Fact: the emergence of folk music has led the ukulele into the mainstream. Thanks to bands like Band of Horses, the Lumineers, and Mumford and Sons, one instrument has become hot, hot, hot! The ukulele is seeing a resurgence unlike ever before! While the ukulele might be famous for songs like “Somewhere over the Rainbow,” the instrument has been given a new life by the pop-folk movement.
Ukes are flying off the shelves
According to an interview with the CEO of Fender, Andy Mooney, ukuleles have sold over 1.5 million units in the United States alone. The reason for this? Because the ukulele makes for a great beginner stringed instrument. Since it is smaller than the guitar and has less strings, most children have an easier time learning how to play the instrument. This can increase the chances of a child sticking with music since they won’t be discouraged by the slow progression.
You’ve probably heard a ukulele song on the radio
The primary instrument in Vance Joy’s “Riptide” is the ukulele. If that song sounds familiar, it was one of the longest charting singles in several countries, including Australia, the United Kingdom and the US. In addition to Riptide, songs like I’m Yours (Jason Mraz), Island in the Sun (Weezer) and even Here Comes the Sun (The Beatles) all heavily featured this little instrument. Thanks to the presence of new wave folk and pop-folk bands like the Lumineers and Of Monsters and Men, the ukulele is all over the radio waves.
You can move from a uke to a guitar without much of a problem
One of the great things about the ukulele is the fact that all of the skills learned from playing can quickly be upgraded to a guitar. You’ll learn all the same principles, things such as strumming, finger positioning, even chords on the ukulele. Once you have these principles ingrained, moving from the ukulele to a guitar is second nature. This is why a lot of people are investing time and energy in learning such a fun instrument, because while it might appear like a novelty on the surface, it actually is a serious instrument.
Ukulele players are unique
Just about everyone wants to play the guitar, and the people who have somewhat of a decent skill at guitar are a dime a dozen. But what’s really impressive is when someone pulls out their ukulele. The beautiful, exotic sound of a ukulele is always welcome, because no other instrument brings such an air of exotic, international appeal. Guitars can be fun, but everyone really gets excited when they hear a ukulele being played.
A good ukulele is more inexpensive than a bad guitar
One factor that’s contributing to the resurgence in uke popularity is the fact that you can get a high-quality ukulele for about the same price as a mediocre guitar. This means that more people are willing to shell out the cash to get a nice one without having to worry about poor craftsmanship. Since they are smaller and easier to make, ukuleles are far more cost effective than big, complicated guitars.