What Size is a Standard Ukulele: All You Need To Know

by Madonna

The ukulele, with its charming sound and compact size, has become an immensely popular musical instrument. Originating in Hawaii, this small four-stringed wonder has captured the hearts of musicians and enthusiasts worldwide. However, if you’re considering picking up the ukulele, you might be wondering, “What size is a standard ukulele?” In this article, we’ll explore the various sizes of ukuleles and help you understand which one might be the best fit for you.

The Origins of the Ukulele

Before delving into the sizes, it’s important to understand the ukulele’s roots. The ukulele was introduced to Hawaii by Portuguese immigrants in the late 19th century. Its name, “ukulele,” roughly translates to “jumping flea” in Hawaiian, potentially due to the instrument’s rapid fingerpicking style.


The Four Standard Ukulele Sizes

The ukulele comes in four standard sizes, each with its unique characteristics and sound qualities. These sizes, from smallest to largest, are:


1. Soprano Ukulele:

Length: Approximately 21 inches (53 cm)


Fret Count: Usually 12 to 15 frets

Sound: Bright and cheerful; the classic ukulele sound

2. Concert Ukulele:

Length: Approximately 23 inches (58 cm)

Fret Count: Typically 15 to 20 frets

Sound: Slightly deeper and richer than the soprano

3. Tenor Ukulele:

Length: Approximately 26 inches (66 cm)

Fret Count: Usually 15 to 25 frets

Sound: Even richer and warmer; more projection

4. Baritone Ukulele:

Length: Approximately 30 inches (76 cm)

Fret Count: Typically 18 to 21 frets

Sound: Deeper and more guitar-like, closer to a classical guitar

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Ukulele Size

Selecting the right ukulele size is essential to match your preferences and playing style. Here are some factors to consider:

1. Sound Preference:

If you prefer a traditional, bright ukulele sound, the soprano or concert size is ideal.

If you want a fuller, richer sound with more projection, consider the tenor or baritone.

2. Playing Comfort:

Your physical comfort is crucial. Smaller players or those with petite hands may find soprano or concert ukuleles more manageable.

Players who want more room on the fretboard for complex chord shapes or fingerpicking may opt for a tenor or baritone.

3. Musical Genre:

Consider the style of music you intend to play. Traditional Hawaiian and folk music often favor the traditional soprano and concert sizes.

For those leaning toward jazz, blues, or even some pop and rock, the tenor or baritone ukulele’s versatility might be a better fit.

4. Portability:

If you plan to travel with your ukulele frequently, the smaller soprano or concert size is more convenient due to its compactness and lightweight.

Extra Ukulele Sizes

While the four standard sizes mentioned above are the most common, there are other less common ukulele sizes you might encounter:

1. Pocket Ukulele:

Length: Approximately 16 inches (41 cm)

Fret Count: Around 12 to 15 frets

Sound: Very compact, suitable for travel but with a limited sound range.

2. Super Tenor Ukulele:

Length: Around 30 inches (76 cm)

Fret Count: Typically 17 to 19 frets

Sound: A larger tenor ukulele with increased volume and resonance.

3. Bass Ukulele:

Length: Varies, but typically larger than a baritone ukulele

Fret Count: Similar to a bass guitar

Sound: Designed to emulate the sound of a bass guitar, perfect for ukulele bands.

Custom Ukuleles

Beyond standard sizes and less common variants, many ukulele manufacturers offer custom options. You can personalize your ukulele by selecting different woods, finishes, and additional features. These custom ukuleles can cater to specific preferences, both in terms of aesthetics and sound.

See Also: Which Ukulele is Best: Soprano or Concert?


The question, “What size is a standard ukulele?” is answered by understanding the four standard ukulele sizes: soprano, concert, tenor, and baritone. Each size offers a unique playing experience and sound, catering to various musical styles and player preferences.

Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced musician, selecting the right ukulele size is crucial for your musical journey. So, take your time, explore different sizes, and find the ukulele that resonates with your style and personality. Happy strumming!


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