Ukulele & guitar, which is better for beginners to learn?

- Mar 31, 2020-

Both guitar and ukulele are plucked instruments, and they are loved by musical instrument enthusiasts who have just started. So, as a zero-based beginner, have you been entangled in this question, is it better to learn guitar, or to learn ukulele? From your own experience, telling you that choosing Ukulele is easier to learn.


The guitar is a very popular instrument, so let's first take a brief look at the ukulele. Ukulele's other name should be "Hawaiian guitar", a four-string Hawaiian plucked string instrument, belonging to the family of guitar instruments. In Hawaiian, UKULELE is also called "a gift of arrival".



Laminated Mixed Spruce & Mahogany woodconcert ukulele


Ukulele's ability to become Hawaii's most popular instrument is mainly due to the three professional artisans and instrument makers who emigrated from Portugal to Hawaii in 1879-Manuel Nunes, Joao Fernandes, and Augustine Dias. They brought the ukulele to Hawaii. The locals were amazed not only by the beautiful tone of the piano but also by the fast movement of the player's fingers on the fingerboard.


Here we say that ukulele is a musical instrument of the genus Guitar, so let's expand to compare the similarities and differences between the two. Although ukulele and guitar have similar characteristics, they are not exactly equal.


In terms of shape, at first glance, from the head to the fretboard to the body, ukulele and the guitar seem to be roughly the same. On a closer look, you can see that Ukulele is much smaller than a guitar. The folk guitars we usually see are 39-inch, 40-inch, and 41-inch, while the most common ukuleles are 21-inch, 23-inch, and 26-inch.


In the configuration, the number of strings and the number of buttons at the head are different. The guitar has six strings, while Ukulele has only four strings, so the number of corresponding buttons on the head is six and four, respectively. Guitar strings are mostly steel or nylon strings, while Ukuleles are mostly carbon or nylon strings.


Judging from the comparison between ukulele and guitar, it is not difficult to find that for non-professional instrument enthusiasts, the ukulele has a slight advantage in all aspects.



Height Musical glossy tenor ukulele


First of all, Ukulele's small size means that it is more portable than a guitar, and it is very convenient to carry around when you go shopping, traveling, etc. Secondly, Ukulele has fewer strings, so its chords are simpler than guitars. This also determines that, in terms of how easy it is to learn, the ukulele is better to learn than guitar and easier to learn.


In addition, carbon strings have a denser material and a smaller diameter than steel or nylon strings, and their strings are thinner, softer, and feel better. Therefore, in the playing experience, the ukulele is slightly higher than the guitar. In addition, the carbon string also has the characteristics of large volume and long sustain, and the attenuation of volume and pitch is not obvious for a long time. Relatively speaking, this material is relatively durable and does not require frequent string changes.


Comprehensive comparison, we can clearly know that for beginners, the ukulele is more suitable for novice choice. It is more compact and portable, and easier to learn, especially the carbon strings are more friendly to the beginners. So, if you want to learn an instrument from scratch, you might as well start with the ukulele.



Edit by Height Musical Instrument News Department