I heart my ukulele

January 8, 2007

I love my guitars too, but they are so big and, well, serious.

The ukulele is small and friendly and just begs to be picked up and played. What’s more it’s only got four strings – just the same as I’ve got fingers – so there’s no fretting (sorry!) about what to do with the ones you can’t hold down.

And you can’t help smiling when you see somebody with one. The whole thing is faintly ridiculous, and the bigger the person the more ridiculous it is. Yet it can hold a tune well and handle a good selection of chords for strumming. Four strings is enough for a triad and a bit so unless you want to play all-out jazz you’ll find something suitable on there somewhere. Alright, you don’t get much richness of sound (although that’s part of the fun – it’s so distinctive) but it’s great for being so un-macho.

And best of all, they can be had for £10 or so brand new so you don’t have to wince each time the children pick it up, you can even get them one each.

I wish to credit my brother Tim with having introduced me to it, via the good offices of the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain (do see them at least once). Actually I feel like a strum just now so I’m off to have a go. I hope you are too.

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One Response to “I heart my ukulele”

  1. jill shacklock Says:

    delighted to see your posting. I’ve just bought my 6 6 year old a gorgeous ukulele for her birthday. It cost me £40 but I wanted one that would stay in tune for at least 5 mins and one which had strings reasonably close to the frets for little fingers to cope with.

    I knew nothing about ukuleles when I bought it – my daughter just took a fancy to it in the music shop, but since then I’ve been doing some research. It seems there is a move to introduce them into primary schools to replace the horrible squawking recorders- see Grauniad Online. And – I too have fallen in love with it – and I’ve been boring everyone I see with it

    It has been suggested to me that a ukulele band at work would be a great stress buster – any other would-be players?


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