Ukuleles are synonymous with a Hawaiian way of life. However, the ukulele commonly called a uke isn't truly from Hawaii. The Ukulele based on a Portuguese musical instrument called a machete; immigrants arrived in Honolulu brought the small, four-stringed machetes.
As a result native islanders fell in love with the sound! Even Hawaii's King at the time, David Kalakaua, even took up playing one himself. The machete was given a brand new tuning and a new name, and the present day ukulele (or "jumping flea" in Hawaiian) was born.
The instrument's portability and unique tone have received worldwide renown. Lately, the instrument has seen a massive resurgence in recognition, thanks to such ukulele player's as Beirut, educate, Jake Shimabukuro, and Israel kamakawiwo'ole.
Ukeleles look like miniature-sized acoustic guitars and traditionally built out of Hawaii's koa wood. Nowadays, most made from high-quality mahogany, Most beginner ukeleles made from plywood or laminate woods - however, a few are made from plastic.
Ukelele strings commonly made from catgut (animal gut), but manufacturers now select nylon polymer. Common ukes have a guitar-shaped body. However, others have pineapple, or maybe bell-formed our bodies. You can also now find many electric ukuleles, that include a tuner, pickup and many other features.
Ukuleles come in many different variations
Size and favourite tunings of standard ukulele types: