Ukulele Facts

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The ukulele is a small, four-stringed musical instrument that is played by plucking. Native to Hawaii, it comes in a variety of sizes and models. Pop musicians helped popularize the ukulele in the 1960s.

History

  • Hawaiians developed the ukulele during the 1880s. It is based on the machete, a small, guitar-like instrument introduced by Portuguese and Spanish immigrants.

Jumping Flea

  • Ukulele is Hawaiian for "jumping flea." The name is based on the way a player's fingers move while playing it.

Sizes

  • Ukuleles come in four different sizes: soprano, concert, tenor, and baritone (smallest to largest). The soprano is the standard size ukulele.

Types

  • There are several different types of ukulele, including the resonator ukulele, electric ukulele, banjo ukulele, harp ukulele and Tahitian ukulele.

Fun Fact

  • Tiny Tim brought ukulele playing to the pop charts with his 1968 hit single "Tiptoe Through the Tulips."

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References

  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images
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