September, 2016

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Get Started On Your Ukulele: History, Tunings, and More!

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The ukulele – a recently popular figure in the musical world. Cheerful, simple, and a little exotic, this little stringed instrument is easy to play and fun to listen to no matter what.

But where did this four-stringed guitar look-alike come from?

Many associate the ukulele with Hawai’i, and they are right to say that much of the music and culture surrounding the ukulele as we know it comes from its involvement in Hawai’ian culture. However, the Ukulele is actually Portuguese!

Brought over by Portuguese travelers from the Madeira Islands, the ukulele was originally called the Machete de Braga. The reason behind its name change to Ukulele is still somewhat unknown but there are multiple stories that may or may not be the real reason.

You can find out more about the History of the Ukulele at:

Get-Tuned.com
Museum of Making Music
EasyUkulele.com

So you got your ukulele, now what?

As you get to know the ukulele as an instrument, you’ll hear people talking about the tunings of a ukulele.

Similar to a guitar, the ukulele can be re-tuned into multiple combinations of sound. The main tunings for a ukulele are:

Soprano
Baritone

The Soprano tuning is by far the easiest to hear, most common, and best-soundings when it comes to clarity and brightness.

The Baritone tuning is the next most popular tuning method. While not as common this is a good tuning for a more somber tone and warm sound.

 

Other tunings, such as tenor, are unusual but appreciated when used properly.

This is a great website you can use to tune your ukulele if you don’t have a piano on hand to compare it to:

Uku Tuner

So you know the history, you know how to tune it, now what should you play?  Head on over to our ukulele page to find a few videos of popular songs on the ukulele: Here!

If you want to know how to play these songs, and more, come on down to our shop, Prince Music Company, at the HarMar Mall in Roseville, MN, and sign up for lessons!  Starting at $22 a lesson, you can learn how to jam out on the ukulele and have a great time with friends and family!

 

The Ukuleles

Fun, Easy, Affordable



Three unique, good-quality, well-priced ukuleles you can take home and jam with!

Call for quantities: (612) 267-7215

Why get a Ukulele?

While learning larger, more traditional instruments is always encouraged, the prospect of a guitar, a piano, or a trumpet can be daunting, both when it comes to complexity and price.
The ukulele is an instrument that all levels of experience can play and which doesn't break the bank. It's an introduction to the world of music for those of us who just want to make a joyful noise (this is a very forgiving instrument), and a great new perspective and instrument to learn for those of us who enjoy expanding our experiences.

In the next few blurbs, we'll describe the ukuleles we have for sale, from the least to most expensive. All have their merits and none break the bank - take a look!
 

Magic: Sweet and Easy on the Budget...

With a standard body of 21" this ukulele is a comfortable size, small enough to tuck into an elbow, but big enough for easy playing.
This ukulele, with its warm coffee coloring and sturdy bass wood body, is great for a beginner who wants a powerful, if not expensive, instrument.
Unlike its brethren at our store, the Magic ukulele has a flatter sound and cuts through warm undertones with a bright treble voice. Don't expect to get natural harmonies from one string on this ukulele. It's a great go-to, take-on-a-trip, bright ukulele.

 
Deviser: Beautiful and Warm

With a smaller-sized body of 14" this soprano ukulele is a snug fit - perfect for the petite, the young, or for anyone who wants a bright, bold sound out of a surprisingly tiny instrument.
The main attraction of this instrument is, of course, the beautiful bird- and flower-shaped sound hole. This unique design does not take away from the power or volume of this instrument, however, so there is the benefit of the individual look with a still great sound.
Unlike its cousin the Magic ukulele, our Deviser ukelele has a natural satin finish, leaving the underlying basswood grain easy to see.
The Deviser ukelele has a richer, warmer tone than the Magic ukelele, but with a smaller fingerboard it is definitely made for those with slender fingers or small hands.
 
Omi: Multiple Tunings and Higher Quality

At 21", this ukelele is a standard-size and perfect for any player, young or old, large or small.
With a sleek sapele wood body and okoume neck (types of wood usually specialized for ukuleles), this instrument has a rich, warm tone with clear, bright sound that doesn't grate on the senses.
Both tasteful and of excellent quality, this instrument sports a delicate sun around the sound hole and, like its Deviser cousin, has its wood grain exposed under the satin finish to give off a rugged, yet classy, air.
 
Initer: Larger Body and Better Tone

Our Initer ukulele stands at a full 24" and has the power to go with its larger size. Warm and rich, this sapele wood ukulele is even better than our Omi at being re-tuned and played in multiple voicings: Soprano, Tenor, or Baritone. At $68, this is a very well-priced and highly versatile instrument that is one of our best when it comes to quality.

Pictures coming soon!
 
BWS: Bright and Powerful

While more expensive than the rest, sitting at $88, this ukulele is just as good as our Initer ukulele, though with a few key differences.
This instrument, while the same size and of similar quality to our Initer ukulele, demonstrates a very different sound. The sound is bright, vibrant, and projects the most of all our ukuleles. While able to re-tune well enough, this ukulele performs at its best in soprano tuning, bringing out a delicacy in the higher register that you just can't hear in the other instruments.

Pictures coming soon!
 
Popular Songs on the Ukulele!




(not technically a ukulele song but very popular on ukulele!)

Band and Orchestra Instruments

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