The Ukulele

We love the ukulele!  Find out all about this fantastic little instrument that packs a punch with this useful information from our guitar team.

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Useful information

Let's get playing!

The ukulele appeals to all ages.  It's a very affordable instrument and they are available it lots of different colours or patterns to suit the individual player.

Very young or small children looking to learn the guitar might find it helpful to start on the ukulele in preparation for moving on to the larger guitar.

When purchasing a ukulele, always choose one with 'machine heads' holding the strings to the top of the instrument.  In this example, the machine heads are on the back of the ukulele.  They are metal cogs (sometimes encased) with tuning pegs which help keep the ukulele in tune:

Special qualities

The ukulele has a very charming sound.  It can be used to play melodies (solo and in groups) but is particularly good for chord playing too.  Many players learn to sing and play at the same time!  There is a massive repertoire available now for ukulele and once you've learned even a small number of chords you'll be amazed how many tunes you can play with them.

Why choose the ukulele?

The size of the ukulele makes it a very portable and manageable for even the very youngest/smallest of players.

For a little instrument, it has a very big social life!  It is used in classrooms for all ages to provide fun musical experiences, and is popular with adult community groups for singalongs and socialising.

There are lots of key musical skills that you develop when learning to play, such as rhythm, melody, improvisation and harmony which make it both an important instrument in its own right, and for anyone looking to learn other instruments too.

The ukulele and its instrument family

Ukuleles are part of the guitar family.  In many ways they look like a guitar but they are much smaller and have four strings (guitars tend to have six).

There are different sizes of ukulele.  The most recognisable and common type for learners is called a soprano ukuele.  Most pupils start with a soprano ukulele and can choose to move on to the larger concert or tenor size ukuleles if they are looking for more variety of challenging pieces to learn. 

The ukulele in action

The ukulele is plucked and strummed in this beautiful solo piece.

Island Style performed by Corey Fujimoto:

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