The first baritone ukuleles were probably built in the 1930s or 40s, but it was when Arthur Godfrey started playing one on his TV show in the 1950s that it became very popular.
The 4-string baritone ukulele is tuned exactly the same as the 4 high strings on a guitar, but the strings are made of nylon and the scale is only 19 or 20 inches, so it is whole lot easier to play than a guitar, especially a steel-string guitar. Its tone, though is as rich and warm as any ukulele, and even some guitars.
These days, there are some really good ukuleles being made all over the world. Weʻve searched and scouted and found some really good manufacturers of relatively inexpensive ukes, some of which are outstanding in looks, tone and playability at low prices. We have arranged for these makers to build quality instruments to our very particular specifications with our “Maui Ukulele Co.” and “Hula Ukes” brand names on the headstocks. Occasionally, we find really nice instruments with other brand names: “Pukanala”, “Makai” and a few others, and we carry those, too.
Some of these are similar to other brands of imported ukes, but we’ve gone the extra mile in specifying top-quality parts; geared tuning machines where other makers use cheaper friction pegs, for instance. We also inspect each individual uke and adjust the action to the perfect balance between volume and ease of play. If you can’t afford, or aren’t yet ready for one of our handmade Meles, these are the perfect instruments for you; supremely playable, good-looking and at unbeatable prices!