Guitaleles are an interesting gateway instrument for ukulele and guitar players because they’re a cross between a guitar and ukulele at their core. This means instruments like the Caramel CB204G (the best guitalele on my list) are a great option if you play the guitar and want to take up the ukulele or vice versa.
I’ve put together this list of the best guitaleles to help you make that leap across musical instruments, so stick around to learn about the nine best options currently available in 2022.
The 9 Best Guitaleles in 2022
Not all guitaleles are created equal, and the nine that made our list stand out from the crowd. So let’s check them out individually to learn how they make sweet music.
1. Caramel CB204G – Best Overall (4.8/5 stars)
The Caramel CB204G tops my list as the best guitalele available right now for several reasons. First, it looks amazing: Caramel built this guitalele using Acacia wood and walnut, adding beautiful wood grain patterns as the icing on the cake.
Second, the CB204G sounds as amazing as it looks: its Acacia wood body isn’t just an aesthetic choice. It helps this guitalele produce a warm sound, which professional and beginner players will find gratifying.
Third, the six strings and tuners make the CB204G a versatile guitalele. You can tune it to sound like a standard guitar and use it with an amplifier. However, if standard guitar tuning isn’t your thing, you can use the guitalele as is or enjoy acoustic sessions. Meanwhile, you’ll find guitalele tuning easier, thanks to the CB204G’s chromatic LCD.
The fourth reason the CB204G is the best guitalele on my list is that you get loads of goodies with the instrument. It’s a Starter instrument and comes with accessories, including an extra set of guitar strings, guitar picks, a padded gig bag made of 300d 6cd polyester yarn, a cleaning cloth for maintenance, two bridge pins, a wall hanger, a strap with pegs, and more.
Another factor that makes this guitalele top of the pack is its adjustable truss rod, which makes adjusting the instrument’s action according to your preferences easier.
Caramel offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, meaning you can return the guitalele if you’re not satisfied with your purchase. However, I’d advise you to change the strings that come with it, as they make the instrument produce a dark, muffled sound.
- Adjustable truss rod
- Comes with a Starter kit
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Strings don’t sound good
2. Kmise – Runner-Up (4.5/5 stars)
Hot on the CB204G’s heels as best guitalele is the Kmise guitalele. This instrument easily clinches the runner-up position, thanks to its build and sound quality. Kmise manufactured its guitalele using a combination of mahogany and walnut, and the wood choices give it a decent sound and look.
Thanks to its gear tuning machine, you can precisely tune the guitar strings on this guitalele to suit your needs. I think it works much better than using gear tuning pegs, and since it’s made of copper, it’s less likely to rust.
Regarding adjusting the action on Kmise’s instrument, you get an Allen wrench with your purchase to make the necessary adjustments. So loosening and tightening the strings is as easy as turning the wrench in a clockwise (loose) or anticlockwise (tighten) direction, bringing string tension under your control.
Kmise designed this guitalele to be a quarter of the size of a full-sized guitar, so carrying it around is easier. At the same time, you can play the same notes (g, c, e, etc.) you’d be able to on a standard classical guitar.
Also, the Kmise guitalele’s fretboard is exquisitely finished, made with walnut, and immune to scratches. Its titanium and silver-plated (corrosion-resistant) strings make this guitalele a durable string instrument that’s an excellent choice for ukulele players and classical guitarists.
One thing that detracts from this guitalele’s excellence is its tuning difficulty. Yes, the machine tuner keeps it tuned for a long time, but expect to spend a little longer than usual tuning the instrument.
- Gear-tuning machine for precise tuning
- Walnut scratch-proof fretboard
- Corrosion-resistant titanium strings
- Difficult to tune
3. Ortega RGL5EB – Best for Experienced Players (4/5 stars)
If you’re experienced playing the ukulele or guitar and want an instrument that combines both into one beautiful package, then you may find the Ortega RGL5EB guitalele appealing. This short-scale instrument is hands-down the best guitalele for experienced players.
The RGL5EB is part of Ortega’s Timber Series of instruments, meaning it’s built with the finest wood. The company attempted to highlight each wood’s unique sound and look in making this instrument. I think their attempt was successful, as the final product is beautiful.
What makes this guitalele a great choice if you have guitar playing experience is the wood used to build it. Ortega uses Ebony and Sapele for the top and body while giving it a mahogany neck and walnut fingerboard. Every wood type mentioned pulls its weight to help the instrument produce a crisp sound experienced players will love.
As a hybrid instrument, the RGL5EB deftly straddles the guitar and ukulele world by combining the six strings of a traditional guitar with the size of a tenor ukulele.
Additionally, this guitalele’s built-in tuner (a gold-plated die-cast tuning machine with black buttons) lets you tune the instrument easily. At the same time, its nylon strings reduce discomfort when plucked.
Unfortunately, this guitalele’s string spacing could’ve been made wider, as it’s a little difficult to play as is. Moreover, Ortega missed an opportunity to sweeten the deal by including extras like guitar picks and a gig bag.
- Excellent for experienced players
- Built-in tuner
- High-quality wood construction (Ebony and Sapele)
- String spacing is too narrow
4. Yamaha GL1 – Most Budget-Friendly (4/5 stars)
Let’s say you’re looking for a quality, budget-friendly instrument. In that case, the Yamaha GL1 guitalele fits that description—melding excellent craftsmanship with functional materials, this guitalele is a great choice for the budget-conscious.
This six-string ukulele and guitar hybrid is built with spruce wood and is about the size of a baritone ukulele, with a laminate body helping to protect it from the elements when used outside.
Regarding playability, the guitalele comes with nylon strings, which beginners will find pleasant to pluck when learning the ropes of their new instrument. Additionally, the clip-on tuner included with the guitalele makes it easy to tune the machine, so you’ll be playing beautiful notes in no time.
You get several accessories bundled with the Yamaha GL1, including an Austin Bazaar instructional DVD to get beginners up to speed with the instrument, a gig bag, and spare strings.
Unfortunately, the Yamaha GL1’s budget-friendliness comes at a price: this guitalele looks and feels low-grade. I didn’t like that it felt like the guitalele could crack at a moment’s notice if I made a wrong move.
- Budget-friendly guitalele
- Clip-on tuner included
- Instructional DVD included
- Looks and feels low-grade
5. Flight Ukulele GUT 350 – Most Exotic (4/5 stars)
The Flight Ukulele GUT 350 is the most exotic guitalele on my list, thanks to the wood used to build it. In addition to the more familiar mahogany and walnut, Flight uses two kinds of wood native to the African continent as materials for its guitalele: Sapele and Oukome.
Sapele, a lightweight hardwood from the African tropics, is used in GUT 350’s body, giving the guitalele its reddish-brown tint. Meanwhile, the GUT 350’s neck and fingerboard feature a combination of Oukome wood and walnut, which, together, feels great to the touch and gives the fretboard a stable intonation.
Also, Flight’s guitalele comes with a bone nut and saddle, a welcome change to the plastic used on other guitaleles, and a nice little detail affecting the instrument’s sound quality.
Flight fitted the GUT 350’s headstock with geared tuners that make tuning the instrument a breeze. Moreover, once you tune the GUT 350, it stays tuned for a long time, saving you energy spent tuning when you could happily pluck away at the guitalele’s nylon strings.
Flight includes a padded gig bag with the GUT 350 that seamlessly blends fashion with functionality. Not only is it lightweight and comfortable, but it’ll also keep the instrument safe from scrapes and damage. So you can take your GUT 350 wherever you go, and it’ll be safe from outside forces and the elements.
I feel like this guitalele could’ve used a few more accessories. Yes, the gig bag is awesome, but if Flight threw in some extra strings and guitar picks, that would seal the deal in making this guitalele a must-buy.
- Exotic wood materials
- Geared tuners for easy tuning
- Padded gig bag included
- Could do with more accessories
6. Vorson EGL-ST S-Style – Best Electric Guitalele (4/5 stars)
Electric guitaleles were inevitable once standard guitaleles entered the scene, and the Vorson EGL-ST-S-Style guitalele is the best one available. Vorson tuned its six-string guitar to a range similar to a ukulele (A, D, G, C, E, A), but the EGL-ST’s tone is much bigger. With 19 frets to play with, you shouldn’t have any problem inserting the upper register into your songs.
This guitalele contains Vorson’s SMD-1 Active Electronics technology, providing it with high output and giving you more control over the tone. In addition, the EGL-ST’s pair of SY-2 single-coil pickups and three-way pickup selector switch help the instrument hit those high notes.
You can shape the tone produced by manipulating the instrument’s tone knob, volume control, and mid-shape boost, while the EGL-ST’s chrome die-cast tuners help keep it tuned for longer.
Vorson offers its electric guitalele in three colors: metallic blue, gloss black, and metallic red, and every version ships with a cable and stylish carry bag. Also, thanks to the EGL-ST’s easy-access battery compartment, battery changes are simple enough that you don’t need a screwdriver.
The biggest drawback I found with this guitalele is the string placement: because Vorson put six strings on the EGL-ST’s ukulele-sized neck, they’re placed too closely together. It can make playing this guitalele challenging, and I experienced a broken string on more than one occasion.
- 19 frets
- High tone control
- Available in three colors
- Strings placed too close together
7. Gretsch G9126 – Best for Right-Handed Players (4/5 stars)
Right-handed players will feel at home with the Gretsch G9126 guitalele, as this six-stringed, tenor size guitalele was made specifically with these players in mind. In addition, because it has six strings, the G9126 plays more notes than your typical ukulele, meaning you can broaden your musical horizons with the additional range.
Gretsch made some interesting aesthetic choices in this guitalele’s design. For example, it features a cutaway that gives better access to the higher frets on the instrument. Also, its Abalone snowflake position inlays give it an old-school cool you hardly find on similar guitaleles.
On the functionality side of things, the G9126 has a built-in tuner so you and your instrument can get on the same wavelength. Meanwhile, you can mold your sound to your liking by using the guitalele’s adjustment knobs for volume, treble, middle, and bass.
Mahogany features prominently in the G9126’s design, with the instrument’s quarter-sawn top, back, sides, and neck containing this particular wood type. Moreover, they’re topped with a mahogany stain color and an open-pore semi-gloss finish that completes the instrument’s distinct look. Its Ovangkol fingerboard and gig bag round out the features of this guitalele.
The main feature I’d ask Gretsch to change is the frets on this guitalele. They’re unacceptably sharp, which can be dangerous if you don’t file them down. Also, they protrude too much from the fretboard, increasing the risk of injury.
- Excellent for right-handed players
- The cutaway design gives access to higher-placed frets
- Beautiful mahogany and open-pore semi-gloss finish
- The frets are too sharp
8. Kala KA-GL-E – Best Hybrid Instrument (4/5 stars)
The Kala KA-GL-E marks Kala Brand Music Co’s attempt at bridging the gap between a ukulele and guitar for guitar and ukulele players. I think the company’s attempt was successful, as the KA-GL-E is the best hybrid instrument on this list.
If I were to name a feature that helps the KA-GL-E earn the above distinction, it’d be the guitalele’s tuning, as it’s set to the A-D-G-C-E-A guitar standard right from the outset yet retains the small size of a ukulele. So guitar players who’ve never played the ukulele and vice versa can focus on practicing rather than tuning.
This guitalele features a predominantly mahogany construction that helps it project a beautiful timbre. Also, its rosewood fingerboard and bridge, bone nut and saddle, Aquila Nyglut strings, and chrome Grover tuners work together to give it a pleasant sound.
One place where the KA-GL-E falls short is the tuning. Unfortunately, this guitalele struggles to hold its tune to the point where you might have to stop in between playing to tune it again.
- Excellent gateway instrument for experienced ukulele and guitar players
- Mahogany used predominantly
- Compact size
- Doesn’t stay tuned for long
9. Caramel CB500G – Most Unique (4/5 stars)
The Caramel CB500G sets itself apart from the other guitaleles on this list by being the only one to feature an all rosewood body. Usually, guitalele manufacturers confine rosewood to the instrument’s fretboard, so Caramel’s decision to go all over makes the CB500G a unique entry. In addition, Caramel adds an ornament on the body’s top, enhancing the design.
This six-string guitalele also stands out for having a built-in tuner with an LCD color display with three EQ bands, making tuning it much easier. Moreover, the guitalele comes with a wrench you can use to adjust the adjustable truss rod in the CB500G’s neck. Speaking of the instrument’s neck, the CB500G has 18 frets.
You can use the low-battery indicator to monitor your instrument’s battery levels. Caramel includes several extras with every purchase of the CB500G, like an additional set of strings, 3 guitar picks, a gig bag, one cleaning cloth, a wall hanger, a strap with pegs, instructions for using the instrument, and an EQ cable.
Unfortunately, this guitalele’s craftsmanship leaves a lot to be desired. I found the frets were a little sharp, and the decorative ornament on the rosewood body peeled off after a couple of days.
- Unique all-rosewood body
- Built-in tuner has an LCD color display
- Extras included
- Frets are a little sharp
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Guitalele
Making the right choice when purchasing a guitalele is as simple as letting the following factors guide your buying decision.
Guitaleles are usually constructed with wood types like mahogany, cedar, rosewood, spruce, koa, or ovangkol. Each type affects the instrument’s sound and durability. Alternatively, you can find budget guitaleles with a laminate top, which are a great option if you don’t mind the shoddy feel some of the lower-budget ones have.
My 2 cents about guitalele build quality is to let your ambitions guide you. If you want an instrument you can use for an extended period, go for one manufactured with higher-quality materials (even better if it’s hand-made).
It can be frustrating having to tune a guitalele every time you want to play, so a guitalele with a tuner that can hold a tune should take higher priority over one that can’t. While some guitaleles come with tuners built-in, others come bundled with a tuner.
Additionally, the tuner must be easy to use. If there’s no getting around tuning the instrument multiple times, you don’t want tuning difficulty added to your frustration.
Accessories like spare strings, a tuner, a gig bag, or picks can be an awesome inclusion to a guitalele purchase, as it means you save money buying these things from your local music store. If you’re a beginner, you might appreciate an instruction manual or link to online resources to set you up with your guitalele quicker.
So given a choice between a guitalele without accessories and one that comes in a bundle, I’d say go for the latter instrument if it ticks the build quality and tuning boxes.
Guitaleles offer players the best of both worlds in that they can sound and play like a guitar while being the size of a ukulele. As such, they’re lightweight and easily transportable, making them an excellent option for musicians on the go.
If you’re coming from the world of guitars and want to pick up the ukulele, you’ll be more comfortable learning on a guitalele that’s closer in size to a guitar. The reverse is the case if you’re going from a ukulele to a guitalele.
Price and Warranty
Don’t confuse expensive for high quality, as you can get good instruments at a reasonable price. For example, some guitalele models may contain high-quality materials but get damaged at the drop of a hat.
Incidentally, getting an instrument with a money-back guarantee or warranty is a good idea in case your order comes with manufacturing defects.
And that concludes my round-up of guitaleles that stand out as the best in 2022. All the guitaleles on my list should help you make the cross from guitar to ukulele or the other way around.
In my opinion, the title of best guitalele goes to the Caramel CB204G Guitalele. The CB204G is an all-rounder in terms of looks, sound, tuning, and accessories. Caramel even throws in a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can always change your mind if you don’t agree with my assessment.