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Im writing this review as a parent not as a player! I have 3 girls, all have done ukulele lessons as an extra curricular option at primary school, we have 2 these which i purchased from the school at a slightly cheaper bargainous price of £8 each, they retail normally for about £10-15 . Having 2 was purely due to who was doing it when, as neither got damaged but the oldest child went to secondary school before the youngest needed one. We have a pink and a burnt orange coloured one. There are many colours available but in my opinion the red and blue ones look the best. They look fairly flimsey however mine have survive years of being dumped and dragged without any great ill effect. The bags that come with them however havent done quite as well, however you can easy purchase better quality covers online.
Despite writing many a cheque for lessons and having to write this on the envelope, I must confess without checking I still can't spell it, it is often abbreviated as uke. This instrument is part of the guitar family, it has 4 strings and originated in the 19th century in Hawaii before being gaining popularity during the early 20th century in Americ and thats when it spread internationally.
A fact I hadnt realised was that it was known as the jumping flea (in Hawaii) as coincidentally whenever I see this instrument it brings me out in a rendition of "my dog has fleas fleas fleas, on their knees, knees , knees" as all my children have learnt this to strum along to (there are many more verses but all end in similar sounding lyrics).
I really liked this little instrument, it started all my girls learning basic music reading and they all took up other instruments and still very committed to music and although it was very basic stuff, I always think I have this strumming to fleas to thank for it.
Its a very cheap, small for little hands and fun instrument and Im going to score it 5/5
When I started learning the ukulele i was pretty sure they were all largely the same. Or at least that it would be just as easy to learn on a cheap one. That was my first mistake, although this does in fact look like a uke, and pretty much sounds like a uke, it really isnt worth bothering to keep one of these in tune.
Yes it looks cute and quirky and yes it 'can' produce a tune when its setup but you have to spend so long not playing that its hardly worth it.
Not only do the strings not go up in tone by the same amount for each fret, but it takes only 5 minutes or so for the instrument to need retuning again and again. Admittedly I didn't play one of these for long, maybe after a feww more weeks the strings and heads would settle and it would be more reliable, maybe not.
On the plus side, they are very sturdy, even for a cheap thing they are light so can survive a drop or two, perfect perhaps for a child to start learning on but not for any serious musician.
For just a little more a better quality instrument can be bought, and a lot more fun can be had.
An ukulele tuned CGEA is an essential musical instrument for anyone that wants to broaden their ability musically and should by the first port of call when beginning to experiment with different and less maintstream instruments. tuned CGEA,
They come in many different makes, colours and sizes. The better the make tends to mean a better instrument, I opted for a cheap Mahalo model off ebay for £20, just to play around with; whereas my friend went for a £70 model made by a prominant make in alternative instruments and his investment was worth while.
Cheaper models are smaller and therefore harder to play, whereas his model was slightly larger and much more accomodating to play. The sound was much nicer and more comfortable to play.
However no matter how much you pay for your instrument you will have to tighten the tuning pegs on a frequent basis as the tension starts to reduce and the detune it. The tuning pegs are devilishly awkward to work and get the instrument into tune, similiar to a violin. They are already hard to tune to to the nature of the strings being high pitch, you have to have very good hearing for pitch and light fingers.
Overall a good choice of instrument to broaden your horizons.
Classical wooden guitar Ukulele in our ever popular pink range