View Full Version : Lineage of the Ukulele / What are it's roots?

01-21-2010, 01:18 PM
I have been a guitar player all my life and I'm now starting with the Uke ( in fact I'm still in the process of buying one but that should be resolved by tomorrow, think I am going for the Kala KA-SMHT solid mahogany tenor however if anyone knows of a better alternative I am still open to suggestions ! ) and I was curious about the lineage of the instrument, the history behind its origins.

I am guessing the instrument is a offshoot of the guitar which has it's origins in North Africa and then through Spain but I am curious about the development of the ukulele. What are it's roots? The who? The why? The when?

I have just glanced at wikipedia but wouldn't trust that site as far as I could through it due to it being full of crap, honestly the amount of times when I have used that site to check certain material and it has blatantly incorrect or misleading information written on it! So I am asking the people who should know instead!

Thank you for any information or any alternative suggestions to the Uke I intend to buy .

Moran Taing.

01-21-2010, 01:51 PM
Here's a little history: http://www.mainlandukes.com/history.html

While you're there...check out Mike's (hoosierhiver here on the forum) selection of ukes. I own two and think very highly of them. You can get them through Eagle Music Shop (http://www.eaglemusicshop.com/) in the UK.

01-21-2010, 02:14 PM
ok, after reading the history I can see how it ties in with the guitar and that family of instruments, thanks for the link. However can you be more specific about the Uke's that you are recommending?


01-21-2010, 02:44 PM
You can also find more history on the late John King's site:

01-21-2010, 03:53 PM
You should also read Partial History of the Ukulele (http://www.coolhanduke.com/history.html) by Dan Scanlon (aka Cool Hand Uke). Mainland Ukuleles are made overseas using solid woods (mahogany, spruce, red cedar} instead of laminates. They are shipped to Nashville, IN. for finishing and final setup before being sold. (Hopefully, I got it right).