How to test a ukulele

This is for those who ask how to test it since you might not have a friend who play a ukulele to go with you. These are just the BASICS. If you don’t know still, just ask the shop keeper!

Also, I forgot to add about the nut, it’s near the headstock. Your strings should be resting on it too and not moving all around when you’re strumming wildly.

More about my ukulele posts, just click the ukulele category or tag.

Mostly you want to buy a ukulele or find where to buy it.

Ps. If you have any other tips or techniques to test your uke for a beginner or newbie, feel free to comment.

16 thoughts on “How to test a ukulele

  1. Sabrina

    Hey! Thanks so much for the vid! I’m thinking of gettig a tgm ukulele like the one you have in the video. I’m just a beginner(like srsly this is my forst instrument) so is this a good starter or would you recommend smth else?(:

  2. Hey Sabrina, if you checked my where to buy or buying a ukulele post (read that most), you’ll learn which is a good starter for you.
    Also for my TGM, I changed my strings to make it sound good. More info is in the buying ukulele post but do check out other brands since you can get value for money ones so you won’t have to buy extra strings or keep fixing your uke up!

  3. qt 3.14

    hi sarah ever heard of suzuki ukes? i bought one recently from christfor just to try out. comes with bag strap pitch pip and hal leonard book.considering upgrading to a better one by next year is this any good? Thx πŸ˜€

  4. Hi qt 3.14,

    Nah, I haven’t tried it or heard it before. Haha you could tell us if it’s nice to play and such.

  5. Nick

    hi sarah, nice eleuke… just one more pointer for your readers… buyers may wanna test each string on each fret, especially the first 4-5 frets(more commonly used). my makana ukulele (tenor with in-built tuner and pickup) has a “flat” note on the second fret on the E string, so it does not resonate a long as the other frets of the same string or the other strings… i try to console myself that it is unique in that way… but i’m just planning to get a better one by the year end… @qt 3.14: i bought another brand(something like greg benentte) from cristofori from their warehouse sale… the quality is average and holds the tune after you “season” the strings…

  6. Jamie

    Hi there, that was a great video, love your voice! πŸ™‚ i know how and what to look for when getting an ukulele now. Anyway, what do you think of Makala Dolphin? They sure look cheerful, but do not lose out in terms of quality and playability, based on lots of good reviews online. Their price at UM is quite cheap at $74

  7. Hi Jamie, it is certainly good!
    The only downside is that because it IS good and value for money, a lot of people buy it so you might want to put a ribbon or some sticker on yours to tell it IS yours if you ever go for large ukulele meetups.

    Hahahhaa yeah. I tried it out before too and my friend has one. It is ok especially if you like the design. Just make sure test as always!

  8. IN

    Hi Sarah,
    Thanks for your advice, i was brave enough to go for a 1-1 lesson last week and it was really tough for a beginner who has never touch a string instrument.
    Im quite slow as I couldnt change the cord from C to G7 at all, my finger refuse to or-ordinate. As he says that without knowing this basic i cant join on to next step at all. So I got no choice & had temp put a stop first until Im much more confidence to go for my 2nd lesson as it quite costly for a individual lesson. By just playing 5-10min, my 4th finger get sore…esp on the tip where we press hard on the string.

    Ops.. I do not know my Ukulele model as I get it from my teacher. China made model costing me ard SGD100.
    Is a sorpano size so guess shld be ard 21″

    Appreciate your advice…. as I dont had any friends that play guitars or ukulele at all….

  9. Hi IN,

    Yah, whoever your tutor is, what he says is true! You need to practice more from C to G7 because if you can do that, you can switch from C to G and to other chords too. Anyway, the only advice I can give you is keep practicing! It will not feel sore once you are able to strum naturally so just whenever you can, strum the chords. Don’t worry too much on changing fast. Just as long as you know how the fingering is, change to your pace FIRST.

    I took at least months before everything felt natural. The first few weeks will be difficult but you will get through it and after that, you’ll be able to play your songs. Also, you don’t need to press TOO hard. Just press enough for the strings to hit the frets then strum. You’ll get used to it and then you can confidently go to your other lessons. Keep on playing!

    Also, whatever model it is, as long as you’re happy with your uke, it’s ok!

  10. Amanda

    Hey Sarah! I would like to ask which brand of ukulele do you usually recommend for excellent sound quality with an affordable budget? πŸ™‚

  11. Hi Amanda, I usually go with the Kala but, there are other uke brands too but I like Kala’s sound. For any that you choose in the end, test it all out too!

  12. Aisyah

    Hi Sarah! Would like to know what brand and model your eleuke is, and where did you purchase it! It looks so cool and sleek! I’ve been looking for one for quite some time.

  13. Hi Aisyah,
    I got my Eleuke from Ukulele Movement. This model isn’t available there now but they have the newer ones there. You can check on their website for it.

  14. Mypreciousfairytales

    Hello!! πŸ˜‰ would like to ask what’s the diff bet laminate and solid wood ukelele? And do u encourage taking classes outside? Or self learn will be better? Thanks!!! πŸ˜‰

  15. Hi Mypreciousfairytales,

    Laminate is just made of a few layers of wood while solid is from one whole piece which makes it much more expensive.

    And I encourage EITHER. Some people like to learn in groups and classes is good for them if they need ‘motivation’ from others. Self learn is what I did which is because I wanted to do it on my own time and I bought a DVD and learned from youtube for the basics. It really is up to you because both has their pros and cons.

  16. Hi Sarah,
    Thanks for this post – it is covers everything a beginner needs to look at when buying their first uke! One other thing I would add is to also check the nut is of good-quality material like bone or synthetic and the type of strings used. I’ve found the strings make a large difference to even budget ukes, my personal favourite are the Aquila Nylgut strings.
    Regards,
    Jack

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