Buying your first ukulele

Lorraine's ukulele

You’re thinking about buying a ukulele?  We say that you should just DO IT!  You won’t look back, as it’s a fun, sociable and portable instrument. In the first instance, we don’t recommend spending lots of money, however, we would recommend that you avoid really cheap ukuleles. They won’t hold their tune, so you’ll be annoyed as you’ll essentially have an unplayable instrument. Ashton’s, Spongebob’s, Makala basics, and those awful ones they sell at Argos are ones we’d generally avoid. Makala, Stagg, Lanakai and Mahalo are decent starter ukes. They come with good quality strings (more on this later) and they’ll hold their tune when you’ve bedded them in (tuned them consistently each day for a week). In order to tune up, you’ll also need a ukulele tuner.

How much should I spend?

On your first ukulele, I don’t recommend spending a lot of money.  A little bit like a car, when you’re learning you might have a few bumps. Also, until you know for sure that you love it, I wouldn’t spend a fortune.  You can buy a cheap ukulele for about £30-50.  You can definitely spend more, and, if you have musical experience and know you’ll practice and stick with it, then do that, but if you have no musical experience and you don’t know if you’ll play for a few years, then it might be advisable to grab a basic ukulele that sounds good.

Here are a couple of brands that we recommend.

Makala are inexpensive, and sound good.  Here are a few links to find some Makala ukuleles:


Stagg are also inexpensive, and sound good.  Here are a few links to find some Stagg ukuleles:



Before you know it, you’ll have Ukulele Acquisition Syndrome (UAS) and end up with a bunch of other (possibly more expensive) ukes, but for now start small until you know you’ll stick with it, and do stick with it!

ukuleles on the wall

Try to resist buying lots of brothers and sisters for the new addition to your family, though.  Ukuleles are very addictive. There’s a ‘thing’ Ukulele Acquisition Syndrome. (UAS).  You have been warned!

More blogs to help you:

If you are left-handed, see here.

Have you already got a clip on tuning device? It’s better than using your phone. For more about that and how to tune your ukulele for the first time, see here.

How to play the G chord, here.

See how to play Bb chord on the ukulele, here.

How to play the E chord, on the ukulele here.

Get a free ukulele chord chart (and help with how to read it) from here.

Do you want 6 basic strum patterns to get you going? See more here.

If you’re in London, UK, you’ll learn this in our courses. Book your course to join us in London.

If you’re not, please support us on Patreon so you can get access to all our upcoming online tutorials and challenges.

1 reply

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] you know you enjoy playing and want to stick with it. Please refer to this guide to help you with buying your first ukulele. Then, when you’ve been playing for a while you might want to upgrade. It’s at this […]

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply