The Hawaiian Ukulele was developed in the late 1840′s and is a combination of instruments – namely the Madeiran braguinha and rajão.
As with many stringed instruments, the Ukulele now comes in many flavors including the 3 string (cigar box ukulele), the traditional four string, and also 6 and 8-string variations.
The most popular size Ukulele is the 4 string or ‘standard’ variety, but just as the number of strings on a ukulele can vary, so can it’s size.
There are 4 sizes of ukulele; the soprano ukulele (standard), the concert, the tenor and baritone. The larger ukulele’s are usually strung with 6 or 8 strings depending on the body size and desired sound of the instrument.
Modern ukulele’s are tuned to the c6 chord as follows; G-C-E-A, with the G string tuned up an octave. The ukulele can be played like an acoustic guitar (un-miked) or amplified to produce a louder sound in a mixed band playing situation. Some ukulele’s are tuned up an octave to give more tone and volume in live playing situations.
Learning to play the ukulele is a lot like learning the guitar, with the obvious fact that there are less strings and the number of frets on a ukulele is much smaller. This makes the ukulele a good choice for aspiring musicians who may get discouraged by the size and complexity of playing a standard guitar.
The nice thing about playing a ukulele as opposed to a guitar is the sheer ease of transporting and holding the instrument while playing. A ukulele weighs mere ounces, where most guitars weigh 4-9 pounds and can be a real back breaker for young and old alike.
If you’d like to learn more about ukulele music, get ukulele lessons or buy a ukulele online go here to the ultimate Hawaiian Ukulele site.