Best Tenor Ukuleles – 2021 Top Picks

| Last Updated: December 27, 2021

If you’re looking for the most complete and professional Ukulele sound, that doesn’t sound or look like a toy or decoration, you should look for Tenor Ukulele.

It will completely substitute for any acoustic guitar campfire party time and can accompany it beautifully, too.

What is a Tenor Ukulele? 

The tenor Ukulele is a subtype of the Ukulele instrument. It’s also considered to have the most balanced traits of both acoustic guitar and typical Ukulele. Ukulele brands tend to make many professional models for this instrument type.

How Long is a Tenor Ukulele?

The tenor Ukulele is the third-largest Ukulele in the family, coming around 26 inches in size with the scale length around 17 inches.

How Much Does a Tenor Ukulele Weigh?

A regular Tenor Ukulele may weigh around 23 and 27 ounces. Based on having an electronic preamp or not, this weight may go even higher.

What Does a Tenor Ukulele Sound Like?

Tenor Ukulele sound is often described as full, deep, more resonant. When it’s compared to the Soprano sound it’s said that its sound has almost a third dimension.

How Many Frets Does a Tenor Ukulele Have?

Tenor Ukulele may come with a different number of frets based on fingerboard length. It provides at least 15 to 20 frets and it all depends on the manufacturer’s decision.

Is Tenor Ukulele Hard to Learn? 

The tenor Ukulele is no different than other ukuleles - it comes with the same 4 strings tuned in the exact same GCEA tuning. You will also have a chance to learn how to utilize low G setup.

As a matter of fact, Tenor Ukulele might be even slightly easier to learn for adult players as the frets are much bigger. 

However, while it may be a nice investment in the long run, the string tension and the body size might be a problem for younger kids so we would recommend Soprano or Concert Ukulele for them.

Why Did These Tenor Ukuleles Make Our List? 

While our favorite Tenor Ukuleles are different in various aspects, most of them have the next traits in common:


Whether you’re a professional player or a complete newbie, bad intonation can spoil the fun and make your instrument unplayable. That’s why we have handpicked models that excel in this area first and also provide you with decent strings that will improve not just the tuning, but sustain and tone depth as well.

Bang For Buck

We strive to give you the most quality for the money invested and that’s why some obvious products didn’t cut to our shortlist. Simply, we feel that for certain money you can get much more interesting options from Enya than from Kala and Luna, for example


Tenor Ukuleles are instruments purchased very often by those who want to advance with their playing. Fretboard playability and proper string action are must-have features for such players.

Solid Top

The largest portion of the sound is built from the top of the tonewood, so having a solid wood instead of laminate can be a perfect balance in getting a better overall sound while saving a good amount of cash.

Comparison of the Best Tenor Ukuleles

  • Solid wood high-grade Acacia body
  • Passive Artec pickup installed in sound hole
  • Unique and modern headstock
View Latest Price →
  • AAA Solid Mahogany Top with High Gloss finish
  • Guitar-like headstock and beautiful fretboard inlay
  • Two strap buttons installed
View Latest Price →
  • Laminated Exotic Acacia body with Satin finish
  • Arched back design
  • Available models for left hand player
View Latest Price →
  • Best Tenor Ukulele Under $200
  • Preamp installed with 2-band EQ control
  • Softer Cutaway design
View Latest Price →
  • Best Travel Tenor Ukulele
  • Body depth at only 1.875 inches
  • Includes deluxe Gig Bag and single strap button
View Latest Price →

Review of the Best Tenor Ukuleles

If we filter out all solid wood premium models, these are the best Tenor Ukulele offers on the market:

Best Overall:
Flight Phantom Tenor EQ

No products found.


  • Unique and modern headstock
  • Solid wood high-grade Acacia body
  • Passive Artec pickup installed in the sound hole
  • African Mahogany neck with Ebony fingerboard
  • Improve the playability with compensated saddles 


  • Might be a bit heavy for some users
  • Premium price might be a drawback

What Recent Buyers Report

Besides being expensive, they say that this model approves its price by premium sound and build qualities along with the Japanese fluorocarbon strings and lovely ebony fretboard.

Buyers are saying that the pickup looks invisible and that they really dig the compensated saddles system as it improves the action and intonation of all strings. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

First of all, this model belongs to the Flight Royal series where only premium parts are selected. its tonewood is made from the high-grade solid Acacia wood and this feature alone should confirm its quality tier. If not, it should be aware from the moment you hit the first strum - it’s louder than anything we had a chance to listen to.

But, with the Phantom, Flight wanted to give you something different so besides having a unique and charming red burgundy padded gig bag it also comes with a modern headstock with black gears and tuners.

Bottom Line

If you’re looking for a professional Ukulele, we believe this Flight model might be a great introduction to such a world. It will be a great example of what sound and finish you can expect and it will improve your playing eventually.

Enya EUT-M6

No products found.


  • Available in 3 colors
  • Two strap buttons installed
  • AAA Solid Mahogany Top with High Gloss finish
  • Guitar-like headstock and beautiful fretboard inlay
  • Best all-around choice for beginners and professionals


  • Blue model may change into green within a year
  • Standard Enya accessory bundle should be included

What Recent Buyers Report

People are thrilled with this instrument and say that this is probably the Best Ukulele under $300 and with the quite responsive and helpful customer support.

However, watch out if you go for blue as the images are a bit misleading and it will probably change within a year into the green.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Everything about this Ukulele feels professional. AAA solid Top Mahogany, exceptional craftsmanship, great cutaway design with up to 26 frets, and the unique and beautiful inlays printed on the fretboard along with white binding and rosette. You will get even a nice gig bag that can work as a 

And just like the inlays are quite original, we love the fact that it breaks the rule and provides you with the electric guitar headstock - it looks modern and very appealing in all three colors. Speaking of colors, we couldn’t decide what finish is one favorite so we’ll leave that up to you.

Bottom Line

If you’re looking for an underdog Tenor Ukulele that will sound better than the usual brands, Enya is your company. This Ukulele justifies every cent invested and we can’t recommend it enough as the best semi-pro model.

Best Tenor Ukulele for the Money:
Caramel CT207 Electric

No products found.


  • Arched back design 
  • Wonderful accessories bundle
  • Available models for left-hand player
  • Laminated Exotic Acacia body with Satin finish
  • 3-band EQ and two-colored chromatic tuner installed


  • A bit under-average loudness
  • ¼ to ⅛ audio converter would be nice

What Recent Buyers Report

It has been reported to be easy to play with nice low action which is more suitable for beginners, but in case you want, bridge pins are available to adjust the action to your personal taste. The gig bag is reported to be very good and people tend to carry their even more expensive instruments.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This is probably one of the best Ukuleles deals in the entry-level tier we have found. And it’s one of the rare brands that make left-hand models as well!

Tenor Ukulele has very decent craftsmanship and the included electronic preamp has all the features you would get from much more expensive models - 3-band EQ and an accurate chromatic tuner with a large two-color LCD.

It’s also the only Ukulele on the market that will provide you with the instrument cable as well so you can plug it in anywhere straight upon arrival. Even a wall mount hanger and an extra set of strings are included for this price.

Bottom Line

The days when entry-level Ukuleles had to sound poor are over. Caramel really excels in this tier and significantly raises the bar for those instruments. And like the cherry on the top, it will even provide you with an electronic preamp.

Best Tenor Ukulele Under $200:
Cordoba 20TM-CE Cutaway

No products found.


  • Softer Cutaway design
  • Rosewood bridge and fingerboard
  • Electric model with Solid Mahogany Top 
  • Preamp installed with 2-band EQ control
  • Comes equipped with the Aquila Nylgut Tenor strings


  • Strap buttons should be installed
  • Tuner should be included on the preamp

What Recent Buyers Report

They tend to describe the sound as mellow and sweet and both newbies and semi-pros are buying this instrument. Preamp seems to be working properly. They do wish it came with an onboard tuner, however.

But, people do complain about unsanded frets though, so check your specific instrument upon arrival first. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

This model is made of a solid Mahogany top with Satin finish and laminated Mahogany back, sides, and neck with regular Rosewood fretboard bridge and herringbone pattern rosette. 

Preamp provides you with the volume and 2-band EQ sliders so you can adjust your Mahogany sound on the speakers further. And the preamp doesn’t affect the weight too much so the instrument remains lightweight.

What makes it different from the others is a soft cutaway design, about half of the typical venetian cutaway. While we’re usually against such half-way design solutions, we must say that it looks excellent on this specific model.

Bottom Line

This Ukuleles seems to be one of the most versatile models on the market - if you’re looking for a semi-pro model that comes with the equipped preamp, you won’t find many better offers than this Cordoba.

Best Travel Tenor Ukulele:

No products found.


  • Body depth at only 1.875 inches
  • Laurel fingerboard on Mahogany neck
  • Exotic Mahogany body with Satin finish
  • Equipped with Aquila Super Nylgut strings
  • Includes deluxe Gig Bag and single strap button


  • Cheap turners and headstock design
  • Exotic Mahogany grain pattern may vary a lot

What Recent Buyers Report

Users tend to describe this instrument as a step-up for all those who have played on entry-level for a while. They also say it’s much easier to play than a Soprano Ukulele.

But, be aware that due to the nature of Exotic Mahogany, grain patterns may vary a lot.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This model is based on the Travel Tenor type of Ukulele which has a much thinner body of only 1.875 inches. Therefore, sound may be a bit closer to the Concert Ukulele but coming at a bigger body and, what’s even more important, frets.

Fingerboard is upgraded to laurel wood and combined with the Aquila Super Nylgut strings provides really nice playability. Exotic Mahogany will give it a unique look with a more bright wood design.

The case is not a hard case but provides good padding/protection and is actually suited for taking your uke out of the house

Bottom Line

If you would like to have something more versatile while you’re away from home, Kala KA-EMTU-T will be our best choice - it’s lightweight and sounds terrific so you won’t have to trade too much of the sound for the portability.

Best Acoustic Electric Tenor Ukulele:
Lohanu LU-MAGE-T

No products found.


  • Two strap buttons installed
  • Built-in preamp with 3-band EQ 
  • Unconditional Lifetime warranty
  • Laminate Spalted Mango with Gloss finish
  • Arched back design and slotted headstock


  • A bit mediocre sound quality
  • Too high gloss finish - real fingerprint magnet

What Recent Buyers Report

While they say that quality control could be improved, it seems that customer support makes a huge difference as they will respond to all your demands and tasks. So, rest assured, if your instrument comes with any faulty part, the company will send another one free of any additional cost.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This Electric Tenor Ukulele comes with a Spalted Mango body done with the High Gloss finish and arched back design. Therefore, the sound it produces is perhaps not the best we’ve heard, but resonant with a great sustain.

It is also equipped with a preamp that comes with 3-band EQ and a chromatic tuner with a very nice large display.

Speaking of accessories, we like that two strap buttons are pre-installed so that the provided strap can be used instantly. The rest of the bundle such as chromatic tuner, picks, extra set of Aquila strings, and gig bag definitely won’t mind anyone.

Bottom Line

If you’re interested to save some money on your purchase and you’re fine with not having a branded model, Lohanu Electric Tenor Ukulele seems to be an excellent semi-pro choice as they really stand behind their unconditional lifetime warranty tag.

Best Tenor Ukulele Under $500:
Kala KA-SMHTE-C Electric

No products found.


  • Venetian cutaway design
  • 18-fret Laurel fingerboard
  • Fishman Kula electronics installed
  • All Solid Mahogany with Satin finish
  • Beautiful faux Tortoise shell binding 


  • Cheap headstock tuners
  • Some gig bag could be included at this price

What Recent Buyers Report

They were really amazed by the quality of the electronics installed and they had a great time playing it on the speakers. The sound it produces actually motivated them to practice even more. Check the tuners upon arrival, as there are reports of getting the faulty ones.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This is a very affordable solid wood Ukulele made of Mahogany. As expected, solid wood generates much better resonance and delivers additional depth to your sound. And the best part, due to its nature, it will sound even better as time passes by.

It has a nice vintage color with beautiful faux Tortoise shell bindings accompanied with the slotted headstock design and the Venetian cutaway body which helps you get to the higher frets much easier.

The electronic preamp is made by Fishman Kula, an excellent pickup system with chromatic onboard tuner and 3-band EQ control.

Bottom Line

If you’re looking for an affordable solid wood ukulele, perhaps you should consider having pre-installed electronics as well. It won’t make a huge price difference and it will come in handy eventually so you will be glad you made such a decision.

Best Beginner Tenor Ukulele:
Paisen Professional Tenor Ukulele Bundle

No products found.


  • Two Strap buttons installed
  • Nice accessory bundle included
  • Laminated Rosewood body Ukulele
  • 19-fret fingerboard with Brass frets 
  • Arched back body and unique sound hole design


  • Gig bag could be more padded 
  • No fret markers on the side of the neck

What Recent Buyers Report

They agree that it is worth the price and that it sounds more than they would expect from it, especially thanks to differently placed sound holes to the upper corner.

However, build quality may be questionable so watch out for sharp frets and saddle construction if you have to change strings. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

This Tenor Ukulele is made from laminated Rosewood which has a bit brighter sound so the rest of the tone is compensated with the arched back design which will generate additional sustain.

It also comes with a bunch of regular accessories such as a padded gig bag, Capo, picks, strap, and a chromatic clip-on tuner. And let’s not forget the two strap buttons installed on both ends of the body.

Bottom Line

If you have ever wondered how Rosewood would sound if it was used for a tonewood, Paisen has a very affordable model for you. It's a pretty much-balanced instrument optimized for finger picking playstyle with a bunch of extras included in the offer.

Best Long Neck Tenor Ukulele:
Oscar Schmidt OU7T

No products found.


  • Handcrafted quality
  • Baritone-like fret size
  • Grover headstock tuners with ebonite tops
  • Laminated Spalted Mango body with Gloss finish
  • Synthetic bone nut & saddle with Abalone details


  • Neck end overlaps the rosette
  • Wood choice vary a lot in grain patterns

What Recent Buyers Report

It has been reported that unlike most Ukuleles the intonation is held accurately from the first day and the glossy finish makes it look like a premium instrument even more.

The only complaint was addressed to the nature of Spalted Mango wood as it’s a pure lottery what wood grain you’re going to get.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The long neck means that the fingerboard is longer compared to the regular Tenor Ukulele and this means bigger frets. It will suit guys with bigger hands and those that are used to Baritone Ukulele the best.

OU7T is made from Spalted Mango wood which has unique exotic wood grain. Mango generally delivers a brighter tone than a regular Mahogany Ukulele and this instrument is no different.

Abalone details are laid out for bindings and rosette decoration and the headstock comes equipped with a chrome Grover tuner with ebonite buttons and they can maintain the tune.

Bottom Line

If you would like to get the Ukulele tone with the fret size as close to the regular acoustic guitar, OU7T is a model for you. It will provide you with great playability and unique modern design, too.

Editor's Pick:
Kala KA-8

No products found.


  • Walnut fingerboard and Mahogany neck
  • Wonderful slotted headstock with 8 pegs
  • Equipped with Aquila Super Nylgut strings
  • Laminated Mahogany body with Gloss finish
  • Cream white binding with a basic accessory set


  • A bit expensive
  • Hard to find replacement strings

What Recent Buyers Report

Buyers love the sound and say that the action is a pure joy to play. They also comment that it can fit any regular Tenor gig bag, while the one provided with the instrument is padded enough to protect it from any unwanted hits or drops.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This is a unique Tenor Ukulele that comes with a set of 8-strings Aquila Super Nylgut installed. It will provide you a quite different playing experience while the sound will resemble a typical Ukulele. 

The design and tonewood craftsmanship is on par with the rest of the Ukuleles at this price, but, it will come with a wonderful slotted headstock with eight tuners instead of four. This headstock design may help to prevent string breaking further, while the softer Walnut fingerboard may be the best solution as your fingers will have a double string press all the time.

Bottom Line

If you’re one of those fellows who like to experiment, Kala KA-8 is a new toy to your playground then. It comes with the usual Kala quality and doubles the strings.

You won’t find a better entry-level offer for 8-string Ukulele than this one.

When Would You Use a Tenor Ukulele? 

Tenor Ukulele is a specific model because of its size. It delivers a different sound character, and its size could be a benefit for many players out there. Here are some reasons why you should pick this one over other models: 

Bigger Fretboard

If you have big hands, you will appreciate the fretboard size of the regular Ukulele. And, even if that’s not enough, you can go for a long neck model which will almost give you the size of the regular fingerboard.

Low G Tuning

The tenor Ukulele is the first Ukulele instrument that allows you to tune it into low G tuning. This will allow you to have 5 more semitones under standard C compared with the Soprano and Concert ukuleles.

Guitar-Like Sound

If you like the size of the Ukulele, but you would like to get a more of that typical acoustic guitar sound instead of a “plinky” Ukulele one, we would strongly recommend using a Tenor Ukulele. It’s the biggest Ukulele that uses standard tuning. That’s why many Ukulele players tend to have a Tenor Ukulele in their collection as they can play it the same way and yet get that deeper and warmer sound.

Comparison Overview 

Let’s break down some typical doubts about Tenor Ukulele and other Ukulele types:

What is the Difference Between Soprano and Tenor Ukulele?

The soprano ukulele is the smallest Ukulele in the family and it will be much more suitable for females and younger kids due to its smaller fretboard size and lightweight format. The price is also a large factor here as well - Soprano models are the most affordable Ukuleles on the market, while things tend to get more expensive if you enter the Tenor Ukulele zone. 

Tenor vs. Concert Ukulele - Difference Between Concert and Tenor Ukulele

Concert Ukulele is considered as the middle ground between Tenor and Soprano Ukulele price. Regarding other aspects, such as sound, weight, or size, it’s more close to the Soprano than Tenor models.

It's a well-balanced type of Ukulele and a good fit for most adults and kids. If we had to pick one model that would suit all beginners, we would probably suggest Concert Ukuleles.

Tenor vs. Baritone Ukulele

Baritone is the only Ukulele bigger than a Tenor. It’s also the only Ukulele that doesn’t come with the GCEA tuning. Because of its fret size and string tuning, it will be a natural choice for many guitar players or those who would like to move from Ukulele to the acoustic guitars.

What is the Difference Between Tenor and Electric Tenor Ukulele?

(Acoustic) Tenor and Electric Tenor come at the same size and look pretty much the same, except for the fact that the Electric Tenor is equipped with the preamp so it will have slightly more weight but with an option to plug it directly into speakers or amps. 

However, the price won’t be so different, so in our opinion, it's a good call to invest in those models.

How to Tune a Tenor Ukulele Without a Tuner

If you have a tuner, tuning a Tenor Ukulele is a breeze. Simply pluck the string one at the time and read the display until you get the notes you need.

But, in case you forgot to bring your tuner or the batteries have run out, there is still an easy way to tune your Tenor Ukulele.

First, you can use any piano or keyboard instrument around to give you the notes for your strings. If you’re performing within a group with more Ukuleles, they can also aid you. Remember that strings are tuned looking from the top to the beginning in order of G, C, E, and A.

All you have to do is to ask your friend at another instrument to hit those specific notes while you adjust your tuners by playing the open strings until your Ukulele sound matches the sound you’re hearing. 

Also, remember that this type of tuning can be applied to any string instrument, not just Tenor Ukulele.

And in case you don’t have an instrument next to you, you can play the video below instead - it will give you the tuning for both high G and low G setup:

How to String a Tenor Ukulele

Stringing a Tenor Ukulele requires some practice, but it’s not a complicated task. Luckily, you won’t have to repeat it so often as nylon strings tend to have a longer life span compared to guitar ones. Just remember to buy strings that are made specifically for the Tenor Ukulele as the others might be short.

Also, in case it’s not labeled on the package, remember that the first and the last string will be the thinnest, while the second string (looking from the top) might be a metal string.

  1. First, you can unwind the string or cut it to shorten this part of the process.

  2. Now, set new strings first through the bridge and away of the neck. Leave two inches to make a tie across the bridge by looping over and under and then simply pull it firmly.

  3. Once you set the string through the headstock leave 4 inches on the other side. Go with the string through the tuner hole, loop it and go back through the hole to make a grip. Always set the strings from the inside.

  4. Strings winder can help a lot to wind strings from so move the tuner pegs in an anti-clockwise way. Try to make every string wind go above the last one as this will improve your intonation a lot. It will take from five to ten turns around the headstock post based on the specific string.

  5. Once you’re done, you will need to tune the strings and be aware that you may need to redo it until they fit in nicely.

  6. When everything is set, you can use cutters to trim any string excess from the bridge or headstock.

If you would like a video, please refer to the link below:


While Soprano Ukulele can be mixed with a toy instrument, no one will give such an impression when they look at the Tenor Ukulele. It can both look and sound wonderful and it’s an excellent choice if you have decided to learn to play a new music instrument.

People Also Ask

Next, we’ll try to give you brief info why Koa wood is so important to the Ukulele world, what makes Travel Tenor Ukulele so special, should you play with the pick or nails, and also cover the price range and holding techniques for Tenor Ukulele:

What is Koa Wood?

Koa wood is a unique Acacia that grows only on the Hawaiian Islands and it’s traditionally used for making tonewood of the premium Ukulele models. Many local laws protect this tree and it can be harvested only from the dead trees. These circumstances make Koa wood quite expensive goods.

What is a Travel Tenor?

Travel Tenor is a Tenor Ukulele that has been optimized in terms of portability. It has a much thinner body while the other dimensions remain at the typical Tenor size. It may not have so much of sustain and depth in the sound but if you travel a lot you will appreciate its lightweight design.

Is a Tenor Ukulele Good For a Beginner?

Tenor Ukulele is a great investment in the long run. You will get the most professional Ukulele sound when compared to other instruments so even if your skills are not high, it may grow on you, especially those solid wood models which change their sound throughout years of breaking-in.

Is Ukulele Played With a Pick?

Yes, Ukulele can be played with a pick, too. But, we would advise you to not use a typical guitar pick and pick leather or a rubber pick instead. 

Also, bear in mind that the typical mellow Ukulele sound is generated with fingerpicking instead.

Do You Need Nails to Play Ukulele?

If you want to recreate the sound we have mentioned above, then yes. Fingerpicking and strumming are much easier when you have nails on the strumming hand but it’s not mandatory as you can also use a leather or rubber pick to play.

Can You Tune a Tenor Ukulele Like a Soprano?

Yes, Tenor Ukulele can be tuned like a Soprano Ukulele in the GCEA setup. But, if you want to maximize the sound you can get from a Tenor Ukulele, consider having a different string on the top so you can tune your instrument in low G setup - it will sound even better.

How Much Does a Tenor Ukulele Cost? 

The tenor Ukulele can be a really premium instrument going over $3,000. For entry-level models, it can go around $90, but the most usual price for semi-pro laminated Ukuleles is somewhere between $200 and $300. Professional solid wood models start somewhere above the $400 figure.

How to Hold a Tenor Ukulele

If you’re standing, hold your Ukulele firmly to the middle of the chest pushing the instrument body firmly towards with the strumming hand. You can use the same stance if you’re sitting, but you can also put it over your leg that is closer to your strumming hand.

Insert Video

I'm a 35-year-old rock-oriented professional musician from Belgrade, Serbia with 20 years of field experience in various areas of the music industry. After graduating from elementary music school I joined my first band Alogia in 2001 which had incredible initial success with the debut album and became one of the greatest Balkan heavy metal acts ever. We have recorded several studio and live albums and played as an opening act for Whitesnake, Apocalyptica, and Paul Di’Anno. Meanwhile, I got a chance to collaborate with Roland Planet shop and get familiar with various music equipment for more than a decade. For the last eight years, I have done live audio mixing for numerous bands and other live and studio events, including some TV audio mixing for national television broadcast as well. Currently, I’m playing keyboards for one of the most authentic Serbian music rock legends - Dr. Nele Karajlić, also known for his work with Zabranjeno Pušenje and No Smoking Orchestra.