Which to Learn: Guitar or Ukulele

Playing music is something that I think everyone should try.

You might be thinking that you can only be good if you are already talented, but the truth is practice makes perfect.

Yes, someone who is talented will learn faster and find it easier to level up. However, if you practice enough, you can sound a lot more professional.

If you are checking this article, then you are not sure whether to start playing the guitar or the uke.

Let’s first agree that there’s no right answer to such questions because, at the end of the day, it’s a personal preference.

So please don’t expect me to give you a solid answer to this question.

Anyways, I can still help you answer this question yourself because I can guide you through the differences between these two instruments to help you make up your mind.

I‘ll also mention some of the challenges that you will be facing when you try any of these instruments, in addition to some tips and tricks to make them easier for you.

I hope that by the end of this article, you will be able to see things clearly and make up your mind.

So without further ado, let’s get right into it.

First, The Size and Shape

It’s crystal clear that guitars are much bigger than ukes.

Moreover, a standard guitar has six strings; on the other side, a ukulele has only 4.

If you take a closer look at the build of both, you will be able to see that ukes have a thinner fretboard.

This is specifically an advantage over guitars because one of the very common challenges when starting to learn how to play the guitar is stretching your fingers.

Even though this can be applied in most cases, yet, if you have big hands, then you don’t need much stretching.

On the contrary, playing the uke when you have big hands is not a piece of cake.

Secondly, The Riffs and chords

No one can deny that when it comes to riffs, guitars are the best.

Not only do they have more strings, so technically, they can produce a larger range of tunes, but also they have an acoustic or sometimes electric charm.

Ukes, on the other side, are louder, and tunes sound more cheerful.

You will be able to find a variety between ukes themselves because some ukes are larger than others.

Then, The Chords

Well, chords are a lot easier to play on ukuleles.

A lot of these chords require using only one finger, unlike guitars.

The fretboard on uke is smaller than that of the guitar, so the distances between each fret and the neighboring one are smaller.

This makes it easier to play ukes because, as I mentioned above, you do not need much stretching.

Something that you need to ask yourself is, why do you want to play this instrument?

For some of you checking this right now, they want to play an instrument to be able to sing along to.

And that can turn the table all around, the reason being, you will need to figure out what sounds best with your tone of voice.

For example, if you have a low vocal range of voice, then ukulele is not the way to go simply because the tunes are too bright.

Furthermore, some of you want to play some melodic acoustic tones, and in this case, a guitar is a way to go.

But if you’re on a different page and you want to play something that will sound simpler and more appealing then, I recommend you play the uke. Add to this the Hawaiian touch the ukulele gives your song.

After That, The Techniques 

When it comes to strumming, these two sound a lot different because the number of strings is more on a guitar.

This makes guitars sound a lot fuller and louder, yet strumming a guitar needs much more precision than that required when playing a uke.

You will need to give it some practice and be a little patient.

Which is easier and faster to learn?

There are a lot of angles to look at to be able to answer this question.

It is a non-ending debate; a lot of people will say that it’s much easier to play the uke, but in so many scenarios, this is not necessarily true.

Anyhow, it’s not arguable that the learning curve for ukes is easier.

So if you are a beginner and you want to be able to play music faster without the need of much practice, pick the uke.

Most ukes are much smaller, easier to control, they have fewer strings, and you will learn to play a new song in a matter of days.

Personally, even though I play both instruments, some guitar pieces are just engraved in my heart.

When it comes to guitars, it’s a little bit more complicated.

At first, you might feel like you are making slow progress, and that’s why some people give up.

However, if you give it some time for the callus to form on the tips of your finger, I guarantee you; you will master a lot, and the more you learn, the easier it is to learn even more with guitars.

Lastly, Affordability  

Money is probably one of the things you are thinking about right now.

No one wants to waste their money on something that they won’t keep around and not sure if they will keep using, and that’s only normal.

The obvious choice, if you are looking for something that won’t cost much, is to buy a ukulele, not a guitar.

Guitars are much more expensive than ukes. Actually, even a secondhand guitar will cost more than a good quality brand new uke.


By now, you should be able to at least decide which you are leaning towards more.

Let me tell you this from my own experience, whether it’s easy or hard to play an instrument, pick the one that goes with your favorite music style.

If you pick a ukulele because it’s easier and you don’t like its sound, then there’s no point.

And if you decide to go with the guitar just because you want to look more professional or because it’s mainstream at school or college, you will eventually give it up.

Whatever you pick, be patient, allow yourself to understand the positions of your fingers and how to move between the frets.

Stay motivated and get creative with your music.

And most importantly, ENJOY!

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