If you go on Yahoo answers, you will find this question has been asked hundreds, more likely thousands, of times. “I want to learn the ukulele, but I don’t know what ukulele I should buy. What’s the best ukulele for beginners?”
Having now spent more time learning the ukulele, and having now bought 4 ukuleles myself as well as playing on several others. I think one of the best ukuleles for the money (especially with proper setup) is the Makala Dolphin and the Makala MK-S. This is further backed up by the survey I made on the Ukulele Underground Forum. They are dirt cheap ($35-$60), so you don’t have to worry about beating them up too much, and they sound pretty good.
Of the three ukuleles I bought this christmas, the one I was the most impressed with was the Makala MK-S with Aquila strings. It sounded about the same as the nicer Ohana that I purchased. Having played the MK-S or the MK-C, I feel that it would have been more than enough to get me well through the learning these stages and beyond. In fact, there were a lot of people who left remarks on the survey saying that they still often put their much more expensive ukulele aside to play their Makala Dolphin.
So if you are trying to find the best ukulele for beginners, then I say this is a good choice. If you aren’t happy with it, you aren’t out much money. Or if you use it a lot and then want something better, you can always use this as a backup to take to the beach or on trips. I even considered buying a second one just for that purpose, but decided I would see how often I was playing before I invested the extra money.
I have talked quite a bit about the Makala Dolphin and the Makala MK-S. They were the top two in the best ukulele for beginners under $60 and even ranked very high above that price as well. If you are trying to choose the best between the two then here is a helpful video.
They both sound great, but are made of different materials. The Makala Dolphin is made of plastic and the MK-S is made of wood. I’ll let you decide which one sounds best.
One of the most common questions for people who want to learn the ukulele is “what is the best ukulele for beginners to buy?” The difficulty in this question is that everyone has their own opinion, so you need to ask a lot of people. I did just that.
I went to one of the largest ukulele forums and created a post asking for peoples opinion on what was the best ukulele in different price ranges. I then put the answers into a list and created a poll.
The final poll included:
All of these ukuleles are under $60 with the Kala KS-15 and Lanikai LU-21 being the most expensive, and the Makala Dolphin and MK-S being the cheapest.
Before telling you which ukulele won the poll, with a mighty 45% of the votes, I want to discuss what seemed to be the biggest factor in choosing the best ukulele for beginners.
Cost-performance. Many people claimed that it sounded just as good, or better than the others, but is also the lowest costing of the group. As far as value goes, it was just hard to beat. Durability, looks, and quality also came up, but the deciding factor really seemed to be the sound you could get for your money.
So as you’ve probably figured out by now, the winner was the Makala Dolphin. It had 45% of the votes and there were really no complaints about it.
The rank for the best ukulele for beginners under $60 was as follows:
The Makala Dolphin- 45.45% of the votes. Noted for it’s exceptional value, bright colors, and durability.
The Makala MK-S- 27.27% of the votes. Noted for it’s great sound, and preferred over the Dolphin by those who wanted a wood grain ukulele.
The Lanikai LU-21- 14.55% of the votes. A good ukulele, but at this price range, most people felt the Dolphin was a better deal.
The Kala KS-15- 12.73% of the votes. Slightly higher grade ukulele than the Makala, but fell into the same boat as the Lanikai.