Need the low-down on the different ukulele sizes? What the differences of concert vs soprano or vs tenor? Want advice on what to look for before buying? Well, if so, read on to learn more about the Concert ukulele…
General Notes on the Concert Ukulele Type
If you think about it, it makes sense: A concert uke is called that because it is supposed to maintain that traditional sweet, mellow and thin sound, but with volume enough so it’s audible in an outdoor gathering. By this, don’t expect to be able to listen to it in an outdoor concert for thousands of people without amplification! But it is made for a larger audience than a more usual traditional soprano uke.
While its dimensions are bigger by 2 inches than its smaller brother, the concert ukulele offers a wider variety of tones, but uses the same chords. This is down to it having a maximum of 20 frets (5 more than his smaller version) and having more space between frets may make it more comfortable for some to play. It has a more deep and fuller sound which sounds is great for people who might want something different than the normal uke while still maintaining its portability.
This size is sometimes called alto ukulele and it is tuned in standard tuning despite some people like to tune down one octave on the G making it drop to an F (but of course, you knew that). It is definitely an alternative instrument yet not being “too much out there” since its bigger brother, the Tenor is a whole different instrument starting to approach a more unique, closer to guitar type of sound. If you want a ukulele-sounding instrument while not being the smallest size, this is the one for you. Tenor and baritone ukes in particular are so apart from their two smaller brothers that they are whole different generation. They are moreso unique instruments by themselves.
Here’s a review of one great example of a concert size
Advantages Of This Size
It is still portable enough to carry with you on travels without much difficulty. Despite having a similar tone to a more traditional, soprano uke, it is different enough for those of you who find the standard size too mellow or sweet. This might be easier to play if you have bigger hands and offers more versatility than the smaller uke (which just isn’t enough for some). Since they are bigger they have a richer sound and play louder which is a great plus. Some models are also among the cheapest ukuleles and very fun to play. All these make the concert ukelele a great choice for many beginners.
Might be too big for some or some may found the soprano more easy to play. Some more traditional folks may like the sound of the smaller ukulele better. For more advice on soprano size see here.
Things to look for when buying
As with any instrument, try to find the one that fits you. Try to get a hold of a concert sized model and compare it to a soprano (or tenor) to see what best suits. A solid wood ukulele sounds better and will last longer but a laminated is cheaper. The number of frets is important as well, if you are looking for a traditional uke with more tonal options than a soprano. And of course the tuners are very important as well, since all ukes tend to need frequent tuning. Speaking of tune, look for models that come with good strings, such as Aquila branded strings.
Some Popular Models To Consider
Let’s look at some of the popular concert-sized ukes for sale:
- Kala KA-C - As a Kala, you know this will be well-made. Buyers love it! See our review or get the lowest price here.
- Lanikai LU-21C - Very similar to the Kala, in terms of quality, price and tone. Again, we have a review here. Or go to amazon for pricing.
- Oscar Schmidt OU5 -This is beautiful (see image), which we reviewed here. A little more expensive, but if you want a great instrument this is one to consider. Latest deals can be found here.
There are many models to consider, but we can highly recommend any of the above for beginners. Just read the reviews for yourself – guaranteed to be positive on the whole! Most of all, don’t spend too long deciding, once you know this size will suit you. Just pick up your new concert, grab some tabs and get playing!!