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Ukulele in modern music

Ukulele in modern music
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The ukulele, often associated with Hawaiian music, is a small guitar-like instrument with four nylon strings that has become increasingly popular in modern music.

Originally brought to Hawaii by Portuguese immigrants in the 19th century, the ukulele has since become an iconic symbol of Hawaiian culture. In recent years, however, the ukulele has made a resurgence in popular music across a variety of genres, from indie folk to pop.

With its portable and accessible nature, the ukulele has become a go-to instrument for songwriters looking to add a unique texture to their music. Artists such as Twenty One Pilots, Vance Joy, and Grace VanderWaal have all incorporated the ukulele into their music, helping to bring it into the mainstream.

According to a study by the National Association of Music Merchants, ukulele sales have been steadily increasing, with a 20% rise in sales in recent years. This surge in popularity has led to a growing community of ukulele players, as well as an increase in resources for learning the instrument, such as tutorials and online lessons.

As the ukulele continues to gain traction in modern music, its influence can be seen across a wide range of genres and in the hands of both established artists and up-and-coming musicians. Whether it’s a catchy riff or an intimate acoustic performance, the ukulele has secured its place as a versatile and beloved instrument in today’s musical landscape.

What is the significance of the ukulele in modern music?

The ukulele has become increasingly popular in modern music, but what role does it play? Is it just a trend or does it bring something unique to the music industry? Let’s explore the significance of the ukulele in modern music and how it has shaped the sounds we hear today.

The Rise of Ukulele in Modern Music

The ukulele has experienced a resurgence in popularity in modern music over the past few years. Once considered a niche instrument, the ukulele is now a staple in many popular songs across various genres. So, why has the ukulele become so prevalent in modern music?

Versatility in Genres

One of the reasons for the ukulele’s rise in modern music is its versatility. It can be found in all genres of music, from pop and indie to folk and even rock. Artists like Jason Mraz, Eddie Vedder, and Grace VanderWaal have incorporated the ukulele into their music, bringing the instrument to the forefront of the music scene.

Portability and Accessibility

The ukulele’s small size and portability make it an attractive instrument for musicians on the go. Its relatively simple playing technique also makes it accessible to beginners, leading to a growing community of ukulele players and enthusiasts. As a result, more and more musicians are opting to incorporate the ukulele into their work.

Unique Sound and Aesthetic

The ukulele’s bright, cheerful sound and unique aesthetic add a distinct flavor to modern music. Its soft, yet lively tone can add a touch of warmth and charm to a song, making it a popular choice for artists looking to create a more intimate, personal sound.

Social Media and Viral Trends

The ukulele has gained traction in modern music through social media and viral trends. Platforms like TikTok and YouTube have seen the rise of ukulele covers and tutorials, encouraging musicians to experiment with the instrument and share their creations with a wider audience.

Incorporating the Ukulele

As of January 2021, over 700,000 ukuleles were sold in the United States, marking a 27% increase from the previous year. This statistic underscores the growing popularity of the ukulele and its significant presence in modern music.

What is a ukulele?

A ukulele is a small, four-stringed instrument that is similar to a guitar but has a distinct sound and tuning. It is often associated with Hawaiian music and has a bright and cheerful tone.

Is the ukulele used in modern music?

Yes, the ukulele has become increasingly popular in modern music. It has been featured in a wide range of genres, including pop, rock, indie, and folk. Many popular artists incorporate the ukulele into their music.

What are some famous songs that feature the ukulele?

  • “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole
  • “I’m Yours” by Jason Mraz
  • “Riptide” by Vance Joy
  • “Hey Soul Sister” by Train

Is the ukulele easy to learn?

Many people find the ukulele to be easier to learn than other string instruments like the guitar. Its small size and simple chord shapes make it accessible for beginners.

Can the ukulele be used as a main instrument in a band?

Yes, the ukulele can certainly be used as a main instrument in a band. It can provide a unique and charming sound to a band’s music and has been featured as a lead instrument in many successful bands.

What are the different sizes of ukuleles?

  • Soprano
  • Concert
  • Tenor
  • Baritone

Is the ukulele suitable for all ages?

Yes, the ukulele is a great instrument for all ages. Its small size makes it easy for children to handle, and its simple chord structures make it appealing to beginners of all ages.

Can I play rock or pop music on the ukulele?

Absolutely! The ukulele can be used to play a wide range of music, including rock and pop. Many artists have incorporated the ukulele into their rock and pop songs with great success.

Are there famous musicians who are known for playing the ukulele?

Yes, there are several famous musicians who are known for their ukulele playing, including Jake Shimabukuro, Amanda Palmer, and Eddie Vedder.

Where can I find resources for learning to play the ukulele?

There are many resources available for learning to play the ukulele, including online tutorials, instructional books, and local music classes. Additionally, there are numerous websites and forums dedicated to ukulele playing where you can find helpful tips and advice.


In conclusion, the ukulele has become a popular instrument in modern music, making its way into a wide variety of genres including pop, rock, indie, and folk. Its unique sound and versatility have contributed to its widespread use by artists looking to add a fresh and unique element to their music. From viral YouTube covers to chart-topping hits, the ukulele has proven to be a valuable tool for musicians looking to connect with their audience in new and exciting ways. Its portability and accessibility have also made it a favorite among amateur musicians and hobbyists, contributing to its resurgence in popularity in recent years.

As modern music continues to evolve, it’s clear that the ukulele will remain a relevant and influential instrument. Its ability to bring a sense of joy and nostalgia to a wide range of musical styles makes it a valuable addition to any musician’s toolkit. As more and more artists embrace the ukulele’s unique sound, we can expect to see it continue to make an impact on the music industry for years to come. Whether it’s used as the main instrument in a song or as a subtle addition to a larger arrangement, the ukulele’s presence in modern music is undeniable, and its future looks brighter than ever.