Ukulele Lessons In Huntington Beach
But first, lets learn a little bit about the ukulele. The ukulele or ” Uke” as it is commonly referred to, is a Hawaiian instrument that was adapted from a Portuguese instrument called the “Machete” . It can be traced all the way back to the 19th century. It gained popularity in the United States in the 20th century and has exploded in recent years.
The ukulele is commonly associated with music from Hawaii where the name roughly translates as “jumping flea”, perhaps because of the movement of the player’s fingers. Legend attributes it to the nickname of the Englishman Edward William Purvis, one of King Kalākaua’s officers, because of his small size, fidgety manner, and playing expertise. According to Queen Liliʻuokalani, the last Hawaiian monarch, the name means “the gift that came here,” from the Hawaiian words uku (gift or reward) and lele (to come).
Developed in the 1880s, the ukulele is based on several small guitar-like instruments of Portuguese origin, the machete, the cavaquinho, the timple and the rajão, introduced to the Hawaiian Islands by Portuguese immigrants from Madeira and Cape Verde. Three immigrants in particular, Madeiran cabinet makers Manuel Nunes, José do Espírito Santo, and Augusto Dias, are generally credited as the first ukulele makers. Two weeks after they disembarked from the SS Ravenscrag in late August 1879, the Hawaiian Gazette reported that “Madeira Islanders recently arrived here, have been delighting the people with nightly street concerts.”
One of the most important factors in establishing the ukulele in Hawaiian music and culture was the ardent support and promotion of the instrument by King Kalākaua. A patron of the arts, he incorporated it into performances at royal gatherings.
In recent years the popularity of the Ukulele has exploded in the United Stated party due to it’s low cost and it’s ease in playing. Uke can be learned and enjoyed by all ages and the basics are pretty easy to learn. A decent Uke can be purchased for as low as $60.00 and a very nice one can be obtained for several hundred.
The uke is a great instrument for musicians of other backgrounds to learn such as drummers and vocalists.
The Music Factory offers Uke lessons for students of all ages. Give us a call to set up a FREE uke lesson!