Saturday, March 17, 2012

Uke!: The Beginning

I think that you all know what is ukulele. Little guitars from Hawaii, four strings of delightful, delicate sound, somewhat funny, but incredibly nice to hear and to play. My adventure with ukulele began five months ago and I immediately fell in love in this little instrument.


We usually distinguish four major types of ukulele: soprano, concert, tenor and baritone (from the smallest to the biggest). Their sound differ a bit, but the most common is definitely soprano ukulele, if you think about ukes, you probalby have this particular type in mind!



Ukulele has only four strings, the most common tuning is G4/C4/E4/A4, which is an important factor in how uke sounds, the lowest note we can get is on the second string - not on the first one like in guitar. First one is higher, and it's somewhat responsible for the sound: when we strum, high notes are played before the low ones.
Ukes come in all possible shapes and variations. Classical shape resembling an usual guitar is the best known, but there are many more, you can find models which are inspired by electric guitars - yup, Les Paul/Telecaster shaped acoustic ukes! There are electric ones too, but I'm not an enthusiast, pickups are taking this delightful ukulele soul away.


Ukulele is fairly easy to play. With nylon strings there is no thing such as blisters on fingers, which you can get by playing an acoustic guitar. Playing is not difficult - most songs are based on a few chords, it's easy to sing-along to, and yet it brings you so much joy. It's not a surprise that playing uke is recommended by therapists as a cure for depression, you can see the results of learning in a very little time.

Have you ever played an ukulele? Do you like the sound or do you want to smash one against the wall when you hear it? Share your thoughts :).


22 comments:

  1. I had one which looked like the one in the second picture, although it was smaller than it.
    Thanks for the interesting post.

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  2. I want one to play this song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4W0B-1iF6S4

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  3. Those are some really neat looking ukes!

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  4. I always wanted one. It's name souns lovely!

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  5. Oh wow, I love the detail on the first one.

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  6. I like the detailed patterning on the first ukulele.

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  7. Dude, what price do you think is good for a beginner's ukulele? And brand as well, that'd be nice to know because I'm already playing guitar but I want to expand my horizons. Plus the ukulele sounds way more exotic.

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    1. You can get pretty decent uke for 30-40$, I think that Mahalo is the most recommended brand. You can find nice reviews and tons of learning content here: http://ukulelehunt.com/buy-ukulele/brands/mahalo-ukulele/
      One tip: change the original strings on Aquila strings, they are just magical. I have them in my own uke and I must say that the difference in sound is astonishing!
      As for expanding horizons, yeah, ukulele brought some fresh air in my guitar playing. It was a bit difficult to get used to that weird tuning, but after a few days I had no problems at all. Experience with guitar will make your learning even faster, it's an awesome feeling. Good luck :).

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  8. I haven't played one of these things since Elementary school.

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  9. The ukulele is surely a very nice small instrument.

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  10. I don't think I've ever played one at all, sounds like they are a great experience though.

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  11. I'd think you'd be a banjo person, or those japanese box things

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    1. Cause I am. Shimasen has been on my wishlist for ages!

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  12. When you're used to playing the guitar, Ukulele isn't that hard to learn, but it's alot of fun ;)

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  13. So much easier to transport than a guitar.

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  14. i did not know how to play guitar lol

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  15. Oh nerdy little toys. Now you can be just like Eddie Vedder.

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  16. Damn, I want to buy that for myself, I love the pleasant sound that it can produce!

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