New to ukuleles? Read my handy guide for beginners, to help get you on the right track.
How much to spend
This article by ukulele player Barry Maz is very useful, describing exactly what you get for your money. Barry has been playing the ukulele for a few years,
but he ended up buying a very poor instrument at first because he didn't have any information, so he created this blog to help other beginners.
Ukulele Beginners - What to spend? How cheap is cheap
There is a bewildering range of instruments available although it seems that many of them come out of one factory in China. The cheap painted ones by Mahalo are about £25 but like anything in life, you get what you pay for. The newer Mahalos are better than they used to be, but if you can get a Brunswick one they are worth spending a bit more on.
Instruments vary enormously but most cheaper ukes (anything under about £60) sound better with Aquila strings.
There are different sizes - Soprano, Concert, Tenor and Baritone. I have Concert and Soprano, and some of my students have Tenors. Choice depends on so
many factors, such as playability, portability, the size of the person playing it and their fingers. For beginners, I recommend the Brunswick Soprano or Concert. The Ukulele Buying
guide offers a comprehensive overview to the different options and sizes.
Try before you buy
You should always hold and play a ukulele before you buy it.
Where to buy a ukulele in the Richmond area
Sadly many of the shops have closed down recently. I suggest you try Ritz www.ritzmusic.co.uk/music-shop/retail-sales/
There are hundreds of electronic tuners on the market. Go for one that is simple to use, small and changes colour when it’s in tune. I like Stagg and Joyo.
There are handy tuning apps you can get free, such as G-strings tuner from the Android Play Store.
There is some tuning help and useful tips at the end of this Youtube clip.
Here's another Youtube clip of someone showing you how to do Relative Tuning on your uke (that means you don't necessarily need an external source eg piano,
tuner etc so you can play by yourself but you may not be in tune with others if you play in a group etc but it sounds pretty accurate to me)