A Brief Background On The Ukulele
If you want to know a brief background of the ukulele, and understand a get a little information on it’s origin and other interesting stuff, keep reading and start learning about this cool and relaxing instrument.
If you’re reading this right now, then you most probably already have an idea what a ukulele is. But for the few who have no clue what we’re talking about, or for beginners who want to learn about this amazing instrument, allow me to give you a little background about the ukulele.
Basically, a ukulele looks like a guitar, but smaller. And while a guitar has 6 strings (some guitars have 12), a ukulele has 4.
If you’ve seen some Hawaiian movies or videos, you’ve probably seen the ukulele being played more often than not. It basically hails from the guitar family. According to history, the ukulele was brought to Hawaii by Portuguese immigrants during the 19th century and has obviously made its way up to this generation.
The Different Spelling of Ukulele
Before we get into more information about the ukulele, and buy ukulele parts, let’s first look at its spelling.
The term “ukulele” is often misspelled. Some spell it with an “e” as in “ukelele” while others go with “ukalele” or even “ukolele”.
Technically, it should be spelled with a “u” as in “ukulele” but for the sake of the relatively high number of misspellers, we’ll sometimes use “ukElele” so as not to alienate the huge number of “ukelele’ spellers out there.
Just ukelele though. Spelling it with an “i” or an “a” in one articles might be too confusing.
Relax on the Beach
A lot of people enjoy listening to ukuleles because of its simple, light and relaxing sound. You can just imagine yourself in Hawaii, sitting on the beach with a pinacolada in hand, while a Hawaiian musician strums different ukulele chords with beautiful Hawaiian ladies dancing the hula on the other side. That is some relaxing music.
Ukuleles in the Movies.
You’ve probably also seen ukuleles used in many Hollywood movies. if you’ve seen the movie “The Jerk” starring the very funny Steve Martin, then you’d have seen him playing the ukulele while singing to his girl on the beach. If you haven’t seen it yet, just click the link blow and check it out. It’s got all the chords and lirics so you can play and sing along with it.
Other Celeb Ukulele Players
Cool song! Paul McCartney also used the ukulele to play George Harrison’s Something during one of his concerts. According to Sir Paul, George Harrison was not only a great lead guitar player but also a very skillful ukulele player.
Where did the Ukulele Originate?
Ukuleles, like their players, come in all different shapes, sizes and sounds. What we all know as the original, standard uke, was created in Hawaii, based on the Portuguese chordophones, the cavaquinho, raj?�o, and braguinha. These four stringed mini guitar-like instruments were brought to Hawaii by musicians from Portugal, before the US gained control of the islands.
Some Interesting Facts
These instruments were plucked and strummed with the fingers, and all had the very distinct “plinky” sound of today’s ukuleles. Skilled craftsmen cabinetmakers from Madeira were the first to build ukes in Hawaii, essentially recreating the instruments from their homeland. Thus, the unique Hawaiian musical sound was born- King Kalakaua was very musically inspired, and began to work ukuleles in to his royal parties and ceremonies.
The Ukulele’s Popularity
As the uke progressed and gained popularity in the US, an array of sizes were developed by luthiers across the country. Multi-instrumentalists were getting turned on to the sound, and for guitarists, it was a simple transition.
It’s up to You Now!
This is just a quick background on the ukulele. So get out there and buy ukulele parts, get your ukulele tuner, learn the ukulele chords and start playing! Nobody else is going to do it for you. Stick around for more articles to come. Aloha!