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Best Guitalele 2024? 8 ‘Uke-ish’ Guitars You NEED To Own!!

Is the Yamaha guitalele good? Which is the best guitalele? We investigate...

SPOILER: even the best guitaleles aren’t all that common.

That’s right – despite the worldwide love for this kooky instrument (that’s pretty much the result of a guitar getting cosy under the covers with a uke), very few manufacturers actually produce a guitalele. Something that we can’t help but find deeply puzzling, as being just 1/4 of the size of your average guitar, guitaleles are pretty much the perfect combo.

The size & portability of a uke, fused with the 6 strings & a lot of the ‘fretage’ that you’ll find on a guitar. Something that pretty much SCREAMS “travel guitar” & should appeal to the majority of casual players & even kids too! Plus, this instrument ain’t without its claim to fame; the guitalele featured in the iconic song by James Blunt, ‘You’re Beautiful’.

All of which really does beggar the question, is the guitalele still an untapped future icon? And if so, which are the best guitaleles for sale today? Read on to find out…

After something specific about whether you can play guitar chords on a guitalele? Or just curious what we deem to be the best guitalele on sale today? Use the menu below to get all the answers you need @ pace…

NOTE: Interested in more than just guitaleles? Jump into our reviews of the Best Acoustic Guitar + the Best Ukuleles Of All Time!!

Despite their ‘niche’ nature, guitaleles come in all shapes & designs.

Because not only are they manufactured by different instrument brands in different parts of the world, but they also use different materials, & as a result each deliver their own ‘different’ sound., Point being that to simply take a lucky dip when buying a guitalele is the mark of a fool – you want to be sure of what you’re getting & how it’ll enable you to play.

Hence why we’ve done 90% of the work for you, & compiled a rundown of what we deem to be the best guitaleles you can buy today…

ALL CONTENT IS WRITTEN BY OUR IN-HOUSE AUTHORS & BASED ON REAL WORLD EXPERIENCE. WE MAY RECEIVE A SMALL COMMISSION IF YOU BUY THROUGH THIS SITE.

1: Yamaha GL1 Mini

yamaha guitalele being played by a professional on stage

2: Ortega Guitars RGL5 (Bonfire Series)

3: Ortega RGL5EB

4: Islander GL6

small guitalele being used by a child to learn guitar chords

5: Luna Guitars Tribal 6

6: Vorson EGL-ST S-Style

buy a guitalele online

7: Caramel CB207G (Acacia/ Koa) 30″ guitalele

8: Ranch 28″ Guitalele

Enjoy this review of the best guitaleles & eager for more? Jump into our latest Reviews Of Stringed Instruments, as well as all our know-how about Musical Instruments. Recently, we also reviewed the Best Acoustic Guitars For Beginners + another on the Most Popular Electric Guitars For Beginners, which might also be a good read.

Or if you’ve still trying to decide whether a guitalele is a good fit for you, keep reading & we’ll answer more of your burning questions…

When it comes to guitaleles, Yamaha is the brand that everyone knows. 

Why? Because they’re pretty much the master of the guitalele niche. There – we said it. Out of all the guitaleles we tested, the GL1 was certainly the best all-rounder. Apart from its strong volume & individual tone, to hold the guitalele itself felt solid & incredibly well made. The case was much the same during play. 

The tuning stayed intact (some cheaper models can slightly change during long session) & to strum, it wasn’t harsh on the fingers either. If we had to describe the sound in 1 word, we’d say ‘consistency’. Go on to team that with the fact the GL1 is by no means the most expensive guitalele out there, & it’s HUGE popularity soon becomes clear.

It’s a niche product… yet still a testament to the Yamaha recipe. Quality at an affordable £$€.

Tough question – see whether a ukulele or a guitalele is best for you, all comes back to preference. Both instruments have their good & bad points depending on who you are & what you intend to use them for.

See, if you’re a complete virgin to stringed instruments, then a ukulele is likely the best place to start. Not only does it have 4 strings, opposed to the guitalele’s 6, but also (typically) set you back a lot less £$€. Team that with how there’s a FAR wider selection of ukes out there in comparison to guitaleles – different sizes as well as models – & for a complete beginner it’s pretty much a no-brainer. Whereas…

If you’re already acquainted with string instruments (be that a guitar, violin, mandolin or banjo), a guitalele is likely to be the better option. Because not only does it allow you to play more notes & even practice guitar chords, but there’s also more scope for playing songs. Typically guitalele solos are more impressive! Plus, being what is (in essence) a travel guitar, they double as a effective practice instrument for the road. 

In the end, your choice really depends on one thing – you.

Okay, so currently there’s a huge debate going on amongst string fanatics – many of which don’t even believe that this bite size guitar should even be called the guitalele. Therefore, when it comes to pronunciation, a good deal of it is subjective. 

So, to help clear things up, here’s the 3 supposed names that this small guitar has + how we pronounce them…

NOTE: We are all native English speakers, so depending on where y9u are in the world, how you pronounce these names may change.

  • Guitalele = Gwi-ta-le-le
  • Guitarlele = Gi-tar-le-le
  • Guilele = Gwi-le-le

Still puzzled? Jump into this quick tutorial on how to pronounce this instrument’s name…

YouTube video

Indeed you can – in fact, it’s very popular to play a guitalele as an acoustic guitar. 

Just one of the reasons why the guitalele is a popular pick for existing musicians. It’s basically a classical guitar that shrunk in the wash. However, aside from the fact there’s are fewer frets – typically guitaleles have 14-20 frets, opposed to a classical guitar’s 19-22 – guitalele tuning is also slightly different. 

In technical terms the guitalele is what’s known as tuned up a 4th. Basically meaning that instead of the EBGDAE you get with a classical guitar, the guitalele is tuned to ADGCEA.

For small hands, a guitalele isn’t just good – it’s near perfect.

See, aside from the obvious fact that the guitalele is substantially smaller & therefore a great deal easier to hold, the neck is also (in most cases) thinner that that you’ll find on a conventional guitar. Something that makes it a lot easier for smaller hands to find their frets & strum the strings too.

Team that with how there’s still good distance between the 6 strings + the fact that a guitalele also weighs substantially less than a classical guitar, & it’s genuinely hard to find a breed of guitar that’s better for small fingers.

So whether you have small hands, or you’re looking to buy a guitalele for a child, don’t be worried – for small fingers, it’s the perfect fit.

Guitalele strings – they sound complex & like they’d cost you a LOT of £€$, but no. They’re actually pretty simple to get your head around. 

In short, the strings you use for the guitalele are the same as you’d use for any classical guitar only shorter – usually around half the length. In other words, classical guitar strings which have been cut down. Good news, because unlike with a lot of other slightly more niche stringed instruments – mandolins & banjos etc.- it means you’re not limited to a few ‘select’ string types. 

You can use any. Nylon or steel. High tension or normal. And if you’re lucky, 1 set of strings may even last you twice as long. So really, you’re getting them half price!! Plus, if you already have a favourite pair of guitar strings, then chances are you won’t even need to change.