Wanna get straight to the point? Here’s a list of my picks for the best guitaleles you can get your hands on in 2023!
- Yamaha GL1
- Kmise Guitalele
- Gretsch G9126 Guitalele
- Kremona Flight Ukulele GUT 350
- Luna UKE Tribal 6
- Vorson EGL-TL
- Ortega RGL5EB
“Guitalele” is a lesser-known instrument when you compare it to some of its other string-based cousins like the violin, cello, or guitar. That’s because it’s a hybrid representing the mixture of ukulele and guitar (as the name suggests). It offers more playing depth than a ukulele without being as bulky as a full-sized ax.
If you’ve set your eyes on buying one of these unique instruments in 2023, I officially approve of your choice! It’s super fun to play, but at the same time, a bit more “serious” than a ukulele — and that’s a winning combo if you ask me.
The only thing left to do is to find you the perfect guitalele for your needs! For that, I’ve already handpicked 7 models for you to choose from. Let’s get strumming!
1. Yamaha GL1
- Great-looking compact design
- Balanced and melodious sound
- Very reasonable price
- The edges of the frets are a bit sharp
My first pick is the Yamaha GL1. If you were to ask any learned guitalele player (and yes, these do exist) for a top-5 list of recommendations, chances are they’d all include this little thing somewhere in their list. It’s such a well-rounded product that the industry just can’t avoid it — especially with its highly competitive price of just over a hundred bucks.
The guitalele’s classic design features a meranti back, a spruce top, and a natural-looking finish. Whether you’re a fingerpicker or like to use a pick, you’ll get a delicate yet rich sound with very smooth highs and mids. The design reminds me of any classical old-school Yamaha ax from its headstock, saddle, and body, to even the acoustic output. In addition to its compact size, it’s also got nylon strings which make it even easier to play.
Its scale is 17 inches which is the ideal size for beginners, players with smaller hands, or even kids. The 6 strings and 19 frets unlock way more playing possibilities than you’d have with a basic ukulele, and it packs all of it into a handy little package of just 3 pounds. There’s also a soft case included with the package so you can keep it safe on the go! If all these features seem to check the right boxes for you, give it a closer look here.
- Backed by a lifetime warranty
- Features a gorgeous mahogany finish with scratch resistance
- Great for beginners
- Relatively unpopular brand (you probably haven’t heard of Kmise, right?)
Here’s another promising contender that’s even cheaper than our top pick! It comes from the brand Kmise, which isn’t the most famous ukulele maker out there, but don’t let that take anything away from their craftsmanship. This particular instrument is not just a guitalele, it’s a complete beginner-friendly learning kit that includes every accessory you’ll need to start practicing effectively. The guitalele is made out of natural mahogany wood featuring a premium finish, which adds to the quality of its acoustics and sound. The finger glide on the fretboard is superb in terms of fluidity and ease of use, making it easier for newbies to learn and play chords.
Aside from the instrument itself, the set also contains a tuner, a handy carrying case, a string set, strap, and even access to online lessons for beginners. All this makes for an excellent deal when you consider the sub-$100 price point. I personally love how beautiful it looks thanks to the combination of its mahogany wood and rosette strings! The bridge and fingerboard of the guitalele consists of rosewood, adding further aesthetic value to it.
Its 6-string arrangement is very close to that of a typical guitar, but it’s all sized down to fit much more compact dimensions. At 5.21 pounds, it’s noticeably heavier than the Yamaha GL-1 — but you’ll barely notice that as it’s just a guitalele after all! Have a look over here.
- Features a sturdy mahogany wood build
- Comes with a high-quality gig bag for convenient carriage
- Very easy to play
- Lacks electrical facilities
- The most expensive option on this list
The Gretsch G9126 Guitalele is the most expensive option on this list, so feel free to scroll past if you’re working with a limited budget of around $100. (Still, it’s a lot cheaper than most acoustic guitars, right?)
Truth be told, you really don’t have to spend this much on a new ax, but with this model, you’ll certainly get your money’s worth. Since you’re spending the (relatively) big bucks, you get top-notch build quality featuring a laminated mahogany body, a quarter-sawn mahogany top, and a fingerboard that’s made out of ovangkol. All these premium materials and craftsmanship makes it feel great in the hands and provides it a warm sound that’s perfect for those wholesome song covers.
It also features a genuine bone nut and saddle which not only looks great, but has a real impact on the instrument’s resonance and sound output. The 17-inch length of its scale makes it responsive, easy to play, and lots of fun for players of any skill level. The deluxe gig bag that’s added to the package is also a nice touch, and helps with the portability of this compact little ax.
I’d recommend the Gretsch G9126 for anyone who doesn’t have a tight budget to worry about because it’s a product that makes little to no compromises in any area. From looks and sound to ease of playing, this guitalele is very hard to beat — unless of course, you start comparing prices! But if it does fall within your budget, you can order one here.
- Has a built-in tuner
- Comes with a high-quality carry bag
- Great price
- High value for money
- No electric options
Whether you’re the type of player who strums calmly by the fire, or can’t go a session without playing intense riffs — the Flight Ukulele GUT 350 won’t let you down. It’s a baritone-size ukulele with six nylon strings to give you a guitar-like playing experience in a bite-sized package. At an affordable price range of just under $100, even hobbyists can justify this purchase!
The instrument’s Sapele body gives it a sharp, strong, and punchy sound which helps the guitalele perform well even when you’re playing those high notes. The fingerboard is made out of rosewood which enables buttery smooth chord transitions. The neck consists of Okoume, which is another type of high-quality wood originating from Africa. All this wood variety makes the design highly appealing, and it’ll stay good-looking for years to come thanks to the protective gig bag that comes included.
You’ll find the GUT 350 super easy to keep in tune as well as its headstock has in-built geared tuners. Thanks to this feature, the strings won’t go out of tune any time soon once you’ve calibrated them properly. This feature is especially valuable if you’re a newbie as you might take much longer to tune your instrument accurately, which means a set-it-and-forget-it ax works best.
Check it out here!
- Features aesthetically-pleasing Hawaiian style body ornamentation
- Rich sound output and tone
- Premium mahogany build
- Large 20-inch scale
- Has pearloid tuners
- The pattern design might not be for everyone
- 20-inch scale might be a con if you’re looking for something really small
The Luna UKE Tribal 6 would probably be my personal pick if I was to buy a guitalele at around the 100-buck mark. It looks great, sounds heavenly, and plays way better than most mid-priced instruments in the market right now. With those three boxes being more than checked, this instrument certainly deserves a spot on my list.
This ukulele isn’t just for artists — it’s an artistic piece in its own right! You’ll notice that at the first glance because it’s got a Hawaiian style print that covers almost the entirety of the guitar’s front, making it stand out of the entire market in terms of looks and uniqueness. It’s a 6-string baritone ukulele featuring a tribal mahogany build, and I’d wholeheartedly recommend this model to anyone who can appreciate the ornamentation it features.
But the Luna UKE Tribal 6 has a lot more to offer besides looks. It’s an affordable ax with features that you’ll find in a much higher-priced segment. Its 20-inch scale, for instance, is even more convenient than the pricier alternatives we’ve discussed above. The mahogany neck features a C-shaped profile that also adds to the experience. Plus, it weighs under 3 pounds which is remarkable considering its scale size.
- The only electric guitalele on this list
- Comes with all required accessories including cable and gig bag
- Great for recording
- Lacks an amplifier
- Only ideal for electric playing
Be honest – you didn’t know something like this existed, did you? Well, it does, because not all guitaleles are acoustic! Some are electric as well, and we’re not just talking about a cable being attached to a classic ukulele. Nope, we’re talking full-blown electric guitarlele, like something that a tiny version of Jimi Hendrix would shred on. Awesome, right?
The Vorson EGL-TL features the shape of a classic electric guitar, but with everything scaled down to the size of a guitalele. It’s a stratocaster-style instrument that’s certainly going to be a fun addition to your ax collection. It might look like a toy at first, but once you hook it up and start playing, you’ll quickly realize that it’s even capable of a commercial recording in the hands of the right player.
It does get some mixed reviews from the critics in the industry, but you could say so about any unique product that hits the market without much of a precedent for it. Unlike most of the options on this list that were essentially mini classical guitars with nylon strings, this one’s based on the design of the iconic Fender Stratocaster, featuring 19 frets on its basswood body. You can get it in metallic blue, metallic burgundy, and gloss black, and all three look equally stunning in person.
You get a lot of room for sound experimentation with the two single-coil SY-2 pickups. The ukulele tuning of ADGCEA on an electric-style strat body will certainly be a first for most players, but the sheer novelty of it makes it a fun purchase. So, if you’ve been an acoustic player all your life and want to get a taste of what electric instruments are like, this could be an ideal solution to get creating and try something new!
The shorter size also has many practical implications for experienced electric players. For instance, the short scale length makes it quicker to move around the fretboard, allowing you to effortlessly bend notes. Add its dark tonality to the mix, and it might just become your ax of choice in some recording sessions. Check it out here!
- Made of quality timbers
- Built-in tuner
- Very stylish and beautiful guitalele
- String spacing is a bit tight (best for small hands)
Lastly, we have the Ortega RGL5EB. It’s one of the most comfortable guitaleles out there thanks to its exceptionally short-scale length. Thanks to that, the tension on its strings is relatively low, which means you don’t have to press as hard to fret the strings. It allows children or players with small hands to hit their notes accurately without having to worry about applying too much force.
Belonging to the brand’s timber series, this Ortega RGL5EB consists of premium tonewoods that offer exceptional acoustics thanks to their super tonal properties. I personally love its dark ebony color and I think it sets its looks apart despite its classic ukulele shape, and the natural wooden pattern only makes it better! Add its walnut bridge and fretboard to the mix and you’ve got a stunning piece of art at hand.
Being a hybrid, this ukulele-guitar blend is also a nylon 6-string model that’s condensed down to a lightweight and compact package. And Ortega, as you might know, is one of the world’s finest makers of ukuleles as well as hybrids like ukebasses and guitaleles. They’ve got a wide range of these instruments distributed across their lineups, and the reliability and build quality of their guitars is known to withstand the test of time. Grab one here!
Final thoughts on guitaleles
If you’re thinking about getting a guitalele, I say do it. Let’s be real: They’re not that expensive, they’re easy to play, and they’ll make you look, if not cool, then at least interesting and fun at bonfire parties.
In all seriousness, these are incredibly enjoyable instruments. Sure, maybe you won’t play a show with one. But maybe you will, too. Either way, here’s hoping one of the options on this list is the perfect fit for you – and here’s wishing you good luck and good fun as you make music.