Besides Hawaiian clothing, few other things are associated with Hawaii as much as the ukulele. By the way, the Hawaiian ukulele is actually based on a small guitar-like instrument that was brought to Hawaii by immigrants from Portugal. But that’s another story. The ukulele has always been a popular instrument because it’s small and relatively simple to play…although I can’t play it because I am what you would call “untalented”. Interest in the instrument has also risen in recent years because of the music of the late artist Israel Kamakawio’ole, especially his renditions of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” and other songs.
Bruce Shimabukuro, a Hawaii ukulele musician and instructor, was kind enough to give us a free lesson on picking and strumming at Ukulele Pua Pua, and ukulele shop at the Sheraton Waikiki. His picking and strumming lesson is not meant to teach you how to play but rather simply to give you a starting point before you dive in and sign up for lessons and buy your own ukulele. I actually saw him perform live a couple times before and can tell you that he is both talented and quite the entertainer. And he also explains things very clearly. In fact if you ever visit Hawaii, I suggest you to Ukulele Pua Pua at the Sheraton Waikiki and see if you can get one of his free lessons just to see if the ukulele is something you’re interested in.
We hope you enjoy watching and listening to this video. Please give us your feedback as we hope this is just the first in a series of ukulele video lessons we will produce over the next few months.