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Difference Between a Guitar and a Ukulele

Guitar vs Ukulele

Both the guitar and the ukulele are from the family of stringed instruments. Looking at them side by side they practically look the same, but their size is the most obvious difference they have. A ukulele looks more like a small guitar. But let’s take a better look at their differences further.

The guitar is usually played with the fingers, but some people also use a pick to easily pluck its strings. Playing with a pick does not change the guitar’s tone. The strings attached to it are six in number. However, there are some guitars that have more than six strings. These strings are the ones producing the sounds when you pluck a stringed instrument like a guitar. The strings attached to the guitar vary in thickness and are arranged from the top, thinnest to thickest. Some people prefer using nylon strings for their guitars, but some prefer steel strings. You can easily identify what kind of string is used on the guitar by the way they are attached to it. Nylon strings are tied to the guitar’s bridge itself. If the guitar has steel strings, it is connected to the bridge with bridge pins.

Aside from the strings used, there are two kinds of guitars according to how their sounds are produced. They are acoustic and electric guitars. Acoustic guitars have been around for over a thousand years already while the electric guitar has only been around during the 1930’s. The sound created by an acoustic guitar is produced by plucking the strings, and its vibration is amplified by the hollow body of the guitar. Unlike the acoustic guitar, the electric guitar relies on an amplifier to produce sounds. You can play it without the help of amplifiers, but the sound it will produce will be barely audible unless you are in a very quiet place.

A ukulele having less strings is easier to learn. While a guitar has a standard of six strings, the ukulele has only four strings. They are usually nylon strings because only a few people prefer using steel strings because they don’t sound as good as nylon-stringed ukuleles. Unlike the guitar that classifies its types according to how their sounds are produced, the ukulele is classified according to their size and the tone they make. The standard-sized ukulele is called soprano. This type is the one usually played by beginners. It can be easily identified because it is the smallest type of ukulele. Another type of ukulele that is only a bit bigger than soprano is concert or alto ukulele. Its tone is fuller, and it’s a good choice for people with larger hands. Tenor is the third larger type of ukulele. Its sound is fuller than concert, and some types have four or six strings. The largest ukulele is called the baritone. It is the most expensive among the other kinds of ukuleles. It looks very much like a mini-guitar and can be tuned like one as well. Aside from these types of ukuleles, some of them are classified according to their shapes like: the pineapple ukulele and the fluke ukulele which is triangular in shape.


1.Guitars are bigger than ukuleles in size.
2.Guitarists prefer nylon strings or steel strings for their instrument, but ukulele players prefer nylon strings rather than using steel strings.
3.The standard guitar has six strings attached to it while a standard ukulele has only four strings.
4.There are only two kinds of guitars: acoustic guitars and electric guitars. The ukulele, on the other hand, has four classical kinds: soprano, concert or alto ukulele, tenor, and the largest ukulele is baritone.

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1 Comment

  1. Using a pick rather than fingers actually drastically changes the tone of a guitar. Even when using your fingers your nails, or lack there of, and what part of your finger changes tone. When using a pick the tone can change depending on how exactly you are using the pick. Additionally ukuleles are not classified based on tone. They are classified based on pitch, or the range of notes they can attain. Remember tone and pitch are different. Pitch has to do with the actual notes frequency wise, while tone has to do with the quality of sound of a note.

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