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Ukulele Information and FAQs



DEFINITION


(or Ukelele) small guitar shaped instrument of Hawaiian origin, 4 nylon strings. Came to Hawaii with Portuguese immigrants.

INTRODUCTION


The Ukulele is used for traditional and popular music in Hawaii. The tuning is related to the guitar and chord shapes are the same as the top 4 of a guitar. Note that on the soprano uke the 4th string is tuned an octave above what you'd expect. This re-entrant tuning is not traditional to all sizes of ukuleles, but it is commonly used on all of them except the baritone.

SOME TYPES OF UKULELE


Baritone Ukuleles | Concert Ukuleles | Soprano Ukuleles | Tenor Ukuleles

Baritone Ukuleles

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Introduction: The Baritone uke is the biggest in the family and tunes to DGBE or EAGD. When tuned to DGBE this is the same as the top four strings of a guitar, so it's a very easy instrument for guitar players to pick up.

Concert Ukuleles

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Introduction: The concert uke is a little bigger than the soprano and thus has higher string tension. Soprano and concert ukes are tuned GCEA (C tuning), or ADF#B (D tuning).

Soprano Ukuleles

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Introduction: The soprano is the smallest uke and used to the be normal size, now there is much more choice! Soprano and concert ukes are tuned GCEA (C tuning), or ADF#B (D tuning).

Tenor Ukuleles

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Introduction: The tenor uke is bigger than both soprano and concert and usually tuned to C tuning. Soprano and concert ukes are tuned GCEA (C tuning), or ADF#B (D tuning).

HISTORY

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The ukelele or ukulele is a family of instruments from Hawaii, the most common sizes are soprano and baritone. The instrument came to Hawaii with Portuguese fishermen, and it has its ancestry in Iberian cuatro type instruments - paticularly the cavaquinho.

It got banjoed (for volume) and was used in British music hall and American Vaudeville. George Formby is the most famous English name, but Tessy O'Shea was no slouch.