One of the main things that people usually don’t like is the low volume of the instrument. If you plan on having gigs you need some sort of amplification for your ukulele. Now, you can use the standard mic and amplify your sound that way, but most of the musicians prefer electric ukuleles.
These can be electric ukuleles that have solid bodies like electric guitars, or acoustic electric ukuleles. Acoustic-electric ukes sound like the regular ones but they can be amplified.
Our top picks for the best electric ukuleles:
- MAHALO solid body ukulele
- neck Specifications: Other Matt: Okoume bolt-on Fretboard: Rosewood Body: Mahogany Hardware: Open type Bridge: Rosewood Neck Joint: Bolt-on Scale: 382mm finish with a headphone jack, active pre-amp, battery 9V (006P) /
- Size: Tenor
- Controls: Volume, Tone, 3-way toggle
- Pickups: dual single coils
- Solid Mahogany top
- Mahogany back and sides, Rosewood bridge and fingerboard
- Soft cutaway with 2Band EQ
- Enjoy clear crisp tone via the bone saddle and bone nut
- Fishman Kula pre amp provides a avenue to be amplified and includes a on board electronic tuner.
- Spruce top with tone bar bracing for singing tones
- Shadow Piezo pickup
- Weighs 1 lb. 7 oz.
- Only 18" long
Electric ukuleles offer a lot of new possibilities when it comes to your playing. There are more effects available for you to use and switching to an electric instrument can really refine your style and open some new horizons for you. But before you go and buy the electric ukulele, there are some factors you need to consider first.
Choosing your instrument is a hard decision and it should not be taken lightly. Always take some time before you make the decision. Read some reviews and try as many ukes as you can if that’s possible.
Make sure that the instrument you choose works well because if it works flawlessly you will be motivated to continue practicing and we all know that any instrument is as valuable as your time put into learning how to play it.
Making the selection
Most of the standard acoustic electric ukuleles look the same as the acoustic ones but there is a difference and you need to be aware of this when buying an electric uke. First of all, you need to decide which sound you want, before you decide between electric and acoustic-electric uke.
The electric one doesn’t produce virtually any sound if not plugged in while the acoustic electric can be used as the acoustic uke without electricity.
Now, when it comes to electric ones, they come with active or passive pickups. This is one of the most important decisions you need to make when purchasing the electric ukulele. With active pickups, you can control the tone and the volume of your uke much easier, while with the passive ones you have to rely on your amplifier or computer for this kind of tone control.
Benefits of electric ukuleles
First of all, you can use it anywhere you want without annoying anyone. You simply need to plug in your earphones into the amp and you can enjoy the sound of ukulele without anyone else listening to your playing.
Additionally, electric ukes are lighter and more compact. They are easy to maintain and you don’t have to worry about breaking the acoustic chamber.
When it comes to sound, with an electric ukulele you can choose between many different amps and pickups and effects and you can choose the sound that fits your music the most. Also, you don’t have to worry if your instrument is loud enough for the environment you are playing in. you can always crank up your amp as much as you like.
Electric ukuleles are much more versatile than the acoustic ones and you will configure your sound much easier with these.
Use and care
If you want your instrument to last you need to take a good care of it. In order to do this, there are some things you need to buy alongside your ukulele.
One of these essential items is the cover. Always keep your ukulele inside the cover. If possible, buy the hardcover with a humidifier that will keep the wood from drying too much. But also be careful not to keep your uke too moist so it doesn’t swell and crack.
Also, make sure that you pick up some of the certified cleaners and clean your instrument regularly. Polish and oil for fretboard are a must-have. These will remove all the oils and salts from your fingers that can cause strings and exterior of the uke to corrode.
Be careful when you clean your ukulele and always use a microfiber cloth to clean it. Keep the instrument clean and inside the cover, if you want it to last.
How do electric ukes work?
Basically, the electric ukuleles have some additional components that can capture all the vibrations of the strings. When captured, these vibrations are transferred into electric signals. The electric signal is then passed to the output that is plugged into an amplifier that produces the sound.
When you have the active pickups on your uke, you also have a few knobs or sliders on it. These are what is called a preamp controls. With these knobs or sliders, you can control volume and adjust the levels of bass, mid-range, and treble before the signal is sent to the amplifier.
Of course, active ukes are a bit heavier and they require a 9V battery to work. The passive ones don’t require any batteries but you don’t get the option of pre-amplification.
Reviews of the best electric ukuleles
The Mahalo Ukulele is a company that most certainly has some authority when it comes to the production of acoustic ukuleles. It looks like they can make the decent electric ukes too. Mahalo EUK-200 is one of their most popular electric models.
This nice little electric ukulele features an active preamp powered by the 9V battery that allows you to control your tone blend. On the front side you will find the volume and tone knob and on the bottom, there is an output jack.
Next to the output jack, there is a headphone jack that allows you to practice without disturbing anyone around you.
The body is nicely shaped with two cutouts and it’s made of mahogany. The neck is an okoume bolt-on with the rosewood fretboard.
Exceptional value for the price
Stays in tune
Hiss-free preamp even when the volume is turned up to the maximum
Headphone jack for playing in private
A bit pricey for some people
This one is a budget option, but it is a hell of a good budget option. It’s an electric uke that has a lot of features to offer for the price. It is solidly built and all of the parts are firmly attached. For the instrument that comes at this price, this is a high-quality one.
The strings that the uke comes with are of a much better quality than the strings on the most of the budget options, but the steel is not really a top-notch quality and your fingers will end up black. You might want to change the strings but other than that, everything is quite fine.
The finish on this ukulele is very beautiful and just the beauty of this instrument is enough to pay this price. The sturdy neck and nice and smooth body make this uke very pleasant to play.
You need an amp to play this uke, and the sound you get when you plug it in is exceptional. The only downside is that you can’t play it using your headphones without any amp (it’s passive).
Good action and very comfortable to play
Quite solid construction
Surprisingly good sound
Can’t be played with just headphones without an amp
This acoustic-electric ukulele is in a $200 range, but the upgrades it features are worth a little extra. The top is a solid mahogany and it gives this uke much richer sound and more resonance.
It features a cutaway to grant you easier access to the higher frets. This is not quite necessary on the ukuleles but it does make the uke look cooler.
The rosette and bridge inlays are made of herringbone which adds a nice touch of class to the instrument but it doesn’t go overboard.
The Cordoba 20TM-CE features a nice pickup that is excellent for casual playing, but if you intend to perform you might want to go with something a bit better. On the top, you’ll notice a place for 9V battery and sliders that allow you to control the tone of the ukulele.
Unbelievably good for the price
High-quality build as you will expect from the Cordoba
Needs to be tuned before every playing session
Of course, no list of the string instruments is complete unless it features the Fender. Most of the musicians agree that the Fender instruments are the best there are. Ukuleles are not exactly what the Fender is known for, but trust us; they really can make a good one.
This particular ukulele is modeled after the well-known classic ’52 Telecaster. Other than exceptionally good look, this ukulele also has an amazing sound and it is one of the examples of an acoustic-electric ukulele that sounds much better when plugged in into the amplifier.
This is a concert size ukulele with a spruce top and mahogany back and sides as well as the neck. The mahogany neck has a rosewood fretboard that is very comfortable to play. It’s made for high-G tuning and it works best with this tuning.
Very comfortable to play
Amazingly good looking
Sounds exceptionally good when amped
Excellent for both beginners and pros
Requires a battery which can be inconvenient for some players
This one doesn’t really look like a ukulele or a guitar for that matter. In spite of that fact, this is one of the most interesting models and people who own it love it. If you travel a lot and you want to practice, there is simply no better option.
Of course, you can’t expect the sound that you get with the $1000 ukes, but you can fit it inside the school backpack. It’s made of solid wood so you don’t have to worry about breaking it.
It is a bit weird at first because there is no headpiece or the body to brace, but you get used to it very quickly. The neck of this ultra-portable ukulele is concert size and it’s made for high-G tuning.
Very compact and ultra portable
Very solid and well made
Sounds great when amplified
Exceptional value for the price
String action is a bit high
Our top choice amongst the electric ukuleles is the Mahalo EUK-200 for both professionals and beginners. This particular model is one of those models that combine features and high-quality and affordability, all in one package.
The main feature that made us decide that this is the best uke on our list is the option of plugging your headphones in it and playing without any amp. This option is an excellent option for people who just want to relax and practice wherever they want.
Although the strings for this uke are made of nylon, but in this particular ukulele this is not a drawback and it doesn’t affect the quality of the instrument.
Furthermore, if you want an excellent sounding instrument when it’s hooked up to an amplifier, this is the uke for you. Also, you can plug it into your computer and record and adjust the sound by using the proper software.