The ukulele is a small guitar-like instrument which is usually made from solid wood and has four nylon strings. The origins of the instrument can be traced back to the 1880’s when it was first introduced to the world in Hawaii by Portuguese immigrants from Madeira. Since then the ukulele has always been associated with Hawaii and received the reputation of an exotic sounding instrument.
Even though it originated a while back, the ukulele started taking over the world fairly recently. Since the 1990’s more and more famous musicians have released songs featuring the instrument which has brought the world's attention to it.
The ukulele first started blowing up in the early 1990’s when songs like “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” and “What a Wonderful World” took the world by storm. In the upcoming years the instrument only grew in popularity and kept appearing in famous songs and was played by musicians like Paul McCartney.
Apart from that, there are multiple other reasons why the ukulele became popular. First of all - the price. Compared to most string instruments, the ukulele is much more affordable. Furthermore, it’s not intimidating. If you’re someone who’s never played anything, instruments like the piano or the electric guitar can seem impossible to learn. On the other hand, the ukulele is small, light and only has 4 strings, which makes it seem more inviting for beginners. Last but not least, it’s easy to transport and fun to play!
Not at all! Many people pick it up quickly, because it’s fairly easy to learn. Like most instruments, becoming great will take some time. However, if you spend a few hours practicing and learning a few chords you’ll already be able to accompany a lot of songs!
You can learn the basic chords you’ll need in the beginning on your own or simply by watching a few videos. If you want to keep growing and getting better then you can opt for finding a teacher to help you out.
Ukuleles come in various different sizes and price ranges which can be confusing for a novice. Don’t worry, it’s not as complicated as it seems. What matters most when choosing a ukulele is finding one that you like and catches your eye. Looks aren’t everything though, make sure it’s also decent quality. Although the ukulele tends to be a cheaper instrument in general, buying the cheapest one available isn’t recommended. Luckily, for a beginner, you can easily find some starting at around £50.
There are plenty of sizes to choose from, however the most common ones, and the best ones for beginners are usually soprano, tenor and concert. All 3 vary in size, however if you learn to play one of them, you won’t have any issues transitioning to a different one in the future.
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