Ukulele vs guitar for child: Which one should your kids start with?

Ukulele vs guitar for child: Which one should your kids start with

Music has a great influence on the personality development of children.

Thus, many parents let their children play musical instruments from an early age. Ukuleles and guitars are two of the most popular instruments for kids.

But what are the differences between them? Which one you should choose for your children? Let’s learn more about ukuleles and guitars and find the answers to these questions.

General information about the ukulele

Ukulele is a small instrument in the stringed instrument family. It originated in Hawaii.

In Hawaiian, “ukulele” means “jumping flea”. This term describes the flexible and energetic finger movements of players. A typical ukulele is made of wood and has 4 nylon strings.

A typical ukulele has a figure-eight body shape made of wood and 4 nylon strings. There are also specially designed ukuleles such as pineapple ukulele or plastic ukulele.

There are many different types of ukuleles. Four common types are soprano, concert, tenor, and baritone ukuleles.

People can use a ukulele to play many music genres such as jazz, country music, pop, world music, and rock.

General information about the guitar

The guitar is a stringed instrument with a hollow wooden body and 6 strings. People play guitar by strumming or plucking the strings.

Guitars have come for centuries in many different forms. The current common forms are acoustic, classical, and electric guitars. You can play guitar for many different types of music.

Difference between guitars and ukuleles

Both guitars and ukuleles are string instruments, but they have many differences.

Difference between guitars and ukuleles

1. Size

The size is the most obvious difference between a ukulele and a guitar.

Ukuleles come in various sizes, but the largest size is 21 inches. Meanwhile, the size of a guitar can be up to 40 inches. A ukulele is much smaller than a guitar, so it is easier to manage.

2. Strings

The number of strings is also another remarkable difference between these two instruments.

A ukulele has 4 strings while the number of guitar strings is 6. Besides, ukuleles use soft nylon strings. But the strings of guitars can be metal, nylon, or metal-coated nylon strings.

3. Tuning

In a guitar, the tuning order is from low to high. The position of the 6 guitar strings is E-A-D-G-B-E. But the tuning of a ukulele is G-C-E-A, which doesn’t follow the low-to-high order.

4. Range of notes

Due to the larger size and number of strings, a guitar has a wider range of notes than a ukulele. You can play at least 18 notes with a guitar. Meanwhile, in most ukuleles, the number of playable notes is not more than 12.

5. Sound

A ukulele makes lighter and brighter sounds than a guitar. On the other hand, guitars are rich in tones and melodies.

So, you can play many different music genres with a guitar, including both happy and sad songs. But the bright tone of the ukulele is more suitable for happy music only.

Benefits of a ukulele for children

1. Easy to manage

The small size and lightweight of a ukulele will be easier for your child to manage.

From the age of 5, children can learn to play musical instruments. But it is hard to hold a guitar for a 5-year-old kid. So, a ukulele will fit perfectly with him/her little hands.

Benefits of a ukulele for children

Moreover, the strings of a ukulele are nylon strings. They are soft and have less string tension than guitar strings.

So, they won’t hurt the tender fingers of children, even when practicing for a long time.

2. Easy to learn

Of all the stringed instruments, learning to play ukulele is the simplest. It has only 4 strings, so the chords are easy to memorize.

The small neck of a ukulele also helps reduce wrist tension. You don’t need to hold the strings too tightly and stretch the wrist to reach the notes.

3. Fun and friendly with kids

The ukulele is a social instrument because anyone can play it. Kids have an active and dynamic minds. So, they will surely love the bright and joyful tone of a ukulele.

Besides, there are ukuleles with bright colors and funny cartoon prints for children. Its small size also allows children to bring it everywhere in their backpacks.

4. Affordable price

A standard-quality guitar will cost you at least $400. But to buy a good ukulele for your child you just need to spend from $40-$300. Therefore, a ukulele is more affordable.

5. Perfect introduction before other stringed instruments

The ukulele is the most basic stringed instrument. Thus, after kids master a ukulele, it’s easier to learn other stringed instruments.

Benefits of a guitar for children

1. More variety of music genres

A guitar will allow you to access more riffs, chords, and intervals than a ukulele. Besides, the range of notes of a guitar is wider than that of a ukulele.

Benefits of a guitar for children

So, the sounds produced by a guitar are more diverse. You can play many musical styles. If you want your child to follow the professional musical path, a guitar is more suitable.

2. More online and in-person lessons

The number of available lessons for guitar is much larger than for a ukulele. Moreover, it is easier to find a good guitar teacher.

Which one is more suitable for your kids?

If your child’s age is under 6, and you just introduce them to musical instruments, choose a ukulele. It will be more friendly and easier for the kid to start with.

A guitar is more suitable for kids from 6 years old. From this age, they can start with a guitar for kids.

A guitar is also a wise choice if you want your child to be a professional artist. It will provide a larger variety of music genres.


Above are the differences between ukuleles and guitars and their benefits for children. Choosing the right instrument for your children can help them enjoy music and be happier.

Hopefully, with this information, you can decide which instrument is more suitable for your child. Thank you for reading!

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