Select Page

What Are the Parts of a Ukulele?

What Are the Parts of a Ukulele?

You might have heard someone talk about a part of the ukulele and had no idea what they were talking about. Well, you’ll know all the part of the ukulele after you read this post.

The Ukulele Is Like a Body…

The ukulele is much like a human body. It has a head, neck and body…and that’s where it ends. Okay, maybe it’s not that like a human body (especially with a neck that long) but it’s still useful to remember the general make up of the ukulele.

Although there are different size ukuleles, they all have the same basic parts.

An infographic showing the parts of a ukulele

Headstock

The headstock is the top area of the ukulele. Headstock shapes can vary but the most common type is rectangular with space for two strings on one side, and two strings on the other.

Tuners (tuning pegs, pegs, machine heads, tuning keys)

The timers are the part you turn to change the pitch of a string. When they are all the note you want them to be, the ukulele is “in tune”. The most common ukulele tunings are re-entrant.

Nut

The nut is where the headstock meets the neck. When you strum an open string, it vibrates the length from the nut to the bridge.

The nut can be made of various materials but the most common are

  • bone
  • wood, for example, ebony
  • plastic

Neck

The neck is the long thin part of the ukulele that connects the head with the body…just like your neck connects your head to your body. By putting your fingers on a string at a different part of the neck, you can change the note produced.

Frets

A fret is a small strip of metal across the neck. Normally they don’t have any affect, but when you press a string down behind one, they in effect shorten the string and make the pitch higher.

Fretboard

The fretboard is the material that the frets are placed on and where you press. It may be the same as the neck or made from a different material producing a different feeling. Common materials include

  • rosewood
  • maple
  • ebony

Fret markers

Fret markers are parts of the neck that help show which fret you are playing. They are often dots but can be blocks or lines. They are usually found on the 3rd, 5th, 7th, 10th (occasionally 9th), and 12th Some longer neck ukuleles have them on higher frets but not all ukuleles have those higher frets.

The position of the 5th, 7th and 12th markers is because these are the position where you can play harmonics.

The Body

The body is where the majority of the sound comes from. It is usually hollow (but solid electric ukuleles do exists).

Soundhole

The sound hole is a hole where sound comes out (crazy I know). It is usually under the strings and close to the neck but there are some ukuleles with multiple sound holes, sound holes on the side and more variations.

The bridge

The bridge holds the strings in the body and may look very differently between ukuleles. Some times it is just a hole in the body, other times there is a peg you put in to hold it in place and sometimes there is some material you need to tie your string around.

The saddle

The saddle usually sits on top of the bridge. The string from the nut (at the neck) and the saddle is how much will vibrate (as long as you don’t fret a string). The height of the nut and saddle set the “action” of the ukulele. The action is how far from the frets the string is. A higher action avoids buzzing but means you have to press down harder.

Now you know all the parts of a ukulele

Some individual ukuleles may have less common parts including cutaways and pickups. The parts listed, however, will give you a good summary of the core parts of the ukulele.

About The Author

Chris Wilson

I'm a ukulele fanatic who also happens to teach English as a foreign language in Krakow, Poland.

Get Free Resources to Learn the Ukulele

Sign up to become a Ukulele Academy Soprano member (for FREE) and you'll unlock 3 great free resources as well as PDF versions of every song we tab. What have you got to lose? 

Join Now Find Out More

You have Successfully Subscribed!