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There are a ton of concert ukuleles out there. But which has the playability, sound and look you want, all at a price point that suits your needs?
This is what we’ll help you find now, with our choice of best concert ukuleles in various categories. Read on an pick up your perfect uke today.
Luna Tattoo – Best Overall
The Luna Tattoo Concert Ukulele (compare prices at Sweetwater and Amazon) uses mahogany to help you get a typical sound. Traditional Hawaiian instruments inspired the design, and the black tattoo looks fantastic on the brown wood.
You’ll find fret markers in the shape of shark teeth on frets three, five, seven, 10, and 12. It has 18 frets, so you can get a good range from the instrument. This model has open gear tuners, which are pretty popular on ukuleles.
Along with the mahogany body, there’s a walnut fretboard and bridge. The satin finish looks fantastic and can help keep your uke looking great. You can get a variety of tone colors, depending on the range you’re playing in.
If you don’t like the mahogany, you can also get this model in spruce. There’s also an acoustic-electric version if you want to hook up to an amp. Unfortunately, the tuning can be a bit inconsistent as you go up and down the fretboard, and adjusting the tuners can’t do much to help.
The frets are also a bit sharp on the edges and can poke you if you aren’t careful. Still, it’s an excellent choice for beginners and casual ukulele players. You can use it to start playing the concert uke and experiment with making music.
As you advance, you may find the instrument feels like a toy. But as long as you don’t expect the response of an expensive model, you should be happy with this one. Give it a try when you want to learn this size of ukulele.
Martin C1K – Best Premium Option
The Martin C1K (compare prices at Sweetwater and Amazon) is one of the best concert ukuleles you can find on the market. It uses Hawaiian koa for the top, sides, and back, giving a more authentic tone.
This handmade instrument has a satin lacquer on top of the wood. That helps make the uke look and sound great. You can get a gorgeous, soft tone, so it’s great for playing alone or with others. It also works well when playing melodies.
Martin ukuleles are easy to play for beginners and those with some experience. This model can blend in when playing folk music, Hawaiian music, and other genres. You’ll be able to protect your investment when you aren’t playing thanks to the included gig bag.
The build quality of the ukulele is great, and it can last a while. However, you should aim to buy it from a reputable dealer. That way, you won’t have to worry as much about quality control issues that third-party sellers can have.
Of course, it’s a more expensive model, so it’s not the best for beginners. But if you’re serious about playing the ukulele, you should give this one a try. It may cost more, but you could get more use out of it than another model.
The tuners do use nickel, so consider that if you have an allergy. You may want to wash your hands after tuning. Luckily, you shouldn’t have to touch the nickel, but it could be a problem if your allergy is severe.
Donner DUC-1 – Best Budget Option
The Donner DUC-1 (compare prices at Amazon) comes with everything you need to start playing the concert uke. Of course, it comes with a ukulele, and it uses mahogany for the body and neck. That material can help you get a solid sound, and you can choose different colors, like blue or green.
It comes with four Aquila strings. Aquila is a popular brand in the ukulele world. The kit comes with an extra set of strings in case yours break. There’s also a no-tie bridge, which can help make changing strings much easier.
Your uke will come with four chrome-plated tuning pegs. Meanwhile, the 15 frets are all brass, and there are marks at the fifth, seventh, tenth, and twelfth frets. That can make playing the ukulele and getting the right notes easier for beginners.
Along with the uke, you’ll receive a gig bag, strap, and cleaning cloth. You’ll also get four ukulele picks to help strum. You also receive a digital clip-on tuner. That way, you can make sure you’re not sharp or flat.
If you want to take the ukulele seriously, you can also access free online lessons on your phone. Those lessons can help you make the most of the instrument to get a better sound. This bundle is useful for adults and kids who are new to playing music.
Tuning is pretty easy, and the instrument can stay in tune. But some of them may have bad fret buzz that can make it almost impossible to play. If you get one with fret buzz, you should be able to return or exchange it.
The Lohanu LU-C (compare prices at Amazon) is another affordable choice that comes with plenty of accessories. This concert ukulele uses Sapele wood, which is a cheaper alternative to mahogany, but it can still sound great.
You’ll find fret markers on the standard frets five, seven, 10, and 12. But there are also fret markers on the 15th and 17th frets. That can help you play much higher in the ukulele’s range, which is nice if you want to play solos.
The chrome tuning gears are easy to use and can help the instrument stay in tune. Meanwhile, the arched back of the uke can help you get a fuller, deeper sound. But you may have trouble keeping it in place as you strum.
Luckily, this ukulele kit comes with a strap. There are already two strap buttons on the instrument to help you connect the strap. The strings are Aquila strings, and you’ll get an extra set of strings with this kit.
Other accessories include a case, a tuner, and a few picks. You’ll also be able to access over a dozen lessons to help learn the instrument. And you can use a print and digital songbook to learn specific songs.
Since you get everything you need, this is a fantastic choice for beginners. However, the Sapele wood does feel a bit cheap. It can also be a bit hard to tune at first, and the battery of the tuner runs out quickly.
The Cordoba 15CM (compare prices at Sweetwater and Amazon) is an excellent concert ukulele. Like many models, it uses mahogany for the back, top, and sides of the body. But you can also get it in flamed mahogany in a variety of colors.
This instrument is handmade and has ivoroid binding and an abalone rosette. It also has a satin finish that looks great. Meanwhile, the silver tuners have pearl buttons that are easy to turn to keep your instrument in tune.
You’ll receive the ukulele with Aquila strings, which are amazing. Now, since the ukulele is handmade, the wood may be lighter or darker than in the pictures. The color shouldn’t affect the response too much, so you can get a good sound no matter what.
With a bit of practice, you can get a rich, clear tone as you play. Beginners and experienced players can enjoy using this model. It’s fun to play alone or with others, and you can play chords or the melody, and you can switch between those roles.
If you like how this model sounds, you can expand your collection and get it in soprano and tenor sizes. You might need to spend a bit of time tuning this uke at first. However, it can start to even out and stay in tune with time.
Sadly, it doesn’t come with a case or gig bag, but you can buy a separate one. That way, you’ll be able to keep your instrument safe during storage or transportation. The uke is affordable, so you should have some money left over for any accessories you want to buy.
The Cordoba 15CM-E (compare prices at Sweetwater and Amazon) is an acoustic-electric ukulele. It offers a rich and warm sound when you play it as an acoustic instrument. When you want to plug in, you get to use the Cordoba pickup.
You can easily control the instrument thanks to the discrete controls. At first glance, it looks like any other acoustic concert ukulele. Of course, the edge burst finish makes it stand out visually, and you can also choose from colors like red or blue.
This instrument uses Bocote woods from South America. There’s also a mahogany neck and a composite fingerboard, so the materials are a bit unique. However, the fretboard is easy to use for beginners and players with a bit of experience.
Like a lot of other ukes, this one comes with Aquila strings. The silver tuners with pearl buttons are easy to use to adjust the pitch of each string. You may need to tune the uke a bit more at first, but it can get easier over time.
For better or worse, this instrument features a satin finish. That finish can help the wood age and get darker. As you play the ukulele, you could start to get a slightly darker tone, so you can enjoy the richness of the lower notes more.
Sadly, it can be hard to get a good tone on the higher notes. The quality control isn’t as good as it could be, so there’s a risk of getting a lemon. But you can always exchange the instrument for one that better suits your needs.
The Kala KA-C (compare prices at Sweetwater and Amazon) looks like your stereotypical ukulele with a mahogany body. On top of the wood are a satin finish and cream binding along the edges of the instrument.
Despite its relatively low price, it can sound similar to much more expensive models. The tone is balanced and warm, so you can enjoy playing and learning the basics. Unfortunately, the frets use nickel silver, so it’s not the best model for anyone with those metal allergies.
However, the chrome die-cast tuners are easy to use for beginners and advanced players. The instrument also features a Graphtec NuBone nut and saddle. You’ll get a set of Aquila strings on the uke, so you can get an amazing sound right off the bat.
This model can help you get a louder sound compared to the smaller soprano uke. It also has more frets and is great for adults with average or large hands. However, kids might have trouble spreading their fingers far enough.
If you want to learn the instrument, you can download the Kala app. The app has basic lessons to help you start playing well. But it could be a bit rudimentary for experienced ukulele players. Luckily, you don’t have to use the app.
There is a bit of a quality control issue with this model. Some players get instruments that sound amazing, while others struggle to play and keep the uke in tune. That can be frustrating for some beginners and players with experience.
The Kala KA-PWC (compare prices at Sweetwater and Amazon) uses Pacific walnut. That makes it look lighter than many mahogany models. However, it still uses a mahogany neck, which can help make moving up and down the fretboard easier.
There’s a natural satin finish over the wood to help lock in the appearance. The black binding looks great and helps keep the top, back, and sides together. You can also get an amazing sound out of this instrument.
It features a standard headstock, and the tuning pegs are easy to turn. The 18 frets allow you to play the full range of the concert ukulele. Meanwhile, the Aquila strings help you get a nice tone from the low to the high range.
Holding the instrument is comfortable, which can help make playing more fun. The tone also makes the instrument sound great whether you’re a beginner or professional. Of course, the fret markers help tell you where you are to get the right notes.
The nut and saddle use Graphtec NuBone for the material, so they look and feel like many other ukes. That material is pretty durable, so you can get more use out of the instrument. Its scale length is 14.8 inches, which is about the average length for a concert ukulele.
Overall, this model is 24 inches, which is also standard. While it’s not the most affordable, it’s also not too expensive. If you don’t like the look or sound of mahogany, this uke could be the perfect alternative for you.
The Enya EUC-M6 (compare prices at Amazon) has a unique look and sound. It uses mahogany like many other concert ukes. But the rest of the instrument is nothing like you’ve seen before.
First, you’ll notice the tuning pegs are all on one side, rather than two on each side. That can help you play bar chords without the pegs getting in the way. There’s also a cutaway on the body to help you play higher notes easily.
The high gloss finish brings out the wood grain, and it looks amazing. Another visual detail is the mother-of-pearl inlays on the fretboard. Instead of standard circles, the fret markers appear to be flowers or leaves.
Now, the placement of the markers is a bit odd, so it could be confusing. But once you get used to it, the design could help you hit the correct frets each time you play. You can use the 18 frets to play as high as any concert ukulele can go.
Overall, this uke offers a clear sound, and it’s great for playing melodies. However, it also works well in an ensemble or when you’re accompanying yourself by playing chords. The die-cast tuners are of excellent quality and can help you keep from going sharp or flat.
You can choose from colors like black and blue. But the color might change a bit over time, so you may want to stick with the natural finish. Then, you can keep the uke looking similar as it ages, so you don’t have to worry about it clashing with your favorite performance outfit.
Ortega Guitars RUMG-CE
The Ortega Guitars RUMG-CE (compare prices at Amazon and Guitar Center) is an acoustic-electric concert ukulele. It uses mango wood, which is light in color and helps it sound unique yet beautiful.
There’s a natural open pore finish, so you can enjoy the qualities of the wood. Meanwhile, the neck uses okoume and has a satin finish. The techwood fretboard and bridge are smooth, and walnut binding holds everything together.
At the top, you’ll see the reverse headstock with inline tuners. While the tuners are on the bottom, they’re still out of the way if you want to play bar chords. You’ll also get a cutaway on the body to help reach the higher frets.
On the top of the body, you’ll find the controls. That way, you can plug your instrument into an amp to help play louder. The Ortega strings can vibrate well to help you get the nicest sound when playing with or without an amp.
You’ll get a soft gig bag to store the ukulele when you aren’t playing it. When you take it out, you can get a nice, bright tone. That makes it an excellent instrument for solo playing and use in a band or another group.
As an electric model, it does cost more than many other options. It’s not the best for beginners, but it can be fantastic for advancing players. If you want to play electric instruments, this is a helpful introduction, and you can still play acoustic music on it. That makes it perfect for players who don’t want to deal with multiple instruments.
What to Look for in a Concert Ukulele
When shopping for the best concert ukuleles, you’ll find a ton of options. However, not every model will work for every player.
If you want the best instrument for you, you have to know what to consider. Then, you can compare the options and think about your situation.
Here are some factors to keep in mind before you purchase your next concert uke.
Many ukuleles use mahogany as the primary wood. That offers a clear, warm sound, so you can sound like how you’d expect. However, mahogany isn’t your only option, so it’s okay if you don’t like how it sounds.
You could look for models that use Pacific walnut or mango. Those woods offer slightly different tones from mahogany, so you can get a unique response. Of course, you should try each option in your price range or at least listen to recordings.
That way, you can determine what wood you’d want to play. However, you should also consider where you live and if a particular wood may crack under the temperature extremes. And if you have an allergy to a specific wood, avoid that in your search.
The action refers to how high or low the strings are off the fretboard. Ukuleles with a lower action are generally easier for beginners. You don’t have to work as hard to press down the strings to adjust the pitch.
However, you don’t want the strings to be too close to the fretboard. In that case, they might sit close enough to the fret that you can’t get lower notes or play an open string well. If possible, play ukuleles with different actions before buying one.
Then, you can see what’s most comfortable for you. Some players can handle strings that are higher off the frets, while others need lower action. No one option is right for everyone, and that’s normal.
Of course, you also want to take a look at the strings themselves. Consider if the ukulele company makes its strings to use on its instruments. Many brands will use Aquila strings, and that’s a premium brand.
You can’t go wrong with Aquila strings, but some brands have strings that work amazingly on their ukuleles. Try as many models as you can, and consider what strings they use. Then, you can determine if you prefer the strings on one instrument to another.
Don’t forget to look at the material of the strings. Nylon is pretty popular, but you may also find carbon strings, for example. The material can affect the response and how the strings feel under your fingers, which is important when you’re a beginner.
You should consider some details regarding how you’ll tune your ukulele. First, consider the pegs and the materials they are made of. Then, you can avoid any pegs that use materials you’re allergic to.
It also helps to consider if the pegs are geared or not. Geared pegs are similar to guitar pegs, and they can be harder to adjust. However, they may stay in place more easily than friction pegs, which are more common on some instruments.
Next, think about the location and layout of the pegs. Some ukuleles have inline tuners, so they’re all on one side of the headstock. That can be nice if you want to play bar chords without the pegs getting in the way.
A few ukuleles have tuners that are in the typical setup. However, the pegs are on the back rather than the sides. They can also sit out of the way of your hand when playing near the headstock.
If you’re buying your first ukulele, you might want to get a ukulele kit or bundle. These instruments come with accessories that can help you play. For example, you could use a tuner to ensure you tune your strings correctly.
It also helps to have a few picks for strumming. And you never know when a string might break, so having extras is useful. As a beginner, you might also want a songbook or access to online lessons to study the basics.
Some of the best concert ukuleles come with a variety of accessories to help you play. If your ideal uke doesn’t, you can buy those things separately. But you’ll need to keep that in mind when budgeting for your overall purchase.
Of course, if you already have a ukulele, you might not need many accessories. If you’re switching from a soprano to a concert model, you may only need a case or extra strings. A lot of other accessories work when playing various sizes of ukuleles.
The last thing you want is to buy a ukulele that breaks in a month or two. As you shop around, consider the materials and not just the wood. Look at the materials of the nut and saddle as well as the frets.
Think about the binding along the different parts of the body. If those materials are cheap, they probably won’t hold up over the long term. You’d just need to buy a new ukulele in a few months when things start to break.
To learn about potential problems, read the reviews of instruments you’re considering. Learn what has gone wrong and how quickly it happened. Then, you’ll know what to expect before you buy the ukulele.
Fortunately, you can invest a bit more to get a quality instrument. Then, you can get more use out of it, and you can get even better at playing the ukulele.
Of course, you may also have a budget to follow. Before you look at ukuleles, think about how much you can afford to spend on one. If you’re asking for a ukelele as a gift, ask how much your loved one may be willing to pay.
Narrow your search to instruments that fall in that price range. That way, you won’t find a model that you love but can’t afford.
Also, be sure to consider the price of a case or other accessories. If the uke doesn’t include those, you may need to spend a bit extra.
As you look at models, consider the brands they’re from. Some brands have excellent reputations, so you can expect almost all of their instruments to work well. Every brand can have a lemon, but those are few and far between.
On the other hand, you might encounter cheaper brands. These sound great because you can get a ukulele for not much money. Sure, you could get a nice instrument, but these companies tend to have more quality control issues.
If possible, look at other models from the brands you’re trying. Then, you can see if the brand has other good ukuleles. If not, buying from that company could be risky.
Best Concert Ukulele Brands
To help you choose the best ukulele, consider some good concert ukulele brands. The following brands make a lot of amazing models, concert-sized or otherwise.
Whether you’re a beginner or want to get a better model, these brands can help. You can choose the size and level of instrument you need.
Here’s what you should know about the best uke brands.
Cordoba is a guitar company that also makes ukuleles. They make a ton of different ukulele models in a variety of sizes and colors.
Their history of guitar making has helped them learn to make good string instruments. While the uke is different, many of the manufacturing processes are similar.
You can buy Cordoba ukuleles from a variety of dealers. That allows you to choose your favorite store for an acoustic or an acoustic-electric model.
Kala makes ukuleles for beginners through professionals. The company specializes in the four-string instrument, and you can expect fantastic quality.
It got its start with the goal of making affordable instruments. Now, any ukulele player can find something that works for them.
Since they produce instruments for all levels, they also meet all price ranges. So you can start on an affordable model and upgrade to something better later.
Of course, they sell ukuleles in various sizes, such as concert and soprano. That way, you can get the specific instrument you want to learn.
Another company to consider is Luna. It makes guitars and ukuleles, and there are a ton of models you can choose from.
They make soprano, concert, tenor, and baritone ukuleles. So whether you’re new to the instrument or want to expand your collection Luna can help you do that.
Some of the models use natural finishes, while others are colorful and unique. If you want to express yourself with a new uke, give Luna a test run.
Top Concert Ukuleles, Final Thoughts
The best concert ukuleles range in price, finish, and more. Be sure to consider the brand, wood, and other factors to choose your ideal model.
While the Luna Tattoo ukulele is perfect for many, it might not work for you. So shop around and try a few models to make sure you get one you’ll love to play.