|Body And Neck:|
Learning to play an instrument isn’t easy – everyone wants to play, but no one wants to learn… right? Thankfully, this affordable ukulele for beginners kit from Kala is designed to take you to the next level, arriving with some handy accessories, as well as access to online lessons that will have you playing songs in no time. Time to take a closer look.
The ukulele that comes with this kit is a Kala soprano model, which is just under 21″ long in total. More than half of that is the mahogany neck, which has a 13.6″ scale length and very nice walnut fretboard. It has only 12 frets, but – a good lesson to learn as a beginner – it’s not how many notes you play, it’s what you do with them that counts! The soprano is the smallest sized ukulele, but it’s also the most common so it’s a good place to start.
The body is made entirely from mahogany with a lovely satin finish. Despite being a small beginner instrument, it feels pretty well made and the mahogany – while laminated – is fairly sturdy. It’s not perfect, but at well under $100, you can find worse, that’s for sure!
As you can imagine, this uke is very basic in the hardware department. The tuning machines aren’t the highest quality, but they do a decent job at allowing you to both tune the uke and keep it in tune. It also comes strung with some Aquila Super Nylgut strings which are a good addition, especially at this price.
In all honesty, you won’t be buying this kit expecting top quality in every aspect. You should be buying it because it will take you from not playing, to playing that little bit easier. So, let’s have a look at what’s included in the starter kit.
In addition to a basic but functional tote bag in which to carry the uke, Kala also supplies a free tuning app, so you have no excuse for being out of tune while you learn (family and friends will appreciate this!).
However, the most valuable thing that arrives with this affordable starter kit is access to dedicated online lessons. You might just be thinking you can just find lessons on YouTube and, while you are right, you won’t get the same structure or continuity jumping between random videos. So it’s a good addition.
We are almost inclined to say that sound of this instrument is secondary – crazy right? But the fact is, this instrument is all about getting you playing – not playing Carnegie Hall. Now that we’ve made it sound quite underwhelming, the good news is that the uke sounds rather nice. It’s bright, rich and offers everything you’d expect from a soprano ukulele.
It doesn’t have the same kind of natural sustain that some other Kala models offer, so it sometimes feels like notes don’t resolve as smoothly as they should. At this price you’d expect something that sounds more like a toy than an instrument though and it’s certainly not that. In short, it’s not the highest quality of tone, but it’s instantly identifiable as a soprano uke. By the time you outgrow the sound and move on to another ukulele it will have served its purpose without burning too big a hole in your pocket.
This starter kit from Kala costs well under $100. At that price we really can’t see any reason for complaint. It looks good, it sounds as it should, and you also get some added value with the online lessons. Ultimately, it is a cheap instrument, but, if you look after it, it will serve you well for a long time.