If you just came across an article about great uke strings, you may be a little surprised by this little-known instrument. The same may be true if you are on an exotic vacation in Hawaii and you leave wondering how you can capture the atmosphere and bring it home through music.
Ukulele is a musical instrument that’s quite unique, originating from Hawaii. In fact, the instrument still plays an extremely important role in the island’s culture. Just as happens with all things good, the ukulele has spread through time and reached many others corners of the worldso today it’s getting more and more popular.
A little bit of history
In 1878, Hawaii was a place that produced lots of sugar cane in an area that did not have many plantations. That is, when the market develops, plantation owners must expand their business to meet demand. The results are many workers from Portugal came to the island and they also brought some of their culture with them.
Part of their culture and the items they delivered to the island are small acoustic musical instruments known as “parang de braga”. With four strings and an easy design, this instrument became an instant hit with the local population.
Immigrants settled down working on the instrument and commenced modifying it and adding other features, thus creating the ukulele’s predecessor. Over time, the ukulele was refined and improved upon and slowly but certainly became part of the island’s culture.
What’s interesting about the ukulele is that it is extremely similar to an acoustic guitar, particularly the classical type. These similarities range from form to how they work, but there are some important differences too.
Ukulele is significantly smaller than a guitar, and also uses a different type of tuning. This means that different chords, in addition to playing techniques are needed to make them sound good. A guitar player may have the ability to start playing the ukulele, but he will not be good at it from the start.
Although the guitar is a little more complicated, the ukulele has only four strings, and every string has a really different key than guitar players expect. This means that you cannot really transfer all the knowledge from playing the guitar to handling this particular instrument.
Ukulele is unique in its own way, so if you want to find out how to play it, you should spend a little time and discover everything it has to offer.
Ukulele and music style
Before learning how to play this particular instrument, you may be wondering how you’ll use it in the long term and, more importantly, for what type of music. Most people think this is just an instrument you can use for happy beach songs.
However, there’s nothing to stop you from exploring the different capabilities that the ukulele has, particularly to broaden your musical horizons and try new styles. However, it is safe to say that you should not try to play metal music on the ukulele, as it will not work.
Jazz or blues, on the other hand, is still possible, if you find out how to translate your skills from playing guitar to ukulele. Fingerpicking and strumming are decent playstyles, so if you are lost for hours on end, you should not be surprised.
The ukulele can even be used in an amplified form, and this can take sound to a new level. The important part is not to limit yourself to anything you think you might know about the instrument.