Got A Ukulele Beginners Tips - Ukulele Scales and Sizes

19 Mar 2015

Got A Ukulele Beginners Tips - Ukulele Scales and Sizes

Thought it was about time to put up a clearer comparison of the different sizes of ukulele.

And lets stop this nonsense that any one uke size is in any way better than another - they all have their place. It's all about differing tones. It's not about upgrading as they get bigger, or some being easier than others.

Beware the myths!


  1. Thanx, Barry. I will add a couple of my observations as someone who started playing a soprano uke in the late 1940s, got a concert uke in 1961, but also started playing guitar in between those two acquisitions. First point: I think the real distinction between a soprano, concert, tenor and baritone is the scale length, not the body size, although that is also a factor (just less so). Second point: I think heard you say the bartone uke is not a guitar (although it is usually tuned DGBE). Not to belabor your point, but most of the instruction books during the 1950s that I saw called the instrument a baritone ukulele (tenor guitar). They never really called it a guitar, but listed "tenor guitar" in parentheses after the term "baritone ukulele" which suggested to me that the the instructors considered the baritone ukulele a small tenor guitar. I never got put out about that or anything, and never owned a baritone uke until long after I had owned smaller size ukes, but I will concede that it makes perfect sense to me that a baritone uke also qualifies for the definition of a small tenor guitar. In fact, I own a vintage Martin 5-17-T tenor guitar which is not that much larger than a standard Martin baritone uke and i actually string and tune it as a baritone uke as I also do with my vintage Martin 1-17-P plectrum guitar which is considerably larger than the 5-17-T. Both of these Martins have a longer scale length than a baritone uke which produces a "deeper" or "more resonant" sound that I enjoy for certain songs. This post is not intended to be argumentative with your excellent post, but is intended to present a somewhat more nuanced view. JOE DAN BOYD


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