While many turn to soprano ukuleles when first learning how to play, concert-sized ukes remain just as good of an option for beginners. Whether you’re looking for a longer fretboard, or just need something a little bigger for your hands, a concert ukulele is a suitable choice.
Concert ukuleles are a little bigger than sopranos, so the cost is going to be more 90% of the time. This can be a turnoff for some, as the higher price is simply not worth it. For those looking for a quality concert uke that’s priced like a soprano, meet the Oscar Schmidt OU2.
This ukulele manages to offer an astounding amount of quality and playability, while keeping the price around $60. If you’re suspicious about the price, don’t be. This really is an excellent ukulele, and plays well above it’s price range.
The low price and amazing sounds easily makes the O2 very accessible to both beginners, and players who need an affordable option when expanding their personal ukulele collection into different sizes.
The Oscar Schmidt OU2 seems unassuming enough. It doesn’t have any fancy markings, or offer any cutting edge technology. It does however give off an immediate and obvious hint that this is a stage-ready uke in every sense, even if it’s marketed towards those who are just starting out.
The OU2 is made from mahogany, and the wood’s natural tone and look are on full display. You can easily see the details of the grain, which is capped off with a thin satin finish that helps to emphasize the wood’s elegant appearance, while barely affecting the tone and overall sound that comes from it.
The body is bound with a standard white binding, which works very well with the overall aesthetic, and is smoothly implemented, showing off the superb craftsmanship that went into this uke.
The OU2’s neck is mahogany as well, while the ebony headstock and bridge help provide a nice contrast. The action up and down the fretboard feels very fluid, and beginning players should have no trouble getting comfortable with it.
The strings are set very low, also helping the OU2 appeal to entry-level players. While low, they still sing with each note, and the low action combined with the feel of the neck and frets will be easy to navigate for those who are still getting the hang of things.
This isn’t to say that experienced players can’t enjoy this ukulele; quite the opposite in fact. Those who are making the adjustment from a different size, or simply don’t want to have to work up hand strength just to play the OU2 can benefit from its overall ease.
The geared tuners are fashioned from chrome, and give the OU2 a very stable feel when tuning. You can feel how solid they are with each twist, giving you the confidence that comes from knowing the strings will remain largely in tune even after extended use. This is often such an overlooked aspect with cheaper ukes.
It’s common to find some very nice soprano ukuleles in this price range, but concert ukuleles -- not so much. That’s part of what makes the OU2 such a good buy. And while this is a beginner’s ukulele for the most part, it doesn’t look, play, or sound like one. That is particularly why we love the OU2, and really every other uke in this line from Oscar Schmidt.
Even though this isn’t the smallest in terms of ukulele types, it still has a noticeably light feel to it. This translates to the overall projection the OU2 offers, making it very loud, clear, and precise. You don’t need to worry about this ukulele being drowned out, or having to play especially hard to increase the volume.
We’ve already gone over it some, but the action on this ukulele really is exceptional. More often than not, low action on cheaper ukuleles almost feel like you’re not playing at all, which affects the projection of the notes and chords, and gives the uke a toy-like feel.
The OU2 manages to keep the strings low enough for easy action, while still allowing for good intonation and resonation with each pluck and strum. That’s the ultimate combination, and a big part as to why this is such a great choice for both beginner’s and experienced players.
The OU2 boasts about its craftsmanship, and for the most part, it’s right on the money. However, the fret ends can be a bit rough, and certainly not as smooth as advertised, which is kind of a bummer. Not too big a deal though, and doesn’t diminish the overall quality of this uke.
Keep in mind that this is a concert ukulele, so it’s a big bigger than a soprano, but not as big as tenor and baritone models. If you have bigger fingers and are having trouble with the size of the soprano fretboard, this is the next logical step up.
Every uke is better with a few accessories, so be sure to get a tuner, a case, and a string tool that will make those string changes much, much easier. Amazon also offers very affordable damage protection from accidents.
We’ll say it again: the Oscar Schmidt OU2 isn’t flashy, but it does nearly everything well. Concert ukuleles tend to be more expensive than sopranos, so the price point of the OU2 is very appealing if you’re wanting to add a concert size to your inventory.
The smooth playing action and surprising projection makes this just as ideal for beginners, especially those who want something a little bit bigger.
So, there’s something here for everyone, which is a big reason as to why the OU2 is such a hit with beginners and experienced players alike.