like the four highest strings on a guitar.
A popular alternative tuning is A D F# B, is often used on soprano and concert ukes, as it gives them an extra mellow sound while fretting chords is still fairly easy.
It’s important to have these tunings in mind, as different string packs are made for different tunings.
When it comes to build types, you can think of ukes simply as small guitars.
Electric guitars come in as hollow body or solid body.
The same applies for electric ukes.
While some people refer to them as electric ukes, there is one important thing to note.
Acoustic-Electric ukuleles are built more like a standard, acoustic ukuleles, but have a built-in pickup and some electronics so they could be plugged into an amp.
Electric ukuleles look like a small version of an electric guitar. They have a solid body and pickups that are on the outside.
While these two terms may be confusing at first, it’s important to know what you’re looking for.
But what’s the difference between a hollow and solid body uke?
Hollow body ukuleles will perform and sound just like a regular, acoustic uke.
You can play these with, or without an amp, and it will still sound awesome.
Solid body ukuleles, on the other hand, need an amp to deliver sound.
While they are more solid and sturdy than hollow body ones, you can’t just pick one up and play it without an amp.
The sound also differs, because the wood is solid, and doesn’t resonate as good as a hollow body.
They are mostly used when played alongside a band, as they can usually deliver more volume and gain.
At the end of the day, it’s up to you. Do you want a more versatile but fragile instrument, or one that you need additional gear for, but can take a punch?
The materials which are used in manufacturing a ukulele have a huge impact on various components of its performance.
Both the body and the fretboard should feel nice to the touch. While different finishes can alter the feel of the wood, you can still notice a difference.
Next, the whole instrument should feel solid and sturdy. It’s hard to balance good sound and durability.
And finally, but probably most importantly, the sound. While solid body instruments don’t depend on the tonewood choice as much as hollow body ones do, tonewood is called like that because it greatly affects the sound and tone.
Let’s take a look at some of the most commonly used wood types when it comes to ukes:
- Mahogany – Due to different varieties of this wood type used around the world, mahogany can contribute to various types of sound. Generally speaking, it’s best described as sounding warm and slightly darker than other types.
- Cedar – If you want more of that low end, cedar is the way to go. Though it is considered as a softer type of tonewood, it is still pretty durable. The sound it provides is very sweet, round, and mellow, perfect for tenor and baritone ukes as well as the smaller of the bunch.
- Spruce – While it is generally used for guitar tops, spruce is a great option for ukes as well. Unlike cedar, spruce makes the higher end of the range stand out quite nicely. It complements the bright sound of soprano ukuleles but can turn out as an interesting choice for baritone ukes as well.
- Redwood – Sound- wise, redwood lands somewhere in the middle, between spruce and cedar. Clarity combined with a warm low end can give your instrument a very versatile and interesting sound. However, redwood is scarce nowadays, so it can be pretty expensive.
- Koa – As a tropical wood native to Hawaii, it’s the most popular choice for authentic Hawaiian ukuleles. The sound is very well balanced and resonates with the old-school uke vibe.
Besides the wood types we’ve mentioned so far, there are many other choices out there.
The most important thing to have in mind when choosing tonewood is the sound you would like your uke to have.
If you’re still not sure, there are loads of videos on the internet showing the difference between various tonewood choices that can come in handy.
How Much Money Should I Spend?
Generally speaking, the more money you invest in an instrument, the better the overall experience, both build quality and sound- wise.
However, there are loads of models out there with ridiculously high price tags.
If you are a beginner, it’s more than okay to get a relatively cheap electric ukulele.
As a more advanced musician, you probably have at least a rough idea of what you’re looking for.
In the review section of this article, you will find not only electric ukuleles from different uke brands but from different price ranges as well.
Ask yourself, do you simply want to try out a new instrument, or do you really want to invest money and time in learning to play?
If you decide on getting a solid body electric ukulele, have in mind that you will need an amp as well.
Time for the Reviews
You’ve probably figured by now that, while there aren’t that many choices when it comes to electric ukes (unlike other instruments), the models we’ve present offer different approaches and designs.
In order to find the right electric ukulele for your needs, think about what you actually want. A great sounding uke for a bit more money? Or a simple bundle that will do the job? Or something in between?
Whatever the case may be, we hope that you found this article helpful, and maybe even found the right one!
Thank you very much for reading!