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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:

Pocket Ukulele piccolo, sopranino, sopranissimo 16 in (41 cm) 11 in (28 cm) 10–12 G4–E6 D5 G4 B4 E5 C5 F4 A4 D5
Soprano Ukulele standard, ukulele 21 in (53 cm) 13 in (33 cm) 12–15 C4–A5 (C6) G4 C4 E4 A4
A4 D4 F4 B4

G3 C4 E4 A4

Concert Ukulele alto 23 in (58 cm) 15 in (38 cm) 15–18 C4–C6 (D 6) G4 C4 E4 A4
G3 C4 E4 A4
Tenor Ukulele taro patch, Liliʻu
26 in (66 cm) 17 in (43 cm) 17–19 G3–D6 (E6) G4 C4 E4 A4 ("High G")

G3 C4 E4 A4 ("Low G")

D4 G3 B3 E4

A3 D4 F4 B4
D3 G3 B3 E4

Baritone Ukulele bari, bari uke, 


29 in (74 cm) 19 in (48 cm) 18–21 D3–A5 (C 6) D3 G3 B3 E4 C3 G3 B3 E4
Bass Ukulele
30 in (76 cm) 20 in (51 cm) 16–18 E2–B4 (C 5) E2 A2 D3 G3
Contrabass Ukulele U-Bass, Rumbler
32 in (81 cm) 21 in (53 cm) 16 E1–B3 E1 A1 D2 G2 D1 A1 D2 G2 ("Drop D")


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