Hearing ukulele tunes is common anywhere you can travel in Hawaii! That’s because the most popular songs on ukulele are already heard every day on the radio, recreated as ukulele tunes by local island musicians.
There are four major types of ukulele.
All are examples of some common variations of the types of ukuleles.
Each ukulele has a slightly changed tone and pitch. Besides the traditional ukuleles there are several hybrid ukuleles such as the guitalele, banjo ukulele, harp ukulele and the lap steel ukulele. Ukuleles are sometimes manufactured in electronic versions that can be plugged into amplifiers and played live at concerts. Hawaiians adapted the ukulele from the miniature guitars like the Portuguese machete, so in a sense the ukulele itself is a hybrid instrument just as much as any of the newer uke variations have become. Thus making the ukulele, the most popular instrument in Hawaii. So popular, even kids play ukuleles and sometimes just as good as seasoned pros.
The Hawaiian guitar called the ukulele can be found anywhere in Honolulu.
Anyone can play the ukulele. Learning how to play the ukulele is simple and probably one of the easiest instruments to start learning on. The ukulele in the picture above is a starter uke that new players may decide for their first uke. It is as easy to learn as it is relaxing to play. The ukulele brings the Aloha spirit wherever it is heard and enjoyed by those who are lucky to be listening to the sweet music. It’s not uncommon for local ukulele players to remix their own versions of popular songs on the radio often times with friends and neighbors who guest sing in the performances.
In Honolulu, music is an important part of the culture, even the underground ukulele scene.
Ukuleles come in a variety of body styles and wood types each with different effects on the tone of the instrument. Some ukes are made out of acacia koa, a wood that is highly valued for strength and durability. Koa wood ukes can be found by most major manufacturers and makes for a deep toned ukes and even better as a hearty ukulele for traveling. On the other hand, Ko’olau ukuleles are world renowned for their precision and excellent construction. Some uke manufacturers, for example Kamaka make tons of different styles and shapes of ukuleles each and every year. They even have pineapple shaped ukuleles and uke body styles custom made especially for children. Their legacy is a welcome part of many ukulele player’s homes.
No matter what style of uke there is, anyone can play the ukulele. Ukes are casual instruments that are easy to learn on. Once you get the hang of the ukulele then it becomes easier to test the limits of what you can do with the sweet sounding music. Even though some of these ukes are high priced, there are many options for much cheaper that are perfect for learning on.
It’s easy to learn the ukulele. Just pick up one and start!