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==What is it?==
The Ukulele is a stringed instrument originally native to Portugal, but has become synonymous with Hawaii. Unlike the guitar, the ukulele has 4 nylon strings and is a lot smaller than a guitar, think of it like a miniature guitar with 4 strings. The product dimensions of the Ukulele are 8 x 23 x 20 cm.
==How Easy is it to Tune and Play?==
Before purchasing the ukulele, I had read a number of good and bad reviews, a lot of the bad reviews pointed towards how hard it was to keep the ukulele in tune. With every new stringed instrument it takes time for the strings to settle and after tuning up the instrument a number of times, you find the time in between each tune up is longer and you won't need to tune it up as frequently as you did when you first bought the instrument. I presumed that the people writing the negative reviews had only played it a couple of times before writing their review.
When I bought my guitar I purchased a clip on electronic tuner, you can buy them from http://www.amazon.co.uk/Eno-Clip-on-Guitar-Tuner/dp/B002S0NMZU/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1411989005&sr=8-1&keywords=electronic+tuner and they only cost £5.75. You can clip the tuner onto the end of your ukulele, set the tuner to chromatic and proceed to tune up, plucking each string and turning the tuning peg until the display on the tuner turns green, repeat with all strings. There is also a site http://ukutuner.com/ where you can play a digital version of each string and tune the ukulele by ear, the strings are tuned as follows G-C-E-A. The Ukulele is extremely easy to play compared to other stringed instruments.
==Price & Colour Variations==
The Mahalo Ukulele comes in various colours; Black, purple, blue, red, pink, pink, light blue, green and yellow. I opted for the black one to match my black electric guitar and it is a shiny glossy finish (I was impressed with the paint work). You can purchase these from various retailers, I had seen them on Amazon, but I was being impulsive and I checked my local musical instrument shop and they had them in stock there, rather than wait for delivery from Amazon. The uke comes with a matching bag in the colour of your chosen uke.
Prices for the ukuleles vary, I paid £19.99 for mine, but Amazon have them for sale from £17.55-£24.99 depending on the colour.
I absolutely love this little versatile instrument, my daughter loves it too, so in the end I purchased another one in pink from Amazon for her birthday in December. The instrument is so easy to play that on the first night after purchasing it, I learned a few chords and I was strumming away, even though I hadn't learned any tunes, it still sounded nice and I thought it was quite therapeutic. Overall a highly recommended purchase and probably the best £20 I have spent this year.
I wanted to try a new instrument and the ukulele was a great choice! I bought a maholo to see if I liked it and it is great for beginners. It is easy to learn and cheap enough for a try even if it turns out not to be for you. It can be used to play all styles of music and can also be used as a percussion instrument. It needs to be tuned every time it is used but this becomes easy with practice. The ukulele has 4 strings, GCE and A and most people start off with the smallest which is a soprano. It is a good starting block but you get what you pay for and the sound quality is not as good as more expensive instruments. I used this type for about a year before deciding that I wanted to continue with it and buy a more expensive ukulele.
Once before I had tried to play the guitar, I had found out that a full size guitar was too big for me. I was then browsing the internet when I came across this ukulele. For the price it is ranged at this ukulele is PERFECT for beginners. The quality of the product is excellent for a very cheap price. The fact the ukulele also came with a carrier bag added bonus points on for this excellent buy. I can now put my ukulele in its carrier case and take it over my friends house to write songs.
A ukulele is great for anyone that wants to learn a instrument and this quality product should be the first ukulele you should buy. As it is only cheap if you find out you can't or do not want to play it anymore it would not be such a big loss. I learnt the basics of the ukulele in 4 weeks, best and cheapest quality ukulele I can find.
When my daughter and niece both asked for ukuleles for Xmas 2011, I was sure their interest in them was going to be a passing fad and ignored their request. They kept on about wanting them and my sister eventually bowed to pressure and bought them Mahalo Ukuleles for around £15 each from Amazon, one in purple and one in red.
The ukulele is a small stringed instrument that looks like a miniature guitar and has only 4 strings, GCE and A. There are a few different types of ukulele, the most common being the soprano which is what the Mahalo instrument is and this one is just 21 inches long. The Mahalo ukulele is available in lots of bright colours; each one comes with a small bag to protect it.
The beauty of a ukulele is the fact that it is so easy to learn; anyone can strum a few chords within a short time of use. Both of my girls are musical; daughter plays or has played the bass guitar, trombone and piano and because they have the ability to pick out a tune then it was especially easy for them. The ukulele does not come with a tuning device but you can either buy one for a few pounds, download a free ap for your phone or go onto YouTube or various other websites to find one for free. There are lots of ukulele beginners books out there but personally I think it is better for someone who is teaching themselves to find videos online so they can hear the sounds as well as read about the music they are making. You don't need to be able to read music to follow notations as they are in tab form.
The Mahalo ukulele has a surprisingly nice tone, it has the twang associated with ukuleles but the sound is also fairly round open. It is surprising that an instrument which costs so little can produce such a good sound. One thing that impressed me about the Mahalo ukulele is how easy it is to tune; the tuning pegs are great quality and easy to handle. I was expecting the ukulele to slip out of tune a lot at first as that is common with all string instruments when they are new but right from day one it held its tune really well.
The ukulele did prove to be a passing fad for my niece; I think she played it a few times over the first few weeks and then it joined the guitar under her bed but my daughter plays with hers frequently and even bought ukes for her two best friends for their birthdays since they were also interested in playing. The Mahalo ukulele has stood up well to being played frequently over the past 18 months and it has been bashed about, dropped etc and is still in pristine condition. She has not even needed to change the strings. The strings supplied are nylon and reasonably soft on the fingers but you can change them for stainless steel ones if you want. I've had a few turns on the ukulele and find it far easier to play than the guitar.
The Mahalo ukulele is a brilliant buy, for under £20 you have a good sturdy musical instrument which is well made, portable and fun to play. The ukulele has featured in a few popular songs lately such as Israel Kamakawiwo'ole's version of "Over the Rainbow" so it is also fashionable choice. It's a fun little instrument which will soon having you strumming some of your favourite tunes.
My boyfriend and I are both music students at university level and for his 18th birthday, I struggled with buying him a gift. I wanted to buy him something good that he could keep and would use but as a student, I was short on money. I don't know how I came up with the decision to buy him a ukulele but I did! I went straight to amazon and found this Mahalo uke in blue (his favourite colour) and knew that it was perfect.
I'll talk a bit about ukuleles themselves as this model is aimed at beginners. Ukuleles are the perfect instrument for anyone who loves music but couldn't handle learning more complicated instruments such as piano or guitar. However, if you mastered the ukulele, the step up between the ukulele and guitar is not incredibly difficult. Perhaps, this would be the perfect introduction to playing music for a child? On the other side of abilities; for already musicians who want to pick up another instrument easily; ukuleles are perfect for you too! In other words, Ukuleles are insanely easy to play. Anyone could pick it up and within a week or two be playing with ease!
The mahalo ukuleles come in a huge variety of colours: Black, White, Blue, Light blue, Pink, Purple, Yellow, red, green and even a union jack design. Mahalo Ukuleles are aimed at beginner ukulele players. Their dimensions are 8 x 23 x 20 cm and wiegh in at 558 g. Despite their teeny tiny size and light weight, they are suitable for anyone of any age.
I bought my Boyfriend's Ukulele from Amazon at the very reasonable price of £15 with free delivery! However, you can currently (as of 14/06/2013) pick one of these up from Amazon between the prices of £13.99 and £17.56. I still believe that the price is incredible for a musical instrument.
The instrument arrives in a cardboard box with a little bit of padding and a soft case. The soft case is awful, it will not protect your ukulele from bangs and nocks, nor will it protect it from the elements. I recommend paying a bit extra for a better case if the owner needs to travel with the ukulele. It also comes with a little card explaining tuning and shows some chord diagrams - a nice touch really as I'd have no clue where to begin! The ukulele itself feels a bit too light and fragile for my liking. However, as a guitarist who does plenty of research on the mechanics of building a guitar, on closer inspection, the ukulele looks like it is well built. The tone of the uke is a nice bright, slightly twangy sound. It produces the typical yet distinctive ukulele sound perfectly however, I don't feel that the tone and sound is anything special.
There came a time when we needed to record some ukulele for uni work so I can comment on the recording ability of this instrument. There is no internal pickup on this model which means that it is required to choose a microphone for recorded. We used a regular shure SM57 on it and went for a bridge position. It works damn well and we were very pleased that the sound we captured was perfect and consistent with the decent tone that you would expect from a higher priced uke. That probably made no sense to a lot of people so I will say that this uke is surprisingly good when recorded with a decent microphone.
So overall: This is a brilliant little instrument for the price! It makes a lovely gift (my boyfriend absolutely loved it!). Its perfect for almost anyone who wants to pick up a musical instrument without the hassle of needing years of lessons to get good at it. Mahalo ukuleles are highly recommended by me!