As modern musicians look to harness its distinctive sound, a growing number of individuals are embracing the ukulele. Research has found that sales of the four-stringed mini-guitar are rising faster than any other instrument in Britain.
Music shops have reported that sales are booming. A study conducted for the industry’s annual Musical Instrument Retail Conference (MIRC) in London later this month revealed that 42 per cent of retailers said the ukulele was the instrument which had grown most in popularity over the past year.
It would appear that the ukulele has completed a full circle in terms of popularity, with it falling out of favour in line with the rise of the electric guitar and adopting a status as a novelty instrument.
However, thanks to the ease of playing it, plus a variety of more modern musicians embracing it, the instrument is taking over once again.
Ronnie Dungan, spokesman for MIRC, said: “The ukulele is a bit of phenomenon. Retailers are reporting massive sales. They’re easy to get hold of, cheap to buy and more straightforward to learn than a lot of instruments.”
The resurgence of the uke has been helped by the emergence of acts such as the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain – which has appeared at a number of high profile concerts and the Proms – and various local school and community groups.
Indeed, it’s not just budding musicians that are choosing to try the instrument. A number of primary schools across the country have abandoned the recorder in favour of the ukulele as the first instrument that children learn to play.
“It’s encouraging people of all ages to take up an instrument for the first time, which is fantastic because there’s nothing more fun and rewarding,” Mr Dugan concluded.
If you’re interested in finding out more about the ukulele the Ukulele Festival of Great Britain will be taking place in a couple of weeks time- the Musicroom Exeter store will be in attendance with Mike Jackson giving a Q&A session and book-signing on Saturday 18th June.
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