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"THE UKULELE LADY" SPEAKS
The Ukulele (pronounced OO-KOO-LAY-LAY), a typical Hawaiian instrument,
is defined in the dictionary as a 'diminutive guitar'. It was first produced in Hawaii,
sometime between 1877 and 1879, by a Portuguese cabinet maker, Michael Nunez,
who patterned it after a small Portuguese guitar. It was so small, in comparison to the
guitars the natives were used to playing that, when they first played it, their fingers
and hands sort of 'skipped off' the small keyboard. That's why it is called 'Ukulele',
meaning "jumping flea."
Before Michael Nunez died in 1923, he did not realize that some day his little
invention would become recognized as a real musical instrument. Its simplicity makes
it easy for anyone to learn in a short time.
However, we have gone much further with the study of the Ukulele in these United
States and have discarded the idea that the Ukulele is just an accompaniment instrument.
With study and practice you too will recognize it as a solo instrument. My slogan
has always been "UKE CAN PLAY THE MELODY."
Through the medium of radio, in 1923, its popularity reached such heights that
it was necessary to print Ukulele arrangements on all popular sheet music. Unfortunately
the market was flooded with cheap instruments which did not give forth the music
intended. Good instruments have always been manufactured and those outstanding in
the "Twenties" still lead in the field for quality. However, modern production methods
and the use of plastics have brought fine instruments within the price range of every-
one's purse. Nylon strings are also a boon to the Ukulele player.
In 1950, through the medium of Television and the one and only Arthur Godfrey
(seeing is believing), the Ukulele is now called "the family instrument of America."
It should head the list of every recreational program in schools, camps and Girls' and
Boys' Clubs in educational centers. Group playing leads to enjoyment for young
and old. Form clubs — play in groups — and watch the progress. I wish I could tell
you of the many lasting friendships that have resulted through the medium of the groups
pictured on page 3 which I had the pleasure of forming and training.
Any small child who has studied the most elementary music for the piano can pick
out simple melodies in the treble clef on the Ukulele. The simple duets I have included
at the end of this book have actually been performed by children of six or seven years
old. They are arranged with diagrams here so all may enjoy them.
This method has been prepared for self-study. Whether you are a beginner or an
advanced student, a musician, or one who plays instinctively (by "ear"), you will find
all you need within these pages.
I hope you will derive as much pleasure out of this book as I did compiling it for
you, and I wish to thank the publisher, Robbins Music Corporation, for granting me the
permission to use the collection of world-wide hits contained herein.
When you have learned all the chords, don't forget, "UKE CAN PLAY THE
MELODY." Please let me know how you like it.