Until the Second World War, the international center of musical instrument making – also for ukuleles – was in Central Europe, especially in the Vogtland, where ukuleles were produced by the factory. After the war, Japan and later Korea competed with the Europeans. However, the bulk of the ukuleles builders today work for the industrial brand manufacturers in China and Southeast Asia. Opposite them are the traditional master workshops of the European instrument making tradition. But since the 2000s, the number of „independent“ ukuleles builders has increased. Since then, there are also numerous (mostly commercial) workshop offerings in Europe and North America, where laymen can learn the production of ukuleles in an intensive course.

There is no special training for ukuleles builders. Most European ukuleles builders were originally trained as guitar luthiers. In addition to the craftsmanship aspects of their work, artistic aspects are appreciated above all, because their instruments should convince both acoustically and visually. That is why Lütgendorff demanded:

The violin as well as the lute are works of art, and their makers are supposed to be artists.1)

Luthier originally designated builders of the ancestor of all guitars, the lute.

The Market for Ukuleles

The USA is the largest market for musical instruments. This also applies to ukuleles. In Germany, the trade in ukuleles is not separately statistically recorded; they count under „other plucked instruments“. Probably the largest part of this are ukuleles.

Sold ukuleles in the USA 2009–2014
(National Association of Music Merchants Report 2015)
Import and export of plucked instruments without guitars in Germany 2006–2016
(Deutsches Musikinformationszentrum 2017)
Workforce of the Chinese producer Artiny, which was founded in 2008 and claims to produce 800,000 ukuleles each year. With 70 workers as shown, each then produces more than 30 ukuleles daily.

State-approved Schools and Colleges for Guitar Making


The vocational training lasts three years and leads to a Degree in Musical Engineering.

Motivation, handiness, sense of accuracy, independence and interest in music are important requirements.2)


The vocational training takes place in the subject Techniques de Métiers d'Art, profile Lutherie (techniques of the craft, profile instrument construction) and leads to the Diplôme d'études collégiales (DEC) (diploma for university studies).


Vocational training leads to the Diplôme des Métiers d 'Arts de Lutherie (diploma in instrument craft).

  • École Nationale de Lutherie Mirecourt


The official German job title for guitar and ukulele makers is Zupfinstrumentenmacher. It is a vocational profession of the German craft. The subject is also a subject of study and leads to a bachelor in musical instrument making.

A certain artistic talent is the prerequisite for starting this study program.3)

Great Britain

The three-year study program in Newark, founded in 1984, leads to the bachelor of Arts in Musical Instrument Craft (Guitar Making and Repair).

If you have an eye for detail and an ear for music then you will the perfect candidate for one of our acclaimed musical instrument crafts courses.4)


Cremona is considered the stronghold of European violin making. Today, many non-Europeans, especially Japanese, are studying there. Relevant work experience is required.

From 1938 to today, 916 students have graduated, including 340 Italians, 314 non-Italian Europeans, and 262 non-Europeans.5)


The two-year training as a plucking instrument technician (弦 楽 器 者 gengakki gijutsusha) recognized by the Japanese Ministry of Culture takes place at private vocational schools (専門学校 senmon gakkō = „technical acadamies“).


The Swedish Academy of Musical Instruments offers a three-year „basic training in the craft of musical instrument making“.



How to build a ukulele (2016)

How to Make a Ukulele (Fast-forward) (2016)

Luthier 101 Ukulele Build Class 1 (2016)

Luthier 101 Ukulele Build Class 2 (2016)

Luthier 101 = Ukulele Build Class 3 (2016)

Ukulele Design & Building w/ Master Luthier Ron Saul (2011)

Video of Pohaku Ukulele Workshop

Ein Besuch bei Ziegenspeck-Ukulele in Rudolstadt (2019)

Drei Fragen an Tom Ziegenspeck Ukulele (2018)

Ein Besuch bei Marco Todeschini in der Antica Ukuleleria (2019)

Three questions for Marco Todeschini of Antica Ukuleleria (2018)

Vier Fragen an Volker Grass von Bugle-Ukulele (2017)

Three questions for Paul Barnard of Wildcat Ukulele (2018)

Three questions for Sven Nyström of Argapa Ukulele (2018)

Three questions for Richard Cross (2019)

Building ukuleles (and future luthiers!) at Mamie Minch's Uke Camp for Girls (2018)

Promotion of Lincoln College (Newark, UK)

Total of Listed Ukulele Luthiers (as of Jan. 2021)

Anzahl aller aufgeführten Ukulelen-Bauer (Stand: Januar 2021)



Australien | Australia | オーストラリア

  1. Barron River (Allen McFarlen)
  2. RNS Guitars and Ukuleles (Richard Nichol-Smith)
  3. Wise Ukuleles (Scott Wise)


Österreich | Austria | オーストリア

  1. Grenosi (Gregor Nowak)
  2. Rudie Instruments (Rudolf Lachner)


Bulgarien | Bulgaria | ブルガリア


Kanada | Canada | カナダ

  1. CF Casey Guitars (Fred Casey)
  2. Majesty Ukuleles (Yusuke Kawakami)
  3. Rays Rootworks (Ray Vincent)
  4. Red Sands Ukuleles (Heidi Litke)
  5. Wolfelele Ukuleles (Wolfgang Kater)


Deutschland | Germany | ドイツ

  1. Bugle-Ukulele (Volker Grass)
  2. Cogg Guitars (Gary Neath)
  3. Pendennis (Andreas Köpke)
  4. Rössel Ukulele (Raphael Herzberg)
  5. Saitenspiel-Zeug (Caroline Zillmann, Steffen Milbradt)
  6. Sonntag (Stefan Sonntag)
  7. Striebel Gitarrenbau (Joe Striebel)
  8. Ziegenspeck (Tom Ziegenspeck)


Spanien | Spain | スペイン

  1. Junkyard Ukulele (Keith Smalley)


Großbritannien | Great Britain | 英国

  1. AJS Woodwork (Aiden Smith)
  2. Andy's Ukuleles (Andy Miles)
  3. Ash Mandolins (Sean Ash)
  4. Beltona Resonators (Steve Evans)
  5. Chapel Guitars (Steve Suggitt)
  6. Davidson Instruments (Phil Davidson)
  7. Fidra Ukuleles (Simon Overton)
  8. KM Ukuleles (Kevin Mulcock)
  9. Marshall Stapleton (Lyme Regis)
  10. MT Dorset Ukuleles (Martyn Thornington)
  11. Noah Ukuleles (Matthew Cohen)
  12. Pickard Acoustics (Ivor Pickard)
  13. Stuart Wailing Resonators (Stuart Wailing))
  14. Tewin Ukulele (Terry Brand)
  15. Tinguitar (Robert Collins)
  16. Undermountain Instruments (Bradford Simon)
  17. Wildcat Ukulele (Paul Barnard)
  18. Zachary Taylor (Buckinghamshire)


Indonesien | Indonesia | インドネシア

  1. Mahardika Instruments (Andy Mahardika)


Indien | India | インディア


Italien | Italy | イタリア

  1. Antica Ukuleleria (Marco Todeschini)


Irland | Ireland | アイルランド


Südkorea | South Korea | 韓国


Nicaragua | ニカラグア


Nepal | ネパール


Neuseeland | New Zealand | ニュージーランド


Philippinen | Philippines | フィリピン


Polen | Poland | ポーランド


Tahiti | タヒチ

  1. Te Kaha (Woody Howard)


Schweden | Sweden | スウェーデン

  1. Argapa (Sven Nyström)
  2. Lupin Guitars (Diogo Chavarria Amaro)


Thailand | タイ


USA | 米国

  1. Akulele (Joseph Todaro)
  2. Black Bear (Duane Heilman)
  3. Bonanza Ukuleles (Pete Mai)
  4. Char Lutheries (Kerry Char)
  5. DaSilva Ukulele (Mike DaSilva)
  6. Dave's Ukes (Dave Birney)
  7. Davidson Ukuleles (Phillip Davidson)
  8. Earnest Instruments (Joel Eckhaus)
  9. Ebi Ukuleles (Howard Replogle)
  10. EJ Henderson Guitars (Jayne Henderson)
  11. GKU (Greg K Uyehara)
  12. Goat Rock Ukulele (Michael F Smith)
  13. Gomes Guitars (David Gomes)
  14. Grimes Guitars (Steve Grimes)
  15. GString Ukulele (Derek Shimizu)
  16. Hinkle Ukulele (Larry Hinkle)
  17. Hive (Jake Maclay)
  18. Hoffmann Lutherie (Jerry Hoffman)
  19. Honeybell Custom Ukes (Guitar Factory)
  20. Island Ukulele of Kauai (Raymond Rapozo)
  21. Iriguchi Ukuleles (Dave Iriguchi)
  22. Jupiter Ukulele (Jonathan Dale)
  23. Kawika (David Hurd)
  24. Kepasa Ukulele (Kevin Crossett)
  25. Kimo Ukuleles (Hank Johnson)
  26. Kinnard Ukes (John Kinnard)
  27. Lichty Guitars (Jay Lichty)
  28. Little River Ukuleles (Dave Sigman)
  29. Moore Bettah Ukes (Chuck Moore)
  30. Moore Handmade (Howard Moore III)
  31. Morande Instruments (Peter Morande)
  32. MP Ukulele (Mike Pereira)
  33. Mya-Moe Ukuleles (Cary Kelly)
  34. Ono Ukuleles (David Ingalls)
  35. Oiwi Ukulele (David K. Tachera)
  36. Ono Ukulele (David Ingalls)
  37. Palm Tree Ukuleles (John & Pam Ramsey)
  38. Petros (Bruce Petros)
  39. Road Toad Music (Owen Jones Keoholaumakani Holt, Jr)
  40. Stansell Guitars (Les Stansell)
  41. Tyde Music (Tyler Joersz, Devin Prince)
  42. Vermont Luthier (Jesse Cowan)
  43. Zimnicky Guitars (Gary Zimnicky)


Südafrika | South Africa | 南アフリカ

  1. Guitar Doctor (Rob Drake)

Willibald Leo von Lütgendorff: Die Geigen- und Lautenmacher vom Mittelalter bis zur Gegenwart. Frankfurt a.M. 1904, p. IV
Requirements [6.3.2019]