A kiddo’s first instrument is a ukulele, but many parents have found that a stringed instrument can be just as fun for little ones as a guitar or bass. These instruments come in a variety of sizes and shapes, and some even have built-in tuners. The best ones are durable, durable enough to hold up to the rigors of the classroom, comfortable enough for the little one to play, easy to learn and teach and fun to listen to. Here is our list of the best ukuleles for kids in 2021.
When it comes to playing instruments, kids’ are always getting in on the act. Whether it's classical guitar, violin, or drums, they're ready to learn and develop their own style. Regardless of whether it is in the band or the classroom, these instruments are designed with the needs of the individual in mind. If you are looking to buy a ukulele for a child, the first thing you'll need to consider is the age of that child. The instrument is designed for different ages and growth stages. From toddlers to teenagers, there are ukes for every age group. We've listed some of our favorite instruments so you can pick your child's uke and keep them playing for years to come.
What ukulele material is best for a child?
Kids’ ukuleles can be a fun instrument to teach or practice, but there are a few things you should consider before purchasing a young musician a uke.
First, consider where you will be playing. If you'll be traveling with your child to a concert, a public school, or a music camp, it's better to purchase a standard ukulele rather than a tenor.
Most ukes for young musicians are made from wood, though some are basswood or rosewood. Basswood is a popular choice due to its rich tone and natural resonance. Rosewood may be more delicate but provides a richer, warmer tone. It can also be very hard. This material is traditionally used for ukes, though.
Pay particular attention to the size of the strings on your chosen instrument. Children may benefit from smaller, lighter strings. As they grow, they may want more weight, which can make a huge difference in how each string sounds.
What are the different styles of Kids' Ukuleles?
The two main types of ukulele are freestanding, which stand on their own, or mounted, where the uke is bolted to the stand.
Freestanding ukuleles are the most versatile, as they can fit anywhere without the need for a pole. Mounted ukuleles, however, have a more solid structure that requires additional support.
Some ukes feature a slip-in design, while others feature adjustable saddles. Depending on your needs, you can find ukuleles that are as short as six inches or as long as 24 inches. The more you spend, the more feature-rich the instrument will be.
You can choose from ukulele designs with wood, plastic, and resin uke saddle materials. While the saddling isn't super important, it can make a difference in the overall tone and feel. Wood is the traditional material for ukile and kukula ukos. In fact, most of the better-known brands are made from wood. You get the best tone from a wood uko. They're less likely to damage and split with repeated plays. Wooden ukers are less prone to warping than plastic ones. They take longer to get to tone, so they aren't ideal for beginners.
Plastic is an excellent material because it's lightweight and easy to maintain. It's often cheaper than wood as well, though it isn’t as durable. Ukuleles are like ukens in that they're either freestyle or mount-based instruments. No matter which type you prefer, they all offer a similar tone. However, ukuleles with rosewood necks tend to have more sustain and are arguably the cleanest instrument.
Kids' ukuleles are similar to adult ukes in terms of construction. Like adults, kids' models are often made out of wood or plastic. As a rule, smaller kids “necks” are either made of plastic or laminated wood and finished in a laminate.
Mid-size models have slightly smaller necks, usually made with resin or high-quality wood lamination. There are also some models with a larger, solid-body design.
Ukuleling can be a lot of fun for children, but there are a few safety measures you should take to avoid causing injury. For the safety of your child, keep your ukel in your pocket when not in use. If you're playing on a friend‘s or family floor, make sure they have poles or similar safety equipment. Always supervise children while playing, especially young ones who are still learning to play.
What's a good price for a kids' ukulele?
There are three entry-level ukulele models for under $50. These are a solid choice for the young performer who is ready to explore the instrument at an intermediate level. The uke is a simple but effective design, and the quality of the materials makes these models worth considering.
For $100 to $200, you can find both beginner and intermediate ukes from well-known manufacturers like Yamaha and Cecilio. Many of these instruments are made of better materials, including the urethane used in the strings.
The most expensive uks are those from premium manufacturers, such as Fender and Steinberger, that are handcrafted and produced to high standards. Some of them have flashy finishes and materials that would make an expensive acoustic guitar jealous.
What features should I look for in ukuleles?
When selecting the best ukuleles for children, we made sure that our list contained a wide range of price points. There's nothing wrong with having a variety of fantastic ukuleles at different price ranges, but it's important to think about the needs of your child, their age, and the quality of their instrument. We've taken these factors into consideration so that you can easily find the right instrument for your youngster. These are the main reasons we selected a range for you to shop from.
Ukules are enjoyed by youngsters from all ages. Whether they're playing in the park, at the family home, or on the weekend with their friends, theres no age group that doesn t love an uke.
You can find beginner to advanced uks for every musical level, from beginner-friendly ucks to concert ukuleles. If your children are just learning to play, a uka might be their next musical instrument, so we also selected ukes that were suitable for the beginning student as well as advanced players.
Are ukuleles good instruments for kids?
If you want an ultralight or truly kid-friendly instrument, a ukulele may be the best option. While these small instruments are not recommended for beginners, many music teachers and recreational players find them easy to learn and play. They can be played for several chords, including the diatonic scale, and the uke’s unique tuning can produce a wide range of sounds. Like most instruments, there are many variations on the basic ukulele design. Here are some of the features to consider before you buy.
Kids Ukulele FAQ
Q: How do ukulele strings work?
A: Each individual string on an uku is made up of two plates: a core and another. Each plate is connected to two strings by a bow. An offset-necked uka plays the notes A0, A1, B0 on the core, and G0~G5 on a separate string. A standard-strung ukel plays notes E0-F5, G#0–G6 on core or D0 to D5 in a standard tuning.