Ukulele vs Guitar: Which of Them Will Suit You Most?

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While guitar is known worldwide and recognized by almost every human being, ukulele is currently only increasing its popularity among musicians. A large proportion of artists still haven’t discovered ukulele and many aspiring musicians are currently considering whether it is worth trying or not. Today we will discuss what the two of them have in common, what are their main differences, make lists of pros and cons for both of them and suggest several tips for selecting and buying a guitar or an ukulele.

Guitar Features

You most probably know what a guitar is, even if you are not an experienced musician yet. It is a chordophone device that in most cases has six strings and is played with hands by interacting with the strings. It is currently the second most played musical instrument worldwide, having only the piano leading in popularity.

Guitar Features
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Guitar Pros and Cons

Just like any other musical device, guitar is a very individual one. Today we are concentrating on comparing guitar with ukulele, meaning, the advantages and drawbacks will be regarding their main contrasts.

The main drawbacks of guitars are:

  • they are more popular;
  • there are more guides and tutorials for beginners;
  • there are more models to choose from;
  • they have more strings, allowing you to perform more complicated melodies.

The main drawbacks of guitars are:

  • guitars are harder to learn in general;
  • they are also harder to transport;
  • they cost more.
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Ukulele Features

In its essence, it is nearly the same as the guitar: they are from the lute family, they visually differ only by size and the interactions with the strings are very common between them. Despite being invented long after its today’s competitor, ukulele has become widely played in the 20th century and is currently capturing more and more attention from artists worldwide. Basically, ukulele is a small guitar with fewer strings: there are more contrasts at a closer look, but they are very familiar in general. Ukuleles are grouped into four categories, having different characteristics and tunings. The three main types include Tenor and Concert as well as Soprano. The last type is Baritone and it stands out from the crowd as it is usually larger and heavier than the three others.

Ukulele Features
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Ukulele Pros and Cons

There are advantages and drawbacks of ukuleles from the perspective of comparing them with guitars as well. Many artists consider them easier to learn, even despite the guitar tutorials being more developed. However, the main advantage of ukuleles comes from their scale and build, allowing them to produce melodies not similar to the ones offered by guitars, while also having a better mobility.

The full list of their advantages over guitars includes:

  • the instrument is more unusual and grants a different impression of the audience;
  • they are easier to transport than guitars;
  • there are four strings instead of six;
  • the sound produced by them is milder;
  • they have different tunes, distincting the sound even more;
  • they are generally cheaper than guitars.

The main cons of ukuleles are:

  • less tutorials available online;
  • less buying options;
  • fewer sound options.
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The Contrast Between the Two

At first glance, guitars and ukuleles have two main differences: their scale and voice. However, there are more of them, when taking a closer look. We have already mentioned some of the core distinctions in the pros and cons section, but before elaborating on each of them, here is the short list:

  • Ukuleles are not as large.
  • They have 4 strings instead of 6.
  • The materials of strings are different.
  • The tuning is different.
  • They are usually cheaper.

When it comes to the scale, the guitars are usually 38″ long and have a scale of around 25″-26″. Depending on the type, ukuleles are from 21″ to 30″ long and have a scale from 13″ to 19″. Baritone is the largest one from this group, but as you can see, they still have a lesser scale compared to guitars.

The contrast of their strings is very obvious: ukulele has 4 of them and guitar has 6. There might be exceptions with specific models, but generally guitars have two more strings for you to play.

The materials of the strings are an interesting distinction. The strings of a guitar are usually produced from metallic materials, and at the same time the strings of an ukulele are made of nylon or other synthetics. This choice both helps ukulele produce unique melodies and provides a milder feeling when it comes to strumming and plucking them.

The guitars are usually tuned E-A-G-D-B-E. The largest portion of ukuleles are tuned G-C-E-A, but the Baritone type offers a D-G-B-E tuning. 

When it comes to the price, guitars are averagely more expensive. A decent guitar for an aspiring musician will cost from $150 to $200, while it is possible to find a good ukulele in the price range of only $50 to $100.

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Which of Them Suits You Most?

As with any other musical instrument, the choice between our today’s competitors is very individual. For aspiring musicians, who are having difficulties with guitar education, it might be a good idea to switch to ukulele as it offers simpler basics. The latter might also be a preferable choice if you are planning to transport it a lot or if you are limited with your budget. At the same time, the guitar will better suit those, who are eager to follow the trend set by thousands of other musicians. Guitars might turn out to be more comfortable for learning at home as there are lots of online tutorials and educational apps for them. Last but not least, learning to play an acoustic guitar is a good foundation for switching to an electric guitar in the future.

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Best Models for Beginners

As the choice is individual, we have decided to give our readers suggestions for both of the devices. As for the guitars for aspiring artists, we can definitely recommend starting with Yamaha FG800 model. It costs around $200 and has all the necessary features for a beginner. The materials are of a decent quality and Yamaha is one of the favorite instrument brands of many musicians. Other models might have amplification included or have better materials granting a longer life cycle, but it has a great value for money. 

Bass vs Guitar: Which of Them Will Suit You Most?

The instruments we will be talking about today are very similar in their basic parameters, but very different in …

For the ukuleles we have two models we can advise our readers to check out. The first of them is the Kala KA-15S. It’s body is made of mahogany, granting the instrument an impressive look. It’s voicing is Soprano, meaning it is tuned G-C-E-A and the price is around $70. In case you are aiming at Baritone, the model we can recommend is Kala MK-B Makala. It is also from the Kala brand and it is no coincidence: the company is a major player on the ukulele market. This Baritone ukulele is also of a great quality and will cost you around $100.

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Conclusion

To sum up, both of today’s devices have their own great advantages and individual pitfalls for some of the artists. Despite guitars being more expensive and harder to learn and ukuleles having fewer strings and less buying options, we can still recommend trying both of them as they offer a completely different musical experience. We are sure that it should only be a question of which of the two will to start with. And what are your thoughts on these two instruments? Have you tried them both? Which one of them did you like better and why? Feel free to share your experience in the comment section below.

2 Comments
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