Our ukulele wood offerings reflect the four main ukulele sizes. Unlike many of the guitar size designations, the uke sizes do not refer to specific factory models —such as the Martin Dreadnought. For this reason, you will find small variations in what one person and another call a ‘soprano’, for example. This goes for the curvature of the sides, the width of the upper and lower bought and even the scale length. So, it’s a good idea to be mindful of our actual advertised specs when you place your order.
The soprano is what most people typically associate with the ukulele. It’s the smallest (well, there is the rare ‘sopranissimo’ but we don’t need to go there right now!) and presents the most identifiably ukulele-like sound. Players normally turn to it for rhythm playing. The next two sizes, the concert, and the tenor, offer a little more range and because of this, they are more likely to be found in the hands of musicians playing fingerstyle or lead parts. The difference between the concert and tenor is slight, so you will often see them shown together in the Luthiers Mercantile website (concert/tenor). Although the soprano is the most iconic of the group, the tenor has taken over as the most popular choice during the recent ‘explosion’ of interest in the uke.
Finally, we have the baritone. The baritone is often tuned like the top four strings of the guitar and the scale length approaches that of many tenor and other small bodied guitars. Naturally, it’s voice is similar to a nylon string guitar and it is fair to view it as a ‘hybrid’ instrument if you wish, giving you a little bit of both worlds! Unfortunately, as the least popular of the four uke sizes, we are now just starting to build an inventory of wood parts specific to the baritone. Many times baritone makers are forced to buy from the (smaller) guitar offers we make available.