Best Guitalele – When Do You Need It and How to Choose One?

You might feel confused picking up a new musical instrument, especially the first one. Wrong choices can discourage you from enjoying your learning, so ensure you won’t lose the opportunity to try a little bit of everything. Caramel CB904G is my pick as it is the best guitalele for those who don’t like to decide between two options. This model can sound both like a classical guitar and a ukulele. It also can be used as an acoustic and electric instrument.

Caramel CB904G is a guitalele entirely made of ebony with wood grain patterns. It has 30 inches in length, which is about 8 inches shorter than the average guitar, and 13 inches longer than a concert ukulele.

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5 Guitalele with Different Purposes: Reviews


In this article, I will review 5 guitaleles of different brands and consider their strengths and flaws. However, all of them fit kids and travelers, so let’s move to such details as the quality of joints, types of wood, and design.

1. Caramel cb904g Guitalele: Best guitalele for learning

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Caramel CB904G is a guitalele entirely made of ebony with wood grain patterns. It has 30 inches in length, which is about 8 inches shorter than the average guitar, and 13 inches longer than a concert ukulele. It has a basic acoustic body with the ability to connect to an amplifier. This model also has a built-in tuner. The smaller size gives Caramel CB904G a thinner sound than the acoustic guitar, but it still sounds more like a ukulele-sized guitar.

Caramel cb904g Guitalele lies on the table

Caramel CB904G has six nylon strings, which makes it sound softer. The main advantage of nylon is that it saves beginners’ hands from pain. Besides the guitalele, you will also find a padded polyester gig bag, three picks, a cleaning cloth, and an instruction in the kit.

This model is famous for its design, in particular, for the atypical sound holes: instead of one big hole in front of the strings, Caramel CB904G has a few smaller holes on the top left part of the body. This hole is a part of the nice simple drawing. The last detail is black coated metal tuning buttons, which are rare since manufacturers usually offer plastic tuners in this price range.

  • Electric and acoustic modes;
  • A built-in tuner;
  • Nice design.
  • Might be difficult for beginners is re-stringing.

2. Kmise acoustic guitalele: A well-finished ukulele-sized guitar

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Kmise satisfies a smaller range of requirements than Caramel CB904G, combining high quality with the bare minimum of functions. It is made of two types of wood: walnut and mahogany. I valued a well-finished fretboard, as this small detail is very important when it comes to regular practice. Small thors can hurt not only fingers, but they also make strings’ life shorter. According to my experience, Kimse stays tuned for a longer period of time, probably because of the hard copper pegs.

Kmise Guitalele 31 inch

Besides a shoulder strap and the picks, I found a hex key inside the package. This tool is rarely perceived as a basic one, yet it is very useful, especially for a model with limited functions like Kmise acoustic guitalele. Among other purposes, the hex key adjusts the fretboard so you can get different soundings depending on how close the strings are to the frets. This guitalele gives all the basic features you need to start learning to play any guitar-like instrument. Kmise acoustic guitalele is designed to play the same notes as a standard guitar, it is also tuned as A-D-G-C-E-A, so it is easy to switch to the full-size instrument in the future.

  • A well-finished fretboard;
  • Hard pegs;
  • Hex key included.
  • Limited functions.

3. Yamaha GL1: A guitalele with a classical guitar sounding

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Even if you are not interested in playing music at all, you still might have heard about Yamaha. This Japanese brand is considered a synonym of high quality, and Yamaha GL1 is no exception. The first thing that catches your attention is the design. I value nice design as much as good sound, and this guitalele is an example of both. Yamaha GL1 is made of nato and spruce woods, it is fully painted black except for the white pegs. A nice design is matched with great quality: you won’t find any cracks, gaps, or the lasts of glue on the body. The joints are clean and neat, and the finishing is uniform over the entire surface, therefore, Yamaha GL1 feels like a well-made instrument.

Yamaha GL1 Mini 6-String Nylon Guitalele

This model gets the best from two instruments, you can play it sonorous like a ukulele, but it also has deep warm bass, just like a good classical guitar. It has surprisingly deep bass, which is unusual for other guitaleles. Unlike Caramel cb904g, it has no such thing as a built-in tuner or electric mode. However, it is a perfect instrument both for beginners who only wants the basics and for professionals who know exactly what they need.

  • Feels well made;
  • Deep bass;
  • Classy design.
  • Only basic functions.

4. Ranch Guitalele: A full beginner’s guitalele set

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Guitalele Kit has excellent value for those who want an instrument that sounds more like a regular guitar. As well as Kmise, it fits beginners since it is tuned as a classical guitar, so it would not be difficult to switch over time. While adults probably won’t feel the difference in 5 inches, such details can be crucial for a child. Ranch Guitalele is slightly smaller than the other instruments from this list. Unlike Yamaha GL1, it goes with such adds as a gig bag, a strap, a microfiber polishing cloth, and most important extra sets of strings. The set also includes a digital tuner, which I found the most important for beginners since tuning requires some patience and experience and might discourage eager ones from learning.

Ranch Acoustic 28 inch Professional Guitalele

It is made of two wood types: the body is sapele and the neck is mahogany. What I like the most about this guitalele is that sapele gives a warmer and deeper tone than laminate wood. Yet it seems to have lower quality than the others I mentioned that fret bars and tuning pegs are crooked.

  • Tuned as a classical guitar;
  • Digital tuner included;
  • Warmer and deeper tone than laminate wood.
  • Might be poorly put together.

5. Caramel CB103G: An electric guitalele with exotic design

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Caramel CB103G’s characteristics are similar to CB904G; the differences primarily lie in the design. It also has a built-in tuner and it is possible to adjust an amplifier. I mentioned the hex key in the previous review as an underrated tool that helps to variate the sounding, and it is included in CB103G set. Caramel CB103G has solid cooper pegs that keep the guitalele tuned for a long time.

Caramel CB103G 30 Inch High Gloss Zebra Guitalele

Caramel CB103G has similar proportions to the CB904G – it is 30 inches long. This guitalele consists of a walnut and exotic zebrawood body with glossy finishing. Unlike CB904G, it has a classical sound hole in the middle of the body. The package includes a lot of accessories, and it saves the beginners a lot of time guessing is there anything else they need.

  • Built-in tuner;
  • Electric mode;
  • Due to cooper pegs stays tuned for a long time.
  • Might be difficult to restring.

Beginners, travelers, children

What is a guitalele

Guitalele is a string instrument, a hybrid of the classical guitar and ukulele. Guitalele is smaller than an ordinary guitar but bigger than a ukulele. It also has six strings instead of four like a ukulele has. Because of the size, guitalele is usually chosen for travelers or beginners, especially children. Smaller size leads to a thinner tone, usually considered carefree, while the guitar has a deeper voice. Guitalele sounds like a guitar with a capo on the fifth fret and can be transformed into a ukulele if you ignore two strings.

How to choose a good guitalele for yourself

Choosing a musical instrument without previous experience might be confusing. If guitalele is your first string instrument, consider three main characteristics:

  • Wight, shape, and shape might look insignificant, but you should pay attention to how comfortable the instrument feels for you. Learning takes a lot of time, so such details might become a remarkable problem in the future.
  • Ask yourself, where do you want to use the guitalele: are you going to play it at home alone, or do you plan to take it on a journey and entertain the crowd? Depending on this, you can choose an acoustic or electric one.
  • Don’t pretend you are too serious to notice what your guitalele looks like. Pay attention to the material and color. Creating good-looking instruments is also a kind of art, just like playing music.

FAQ About Choosing and Playing a Guitalele

Is guitalele any good?

Guitalele might seem weird at first glance. Among guitar, ukulele, and guitalele, you may choose something more familiar than such a cross between two well-known instruments. However, the guitalele combines the qualities of both guitar and ukulele, and it might be the best choice for those who have just started to learn. After such an introduction, it is much easier to understand what kind of sound you like better and which instrument you would like to learn to play in the future. Due to the combination of different characteristics, nylon strings, and medium size, the guitalele also fits well for children.

What is a guitalele tuned to?

A guitar’s standard tuning is E-A-D-G-B-E, while a guitalele is tuned as to A-D-G-C-E-A, which is the same tuning as a guitar but higher. You can get higher tuning by placing a capo on the fifth fret of a standard guitar. It is precisely the way a guitalele sounds. Guitalele has six strings which makes switching to the guitar much easier in the future.

Can I put guitar strings on a guitalele?

Technically, you can put steel strings on, but are there any good reasons you would need a steel-string guitalele? For two reasons, steel strings are intended for classical guitars due to their size. Firstly, steel is more rigid than nylon, demanding muscular tension, so the neck should be thick enough to withstand the pressure. Secondly, steel strings give a deeper sound than nylon, and it fits the guitar’s size, influencing the sound. Using steel strings on a guitalele might damage the neck due to the tension they exert; it might bend or even split.

Best Guitalele to All Cases

Guitalele suits various situations, and different models meet different requirements, and Caramel CB904G won me over with its flexibility. Depending on your wishes, it can sound like a classical guitar or a ukulele; it also has acoustic and electric modes. Guitalele is usually seen as a travel or child instrument due to its size. Still, it doesn’t mean this kind of instrument is “less professional” than the familiar guitar or ukulele.

Are you looking for an instrument for a beginner, or do you already have experience and wish to add something new to your collection of instruments? Please, share in the comments.

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