Difference Between Guitar and Ukulele (With Table)

Instruments are objects which produce various tones and pitches of sound depending on the vibrations provided and the surface on which the vibration is caused. Instrumental music can be calming like the flute or bass-filled and fueling like electric guitars.

Stringed instruments are the instruments that make a sound when vibrations are produced on strings attached to a surface. A few examples of stringed instruments are violin, veena, guitar, and ukulele. Many often confuse a guitar for a ukulele since they are similar in appearance.

Guitar vs Ukulele

The difference between Guitar and Ukulele is that guitars produce loud and bass sound on the vibration of strings whereas ukulele produces melodic, bright, and rhythmic sound on the vibration of their strings.

The guitar is a stringed instrument that produces different tones of music. They are one of the most commonly used and learned instruments across the world. They also have many types like acoustic, bass, and electric guitar. Guitars were first made in Spain.

Ukulele is also a stringed instrument and has an appearance similar to that of a guitar. But they are smaller in size and have only four strings. So they can cover notes of range C4 to A5 only. They are usually used for referring to Hawaiian music

Comparison Table between Guitar and Ukulele

Parameters of ComparisonGuitarUkulele
SizeGuitars are bigger than a ukulele and have a size of approximately 24-25 inches.Their size varies from 13 5/8 to 20 1/8 inches.
Number of stringsGenerally, guitars have 6 strings.Ukulele has only 4 strings
Type of stringAcoustic guitars prefer nylon strings but all the other guitars have metallic stringsUkulele players prefer to have only nylon strings.
NotesThey cover a wide range of notes as they have 6 strings.With 4 strings, they can only cover the notes from C4 to A5.
Sound qualityThey have a loud and bass sound. But this also depends on the type of guitar.A melodic, bright, and rhythmic sound is produced by the ukulele.
CostGuitars are usually expensiveUkuleles are affordable and cheaper than guitars.

What is Guitar?

A guitar is a stringed instrument that has a Spanish origin. They can make many genres of sounds like bass, rock, pop, metal, etc. Mainly there are two types of guitars, electric and acoustic.

 But acoustic guitars are further divided into three types. These three types are classical, steel-string and archtop. They have six strings and therefore can cover higher ranges. The electric guitar can even go to the note C#5.

They have an average of 23-24 inches of length. They produce loud and bass-filled sounds that can be tuned depending on the type of guitar being used.

They are usually expensive. Though the general style to play is by plucking the string with the right hand, over the years many other styles have evolved.

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What is Ukulele?

A ukulele is a string instrument like a guitar that was first made in Hawaii. Therefore, the sound produced by a ukulele is referred to Hawaiian music. Though it is smaller than a guitar, they are still types of ukulele based on their size, sound and strings.

The four types of ukulele are soprano, concerto, tenor and baritone. The average size of a ukulele is 13 5/8 to 20 1/8 inches in length. They usually have 4 or 8 strings but are commonly found with 4 strings.

These four strings cannot account for many notes and therefore a ukulele has restricted notes from C4 to A5. The small body size of the instrument is the reason behind it producing melodic, soft and bright sound.

A ukulele is made of wood. But it is affordable. The soundhole of the instrument lies off-centre. It is played by plucking strings with the right hand whereas the left presses the frets.

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Main Differences Between Guitar and Ukulele

  1. Though they are both string instruments, guitars are larger than a ukulele. Guitars, on average, have a size of approximately 24-25 inches. On the other hand, the ukulele’s size varies from 13 5/8 inches to 20 1/8 inches. This is much smaller than the average size of a guitar.
  2. Generally, guitars are seen to have six strings where each string gives a particular tone and pitch. But in the case of the ukulele, they have only four strings so their pitch and tone are restricted when compared with that of a guitar.
  3. There are various types of guitars and ukuleles and the players tend to prefer certain types of strings for them. Acoustic guitars are preferred to have nylon strings whereas the other types of guitars are preferred to have metallic strings for the strong bass. Ukulele has strings of nylon and no other strings are preferred for it.
  4. Since the number of strings is different for the two, the notes covered by the two are also different. Guitars have a higher note range than a ukulele. A ukulele that has only four strings can only cover notes from C4 to A5.
  5. Since the size of the two instruments is different, the sound quality also differs. Guitars, having a larger hollow volume, give loud and bass sound. But this sound produced also depends on the size, type, and string of the guitar. Ukulele, on the other hand, produces melodic and bright beats.
  6. Guitars are expensive. Ukulele is affordable and cheaper than guitars.

Conclusion

Guitar and ukulele are both stringed instruments that have some similarities. These similarities are usually concerning the appearance of the two instruments as they both have a curved structure. These stringed instruments have quite a few differences between them as well.

Guitars are stringed instruments that were first made in Spain. The guitars are used to provide a variety of genres in music like pop, rock, country, metal, etc. There are mainly two types of guitars: acoustic and electric.

Ukulele is also a stringed instrument that is much like a guitar but smaller in size. Because of their smaller size, they sound melodic instead of loud and bass-filled. Ukulele is usually related to Hawaiian music.

The difference between guitars and ukulele is their size and the number of strings that produces a difference in the sounds produced by the two. The volume of the instrument and strings play an important role in the sound produced.

Reference

  1. https://researchers.mq.edu.au/en/publications/guitar-style-open-tunings-and-stringband-music-in-papua-new-guine
  2. https://www.physics.nus.edu.sg/wp-content/uploads/sites/5/2020/08/hyp-201314-13.pdf

Last update on 2021-09-07 / Amazon Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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