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As the name suggests, the guitarlele is a cross between a classical guitar and a ukulele. It is tuned like a guitar capoed at the fifth fret (ADGCEA). This gives the top four strings the same tuning as a low G ukulele. The guitarlele sounds closer to a classical guitar than it does a ukulele.

There aren’t a great number of guitarleles around. The most common is the Yamaha GL-1 Guitalele. The only other guitarlele that I’m familiar with is RISA’s solid guitarlele (you can see WS64 demonstrating one here). More recently have brought out a guitarlele which they call a u-tar.

They’ve had a bit of exposure in the UK recently as they’ve been used by Jake Penate and The Maccabees (you can watch The Maccabees’ Orlando Weeks playing First Love on his Guitarlele here).

On Video

Wilfried Welti plays Triumphmarsch on his Yamaha guitarlele.


  1. Kat February 27th, 2011 8:18 pm

    check out kanilea’s guitarlele…the one I tried sounds like the sound file on the site and 100% money back satisfaction guaranteed…and you don’t have to learn uke chords

  2. Keithmj March 25th, 2011 2:56 pm

    Does the Guitalele use regular guitar chords? Or do you have to change them? Since it is tuned different than a regular guitar?

  3. Alan Vanderhoff May 31st, 2011 6:05 pm

    Just got mine put aquila low g nylgut for trebles.A&D from a aguila nomal classical normal tension. Totally awesome sound.

  4. Alex Thomas June 3rd, 2011 2:08 am

    I just came across a website that has a free pdf download for a guitalele chord chart. Haven’t been able to find one before… and I guess this site might be the only one that has one.

  5. Keena June 7th, 2011 5:46 pm

    Keith – Yes, I use regular guitar chords for my guitalele. I have a higher voice than what fits a typical guitar so using guitar chords works perfectly.

    On a different note, what strings do you use for your guitalele? I own a GL – 1 from Yamaha. Right now it has nylon strings, but I’m not sure where to find more. The instrument was a gift, so I can’t go back to the shop it came from.


  6. willem July 30th, 2011 8:13 pm

    Tried a Yamaha GL-1 today at my local shop. I was disappointed; no volume, and the sound has no character whatsoever. Must have something to do with the plywood top. Also the strings are very close to each other, even for my thin fingers.
    My Kala concert uke sounds like a stradivarius compared to this Yamaha, and plays a lot easier.

  7. jamie November 16th, 2011 5:28 pm

    I have a Yamaha GLX-1. I’m guessing it’s the same as the GL1 just with the addition of a built in pick-up. This allows for a bit of eq to make it ring. Unfortunately the frets become too close together as you get higher up the neck for me to make use of those notes. Tho limited it’s a good addition to a sound palette. .

  8. Stijn June 5th, 2012 6:56 pm

    Here is a complete chord chart:

  9. Ken August 30th, 2012 4:55 am

    I took my daughter’s toy guitar, put classical strings on it,and tuned it to ADGCEA. Poof…guitalele for $20 bucks. Sounds great!

  10. Faith October 20th, 2012 6:02 pm

    Just bought a Epiphone guitarlele/guitalele. It’s about 2 frets shorter (in size, it has 19 frets) than a normal guitar. However, due to it’s rarity, the strings are also a problem for me as I have no idea what kind of strings are suitable, of for this matter, available. I’m hoping for some advices?

  11. Haiku Gato November 2nd, 2012 12:00 am

    Aquila 96c guitarlele strings work great. I got them at for 12.95.

  12. jorge November 19th, 2012 10:25 am

    Hi all. Hope I can help you a bit. Aquila Corda make guitalele strings. So you can search for them. They´re ok; and I think (not sure) they´re the strings that come with your guitalele (Yamaha) when you buy it. You can also use classical guitar strings. If you do; you will notice an improvement on the instrument´s sound. Peace.

  13. Bill December 28th, 2012 6:26 pm

    I bought a Yamaha Guitarlele not realizing how the space is between strings. It’s impossible to play if you have big fingers. My solution was to convert it to a five string instrument by re-drilling the bridge and re-slotting the nut. I am not overjoyed with the wimpy, low volume sound, but since I am using it to experiment with perfect 5th tuning it’s usable.

  14. Moses February 5th, 2014 4:59 am

    I buy a guitalele Yamaha GL-1, there no special things I get. And it’s hard to play at A tuning. I prefer G tuning or E tuning like guitar. Hmm, any idea??

  15. Joy Burger April 11th, 2014 4:59 am

    Thanx for each post. For me as a “semi”professional GL1 player this is a very interesting thread!
    Has anybody an idea how to amplify a GL1 on stage?

  16. Tina April 21st, 2014 4:52 pm

    I highly recommend Cordoba’s guitarlele called a “guilele”. Cordoba makes wonderful nylon string instruments. Whether it is their $100 laminate top version sold at most Best Buy stores or the more expensive solid top models you will not be disappointed. I have both the GL100 ($100 laminate) and their top-of-the-line solid top cutaway with electronic pickups (CE model-$250 new but I got a refurb for $150 off eBay). Aquila nylgut strings. Play either like a standard guitar or a uke. I even have mine tuned to the equivalent of DADGAD (which is GDGCDG). I didn’t like the neck on the Yamaha- it felt thick and unwieldy. Cordoba makes a great slim neck on their instruments at all price points. Pickups with basic preamp are great too on the CE! Sounds fantastic through my amp! The guilele/guitarlele is my choice for a travel guitar too- great guitar-like handling and the perfect size to travel. I have not liked any of the travel guitars I have come across including the Martin Backpacker so I went this route instead. I have small hands so this instrument is good for me.

  17. SuperBB June 7th, 2014 11:41 pm

    I am a very beginner of guitar/ ukulele/ guitarlele. I never played three of them before but now I wanna have one and learn them. I was choosing guitar or ukulele, but then i realised theres such thing called guitarlele. and I’m interested in it. thinking about for a beginner, is a guitalele good for new players? is it possible to tune the chords from ADGCEA to EADGBE? Thank you!

  18. Richard September 15th, 2014 5:31 am

    SuperBB, I have a Luna TAT 6 that I tune EADGBE. It was a instrument I rescued from a pawn shop. It was in fantastic condition the former owner must have clueless, anyway my other baritone is tuned DGBE so I saw no reason to tune it in any other fashion. I filed the groves in the nut so the strings had room to slide. (The problem the former owner couldn’t fix?)I put heavy tension classical strings on it and it’s a great instrument to play.

  19. Fattire November 14th, 2014 6:44 am

    I just got a Yamaha GL-1 and I think it’s really great. It’s not sweet sounding like my koa KaOhana tenor but its not supposed to be. This thing will take about 6 months to open up, not long, but its missing some treble for sure – a bit goopy on the mids – not a mya moe, but who cares? I’m surprised by how good the intonation is. Clipped my Peterson to it and it held within 5 cents on every fret which is crazy. Definitely not a uke any more though, more like a guitar, weird! I play piano parts on it and it sounds wonderful. The B chord is a mess if you have big fingers like me. It’s worth the $99.

  20. Clive December 17th, 2014 6:29 pm

    After a 3 year break from guitars, I moved to playing a uke about a year ago and really enjoyed the local Uke Jam group sessions. However I wanted to get back to both guitar & uke playing but the guitar felt so strange and my chord memory had almost evaporated. So I bought a Yamaha GL1 as a cheap bridge back to guitar. Out of the box it was fine – however its in the ADGCEA tuning & I wanted to play with uke friends. I tried to tune it to EADGBE but the string tension felt far too floppy. After a bit of research and playing with string tension formula from D`Addrio, I decided to simply drop all the string down the fret board so the 6 th string became the 5th etc . I had to add a Hard tension 6th Low E. The result was very acceptable now tuned to EADGBE std guitar tuning. I will now probably replace all the strings with Hard tension versions and again down 1 string to increase the tension a little more – about 12 lbs per sting. So I`m really happy with the £50 Xmas gift and the guitar skills are returning very quickly.

  21. Miguel September 2nd, 2015 3:19 pm

    I´m from Spain and I have Guitalele Yamaha 1.
    It was a present, it cost almost 70 euros and i´m really happy.

    Sounds great for my travels 😀

  22. Biddy September 6th, 2015 9:24 am

    Im a (very) casual uke strummer. After buying my daughter a cheap one I adopted it but was hooked. now I have a Peavey composer that i grabbed for £35 online.
    I fancy diversifying into guitar but will only play in the house mostly while the kids are asleep so good volume is low on the list, if not a actually a negitive.
    I was planning on getting a parlour guitar, assuming guitaleles where just a gimmik but on reflection I may be one of a handfull of people that it is perfect for.
    i have a korala PUG-40 (a plastic one) winging its way to me. couldnt find reviews online but their plastic ukues have been very well recived so i figure it was worth a punt for £26. if its rubbish the kids can play swingball with it.

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