Just about every major guitar maker has produced a ukulele (often misspelled ukelele) at one time or another. Martin offered three ukulele models to its customers in 1918. The diminutive 12- and 17-fret instruments were followed in the 1920s by concert and tenor models, while the Martin 5-K from 1922, with its koa wood body and abalone inlay, is much in demand among collectors.

Gibson introduced its first ukulele in 1926. The highly collectible Uke-2 and Uke-3 styles from that year had mahogany bodies and rosewood fingerboards. Gibson also made tenor ukuleles (1927) and a baritone model (1961).

Today, ukuleles are experiencing a revival, thanks in no small part to the sustained popularity of the late Israel Kamakawiwo'ole’s ukulele medley of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” and “What a Wonderful World,” which has provided the soundtrack for everything from films to TV commercials. Aspiring musicians, with perhaps more good intentions than natural talent, also love them, probably because they are just so darned easy to play.

Not surprisingly, a host of guitar makers have jumped on the uke bandwagon. National makes an entire line of resonator ukuleles, from steel-body models to maple and mahogany ones. Martin and Gibson continue to make ukuleles, as does a well-regarded boutique ukulele maker named Barking Dog.


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Recent News: Ukuleles

Source: Google News

Is the ukulele really, truly, honestly here to stay this time?
Macleans.ca, July 3rd

When the word “hipster” was recently used in a concert review to describe James Hill and his ukulele performance, he needed to look up the definition. Twenty-five years ago, when the Juno Award nominee first picked up the ukulele at the age of eight...Read more

The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain wins duel with German 'copycat'
The Independent, July 2nd

The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain (UOGB) – the longest-running group of its kind – took action against The United Kingdom Ukulele Orchestra (TUKUO), which played its first gig just four years ago, complaining it was a “copycat” group and could...Read more

Ukulele rivals fretting over name
Irish Independent, July 2nd

The Ukulele Orchestra Of Great Britain has persuaded a judge that it has been damaged by the emergence of the United Kingdom Ukulele Orchestra - which is based in Germany but made up of British musicians. Ukulele Orchestra Of Great Britain bosses ...Read more

Hear Pantera's Cowboys From Hell Covered On A Ukulele
Kerrang!, July 2nd

Nope, us neither, but YouTube hero Rob Scallon clearly has, and the results are pretty funky to say the least. Check out Rob shredding along to the heavy metal titans below, and let us know what you think in the comments!...Read more

Omaha Ukulele Club welcomes all who want to plink along
Omaha World-Herald, June 29th

“The ukulele is a very social instrument and lends itself to meeting new people and flexing those play-as-a-group muscles,” Schimpf said. “Our goal is to give anybody who ever was interested in learning ukulele a chance to learn and play.” Each club...Read more

Cerys Matthews: tunes to play on the ukulele
The Guardian, June 26th

Ah, the ubiquitous ukulele. Just like today's coffee shops, or video shops in the 1980s: first there were none, then the odd one appeared, and suddenly they're everywhere. Ukulele orchestras and ukulele flash mobs are mushrooming, but growing in...Read more

This guy made a flame-throwing ukulele based on 'Mad Max' because WHY NOT
USA TODAY, June 10th

Who doesn't want to be strapped to a giant moving amp while playing the song of car-chasing glory and shooting KILLER FLAMES FROM YOUR GUITAR. Well, thanks to this fantastic DIY video by Make Magazine, you can partly achieve that goal — by ...Read more

Make your own Mad Max flamethrower ukulele
CNET, June 9th

C'mon baby, light my ukulele! Video screenshot by Bonnie Burton/CNET. There are so many memorable moments from the action-packed "Mad Max: Fury Road," it's hard to decide which one stands out the most as the fan favorite. When we were treated to ...Read more