If you haven’t heard about the guitalele before, you must be wondering what in heaven is a guitalele? Well, as you can tell from the name itself, the guitalele is a hybrid string instrument that belongs to the guitar family.
It is called hybrid because it is designed to be like and function in similar fashion the way the guitar and ukulele appears and functions. Therefore, the “guita” in the name stands for guitar, while the “lele” in the name stands for the ukulele. These are strings instruments with similar functionality but with a varying pattern and look.
The guitalele is a wonderful breed of the string instrument, as it brings you the ability to play the same chords and scale in a guitar while looking like a ukulele at the same time. The instrument features six strings, just like the normal acoustic guitar. The only difference being that the guitalele must be tuned to a 4th, which is higher than the guitar.
Why play the guitalele?
The guitalele is the best starting-point instrument for anyone wishing to play the guitar or ukulele in the future. It is also best for kids who want to play something real for fun. But for people who want to make the transition into guitar playing, the guitalele is a nice starting point.
How to buy your guitalele
If you are a newbie to the world of guitars and ukuleles, you will definitely not know how to buy your guitalele. So here is a buying guide that will give you excellent tips to enable you to buy the right guitalele for you or your kid. Always have it at the back of your mind that the product with the higher price doesn’t translate into best quality. Don’t also forget to compare various features while making your choice.
So here we go.
New or old
Considering how often you’re going to be traveling with your guitalele, and the likelihood that you will later pass it on to your child to play and enjoy. Guitaleles are sometimes prone to quick damages. In that case, it would be better to buy a new one, considering most are relatively inexpensive, and that old ones may wear out easily.
Size is always a factor to consider in purchasing any instrument. But in this case, size may not really become a problem for you; because guitaleles are available in two dominant sizes—27 to 28 inches in their overall length. They are usually smaller than the normal guitar and just as large as a large size ukulele. So, you shouldn’t worry much about size.
Strings to buy
If you want to savor the classic sound for which guitalele are known, go for the typical guitalele strings. But if you want a bit more of high pitched sounds, you might want to get the typical classical guitar strings like Aquila.
3 Best Guitalele Reviews and the Best Guitalele Brands
1) Yamaha GL1 Natural Guitalele
The GL1 from Yamaha stands as one of the best guitalele in the musical and guitar family of string instruments. As a mini product, the Yamaha GL1 Guitalele boasts a mini and unique 6-strings nylon design that delivers with breathtaking accuracy.
The shape of the GL1 guitalele is constructed according to the size of a baritone ukulele—giving it a compact yet extremely performing shape. While the guitalele measures 17 inches in scale, it is, however, designed to play like a guitar.
Based on the fact that Yamaha is a famous brand in the instrument world, the GL1 is expected to deliver 100% fun, and that’s exactly what it does. Apart from the fact that the GL1 plays like a standard tone guitar, it also comes with a tuning that is pitched up to the range of “A”.
As small as it is, the materials used in designing it are top-notch, and the precision that underlines the construction is simply out of this world for such a small looking instrument.
The GL1 boasts a full-length fretboard that performs excellently and consistently, with clear intonation. The sound also is relatively loud when compared to other more expensive models. Furthermore, it has a quality feel to it that make you wonder if the manufacturer had not done a big mistake of trading it for such a ridiculously low amount.
If you’re looking for the best guitalele, this should be one of your utmost considerations.
2) Donner DGL-1 28 Inch Guitalele
The DGL-1 from Donner is another remarkable guitalele worth taking home. It comes with 6-strings, just like the Yamaha GL1, and the strings are made of nylon as well. While this guitalele features the compact size of a baritone ukulele, the tuners and high-quality design enable it to play like a real guitar.
Guitaleles are expected to be portable, and this one doesn’t disappoint in that regard. Donner offers portable and lightweight quality on this model, making it comfortable for the player. The DGL-1 features steel tuning pegs which makes it easy to keep the strings in position when tuned.
Craftsmanship is one thing that the Donner family of string instruments is known for. The sound produced by this guitalele is sweet, coupled with a lasting stability and comfortable grip. Donner incorporates the classical guitar style of construction into this guitalele model.
From a distant, the guitalele looks very attractive due to its appealing design. It comes with amazing 17 brass frets spread across the fretboard. Frets position are stylishly marked as 5th, 7th, 9th, and 12th on the top and neck of the fingerboard.
The guitalele weighs below 5 pounds, which is ideal for both beginners and professional players. However, the thing that set this guitalele from a host of others is the accessories that accompany it.
The DGL-1 guitalele comes with a good quality carrying bag large enough to take the instrument just about anywhere of choice. A set of strings, a strap, polishing cloth and a tuner, with battery included, are some of the amazing accessories you will get to enjoy using this guitalele from Donner.
3) Lianle GL1 6 String Guitalele
Extreme convenience is all that LianLe offers to all lovers of classical guitar class players. When we first received this instrument, it is exactly as described. The wood used in making it is amazingly attractive, and of a very good quality. The natural color of the wood gets brighter and more beautiful, thanks to the natural based included design of the matte fish.
Now, the surprising thing is that this model is constructed in a way that makes it competitive and similar to any of the Yamaha class acoustic guitars out there. The materials used in constructing this baby are of good quality—from the inlay that’s within the neck and to the rim area design– boast of top quality materials.
Accessories are necessary for the efficiency of a guitalele, and this one from LianLe didn’t disappoint in that regard. Included in the package is a softly padded bag you can use in carrying the instrument about, as well as to keep it safe when not in use. The bag comes with a solid grip handle and a strap that simplify the process of moving your instrument.
The body feature solid cedar construction, with the back and side made from rosewood and plywood. While the bridge and fretboard feature rosewood design, the neck of the guitlele is made of mahogany. All of these provide the user with a durable and reliable guitalele that will last for ages.
Choosing the Best Guitalele
While guitaleles are a wonderful set of instrument that stands in the middle between the guitar and the ukulele, one must take adequate care in selecting the right choice. With just the right and appropriate research, you can always find the right product to choose.
The guitalele is truly a remarkable and unique instrument that bridges the gap between the acoustic guitar and ukulele. You will find it very helpful and easy to play as a way to transition to a higher grade of string instrument like the acoustic guitar.
Whatever you do in the course of your choice, always remember to follow the considerations set forth in this review, and you will be glad you did.