Are plastic ukuleles good? That’s a question that has been asked by many people, and the answer is not always clear.
Some people believe that plastic ukuleles are just as good as wooden ones, while others think that they don’t sound as good.
In this article, we will explore the pros and cons of using plastic ukuleles, and try to give you a better idea of whether or not they are worth your time and money.
Are Plastic Ukuleles Good?
We got to be honest here, plastic ukuleles will never sound as good as wooden ukuleles this is because plastic doesn’t vibrate the sound as wood does. However, some plastic ukuleles will still sound good, but just not as good as a wooden ukulele.
You can have a plastic ukulele with the right soundhole design and good strings which enables good resonance. This is not unique to plastic ukuleles though, you will find this on many wooden ukes made by reputable manufacturers.
Plus, plastic ukuleles have some other benefits over wooden ukuleles. We’ll cover those later in this article.
What Makes A Ukulele Sound Good?
There are three main factors that influence the sound of a ukulele.
The Material Used For The Body
The material used for the body is definitely an important factor. Ukuleles made of mahogany tend to produce a warmer and mellower tone, while those with spruce bodies tend to sound brighter and crisper kind of like plastic ukuleles.
The size and shape of the ukulele’s body also play a role in the sound, that’s why there are a lot of different sizes available.
The Material Used For The Strings
Ukuleles can come with nylon or steel strings. Steel is more often used on classical ukuleles and has the advantage of lasting longer, but also having less volume and harder to press down. Nylon strings have the opposite effect and will be easier to play and have a better tone, but they will wear down faster.
The Ukulele Player
The way you play will also affect the sound of your ukulele obviously. For example, you can make your ukulele sound brighter by strumming it harder and more aggressively.
Someone that is just starting out might not press the snares hard enough. This can create this buzzing sound which doesn’t sound nice at all.
Advantages of Plastic Ukuleles
They Are Affordable
One of the main reasons why you would want to buy a plastic ukulele is because they are generally cheaper than other types. This means that you can get an instrument that sounds decent without having to pay premium prices, which is great for beginners!
They Can Take A Beating
Ukuleles are a really fun instrument to bring to a campfire or to bring when you go camping. The only problem is that they’re not the most durable instruments in the world, so if you accidentally break them, it will be really costly to replace them.
A plastic ukulele can handle these kinds of situations much better than wooden ones. They are cheaper, easier to replace and they won’t sting as hard when you break them.
They Come In a lot of Different Colors
The final advantage of playing a plastic ukulele is that there are many different colors available. You can find one in almost any color, with stickers or without them, painted in different patterns.
This is usually not the case for wooden ukuleles, which will just look like wood most of the time, with maybe a sticker on them.
Disadvantages of Plastic Ukuleles
Plastic Ukuleles Don’t Sound As Good As
This is the biggest disadvantage of plastic ukuleles. They just don’t sound as good as their wooden counterparts, but this does not mean that they are not worth your time! Plus, with the right techniques, you can improve the sound quality considerably!
Some People Think That Plastic Ukuleles Are Toys For Kids
There are some people who think about plastic ukuleles as children’s toys even though they are perfectly capable of producing a nice tune. If you happen to mention that you play one of these instruments in front of them, there’s a chance that they will laugh at you or give you strange looks.
Plastic Ukuleles Go Out of Tune Quicker
This does not happen on all plastic ukuleles, but some of them do go out of tune more easily than wooden ones. It really depends on the manufacturing processes used to make these instruments, so you might want to read reviews first before making a purchase.
What Is The Best Material For Ukulele?
What is the best material for a ukulele? In our opinion, the best material really depends on the sound you’re going for. If you want to have a warm and mellow tone, going with mahogany will be your best bet.
If you need a ukulele that can take a beating or if you just want something that’s easy to bring around then plastic will do just fine!
It’s important to find out what kind of material you personally like for your ukulele. The easiest thing you can do to find this out is to just go to a music store near you and try out a bunch of different ukuleles and listen and feel what ukulele is best for you.
Do Plastic Ukuleles Last Long?
Many people believe that plastic ukuleles cannot last for a long time because the material used in their construction would easily break under normal use.
While it’s true that most plastic ukuleles won’t last very long, if you get a well-made plastic ukulele they can last for a long time.
It is very important to always take care of them properly and be careful with how you use them if you want them to have a longer lifespan.
Since plastic ukuleles are not as expensive as wooden ones, this means that in case something happens to the instrument and it breaks or gets damaged, you won’t feel as bad about getting rid of it and replacing it with another one!
Are Ukulele Strings Always Plastic (Nylon)?
Most Ukuleles are sold with nylon strings, as this gives it that Hawaiian sound that people are looking for. This is not always the case though. Some ukuleles have steel strings, but these ukuleles are mostly electric ukuleles and sound a bit different than your average ukulele.
In conclusion, a plastic ukulele is an excellent instrument for those who are looking to save money and still enjoy the sound of a ukulele. It can be used as a beginner’s instrument as well as one that can be taken with you on your travels without worrying about it getting damaged.
It may not have the same quality of sound or feel as wooden ones do but for many people, this is more than enough! Thank you for reading!