Ukulele Craze - Join In The Fun
The popularity of the Ukulele has exploded in the last few years. It’s an instrument that has gained popularity from songs sung by Train, Jason Mraz, Pink, Glee’s Mathew Morrison and the list goes on. Ukulele orchestras are huge in the UK! Google ukulele orchestras and you’ll be amazed at what you see and hear. Its popularity is bigger in Europe than it is in the United States. Vendors are telling music stores that they are waiting on backorders because Europe is supplied first since their demand for ukuleles is greater than in the US.
The Ukulele originated with the Portuguese immigrants introducing the ukulele to the Hawaiians in 1879. As the Portuguese got off the boat the Hawaiians were impressed by the musical sound and how fast their fingers flew over the strings. They named the instrument, “Ukulele,” which means “jumping flea.”
They come in four sizes from small to large, soprano – the typical size people see the most; concert, tenor and baritone. Many manufacturers are providing electronics to amplify, more body styles, and colors that appeal to anyone. Compared to the traditional 6-string guitar, the ukulele has only four strings that are made of nylon, which makes the chords easy to reach, it's also easy to press down the strings.
Books such as, The Ukulele 3 Chord Songbook, has 3-chord diagrams at the beginning of each song that allows you to instantly begin playing. If you’re not comfortable learning on your own, take a few lessons. More teachers are now offering ukulele lessons. The basic models are affordable, starting under $40. It’s fun watching the 4-year-olds look up, point at the ukes and ask if they can have a “guitar.” They’re excited like a “jumping flea” when they walk out the door carrying their very own “guitar.” Too cute!
Sharon Marrell, a Lakewood resident, owns Marrell Music and is an Eddy Finn Ukulele dealer.
Sharon owns Marrell Musical Instrument Repair. She is also the onsite repair technician. She offers rentals, repairs, sales of new and used instruments, and lessons.