The tenor ukulele has been gaining popularity in recent times, and for a good reason. Despite the perception of the ukulele as a casual or whimsical instrument, the tenor uke offers a warm and rich sound that can easily rival its larger stringed counterparts.
Even professional ukulele players who usually prefer concert ukes can’t resist the allure of the tenor uke’s sound. Once you play it, you’ll feel its sweet resonance and understand why it’s gaining in popularity among musicians and music enthusiasts alike. So, if you’re looking for an instrument that can produce a beautiful and robust sound, the tenor ukulele might be the perfect fit for you.
Top 6 Best Tenor Ukuleles
But which are the best tenor Ukuleles? With the many instruments in the industry, it might be tricky to choose the right one. The situation turns challenging when you want to play this fantastic instrument, but you don’t know which one to buy. Fear not; here are our six tenor ukulele picks you can choose from.
|Kala Makala (MK-T)||4.5|
|Luna Tattoo Satin||4.5|
|Cordoba 28T Koa||4.3|
1. Kala Makala (MK-T) Tenor Mahogany Ukulele
I was on the lookout for a tenor ukulele that would be perfect for my beginner level. That’s when I stumbled upon the Kala MK-T from Makala, and it has turned out to be one of the best decisions I ever made.
The first thing that caught my eye was its mahogany body, which not only looks stunning but also projects sound quite well. Despite being an affordable option, the MK-T competes with more expensive models in terms of sound quality.
The rosewood fingerboard is another impressive feature, and it is spacious enough for people with large hands. It was a comfortable fit for me and allowed me to play for hours without any discomfort.
One thing that stands out about the MK-T is its satin finish, which gives it a sleek and classy look while also providing some protection to the wood. The build quality is also impressive, thanks to the use of mahogany, which is known for its durability.
The nylon strings give the ukulele a deep and warm tone that is pleasing to the ears. I was able to achieve a wide range of sounds while playing different genres of music, from folk to pop to rock.
In summary, the Kala MK-T from Makala is the perfect tenor ukulele for beginners or those on a budget. It has a stunning design, impressive build quality, and excellent sound projection. It is undoubtedly one of the best choices for anyone looking to enter the world of playing the ukulele.
- Mahogany body and neck
- Satin finish
- Nylon strings
- Rosewood bridge and fingerboard
- Excellent sound projection
- Lightweight and robust construction
- It goes off-tune at times
- The tone could be more in-depth
2. Luna Tattoo Mahogany Tenor Ukulele, Satin Natural
The Luna Tattoo Mahogany Tenor Ukulele is a work of art. As soon as we laid eyes on it, we were captivated by the beautiful Hawaiian-inspired designs on the top.
The intricate engravings depict sea turtles and waves, representing longevity and continuity. The craftsmanship is impressive, and it immediately gave us the impression that this was a high-quality instrument.
The mahogany body of the Luna Honu Mahogany Tenor Ukulele is simply stunning. The satin finish gives it a sleek and sophisticated look. When we first played it, we noticed that the sound was warm and rich, with a mid-range tone that was similar to a premium ukulele.
The neck is also made of sturdy mahogany, which gives it a solid and durable feel. The matte surface and walnut fingerboard made it easy to play, and the shark’s teeth inlay on the fretboard was a nice touch that helped us remember the fret numbers.
The tuning machines are open gears, which makes it easy to tune the ukulele accurately. The nut and saddle are made of plastic, which is a common material for entry-level ukuleles. The pre-installed strings are of good quality and sustain the deep and warm tone of the instrument.
Finally, the satin gig bag that comes with the Luna Honu Mahogany Tenor Ukulele is a fantastic bonus. It fits the ukulele perfectly and provides adequate protection. It’s a beautiful instrument that sounds and feels great to play, and it comes at a very reasonable price. We would recommend it to both beginners and intermediate players.
- Mahogany body and neck
- Satin finish
- Walnut fingerboard
- Shark teeth inlays
- Open geared tuners
- Plastic nut and saddle
- Durable mahogany build
- Warm mid-range tone
- Soft walnut fingerboard
- Solid walnut bridge
- It comes with a gig bag
- It may go off-tune with a new set of strings
3. Cordoba 15TM Tenor Ukulele
Playing the Cordoba 15TM Tenor Ukulele is a unique experience that every ukulele player should try. As someone with larger hands, I found this instrument to be the perfect size. It’s also an excellent option for those transitioning from guitar to ukulele.
The mahogany body of the ukulele offers a comfortable feel and a decent projection. When I played it, I was amazed at the rich and sophisticated tone that it produced. The Ivoroid body and fingerboard binding add to the quality of the instrument.
One of the best things about this ukulele is that it comes with Aquila strings, which are known for their high-quality sound. They allow the ukulele to produce a deep, warm tone that is hard to replicate with other ukuleles.
Overall, the Cordoba 15TM Tenor Ukulele is an excellent choice for novice and intermediate players who want an instrument that produces an impressive sound. The quality of this ukulele is top-notch, and the Ivoroid design adds to its aesthetic appeal.
- Mahogany top
- Ivoroid body
- Nylon strings
- Sturdy mahogany build
- Good for large hands
- Produces an excellent, even tone
- Outstanding Aquila strings
- It might not be suitable for professional players
4. Lanikai LU-21T Tenor Ukulele
This ukulele is a great choice for anyone starting their musical journey. It is a lightweight instrument, which is perfect for practicing and playing on the go.
The Nato wood used in the body provides a comfortable feel and a sweet, deep tone that is sure to please.
The rosewood bridge, fingerboard, and die-cast tuners offer excellent durability and ease of use.
Even though this uke is perfect for beginners, it is also suitable for intermediate players who are looking for a quality instrument to take their playing to the next level.
The uke’s appearance is quite fancy, making it an attractive option for those who appreciate a beautiful instrument. While the frets can be a bit buzzy at times, the overall sound quality is excellent and projects well. Playing this uke is a lot of fun, and you’ll enjoy its fantastic tone for years to come.
- 18 frets
- Rosewood fretboard
- Nato wood body
- It comes with an instructional DVD, a cloth, and a gig bag
- Die-cast tuning machines
- Sturdy strings
- Perfect for novices
- C-String is a bit longer
- Can be buzzy
5. Kala KA-SMHT Solid Mahogany Tenor Ukulele
We recently got the chance to try out this all-solid ukulele, and we were blown away by the mellow, warm sound it produces. The tonewood used in this instrument is of the highest quality, and it really shows in the beautiful tones it produces.
The artificial tortoise-shell binding gives it a classic and elegant look, while also adding to the durability of the instrument. We also loved the attention to detail, like the simulated bone saddle and nut, which add to the overall quality and tone of the ukulele.
The die-cast tuners and Aquila Nylgut strings were easy to work with and helped to generate the warm and resonant sound that this Uke is known for. This ukulele is perfect for anyone looking for a quality instrument that produces an exceptional sound.
- Aquila Nylgut strings
- Solid mahogany body
- Artificial tortoise-shell binding
- Saddle and nut are made of simulated bone
- Die-cast tuners
- Durable make
- Rich tone
- Somewhat pricey
6. Cordoba 28T Hawaiian Koa Tenor Ukulele
As someone who has played this Cordoba 28T ukulele, I can attest to its impressive performance and affordability. The Koa wood used in its construction gives it a traditional Hawaiian feel, and the Pau Ferro fingerboard enhances the tone by adding brightness. The abalone rosette is a nice touch, making the ukulele stand out even more.
Playing it is a breeze, thanks to the C-shaped mahogany neck that is comfortable to hold.
As someone with smaller hands, I found it easy to play chords and melodies. The overall sound quality is excellent, with a warm and pleasant tone that is perfect for beginners and intermediate players alike.
The combination of Koa wood, Pau Ferro fingerboard, and mahogany neck make for an incredible playing experience that is both easy and fun.
- Nylon strings
- Koa body
- Mahogany neck
- Pau Ferro fingerboard
- Well-built body
- The fingerboard is not quite responsive
Frequently Asked Questions
Typically, a tenor ukulele’s tuning works perfectly at GCEA, similar to the concert and soprano ukes. This tuning is also known as “C” since C is the lowest pitch when utilizing the reentrant tuning.
The tenor ukulele is approximately 26 inches tall. Typically, the tenor uke’s scale is 2 inches long, has a wider neck, and is heavier than the concert Uke. This additional length gives room for more space between frets.
Our Top Pick
Makala Ukes are quite popular among musicians for their warm sound and durability. Thus, the Kala MK-T can work beyond your expectations. It is our top pick since it is cheap, durable, has a reliable tuner, and it’s easy to play. Also, it produces a mellow tone and comes with a padded gig bag.
Another thing to love about it is its excellent design. This ukulele looks not only stylish but also feels comfortable when you start playing it. So, this one is sure to impress the audience!