• Ukulele History

    The Ukulele is commonly associated with music from Hawaii where the name roughly translates as "jumping flea," perhaps because of the movement of the player's fingers. Legend attributes it to the nickname of the Englishman Edward William Purvis, one of King Kalākaua's officers, because of his small size, fidgety manner, and playing expertise. According to Queen Liliʻuokalani, the last Hawaiian monarch, the name means “the gift that came here,” from the Hawaiian words uku (gift or reward) and lele (to come).Developed in the 1880s, the ukulele is based on several small, guitar-like instruments of Portuguese origin, the machete, the Cavaquinho...

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  • What size ukulele is right for you?

    If your parents or grandparents played ukulele, they probably played a soprano. The soprano is the original or classic ukulele and the smallest, usually about 21 inches long. The pineapple ukulele is typically an oval version of the classic soprano that was invented and made popular in Hawaii. The concert ukulele is possibly the most popular ukulele today, accounting for about 40% of ukuleles sold. Many people like the slightly larger size of the concert uke, typically about 25 inches. The larger sound chamber also makes for a somewhat louder ukulele while still being conveniently small and portable. The tenor...

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