The ukulele is a great 4-string starter instrument that is fun for all ages to play and even comes in sizes comfortable for young children to play. Although we associate it nowadays with Hawaiian music, it was orginally based on an instrument called machete de rajão brought to Hawaii by Portuguese explorers.
It is fairly easy to advance from ukulele to guitar playing, since they are strung similarly, and if you already play guitar, you may find it simple to go the other way, and learn ukulele. Although easy to learn, very beautiful music can be played with the uke and there are virtuoso performers who amaze and delight us with its sound.
In the Hawaiian language ʽukulele means literally “jumping flea,” a creature with little resemblance to a small guitar. It is likely that this peculiar name became attached to the instrument in a roundabout way. Edward Purvis, a former British army officer living at the court of the Hawaiian king, is said to have been given the nickname ʽukulele because he was a small, lively man. In 1879 Portuguese immigrants to Hawaii brought with them the small four-stringed guitar called a machete. Purvis was taken with the instrument and soon learned to play it. When the machete became a Hawaiian favorite, it took on Purvis's nickname, ʽukulele, and its Portuguese name was soon forgotten. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ukulele
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