Ukuleles have become extremely popular in the last few years with the appearance of some talented musicians that have created some exceptional pieces on these instruments. It is a pretty unique instrument, delivering a whole new approach to the music world, with its four strings and small size, which some mistake it for a smaller guitar, and they couldn’t be further from the truth. This is a distinct instrument with its own characteristics and tones that make it unique in every way.
Like I said ukuleles come in different sizes, pocket, soprano, tenor, baritone, concert, bass, and contrabass sizes or types. As you might have expected from the title today we are going to take a look at the concert ukuleles. While soprano or standard ukuleles will always be the most popular kind, concert ukuleles have gained some traction in terms of approval. This is mostly due to their wider fretboards that make them perfect for players with larger hands, as soprano ukes have pretty small fretboards making them a little difficult to play on.
But that is not all as there are different qualities to these ukuleles as well, which we’ll discuss in a few in the guide to buying the best concert ukuleles. We are going to take a look at the best options in the market, what makes a concert ukulele good, and so much more. All the necessary things to help you make an excellent choice for a concert ukulele. Now without further ado, let’s get on with it.
Which Are The Best Concert Ukuleles?
5. Oscar Schmidt OU2
We are going to kick off this list with a pretty interesting option here, the Oscar Schmidt OU2. This concert ukulele is pretty cheap and comes in a bundle with some interesting accessories that will definitely push you in the right direction. I guarantee you that despite being pretty cheap the Oscar Schmidt OU2 will allow you having plenty of fun.
Oscar Schmidt OU2 has a great concert size giving you plenty of space for you to maneuver. The sound is pretty much excellent as well and it delivers a mellower tone, that is due to the mahogany top back and sides in terms of tonewood. It also delivers a lot of output, which is pretty nice considering that this uke has no electronics.
It is also equipped with a rosewood bridge and this adds to the warm and mellow sound of it. It has an attractive satin finish, that delivers great quality and looks to the instrument. The chrome tuners also make the job easier for you and the gig bag, tuner, and Austin Bazaar DVD make it a great package.
4. Cordoba 15CM
Cordoba instruments are extremely popular in the market, for all the good reasons. They have quality, reliability, build quality, amazing tones and they do that all at an attractive price. The Cordoba 15CM concert ukulele might look pretty understated but it is one of the best instruments out there.
It is made out of quality tonewoods for starters that make it a strong contender for its price. All around it is made from quality mahogany, which includes the top sides, and back. On the top, you will see a rosette with Abalone materials on the bridge, saddle, and fretboard. I can definitely say that the overall quality is excellent overall.
The Cordoba 15CM is packed with amazing Aquila Nylgut 7U strings that make a pretty good job at complementing the mellow, deep, and rich tones of the mahogany. It is definitely very playable, despite having high action and for everything that it offers, it is one of my favorites to mess around with.
3. Fender Zuma
Moving on with our list we have a concert ukulele coming in from one of the most legendary brands when it comes to making all sorts of stringed instruments, Fender. Fender has all sorts of ukuleles in its lineup and the Zuma concert ukulele is definitely a dream come true for many ukulelists all around the world, let’s check it out.
The Fender Zuma is packed with an interesting choice in the tonewood department, as it has a laminated Sapele top, back, and sides that deliver a superb tonality with tons of richness. It also aids the durability of the ukulele in general. The Fender Zuma has an open pore finish that is pretty beautiful and it has the cream binding on top that makes things interesting.
To add to the attractiveness, Fender has added a Telecaster style headstock to this ukulele, which gives it a rock and roll vibe. The tones of this ukulele are pretty much priceless delivering some interesting and organic sounds, with tons of richness and deepness to them.
2. Kala KA-15C
Kala is one of the most prominent brands when it comes to ukulele making business as it has delivered some priceless products that have made playing ukulele a joy. The Kala KA-15C is one of the most notable and in the concert ukulele category it is one of the most exceptional instruments ever made. It has a classic design, traditional tones and everything else to make it a proper concert ukulele.
The Kala KA-15C is made out of mahogany on top, back, and sides, which delivers great durability and priceless tones. There are also cream bindings to highlight the excellent curves of the sating finish which is pretty smooth to the touch. On top of all this, the neck is also made out of mahogany, and combined with the rosewood fretboard it is excellent.
Speaking about the fretboard it has 18 frets with small dot markers. Overall the design is classic and pretty unassuming. However, the sound of this ukulele is pretty much better than you would expect. Rich, natural, and focused on the mids, definitely top of the class.
1. Luna Tattoo Concert
On top of the list, we have a concert ukulele coming in from Luna. The company has delivered all sorts of amazing stringed instruments, but the Luna Tattoo Concert takes the cake in the concert ukulele category.
The Luna Tattoo Concert is called that for very obvious reasons, it has a super attractive Hawaiian inspired design on the front that makes this ukulele pretty unique overall. It is pretty attractive, definitely the most beautiful ukulele I have ever seen. Their tattoo design goes to the soundhole as well and I have nothing bad to say about the design.
But it isn’t just a pretty face as it has a satin-finished laminated mahogany tonewood with a c-shaped neck of the same material that combines perfectly with the rosewood fretboard. This ukulele is definitely very playable and it delivers some perfect tones, especially for its price. One of the best concert ukuleles out there.
Why You Should Choose a Concert Ukulele?
As I mentioned earlier and you probably also knew that there are different ukulele sizes out there, and are classified as types. You should know that the smaller the ukulele the lighter and sharper the sound, on the other hand, larger ukuleles have a deeper and warmer sound. A concert ukulele is not the smallest of the ukuleles, meaning that you won’t be able to play it in the palm of your hands like the classic ukulele.
However, if you want a ukulele that you can hold in your lap and have more space on the fretboard than you should probably buy a concert ukulele. On top of that, the sound is pretty distinct and classic, with a bit warmness to it without losing the interesting qualities of the ukulele sound. The scale length on a concert ukulele is larger as well and the whole thing measures about 23-inches in most of the cases.
Things to consider in a Concert Ukulele
Like in everything you may seek out to buy there are some features and qualities that you should consider before opting for one. While it is not the most popular of the ukuleles actually there are a lot of options when it comes to choosing a concert ukulele. I always recommend buying from the trusted brands out there and trying to shop within your budget. So let’s get going.
The most important thing you should consider before buying a concert ukulele is actually the material of the body. Most of the concert ukuleles out there are made out of wood, and while there are some plastic options, I recommend everyone to stay away from them. However, different woods have different characteristics that will affect the sound of the instrument, price, and quality of the instrument.
For example, there are solid wood instruments and laminated wood, the solid options are pricier and hold up better, delivering better sound and durability. But then again laminated wood options are not bad as well. Softer wood delivers warmer tones, which are mellow and deep, for example, mahogany which is one of the most popular choices in the concert ukulele market. Every type of wood is good depending on your budget and skill, just don’t get a plastic ukulele, because you will be more than disappointed with it.
The neck of the ukulele is also an important part of the instrument, and the material of it is also pretty crucial. It is not the thing that will affect the tone of the concert ukulele. However, you should definitely check out what the neck and the fretboard. While most of the time you will find the same choice of the material in both body and fretboard, there might be cases where the two of them are made of different materials. Fretboards are mostly made out of sturdier wood, such as Koa, maple, walnut, and rosewood, to add better durability and reliability to the instrument.
Acoustic or Electro-Acoustic
Most of the instruments out there in the concert ukulele or even in all the ukulele category will be solely acoustic models. This means that there is no way to amplify the sound of your ukulele without using a microphone or an aftermarket modification. On the other hand, if you know that you will play for a crowd most of the time, you will most likely need to buy an electro-acoustic model that can be instantly plugged into an amp and play for a larger crowd or record it properly. These ukuleles can also be played without plugging in just like the solely acoustic normal models, yet you have the versatility to plug it in when you need it.
Obviously, you need to check out how the ukulele you want to buy sounds like because that is the most important thing there is. If you don’t like how the ukulele you buy sounds, it doesn’t matter if it is made of the best tonewoods, has all the features, is the most expensive, and so on. While I suggest going to a music shop and checking out how the guitar sounds like, so you will get a great idea about what to expect. But if that is not possible most manufacturers put out videos on how they sound like so you can check out the tones and see if you like them.
This is also one of the most important factors as it will determine what quality can you expect depending on your set budget. It is important to set up a budget before going shopping, that will reflect on your skill level and seriousness. When I say serious I mean how long are you willing to go with the ukulele you buy. Is it just going to be a hobby that you will practice in your free time or do you aspire o become a professional ukulelist? If the latter is the case I would recommend getting one of the high-end choices, and if you belong in the former, then you should probably get a lower-end model probably made out of laminated wood and that doesn’t have any electronics.
Now I hope that after you have read this article you are more than ready to go buy your first or next concert ukulele. I think that you will have plenty of fun with your new instrument and it is going to be one hell of a journey. Don’t forget to check out the top picks section for the fail-safe options in the market from the best manufacturers from all the price ranges out there. Good luck on your journey.