NEWSFLASH – AMAZON SALE TODAY! CLICK HERE TO SAVE UP TO 71% OFF INSTRUMENTS! If you’re looking for a cheap ukulele that’s awesome for taking on the go, you’re probably looking for your very own plastic ukulele! In the past, a plastic ukulele could never be considered anything more than a toy. Just in…
Crunch! Crack! Poo-ting! Oh, man! If you’ve ever heard those noises coming from your precious Uke, we share your pain. FEAR NOT, HOWEVER! We’ve got you covered. Here’s what you need to know before traveling with ANY ukulele.
Top Picks for 2017
Overall Winner? The Eddy Finn Travel Ukulele. Just 1.75 inches deep, quality spruce and mahogany build and a 3-year warranty? How do they do that at this price? Winner by a clear margin. Check discount here.
Budget Winner? Can’t get much better than the Hola! Music HM-21. Not many ukes under $50 offer what this does. At the time of writing, there’s a pretty great deal on for these too! Search for it here.
Plastic? Heading to the beach or fond of “mudding”? Here’s our best pick. The Kala Makala Waterman. 9 million people can’t be wrong. The ultimate go anywhere Uke! Why not get one that glows in the dark?
If you spend much of your time traveling, carrying around your ukulele isn’t always easy. Ukuleles can be quite thick and fragile. It’s not uncommon for them to get damaged in your car or while traveling through the airport. That’s why you should get a travel ukulele, which are designed to be durable for your on-the-go lifestyle.
The main feature of a travel ukulele is typically the thinner body. On a standard ukulele, the body is typically 3.5 to 4 inches thick. With a travel ukulele, you’d be looking at closer 1.5 to 2.5 inches thick. This can make it a lot easier to travel with your ukulele in a carry-on bag or backpack.
GP Percussion B2 Bongos Feature Overview
- Made from hickory wood
- 6″ and 7″ drums with tunable heads
- Chrome hoops and hardware
- Tuning wrench included
After reviewing several bongos for beginners, we determined the the GP Percussion B2 bongos are a great choice for your first set of bongos. You may want to read our Tycoon Percussion Ritmo Bongos review before making a final purchasing decision.
Tycoon Percussion Ritmo Bongos Feature Overview
- Made from Siam Oak Wood
- 6″ and 7″ drums with water buffalo skin heads
- Black powder-coated hoops and hardware
- Tuning wrench included
The Tycoon Percussion Ritmo Bongos is the entry-level bongo from Tycoon Percussion aimed towards beginner and novice musicians looking for their first set of bongos.
After testing numerous bongos in this category, we can say that the Tycoon Ritmo bongos are the best bongos for beginners, hands down!
Union One Earth UB1 Bongo Feature Overview All Wood Shells 6″ and 7″ Natural Hides Chrome-plated tuning lugs Tuning key included The Union One Earth UB1 Bongos are a budget-priced set of bongos aimed towards beginner musicians. They use a different tuning method than most bongos in higher price ranges, and are one of the…
Learning a percussion instrument can be a very rewarding pursuit for you and your child. Many kids learn to play music better on percussion instruments because they tend to be more simple and less fragile.
Whereas something like learning the ukulele for a kid might be frustrating or difficult due to the discipline needed to form cords and sit still, a percussion instrument like the bongos will have kids moving around and getting their energy out!
Here’s a few reason why we love to recommend bongos as your kids first percussion instrument –
- Great for all kids – whether your kid has a lot of energy and really wants to thrash on some drums or if they’re more mild and like to play lightly, the bongos will work for them. The bongos can also adjust to any child’s skill level. Whether they’re very young and are just experiencing making music for the first time or a bit older and working on arranging beats into a rhythm, the bongos are perfect for kids.
- Extremely Durable – More than other musical instruments, the bongos are very durable. They don’t require numerous strings to keep in tune or much precision for starters, so not much can go wrong.
- Perfect for learning coordination and rhythm – these are key attributes to the successful development of children in a variety of areas even beyond music. Learning to coordinate both hands and keep a rhythm will greatly advance their development.
A ukulele for kids? What a great idea! BUT here’s what you need to know before buying…
Best for 2 – 5 year olds?
Best for 6 – 10 year olds?
Best for 11 – 15 year olds?
What About Plastic?
So, let’s be diplomatic here. Is your child, um, physically adventurous? Are they likely to stand on the ukulele or try to make it fly or see if it floats? We get it! Here’s our best pick for your little tiger. The Kala Makala Waterman. 9 million people can’t be wrong. The ultimate child-proof Uke! Why not get one that glows in the dark?
2017 Top Picks
Best for 2 – 5-year-olds? The Hape Ukulele.
Best for 6 – 10-year-olds? The Hola! HM-21.
Best for 11 – 15-year-olds? The Kala KA-15S Mahogany Soprano.
How About Plastic? The Awesome Kala Waterman
If you’re looking to introduce your child to a musical instrument, there really isn’t a better choice than the ukulele. A ukulele is much easier for a child to learn to play than a guitar, for three main reasons –
- Size – ukuleles are naturally smaller than guitars, making them a natural choice for the smaller body of a child. A smaller instrument also means the child will be much less likely to damage it (or something else in your home) as they run around the house with it.
- Complexity – the ukulele is a relatively simple instrument, especially when compared to all the other options out there. There’s only 4 strings as opposed to 6 on a guitar, and you can strum the instrument with your hand or fingers, as opposed to need a guitar pick to play. This makes it a lot more natural for kids to figure out, as they only need to learn the ukulele and not how to properly hold some other object at the same time.
- Material – if you’ve ever tried to learn to play the guitar, you might remember how raw and sore your fingertips got from practicing holding down the metal strings. That’s a huge deterrent from getting a child to learn a musical instrument! Luckily, ukuleles use softer, nylon strings. This makes ukuleles perfect for young children as it won’t tear up their hands when they’re supposed to be having fun.
Stevie Wonder, Bono (U2), John Lennon (Beatles), Bryan Adams, Steve Tyler (Aerosmith), Eddie Vedder (Pearl Jam), Chris Martin (Coldplay)…All play the harmonica. Why? Because they’re portable, inexpensive and very, very cool.
Best Premium? The Suzuki HA-20-C Promaster Hammond Professional Harmonica. We’ve played many, many harmonicas and this one tops them all for sound quality at the price. Black enameled brass cover and black coated aluminum comb. It’s spectacular. Check discount here.
Best Budget? Don’t underestimate The Classic Suzuki Folkmaster Harmonica. Though this is manufactured in China as opposed to Japan, it will absolutely do a beginner proud and for the price – how can you go wrong? Find it here.
The harmonica, also sometimes called the “Blues Harp“, is a small and simple wind instrument played in a variety of different music genres. Most notably in blues, rock, country, and jazz.
The harmonica is played by using your mouth to direct air in and out of the different chambers, sliding the harmonica with your hands when necessary. Here’s a video of a pair of harmonica players in action covering a pop song –
The bongos are beginner friendly percussion instrument typically played with the hands. You’ve certainly seen these being played at some point in your life as they’re the most popular portable percussion instrument.
As a quick note, if you’re looking to buy bongos for kids, head over to our best bongos for kids page to see some options that are better suited for the young ones.
The bongos consist of a set of two drums of different sizes, typically 6 inches and 7 inches, attached by a bridge between the two. They are typically played with the bigger drum on the right side of the musician.
The bongos were originated in Cuba sometime during the 1800’s, and are easily recognized by their high-pitched and varied beats. By striking different areas of the bongo and using different parts of your hands, you can produce a variety of beats.
Here’s a video demonstrating some of what’s possible with the bongos.
AMAZON INSTRUMENT SALE NOW ON – UP TO 71% OFF – CLICK HERE Beginner? We’ve got you covered. Here’s what you need to know before committing to ANY ukulele. Short on time? Here are the results. Premium? The Cordoba 20cm Concert Series. Join Leonard Cohen, OneRepublic and The Gypsy Kings in playing something truly…