Ukuleles are generally made of wood, though variants have been composed partially or entirely of plastic or other materials. Cheaper ukuleles are generally made from ply or laminate woods, in some cases with a soundboard of an acoustically superior wood such as spruce. Such instruments typically cost from $50 to $100. More expensive ukuleles are made of solid hardwoods such as mahogany (Swietenia spp.) Some of the most expensive ukuleles, which may cost thousands of dollars, are made from Koa (Acacia Koa). (A Hawaiian wood.)
Typically ukuleles have a figure-eight body shape similar to that of a small acoustic guitar. They are also often seen in non-standard shapes, such as cutaway shape and an oval, usually called a “pineapple” ukulele, invented by the Kamaka Ukulele Company, or a boat-paddle shape, and occasionally a square shape, often made out of an old wooden cigar box. Some lesser expensive Ukulele’s come in various colors like Red, Blue, Green, Yellow, and White to just mention a few. These instruments may have just four strings; or some strings may be paired in courses, giving the instrument a total of six or eight strings. The strings themselves were originally made of catgut. Modern ukuleles use nylon polymer strings, with many variations in the material. Some of the lower strings, particularly on the larger sizes, are wound with aluminum.