When asked to describe a ukulele, most people will say that they only have four strings.
And they’re right. Those are the most common types of ukulele. So, what makes the 6 string ukulele different from the regular 4 string version, apart from the number of strings?
6 string ukuleles give the player a lot more range so that they can dish out more complex playstyles, resulting in a richer and fuller sound experience, on still a small instrument.
Naturally, you have to be somewhat experienced or be willing to learn how to utilize the entire string set. But with a bit of practice, you’ll be impressing your audience in no time.
Best 6 String Ukuleles in 2020
At the end of the day, you want to pick the best 6 string ukulele that’s right for you. To do that, you have to understand the different features and what aspects make a particular ukulele a good choice. That’s why I created this guide 🙂
Table of Contents
- Best 6 String Ukuleles in 2020
- Choosing The Best 6 string Ukulele – What To Consider?
- Final Thoughts on the 6 String Ukulele
Oh, and a heads up! There may be some products which I recommend for which I may make a small commission at no extra cost to you should you make a purchase. All recommendations are genuine and/or verified by myself!
The Kala KA-6 Mahogany 6-String Tenor Ukulele sits comfortably at the top of my list. That’s because, in my opinion, it’s the perfect blend of quality and value.
It offers full and bright tones, that are pleasant to hear for anyone listening. It’s very light to carry around, weighing a little less than two pounds, which makes it perfect for traveling or just taking it to the park!
The mahogany body gives it a solid build and sound quality that you can rely on. For some added finesse and class in the ukulele’s design, the top and back have white bindings giving it a traditional look.
On top of this, the chrome die-cast tuners ensure longevity and will keep you tuned for longer.
It comes with Aquila strings, but as with all ukuleles, it will take a bit of time for them to properly break in.
Overall, the Kala KA-6 Mahogany 6-String Tenor Ukulele produces an excellent and hearty sound profile, with sweet high-notes and fully matured tones. Combined with its beautiful design and aesthetics, you can’t beat this 6 string ukulele.
Listen to it below!
Pros: Tonal brightness shines through, beautiful finish/design, best price to quality value.
Cons: No gig bag.
Coming in a close second is the Oscar Schmidt OU26T Ukulele. If you’re looking for a 6 string ukulele a cut above the usual beginner or budget options, Oscar Schmidt’s is an excellent choice at a friendly price.
Don’t let its simple design fool you, the mahogany body creates a lovely balanced tone with bright highs and warm lows. The rust-proof chrome tuners are very sturdy, and they add a nice aesthetic touch to the ukulele’s look alongside the mahogany wood body.
The only thing that lets this 6 string ukulele down is the pre-installed Aquila Nylgut strings, which feel cheap. However, you can always upgrade them!
Ultimately, the Oscar Schmidt OU26T Ukulele delivers excellent quality at an affordable price, perfect for players of all abilities. Throw on some improved strings, and you’ve got yourself a bargain!
The video below shows the Ukulele Guy admiring and playing his Oscar Schmidt OU-26T 6-string tenor ukulele!
Pros: Affordable, fantastic richness and warmth of tone, comfortable fretting, easy playability.
Cons: Cheap strings, the neck may be too thin for some.
- Size: Baritone
- Top: Select spruce
- Back/Sides/Neck: Mahogany
- Fretboard: Rosewood
- Finish: Laser-etched design with a clear finish
Luna Guitars certainly know their stuff when it comes to making high-quality ukuleles at an affordable price. In fact, their Luna Tattoo Concert Ukulele is the best-selling in the world!
The Luna Tattoo 6 String Baritone Ukulele is no different. It’s a lovely instrument, similar in size to that of a mini-classical guitar, perfect for guitar players that want the option to easily travel with an instrument.
The first thing you’ll notice about this ukulele is its eye-catching laster-etch henna design, something which all of Luna Guitar’s Tattoo series ukuleles have.
Taking inspiration from Hawaii, the patterns of the shapes and symbols represent the natural island world: stones, waves, fish, sharks, turtles, rain, sun, and birds. And if you look closely, the fret markers are stylized sharks teeth.
For a relatively inexpensive instrument, it offers a clear, rich, and resonate sound. Check out the video below!
Pros: Eye-catching design, great travel ukulele.
Cons: May develop string buzz.
- Size: Soprano
- Top/Back/Sides/Neck: Mahogany
- Fretboard/Bridge: Rosewood
- Finish: Laser-etched design with natural satin finish
The Luna Tribal is a solid 6 string ukulele for the price, but what makes it stand out is its excellent package deal. It comes with an instructional DVD, clip-on tuner, polishing cloth, gig bag, and an extra set of Aquila strings.
This is perfect if you’re a beginner looking to get the best bang for your buck, plus Luna’s instructional DVD lessons are really useful if you’re just starting out.
The tribal tattoo design is very striking, while the mahogany build allows the ukulele to produce an excellent sound, although it is quite similar to that of a small guitar.
If you’re looking for an entry-point to the world of six-string ukuleles without breaking the bank, this is a perfect choice. Have a listen below!
Pros: Comes with a decent gig bag, great sound quality for price, low action setup is beginner-friendly.
Cons: Strings are quite firm, needs regular tuning.
- Size: Tenor
- Top/Back/Sides/Neck: Basswood
- Fretboard/Bridge: Rosewood
- Finish: Vintage Matt Mahogany finish
The Eddy Finn EF-G6 Tenor 6 String Ukulele was made with premium quality in mind, at a budget-friendly price. The basswood body offers a different feel from the usual mahogany build, giving it a unique look.
It’s then given a vintage matte mahogany finish, which further emphasizes the wood quality while simultaneously enhancing the tone and resonance. The soundhole’s unconventional shape also adds to its distinctive look.
The frets on the neck use nickel-silver construction for more durability and longevity. It comes with really nice pre-installed Aquila strings, however, the initial setup may be adapted for left-handed players, so you might need to set it up properly if you’re right-handed.
Eddy Finn is relatively new compared to other ukulele brands, but they’ve hit it out of the park with this budget-friendly model. It looks, feels, and sounds fantastic.
Pros: Lightweight build, highly durable material, good resonance and volume.
Cons: Nut/saddle are plactic, initial setup is for left-handed players.
Choosing The Best 6 string Ukulele – What To Consider?
With the guitar being the most popular 6 string musical instrument, the 6 string ukulele is often dismissed. But this shouldn’t be the case, it offers a unique and rich sound experience.
If you’re comfortable playing the guitar or a 4 string ukulele, the transition to a 6 string ukulele should be relatively smooth. If not, then the learning process is similar to learning any other musical instrument from scratch.
Regardless of your musical ability, here’s some key considerations when choosing a 6 string ukulele…
The number one reason why ukulele players would want six strings over 4 is the increased range that comes with it. With a fuller arsenal of strings and notes at your disposal, you can make your playstyle more diverse and flexible. You can also try out more tuning arrangements for different kinds of songs and styles.
Utilize the extra two strings right, and you’ll unlock an entirely new depth to your sound and playing. However, you’ll have to commit to incorporating them into your musical knowledge. If you’re used to 4 strings and are satisfied with the sound they produce, then it might be best to stick to them. But if you want to expand your range, then six strings offer more opportunity than 4.
Naturally, a six-string ukulele will be more difficult to learn than a four-string. You’ll need more awareness of the fretboard, chords, and tuning to maximize the ukulele’s full potential. However, when you finally get into the groove and are able to play it with ease, your patience will be rewarded.
Level of Skill and Knowledge
If you’re relatively new at learning the traditional 4 string ukulele, then stick with it! If you haven’t reached an intermediate level with it and transition to a six-string ukulele, then you might just end up getting confused, frustrated, or both!
Do you know the fundamentals of tuning? Are you already comfortable with plucking and strumming a 4 string uke? Have you memorized the essential chords of the 4 string uke? It’s better to reach a competent skill level first with the 4 string before moving on to more strings.
Guitalele vs 6 String Ukulele
It’s easy to confuse guitaleles with 6 string ukuleles. After all, they have six strings and are practically the same shape and size. However, the critical difference is that the guitalele is tuned differently.
That means it’s played in a fundamentally different style and tonal range than the 6 string ukulele. A guitaleles standard tuning is A-D-G-C-E-A, while the 6-string uke is G-C-C-E-A-A.
6 String Ukulele Tuning
The majority of 6 string ukuleles follow the same tuning of a standard 4 string ukulele tuned G-C-E-A but have a double C string and double A string. 6 string ukulele tuning should be G-C-C-E-A-A.
Final Thoughts on the 6 String Ukulele
So, have you found your perfect match?
Remember that 6 string ukuleles will, of course, sound and play differently than the standard ukulele. As long as you know what you’re getting into or if you’ve reached an intermediate level with the 4 string uke, then go for it!
Whatever your budget is, you can’t go wrong with any of my recommendations.
When you’ve finally locked in on your choice, be ready to embrace yourself in a whole new ukulele playing experience!
Happy strumming! – Will