Ukulele Facts: Shop for Instruments, Accessories, Gifts

Ukulele Facts

Ukulele Facts

The ukulele or uke is a member of the lute family. It has four nylon strings and is usually played with the bare thumb and fingertips or a felt pick. Common types of ukuleles include concert, soprano, tenor, and baritone. The soprano is the second-smallest and was the original size. It’s referred to as “standard” in Hawaii.

The diminutive string instrument has origins in 19th century Hawaii, when Portuguese immigrants who worked in the sugar cane fields introduced a small guitar-like instrument called a machete. Native Hawaiians incorporated elements of European music and Spanish guitar to the playing of their own songs, and the ukulele was born. The instrument was a hit with King Kalākaua, a patron of the arts who arranged for it to be performed at royal gatherings. Today the instrument is synonymous with Hawaiian music and culture.

A plastics manufacturer sold more than 9 million inexpensive ukuleles after WWII, which boosted the instrument’s popularity in the United States. In the sixties, entertainer Tiny Tim made a splash when he appeared on Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In and played “Tiptoe Through the Tulips.”

More Ukulele Facts

Fun Fact
A person who performs on this string instrument is called a ukulelist.

Notable ukulelists include Troy Fernandez, George Formby, Gordon Freitas, Kalei Gamiao, Joni Mitchell, Amanda Palmer, Elvis Presley, Jake Shimabukuro, Taylor Swift, and Eddie Vedder (Pearl Jam).

Hula Girl and Ukulele

Vintage Hawaii Travel Poster

Hula Girl and Ukulele Hawaii Travel PosterHula Girl and Ukulele Travel PosterHula Girl and Ukulele Hawaii Travel Poster

Listen to the Ukulele

Performed by Jake Shimabukuro

Who doesn’t love Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody?” But have you ever heard it played on a ukulele? Musician Jake Shimabukuro was born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii. He loves the instrument and began taking lessons from his mother at the age of four. Jake was the first ukulele player to sign with Sony Music. He was also the subject of an award-winning documentary, “Jake Shimabukuro: Life On Four Strings.”

We Love Ukuleles

Looking for more ukulele facts? Here are some of our favorite pages about ukuleles for you to enjoy:

Business Cards for Performers and Teachers
Left-Hand Chord Charts

Shop for the Best Ukulele Gifts

We’ve created more than 2,000 products for string instrument players and music lovers. Find a unique gift for your favorite ukulelist.

Beware of copycats! Our original designs are available here and in our String Kings Music Ukulele collection.

Ukulele Facts

Find a Ukulele Online

Beginner Soprano Ukulele Start Pack

Product details:

  • 21-inch basswood top ukulele with linden back and sides
  • Four nylon strings
  • 12 brass frets
  • Fret position marks at 5th, 7th and 10th frets on neck and top of fingerboard
  • Hand crafted instrument at an affordable price
  • Starter Pack includes black gig bag, strap, two picks, extra set of strings, polishing cloth, digital tuner
  • Perfect for beginners, both children and adults!

Soprano Ukulele Beginner Starter Pack with Waterproof Nylon Gig Bag and All the Accessories You Need to Start PlayingSoprano Ukulele Beginner Starter Pack with Waterproof Nylon Gig Bag and All the Accessories You Need to Start PlayingSoprano Ukulele Beginner Starter Pack with Waterproof Nylon Gig Bag and All the Accessories You Need to Start PlayingUkulele Bundle Includes High Quality Tuner, Extra String Set, Fingerboard Sticker, Chord Card, Strap, 2 Red Picks, Cleaning ClothUkulele Bundle Includes High Quality Tuner, Extra String Set, Fingerboard Sticker, Chord Card, Strap, 2 Red Picks, Cleaning ClothUkulele Bundle Includes High Quality Tuner, Extra String Set, Fingerboard Sticker, Chord Card, Strap, 2 Red Picks, Cleaning Cloth

Ukulele Deals Online

Keep an eye on this automatically updating gallery of ukuleles and accessories available on eBay. Find a ukulele sale and add this fun-to-play instrument to your collection.

3-hole Koa Tenor Ukulele w/ Gigbag - Cool Design

$139.00
End Date: Thursday Dec-13-2018 12:15:46 PST
Buy It Now for only: $139.00
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15" Mini Ukulele Acoustic Kids Beginner Musical Instrument 4 Strings Ukelele Toy

$14.13
End Date: Thursday Dec-13-2018 10:57:10 PST
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15" Mini Ukulele Acoustic Kids Beginner Musical Instrument 4 Strings Ukelele Toy

$15.14
End Date: Thursday Dec-13-2018 10:57:10 PST
Buy It Now for only: $15.14
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15" Mini Ukulele Acoustic Kids Beginner Musical Instrument 4 Strings Ukelele Toy

$14.13
End Date: Thursday Dec-13-2018 10:57:10 PST
Buy It Now for only: $14.13
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

15" Mini Ukulele Acoustic Kids Beginner Musical Instrument 4 Strings Ukelele Toy

$15.14
End Date: Thursday Dec-13-2018 10:57:10 PST
Buy It Now for only: $15.14
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

15" Mini Ukulele Acoustic Kids Beginner Musical Instrument 4 Strings Ukelele Toy

$15.14
End Date: Thursday Dec-13-2018 10:57:10 PST
Buy It Now for only: $15.14
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

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Ukulele Facts

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