Ukulele vs Acoustic guitar-Which One Is Easier for Beginners?

After watching a lot of TV and real-life musicians play their instruments, you decide to embark on a musical journey. You want to be like one of those people who can play either a guitar or a ukulele, but you don’t know which one is easier to learn. I am here to offer you a guide that will help you decide which instrument you can start with.

Let’s start with their differences.

1. Size

Generally, a ukulele is smaller than a guitar, and this affects its tone and volume. Ukulele is almost half a guitar, and with its smaller size, it is more suitable for people with smaller hands. Don’t let this discourage you from playing guitar though because even though it’s bigger and favors people with larger hands, you can still learn to use it effectively.

2. Number Of Strings

Most guitars have six strings while ukuleles have four. This makes it simpler for a beginner because the lesser number of strings means you can easily manage and learn how to play the ukulele.  This also means that there are many 1 and 2 finger chords that are easier to learn than the guitar which has multiple chords. Once you master the ukulele, it becomes easier for you to learn the guitar.

3. String Type And Tension

Ukulele strings are made out of nylon or any other flexible materials. They have a softer feel on the hands while guitar strings are made out of metal and have a higher tension than the ukulele. Guitars have tight strings making the softer, stretchier feel of ukuleles more comfortable and preferred by beginners. The softness of the uke strings is what gives them their warm, delicate tones.

When it comes to string tension, the ukulele has a tension of around 7-13 pounds per string, making them easier to play while guitars have a tension of 24-35 pounds per string. This makes them tight and harder to use, but it is what gives them the loud and bright sounding volume. The softness of the ukulele strings means they don’t have as much volume.

4. Sound Differences

The acoustic guitar gives you a wide variety of sound tones ranging from very low to ear-shattering pitches. The guitar can reach tones lower than those of the ukulele but can also be used to play very loud music.

The ukulele, on the other hand, is known for its cool, relaxing tone that soothes you. It has a smaller range than that of the guitar. The range and tone of the ukulele can differ according to the size you buy, but it cannot reach the low tones of the guitar.

5. Scale Length

Since ukuleles are small, their frets are much closer together, making it perfect for people with small hands.  Guitar frets, on the other hand, have frets that are far apart, meaning you will have to stretch your hands when playing, which can be hard for people with smaller hands.

The scale length also affects the tension of the guitar. Shorter scales mean a lower string tension like that of ukuleles while longer scales in guitars bring higher tensions.

6. Price

Generally, ukuleles are cheaper than guitars so if you’re looking for a cheaper option the ukulele is what you should go for.

Best ukulele buying guide for beginners

Getting the type of ukulele that best fits you can be hard to find and so follow these guides before choosing your music partner

  • Size

Ukuleles come in four main sizes; the soprano, concert, tenor, and baritone.  The soprano is the smallest, and it is played and tuned like the concert and tenor so once you learn how to play this one, you know how to play the others. If you are a beginner, it might be easier for you to start with the soprano or concert as they offer a more vibrant tone and easy playability.

  • The wood

For a better sounding ukulele, I would advise you to buy one made of solid woods. If you are looking for a more affordable ukulele however you might want to consider one that is made from plywood. These are less favored than the ones made from solid wood because they are stiff and don’t vibrate as easily. Some are made of both solid woods and ply and are affordable and produce a good sound.

  • Brands

It is better to buy ukuleles from trusted brands like the Mahalo, Kala, Lani and Ebony series which offer affordable high-quality ukuleles. Or you can consider buying from smaller companies that are hand-made. They have the advantage of being louder and more responsive.

  • Price

Because you won’t want to spend too much on ukuleles when you’re a beginner, you will have to look for high-quality ukuleles that are around your price range.


It is much easier for a beginner to learn the ukulele before graduating on to the acoustic guitar. Ukuleles are smaller and have fewer strings to master, which makes it easier to learn and perfect for beginners.

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