There are four types of a ukulele– soprano, concert, tenor, and baritone. A tenor ukulele is relatively bigger than the first two types. It is known to produce a deeper and fuller sound, which is why this particular type is preferred by a lot of musicians.
Whether you’re buying for yourself or thinking of giving it as a gift, the best tenor ukulele is waiting for you. To give you an idea of which one to choose, here are the top 5 choices to help you with your decision.
5 Best Tenor Ukuleles in 2019
- BEST UKULELE BUNDLE DEAL! High Quality at Low Price! Tenor size is used by professional ukulele players. It has a bigger sound, and wider spaced frets than concert and soprano size which can be better for adults with large hands.
- UNCONDITIONAL LIFETIME WARRANTY for Ukulele & All Accessories!!! BEST Customer Service from a CANADIAN Company!! FREE Bonus Ukulele Video Lessons!
- AMAZING SOUND! Sounds so much better than a cheap ukulele, and very close to a high end ukulele! Features an Arched Back to give longer sustain & fuller sound!
- TWO STRAP BUTTONS INSTALLED! All ACCESSORIES INCLUDED! (Strap, Tuner, Case, 2 Picks, Paracord Hanger, Extra Set of Aquila Strings) Don't spend an extra $10-15 just to have someone install strap buttons on your ukulele. All accessories and labor can easily cost $50
- A BEAUTIFUL LOOKING UKULELE: 24 inches long, Sapele/Mahogany Top, Back & Sides & Neck, Rosewood Fingerboard, Aquila Strings Installed (Best Ukulele Strings), Handmade ABS Bindings, Chrome die cast tuning gears keeps ukulele in tune!
With an excellent quality and incredible features (all at an affordable price), it is without a doubt that the Lohanu Tenor Ukulele is your top choice for the best tenor ukulele found in the market. Because of its tenor size, it produces a bigger sound, compared to other types of ukulele. With its sweet and eargasmic sound, the Lohanu Ukulele will easily leave you in awe. If you’re looking for rich tonality and solid construction, you’re better off with this tenor ukulele.
Boasting an arched back and great tone wood combination, this tenor ukulele produces a relatively fuller sound and longer sustain. It features a rosewood fingerboard, hand-made ABS binding and Chrome die-cast tuners to ensure its sound is in check at all times. Top it all off with Aquila strings, and you’ll be off making lovely music.
You don’t have to worry about accessories, because this tenor ukulele comes with all your necessities when it comes to playing this instrument. Included items are a strap, case, pick holder, two picks, and an extra set of Aquila strings. Talk about getting more than what you paid for!
- Arched back for better sound
- Strap buttons are pre-installed
- Has an extra set of Aquila strings
- Some encountered difficulties with the tuner
Cordoba 20TM Tenor Ukulele Bundle with Hard Case, Tuner, Austin Bazaar Instructional DVD, and Polishing Cloth
- Solid Mahogany top
- Mahogany back and sides
- Rosewood bridge and fretboard
- Aquila Nylgut strings included
- Natural satin finish
Featuring a very lovely abalone detail, a natural dual-herringbone wood pattern rosette, complete with a satin finish, you’ll find it hard to take your eyes off of the Cordoba 20TM Tenor Ukulele. Aside from its eye-catching design, the 20TM owns an excellent tone wood combination, which is the main reason for its heavenly sound and tonality. Once you’ll get to know its features, you won’t question why the 20TM is a great option as the best tenor ukulele.
Featuring a solid mahogany construction, you’ll be expecting the 20TM to have a rich sound with warmth and resonance. You also don’t have to worry about its volume, as it has quite a sufficient level. It also features very functional tuners which keep it in tune for a long time.
- Rich sound
- Loud volume
- Great tuners
- Low quality gig bag
- Grover Open-geared Tuners - Natural
- Pau Ferro Fingerboard and Bridge
- Tenor Ukulele with Koa Top
Now, this one will give you legit Hawaiian vibes. The Kala Ka-KTG Tenor Ukulele will have you feeling like you’re in a tropical getaway in Hawaii whenever you play this instrument. If your definition for the best tenor ukulele is a remembrance of its origin, then the Ka-KTG is for you.
The first and most important thing you need to know about the Ka-KTG is that it’s entirely made of Hawaiian Koa, which basically means solid construction and really pure and robust tonality. With its loud volume, the Ka-KTG will fill your room with its amazing tone.It features D’Addario strings which helps improve its sound and playability.
To complete its beauty, the Ka-KTG comes with a glossy finish, which tends to be beneficial as it helps in preserving its construction.
- Koa construction
- Nice volume
- Glossy finish
- Fret board could be better
- East Indian Rosewood Fingerboard and Headplate with Customized Design in Tribute to Israel Kamakawiwo'ole
- Tenor Ukulele with Solid Quilted Mahogany Top
If you’re a long time string instrument player, then you know that Martin guitars always produce the best sounding guitars. Fortunately, the same observation reflects on its ukuleles. Made as a tribute to the icon, Israel Kamakawiwo’ole, Martin comes up with its very own tenor ukulele that’s named after the said legendary artist. That being said, the Martin IZ Tenor Ukulele could be your best tenor ukulele.
The IZ Tenor Ukulele is one beautiful tenor ukulele, inside and out. Made from mahogany, the IZ produces a very warm sound that will easily sweep you off your feet. Boasting a natural color as its finish, the IZ would be greatly appreciated by those who are fans of neutral and earthy tones. It also comes with Hawaiian Koa inlaid, and a single ringed rosette with black/white fiber.
Lastly, the IZ owns a dovetailed neck joint which makes for excellent durability and enhanced playability.
- Hawaiian Koa inlay
- Natural color
- All-solid mahogany top, back and sides
- Handmade with Spanish heel neck joint and fan bracing, with a wider fingerboard for easy playability
- Rosewood bridge, binding, and fingerboard with abalone rosette
- Hand-rubbed PU finish, All Cordoba ukuleles come with Aquila Nylgut strings.
- Includes Cordoba tenor polyfoam case
Joining Cordoba’s new 30 series is its very own 30T with premium features and attractive physical characteristics. Sporting Cordoba’s signature elevated headstock with a figured Acacia overlay, abalone rosette, and fan bracing, the 30T does not take its physical features for granted. However, the 30T is not just all about its looks. Its sound quality and playability are the bomb, too.
Cordoba is backed by a well-known luthier, Pepe Romero Jr, which was partly the mastermind behind the designs on the 30 series. Featuring an all-out mahogany construction, the 30T produces a warm and balanced sound, plus it contributes to its light weight. Adding to its easy playability is its wider fingerboard and handmade Spanish heel neck joint. Complete with a hand-rubbed polyurethane finish, the 30T gives of an excellent resonance.
- Has a reasonable price
- Nice quality
- Light tone
- A little heavy
Factors To Consider When Buying a Tenor Ukulele
Consider Its Shape
You may not realize it, but there are actually different kinds of tenor ukulele shapes. These shapes are the traditional or eight-shaped or a pineapple-shaped one. However, the former type is the most commonly used shape, as it’s the traditional design.
The eight-shaped body of a tenor ukulele is curved on the upper body. This type is easier to handle since it has the same shape of a guitar. It also gives you more control over the strings.
On the other hand, a tenor ukulele that’s shaped like a pineapple is a less likely used design. Only the pros and more experienced players find this type manageable. The strings are closer and gives its users the options to create more complex notes. This design is also suitable for users with faster playing motions with the ukulele.
The Kind of Tone Wood
Tenor ukuleles are commonly made with solid or laminate wood. The best tenor ukuleles commonly uses solid woods, so take not of that. Solid wood construction provides fuller and richer tone, especially as it ages.
On the other hand, a laminated wood construction preserves its appearance for a much longer time because of the number of layers that are laminated. But, one downside of this route is that ukuleles made from laminate woods may tend to weigh heavier. Some also say that ukuleles made with laminated woods give off a consistent sound.
Whichever wood construction you choose, make sure to pick the best tenor ukulele with a solid and sturdy construction, which won’t wear out quickly.
Mind The Fretboard, Too
Aside from the tone wood, you should also check out its fretboard as it also affects how the ukulele would sound. One way to check if the fretboard has a good quality is to check out its material.
Usually, good quality fretboards are made out of rosewood as it keeps the sound sturdy and consistent, High-end ukuleles and guitars have ebony fretboards, which makes the sound fuller.
Aside from the material, fretboards should also have a lot of fret markers, as it helps play the tenor ukulele without hassle. We might want a good-looking fretboard, but we also need a functional fretboard. Fret markers are represented differently, and it’s up to the manufacturers to put their own touch to it.
You may know by now that there are different types of strings—metal and nylon-wound, and there might even be gut strings. The type of string also affects how the tenor ukulele sounds.
Steel or metal strings give more durability, however, they are more preferred by experts and professionals. If you’re a beginner, or just don’t consider yourself as a pro, then it’s best if you use nylon strings to avoid damaging your instrument.
Now, gut strings are not commonly used when compared to the other types. Gut strings are animal-based and can only last for a while. The sound they produce might not be as full, but they create a light touch that would still work well in a ukulele when used properly.
So, if you’re thinking about buying the best tenor ukulele, consider the Lohanu Tenor Ukulele as your top choice. It produces a sound that’s loud, at the same time, sweet. You’ll feel like you’re in a Hawaiian paradise every time you spend your time with this tenor ukulele. Plus, who wouldn’t love a tenor ukulele that won’t break the bank?
The Lohanu Tenor Ukulele features an arched back that produces an overall great sound, which is also one of the reasons its users love it. You also don’t have to worry if the strings wear out, as it comes with an extra set of Aquila strings. However, users attested that they had a difficulty with the enclosed tuners.