What Is A Guitalele? 5 Of The Very Best Reviewed

Guitalele best of
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This is our Best 5 Guitalele Review

The Uke and a Guitar had a baby, and the result was The Guitalele. We’ve rounded up 5 of the best little-known Guitaleles on today’s market for you to have a look at.

An amazing option for guitarists looking to travel without the hassle of a full sized guitar. Maybe you’re looking for a way in the door of becoming a musician but need something easy to learn. This tiny little guitar is just what you need.

Playing Guitalele can expand your musical horizons, enliven your songwriting, and add a lot of joy to your life as a musician. 

This buyer’s guide will help you get started with all the knowledge you’ll need to know before parting with your hard earned cash.

After thoroughly reviewing 5 Guitaleles, our favorite was the Kala KA-GL

Read on to find out what the fuss is about…. 

Best Guitalele Mini-Reviews

1- Most PopularYamaha GL1 Guitalele

  • Superbly Made By Trusted Brand
  • Low Price
  • Most Popular Choice For Travellers
 
 
Guitalele

2- Best Budget Aco/Elec Guitalele- Caramel CB904G

  • Beautiful range of Guitaleles
  • Best Set Of Extras
  • Value For Money Pack
 
 

3- Best Midrange GuitaleleOrtega RGL5 EB-CE

  • So Easy To Play
  • Silky Clear Tones
  • Built-In Tuner
 
 

4- Best Budget Kmise Guitalele

  • Super Low Price
  • Superb Padded Bag
  • Enhanced Low End
 
 

5- Best OverallKala KA-GL-E 

  • Warm & Golden Tones
  • Pau Ferro Fingerboard
  • Fishman Electronics
 

What Is A Guitalele?

A Guitarlele can also be referred to as a ukitar, kiku or…wait for it…a 6 string Ukulele.

As you can see, it’s a hybrid instrument between a Ukulele and a Guitar. It’s a 1/4 size” guitar, a cross between a classical guitar and a tenor ukulele/ baritone.

It’s a very easy to play, a portable musical instrument which is on offer to very young children right up to seniors.

As it has six string, your limitations are endless, you can play all your favorite tunes just like a full sized guitar.

It’s also the first choice for travelers the world around. Owning a Guitalele is an instrument you can keep in your flight bag and not have to worry about the costs of storing a full sized guitar in storage. 

Guitalele Size

guitalele
guitalele comparison
A Standard Classical Guitar & His Son The Guitalele

Tuning & Chord Differences 

Guitaleles are tuned to the following : A/D/G/C/E/A. A Capo on the 5th fret of a guitar in standard tuning gives you the same notes.

Here the chord charts for the Guitalele:

guitalele chord chart

5 Of Our Best Guitalele: Full Review

1- Yamaha GL1 Guitalele Ukulele 

Most Popular Choice  

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  • Superbly Made By Trusted Brand
  • Low Price
  • Most Popular Choice For A Travel Guitar
  • Classic Tobacco Sunburst & Natural Colors

Possibly the most well-known Guitalele on the market. The Yamaha GL1 guitalele is an attractive low priced starter instrument with a quality ‘Yamaha’ build.

I’m a Yamaha fan, I’ve had various acoustics over the years, and you are assured value for money. So straight away I was interested in GL1 and it comes as no surprise, it’s the number one choice of the public.

The guitalele comes with very basic Nylon strings and the intonation is passable, but not great if you’re already at intermediate playing capability.

It weighs about 2.6s lbs, so it’s ideal to carry onto planes or in your bag when traveling. I would make sure you get a gig bag with it though.  

17” scale length and six strings give you that guitar feels although I found the frets to be quite narrow. Bigger fingered players out there take note. 

The headstock tuners again are ok, the Guitalele does go out of tune a lot to start with. My advice would be to get some decent guitar strings and the factory set is dreadful. Stretch your new strings in, and you’ll be fine.

Tone-wise, it sounds about right for the price you’re paying. Like I keep reminding players. Get some good strings and get the instrument set up and you’ll reap the benefits of tone. 

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If you’re a Tenor player, it sounds very much like a 6 string Kala. The sounds you get are very close to the ukulele but you’ve got the added bonus of two more strings.

It’s so much fun and fantastic for travelers or guitarists looking for a middle ground. 

If you already are a musician and you’re not too concerned about tone, this is your next instrument. At such a friendly price you can’t go wrong with The Yamaha GL1 guitalele. 

Specifications:

Strings: 6 Strings (3 nylon/3 metal wound | Nylon string set), Finish: Clear matt, Overall length: 70 cm, Gig bag: Yamaha gl1 guitalele fitted guitar bag, Top: Spruce Top, Back/sides: Meranti, Neck: Nato, Fingerboard: Sonokeling (¼ size), Bridge: Sonokeling, Colour: Tobacco Brown Sunburst

 


 

 

2- 30 inch Caramel CB904G Ebony Wood Electric Guitalele

Best Acoustic Electric Guitalele- Budget Option

Guitalele
  • Metal Tuner Machine Heads
  • Adjusstable Truss Rod
  • Acoustic Electric Guitalele
  • Stunning Set Of Colors

The Caramel CB904 Electric Guitalele is my favorite choice for those wanting to plug in and get more from the standard nylon-sounding tones.

An all Ebony body gives this a stunning look to it which will look good anywhere in your house. The beautiful wood grain patterns make this Guitalele the best-looking in the review. 

Unlike a lot of other Guitaleles, the CB904 has a truss rod so you can get the neck perfectly straight to maintain the life and tone of your instrument. 

The tone is rich and woody unlike the others in this review. As you have the ability to plugin you can add reverb and delay. This then gives you so many more avenues of tone to explore. 

The size is a little bit larger than your standard baritone Ukulele but the sound acoustically is warm and resonants perfectly. 

A fairly good build awaits you, with no sharp edges on the wide neck. The silky finish on the fretboard feels smooth and pleasurable. 

guitalele 3

Comes with a bag of goodies too, which will come in handy for a beginner. You’ll get a 1x 30 inch 6 String Guitalele, 1 extra set strings, padded gig bag included(12mm padded, made of 300D 6CD polyester yarn),3x guitar picks,1x cleaning cloth,1x wall hanger,1x strap(with pegs), 2x bridge pins,1x metal nail drawer,1x EQ cable. 

So much fun to be had here with many tone avenues to venture down. Once again, all at a very friendly price. This is my choice for the best electric guitalele.

Specifications:

Ebony Wood body,6 strings, walnut fingerboard & bridge, Buffalo bone nut and saddle, 18 frets, tuned as E-A-D-G-B-E. Size:, 20” Scale length, 30” Overall body length, 3.15” Body depth, 1.9” At Nut. Electronics: 3 Band EQ controls: Bass, Middle, Treble, Chromatic tuner with LCD color display, Low battery indicator, Power supply: 3V (CR2032)X2

 


 

3- Ortega RGL5 EB-CE Guitalele

Best Midrange Guitalele

  • Easy To Play
  • Big Fretboard
  • Silky Clear Tones
  • Acoustic Electric Guitalele
  • Built In Tuner

The Ortega RGL5 EB is a step up in sound quality in comparison to the two previous. A very lush and easy instrument to play. The fretboard is soft a big enough to cater to medium-sized fingers. 

A much silkier clear almost guitar type tone. You still can hear the prominent sounds of a  ukulele though. 

This Guitalele once again offers acoustic and electric capabilities. The Ortega Magnus Uke pickup system with a built-in tuner stops you from having to use cheap and horrible extra tuning accessories. 

The tuner sits on the top of the body and is bright black green and white led. Giving you a clear indication of whether the string is in tune. 

A unique looking instrument with an Ebony top, back and sides, and a natural open pore finish. I must say at this point I’m not overstruck by the look and design of the body. It looks like a chocolate bar!

A much better sounding instrument than the first two and only for a little more in price. This would suit the already guitar playing buyer. And someone who loves chocolate. That’s everyone!

Specifications:

Binding: Tortoiseshell style ABS binding., Cover: Ebony open-pore natural, Radius: 435 mm., Back and sides: Mahogany open pore natural., Saddle and bridge: Bone 48 mm., MagusUke Pickup System with Integrated Tuner and Cutaway, Electronics: Tuner., Tuning Machines heads: gold plated., Strings: Ortega Guitars GLNY-6, Neck: Mahogany., Fingerboard & Bridge: Walnut. Package Dimensions 75.18 x 27.18 x 10.67 cm; 453.59 Grams, Batteries 2 CR2 batteries required. (included), Back Material Ebony, Body Material Ebony

 


 

4- Kmise Guitalele 31 inch Guitarlele

Best Guitalele – Budget Option

  • Adjustable Truss Rod
  • Affordable
  • Superb Padded Bag
  • Enhanced Low End

The Kmise guitalele is another that made the cut due to the substantial sound quality made from the slightly larger design of Guitalele. Bigger in size means a good balance of resonance and a clear string projection.

The bottom 3 strings are of silver wound copper and the top 3 are titanium giving you a great mix of ukulele and classical guitar tones.

The fretboard is a soft-to-touch walnut material. The ‘C’ shaped neck is something I have on my guitars as I find it the most comfortable design. On brushing my hands up and down the outside of the fingerboard I found the finish to be a little on the sharp side. This wouldn’t be ideal for children.  

As we have a 20inch scale, this gives you the possibility to gain extra lows but ensures the overall sound can remain like a Ukulele. 

The manufacturers make a big deal about the gear tuning machine heads that lock tuning into place better than its competitors. I actually agree, it’s a good selling point and obviously serves a very important purpose. Especially if you’re only just getting to grips with tuning. This can be a big help. 

The best Guitalele for lower budgets by far. Comes with a really good protective gig bag, a strap, and some picks. Although it’s a very generic looking instrument, it offers different volumes to the others on show.

 A perfect gift for somebody looking to dip their toe into the Guitalele. 

Package Dimensions 83.82 x 33.02 x 15.24 cm; 2.37 Kilograms, Batteries 1 CR2 batteries required., Manufacturer reference MI2450-KUS, Back Material Mahogany, Material Type Copper, Size Guitarlele, Battery Type Lithium Manganese Dioxide, Item Weight 2.37 kg

 


 

5- Kala KA-GL-E with Built-in tuner Preamp and EQ

Best Overall

  • Warm& Golden Tones
  • Pau Ferro Fingerboard
  • Ease Of Playability
  • Fishman Electronics Pickup
  • Built-In Tuner

Kala is one of the most recognizable Ukulele brands in the world. A perfect beginner instrument for children as young as 5 years old. Big sellers and manufactured to a high standard. 

Glossy mahogany featured finish that enhances a simple but professional-looking Guitalele.

The best way to describe the tone would be a warm golden sound. Not too loud and seems to resonate perfectly whether you’re strumming hard or fingerpicking your heart out.

The 17” scale mahogany neck and Pau Ferro fingerboard are the reason this instrument stands way out front in comparison to the rest. The nut is 1.78” which, in my opinion, is a perfect size. Any smaller than that I find my fingers in a car crash. 

The ease of playability made this Guitalele stand out instantly. As it’s a tenor size it fits really snuggly into my body as I sit down. Little features like this will make you want to play the guitalele more and more.  

There’s more, Kula Compatible with Fishman Electronics pickup and tuner built-in is not just better than any other added pickups in the market. It’s by far the best results in pro tones through your amp. 

If you care about your sound you want an instrument that’s going to last. The Kala KA-GL-E is the best on the market. If you’re already a guitarist I would suggest this is your next purchase above the rest. 

guitalele kala

There is so much difference in tone than the rest of the reviewed guitalele. You are paying a bit extra, but you’re getting brands like Kala, Pau Ferro, and Fishman all in this one Guitalele. 

Item Weight 2.79 pounds, Product Dimensions 8.5 x 3 x 22 inches,ASIN B07GH1V7N1, Batteries 2 AA batteries required, Is Discontinued By Manufacturer No, Date First Available August 9, 2018, mahogany back and sides, Back Material Mahogany, Body Material Mahogany, Neck Material Type Mahogany, Number of Strings 6

 


 

Did You Realize?

As a Guitalele is tuned to a 4th higher than a standard guitar. The chord shapes remain the same, but if you’re playing with other musicians you’ll need to work out what the difference is.

It’s basically like playing the guitar with a capo on the 5th fret!

For instance, if the band is playing an E chord, you’ll need to play an A chord on a Guitalele.  A is a 4th higher than E. E1-D2-C3-B4-A5, got it? 

The reason why the Guitalele is tuned up a 4th is it sounds dull and dreadful tuned to the same pitch as a standard guitar, so they’ve tightened the strings up a 4th!

What Strings Do I Need?

The biggest string brands supply ‘Guitalele sized nylon strings’, which in essence are classical guitar strings. So when you’re next in your local music store, simply ask for a set of nylon strings. Obviously, don’t buy Ukulele strings as there are only 4!

That being said, you need to look at your Guitalele and see if it has bridge pins, if it does then you’’ need to purchase some ‘ball end strings’. 

Here is our top pick for ball end strings:

D’Addario EJ32C Folk Nylon Guitar Strings Ball End Silver Wound/Clear Nylon Trebles

If you have the classical guitar thread type bridge you’ll need these strings:

D’Addario EJ45-3D Pro-Arte Nylon Classical Guitar Strings

The Sound

Heres soome super skills on The Guitalele

What You Should Know About Wood Type

When looking at the materials of a Guitalele, you have two types of wood construction

Laminated wood: Layers of wood glued together. This type of construction offers low prices but doesn’t resonate with a high standard. Laminated Guitaleles usually have mediocre tones but are tough. 

A Solid Wood body has much superior quality in tone and lastability. The majority of instruments are made from solid mahogany wood bodies.

The most common types of wood used are:

  • Mahogany, Koa, Spruce, cedar for the soundboard
  • Mahogany, Koa, Maple, and rosewood for the bottom and sides
  • Mahogany and Maple for the neck
  • Rosewood and Ebony for the bridge

Important: Set Up

As a guitarist of 25 years myself, I cannot stress how important a good set up is.

Make sure your new Guitalele is set up properly. It’s worth paying a professional to give it a full health check. Give yourself the best chance of moving forward without any future issues. 

All musicians regularly set up their instruments. This definitely helps avoid fret buzzing, constant tuning, and snapping strings.

If you’re a beginner, having an instrument with a poor set will lead to you quitting 100%. 

The constant tuning and high action will make the whole playing experience so unenjoyable. You’ll actually be working harder than you need to be.

best guitalele , worst set up

So get your new instrument set up and look after it, and it’ll last you years. 

Check out our: 10 Essential Tips For Guitar Care

Guitalele Benefits To Consider

Guitaleles can be used in numerous musical genres just like the classical guitar or ukulele. If this is your musical flavor, then you’ll love it. 

Another major factor for travelers wanting a Guitarlele is the nylon strings. Unlike normal steel-stringed guitars, nylon strings can’t rust in more tropical climates around the globe.

It’s tuned exactly the same as a guitar, but a 4th higher. So you’re kinda getting an advanced Ukulele with 2 extra strings. 

The low price is a major plus point. A half decent Guitalele starts around $99!

There aren’t a lot of Guitaleles on show in today’s world, so if you want to be different in your musical approach, then here is a perfect way to achieve that. 

The Best Guitalele-Bottom Line

The Kala KA-GL-Efor me was ‘much more’ than a cut above the rest. The comfort factor, the tone, and the hardware is worth every penny.

You maybe are stretching your budget a little further, but think of it in terms of longevity. if you buy a cheap one and you don’t like it after 6 months, you then have to buy another resulting in the original cost of the Kala!

If you’re learning, being comfortable is the key to success. The Kala for me was easily the most comfortable to play.

The Kala is perfect for children, due to its size and Pau Ferro finger-friendly fretboard. It’s a great choice for an already guitar player as it has a wide range of tonal options.

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Through my 25 years of playing experience, I am keen to assist you in any way I can. Over the years I've spent thousands of hours messing around with gear and guitars. I still play guitar almost every day and couldn't be without it. Lee-Authority Guitar