For years Ukuleles have been looked at as a mimic or a comical accessory. Now this four-string instrument is becoming a popular choice for many.
The ukulele is a member of the chordophone family, originating in Portugal and carried across the seven seas by seafaring cabinet makers and workers in search of their fortune overseas. The logistics of transporting an instrument in confined spaces made it necessary that the ukulele be smalls. When the SS Ravenscrag landed in Hawai'i in 1879, the story of the ukulele really begins. According to legend the ukulele was named after the nimble fingers of its originating players (the Hawaiian for "jumping flea" is "uku-lele") and it was soon adopted as the island nation's instrument.
The Panama Pacific International Exposition, in San Francisco, brought the ukulele to the US mainland and the first great boom followed shortly afterwards, with instruments makers such as Martin, Gibson and many others getting in on the act.
Originally the ukulele was offered mainly in the soprano size and, although other tunings are used, the standard tuning of gCEA (the "g" being "re-entrant", a fifth higher than the C) prevails. Other sizes - Concert and Tenor - share the same tuning, the difference in scale, string tension and body size giving a variation in tone and playability. In terms of playing, for the guitarist having a go, it's like playing a guitar with a capo on the fifth fret (minus the two bass strings, of course).
The largest common size - Baritone - is usually tuned DGBE, the same as the top four strings of a guitar. Some ukuleles offer 5-string, 6-string and 8-string models.
Finger picking, fan strumming, triplet strumming are common techniques. Although most ukuleles have nylon or fluorocarbon strings, some may have wound strings or even steel strings in instead. The traditional body shape (like a small guitar) is most common but banjo ukuleles are also popular.
Users can play a variety of styles of music on the ukulele including classical, folk, rock, pop and more. It is becoming an increasingly popular product for those that play and for those that like to collect them.
We stock a wide range of Ukuleles ready to purchase online.