How Much Does A Ukulele Cost?

September 30, 2020

How Much Does A Ukulele Cost?

How Much Should A Good Ukulele go for?

When you first get into a hobby, it’s tempting to go for the cheapest option. After all, you’re not sure how long you’ll stick with something. Sometimes this works with things that are typically inexpensive to begin with.

But that’s not really the best value and will cost more in the long run.

Let’s think about it another way. I recently bought a pair of Reebok workout shoes. They were a little pricey at $80 compared to what I generally buy for shoes. If you're familiar with cross-trainer or running shoes, you know this is on the lower side of quality shoes.

Now, if I found a similar pair of shoes for $30, every red flag I own would be waving in my face. Most of the time when something sounds too good to be true, it is. I have those $30 shoes too, by the way. They left my feet and ankles sore and didn’t last long.

And I had to buy the $80 shoes anyway. So now I'm in $110 for a decent pair of shoes.

How Much Should A Quality Ukulele Cost?

Ukuleles, like most instruments, can run the gamut for price ranges. The same brands that make $120 ukuleles will often make $1k ukuleles. And of course everything in between.

If you’re just starting out you’ll more than likely want to get by with the least expensive option. If this is you, a quality ukulele will start around $120 or so. This varies by brand, but I wouldn’t go less than this for reasons we’ll get into shortly.

The higher end of a first or second ukulele is around $250, or even $300. The higher you go the better value you’ll get. You can find so many awesome ukuleles in the $120-300 range from brands like Bondi, Kala, and Cordoba.

What Goes Into The Price Of A Ukulele

Good ukuleles use quality woods called tone woods. These are essentially woods that builders agree sound good on acoustic instruments. These woods are aged and kilned down to a low moisture level. That keeps the wood from shifting as much with temperature and humidity changes.

They use better bracing on the top (the part with the sound hole), which provides better tone and projection. The build construction is also better. This not only makes the ukulele last as long as you want it to, but it enhances resonance and sustain.

The last big thing is the overall playability. The frets are level and filed, intonation is set, and components like the tuners are better quality.

When a ukulele meets all of these criteria, it’s a quality instrument. When you find these criteria in a ukulele that is relatively inexpensive, you get a good value.

Those $50 jobbers you see have none of these characteristics, by the way. When you buy them:

1) You’ll need to replace them after a couple months. It’s my $30 shoe mistake. And,
2) They actually make learning the ukulele more difficult.

It’s true. Cheap ukuleles are miserable to play. Quality ukuleles are inspiring, but in what you can achieve and how they sound.

Here’s a quick breakdown of price points to get excellent first or second ukuleles:

  • First ukulele on a budget: $120-190
  • First ukulele with a higher budget: $190-300
  • Second, third, and even fourth ukulele: $350-450

What ukulele do you have your eyes on? Let us know in the comments! If you’re unsure about what size ukulele to get, check out this article.

Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.

Also in News

What Are Good Ukulele Brands?
What Are Good Ukulele Brands?

October 29, 2020

If you’re looking to buy a ukulele right now, what brand or model sounds the best to you? That’s a very difficult question to answer. If this is your first or even second ukulele, you probably don’t have much of a reference. So let’s take a look at a few brands that I feel offer the best combination of quality, value, and diversity.

View full article →

What Size Of Ukulele Should I Buy?
What Size Of Ukulele Should I Buy?

October 14, 2020

Unlike many instruments, ukuleles come in several different sizes. For many people who decide to learn the ukulele, this can be confusing. You might find yourself asking “What’s the ‘standard’ size of ukulele?” and “Why are there so many different sizes of ukuleles?”.

View full article →

How To Read Notes On The Ukulele
How To Read Notes On The Ukulele

October 07, 2020

Today, you’re going to understand the full range of the ukulele fretboard using the natural notes. It’s a perfect lesson for any ukulele player who wants to learn to read standard notation. In this lesson, you will learn the whole and half steps in the musical alphabet - how it applies to the ukulele, and where to find the equivalent notes on paper.

View full article →