Bored in Coronavirus Lockdown? Learn the ukulele!
The UK’s newly housebound population are discovering creative ways to fill the extra hours, with the most unlikely of musical instruments.
More people than ever are taking up the ukulele, the four-stringed loveable instrument you can learn to play in less than a month. Big names like Jurassic Park’s Sam Neill have shared their attempts to learn Hawaii’s favourite instrument and pop idols like Billie Eilish who wrote her first song on the ukulele, can’t resist its exotic charm.
Duke of Uke, London’s specialist Ukulele store, now operating solely online, have reported an unprecedented surge in ukulele sales. Company director Matthew Reynolds comments:
“We’ve seen a huge demand in the last few weeks so we really hope there will be enough Ukuleles to go round, especially for the summer months when the demand is traditionally higher.”
Reports show that 1.6 million ukuleles were sold in the US in 2019 overtaking acoustic guitars by 60,000 units. With many more people getting plucky in self-isolation, It looks like this year will be an even bigger year for the ukulele. Here are five reasons you might want to pick up the ukulele during Coronavirus lockdown.
Five reasons to pick up the ukulele during Coronavirus lockdown!
1) Easy to play and boosts your mood
The ukulele is more popular than ever for a reason. It’s easy to master the basics in a matter of weeks and it boosts your mood! In this period of isolation we can all agree that it’s crucial to stay positive. Studies have shown that as well as enhancing brain development, playing and listening to music releases endorphins in the brain. In addition to giving us a heightened feeling of excitement, endorphins quell anxiety, ease pain and stabilise the immune system. If this isn’t reason enough to pick up the ukulele, then read on.
2) Be part of a virtual community
These are challenging times for us all, so now more than ever it’s important to find new communities and activities to lift our spirits! There are many ukulele groups running online jam sessions up and down the country as well as online learning resources such as School of Uke who now offer a friendly virtual community and fun live streamed group ukulele lessons. They are currently offering FREE online taster sessions on Zoom, and special offers for NHS workers.
3) Household friendly
The initial squeaky sounds from a violin or trumpet might not win a popularity contest in your household (or street!) especially during COVID-19 lockdown. Thankfully the ukulele sounds great from the outset, and even better when played together with other ukuleles. So once your family or house-mates see how much fun you’re having, you can be sure they’ll want to join in too!
4) Affordable and portable, with bundles of charm
At a fraction of the price of other musical instruments the ukulele is easily affordable. Good quality beginner instruments start from just £60 and Duke of Uke offer Ukulele Starter Packs with everything you could need to get playing your favourite songs. Alternatively, you may decide to indulge yourself with one of the more luxurious, exotic wood instruments available.
5) The sky's the limit!
Once you’ve mastered the basics, there is always something new to try. Ukulele virtuosos like Jake Shimabukuro and Taimane show what heights can be achieved by ambitious players, while pop icons Billie Eilish, Twenty One Pilots and Taylor Swift ensure its enduring popularity!
What's more, once we’ve beaten Coronavirus, we can all head to the beach and watch the sunset with ukulele in hand... Aloha!
School of Uke offers a range of interactive online ukulele lessons and experiences to suit everyone, including fun group based Zoom lessons.
London’s world famous ukulele store offers hundreds of ukulele in all shapes and sizes. Although closed to the public during lockdown, they continue to offer an online service with help and advice through their Live Chat plus Free Delivery on orders over £100.