Though there are many plusses of owning a guitalele, what I like most about a Guitalele is that it can be played like a guitar.
A Guita what!?
The guitalele—yes, that’s exactly what I said. But you may also call it ukitar, guilele, or kīkū.
Don't have any idea what a Guitalele is? No worries, this thorough guide has got your back!
The term Guitalele is a guitar-ukulele hybrid that is made up of two words; it’s a combination of the prefix of Guitar and postfix of Ukulele.
My initial attempt towards playing a stringed instrument wasn’t because of a guitar or ukulele, but guitalele was the reason why I wanted to do so, at-lease it is what caught my attention those days.
I always loved strumming a guitar, but being a little kid, handling the weight of a guitar didn’t seem reasonable to me, and yet I loved the sounds coming out of it. The problem was that I couldn’t take it anywhere as guitars are huge.
While there are plusses of having a ukulele such as it is super portable and lightweight, you can’t ignore its fret system—the fact that it only has 4 strings. So, a guitalele became my go-to stringed instrument.
Best Guitaleles for Beginners
Why should you consider investing in a guitalele? How does it stand out from a guitar or ukulele?
A guitalele may not be for everyone, but it’s definitely for those people who are comfortable with a stringed instrument that is larger than a ukulele but shorter than an acoustic guitar.
A guitalele combines the features of both—a guitar and ukulele. That means you will get to feel the vibes of each instrument. It brings superior comfort and portability to the table because, like a ukulele, a guitalele is also a take-anywhere string instrument.
Quick Fact: Did you know that Yamaha first introduced the guitalele? Yes, that’s true, and the very first guitalele came into existence in 1997.
What’s more, it’s not just the convenience a guilele is famous for, you can experience similar sounds of a guitar (as if you were to put the capo on the 5th fret) using a guitalele.
But to achieve that, a guitalele must have 6 strings, right? Well, you guessed it right—a guilele does have six strings on the fretboard.
Now, whether you prefer a guilele with nylon strings or those made of plastic, you need to check this out while shopping for the one.
If you don’t have any idea of which one to choose, I’d suggest you go with nylon strings.
So, in what way a guitalele is tuned?
Well, unlike ukuleles that are tuned to GCEA, a guitalele is tuned to ADGCEA. This depicts that the tuning of the top four strings is similar to that of a guitar. Put differently, a guilele is tuned in the same way as guitar as if you were to put a capo on the 5th fret of the guitar, provided that it’s a classic guitar.
Why use a Guitalele? Benefits of Owning Guilele
In a nutshell, you might want to consider investing in a guitalele because it’s easier to transport, small, easy to hold, can be played either as a guitar or ukulele (see FAQs), provides easy pickup, offers more flexibility, and so on.
Not just that, since guitaleles have narrow frets, which is beneficial for people having small hands, although, there are downsides of narrow frets, as well.
What I loved most about owning a Guitalele is that you can do the switching easily. In other words, you have more control on your playing style or tuning if you own a guitalele because it can both be played like a ukulele or guitar.
To play a guitalele like a ukulele, there’s nothing you need to do; a uke is tuned to GCEa and a guitalele is tuned to ADGCEa, so if you would like to get those notes like you would in a uke, make sure you don’t touch the first A and D strings while playing on your guilele.
You can also get excellent sounds out of your guilele like a class guitar as if it were to be capoed on the 5th string.
If you’ve been playing the guitar before, this would make the process of learning a uke a whole lot easier.
Easy, right? Let me know what you think!
7 Best Guitaleles for the Money
So, what are the best guitaleles for the money? I know money isn’t only there, you also need to make sure the guitalele you spend your bucks for must also be suitable for beginners.
Said that, I’ve decided to put together a roundup of the top guitaleles that beginners find friendly and are reasonably priced, not the cheap ones.
Since Yamaha is that company which released the first guitalele, let’s begin with one of its guileles, shall we?
1. Yamaha GL1 Guitalele for Beginners (Natural)
Remember those cutaways in those fancy ukuleles? Well, this one has something in common if you always loved those cutaways. It takes the elegance even further by adding that slanted cut on the one end of the fretboard.
But there’s something else that makes it stand out from its counterparts. Yes, it’s the tonewood; its body and back are made of Meranti which is considered phenomenal when it comes to having those unmatched tonal qualities in a guilele.
The GL1 boasts nylon strings to offer you clear, resonant tones, exhibits a fairly shorter size than C4011. As far as its size is considered, it is sized like a baritone ukulele. If you have no idea how big a baritone uke is, please refer to this uke guide.
Do you want to be ostentatious in the public or wish to show your friends that you’ve got those strumming skills? This guitalele would offer you peace of mind in that area. Its strings will feel as soft as dental floss. However, if you don’t feel like using these nylon strings, replace them with your favorite ones won’t be an issue.
Although there’s a gigbag—which is a Kroger bag—you’d find that pretty useful when looking for ways to keep your guilele from dust. What’s more, the overall weight of this stringed instrument is quite light and, therefore, you won’t have any problem porting it.
If you want a guilele that produces clear sound with an elegant and distinctive look, look no further—this is a perfect-fit guitalele for you.
Does sound like a guitar? Yes, it boasts great tonal qualities and would sound very similar to what a class guitar does as if capo-ed on the 5th fret. So, if you have been playing the guitar with a capo on the fifth fret, you’d hardly notice any difference in the tones.
2. Ranch 6-string Guitalele for Kids & Adults
Since I promised you to shed some light on the best guitalele for the money, I couldn’t help but behold the beauty of this one because it’s reasonably priced for the newbies out there. Yes, it’s only available for under $100.
Ranch string instruments are renowned for sturdiness, durability, and exceptional tonal quality. Its ukes are lightweight, produce warm and resonant tones; they offer consistent sound quality. Most of its ukes are made from sapele and this 6-string guitalele is no exception.
Combined with first-rate sapele wood for a polished body, this will exceed all of your expectations in the first place. Packed with nylon strings, this guilele will allow you to create pitch-perfect Hawaiian harmonies.
If you’re a huge fan of aesthetics, you’ll love those nickel silver frets that are seated on the fretboard the way they should be. What also makes this guitalele budget-friendly for beginners is that it uses Ziko Strings that are known to be reasonably priced.
When you’re done tuning your guitalele, it will dance to your tunes, thanks to the user-friendliness it brings to life. Since it’s having a total of 6 strings, you’ll get to have more range which, in turn, will offer you higher/lower tones and you’ll be able to get hold of your guilele in just a couple of days.
Being a 28-inch ukulele, it will make you feel like you’re playing a guitar.
The add-ons contained in the bundle offer many benefits.
3. Caramel Left-Handed 6-String Guitalele (2-in1)
Every time I come across a left-handed stringed instrument, be it a uke, guitar, or guitalele, I get overwhelmed with emotions. A left-handed guilele reminds me of the left people who most of the time have to struggle with the day-to-day things—such as using accessories like scissors, tape measure, etc.
Do those numeric keys on your computer keyboard ring the bell?
They are of no use for the lefties—people who deserve the same happiness and rights as right-handed people.
Anyway, you’ll soon see why this one is a jewel to all lefties out there.
This left-handed guitalele from Caramel is made out of mahogany. What sets this apart is that truss rod that will help stabilize the curvature of the neck against the tension of the strings.
Although most guitaleles’ necks are made of sturdy and long-lasting wood, there are times when the neck may bend, and a truss rod is there to even out that tension. This article will explain what a truss rod is and how it works.
Being a 2-i-1 guitalele, it can either be played as an acoustic or electric machine. And when you’re done using it, you have the complete freedom to either put it in the gigbag or hang it from the wall hanger. Yes, you’ll get all these accessories in the package—all for free (no added cost).
This left-handed uke is only meant for lefties, it’ll melt in your heart for it exhibits a pure construction. It features a buffalo bone saddle and can be plugged into an amp to boost the sound like never before.
I’ve already talked about that a guitalele isn’t tuned like a ukulele, but what about this one because it’s meant for left-handed people? Well, it’s tuned to E-A-D-G-B-E.
Tuning is something that becomes a pain in the neck for most beginners. That’s where the tuning pegs come offering peace of mind. However, if these pegs aren’t of high quality, things could get worse. Luckily, this one is having 18:1 copper tuning pegs that offer guaranteed accuracy and stability.
With this ukitar, you’d get everything you as a beginner needs, namely picks (3 of them), a strap, a cleaning cloth, a gigbag, an EQ cable, and a wall hanger (if the gigbag doesn’t fancy you).
4. Kmise 31-inch Mini Travel Guitalele for Newbies
Tuned to A-D-G-C-E-A, this ukitar is packed with titanium string that will bring that superior stability and intonation to life.
Like aforesaid left-handed guilele, this one also boasts adjustable action—don’t worry, an original Allen wrench is included in the bundle. You can now adjust the action just the way you like—clockwise or anticlockwise. Also, you can take advantage of extra savings as there’s a promotion available on this pick.
Kmise is famous for its excellent ukuleles that offer well-finished fretboard, high-quality tuning pegs, metal strap locks, and good-quality strings, and this 31-inch guitalele is no exception. Plus, there’s a gigbag included in the bundle and I don’t think it’s a typical bag, to me, it looked like a padded one. That means there’s more safety from dust, scratched, and heat.
What left me in the most satisfying experience was the adjustable fretboard. Put differently, you now have the freedom to adjust the action based on your habit of playing. Should you tighten the strings, turn the rod clockwise or go anticlockwise to loosen them.
Do you get overwhelmed whenever someone brings up the idea of drilling a hole into the guitalele? Well, you’ll get to dispense with that thought because this guitalele is equipped with two metal locks that will offer convenience when using guitalele straps (No.1 is my favorite).
But achieving stability while holding the guitalele means a lot to the player, right? Well, if you prefer to keep your guilele in a place or don’t want it to swing in the air (especially when you play standing), you will find this pack very much convenient because it comes with a strap.
And those colorful picks will help you get rid of finger calluses.
So next time you plan to gift one of your loved ones on their birthday, I’d suggest you consider this. But before you do that, make sure they’re passionate about music. If they love listening to music, they’re likely going to love it.
5. Caramel - 30" 6 String Acacia KOA Guitalele
What’s that wood that is too good to be used to serve food? What does serving food has to do with this guitalele?
Acacia is known for its antibacterial properties, and guess what—this ukitar is made out of the same wood. So, if you’re looking for a guitalele that is highly resistant to fungus and designed to last longer, look no further—this guilele is made for you.
The moment you lay your eyes at those beautiful grain patterns, your heart will belong to it. I’ve talked about the 18:1 tuning many times and also brought up how it’s beneficial in getting that precision.
Dust is a nuisance and I can truly understand what it feels like. However, a cleaning cloth included in the add-ons will have your back. Plus, the gigbag will offer much-needed protection from heat, scratches, and will the guitalele safe from all bad weather conditions.
Do you admire those nylon strings? Well, this one has the exact thing for you. Travelling has never been easier—thanks to its portable, lightweight, and sturdy design.
I’d say that this one is a steal. So, if you’re on a tight budget, you should give this reasonably priced guitalele a try. And that 30-day money-back guarantee will offer you a sigh of relief.
Drilling a hole in your guitalele is not an easy job; it requires professionalism, precision, and stability, and if done improperly, it could break your guilele into pieces.
So do you have to drill a hole in this guitalele to use the strap? Well, that’s not necessary, courtesy of the metal lock.
To make the strumming breeze for beginners, Kmise has also provided a truss rod that can help you get rid of that balance out the tension of strings. Offering value for money, it’s become the foremost pick of many beginner players on the market.
6. Yamaha GL1 Mini 6-String Nylon Guitalele (Black)
Let me be honest with you.
No other guitalele on this list could hold my attention for more than 3 seconds as this one did. As impressive and eye-catching as the case of this guitalele is, the guitalele, itself, is no less than a great-sounding guitar.
I may not know about your taste i.e., whether you like to put the capo on the 4th or 5th fret, but I’m sure about the pricing of this one—you won’t find a cheaper guitar than this (only under $30). What’s surprising is that it’s a top-rated guilele and most users are satisfied with their purchase. But how? Well, let’s get to know why people are falling in love with this one.
If you travel a lot and don’t want to miss out on those melodies or preludes that you love to create, this would be a hand-down guitalele as it can be toted around like a charm because there’s a gig bag in the package.
I know there’s no sign of the bag in the description but you’ll get one, however, don’t just take my word for it—see what others are saying about the gigbag.
Some even claim that the guitalele packs a set of pre-stretched strings—which is a good thing and helps you get rid of the whole ‘uke won’t stay in tune’ issue.
While the color and aesthetics look fascinating, what also looks appealing to me is that it’s made for all types of people: kids and grown-ups. So, if your kiddo is dying to have a guilele for their practice or if they wish to take it to their guitar class, they can have it—there’s no need to invest in the bulky guitars.
If you bought this for your 14-year-old daughter or son and they are having some trouble strumming it, I’d suggest you tell them to stay the course because it gets easier with time. Practicing is key here.
Now you must be thinking that this guitalele doesn’t come with loads of accessories. Well, that’s true! However, think about this…this one comes from the top brand (Yamaha)—a brand that coined the term “Guitalele” or you can say that they introduced the first guilele in the market or else no one knew about these instruments before.
Despite the accessories such as a digital tuner, you can use the tuner app on your smartphone and analyze your potential i.e. see where you’re going with it.
Still can’t decide? See the features below and then make an intelligent decision.
7. Ortega RGL5 EB-CE Guitalele for Beginners
It’s no surprise that cutaways in guitaleles bring the wow factor to the table.
Don’t worry, it’s not a Florentine cutaway I’m talking about, it’s the Venetian cutaway—the one that doesn’t look like a bat nor does it make you fearful. If you have no idea what a Florentine cutaway looks like, it’s made of two pieces joined at the tip, making the tines look sharp. The Venetian, on the other hand, is round at the edges. And that tortoise-style ABS binding distinctively complements its elegance.
Packed with exceptional mahogany in the neck, one-of-its-kind ebony in the body and back, and top-notch sapele in the headstock, this electric-acoustic guitalele offers you different vibes of nature rolled into one. And it’s not just the aesthetics, ebony is famous for delivering exceptional, smooth, and durable experience to the guitalele players. In fact, due to its unique qualities, it’s made in one of the top-class guitars.
Since it’s equipped with high-quality ebony, if you live somewhere around a forest or jungle area, you won’t have to worry about termites because they will refuse to eat it.
This guitalele offers a scale length of 435mm, with a body depth of 68mm, and a nut width of 47mm. There are 18 frets on this ukitar. The gold-plated diecast tuning pegs will offer you precise tuning so you don’t have to struggle while making your prelude.
Being a ukitar, it’s tuned to A-D-G-C-E-A. If you move around a lot, this guilele will be a great companion. No matter if you’re buying this for your kid or you’d like to spend time with it yourself, you can rest assured—it’s designed for people of all ages.
To offer you the much-needed serenity, Ortega has also integrated a built-in tuner so you don’t have to rely on some third-party app or clip-on tuners. What’s surprising is that it’s amplifiable i.e., being an electric guitalele, you can also connect it to an amplifier to amplify the sound however you like.
If you’re someone who’s looking forward to buying a guitalele under $200, this guilele would be a perfect choice for you.
FAQs: Guitalele Buying Guide for Beginners
Q.1: What’s a Guitalele?
Although I’ve already described it above, if due to some reasons you missed that, here you are: a guitalele is a hybrid stringed instrument that can either be played like a ukulele or a guitar.
Q.2: How to play a Guitalele like a guitar?
A guitalele does sound like a guitar as if it were capo-ed on the 5th fret. So, if you play your guitar with a capo on the 5th fret, you’ll find this instrument (i.e. guitalele) in a very similar category.
Q.3: How many strings does a Guitalele have?
There are 6 strings on a guitalele and it’s tuned to A-D-G-C-E-A. That’s also the reason why a guitalele can be played like a ukulele. In other words, since a ukulele is tuned to G-C-E-A, you only have to touch those 4 strings, ignoring the rest two: A and D. So, that’s the win-win situation.
Q.4: What should I consider when getting one?
Although many aspects go into making a well-versed decision for a perfect-fit guitalele, you must keep the following in mind while looking for a guilele:
- Tonewood (Tone/Sound)
- Strings (I’d suggest nylon for beginners)
- Build Quality (Fretboard, headstock, body, etc.)
- Playability (pay attention to the action the guilele requires)
- Aesthetics (Florentine or Venetian)
- Durability (look for tonewood that lasts longer)
- Pricing (but cheap isn’t always best)
Time for a Triumph!
There you have it—an easy and jargon-free guide on “Guitaleles for Beginners”. Opting for a perfect-fit guitalele isn’t as challenging as people believe, though you have to keep all basic things in mind while looking for the one.
If you’re asking which one I’d choose (if I had to pick one), I’d go with Yamaha GL1 because it comes from a big brand, offers the bang for bucks, looks aesthetics, and sounds excellent.
Hopefully, this thorough guide on the best guitaleles helped you—and you got everything you were looking for.
If you still have any questions, feel free to reach out and we’d be happy to help.
The Best Guitalele made for Beginners?
If this is your first time buying a guitalele and you can't think of one, you should keep all the things mentioned above so you get the best ukitar and don't end up buying a piece of junk. if you still can't decide, the editor's choice will give you peace of mind.