Best Ukulele for Beginners 2020

You decided that you want to learn to play the ukulele and you need to buy one of your own to start practicing. Great!

So which one should you buy?

We help answer that question in our guide below. Find the best ukulele for beginners along with some other great tips that will have you on the road to playing like Jake Shimabukuro in no time.

Consider This

Before you select a ukulele, here are a few things to consider.

  • Price. One of the worst things you can do is choose the cheapest ukulele you can find. The cheapest, lowest quality ukulele can experience a wide variety of problems, and the more frustrated you become with it the less you’ll want to play and practice.

Expect to spend between $50 – $100 for a decent one, but don’t spend much more than that until you are more familiar with them. Once you’re more experienced and you’ve tried out some different ukuleles, then you save up your money for something more serious!

  • Wood Type. There are quite a few different types of wood used to make ukuleles, including:
    • Mahogany
    • Maple
    • Koa
    • Mango
    • Cedar
    • Bamboo
    • Spruce

Mahogany is one of the most popular due to the balance in sound (between high end and bass) in addition to plenty of volume.

Koa is also an excellent wood, a favorite of ukulele makers in Hawaii, and produces a naturally loud sound when played.

Spruce, cedar and maple are also excellent choices with a variety of lovely grains and textures.

Bamboo and mango woods are more eco-friendly and easy to produce, yet the sound is not always as full.

Top 6 Ukuleles for Beginners Chart

PictureNamePriceRating (1-5)
Rating (1-5)
1. Oscar Schmidt OU2 Mahogany Concert Ukulele Bundle with Gig Bag, Austin Bazaar Instructional DVD, Clip-On Tuner, and Polishing Cloth$$$$4.7
2. Kala KA-15S Mahogany Soprano Ukulele$$$4.7
3. Cordoba 15CM Concert Ukulele$$$$4.7
4. Diamond Head DU-150 Soprano Ukulele Mahogany Brown$$4.1
5. Hamano U-30BK Colorful Soprano Ukulele$4.1
6. U-30LB Painted Ukulele$$4.0


There are four sizes of ukulele: soprano, concert, tenor and baritone. As a beginner, it’s best to start with a soprano and work your way up.

Concert and tenor ukuleles offer you more room on the fretboard, so as a beginner, these will also work well, and in general, it’s best to leave the baritone ukuleles for the pros. They are tuned differently and are more appropriate for someone who is already familiar with the instrument and how to play it.


Thanks to the internet (and YouTube); you have plenty of resources to help you as you learn to play the ukulele.

Finding a ukulele beginner kit (such as number one on our list) is a great way to get started. Refer to books, videos and anything else you can get your eyes and ears on to help you as you learn, as long as they are quality.

Advice is free, but good advice is priceless!

Top 3 Best Ukulele for Beginners Reviews

1. Oscar Schmidt OU2 Ukulele

This mahogany concert ukulele is a great place for any beginner to start.

The bundle includes ukulele and case, instructional DVD, clip-on tuner and polishing cloth, all essential tools as you learn to play! It holds a tune well, since some ukuleles need to be frequently tuned, but this one does quite well in the tuning department!

It also comes in a soprano and tenor size if you have more specific goals in mind.

2. Kala KA-15S Ukulele

Kala ukuleles are perfect for beginners in terms of quality and price. This soprano with it’s beautiful mahogany body an neck features 12 brass frets with fret position marks at the 5th, 7th and 10th frets.

It comes pre-strung with premium Aquila Nylgut strings, and offers you professional playing quality for mere pennies!

This is a great find for any newbie, and definitely earns its spot as second best ukulele for beginners on our list!

3. Cordoba 15CM Ukulele

If you’re interested in making a more serious investment right from the start, then the Cordoba concert ukulele might just be the perfect choice for you.

Made also of mahogany wood, the impeccable construction of this ukulele is the reason it beats out other models in the same price range.

Cordoba, as an established guitar maker, has also done well on this smart little concert ukulele. The strings stay tuned fairly well, it’s a comfortable fit in the hands and produces a quality, powerful sound for the price range.

If you’re looking for something recommended by experienced ukulele players or teachers, then just know that the Cordoba 15CM is probably on their list. It’s a great instrument!

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