I'm writing a ukulele musical, set at a ukulele festival in an English seaside town (such things exist, and they are amazing!). The show will be performed by 8 actor-musicians, and I'm keen to speak to anyone with experience of staging this type of work. Find me on socials @AmyClareTasker or email [email protected]

In this session, Susie Italiano and I brought out our ukuleles and played a few songs from Ukulele Days. Then we were joined by Tomorr and Ben, who learned a few chords. I was delighted to share the instrument and see how quick and easy it is to teach and learn. INSTANT JOY.

If anyone wants to learn the ukulele, I have some recommendations!
There's a great YouTube channel called Bernadette Teaches Music, which has a 30-day playlist of lessons to get you started.

If you can find a music shop near you, it's a good idea to go in and try out different ukulele sizes. "Soprano" is the small one, "concert" is a little bigger, and "tenor" is a little bigger again. There's also baritone and bass ukuleles, but they are tuned differently and I wouldn't recommend them for beginners. My favourite size is the concert, but it really depends on how it feels in your hands.

Once you know what size you want, you'll find more selection online, but avoid Amazon, as the instruments won't be properly checked before they get sent out from the warehouse. There are two specialist ukulele stories in the UK which do free shipping: World of Ukes and Southern Ukulele Store. MusicRoom is also pretty good - and has a greater selection of very affordable instruments.

There's a useful "how to buy your first ukulele" guide here:https://www.gotaukulele.com/2011/03/ukulele-beginners-how-to-buy-ukulele.html
That site also has loads of great advice and a youtube channel with reviews. The main thing is not to buy a £30-40 "beginner uke" as it will be poor quality and out of tune. If you can spend £50-90, you'll get something that sounds much better and makes you want to play more. (Though one uke I quite like at the lower price is a teak ukulele from Flight - concert or soprano. I tried it out in a shop once and was impressed.)

When you have your ukulele, look for a uke club near you. It helps a lot to play with people, and you'll get loads of tips - and of course, it's fun! There's a directory on the Ukulele Project website, here: https://ukuleleproject.co.uk/uke-club-directory/

I could go on about ukuleles all day, so I'll stop here for now!
Please feel free to get in touch if you would like some advice on getting started. Find me on socials @AmyClareTasker or email [email protected]

"Everyone I know who is into the ukulele is crackers, you can’t play it and not laugh!" - George Harrison