Ukulele Or Guitar, Which Is Easier? 

Ukulele Or Guitar, Which Is Easier? 

If you are new to playing music and trying to find an easy stringed instrument to learn on, a ukulele is a great choice for its small design and ease of use. This is especially true when compared with the bigger, bulkier guitar.  

Both the ukulele and guitar are in the string family of instruments. There are several differences between the two, however, such as string type and count, tonal range, and obviously the size. Continue reading on to learn more about the ukulele and why it is much easier to learn to play than a full-sized guitar. 

Ukulele Or Guitar, Which Is Easier? 

History of the Ukulele 

While most people associate the four-stringed small instrument with beautiful palm trees and crystal waters found in Hawaii, the ukulele is actually from the Madeira region of Portugal. Immigrants from Portugal who came to the Hawaiian Islands to work in the sugarcane fields brought the instrument with them. They used the ukulele as entertainment on the long voyage across the Pacific Ocean. 

Over time, the ukulele became popular with the royal family, who supported its inclusion in traditional Hawaiian dances and music. With the introduction of the recording industry, ukulele music from Hawaii grew popular with mainland listeners, particularly those who connected its sound with the enticing tropical paradise that Hawaii was frequently touted to be in movies and music. 

Ukulele Specifications 

The ukulele comes in 4 sizes ranging from 21 inches and 15 frets to 30 inches and 19 frets. There are specific sizes for each of the 4 tonal ranges which are soprano, concert, tenor, and baritone. All sizes of ukuleles feature four strings traditionally made of nylon.  

Having many different sizes of ukulele means that people of all ages can play this simple instrument. Children who want to learn to play may find the smaller soprano sizes fit nicely, whereas adults should choose their size based on their hand size.  

What is Different between Ukulele and Guitar? 

Because the ukulele only has 4 strings while a standard acoustic guitar has a minimum of 6, most novices find the path to learning the ukulele is far easier than a guitar. Children and others who experience hand and finger sensitivity can find the softer nylon strings of the ukulele is easier on their hands too.  

Guitars, unlike the ukulele, are big and sometimes bulky instruments. It is more difficult to find a comfortable playing position on the guitar compared to the ukulele. This is another reason why the ukulele is easier to learn to play. 

Is Ukulele Easier than Acoustic Guitar? 

There are many advantages of choosing to play the ukulele over a full-sized guitar. The main reason is to choose the ukulele over the guitar is simply because it is easier to play. Here are a few other reasons why playing the ukulele versus the guitar is a great idea. 

It’s Fun! 

Because of the small size of the ukulele, it is accessible and can easily be played by anyone, unlike the guitar. It is a great social instrument in group settings because it is not too loud and it is portable as well. The ukulele makes a great travel instrument for its small size too! 

It Sounds Great and is Easily Adaptable 

The ukulele has a rich, pleasant tone that will bring a smile to your face and the faces of those around you. It’s a great pick-me-up whether you’re alone in your bedroom or at a party with your friends. Most popular songs in a range of genres can be played on the ukulele (yes, even metal). Even songs with intricate chord progressions can be simplified for the ukulele due to the instrument’s four strings. 


The ukulele is a very affordable instrument comparatively. A good quality ukulele can range from $75 to $150 with very high-end models capping out at around $225. This is cheap when you compare it to its guitar cousin. Strings are inexpensive as well which makes the instrument an all-around good choice for the budget-conscious.  

Affordability is another reason why the ukulele is a great pick for those with kids who want to learn. Children are hard on things and instruments are no different. Letting kids learn to play music on inexpensive instruments is a fantastic idea.  

Does Learning Ukulele Help with Guitar?

When musicians of the ukulele decide to switch to playing guitar, there are a few things to remember. The transition from playing ukulele to guitar is not as easy as switching from guitar to ukulele. There are a few reasons for this. 

The first reason is the size difference between the two instruments. Those going from ukulele to guitar may have trouble finding a good playing position with the bigger and bulkier guitar. Transitioning from guitar to ukulele may have the same, but opposite, effect as well. 

Ukulele players may also be unfamiliar with the tuning of the guitar when switching instruments. Because the ukulele has only 4 strings while the guitar has 6, the guitar uses a different tuning scale. Guitarists will find that tuning the smaller ukulele is easier when they transition to playing the ukulele.  

It comes as no surprise that the neck of a Ukulele is narrower. Fingering the open C chord, as well as many bar chords, can be challenging at first for people with small hands.  The strings on the guitar are closer together than on a normal Uke, which may surprise you. This can make it difficult to play distinct, unique notes. The strings are also set at a far higher tension for guitar players. This often causes discomfort for several Uke players as they learn. 

Is it Better to Learn Guitar or Ukulele First? 

It depends! If you want to take the easier route in learning to play a stringed instrument, then the ukulele is the one for you. If you want to take a longer, but more thorough, road into music, then picking out a quality acoustic guitar is your best choice. 

Starting with an acoustic guitar is more difficult but provides an expanded range of knowledge in string music. Learning to play the ukulele is fast, easy, and makes for an enjoyable party trick. 

Ukulele Or Guitar, Which Is Easier? 

The Ukelele is easier to play but the guitar is a more versatile instrument. It really depends on what your musical aspirations are. If you are just wanting something fun to play and do not want to venture into the world of a professional musician, go with the Ukelele. If you want to become a musician that performs all the time, then choose the guitar. It will save you time in the long run.

Thank you for taking the time to read our article on Ukulele Or Guitar, Which Is Easier? 

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