How to choose your first ukulele – The beginner’s guide

Since IZ’s global hit, the famous “Somewhere over the rainbow”, everyone has heard of the ukulele . Who has not shed a little tear, thinking of a loved one or a melancholy memory lulled by the pure sound of the Hawaiian prodigy? His talent, directly proportional to his body mass (at the end of his life, he reached 343 kg!) pushed him and his instrument of choice to the forefront of the international scene.

However, the ukulele, although a relatively recent invention, had been known to musicians for a long time and could already claim several successes. This renewed celebrity found its echo among the general public and since then the ukulele has become an instrument both exotic and appreciated everywhere , as the djembe was in its time… So, for those who wish to pluck its strings, a little return to the origins before to talk about purchasing…

The ukulele?

The ukulele is an adaptation of the Portuguese cavaquinho and more particularly the Madeiran version, the machete . It was introduced to the island by Portuguese immigrants who came to cut sugar cane in 1879. According to the American point of view, its conquest of the planet then followed three major periods of expansion:

  • the first would be the fact of the Universal Exhibition of 1915: the Hawaiian pavilion, sublimated by its musicians, was an enormous success and artists such as Cliff Edwards or Roy Smeck, won over by the very particular sound of the instrument, decided to adopt it;
  • strangely, the second wave would be the corollary of the invention of the plastic ukulele! Arthur Godfrey was the promoter of the instrument during this period which began to decline from the 1970s;
  • The origins of the third wave still fuel debate, but experts all agree on one point. Israel Kamakawiwoʻole was one of the major players in this latest global push for the ukulele.

This instrument, both discreet in size and intriguing in sound, has therefore had several lives. Depending on the era, the ukulele was essential to jazz bands to give a touch of lightness to their productions, then the standard of a rebellious youth in need of change before propelling (finally!) its original culture into the sunlight media. Today, there are many musicians who want to learn this instrument. To support them, we have created this short guide to best practices for choosing your first instrument .

Choosing your first Ukulele wisely

The choice of your instrument depends first of all on the use for which you intend it and on your musical experience. There are good instruments at very affordable prices that will be perfect for getting started. However, experienced guitarists will prefer to invest in ukuleles made with more noble woods and with more refined finishes. You will need to pay attention to three points in particular:

  • accuracy: beware of “camembert boxes” from which it is impossible to get a correct sound, the quality of the wood used is often the culprit;
  • the finish of the tuners: poor quality ukuleles tend to go out of tune constantly;
  • the size of the instrument: there are three main ones, Soprano, Concert and Tenor, from the highest to the lowest sounds.

To secure your first purchase, it is important to turn to professionals. You can contact Lordel musique, a house renowned for its wide and varied range and the quality of its services. To buy your first ukulele , simply follow the link! The diversity of the offer is dantesque!

Learn and progress?

Musical learning requires above all time and discipline. This is why the support of a teacher is often welcome. Unfortunately, due to lack of time, money or even motivation, it is sometimes difficult to join a traditional course. Thanks to the Internet, it is now easy to learn music from home, at your own pace and efficiently. Tutorials like La Grive Musicienne’s ukulele lessons on Youtube allow you to follow a step-by-step method without constraints. Remember that you can perfectly learn music alone , which is why this kind of page, full of information and tips, exists and is shared! And who knows, one day, you could become the new Julien Doré! In any case, we wish you your career…

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