A lot of people find that the second smallest size of ukulele is the best for them. We’ve explored the best concert ukuleles in this post to help you to establish which of this category can work for you. You may find these easier to play than soprano ukuleles, but the tone is still signature uke.
Table of Contents
- 1 In a hurry? Here are our top picks..
- 2 Advantages of the Concert Ukulele Size
- 3 Why is it Called a Concert Ukulele?
- 4 Can I Switch Between Ukulele Sizes in The Future?
- 5 Concert Ukulele Brands
- 6 What are Concert Ukuleles Best For?
- 7 Concert Ukulele Price – What Does a Good Concert Ukulele Cost?
- 8 Best Concert Ukulele Reviews
- 8.1 1. Martin C1K Concert Ukulele Natural – Best High-End/Professional Concert Ukulele
- 8.2 2. Hola! Music HM-124TT+ Laser Engraved Mahogany Concert Ukulele – Best Concert Ukulele for Beginners
- 8.3 3. Kala KA-15C Satin Mahogany Concert Ukulele
- 8.4 4. Lohanu Concert Size Ukulele – Best Concert Ukulele Under $200
- 8.5 5. Hricane Concert Ukulele – Best Cutaway Concert Ukulele
- 9 Wrapping it Up – The Best Concert Size Ukuleles
In a hurry? Here are our top picks..
Advantages of the Concert Ukulele Size
Why would you choose concert ukuleles over other sizes? Concert ukes sit in the middle of the sizes. Tenor ukuleles tend to be 26 inches long, soprano are 21 inches. The concert ukulele is our middle ground at 23 inches.
The 21 inch size has the bright signature ukulele sound that you probably associate with the instrument. 23 inches gives a bit more resonance. You get a well-rounded sound with more middle frequencies.
The main advantage of concert ukuleles is the fact it gives you more space. The scale of the ukulele is bigger. You can move your fingers into position more quickly. For a beginner, this is especially helpful. So, the concert ukulele gives a good balance of sound, compact size and ease of playing.
This fantastic video lets you hear the difference between the sizes of ukuleles and the tone they create:
Why is it Called a Concert Ukulele?
You might find debate on exactly why it is called a concert ukulele. Nobody knows for certain. The most plausible theory is that concert ukuleles are named this because they are louder and clearer than soprano ukuleles.
The theory is that the soprano ukulele came along first. Someone then needed a louder model, better for projection. The larger concert ukulele gives exactly that. You can hear it a little more loudly and clearly than the soprano instrument, making it better for playing solo.
Can I Switch Between Ukulele Sizes in The Future?
Yes. You can switch between the sizes, especially soprano, concert and tenor ukuleles. These all share the same tuning. Though you will need to adjust and get used to the different size, the method of playing is the same.
This is one reason that it doesn’t matter too much which size you opt for. Go for a concert ukulele and if you want a soprano ukulele next, you can switch with ease.
The only exception is the baritone ukulele. This has a different tuning, so you will play songs in a different way. This is quite a specialist instrument. Most people find that an arsenal of the soprano, concert and tenor ukulele is enough.
Concert Ukulele Brands
What brands offer good quality concert ukuleles? Luckily, all of the sizes and body styles of ukulele are pretty common. A lot of brands provide some form of concert ukulele. The choice in the marketplace is better than ever.
When you get to our concert ukulele reviews you will find some of the best brands, and what they offer. Names to look out for include Kala, Mahalo, Donner and Fender (yes, the same Fender that make guitars).
Brand isn’t always the most important thing. Keep in mind that there are dozens of manufacturers making great ukes.
What are Concert Ukuleles Best For?
As briefly mentioned above, concert ukuleles are very good for playing live. You can hear the difference in projection when listening to a concert ukulele.
If you are going to mic the instrument up and play through a PA system or amplifier, this doesn’t matter quite as much, but for busking and practice, clearer projection is valuable. Concert ukuleles have a lot more emphasis on the mid range frequencies, making it a good accompaniment for your voice.
Concert ukuleles are good for beginners as the size is a little bit easier than soprano to move up and down the frets. A lot of people find concert ukuleles a good place to start their ukulele journey.
Concert ukuleles are versatile enough for recording, too. They retain the sound we associate with a ukulele, that bright shimmer of plucking or strumming. If you want an option to take into the studio, a concert uke can give you a rich tone to play with.
Concert Ukulele Price – What Does a Good Concert Ukulele Cost?
When searching for a ukulele, you will quickly see how much choice you have. Ukuleles can range from less than $20 (not recommended) to thousands of dollars. What does it cost to get a good, playable concert uke?
If you are a beginner, don’t spend over around $200 unless you really want to splash out. You can get a perfectly good model for $50-150. Ukuleles are cheap instruments compared to many others, so a $100 budget is reasonable for beginners. The best concert ukulele under 200 will probably be suitable for intermediate players or even pros.
There are lots of pricing variables such as whether the ukulele includes any sort of accessories. Look for value for money as well as just an affordable ukulele. None of the ukuleles on our list are under $50. If you delve to this budget range of the market, the chances are that the ukulele won’t last you anywhere near as long.
Best Concert Ukulele Reviews
1. Martin C1K Concert Ukulele Natural – Best High-End/Professional Concert Ukulele
If you are a guitarist, you will be familiar with the Martin brand. They make some of the very best guitars on the market, and specialize in acoustic guitars. Martin also make ukuleles. In fact, they have been making ukuleles since 1916. They’re known for their volume and craftsmanship.
The C1K concert ukulele costs more than most ukuleles. You could find a ukulele for a fraction of the price, but it probably won’t have the same features and build quality. For a microphone to take to concerts and recording sessions, this is one of the best you could hope for.
If you are familiar with the Martin brand, you’ll know it stands for quality. This is a lot to spend for a ukulele, but if you are looking for the very best, you will need to spend a little extra. This well-made ukulele should last you a lifetime if it is looked after properly.
We recommend getting a hard-shell case for it if you do invest in one of these. However, for tone and clarity, you’ll struggle to find better than the traditional Koa wood of the Martin C1K Concert Ukulele.
We know not everyone will be looking to spend this much, so the other options on our list of top ukuleles are more affordable. We’ve got something for every budget.
2. Hola! Music HM-124TT+ Laser Engraved Mahogany Concert Ukulele – Best Concert Ukulele for Beginners
The Hola! Music HM-124TT+ is one of the most striking concert ukuleles on the list. It looks fantastic and in spite of being pretty affordable it is made out of good quality materials. A mahogany body gives a great tone, and the bone nut and saddle give a traditional feel to your uke. It also comes with Aquila Nylgut strings, which most good ukuleles offer.
This is sold as a bundle with a padded gig bag. If you get a gig bag free with a ukulele under $100 it is usually flimsy and doesn’t pad the uke. This bag is great quality. The package also includes a shoulder strap and some picks.
This ukulele represents fantastic value. For the price point, you get a solidly made instrument that also comes with brilliant accessories to help you on your ukulele journey. It’s a suitable uke for beginners and intermediate players alike. You’re getting a lot for your money.
Kala is a brand you will probably see over and over again if you plan to keep playing ukulele. They manufacture lots of models in all the different sizes, and you can get a good entry level or intermediate concert uke in the KA-15C.
This is one of the most popular ukuleles on the market. The manufacturers sell a lot of this product, so why is it so good for those looking for a concert ukulele?
If you are looking to buy a ukulele carrying the Kala brand then this can be a good concert ukulele for you. This is arguably the best ukulele for the price. Though it is not made in the USA it is pretty sturdy and holds its tune really well compared to some other options.
Kala have a big reputation in the world of ukuleles. You shouldn’t just buy based on this, but you get plenty for the price tag with this ukulele.
4. Lohanu Concert Size Ukulele – Best Concert Ukulele Under $200
If you are looking for a concert ukulele that doesn’t break the bank too much, but has a really professional sound then the Lohanu could be a great option. This comes as a bundle, and includes lots of accessories to help you play the instrument to the best of your ability. For beginners, you can get everything you need in this bundle.
For under $200, the tonewood is fantastic. The Spalted Maple doesn’t just look great, it gives a lovely projection and tone. It isn’t the most traditional of the woods used for concert ukes, but it does an amazing job.
This is a ukulele that offers a lot of quality for the price. If you are looking for a concert ukulele under $200 that has many of the professional features you need for recording and performance, this could be an option.
You get a lifetime warranty, which is basically unheard of with instruments. If anything goes wrong, you know you can return it. The customer service is fantastic. For an all-in-one package, the Lohanu Concert Size Ukulele is hard to beat for the price.
5. Hricane Concert Ukulele – Best Cutaway Concert Ukulele
A cutaway design is often easier to play. If you are playing solos or high up on the fretboard then cutaway leaves more space for your hands. The Hricane is a great example of a cutaway concert ukulele.
This is also a ukulele that is very affordable. If you need a concert uke under $100 this could be your answer. It’s 23 inches, which is a bit smaller than some of the other ukuleles on this list, but it still has a larger fretboard to make it easier to navigate.
This is one of the best options for beginners. It’s affordable and compact. The 23-inch size is good for children and smaller hands. You should consider this if you want an all-in-one package with lots of accessories, without spending too much money.
The brand may not be as well known as the others on the list, but the Hricane Concert Ukulele deserves to be on our list of the top ukuleles in the concert size.
Wrapping it Up – The Best Concert Size Ukuleles
Having considered all of the criteria, we’ve named the Martin C1K Concert Ukulele as the best ukulele on our list. It is not a cheap choice, however, it offers incredible sound quality and clarity.
Martin is a brand that has made ukuleles since the early 1900s, and the Koa wood gives an amazing sound. If you are happy to invest a little more, this gives a comfortable playing experience and a professional tone. It also comes with a carry case emblazoned with the famous Martin logo.
If you are a beginner, and the price tag of the C1K is just a little too much, we recommend the Hola! Music HM-124TT+ Laser Engraved Mahogany Concert Ukulele. The sound quality and projection for the price is brilliant. Also, it offers lots of accessories, perfect to get you started on your journey to play ukulele. For value, you’ll struggle to find better than the HM-124TT+, and it is built to last in spite of the affordable price tag.
All of the best concert ukuleles we’ve reviewed offer something a little different, and one of the above is bound to be the right choice for your needs.