How to Choose the Best Baritone Ukulele


When considering the best baritone ukulele for your needs, you should consider your current level of playing ability, where you are going to be using your new ukulele the majority of the time, its usual playing environment (e.g. at home/or concerts), and how much you are willing to spend. After you have considered all of these factors, the most important thing to think about when choosing the right baritone uke for your needs is the wood from which it is made.

The cheapest ukuleles are often made of many compressed pieces of thinner woods, known as laminate. Laminate is the cheaper option as it is cheaper to make, and is not thought to sound as good as solid woods. However, if your budget is not high or your new baritone ukulele is going to be going through harsh playing conditions, a ukulele made of this could be a better option for you.

If you decide to opt for a more expensive solid wood option, you should consider exactly the solid wood that you would like your ukulele to be constructed from. Each wood offers different tones and sound, with each having its own high and low points.

Mahogany: If you choose to have your baritone ukulele made from mahogany, you will hear a good midrange with no hard sounds throughout notes. Mahogany is fairly heavy and your ukulele will have this feel.

Cedar: the cedar wood offers darker sounds, and is not as fresh sounding as many others. Cedar might make your baritone ukulele sound closer to an acoustic guitar for example. Cedar is not as hard a wood as spruce, and has a more bass heavy sound.

Rosewood: Rosewood is an extremely bright, polished sounding wood, and is less dense than mahogany. Your baritone ukulele will have fantastic high and low ends. Rosewood is heavily used in a number of string instruments for its excellent properties.

Koa: Baritone Ukulele’s on the highest end of the market tend to be made from Koa. Not only does the wood look beautiful with unique natural designs, it has a calm, pleasant tone. Koa is fairly rare and thus the price is higher.

Ovangkol: Ovangkol has a prominent midrange, and is not a lot unlike rosewood in its properties. It is lighter feeling that mahogany, and offers excellent playability for a range of different types/style of player.

Spruce: Spruce is a well known wood, it offers distinct note sounds and is loud and sharp, whilst still being warm sounding. In other words, it has a pronounced high end whilst still offering very nice mid and low range sounds.

After you have decided which type of wood you would like your baritone ukulele to be made from based upon your budget and the sound you would like, you should have a look at a number of different options within your price range and be sure to play them before purchasing, since all instruments feel different to different people! After you have chosen and purchased your ukulele, you should always remember to buy a quality case to protect the life and sound of your instrument.

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1 comment

  1. Gary

    Does a solid wood baritone ukulele need controlled humidity and temperature?