First Proper Uke

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    So I’ve only been playing a week after purchasing a Mahalo Rainbow 🙂 To be fair it’s not bad for the money but I’m looking for something a bit better to play.

    I’m thinking to get a concert instead of a soprano as it seems easier for more complex picking patterns budget anything up to 200 dollars… any recommendations..


    Hey there. I started with a cheap little guy too. It’s a fine place to start. But if you’re ready for #2 already, you’ll find no lack of options.

    Mike at Uke Republic can help out. Here’s his list of ukes under $250, below. There are some great sales on right now, so you could really get something good at your $200 price. I’m a big fan of my Islander. He’s got some nice Ohana’s on sale too though.

    In a perfect world, you could go try them out before buying and find one that you really like the sound of. That’s not always possible these days though. Some of the ones on the list have videos, at least.

    Pay attention to the number of frets. If you get a 12 fret uke, you’ll run into problems with a lot of songs around here. For me, making sure it has lots of fret markers is good too – ideally up to the 15th fret, although that’s not a deal breaker for me. Solid wood, or solid wood top, gives a great sound, but you’re right at the cusp of the entry price point for solid wood instead of laminate.

    Anyway, check these out. Apparently they’re great with answering questions too. Have fun. 🙂


    Thanks for the awesome response I’ll take a look 🙂


    Hi Jay,

    When I was in the same position as you (with a similar budget) I got one of these and I’m pretty happy with it. It is Southeast Asian acacia rather than Koa, though, so be aware.

    Otherwise, I’d go with somewhere that sets the uke up for you. It’s way more important than I realised at first. Uke Republic is a good option, as are Mim’s Ukes, and the Ukulele Site.

    Good luck!



    I’m in the Bay Area, so Kala is kind of the house brand around here, but I started with one of their solid spruce tops at about the price points you are talking about, and I’m quite happy, for what that is worth. Good luck with the search!

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