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 :).