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On A Budget? Here Are 5 Budget Ukuleles For You

Are you interested in learning the ukulele? Have you been browsing online for affordable instruments to purchase? Are you feeling overwhelmed by the options? If you have answered “yes” to any of these questions, we hope to be able to help in the following paragraphs.

If you are starting ukulele lessons and are searching for a ukulele for yourself or a family member, it can be challenging to find an instrument that is both affordable and will meet your needs for playability and a good sound.

We will show you that finding the best cheap ukulele is not only possible but easy when you follow our guide for finding the right instrument.

When you are searching for a ukulele online, you want to avoid simply identifying the cheapest option available and adding it to your shopping cart. It is important to spend some time reading reviews, considering what you want from your instrument, and choosing something that will be worth your money.

If you are starting ukulele lessons, you want an instrument that will make your task easier and bring you joy.

best cheap ukulele

We have narrowed down three affordable ukuleles that have a great sound, great reviews, and are a great option for starting. Here are our selections, as well as the pros and cons of each model so that you can make the choice that is right for you:

3 Best Budget Ukuleles

IMAGE PRODUCT DETAILS 
Fender Venice Soprano Ukulele
  • Perfect for players who are looking for the right instrument to accompany a lazy day.
  • Great size for traveling and would be a good companion to take with you on a relaxing vacation
  • Features a pull-through no-tie bridge for easy string changes.
Fender Seaside Soprano Ukulele
  • A beautiful instrument that has real mahogany front, sides, and back.
  • Perfect instrument for beginners who want a higher quality sound
  • It has a telecaster headstock which adds to the appeal of the instrument, and also makes it easier for beginners to tune the instrument.
Fender Zuma Concert Ukulele
  • This size is perfect for many players because it is still small enough to have the classic ukulele sound.
  • It has more frets which can increase your ability to play riffs up the neck.
  • Good fit for musicians who want to play with other instruments.

Fender Venice Soprano Ukulele

The Fender Venice Soprano Ukulele is inspired by the calm, laid-back beaches and boardwalks of Venice. California. While playing it, you can imagine sitting with your toes in the sand and a refreshing beverage at your side while you watch the sunset dip below the foam-topped waves of the Venice horizon.

Pros

  • This ukulele is perfect for players who are looking for the right instrument to accompany a lazy day.
  • The Venice comes in several fun colors that are sure to catch your eye and suit your unique taste.

Cons

  • For this instrument is that it does not have a bracket for attaching a strap, so players who want to use the instrument while standing may want to choose an instrument that can accommodate a strap.

Fender Seaside Soprano Ukulele

There is nothing more relaxing to the body and the mind than time spend by the seaside. This is the vibe that the makers of the Fender Seaside Soprano Ukulele wished to capture with the natural finish and clear sound of this compact ukulele.

Regardless of where you bring the Seaside ukulele (and this can be anywhere thanks to its small size), you will be able to bring a hint of the ocean with you.

Pros

  • This gives it a rich and sonorous quality that can be hard to find in a soprano ukulele.
  • Both aesthetically and acoustically, the Seaside is top-notch while remaining affordable at just over $100.

Cons

  • Additionally, because of the affordable price and the price of solid mahogany, you won’t be getting the best wood cuts which can result in noticeable flaws in the instrument.

Fender Zuma Concert Ukulele

The Fender Zuma Concert Ukulele is nostalgic, both of the artistic Zuma Beach in Southern California, and the longstanding and time-honored traditions of the Fender Brand.

It has an eye-catching shiny finish and comes in several different Fender colors such as Lake Placid Blue and Burgundy Mist. It’s a great instrument for playing, performing, and recording.

Pros

  • The Fender Zuma is a concert-sized instrument that is larger than a soprano and smaller than a tenor instrument.
  • Additionally, it has more frets which can increase your ability to play riffs up the neck.

Cons

  • The choice of whether to choose a smaller or larger ukulele is often simply one of personal preference.

Your Buying Guide for Cheap Ukuleles

One of the most important considerations when learning a new instrument is how much money you will invest in your new hobby. Before you spend any money, it is vital to research whether the cheapest options online are truly worth the money.

We are here to make the argument that purchasing a cheap ukulele is okay as long as you are considering the type of material the instrument is made from, as well as the tunability, playability, and overall sound of the ukulele you will be choosing.

Material:

The material of your ukulele is extremely crucial both for the sound of the instrument and the overall lifespan. Plastic or plywood instruments have no long-term value because, like any other plastic appliance in your home, the instrument will simply deteriorate overtime.

Plastic and plywood ukuleles also have a much more limited sound because they lack the resonance of high-quality wood.

Ukulele made of solid wood looks and sounds fantastic
Ukulele made of solid wood looks and sounds fantastic.

Solid wood instruments improve with age as the sound expands with regular use and care. However, if you are purchasing a toy ukulele for a small child and aren’t concerned about sound quality, a plastic or plywood ukulele is the better option.

Playability:

If you are a beginner, you may be tempted to purchase the cheapest instrument to learn on. Your logic may be that you don’t need a quality instrument when you are just starting. However, a poorly made instrument can lead to frustration during the learning progress which may discourage you from continuing in your new hobby.

Some cheaper instruments can be extremely difficult to play with strings that are harder to press down, and poor fret placement. Be careful to read the reviews of any instrument you are about to purchase to make sure other users find the instrument easy to play.

Tunability:

You will discover early on that your instrument’s ability to be easily tuned and stay in tune throughout your practice session are extremely important for players both experienced and inexperienced. The cheapest instruments may have tuning pegs that slip and are unable to stay in tune, or you may find that the ukulele’s tuning falls while you are playing.

A man is tuning his ukulele.
A man is manually tuning his ukulele.

While you need to give even the best instruments time to settle in after purchasing and after each string change, check the reviews to make sure there are no problems with the tuning pegs or fret placement before settling on a ukulele.

Balancing Affordability and Quality

Unless you are in the market for toy ukuleles that don’t need to stay in tune or have a good sound, you will want to carefully balance affordability with quality. That being said, there are some truly wonderful instruments for sale that meet both of these criteria.

Expert Tip: You can find good options for under $100 and end up with a ukulele that will pass all of the tests for quality and economy.

If you want to learn on a solid instrument, you don’t have to settle for something that you would find in the toy aisle if you want a good price.

Best Rated for Affordability and Quality

In our opinion. Fender makes some of the best affordable ukuleles on the market today. They use real wood in their instruments so that the sound improves overtime. The well-constructed fretboards make it easy to press down on the strings so that anyone can learn how to play, even with smaller fingers.

The instruments are easy to tune with 4-in-line tuning pegs. Purchasing an instrument online can seem like a big risk since you can’t physically try them out before buying them.

That is why relying on a well-known brand like Fender is a great idea when making this type of purchase online. When purchasing an instrument from Fender, you will be getting the same quality that has made them one of the top makers of guitars in the world.

Fender Venice Ukulele Unboxing.

Our Choice for the Best Affordable Instrument on Amazon: The Fender Venice Soprano Ukulele

While any of the three instruments mentioned above are great options, depending on your price point and specific needs, our overall best choice for an affordable ukulele is the Fender Venice Soprano Ukulele.

At just under $70, you are getting much of what a higher-end ukulele would boast without the high price tag. We love the ukulele for its compactness and slight build, the Telecaster headstock. the pull-through bridge, and the wide selection of colors. If you are looking for an overall trustworthy, durable, and charming sounding ukulele, this is a great pick for you.

It can be a challenge to find a cheap ukulele that fits all of your requirements. You should always consider the sound, tunability. materials, and playability of any instrument before making a final decision.

Fender ukuleles, in particular Fender Venice Soprano Ukuleles, are affordable while still being some of the best instruments on the market if you have any questions or comments about your experience in finding high- quality but cheap ukuleles online leave a comment below!

We believe that finding the best affordable ukuleles can take some time and patience, but with the right resources, you can have a great instrument that suits you perfectly.

About Jayden Buckley

Hi, my name is Jayden and I am author/editor for PlayTheTunes. I remember the first time I hopped on the drums, I was hooked. Music has played an enormous part of my life, and I'm honored I get to share my experiences with you!