The joy of ukulele

The ukulele is such a joyful instrument, it gives me a huge amount of pleasure. It always sounds uplifting. I took it up four years ago now and I’m very happy I did.

I’m glad that there are whole classes in schools across the country learning to play it, I suspect they all sound a lot better together than a bunch of squeaky recorders. Don’t get me wrong, I love the recorder and I seem to recall learning to play the tenor which had a much mellower sound, but a whole class on descant recorders can be a little whearing.

I have tried to play the guitar in the past, but I found that my hands didn’t have the strength to stretch and hold the chord shapes, and I found the strings too rough on my fingers. That isn’t a problem with the uke, it is smaller and the strings are nylon, so it is much easier to play.

It’s also easy to get going and to be playing songs with just a few chords, which are easier to reach, especially for smaller hands. That’s not to say it is an easy instrument, like all music it takes dedication and practice to get good at it. None the less it is hard to make the ukeule sound horrid, (unlike the flute) which means playing it is such a joy.

And for some serious inspiration, there is the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain. I went to see them last year and it was an amazing show. For practical inspiration, and actual music to download I recommend Ukulele Hunt.

If you want to take up an instrument which is great fun and deeply rewarding, I really do recommend the uke, you can pick them up quite cheaply, although it will sound better if you invest a little more. And at this stage I would like to make a plea to find your local music shop, rather than buying online, you will get help and advice which you just don’t get from online.