First off, accessibility. Ukulele is neither a difficult nor daunting instrument to learn to play. A total newbie can be strumming along to a song in a matter of 30 minutes. The instrument is painless as well; the gentle nylon strings are nice on the fingers, especially compared to the rougher strings of a guitar or bass. Being a bass guitarist and having to haul around amps and cords and the huge instrument itself, the ukulele is a relaxing break from all of this. One doesn’t even need a strap to play it standing up; most ukes fit snugly pressed against the chest.
I love the portability of a ukulele. I love being able to play music outside, as music and nature can create a truly relaxing environment. It’s also convenient because one can take a ukulele wherever one wishes without hassle and be able to practice while on vacation.
Price is another consideration here. One can purchase a new soprano ukulele, the smallest type of uke and the staple of ukulele playing, for as cheap as $20. A new guitar or bass usually costs upwards of $100. The bass guitar I currently own cost $300 and another bass that I have my eye on for someday costs $600. Although to get a quality ukulele you may have to spend somewhere more around the $50 range, that’s still not bad. I spent $40 on my first ukulele and was thrilled to have such a cute and beautiful-sounding instrument for so cheap.
I also love the sound of a ukulele. It has a very warm and happy sound. To quote my uncle, “It doesn’t take a lot of work to make a ukulele sound good.” I agree strongly with this. I think everyone could use a little bit of ukulele in his or her life.
I think the ukulele is a very relaxing instrument to play. The chords are easy, it’s usually painless to play, and I don’t have to take improving on it too seriously. Ukulele is as serious as you want to make it. With a ukulele in hand, people won’t expect you to shred out some “Free Bird.” Unless you want to, and yes if you look hard enough on YouTube you will find people playing crazy guitar riffs on a ukulele. Ukulele may not have high expectations surrounding it, but people can certainly take a ukulele and make some beautiful music.
Music is supposed to be fun, and I think a lot of that fun can become lost in learning scales and music theory. Ukulele can become a perfect outlet to relax while also making some beautiful music.