Few things are as amusing as super competitive siblings: just like fraternal twins Mark and Martha, my favorite cousins and members of that close knit circle of friends brought even closer by sports team rivalries, barbecuing disasters and the occasional practical prank. And when Martha decided to take up playing the ukulele, Mark too decided it was time to channel his inner rock star which he was convinced had been waiting for the right moment to awaken – conveniently forgetting his frequent claims of possessing no musical talent whatsoever.
But none of that mattered right then. All that did was proving he could not only master an instrument but actually beat Martha to it as well. The challenge was on. The occasion at which their skills would be put to the test would be at Micky’s birthday and the songs of choice, our favorite Disney hits. From the moment the first note was struck, it was clear who the winner was – the one person who’d put as much care into selecting and tuning their instrument as they had in practicing with it – Martha. “It’s all a matter of detail,” she said, as she grinned at her twin, who had to hand over a box of her favorite chocolates.
On the bright side, Mark did discover that he did have a spark of musical talent and decided to nurture it too. These days, he plays a mean bass guitar. Selecting the right concert ukulele is truly a matter of detail. Especially since there are several factors which will influence your ability to showcase your skills in all their glory.
And to enable you to experience that awesome feeling that comes with being able to do just that, we at Surf’n’Buy have enlisted the aid of the music aficionados amongst us to not only provide a list of the very best concert ukuleles, but also cover those key points as well. And you can read all about them right here to ensure you too make the right choice in your quest for the very best concert ukulele.
Top 3 Concert Ukuleles
1. Hola! Music Concert Ukulele
Its manufacturer believes it’s been built to perfection making it one of the best gifts for a ukulele fan. A claim which we simply couldn’t resist investigating. But what did we find? For starters, we noticed that the Hola! Music Concert Ukulele had been put together using high quality materials which is always a good sign. There were its mahogany top, sides, back and neck meaning we could look forward to that rich, deep sound especially loved by music fans.
There were also its Aquila Nylgut strings which are renowned for their ability to create amazing notes for soprano, concert and tenor ukuleles while also being especially resistant to the rigors of the climate. And unlike certain manufacturers which may opt for plastic nuts, this manufacturer opted for ox bone to further improve the quality of the ukulele’s sound.
We were also particularly pleased to note its fret bindings as well as its perfectly filed frets to prevent any discomfort to your fingers while playing. The fact that the Hola! Music Concert Ukulele also scored rather highly in terms of aesthetics was an added bonus. Thanks to its flawless blend of light, medium and dark tones, with a hint of gold and silver, this guitar-shaped instrument is the perfect combination of melody and elegance.
There were also the extras provided by the manufacturer including a strap, picks and even a padded gig bag to ensure the instrument gets to accompany you on your travels in style. Given all these superb features, we couldn’t help but agree that this concert ukulele has what it takes to delight the heart of any fan.
- An instrument made using high quality tone wood: The Hola! Music Concert Ukulele has been manufactured using mahogany and as a result, boasts a rich, pleasant sound making it an ideal choice of instrument.
- An excellent choice of strings: The Hola! Music Concert Ukulele also features Aquila Nylgut strings which are renowned for their ability to produce notes associated with strings made using gut with none of the accompanying susceptibility to adverse climatic conditions.
- A perfect blend of aesthetics and melody: In addition to sounding great, this guitar-shaped concert ukulele features an eclectic blend of light, medium and dark hues and a satin finish which all lend it a special elegance.
- Issues with durability noted: Complaints about the quality of adhesive used to hold the components of the Hola! Music Concert Ukulele were made by a few customers who purchased it.
- Sharp frets: A few customers who purchased the Hola! Music Concert Ukulele complained about sharp frets.
The Hola! Music Concert Ukulele is one instrument which has been made by a manufacturer determined to provide its customer base with a product which delivers on functionality, aesthetics and price. The proof can be seen in its high quality tone wood, ox bone nut, fret bindings, perfectly filed frets and Aquila Nylgut strings. As a result, you will not only get to create smooth, deep sounding melodies, but will also get to enjoy doing so as well.
Its perks also extend beyond the functional too thanks to its blend of hues, its high precision golden machine heads and its satiny finish which all lend it a polished elegance reminiscent of some of the most exclusive offerings on the globe. Thanks to this amazing array of features, this concert ukulele is definitely worth considering if you’re in search of an instrument which delivers in the most impressive ways any fan can think of.
2. Lohanu Concert Ukulele Bundle
Any instrument which has what it takes to prompt thousands of customers to leave glowing reviews is certainly doing something right. So what it is it about the Lohanu Concert Ukulele Bundle which has made it a firm favorite for thousands of delighted fans the world over?
For starters there are those deep, full, sustained notes it’s capable of providing, making it almost as good as a professional instrument. There’s also the fact that you’ll be able to strum out melodies without worrying about any tuning issues or unwelcome buzzing sounds even when playing higher frets.
This concert ukulele has also been made using high quality materials such as mahogany and Sapele tone woods and handmade deluxe bindings. It also comes with Aquila Nylgut strings which mean you’ll get to enjoy all the perks of natural gut strings without having to worry about their lack of durability.
And there are those delightful extras too including a padded case, a tuner, extra Nylgut strings and even free lessons. Thanks to all these qualities, it’s pretty clear that the Lohanu Concert Ukulele Bundle has been brought to you by a manufacturer which has thought of almost everything. And that means that this is one instrument which has what it takes to provide you with a particularly melodious experience.
- Excellent sound quality: The Lohanu Concert Ukulele Bundle has been manufactured to produce deep, full sustained notes reminiscent of some of the best available offerings.
- High quality strings: The Aquila Nylgut strings the Lohanu Concert Ukulele Bundlehas been fitted with are a firm favorite among ukulele enthusiasts. And it’s all thanks to their uncanny ability to meld the benefits of strings made from traditional materials with the perks of synthetic products.
- An instrument made using high quality materials: This concert ukulele has been made using Sapele and mahogany as well as deluxe handmade bindings making it especially durable with an improved quality of sound.
- Issues with durability noted: Complaints about the instability of the neck of the Lohanu Concert Ukulele Bundle were made by a few customers who purchased it.
- Issues with applied finish noted: A few customers who purchased the Lohanu Concert Ukulele Bundle noted their instruments had patches where the finish had not been applied.
The Lohanu Concert Ukulele Bundle is one offering which seems capable of ticking all the boxes that really matter. There’s its superb sound quality almost placing it on par with professional instruments as well as the Sapele, mahogany tone woods and deluxe hand bindings used in its manufacture. Thanks to the presence of its Aquila Nylgut strings, you’ll also be able to enjoy all the advantages of traditional gut strings while also benefiting from those provided by synthetic materials. There are all those extras it comes with as well, including a padded instrument case, a tuner and free lessons. All these wonderful qualities mean that you too can experience all the ukulele has to offer at a reasonable price.
3. Martin C1K Concert Ukulele
Placing your trust in a manufacturer which has earned a reputation for providing high quality instruments is always a great idea when it comes to selecting the concert ukulele dreams are made of. Especially when it has over a century’s experience of making the finest ukuleles. No wonder the Martin C1K Concert Ukulele has gotten to charm fans the world over. And it’s pretty easy to see why.
There’s its body which has been manufactured from koa wood which is the favorite material of ukulele enthusiasts and is native to Hawaii. And that means you’ll be able to enjoy the melodies of the instrument in all their purity and authenticity. What’s more, you’ll also be able to do so at a fraction of the cost of a normal koa ukulele since instruments made using this variety of tone wood are reputed to be pretty expensive.
And in addition to being extremely playable, it’s also lightweight too. And since the manufacturer does seem to believe in providing players with an experience which is as complete as possible, it has also paid special attention to its aesthetics. This guitar-shaped concert ukulele not only displays a rich, warm hue thanks to the wood it’s been made from, but also boasts a smooth glossy appearance reminiscent of the finest instruments thanks to its high quality satin lacquer finish.
If you’d like a concert ukulele which will provide you with that classic sound while also being lightweight, especially stylish and aesthetically pleasing, the Martin C1K Concert Ukulele might have what it takes to make you feel especially pleased.
- Excellent quality at a lower cost: Traditional Hawaiian koa wood is one of the most exclusive materials used to manufacture some of the very best and most expensive ukuleles on the globe. However, the Martin C1K Concert Ukulele provides an excellent opportunity to enjoy the benefits it comes with, such as that unique ukulele sound, at a lower cost.
- An aesthetically pleasing option: The Martin C1K Concert Ukulele features the classic guitar design as well as rich, warm coloring. It also comes with a high quality satin lacquer finish which provides it with an extra touch of elegance, too.
- Delightful extras: In addition to providing a high quality instrument, the manufacturer has also provided a gig bag which has not only been efficiently padded, but is also the perfect fit for the concert ukulele.
- No tuners provided: The Martin C1K Concert Ukulele does not come with any tuners.
- May sound slightly different from more expensive models: In spite of the quality of its sound, the Martin C1K Concert Ukulele may sound somewhat different from more expensive models.
It isn’t that often you come across a ukulele made from koa wood which costs less than usual. And that means you’ll not only be able to look forward to that classic ukulele sound loved the world over, with the Martin C1K Concert Ukulele, but will also be able to enjoy its deep brown hue. Especially since it has been finished with a high quality lacquer making it look just like one of those instruments used by pros around the globe. What’s more, it’s pretty lightweight too. There’s also a delightful and welcome extra in the form of a gig bag which has not only been efficiently padded, but is just the right size as well. All these qualities mean that this instrument is an ideal choice since it ticks all the right boxes on quality, price, and playability.
What is the Difference Between a Concert and Tenor Ukulele?
The main difference between a concert and a tenor ukulele lies in the size of each instrument. Concert ukuleles are generally 23 inches long while tenor ukuleles are usually about 3 inches longer – 26 inches. This difference in size which also translates to the main body of either instrument, plays a role in providing tenor ukuleles with a fuller sound compared to concert ukuleles.
Concert ukuleles also come with shorter scales, i.e. the part of the instrument along which its strings are strummed, which are usually 15 inches long. Tenor ukuleles on the other hand come with longer scales which are usually about 17 inches in length.
It’s also worth noting that concert ukuleles have strings which are not as tight as those on tenors. This tightness is also referred to as string tension and can influence the volume of sound an instrument produces. The greater string tension tenor ukuleles possess is another factor which plays a key role in enabling them to produce fuller sounds than concert ukuleles.
Is a Concert Ukulele Good for Beginners?
While there are no set rules regarding which instruments to start with, concert ukuleles are generally considered an excellent choice for beginners. This is due to their scale length as well as the spacing of their frets which are generally larger compared to those of soprano ukuleles. This quality means that concert ukuleles are not just considered easier to play, but also come with that classic ukulele sound which is loved by fans of the instrument.
However, it’s worth noting that the size of your hands plays a role as well in this regard since players who have smaller-sized hands may find it rather easier to play a soprano ukulele while those with larger hands will find it easier to play a concert or tenor ukulele. Another factor worth considering is the fact that it’s easier to find music written for concert ukuleles. This is because music written for ukuleles is usually composed for soprano, concert as well as tenor ukuleles.
Just as importantly, concert ukuleles are tuned in a similar manner to sopranos and tenors. As a result, you will find it really easy to play either instrument once you’ve learned to play a concert ukulele.
What is the Tuning of a Concert Ukulele?
Tuning a concert ukulele involves altering the tightness or looseness of its strings in order to ensure it sounds just right (the tighter a string is, the higher its notes will be). It’s a necessary exercise since it makes all the difference between getting to show off your skills in all their glory or sounding as though you need a bit more practice with your favorite songs. Like tenor and soprano ukuleles, those of the concert variety are tuned to similar notes: G, C, E, A, also referred to as standard reentrant ukulele tuning.
There are different ways of tuning a concert ukulele. These include by ear or using a piano. However experts recommend using a chromatic tuner which is considered to be especially fast and convenient. It is actually possible to download apps which can be used to turn your smart phone into a chromatic tuner for your concert ukulele.
Advantages and Disadvantages of a Concert Ukulele
- A fuller sound compared to a soprano
- Generally cheaper compared to tenor and baritone ukuleles
- An ideal travelling companion due to its compact size
- More room to maneuver due to larger frets
- More notes compared to a soprano
- Lacks the fuller, richer tones of tenor and baritone ukuleles
- Generally more expensive than soprano ukuleles
Factors to Consider When Picking a Concert Ukulele
Although a purely aesthetic quality for the most part, there’s nothing wrong with admitting that we’d all like an instrument which looks visually pleasing and will make us feel like strumming a few of our favorite tunes each time we take a glance at it. The most popular shapes ukuleles generally come in include the following:
- Guitar: Also popularly referred to as a ‘figure-8’, it’s an excellent choice if you’re a fan of the most popular stringed instrument on the globe.
- Pineapple: A more rounded shape if you’d love a more unique look for your ukulele.
- Boat paddle: The rarest of them all and an excellent option if you’re after a more eclectic look.
Tone woods are the variety of wood used in the manufacture of your ukulele. They are an important factor worth considering since they will not only affect non-technical factors such as its durability, weight and hue, but will also affect its sound as well.
Examples of varieties you’re likely to come across while searching for the concert ukulele that’s just right for you include:
- Mahogany: Renowned for the rich brown coloring it bestows on ukuleles, mahogany is perhaps the most common type of wood relied on by manufacturers of ukuleles. It is also considered one of the best tone woods when executed to perfection and is considered an ideal option for beginners.
- Maple: This variety is reputed to be impressively durable. It also bestows a clear sound on ukuleles making it a superb option if you intend to record your music.
- Koa: Native to Hawaii, this tone wood has come to provide the warm melodious sound which fans consider to be the very essence of ukuleles. However it’s worth noting that it’s somewhat rare and instruments produced using it may be rather expensive.
In addition to the tone wood used to manufacture your concert ukulele, the strings you select will also influence the quality of sound it’s able to produce. While there’s a wide range to choose from, it’s worth noting that fluorocarbon strings have become a firm favorite among ukulele fans due to their durability and the tone they provide. Aquila’s patented Nylgut® strings are considered to be a superb choice as well due to their ability to combine the desired qualities of natural gut strings with improved durability and lower costs.
The amount you’re willing to spend on a concert ukulele can make all the difference between your getting to experience the joys of watching your skills grow or watching those notes come out all wrong due to selecting an instrument of poor quality. Cheap ukuleles, i.e. those below $50, are usually incapable of providing those delightful tones the instrument is renowned for. Playing them also comes with an extra element of difficulty since they may not produce notes with the correct sound even when they’re played appropriately.
As a result, purchasing models which are slightly higher in price such as those in the $60 – $200 range is highly recommended. Instruments in this category come with improved durability and playability and will provide a significantly improved quality of sound and playing experience compared to cheaper models.
It takes the right concert ukulele to ensure you’re able to recreate your favorite tunes to perfection. And that means selecting an instrument which has not only been made with the right tone wood, but also comes with the right strings as well. We at Surf’n’Buy believe in presenting you with nothing but the best. Which means that those instruments lucky enough to have made it onto our list of favorites tick all those boxes in addition to featuring other welcome qualities as well.
Here’s a brief recap of what makes them an excellent choice for getting to experience one of the most loved instruments the world over:
Hola! Music Concert Ukulele: The first thing which immediately stands out about the Hola! Music Concert Ukulele is its classical elegance thanks to its effortless blend of light and dark hues with hints of gold and silver. But this concert ukulele is much more than a pretty instrument. The fact that it’s been made from an excellent tone wood – mahogany – means that it will provide a rich, deep sound. You will also be able to look forward to enjoying an optimal playing experience thanks to its Aquila Nylgut strings, perfectly filed frets and fret bindings. And because the very best ukuleles deserve to travel in style, the manufacturer has also added a padded bag for the purpose, which we think is a rather welcome extra.
Lohanu Concert Ukulele Bundle: This instrument comes with the guarantee of full sustained notes all without any of those unpleasant buzzing sounds or tuning issues which occasionally plague certain ukuleles. It also features Aquila Nylgut strings which are renowned for their ability to produce delightful notes while also remaining durable. The Lohanu Concert Ukulele Bundle also comes with a number of welcome extras including a padded case, a tuner, extra strings, picks and even free lessons, making it an ideal option for getting to experience this instrument as fully as possible.
Martin C1K Concert Ukulele: It’s lightweight, and comes with that pure, authentic ukulele sound. And it’s all thanks to the exclusive koa wood used in its manufacture. Even more impressive is the fact that you’ll get to enjoy all the perks of an instrument created by a leading brand, using rare materials at a fraction of the cost normally required.
What’s more, the Martin C1K Concert Ukulele is just as pleasant to look at as well with its satiny finish and rich, dark hues making it a must have for any fan of concert ukuleles. Now you know just what to look for when selecting the concert ukulele that’s right for you, and have our handy list as an awesome starting point, you’ll be able to choose the best instrument on which to play your favorite tunes (and perhaps even win a box of your favorite candies from anyone bold enough to pit their skills against yours).