Whenever a newbie goes out to buy a ukulele, there is one question that always strikes the mind whether to go with a Soprano ukulele or a concert ukulele. Today I’ll do a complete Soprano vs Concert Ukulele comparison.
Even when I was a newbie, I also used to get confused about which one is more suitable for me, I always used to overthink about Soprano and the concert ukulele.
There are thousands of newbies who are also in the same confusion. Well, don’t worry today we will look at the complete Soprano vs concert ukulele comparison, and in the end, you will understand, out of these two which one is more suitable for you.
Soprano vs Concert Ukulele: What are the similarities?
Since we are talking about soprano and concert ukulele, we must understand that in terms of playability both these ukuleles are played similarly. G-C-E-A is the standard tuning that is used by both the soprano and concert ukulele.
So in terms of tuning, Soprano and concert ukulele both are tuned the same way. So, those who think soprano and concert ukulele both are tunned different, no, you are wrong. They both are tuned likewise and if one understands how to play soprano uke, he/she can play a concert or even tenor ukulele as well.
Difference between Soprano and Concert Ukulele
Now there are indeed some serious differences between soprano and concert ukulele, and I am going to highlight all those differences. It is very important to know about each and every difference and once you know what are the differences between both then you can decide which one is good for you.
Sizing is the major difference between Soprano and concert ukulele, and for some folks, it can be the only deciding factor. Soprano ukuleles are the traditional size ukulele with an overall length of 21 inches and a scale length of 13 inches.
Because of their smaller size, Soprano ukuleles are way more compact and easy to carry. The soprano ukulele is a very good choice for kids or for beginners with smaller hands.
However, soprano ukuleles can be tricky to keep in tune, and their small size can make them difficult to hear in a crowded room
Whereas, Concert ukuleles are slightly bigger than soprano ukes, 3 inches bigger to be precise. They are usually considered more versatile size. Since they are bigger than soprano in size, they can be a pretty good choice for beginners or intermediate players with bigger hands.
They have a fuller sound than sopranos, making them better suited for ensemble playing or for players who want to be heard over a loud group.
And since they are larger in size than the soprano, they are way easier to keep in tune.
Now there is indeed a difference in the sound production between both ukes, since the soprano is a smaller ukulele than the concert, it has a higher pitch. Concert ukuleles are larger and thus have a lower pitch.
Size differences also affect the tones of ukuleles, as you go with a bigger size ukulele, you will notice that the sound is getting more bassy, fuller, and rich.
So, in this case, Soprano ukuleles have a delicate sound whereas concert ukuleles have a bassy and fuller sound as compared to the soprano.
When it comes to sound, size alone is not a factor, wood quality equally matters. Often best ukulele brands use mahogany or Koa woods, and I have observed mahogany wood which is a hardwood produces a more bright and clear sound while softwoods like Koa produce a warmer and richer sound.
The overall length of a soprano ukulele is 21 inches and the scale length is 13 inches whereas the concert ukulele has an overall length of 26 inches and a scale length is 15 inches.
Scale length does make a difference and if you don’t know what scale length actually means then let me tell you it basically means how close the frets are together.
In the soprano ukulele, frets are very close to each other, on the other hand, the frets are a little more spread out in concert ukuleles.
There is a possibility that an individual with larger hands may find a concert ukulele more comfortable than a soprano ukulele. However, 2 inches scale length difference doesn’t actually make any noticeable difference.
If you are a beginner don’t think about the scale length too much, you are not going to feel very much difference of room space on the fingerboard.
Now by this time, we have understood that the scale length is slightly longer in concert ukulele than in the soprano. Now talking about string tension, since the concert ukulele has a longer fretboard thus it has higher string tension.
You will notice that the strings on the concert ukulele are tighter than the soprano ukulele. You need to pull the string tighter to reach the same pitch.
Now different ukulele brands have different perceived tensions, so it really depends on what brand you are going with.
Price plays a really important role, everyone has their own set budget, if a beginner with a tight budget is looking for a ukulele then Soprano ukuleles would be the best for them.
Soprano ukuleles are the smallest among all available ukuleles and thus their price tend to be lowered than concert ukes, generally speaking, a decent quality soprano ukulele would cost you around $50.
Of course, soprano ukes from high-end brands would easily cost you hundreds of dollars and in some cases even thousands of dollars.
Whereas, concert ukes are larger than soprano so they are slightly costlier than soprano ukes and a decent quality concert uke would cost you $80-100. If you are looking for cheap ukuleles then check out this guide.
Soprano vs Concert Ukulele: Pros and Cons!
Soprano Ukuleles Pros
- It is the traditional type of ukulele.
- Easily portable because of their compact size.
- Very affordable.
- A good option for beginners who are just starting out and running tight on budget.
Soprano Ukuleles Cons
- Their smaller size can make them difficult to play with.
- They don’t have the loud sound as concert ukulele.
Concert Ukulele Pros
- It is bigger in size, and people with bigger hands will find it easier to play.
- Louder sound than the soprano ukulele.
- Highly suitable to play in a crowded complex, thanks to its louder sound.
- They’re also more comfortable to hold for extended periods of time.
Concert Ukulele Cons
- Sadly not as portable as the soprano ukulele.
- Slightly costlier than soprano uke.
Soprano vs Concert Ukulele: Which one is good for beginners?
Both soprano and concert ukuleles are good and have their own merits and demerits. However, if you are a complete beginner and want to know my opinion then I would suggest you go with a concert ukulele.
The concert ukulele is not as short as the soprano and if you are an adult then it will be perfect and comfortable for you because of more room to maneuver your fingers.
If you want to feel the traditional ukulele sound then go with the soprano ukulele. And because of the soprano’s compact size, you can easily carry the uke along with you. Soprano ukes are also comparatively cheaper than concert ukes.
Those who prefer shallow tones should go with a soprano ukulele, whereas those who are looking for a richer, mellower sound, should go with a concert ukulele.
Frequently Asked Question
What ukulele size is good for a beginner?
If you are looking for the best beginner ukulele and want to experience traditional ukulele feel and sound then go with the soprano uke, they are affordable and way more compact than a concert. Also, it is a great buy option for kids.
However, if you want a ukulele that produces loud and fuller sound then go with the concert one, it is also more suitable and comfortable for adults.
That’s it, everyone, I hope I cleared your all doubts regarding the soprano vs concert ukulele. If you are still confused and not sure which one is more suitable for you then close your eyes and go with a concert uke and I am sure you will regret your decision.
If you have any suggestions then do let us know by dropping your valuable comment in the below comment section.