Leaning to play the ukulele is becoming an increasingly popular pastime among people in all parts of the country. Not just confined to the Hawaiian islands, some communities host annual ukulele festivals that draw participants and spectators from all over the world. Ukulele players also have online communities where they can interact with others who share their passion.
Although many people started by receiving a toy ukulele as a gift as a child, the ukulele is a serious musical instrument that can produce some wonderful music in the hands of skilled musicians. Famous artists such as Leonard Cohen have routinely used ukuleles in their recordings.
Although primarily associated with Hawaii, the ukulele actually originated in Portugal. Hawaiian King Kalākaua popularized the instrument by incorporating it into his royal gatherings. During the 1960s, ukuleles were introduced into the educational system of the schools in Canada as a means of fostering musical literacy in that country. Over 50,000 people learned to play the ukulele as a result.
Upkeep and maintenance are similar to that of the guitar, and just as vital in order to keep your instrument in top shape. Finding quality Ukulele covers can be a challenge, but places like Musicians Friend are a hub for a variety of specialty accessories and must-haves for ukuleles, and discovering some primary do's and dont's for ukulele care is a definite must. Obviously, ukulele covers should always be placed on the instrument as to prevent damage by dust and other household conditions when not in use, but there are several more tips and tricks about ukulele maintenance available at Musicians Friend.
The ukulele comes in four different sizes and is a member of the guitar family. Because most ukuleles are made from wood, environmental humidity plays a part in proper maintenance techniques. Ukulele musicians who live in damp environments should always use thick ukulele covers to protect the wood of the instruments from becoming warped by the moisture in the air. Not enough atmospheric moisture can cause ukulele wood to crack and shrivel.
Professional musicians often have instrument storage rooms custom built in their homes, but most people can adequately maintain their ukuleles simply by inspecting and cleaning them on a regular basis. Fifty percent humidity is the optimal level for instruments made of wood.
Guitar companies sell polish and cleaner that is appropriate for ukulele care. Sweat produced by musicians while performing is one of the major causes of damage to the instruments. Immediately cleaning a ukulele after playing it will reduce the chances of the wood becoming negatively impacted by sweat.
It's also important not to let cleaning fluid get into any cracks, dents, dings or holes present on the ukulele. This can cause the wood to swell. It's recommended that minor cracks are sealed with clear nail polish to help preserve the instrument.