When a child is looking to learn a musical instrument, it is important not to put them off by trying to have them learn one that is too challenging, to begin with. It can be useful to explain to them that the instrument they start on does not have to become the one that they play in the future when they are a more accomplished player. Any musical instrument will help a child to learn the rudiments of music and develop an interest in playing as well as listening.
Compared to the guitar, the ukulele has fewer strings to be aware of and learn. These are A-E-C-G. The A string is at the bottom of the ukulele and the G at the top of the instrument when it is held the correct way round.
The strings on the ukulele should not be too tight or too slack or should be adjusted by turning the peg in the opposite direction. The strings can be tuned correctly by purchasing a mouth-blown tuner or electronic device that will hear the sounds to check they do not sound too flat or too sharp. A slight turn of the corresponding peg will tune each string in if they have altered. This can be because of temperature changes.
A ukulele will generally have nylon strings which are softer on the fingers of children and beginners. They do not necessarily need a plectrum to pluck them like with a guitar.
Smaller and Lighter
In terms of a young child handling a musical instrument, it is good if it is reasonably small and light. The ukulele can claim both of these benefits. This makes it easier to hold and to carry to and from school or to a lesson or performance elsewhere.
There are few things to beat the sound of lots of ukuleles all strumming together in time. This is something to aim for.
The sounds or tones achieved by each instrument will be determined by their size. Soprano ukuleles will provide that classic ukulele sound, consisting of a higher much sweeter voice, compared to the tenor which will offer a fuller sound, lower voice, and a better resonance and projection. The tenor ukulele is closer to the sound of a guitar. So, a soprano is likely to be a ukulele to start on, with perhaps progression to the tenor version as a progression or for a second instrument.
Considering the purchase cost, when there is always that possibility that a child might not take to an instrument, it is a bonus that the ukulele is a relatively cheap instrument to buy to find out. This is also a reason why they are popular in school music departments with a budget. Even if schools don’t have a budget, they may be able to make use of these ideas for fundraisers for schools in order to raise the money that they will need in order to get enough ukuleles for students.
We can afford to own several ukuleles because of their lower cost. Some of the older models are very collectable now.
Many musicians looking for an instrument to take up later in life will turn to the ukulele. They will know of the likes of the legendary George Formby (1904 to 1961), who made the instrument famous back in the day. He was famous for playing the banjo ukulele, although owned seven ukuleles in all. The banjo ukulele was, in fact, a hybrid instrument and combined the big American banjo, invented by Alvin D, and the Hawaiian ukulele. Banjo is still played by many music lovers, and you can click here to find some. The original ukulele was introduced to Hawaii during the 1900s by Portuguese immigrants residing in Madeira. It was then developed in Hawaii initially. Formby helped to write and would perform on at least 300 songs to his credit. He would bring his personality to the instrument, which consisted of his English North Country humour.
Some other famous ukulele players include Israel Kamakawiwo’ole, James Hill, Jake Shimabukuro, Daniel Ho, Cliff Edwards, and Tin Tim. Israel Kamakawiwo’ole is a Hawaiian musician, singer, and songwriter, who is also known as Bruddah IZ or just IZ. He has achieved success beyond Hawaii because of his album Facing Future, which was released in 1993.
So, it is easy to see why the ukulele has become such a popular instrument with so many. It is one of the easier musical instruments to learn, suited to children trying to learn it as well as being something ideal for adults introducing themselves to music later on in life. It is a simpler, softer-stringed, and more of a budget instrument than the guitar. So, perfect to begin a musical journey with. The many colours available also add interest for younger players. You can be playing the same instrument as someone else yet it can look different.