The Best of Lake Minnetonka Since 1996!

Most Popular Beach Instrument? The Uke!

March 3, 2018

The popularity of ukuleles has exploded in recent years.  Portability and ease-of-use have earned them a loyal following among Lake Minnetonka area adults and children interested in learning to play a stringed instrument. 

Here are some fun facts about the ukulele:

  1. The ukulele is a small stringed instrument similar to a guitar, but with a shorter fretboard and only four strings.  The strings can be strummed or plucked to produce a bright, upbeat sound.
  2. You can play most standard ukulele songs with a knowledge of only six chords!
  3. Although the ukulele was first patented in Hawaii one hundred years ago, the basic design of the instrument originated in Portugal in the late 1870s. 
  4. The instrument was originally called the braghuina by the Portuguese, but Hawaiians renamed it the ukulele which means “jumping flea.”  The name stems from the sound produced by islanders who preferred to pluck, rather than strum, the strings. 
  5. Ten years after its introduction, the ukulele had become the most popular instrument on the island and prized by Hawaiian royalty.
  6. Hawaiian ukuleles are made from the indigenous koa wood.
  7. The Beatle’s George Harrison was an avid collector of ukuleles.
  8. Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon, was a ukulele aficionado.  Upon returning to Earth he spent a number of weeks in quarantine, during which time he spent many hours playing his “uke.”
  9. Elvis owned a soprano ukulele, which he learned to play during the filming of his 1961 release, Blue Hawaii.
  10. The best selling ukulele song if all time is the Jason Mraz’s single, “I’m Yours.  It spent 76 weeks on the Billboard 100 chart, breaking the previous record by seven weeks.  It has been downloaded six million times, and is the 10th best selling digital download of all time.

We’ve got ukes in all colors and sizes!

Minnetonka Music carries a large assortment of ukuleles for beginners and experienced players.  They come in a wide variety of sizes and colors, and are reasonably priced.  Stop by and check out our selection!  We’re a casual, friendly music store where everyone is welcome to visit and test drive the instruments.


—Bob Bushnell
Owner, Minnetonka Music

Minnetonka Music
18285 Minnetonka Blvd Ste C, Wayzata, MN
(952) 474-3277

Last modified: April 11, 2018

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