The different parts of the ukulele: anatomy and structure (2023)

While not originally from there, he definitely considers the ukulele to be onetraditional Hawaiian instrument. It gained popularity due to its portable size and brilliant sound. Over 1.5 million ukuleles were sold in the US alone in 2020!

Ukuleles can be found at a reasonably affordable price compared to other instruments, and it's easy to learn a few basic chords, making them a great instrument for beginners who don't have much music-making experience.

In this article, we're going to take a closer look at the different parts of the ukulele so you can get a better idea of ​​how it works and how to play it.

Table of contents

Anatomie tun Ukulele

The different parts of the ukulele: anatomy and structure (1)

Ukuleles come in many different shapes and sizes, but there are four main shapes.Types of Ukuleles(although there are many other variations).

  • soprano
  • show
  • Tenor
  • baritone

Although they all differ slightly in terms of size and sound, they all share the same three main parts, namely the head (or headstock), neck and body.

Knowing the parts of a ukulele can help you better understand how to play it and take better care of it.

the head

The different parts of the ukulele: anatomy and structure (2)

IsPeg boxThe head, or headstock, is the part furthest from the body of the ukulele and is usually made of wood or plastic.

The head is important because it supports the tuners.

It has to be a sturdy piece that fits snugly against the neck because it has to withstand the tension of the strings wrapped around the machine heads.

Headers come in two main styles: slotted or solid.

These styles change the position of the tuners.

However, they do not significantly affect the tone of the ukulele and are more of an aesthetic preference.


Istuning pegsOn a ukulele, as the name suggests, it's the part that allows you to tune the strings.

They have a few names and you may see them as tuning pegs, tuners, tuning heads, tuning keys or machine heads, but they all refer to the same thing.

Tuners are four tuning pegs or keys attached to the headstock around which the ukulele strings are wrapped.

The player then turns the keys, which loosens or tightens the tension on the ukulele's strings, lowering or raising the pitch of the string.

There are two common types of tuners: friction tuners and gear tuners.

Friction mechanics sit behind the headstock and keep the strings in tune with your grip.

The geared machine heads are located on the sides of the headstock and have gears that help keep the strings in tune.

The neck

The different parts of the ukulele: anatomy and structure (3)

IsThe neckIt's a long, thin piece of wood that connects the headstock to the body of the ukulele.

Most ukuleles have a wooden neck, but some inexpensive ukuleles may have a plastic neck.

The neck is the part that the player holds with the non-strumming hand and plays chords and notes with the fingers while holding the back with the thumb.

The back of the neck is also curved to allow your hand to hold it comfortably.


IsMutterIt's a thin ridge that runs perpendicularly between the headstock and neck of the ukulele.

It's a small, inconspicuous piece, but it plays an important role.

The neck has four carved grooves that the strings fit into to keep them in place and properly spaced with enough spacing between them.

In addition to controlling string spacing, the nut also raises the ukulele's strings a few millimeters above the neck, allowing players to press on the strings to play different notes.

This is called action: the farther the strings are from the neck, the greater the action and vice versa, the closer they are, the less action.

A ukulele couldn't make a sound without the saddle!

tuning fork

Istuning fork, Ötuning fork, is a solid piece of wood that sits on top of the neck and under the strings.

It's the part where the player uses their left hand to press down and create different notes and chords.

The ukulele produces a different tone depending on where you press the string on the fretboard.

The closer the note is to the body, the higher the pitch and vice versa, the further away from the body, the lower the pitch of the note.


At the top of the arm you will find theaggravationthese are thin rods (usually metal) that run perpendicular to the arm.

The frets are slightly raised but not level with the saddle.

They are hammered into the fretboard at specific locations so the player knows where to press their fingers to play specific notes.

They also prevent sound from being reproduced, and pressing a string directly onto a fret will not produce a clear sound.

In contrast to fretless stringed instruments such asCellothe oneviolin, you can only play notes that are semitones apart on a ukulele.

Fret space and marks

IsBund roomsit's the spots between each fret and that's where you press your fingers to create a clear sound.

If you play more than one note in a fret range on different strings at the same time, you can play a chord.

You will notice them tooThe bottom markingfound in certain parts of the arm.

They are usually dots, but they can also vary in shape and color.

The purpose of the fret marker is to help ukulele players locate specific notes as they provide a reference.

Its position is useful when the player needs to slide the hand farther from the bottom of the neck to the body of the ukulele.

You can usually find the fret markers at the 3rd, 5th, 7th, 10th, and 12th fret locations.

string instruments

The different parts of the ukulele: anatomy and structure (4)

Isstring instrumentsThey range from the tuning pegs to the bridge of a ukulele and are usually made of nylon.

But larger ukuleles, like tenor and baritone, can have nylon or metal strings.

Wound metal strings have a fuller sound and tend to deviate from the bright tones of a traditional ukulele.

Most ukuleles have four strings tuned to the keys of G, C, E, A.

But unlike many other stringed instruments like the guitar or banjo, the ukulele's strings are not in the correct order.

The C string is the lowest note, followed by E, G, and then A.

This is determined by the gauge of the string: the thicker the string, the lower the pitch, and the thinner the string, the higher the pitch of the sounded note.

The body

IsBodyIt is the largest and most prominent part of the ukulele and is usually made from woods such as mahogany, spruce or koa, but is sometimes made from plastic on cheaper models.

When you pluck the strings, the body vibrates, which is amplified by the resonance chamber inside the body.

The front of the ukulele is called the soundboard and it helps amplify the sound of the ukulele strings.

They come in different shapes and sizes, which also affect the sound and tone of the ukulele.

The type of wood used also contributes to the sound of the ukulele.

For example, Hawaiian ukuleles primarily use native koa wood, which produces a very bright sound.

Meanwhile, mahogany ukuleles have a warmer, smoother sound.


IsSchalllochIt's the large hole in the body of the ukulele that the strings go through.

It helps to enhance the sound of the strings if they are plucked or plucked in the same way f-holes are done on an instrument like a violin or cello.

The sound will be louder if you play directly over the sound hole, and the sound will get softer the farther away you play from it.

Some sound holes may have a rosette on the rim.

The original purpose of a rosette was to prevent the cabinet wood from cracking.

However, with modern technology, this type of crack has become rare, and today the rosette only plays an aesthetic role.


IsPonteIt's a strip of wood, plastic, or sometimes bone that sits on the lower part of the body, just below the mouth.

Its function is to direct the vibrations of the strings when playing to the body of the ukulele, which amplifies the sound.

There are four popular types of bridges:

  • latch bridge
  • slotted bridge
  • pin bridge
  • rope over the bridge

The bridge type does not significantly affect the tonal quality of the strings.

They are more a matter of aesthetics and personal taste.

For example, the truss bridge requires some specific knots that can be a bit tricky for ukulele beginners.

However, it has a more traditional look.

Pin bridges are the easiest ropes to replace because you just need to thread the rope through the holes in the bridge without worrying about tying knots.


And finally theSelimsits on top of the bridge.

It serves a similar purpose to the nut on the ukulele's head, in that it keeps the strings apart so they don't touch.

It has small slits so they don't move around too much.

It also helps keep the strings at the same height above the ukulele.

Summary of the parts of the ukulele

These are all essential parts of a ukulele.

You can get lost in the details of the different parts, like the wood and the type of string.

However, if you don't get bogged down in the details, it's a simple instrument at its core, making it relatively easy to learn.

Once you start playing the ukulele, you can find out your tonal and tonal preferences and do more research from there.

Then, of course, the details become less intimidating and more fun.

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