A 'Ukelelic' Day Indeed

Posted by M ws On Wednesday, August 1, 2012 6 comments
In mid-July, I was in KL for my boy's graduation and it was then when my husband bought me a ukelele, a four-stringed instrument that I learnt to play when I was in Form 2. I gave my ukelele to my adopted brother who thought it was a toy guitar. It was my way of ensuring that he did not lay his hands on my precious guitars.

My interest rekindled one day when I came across a YouTube video of my son playing his Ukelele in his car and singing Jason Mrantz's "I'm Yours' with his own improvised lyrics to serenade his girlfriend. That video clip brought back beautiful memories of the fun times I used to share with my older boy.

I used to sing improvised/impromptu lyrics of songs in opera style when asking him to do something for me. To illustrate, please sing the following lines to the tune of 'Hey Jude'..

Hey Jon, go and study
Exam's coming, better get serious
Remember - all your formulae
Then you can start to score in Maths....

Yea...my sons and are are quite hilarious at home. It is only my husband who is the sedate and sane fella at home. :-)

Anyway, take a look at my new baby:

Frankly, the ukelele is one of the easiest musical instruments to play. According to Wikipedia:

The ukulele, sometimes abbreviated to uke; is a member of the guitar family of instruments generally employs four nylon or gut strings or four courses of strings.
The ukulele originated in the 19th century as a Hawaiian interpretation of the machete, a small guitar-like instrument related to the cavaquinho, braguinha and the rajao, taken to Hawaii by Portuguese immigrants.
It gained great popularity elsewhere in the United States during the early 20th century, and from there spread internationally. 
The tone and volume of the instrument varies with size and construction. Ukuleles commonly come in four sizes: soprano, concert, tenor, and baritone. 
Ukuleles are commonly associated with music from Hawaii where the name roughly translates as "jumping flea", perhaps due to the resemblance of the player's finger movements to a "jumping flea". Legend attributes it to the nickname of Englishman Edward William Purvis, one of King Kalākaua's officers, due to his small size, fidgety manner, and playing expertise. According to Queen Liliʻuokalani, the last Hawaiian monarch, the name means “the gift that came here”, from the Hawaiian words uku (gift or reward) and lele (to come). 
Developed in the 1880s, the ukulele is based on two small guitar-like instruments of Portuguese origin, the cavaquinho and the rajao, introduced to the Hawaiian Islands by Portuguese immigrants from Madeira and Cape Verde.[6] Three immigrants in particular, Madeiran cabinet makers Manuel Nunes, José do Espírito Santo, and Augusto Dias, are generally credited as the first ukulele makers. Two weeks after they disembarked from the Ravenscrag in late August 1879, the Hawaiian Gazette reported that "Madeira Islanders recently arrived here, have been delighting the people with nightly street concerts." 
One of the most important factors in establishing the ukulele in Hawaiian music and culture was the ardent support and promotion of the instrument by King Kalākaua. A patron of the arts, he incorporated it into performances at royal gatherings.

The first song that I played today was Somewhere Over the rainbow in the style of Israel "IZ" Kamakawiwo'ole...The following video has over 71 MILLION views!!

And then I had loads of fun playing When the Saints Go Marching In, Somewhere Out There, Country Roads, Hang Down Your Head Tom Dooley...and finally Jason Mrantz's 'I'm Yours' which is certainly the toughest so far cos of the chords positions and changes....You can access the chords and lyrics HERE. 

The following video has over 132 MILLION views!!!

And if you think you are too old to learn how to play the ukelele, look at Ukelele Mike's video. You can see that he is really having the time of his life making sweet music on his ukelele without a care in the world.

If any of you play the ukelele, do share your video clips or responses. And if you have yet to learn a musical instrument, why not consider the ukelele? It is portable, easy to learn and has the potential to give you loads of fun. Believe me, it is easier to learn the ukelele than the guitar! Tuning is no problem cos there are online ukelele tuners such as OVER HERE.

Take care and have a restful evening! Excuse me while I go back to my ukelele...:-)

6 comments to A 'Ukelelic' Day Indeed

  1. says:

    Antares Hahaha, you never cease to amaze and amuse me! Just wondering if you ever bumped into Josh Lee & Anna who were teaching ukulele in Penang for a while. They've since gone to Britain after Anna discovered she was about to be a mummy...

  1. says:

    sofia aloha from Malaysia Ukulele Group! good to know we discover more and more people into ukulele nowadays. we hope we can gather up everyone all over the world to Kuala Lumpur for our next Malaysia Ukulele Day.

    Antares ; i've met anna before. she came down to KL just to join our UkeJam. she's awesome & friendly of course! :)

  1. says:

    cin2tan aiyooo...biniku macam suami anda = sedate & sane ....selalu jatuh sakit one !!

  1. says:

    masterwordsmith Dear Antares

    :-) Thank you!! It is a case of too much time on my hands and an attempt to keep busy lest I idle away my sunset years.

    Unfortunately, I did not have the chance to meet Josh Lee and Anna.

    Do you play the ukelele too? I am sure you do, given the extent of your artistic giftings!

    Take care and hope to catch up with you soon!!


  1. says:

    masterwordsmith Hi Sofia!!

    Thank you for your warmhearted response. Is there a Ukelele circle in Penang?

    I heard that the ukelelic craze is very strong in your neck of the woods. Even my older boy can play pretty well.

    Take care and wishing you lovely moments making music. Do keep in touch.


  1. says:

    masterwordsmith Hi Cin2tan

    Hope God will bless your wife with good health and happiness.

    My hubby is quiet but he is very healthy with only two major incidents in his entire life *touch wood*.

    It was his birthday yesterday and I pray God will continue to bless him with good health too.

    You take care of yourself and of your dear bini too!!!


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