National Play Your Ukulele Day – May 2, 2023

National Play Your Ukulele Day is celebrated on May 2 every year. The day is celebrated to get more and more people interested in the instrument while also encouraging those playing it to strum their favorite tunes. The ukulele belongs to the guitar family of instruments. While the guitar is recognized by its six strings, the ukulele has only four. When it comes to its size, a ukulele is much smaller than a guitar. This makes the instrument easy to carry around and play for those who have smaller hands — for example, children.

History of National Play Your Ukulele Day

The first thing to know about a ukulele is that it has four notes — the notes that you can play on the ukulele are G, C, E, and A. The word ‘ukulele’ has Hawaiian roots. In the language, the word means ‘jumping flea.’ The name was probably picked because the musician’s fingers look like fleas jumping on the strings when skillfully played! Even though the instrument’s name has Hawaiian roots, it was brought to the island of Hawaii by Portuguese immigrants.

The ukulele was brought to mainstream music in the early 20th century, and it quickly became a popular instrument for jazz music. The ukulele, sometimes also known as the ‘uke,’ is also a part of country and pop music. You must have seen musical superstars like Jimmie Rodgers, Ernest V, Taylor Swift, Eddie Vedder, and George Harrison playing the ukulele during their performances. The skillful tunes of the ukulele make it the perfect accompaniment to most genres of music! And, of course, those who sing covers also prefer to sing along to the rhythm of the ukulele.

Mike Lynch, also known as “Ukulele Mike,” is the man behind National Play Your Ukulele Day. The day was first celebrated in 2011, and Lynch was a school teacher and an online ukulele instructor. He passed away in January 2018, but his memory lives on through National Play Your Ukulele Day. The day is celebrated by those who enjoy music and love playing the instrument. This is also a great day to learn how to play the ukulele!

National Play Your Ukulele Day timeline

1880s
Origin

The instrument is developed.

1929
Ukulele In Japan

Yukihiko Haida introduces the instrument in Japan.

1964
The Beatles

The Beatles play the ukulele on “The Ed Sullivan Show.”

2008
Ukulele In the Classroom

The music education scheme starts in Canada.

National Play Your Ukulele Day FAQs

What is National Play Your Ukulele Day?

On National Play Your Ukulele Day, ukulele players from around the country strum their favorite tunes to celebrate.

Which instrument is the ukulele a descendant of?

The ukulele is a descendant of an instrument called a ‘cavaquinho’ or ‘machete.’

Is it easier to learn to play ukulele than the guitar?

The ukulele is easier to learn than the guitar and other stringed instruments like the mandolin. Its soft nylon strings are gentler on your fingertips and don’t create finger pain like guitars do. Moreover, it only has four strings, making chord shapes and scales easier to learn.

National Play Your Ukulele Day Activities

  1. Play your ukulele

    Celebrate National Play Your Ukulele Day by strumming along with the ukulele to your favorite tunes. Sing along and put on a little concert for yourself. That’s the best way to celebrate the day.

  2. Post your performance online

    You can also post a video of your performance online for your friends to enjoy. You can also ask your musician friends to post videos of their performances with the ukulele on National Play Your Ukulele Day.

  3. Learn to play the ukulele

    Don’t know how to play the ukulele? Fret not. Celebrate National Play Your Ukulele Day by signing yourself up for ukulele classes. Take one day at a time and have fun with the instrument.

5 Facts About The Ukulele That Will Blow Your Mind

  1. The ukulele has a high “low” string

    It is called the “Low-G” tuning.

  2. There is a banjo ukulele

    Or a ‘banjolele.’

  3. The instrument is not native to Hawaii

    It was brought to the island by Portuguese immigrants.

  4. No one knows who invented it

    The inventor of the ukulele remains unknown.

  5. George Harrison was a collector

    He collected hundreds of ukeleles throughout his career.

Why We Love National Play Your Ukulele Day

  1. It brings us together

    Music is one of the few things in life that we all enjoy. Music and musical instruments bring us together, and what other way to celebrate this special bond other than the National Play Your Ukulele Day!

  2. Relieves stress

    Music is known to relieve stress, and singing or playing musical instruments can be great stress busters. National Play Your Ukulele Day is a day to have fun and appreciate the many qualities of music.

  3. Makes us happy

    Watching music videos, listening to music, or playing music are instant mood lifters. Celebrations like National Play Your Ukulele Day help us cherish these small joys in life.

National Play Your Ukulele Day dates

YearDateDay
2022May 2Monday
2023May 2Tuesday
2024May 2Thursday
2025May 2Friday
2026May 2Saturday

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