My Ortega Electric Guitalele

Getting a guitalele? – Guide for beginners

I am getting a guitalele, and in this post, I want to share all the answers to questions I had during the process.

A guitalele is a small guitar tuned four chords higher than a standard guitar but is played like a regular guitar.
In my youth, I played a little guitar and have long thought about taking it up again. I am a flute player but like to sing and need an accompanying instrument, that doesn’t take up a lot of room.

Should I get a guitalele?

Some people would say that a guitalele is a poor ukulele and a poor guitar, but I really like the sound and the size of this instrument. This is the main reason to buy it. Guitalele comes in great quality and the price is affordable, compared to other types of instruments.

What I did was to listen to many artists on youtube, and I just prefer the sound of a guitalele. If you feel the same, you should definitely get a guitalele!

Why not buy a ukulele instead of a guitalele?

Let me start by saying, the ukulele is easier to learn to play, than a guitarlele. But if you have played guitar before, you will easily pick up the guitalele.

The physical difference between a ukulele and a guitalele is the number of strings. A ukulele has 4 strings and a guitalele has 6 strings. The two extra strings give bass-notes and fullness to the sound, plus a lot more flexibility.

The sound is very different between the two instruments. You can get a guitalele to sound like a ukulele, but it can also sound like a guitar. I will give you examples later on.

The disadvantages of a guitalele over a ukulele are that you have to stretch your fingers more, over the six strings, and it is, of course, harder to play six strings than five.

What is the difference between a six-string ukulele and a guitalele?

On a six string ukulele the strings are placed different than on a guitalele.

The six string ukulele is tuned in GCCEAA and a guitalele is tuned like a guitar but starts on an A instead of an E.

On a six string ukulele four of the strings are placed in pairs (2 x 2).

How much does a Guitalele cost?

You can get a very cheap guitalele starting from around $40 on ebay. The top price I have seen is $1000. A decent beginner guitalele comes at at price between $100 and 300.

There are difference in quality!

Guitaleles are made from

  • polymer (plastic)
  • laminated woods
  • solid wood

The cheapest guitaleles are made from polymer, and the most expensive are solid wood.

The cheapest ones are toys for children, and is poor quality. But hey, why give a child a poor instrument? Why not teach them to play for real?

How long is a Guitalele?

Dreamy Olwen's Guitalele

A guitalele is 1/8 of a normal guitar, but there are different sizes.

The total length of a standard size guitalele is around 700 mm (27 1/2″)
A tenor guitalele is bigger.

The small size makes them great for kids, but also people with short arms and people with reduced strength will benefit from the little instrument.

Obviously the size of the instrument makes it perfect for travel and small living spaces.

Can you play a Guitalele like a guitar?

A guitalele is a small guitar and it is played like one.
If you like, you can even tune the guitarlele to the scale of a guitar (remember the guitalele is tuned 4 scores higher than the guitar).
You can also change the strings to regular guitar strings (look at the how-to-video later in this text).

Getting started with guitalele

There is a lot of material on the internet about how to get started with a guitar and a ukulele, but not so much on a guitalele. Especially if you have not played any of the others prior to the guitalele.

On this link you will find a chord chart with all major, minor and 7th chords for free on Pinterest

Here is a tutorial with the three first chords

And here is one with all chords:

How to restring a guitalele

In this video you will learn how to put strings on your guitalele

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