The Essential Guide to Finding the Best Concert Ukulele + Reviews
If you have little to no time on your hands, this quick guide will show you everything you need to know to find the best concert ukulele. We spent a lot of time critically looking at the most sought-after concert ukuleles and after careful consideration, we concluded that the Cordoba 15CM is the one that can offer you a great sound no matter what. Because it’s made of mahogany wood, this uke is elegant and at the same time offers you a warm and pleasant tone. It comes with nylon strings and that is good news, as your fingers will appreciate the soft strings. The pieces are bound together using a durable and elegant plastic that replicates ivory. Finding this concert ukulele for sale can be a challenge and if you can’t do that, you should look for the Lanikai LU-21C, which is next on our list.
Our Top Choice
This concert ukulele gives a pleasant feeling and the design is an elegant one thanks to the mahogany wood and abalone details. The sound is also a warm one, due to the tonewood used. Nylon strings make sure that your fingers won’t get hurt while you play the uke. The body and fingerboard are bound using a durable and good-looking plastic that replicates ivory.
The frets could have been better filed as you might hurt your fingers if you play too harsh on them.
Being made entirely of mahogany, this uke is a joy to look at and it delivers a classic warm sound.
Apart from the ukulele itself, this package comes with everything needed to start playing. Being made of Nato wood, it’s clear that the manufacturers put a lot of effort into making this a quality ukulele. The Aquila strings are strong, offer a nice sound and they don’t require much time to be broken in. You also get a gig bag with the ukulele as well as a tuner and a cloth.
Although the tuner does its job it would have been better if it also came with instructions.
Coming in a redwood finish, this uke is beautiful and comes with everything a beginner needs.
If you are a guitar player that wants to transition to ukulele, this one is for you. The back and sides are made of rosewood and that adds a lot of sturdiness. Furthermore, the top is spruce and that offers more sound volume to the instrument. It also has a deep sound box that helps with volume. Quality Aquila strings ensure a good sound.
A few frets are not well positioned and when played, they can sound a bit off.
This ukulele is so solid, thanks to the materials it’s made of. It’s a good choice for guitar enthusiasts.
11 Best Concert Ukuleles (Reviews) in 2020
Choosing a concert ukulele can be a tough job, especially if you’re new to this instrument. That’s why we did our best to provide you with accurate and critical concert ukulele reviews based on experts’ opinion, consumer reviews and sales figures. Here they are below.
- 1. Cordoba 15CM-E Concert Ukulele
- 2. Lanikai LU-21C Concert Ukulele Bundle with Gig Bag
- 3. Mitchell MU70 12-Fret Concert Ukulele Natural
- 4. Oscar Schmidt OU5 Concert Ukulele
- 5. Luna Concert Ukulele with Tattoo Lazer Etched Design
- 6. Elvis Zebrawood Concert 23′ Ukulele Bundle with Gig Bag
- 7. Concert Ukulele Bundle Deluxe Series by Hola! Music
- 8. Luna Great Wave Concert Ukulele with Gig Bag
- 9. Flea Ukulele Natural, Concert with Free Case
- 10. Kohala Akamai Concert Ukulele
- Best concert ukulele cases
- Yearly Guide & Report
1. Cordoba 15CM-E Concert Ukulele
Right from the start, this Cordoba concert ukulele has a charming feeling to it. Its elegance and beauty are given by the mahogany wood that it’s made of, and the abalone details that add to its design make it even more attractive. Great looks are not the only thing offered by mahogany. When the uke is made of mahogany, it has a warm and lovely sound.
Because the back, top and front sides are all made of mahogany, you will have a beautiful warm sound anytime. To make it more elegant, its body and fingerboard are bound using a plastic that replicates ivory.
The strings are made of nylon and when playing them, they feel great on the fingers. They also have the good tendency to stay in tune for a long time, but you will first need to break them in. The distance between the strings and the fingerboard is a bit high and that may cause your fingers to hurt a bit at first.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($97.98)
2. Lanikai LU-21C Concert Ukulele Bundle with Gig Bag
This uke is great for those beginners looking for a bundle that has it all. It offers everything from a tuner that will help you find that perfect concert ukulele tuning, to a spacious gig bag, and that makes it a great choice for new players. In terms of looks, it also does well, with the top, back, and sides being made of Nato.
Although ukuleles are generally made of mahogany or Koa, this wood of choice has a good sound as well, and that is proof of the quality craftsmanship put into the uke. To make it more resistant, the fretboard is made of rosewood and the frets are a bit sharp. Players should file them before using the uke, to avoid hurting their fingers.
Coming with quality Aquila strings, the uke doesn’t require too much time to be broken in, so players can start making it sound beautiful fast. You also get a polishing cloth included, to keep everything clean.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($99.99)
3. Mitchell MU70 12-Fret Concert Ukulele Natural
This particular concert ukulele is suitable for those guitar players that would like to transition to a similar instrument. It is a great uke that gives the feeling of a classic acoustic guitar. It also comes with the glossy and smooth finish of that instrument. In terms of construction, the top is made of spruce and everything else consists of rosewood.
These materials give it strength and good acoustic properties too. Also, due to them, the volume that this little instrument can produce is surprisingly loud. The deep sound box is also a factor that helps with that. The highs and lows sound great and the wide neck helps the player isolate every string when playing.
Given its dimensions, the ukulele is comfortable to hold. The strings are Aquila, thus of high quality, and they keep their tune, give a nice sound and are durable.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($124.27)
4. Oscar Schmidt OU5 Concert Ukulele
The design of this ukulele is one of its highlights and it’s eye-catching. It uses elegant small details to add sophistication to a simple instrument. You get some sparkle from the matching abalone purfling and rosette and there is a cream bonding on the edges of the instrument that adds a nice touch while keeping the uke well protected.
All of the sides are made entirely of Hawaiian Koa and everything is covered in gloss, showing the beautiful grain of the wood. To make the neck stronger, the manufacturers chose nyatoh, a type of Asian hardwood and that is topped by a rosewood fretboard that has 16 frets.
This ukulele doesn’t come with other accessories but it has some quality hardware, in the form of well-made Grover tuners, which hold tuning very well. The sound is a bright one, as expected, but balanced. It is not the loudest uke, but it has a good projection.
Click to see the price on Amazon!
5. Luna Concert Ukulele with Tattoo Lazer Etched Design
When looking at this Luna concert ukulele, it’s clear why its name is Tattoo. It has a unique Hawaiian design featuring a traditional pattern of swirling waves inspired by body ornamentation found in Hawaii. The soundhole rosette features shark tooth inspiration, so everything makes this uke stand out in terms of looks.
With a size of 23 inches, it’s the ideal ukulele for experienced players and adult beginners too. In terms of construction, it’s made entirely of mahogany that has been satin-finished and laminated. The mahogany neck has a rosewood fretboard that features 18 frets.
This standard uke features no electronics, although there is an electric concert ukulele variant to it that does. The hardware complements its quality build and for protection, the manufacturers included a gig bag in the package as well.
When listening to it, you can hear the rich sound produced by the mahogany and the strings working together.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($98.98)
6. Elvis Zebrawood Concert 23′ Ukulele Bundle with Gig Bag
It’s clear that there is a lot of attention to detail in this ukulele. Every side of it is made of Zebrawood, and that gives it a particular look, with nice wood granulations. The back of the instrument has a convex shape. And that is a great feature in acoustic instruments, as it doesn’t only make the ukulele look better but it adds more volume and resonance to the sound.
The fingerboard is a comfortable one and you will feel that the frets are smooth. Also, the Aquila strings go soft on the fingers and are durable, producing a warm sound. In terms of hardware, the tuners do a good job to keep the strings in good tune.
To make things better, the uke also comes with a gig bag that sports a pocket in front. There are also two straps to choose from, so you have two carrying options.
Click to see the price on Amazon!
7. Concert Ukulele Bundle Deluxe Series by Hola! Music
There are very few bundles that offer as much as this one does. It does give you everything you need to start playing and probably even more, so it’s great for those beginners looking for a quick start. In the package, you get the ukulele, a gig bag, a strap, and even 3 picks.
Although offering so much, the manufacturers didn’t make a cheap concert ukulele – the instrument is made of mahogany, one of the better choices in terms of materials. The instrument thus has a beautiful tone and that is enhanced by the convex design on the back. This adds more volume and resonance to the tone.
Quality Aquila strings complement and make this tone better. The frets have been nicely filed so you don’t run the risk of getting your fingers or hand hurt when playing the uke. The gig bag is also impressive – good looking and well padded to keep the ukulele safe.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($59.95)
8. Luna Great Wave Concert Ukulele with Gig Bag
If you really like the ocean then you will enjoy the looks of this ukulele, as it features beautiful waves graphics on its front. But that is not the only interesting part of the design – the color is also great, as well as the shape of the body.
The top, back, and sides are all made of quality mahogany, which is naturally a great tonewood and has great acoustic properties. Also, the blue shade of the mahogany goes well with the uke’s design. The sound is a resonating one, loud and clear and that is given by the quality materials and strings.
Because it’s a concert ukulele, it has a sound similar to a classical guitar, while retaining its ukulele tonality. The tuners do their job well to keep the Aquila strings in good tonality and they are easy to rotate. You also get a gig bag with this ukulele.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($129)
9. Flea Ukulele Natural, Concert with Free Case
Most ukuleles resemble the looks of a guitar nowadays, but that is not the case with this one. It’s one of those models that you want to hang on your walls so people can admire them. Resembling a paddle, the shape of this instrument attracts the eye.
But that is not the only benefit of the shape. It also helps players hold the instrument better and makes playing it easier. The bottom is flat, so you can rest the instrument nearly anywhere. The ukulele also features an interesting contrasting color scheme.
Polycarbonate fingerboard and frets mean that your hands won’t hurt after playing it intensely; you can slide your fingers how you wish on it. Also, the distance between the chords and the fretboard is good, so you will feel comfortable while playing. The Grover tuners are well made, keep the instrument in good shape, and are easy to turn.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($209)
10. Kohala Akamai Concert Ukulele
Having the shape of a classical guitar, this is a simple concert ukulele, great for those that don’t want to complicate things. The design is a simple, yet elegant one, showcasing one color, a hint of dark brown. The top, sides, and back are made of quality mahogany, thus the sound is a deep and profound one. And this sound is enhanced by the uke’s hunched back.
These traits also make it a loud instrument. Your fingers will have a nice time playing, as the fretboard is made of rosewood and the frets are well filed. In terms of hardware, the tuners are geared and this makes tuning an easier task. Aquila strings make this uke sound great, once they break in.
All the attention has been given to the ukulele itself and the manufacturers considered that a gig bag was not necessary.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($69)
11. Eddy Finn EF-MOON
The EF-MOON ukulele is striking thanks to its unique round body. Although it may seem like a novelty, the round ukulele body first appeared in the 1920s, but it’s not widely used nowadays. This one is made of laminate mahogany and it offers a great feeling when touched due to the open grain and thin matte finishing. It feels like an old instrument but provides a modern sound.
The graphics show a moon and stars on the ukulele’s front. Design-wise, the back is completely flat and the pieces seem to be well put together. The neck is also made of mahogany and it’s topped with a blackwood fingerboard that has 18 frets.
Although they may not look like much, the open tuning gears do a good job and completing the package, the uke features Aquila concert ukulele strings. The shape gives this ukulele an interesting resonance, good volume, and enough sustain.
Click to see the price on Amazon!
Best concert ukulele cases
Just like any other fragile instrument, ukuleles need protection too. Having a great ukulele is always a nice thing, but when you’re not paying attention to it or when you’re on your way to somewhere, it’s also important to have a good case to keep your instrument safe. A quality case is important, as you really wouldn’t want to get to the place you wanted to play your instrument and find out that something is broken. Furthermore, the case should protect against dust or debris and it should also keep your ukulele away from bad weather. Because you most often carry some music sheets with you, or you need some space for the extra set of chords, a ukulele case should offer you a safe space, a pocket where to hold all these extra pieces of equipment. You should also pay attention to the dimensions of the case – the size needs to be just right.
This case is made of durable materials that will ensure the protection of your beloved ukulele. First of all, the exterior is made of ABS, a type of hard plastic, and it is textured so that no scratches can be visible on it. On the inside, you will find a deep plush lining, made to keep your instrument in place and avoid damage.
To make the case even safer, there are 4 latches that keep its two sides closed together. The case has a handle that can be used to be carried, but it also offers a single-shoulder adjustable strap, very useful for those longer travels. You will also find a compartment in the case and it offers enough space to carry all of your needed accessories.
If you want, the case offers the possibility to be carried on your back, as long as you purchase a pair of straps.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($82.7)
Ibanez wanted to show that a sleek, well-designed gig bag is capable of keeping your ukulele safe in any condition, and they managed to do that with this model. This case has a lot of style to it and it’s also safe. And that is due to the well-padded bottom and side walls. It protects your instrument from bumps and scratches.
It’s a good choice for those that move a lot from home to shows or sessions. The gig bag has a light color scheme, with heavyweight matching color zippers adding to its design. It looks unique and it sets itself apart from the classic plain black cases. It has a handle and also a strap that you can use to carry it on your shoulder.
It also has 3 pockets, all of which are exterior, so you will have enough space for everything and you won’t scratch your uke.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($27.99)
The Gator GWE-UKE-CON is designed to fit concert ukuleles and it provides a durable hard-shell solution for those players that use their ukulele daily. Although hard-shell, the case is lightweight, being made of heavy-duty plywood. Everything is wrapped in a rugged Tolex PVC plastic capable of withstanding hits and scratches.
This case provides a safe place for your ukulele and keeps the moisture away from it too. The interior takes the shape of figure-eight ukuleles and it holds your uke tightly in place. Furthermore, the plush lining cradles your instrument and keeps it safe from dust and debris.
There is a built-in storage compartment that offers enough room for picks, tuners and extra accessories and it also offers more support to the uke’s neck. The black finishing and the chromed latches go well together. The handle is ergonomic and stylish too.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($65.99)
Strength and resiliency define this case, as it is made of the most durable heavy-duty multi-plywood at its core. The exterior is also durable, consisting of tolex material. This will ensure the case stands up to many challenges for years to come and does well against bad weather as well.
The interior is made to fit figure-eight ukuleles and it has a dense foam padding and black plush meant to keep the uke safe and dust free. The hardware is quality, being made of brass and gold-plated. Lockable latches make everything look elegant while keeping the uke safely inside.
When discussing dimensions, the interior measures 24 inches in length and it’s 8 inches wide. You will be able to fit your concert ukulele in it with ease. Unfortunately, it doesn’t come with a strap but the handle is well padded and strong enough to withstand heavy use.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($61.29)
The Crossrock CRA400CUCH case gives the impression of durability only by looking at it. The exterior is made of ABS plastic, which is a durable material and it’s also constructed to endure scratches. In terms of design, the lines on the body are futuristic looking.
On the inside, the case is covered with hard foam and the lining on that is deep plush. That keeps your ukulele firmly in place and protects it against scratches, damage, or dust. The case also has an accessory compartment and a pocket. What’s interesting about the case is that the zippers have a combination lock closing system. There aren’t many cases safer than this one.
The case also includes a single shoulder strap and with the help of 3 D rings, it can be upgraded to be a backpack-style model. You can get the case in many different colors, each of them looking great.
Click to see the price on Amazon!
If you aren’t looking for a complicated case, this one is for you. It offers the essential protection that a ukulele needs. The gig bag is pretty well padded and offers decent protection in a compact form. Its main advantages are that it’s light and comfortable.
The two straps on its back are adjustable and make it a backpack-style gig bag. Those straps are also well padded, and your back won’t get hurt by them. The zippers are heavy duty. You have enough space in the two pockets placed on the exterior, so you can put your stand in there or your music sheet and instructions booklet.
This gig bag does a good job at protecting your ukulele from bumps or dust, but it’s not great in bad weather. It’s also quite big and it fits ukes up to the size of 28 inches.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($12.98)
Yearly Guide & Report
There are many ukuleles out there and most of them do a decent job at providing a good sound. The idea is to find the best one, but that is hard to do. Concert ukuleles are quite popular and that’s because they represent a good starting point in every aspiring musician’s career. So if you are one of those musicians that want to play the uke, here are some things to consider when buying one.
There are four main sizes when it comes to ukuleles and the concert ukuleles are the second smallest ones, after the soprano. Usually measuring 23 inches, an instrument considered to be a ukulele concert size has a bigger body, a longer neck and more room between the frets. This makes it easier to handle and that is why it’s a decent choice for beginners of all ages.
Making the comparison soprano vs concert ukulele, the concert size has the same classic ukulele sound, but more volume. This is the biggest ukulele that still gives the renowned “stringy” sound of the instrument. Anything bigger than this starts to sound like a guitar. However, when given the choice concert vs tenor ukulele, most professional players prefer the slightly bigger uke variant, the tenor size.
You should know that each wood type has its influence on how the ukulele sounds and performs. Koa is one of the most used tonewoods when it comes to making ukuleles and it’s a popular choice all around the world. This is because it originates in Hawaii and it has some beautiful granulations and colors.
It’s also a good choice because it offers a specific, pleasant sound. Other players prefer mahogany, and that is a pretty popular choice too. Ukuleles are not the only ones that use mahogany; many stringed instruments benefit from the acoustic capabilities of this type of wood. This tonewood gives a darker, mellower tone to the instrument.
Also, because it’s a sturdy material, mahogany is often used in the ukulele’s neck as well. There are certain ukulele manufacturers that also make other stringed instruments. These manufacturers use the same type of wood for all their products and this wood is most often spruce.
The “zing” sound of the spruce wood is something that pleases some players, particularly those that are used with playing guitars. This is the case, for example, in a Kala concert ukulele. Spruce also gives more volume to an acoustic instrument. The wood of choice is not the only important aspect of the ukulele, although it provides certain uniqueness to each instrument. More important, however, is the build quality.
Solid wood vs plywood
When discussing the quality of a concert ukulele, we need to make the distinction between plywood and solid wood instruments. You will see that most professionals use solid wood bodies and that is a sign of a high-profile instrument. A ukulele made of laminates is usually a cheaper one and it doesn’t offer the sound that professional models do.
Concert ukuleles that are made of plywood are often covered in visually attractive veneers that make them more elegant. Some manufacturers want to build an instrument that sounds well but they also want to keep the costs low. This is why they produce ukuleles that have the top made of a type of solid wood, while the rest of the body is built of laminates.
This offers a middle ground for those looking for good tonality and a low price. Contrary to what you might expect, laminate ukuleles are stronger than their counterparts. And that is because plywood is less prone to splitting or getting damaged.
However, if you want to have a concert ukulele for a long time, keep in mind that, as time passes, models made of solid wood get a darker, mellower sound that some people love. Solid wood ukuleles age better than plywood ones.
When looking at concert ukuleles you can see that most of them are shaped like the figure 8. This is the most popular shape and most people associate it with a guitar or a uke. It’s important that a ukulele shaped like this has the upper part of the body smaller than the lower part as to offer more comfort to the player while in use.
Recent designs based on this model offer a small cut into the body, under the neck, so the player has an easier time reaching the frets high up the neck. Easy access to those frets is also a feature that can be found in the pineapple-shaped ukes.
This shape is a Hawaiian innovation and because of the design and the rounded backside, it’s clear why such ukes get this name. Due to its shape, this kind of ukulele gives a special feeling of authenticity when played. A similar shape can be found in the paddle-style ukulele. The name clearly suggests how such an instrument looks like.