The Ultimate Comparison: Guitar vs Ukulele. Is ukulele easier than guitar?
If you’re a beginner and you want to start your musical journey, you’re in the right place. I’m Dave, the author of Best Guitars Now – a blog for amateur and intermediate musicians. Certainly, I’m aware that being a musical rookie is not that simple. The internet is full of mixed reviews and contradictory opinions, hence it’s really difficult to pick a guitar that’s best for you. Let’s compare which instrument is easier to play. Who’s going to win that battle – guitar vs ukulele?
We all know the beautiful sound of an acoustic guitar. The sound that melts hearts, moves mountains and leaves eternal marks on our souls. Stringed instruments have existed with us since the dawn of time, but now they are more popular than ever. But of course, learning to play the guitar is not that simple. It requires a lot of patience, consistency and hard work. Nevertheless, in my opinion absolutely anyone can play the guitar. It doesn’t matter if you’re young or old, if your hands are small or large, if you’re a man or a woman – you can do it!
In general, regular guitars have 6 strings which are tuned in EADGBE tuning. It’s not always the case though, because some guitars have seven or even eight strings. Yet, these kinds of guitars are made mainly for alternative or metal guitar players. Also, they are not recommended for beginners, because having too many strings on the fretboard can be challenging and discouraging. In terms of styles, the most popular guitars are:
- classical guitars
- acoustic guitars
- electric guitars
- bass guitars
This article focuses mainly on acoustic guitars (and ukuleles). If you’re thinking about the other types, make sure to check out my other reviews! As I mentioned earlier, most players play the guitar in the same tuning. Nevertheless, intermediate players very often experiment with their sound and they use alternate tunings. Drop D and Drop C tunings are extremely popular among metal players. DADGAD tuning is pretty common among fingerstyle guitarists. As you can see, different variations of different tunings are available in every genre. I’m sure that once you play for a couple of months, you’re going to experiment with alternate tunings too!
Guitar vs Ukulele. Is ukulele easier than guitar?
Well, that’s not really measurable, it’s highly subjective to the individual. If you’re really eager to be a musician, in a few months you will be able to play basic chords and melodies. Remember that you have to be patient and consistent, because success never comes overnight. It requires a lot of self-discipline. There will be days when you will hate the guitar and your fingers will be extremely sore. It’s similar to the gym – you have to work out consistently and often to see the best results. As a self-taught guitarist, who never had any guitar lessons, I’m telling you – you can do it on your own and completely for free. The thing is, as a guitarist you never stop learning. You will observe some milestones like playing chords, playing arpeggios or even speed tapping. But in the end, there will always be something new to learn.
On one hand, ukuleles seem to be less complicated. On the other hand, once you learn to play the guitar, playing the ukulele won’t be an issue for you. The instruments are really similar, and the main difference is only the size and number of strings. Nevertheless, you can be really good at playing the ukulele, but it doesn’t mean that you’ll be a great guitar player either. The thing is, once you learn how to play the guitar, any other string instrument will be making much more sense to you.
Guitar vs Ukulele – My Top Recommendations
As an intermediate guitarist, I have a very broad knowledge about the classical, acoustic and electric guitars. You can find a lot of reviews of electric guitars in my other blog posts. Since I’m assuming that you are a beginner and you are just starting, let’s skip the electric guitars for now. Here’s my top top three list of recommended and affordable guitars for beginners (you can find all the specifications too under the links below):
Fender CD60 – Check Pricing on Amazon
Jasmine S35 – Check Pricing on Amazon
Yamaha F325D – Check Pricing on Amazon
All three guitars listed above are absolutely great, especially for beginners. These three brands create very playable guitars made of top-quality wood. I highly recommend all three of these if you are searching for new musical gear!
Whenever we think of ukuleles, we often see a picture of a beach, sunny weather and we get a sense of serious tropical and chilled vibe. The name ‘ukulele’ most likely comes from the words ‘ukeke lele’, which means a ‘musical bow’. This instrument is significantly smaller than a regular guitar, it also has only four strings. The standard tuning of ukulele is gCEA.
Guitar vs Ukulele – which one is better as a first instrument?
Well, in my opinion it depends on what your target is. If you’re passionate about music, I would recommend purchasing an acoustic guitar as a first instrument and then after a few months you can also buy the ukulele. Besides, playing the ukulele will be a piece of cake for you once you obtain the basic knowledge of what to do with your hands, where to put your fingers and how to press on guitar strings.
If you’re wondering which instrument is better for your child, I would still recommend a guitar. There are a lot of smaller size guitars which are perfect for children of ages from three to seven. The thing is, if you learn the guitar, in some way you learn how to play the ukulele too, because the rules are the same. Whereas if you learn the ukulele, playing the guitar will be more challenging for you.
Guitar vs Ukulele. So which one is easier to play?
If you’re a complete beginner and you never had a string instrument in your hands then ukulele is definitely easier to learn. As a smaller and simpler instrument, it is great for amateurs and children too. What’s more, it will give you a small taste of string instruments and most likely you will quickly move on and buy a regular guitar too.
Personally, if I’d be a beginner again, I’d choose the guitar over the ukulele. Once you possess that ability to play, you will learn the ukulele chords in a matter of seconds. Although it may be more challenging for beginners, it’s definitely worth it. On the other hand, if you’re a big fan of the chilled sound of ukulele and you don’t really care about the guitars, you should definitely pick the ukulele. You will understand the basics very quickly and I’m sure that you will be able to play a few cool melodies even on your first day!
First Guitar vs First Ukulele – Which one to buy?
If you are really into ukuleles, make sure to pick the right instrument. As a skilled musician, I can totally recommend you three cheap and affordable ukuleles:
Aklot Ukulele – Check Pricing on Amazon
Vanphy Ukulele – Check Pricing on Amazon
Fender Fullerton Ukulele – Check Pricing on Amazon
All three ukuleles are a great option to start. Keep in mind that the third one is a the best looking and sounding ukulele, but it’s also a bit more expensive than the rest. Anyway, I highly recommend all of these!