Many musicians aren’t familiar with the guitalele despite being one of the most sound-appealing instruments.
The guitalele is a six-string instrument that’s considered a hybrid between the guitar and ukulele. It is about quarter the size of the guitar and sounds as if a capo is on the fifth fret of a guitar.
The instrument is great for classical guitarists who struggle with the portability of guitars. Also, it is an excellent option for experienced ukulele players that want an improved nodal range and a wider room for experimenting.
In this guide, we will talk to you about the best guitalele that you can find nowadays and the different features of each.
List of the Best Guitaleles:
- Gretsch G9126 – Best Overall
- Enya EGL-07 – Best Short-Scale Guitalele
- Oscar Schmidt OGU6E – Best Design
- Vorson EGL-ST – Best Electric Guitalele
- Yamaha GL1 – Best Budget Guitalele
Our Top Picks:
|Guitalele||Body Wood||No. of Frets||Scale length||Warranty|
|Enya EGL-07||Tiger-stripe Koa||18||15”||Not specified|
|Oscar Schmidt OGU6E||Mahogany||19||17.5”||Lifetime|
|Vorson EGL-ST||Basswood||19||16”||1 – year|
|Yamaha GL1||Spruce Top and meranti back and sides||19||17’||Lifetime|
The 5 Best Guitaleles in 2020
1. Gretsch G9126 – Best Overall
The Gretsch G9126 is made of mahogany wood. This gives it a sturdy construction and makes it sound more potent than other guitaleles on the market.
The neck of the instrument is made of a one-piece mahogany neck with a bone nut; it contains 19 frets made of ovangkol wood. This great number of frets gives the player the chance to have more chords progressions and be more creative.
The guitalele comes with a die-cast tuner that makes it easier for those who struggle with tuning to tune the instrument.
One thing that we should mention is that the instrument comes with a deluxe gig bag that you can use to move the guitalele from one place to the others. Also, one of the main reasons why we think this guitalele is the best option for most people is that you get a lifetime limited warranty for both the instrument and the accessories.
- Made of solid mahogany wood
- Comes with a die-cast tuner
- There is a deluxe gig bag included
- Lifetime warranty
- Lacks an electric facility
The Gretsch G9126 is a perfect guitalele for ukulele players who want to branch out and experiment with more ukulele tones. It is also a good option for anyone who wants to start learning to play the guitar.
2. Enya EGL-07- Best Short-Scale Guitalele
Enya EGL-07 is made of a high-quality Koa wood body which contributes to its sweet sounds with a traditional ukulele tone.
What makes this guitalele unique is the short-scale that is 15”. The scale makes it easy for beginners to change between chords and their fingers will soon flow in different positions without any struggling.
The EGL-07 doesn’t contain any electric features. However, the black ABS+5ply and the four imported Aquila strings give it a very clear sound that you can use on stage with a microphone or in a studio setting.
You can also enhance the instrument by using hand-inlaid abalone shells. They make it a stronger and more of an ornate music feel.
- High-quality Koa construction
- Sounds warm with a traditional Hawaiian tone
- Small scale length makes it easy to play and change finger positions
- Lacks electric capabilities
EGL-07 is an excellent short-scale guitalele that is suitable for any age of player. It has a clear and sweet sound with a strong Koa construction.
3. Oscar Schmidt OGU6E – Best Design
Oscar Schmidt is one of the most popular musical instruments brands. They are known for the good quality of their instrument, and this guitalele is no different.
The OGU6E has a solid mahogany body that gives it its strong tonal character. It has 19 frets, so you will be able to experiment more with the chord progressions.
The fretboard is made from rosewood with snowflake inlays, and with the gloss finish, it looks outstanding.
The guitalele comes with a UK200 active electronic setup. It allows you to connect the instrument to an amplifier, which makes a great option for players who play on stage.
The size of the OGU6E resembles the size of the tenor ukulele, which makes it easy to hold and play.
- Solid mahogany construction
- Electric capability
- Beautiful design
- Doesn’t come with a gig bag
Oscar Schmidt OGU6E is another excellent choice for ukulele players who want to broaden their sound range and learn new playing techniques. Also, it is a good option for beginners who just started playing the guitar.
4. Vorson EGL-ST – Best Electric Guitalele
Vorson EGL-ST looks a lot like a mini-classic electric guitar. It can provide a vast range of tones that guitarists will surely enjoy.
The body of the guitalele is made of basswood with a classic single-cutaway body. It has a 19 fret maple fingerboard that feels comfortable to move your finger across.
It is available in a variety of colors, including Gloss Black, Metallic Blue, and Metallic Burgundy.
Players can easily control the instrument thanks to the SY-2 single-coil pickup and SMD-1 Active Electronics.
One of the things players appreciate is that it comes with a gig bag that you can use for transportation. Also, there is a cable included for all the players who are new to electric guitar playing.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t come with an amplifier, so; you will need to buy an amplifier or use your old one to get the best sound out of the guitalele.
- Comes with a gig bag and a cable
- Great electric features
- Amazing electric sound
- Doesn’t come with an amplifier
- Only suitable for electric playing
EGL-ST is the best electric guitalele. It is easy to tune and play, and it makes an excellent option for young guitar players who want to rock out.
5. Yamaha GL1 – Best Budget Guitalele
Yamaha GL1 has a laminate wood design with great value craftsmanship and a good sound. The meranti back and sides protect the instrument against different elements if you decide to play it outdoors.
Moreover, the guitalele comes in a variety of colors, including persimmon brown, tobacco sunburst, and black. There is also a good variety of choices for a rustic design.
One of the advantages of being made of laminate wood is that it gives the instrument its lightweight, which makes it easy for anyone to take the guitalele with them when they travel. Also, it comes with a lifetime warranty, which gives the purchasers even more protection.
- Lifetime warranty
- The sound quality isn’t the best
Yamaha GL1 is the best affordable guitalele on our list. It is a perfect choice for beginners who are still experimenting with playing the guitar or the ukulele and want to try the guitalele without breaking a bank.
Why Buy a Guitalele
Guitars have a rounded tone in comparison to ukuleles, which have more of a folky sound.
The reason why many guitarists like to play the guitalele is that it sounds more like a ukulele, and has a small size as well. It also has six strings, just like any standard guitar.
This means that any guitarist will find it easier to play the guitalele than to play an actual ukulele, and they will still end up with more of a ukulele sound.
Also, it is a perfect instrument for children who want to learn to play the guitar, but they have small hands and fingers, so they can use a guitalele instead because classical guitars are too large for children.
How to Pick a Guitalele
1. Wood Type
The type of wood used to construct any instrument doesn’t only affect its build quality, but also, it affects its sound.
Musical instruments can be constructed with solid wood pieces or with wood laminate. The laminate instruments are made of layers of thin wood pieces, which makes the instrument lighter and more affordable. On the other hand, instruments constructed with solid wood and much stronger, have a better sound but they are more expensive.
There are several types of wood that are used in making guitaleles; let’s outline the most common ones.
Mahogany is one of the most popular woods not only in making guitaleles but in making guitars and ukuleles. The main reason why different companies use mahogany is that it is considered a midrange between high-quality instruments and affordability.
It also has a medium to heavy density, which makes the instrument strong and solid. This also gives it a soft and warm tonal balance.
Cedar is the type of wood used in instruments that tend to have potent dark tones. It allows you to have a warm sound with a much more controllable sound.
Guitaleles that are made of cedar don’t sound as crisp as instruments made of other woods such as spruce. However, it happens to be ideal for finger stylists.
If you are looking for a guitalele that has a very bright tone with well-balanced notes, then you should look for one that is made of rosewood. It also allows you to have accentuated high and low sounds. It is one of the most common woods used in the musical industries and is instantly recognizable.
Ovangkol wood sounds a lot like rosewood, and they share a lot of similarities, including that beautiful midrange sound. It looks gorgeous and makes a great option for anyone who’s looking for a stylish instrument to play.
As mentioned above, spruce guitaleles have a crisp note articulation. If you are interested in bass notes, then the spruce instrument will sound right for you and will offer you that rich and aggressive low note sound you are looking for.
Koa instruments have a very distinctive sound range that is warm and less potent in a very sweet heart capturing way.
2. Fretboard and Frets
The fretboard determines the range of chord progression you can get with the instrument. The longer a fretboard is, the more frets you have, which gives you more potential notes to play.
The number of frets you will find on different guitaleles will be more or less the same yet, some variations exist, so it is worth keeping this in mind.
In general, guitaleles come with nylon strings, which give them that simplified gentle guitar sound. However, if you are wondering whether you can use guitar strings for your guitalele, you will be glad to know that the answer is yes, you absolutely can.
One thing that we should point out, though, is that while it is possible to use your guitar strings for the guitalele, it isn’t the best thing to do. The reason is that the steel strings turn the guitalele from a mini classical guitar to a mini acoustic guitar. Of course, if you rather have a mini acoustic guitar, then this isn’t an issue for you.
The accessories are one of the most convenient things to think about when buying any musical instrument. They add more value to the money that you pay and save you the effort of looking through a bunch of accessories to find the right one for you. The most important accessories to check are the tuners and gig bags.
Frequently Asked Questions:
How Long Is a Guitalele?
Guitaleles can be found in a variety of sizes; however, this variation isn’t huge, and most of them are between 27 to 28 inches.
Can You Play a Guitalele Like a Guitar?
In short, the answer is yes. A guitalele can be played like a guitar that is transposed up to “A.”
Experimenting with new musical instruments is something that every player finds exciting. By the end of this article, you should be able to at least define what you should be looking for in a guitalele.
The best option to go to is the Gretsch G9126, but for electric guitar players, Vorson EGL-ST is the option to go to. A lot of guitars and ukulele players might find guitalele quite interesting, but they wouldn’t like to pay much for a new instrument, especially that they already paid for one. For these players, an option like Yamaha GL1 guitalele is just about right.
I hope this article helped you find the best guitalele for “you.” Happy strumming!