Beginner tips - more unusual uke shapes

24 Mar 2011

Beginner tips - more unusual uke shapes

I have already provided a guide to ukulele beginners on ukulele shapes, but that really dealt with the classic shapes and the obvious ones.  I also did a post on the common ukulele sizes (ie soprano, concert, tenor and baritone), but there are also some less obvious ones of those also.  Read on!


The Sopranino is (with the exception of novelty record breaking ukes) the smallest of the uke family - smaller even than a Soprano.  Also referred to by some manufacturers as a 'Pocket Uke',  the Sopranino is no toy, and is quite a good choice as a travel ukulele due to its size.

sopranino ukulele

The Ohana SK21 Sopranino is a great little uke with 12 frets and a tiny body!


Vita ukes are based on a very old traditional, almost english folky style, uke shape with F -holes, commonly copied from a uke played by the late great Roy Smeck

vita ukulele

The obvious examples are marketed by Ohana and Clearwater and play just like any other uke, but have a recognisable spruce top and bright sound.


Another one created by Ohana, the Bell shaped uke is simply that - a uke that is shaped like a bell!

bell ukulele


Styled after the early electric and acoustic jazz guitars with curved pressed arched tops with F holes, the archtop ukes ooze class

archtop ukulele

The above model is by Kala, and I really quite like the look of it.  The archtops on the market tend to be laminate tops because of the type of construction, but I do hear good things about them.

This is just a flavour of the weird and wonderful in the world of ukuleles, and I am sure there are more variations on a theme to come!


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