15 Fun Facts About The Ukulele You Might Not Know

Interesting Facts About The Ukulele

The Ukulele might be the most popular instrument at the moment and is used on an unprecedented wave of success. The charm of this enjoyable string instrument from the sunny South Seas is undisputed and now pretty much everybody is aware of it. Quite a few tales and myths surround this extraordinary instrument and our shooting star from Hawaii has already experienced stunning adventures. In this article, we’ve got summarised some interesting facts about the ukulele.

The ukulele is a cheerful instrument that provides a unique and adventurous air to any melody. Its Hawaiian origins, perky tunes, and close association with Elvis Presley’s mellow songs definitely contributed to that vibe.

This smallish wonderful instrument that looks quite a bit like a guitar, as you might anticipate, belongs to the lute family. It contains only four strings only which are usually plucked in quick patterns to get a lively wholesome melody.

In case you’d wish to know more about this instrument, listed below are some interesting facts about the ukulele you might now know.

Interesting Facts About The Ukulele

1. The Real Inventor of the Ukulele Remains Unknown

The little ukulele found great fame and recognition in Hawaii around the late years of the eighteenth century.

However, although the Ukulele is well and actually considered a Hawaiian musical instrument, most historic accounts agree that it wasn’t invented there.

The precise roots of the first ukulele are attributed to Portuguese immigrants who traveled to Hawaii in droves searching for better living conditions.

At the time, the sugar cane plantations and sugar-dependent industries have been flourishing in Hawaii. While in Portugal, the economic system was folding.

It’s believed that a group of Portuguese workers brought that instrument to Hawaii.

Three, in particular, have been hugely gifted in playing the ukulele, which was known as the machete or braguinha in their tradition.

2. Ukulele Translates as The ‘Jumping Flea’

One among ukulele facts is when on the 23rd of August of 1879, Joao Fernandes cruised from his hometown, the port city of Funchal in Madeira, all the way to Honolulu.

As soon as he set foot in the harbor, Fernandes took out his bragging and began playing and singing gleefully.

The Hawaiians who had been there like the show, the brand-new instrument, and the most popular ukulele song.

They also thought that Fernandes’ arms moved so swiftly on the fretboard like a ‘ukulele’ which means jumping flea in Hawaiian!

Ukulele Aloha fro  Hawaii

3. A Royal Reception for the Ukulele

Like many Hawaiians, King David Kalakaua favored the music of the ukulele and the songs that accompanied it.

In a short time, he grew to become quite fond of these tunes, and a ukulele performance grew to become a staple in all royal gatherings.

The enthusiastic royal backing of the ukulele helped in making it part of the Hawaiian tradition and culture and growing its recognition.

4. George Harrison Had a Large Ukulele Collection

Well-known ukulele player George Harrison, who was nicknamed the quiet Beatle, was actually quite jolly and fun-loving.

He was an adventurous soul who favored experiencing novel tastes in life, but especially in music.

A visit to Hawaii, along with the shows of George Formby, was enough to make him fall in love with the ukulele.

George Harrison’s solos very often included playing the ukulele, and he barely put it down.

His obsession with the tiny instrument peaked around the Nineteen Eighties, and through the years, he had amassed a surprising collection of ukuleles.

George Harrison Had a Large Ukulele Collection

5. Neil Armstrong Was a Huge Ukulele Fan

The first man to take a stroll on the moon, Neil Armstrong, had a special respect for the ukulele that few individuals knew about.

However, as soon as he returned from his interstellar journey, the entire world became aware of his little passion and that he is a ukulele player.

That’s because, during his quarantine after the Apollo 11 expedition, an iconic picture of him and his colleague came out.

In that picture, he was deeply immersed in playing the ukulele.

6. From Vintage Wood to Commercial Plastic

The ukulele gained worldwide recognition as a versatile and easy-to-learn instrument.

But its price remained prohibitive to newbies.

That’s why the manufacturers, like Mario Maccaferri, resorted to producing plastic models sold at economic prices.

They actually rolled out around 9 million ukuleles in the Nineteen Forties.

One of the best and most interesting ukuleles though is still the wood selection.

Harmony, Regal, and Martin are among the prominent manufacturers of the ukulele in its newest form.

Additionally, they made some variations that fused the ukulele with other stringed instruments, just like the banjolele and the tiple.

ukulele collections

7. It’s a Good Instrument for Beginners

The ukulele has only 4 strings and a generous fretboard. It’s compact-sized, so it’s simple to carry around.

And there are lots of moderately-priced brands available in the market, so shopping for one hardly makes a dent in the finances.

All these reasons make the ukulele probably the most well-liked choice for beginners.

Musicians additionally observed that starting off with the ukulele is much less overwhelming for somebody who’s simply beginning out.

Additionally, it makes studying the guitar and even the violin later on a lot easier as you’re used to playing chords and strumming.

The King’s warm voice merged fantastically with the soft tunes of the ukulele.

It wasn’t a giant surprise then that he performed the iconic song Ku-u-i-PO on a ukulele in his movie Blue Hawaii.

Elvis Presley wasn’t the one celebrity who plucked the joyful chords of a ukulele.

There are lots of movies where a song necessitates the use of that cute little instrument.

Ukulele Was Featured In Elvis Presley’s Biggest Movie

9. The Ukulele Found Its Way Into Japanese Music

Many people who visit Japan are taken by the recognition of the ukulele at all levels.

Some go so far as to explain Japan as “the second home of ukulele”.

The story begins back in 1885 in Hawaii when Japanese immigrants began arriving in droves.

It was a time of booming economic system in Hawaii and floundering companies elsewhere.

That was additionally the time when the Portuguese arrived with their small musical instruments.

The Japanese immigrants had some difficulty speaking with others, and it seems that the music of the ukulele was a better technique for bonding.

They took it back to Japan, and by 1920, it was quite widespread among amateurs and professional performers alike becoming an extremely popular instrument in Japan.

10. A Ukulele Song Breaks the Records

Few songs reach the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and it’s an uncommon occurrence for a song to remain there for 76 weeks.

Curiously, a ukulele song achieved that huge feat.

That was one of the best-sellers “I’m Yours” by Jason Mraz, and that incredible story happened back in 2008.

It’s worth mentioning that that big hit began a brand new wave of recognition for the ukulele.

“I’m Yours” by Jason Mraz

11. There are Many Different Types of Ukulele

The present form of the ukulele is based on 4 Portuguese instruments that the immigrants to Hawaii brought together with them.

The Portuguese folklore stringed instruments that inspired the ukulele have been the machete, timple, cavaquinho, and rajão.

The combined origins and constant improvement of this instrument naturally took it in different directions with everyone having totally different sizes, tuning, and ranges that depended largely on the varieties of songs and music played in different places.

Because of this, there are many different types of ukuleles like the Soprano, Concert, Tenor, Baritone, and Bass Ukulele in addition to the Banjolele and Guitalele!

12. Ukuleles Have 4 Strings Only

The ukulele is usually compared to the guitar, and some consider that the only difference between them is in dimension.

However, there’s a way more fundamental point which is the number of strings.

Guitars include 6 strings while ukuleles have only 4. This makes studying, playing, and tuning the ukulele a breeze.

The standard ukulele is commonly tuned as G4–C4–E4–A4 but this naturally changes with the larger sizes as they’re tuned in a different way.

Ukuleles Have 4 Strings Only

13. Comedians and Entertainers Favor the Ukulele

The ukulele tunes and songs could be so naive, lighthearted, and carefree to the point of playing around!

This instrument sounds enjoyable, so it’s not too shocking that lots of comedians and entertainers used it to create the best mood.

Cliff Edwards, Tiny Tim, and Bette Midler are among the stars who took a ukulele alongside them wherever they performed.

14. Marylin Monroe Once Played the Ukulele

In 1959, the epic movie “Some Like it Hot” came out, starring Marylin Monroe, Tony Curtis, and Jack Lemon.

The movie was a romantic comedy, and it all concerned the world of female music bands.

In the movie, Monroe performs the role of singer, dancer, and ukulele participant!

Marylin Monroe Once Played the Ukulele

15. The Ukulele Overtook The Guitar Several Times (Almost)

Within the Nineteen Twenties, the traditional manufacturer C. F. Martin Guitars, amongst others, sold as many ukuleles as guitars. The worldwide economic crisis cast its shadow ahead and the reasonably priced ukulele enabled many manufacturers (including Gretsch and Gibson) to survive the difficult years. After the Second World War, Maccaferri was in a position to keep constant daily manufacturing of 2500 instruments with a plastic ukulele series at the beginning of the Nineteen Fifties.

Summing Up

The ukulele is amongst a couple of instruments that sing for happiness exclusively and it’s almost incapable of playing unhappy tunes.

It could be up to just a little bit of nostalgia though, for a memorable time, a lovely place, or an unforgettable particular person.

The Hawaiian and Portuguese origins of that tiny little instrument and the way it brought together individuals from all around the world are probably to thank for that upbeat vibe.

We hope you’ve loved learning more ukulele fun facts and in case you have any of your own tell us!

Bill Hood

Bill Hood

My name is Bill, and I am a musician and music enthusiast who has a deep love and passion for anything and everything stringed that moves my soul. It is an honor to be a part of the team at our website dedicated to stringed instruments, and I look forward to sharing my passion and knowledge with our readers as well.

Strings Kings
Strings Kings