Grab A Ukulele

Grab-A-Ukulele Noisy Clan

Ukuleles are having a well deserved moment. Actually they may be having a decade. There are several reasons for this. Our household has acquired several ukes over the years mostly because of how easy they are to have lying around and to pick up and play. No one is intimidated by a ukulele. As a gateway drug to music they are truly unrivalled. If you have kids and want them to have music in their lives, run, don’t walk, to the music store and get yourself one. 

Other instrument learning options:

  • Guitar - too big for young kids.  
  • Recorder - get hearing protection now.   
  • Violin - professional instruction only.
  • Piano - prepare to buy a bigger house.

A ukulele can sit innocuously on a couch or shelf for months and easily be picked up by young fingers and made to sound if not good, then not terrible. This is not true for most other instruments. Of our three kids, two have found their way to being able to sing and accompanying themselves with the Ukulele. I still hold out hope for the third.

A ukulele is small, making it accessible to children but also for smaller adults, who may have trouble reaching around to play a larger guitar. This also makes it incredibly easy to travel with a Ukulele. They easily fit in the overhead bin on the plane or the back seat of a car.  The size of the Ukulele also translates into a more affordable instrument.  There is just less material and time required to make a Ukulele and you can get a beautifully sounding ukulele for less than an equivalent guitar.

A Ukulele has only four strings, making it easier to learn. There are less notes to worry about and the chord structure and fingering is much simpler than on a guitar. The strings themselves also require less force to hold down which is kinder on your fingers and makes it easier to learn and play barre chords.

Before you guitar players write off the ukulele ... The ukulele is strung like the top 4 strings of a guitar, in standard tuning, capoed at the 5th fret. As a tool to learn the higher strings on the upper reaches of your guitar fretboard the ukulele is great. If that is still too much of a departure the 4-string baritone uke is tuned to D-G-B-E, the top four strings of a guitar's standard tuning.

Here are some videos of ukulele artists to help broaden your perspective.

1. You need to see James Hill’s Billie Jean cover, showcasing how to make a ukulele sound like an entire band! 

2. Taimane Gardner, the Ukulele Virtuoso.

3. Grace VanderWaal rocking at America's Got Talent performance.

4. Daniel Ward. I have taken lessons with Daniel and he's a great teacher and performer. 

5. Jake Shimabukuro a musical virtuoso. 

6. Feng E - A Ukulele Prodigy, making us all feel old. 

7. BoyWithUke has almost eight million TikTok followers and 7.9 million monthly listeners on Spotify.


Culturally there is a lot of energy around ukuleles. Billie Eilish has released her own signature ukulele and along with her brother Finneas, is donating lessons and ukuleles to schools in Highland Park, CA where she grew up. "Music changed my life, and it's an incredible feeling to be able to give back to my hometown and provide other kids with the very instrument that made me fall in love with songwriting in the first place," Eilish said. 

Definitely time to consider dusting off your ukulele or adding one to your collection. If you have never played the uke before or wonder how to get the most out of your ukulele we are just in the process of releasing our Decoder theory book for ukulele along with a ukulele version of our Cheat Sheets. 

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