Ukulele Primer

 

Ah, the ukulele. A wonderful instrument, but so misunderstood. 

 

Spelling and Pronunciation

For starters, you spell it ukulele, not ukelele. I see it spelled so often with the 'e' instead of the 'u' that when I tag my songs that contain ukulele I add the wrong spelling as well. I wonder if it may be in part that the nickname 'uke' more naturally spells out the wrong way, or that the way most people pronounce it (you-ka-LAY-lee) kind of sounds like there should be an 'e' there.

Speaking of pronunciation, most people here on the mainland at least are not saying it correctly. It's not YOU-kulele, it's OOO-kulele. When I first learned this I felt funny saying it the right way until I found myself in a music store in Hawai'i, where they know how to say it. Now I get it right about half the time :).