Baritone Ukulele Comparison for Music Class

by | Elementary Music, Featured, Ukulele

Selecting the best baritone ukulele for your students can be a daunting task, especially when you can’t try the instrument out before you buy it. Here at Pitch Publications, we did the work for you! I tried out baritone ukuleles so you can compare options and decide which is best for your music class. Something important to note: this is just one opinion and what works well for me might be different than what works well for you.


Baritone ukuleles don’t have quite as many options as their soprano counterparts. However, there are still plenty of options to consider. I played all of the following over the course of a few weeks. All of the ukuleles could be purchased on Amazon or through a music vendor such as Music and Arts or West Music. All of the models below were under $100 at the time of purchase.

A few dark brown baritone ukuleles in a row with the words "Baritone Ukulele Comparison Guide for Music Class" at the bottom

Makala MK-B Baritone Ukulele

Materials

  • Mahogany body
  • Walnut fingerboard
  • Plastic saddle, nut, and tuning pegs

Pros

  • Great sound
  • Well constructed
  • Comes with Aquila strings
  • Strap button
  • Adjustable truss rod

Cons

  • Most expensive of the introductory models I tried
A picture of a Makala MB Ukulele and a close up of the ukulele head

Kala Ukuleles are tried and true so it’s no wonder that their introductory level baritone ukulele is an affordable, quality instrument. Out of the instruments I tried, this one certainly had the best sound and the tuning held up well over time. Although the price point is a little bit higher, the benefits of this ukulele model more than makes up for the extra cost. Even if you don’t end up going with this ukulele for your students, it would be a great teacher model.

Find the Makala MK-B here.


Westwood WU Baritone Ukulele

Materials

  • Sapele body and neck (sapele is similar to mahogany)
  • Plastic saddle, bridge, and tuning peg

Pros

  • Price point
  • Comes with Aquila strings
  • Sapele body may be more resistant to scratching
  • Strap button

Cons

  • Construction concerns (rough fret edges, nut was not aligned with the rest of the neck – see picture)
  • Buzzing strings due to bowed neck and no adjustable truss rod to fix the issue
A picture of the Westwood WU Baritone Ukulele and a close up of the head

West Music is a go-to for quality classroom instruments. They offer a wide range of ukuleles, including their own brand, Westwood. The price point of this ukulele is affordable for music classrooms, but it seems to fall short on quality. I’m not sure if I got one that was a fluke or one-off because a review on the West Music website raves about the quality. If you plan to go with West Music’s Westwood brand of ukuleles, I recommend getting one for yourself to try out first before purchasing an entire class set.

Find the Westwood WU Baritone Ukulele here.

A close up of the back of a Westwood Baritone Ukulele with part of the nut extending pass the edge

Kmise WU Baritone Ukulele (*GCEA Tuning)

Materials

  • Mahogany body
  • Rosewood fingerboard
  • Bone nut/saddle

Pros

  • Price point
  • Comes with Aquila strings
  • Good sound
  • Adjustable truss rod

Cons

  • Comes strung GCEA (like a soprano)
  • If you restring to DGBE, you’ll have to add in extra costs for strings
A picture of a Kmise Ukulele and close up of the head

Whenever I order instruments from Amazon, I always worry a toy will show up instead of an instrument. I was pleasantly surprised when a beautiful, well-made instrument showed up on my doorstep. Then, I began tuning and noticed something was off…way off. I realized the strings were GCEA and not DGBE as I thought they would be.


If you’re looking for a baritone strung the same way as a soprano, concert, or tenor ukulele, this would be a great buy. However, if you’re looking to use the typical, more common DGBE, it’s going to take some time and the cost of strings to get there. Multiply that by a class set and the time/costs really start to add up.

Find the Kmise WU Baritone Ukulele here.


Curriculum

What do you think? What do you use for your program?  Are there any brands or models that I missed?  Do you agree or disagree with me? Comment below!  Also, remember if you are looking for a great program to teach ukulele, check out Rainbow Ukulele (Baritone Edition)!

picture of Shelley Tomich

I'm busy mom of three and music educator in Atlanta, GA. My passion is helping busy music teachers deliver time saving, engaging lessons so you have more time to enjoy your life! Click my photo to learn more! Teach music. Love life.

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