Get a Uke of Your Own

101 Things to Do (Big Island) - - SHOPPING -

In­spired by Ed­die Ved­der’s Ukulele Songs? Think you could be the next Jake Shimabukuro? Or just want to be able to strum along to songs such as Sit­ting, Wait­ing, Wish­ing by Jack John­son or Iz’s ver­sion of Some­where Over the Rain­bow? Check out lo­cal mu­si­cal in­stru­ment shops in Hilo or Kailua-Kona to try strum­ming the in­stru­ment’s four strings your­self and even buy your own uke to take home with you.

As for the his­tory of the ‘ukulele (pro­nounced “ookoo-leh-leh,” not “you-ka-le-le”), it ar­rived in Hawai‘i with Por­tuguese im­mi­grants in the late 1800s along with malasadas and sweet­bread. Since then, the ‘ukulele has been a key part of kani ka pila (back­yard jam ses­sions) and pop­u­lar Hawai­ian tunes.

Buy one for your­self and learn all about the dif­fer­ent sizes, styles and woods at Kier­nan Mu­sic in old town Kainaliu. Here you can talk to ex­pert luthiers at the only fully staffed re­pair and cus­tom-made ‘ukulele and gui­tar shop on the is­land. They carry a full range of new, used and vin­tage in­stru­ments for begin­ners and ex­pert play­ers alike, and of­fer a va­ri­ety of learn-to-play books and DVDs, as well as re­fer­rals to lo­cal in­struc­tors for short vis­i­tor les­son pro­grams.

• Kier­nan Mu­sic (808) 322-4939

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