June is Music month here at Bookmans because, well, we like music. A significant number of our employees, both past and present, are musicians. Our Bookmans Peeps play professionally, are in bands, teach music and take the craft seriously. Music is another key part of the Bookmans identity so we thought it would be perfect to host some ukulele workshops. Why go to Ukulele University? Lets have a look at the basics of this charming little instrument and find out what makes it so popular!
According to the all knowing Wikipedia, the ukulele is actually part of the swanky lute family and originated in the 19th century as a Hawaiian adaptation of the Portuguese machete, a small guitar-like instrument, which was introduced to Hawaii by Portuguese immigrants, mainly from Madeira and the Azores. It gained great popularity elsewhere in the United States during the early 20th century and from there spread internationally. So when you learn to play a ukulele, you actually can pretend to be a medieval minstrel singing poetry to lovely maidens as you cross a lush countryside…or not.
You will however learn how to understand this humble little instrument. Participants will study the different parts of the uke; the head, stock, tuners, nut, saddle, bridge, strings, fret and fret boards. We will cover how to tune your instrument and how to maintain it, especially in this arid climate. All string instruments are prone to drying out, which can cause cracks on the body and broken strings. Naturally Uke U will also cover how to string – or restring – your ukulele. You will cover basic chords, how to hold the uke and the basics of strumming.
When choosing a beginning string instrument, many folks are torn between the banjo and the ukulele. These are vastly different instruments. In fact their only similarity is that they are both string instruments and are fretted. The banjo has a much different sound which can be described as a folksy, twangy sound. The banjo is also a throwback to classic bluegrass music. Folks choose the ukulele not just for its sweet mellow sound and rich tones, but because it is a practical, straightforward instrument. It requires moderate commitment, is physically compact, travels easily so you can practice and play anywhere. Budding musicians are not required to learn to read music to play it. This could be said for any instrument but this is especially true with this happy little merry maker. The ukulele has a peaceful island vibe and is a very non threatening instrument. Not many folks pick a violin and think they will “just learn to play it.” Ukuleles are pretty too, here at Bookmans we have a wide variety of factory and hand painted beauties in bright colors and patterns.
Enroll in Ukulele University – it’s super easy. Our next Ukulele Workshop is at Bookmans East on Saturday, June 17th 1-3pm. There is no sign up or registration required. Bookmans will be providing a set amount of ukuleles for you to practice with and they will be offered for sale at a special discount for workshop participants. You can purchase your ukulele with our famous trade credit, and remember if you ever damage any of your musical instruments, Bookmans does musical instrument repairs and those can also be paid for with Bookmans trade. So let’s make some sweet music for the summer at Bookmans Ukulele University.
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