closing date: 27 Jul 2012
In the past, the humble ukulele has never been taken seriously. It was a child's toy, a grass-skirt gimmick, only suitable for the likes of George Formby and Tiny Tim. Reluctant music shops would stock a couple of mass-produced, brightly coloured plastic models to suit the novelty market and be lucky if they sold one all year. The instrument was a Hawaiian-themed costume accessory, a punch-line and as such, fell into relative obscurity, accompanying the kazoo on the musical side-lines.
However, since the turn of the century, the ukulele has witnessed a dramatic renaissance and this has, in part, been thanks to Paul McCartney. His late band mate, George Harrison, was well-known in niche uke circles but it wasn't until his death in 2001 (and McCartney's consequent ukulele tribute at 2002's Concert for George) that the instrument started gaining traction. This was to be bolstered in 2006 when little-known Hawaiian uke artist, Jake Shimabukuro, posted his rendition of Harrison's 'My Guitar Gently Weeps,' on youtube. It was a masterful reworking of the song and rapidly found its place in the Viral Hall of Fame. 'Ukuholic' internet forums starting popping up like daisies and soon, the niche uke circles of yesteryear turned into vast online communities.
Even so, the stamp of mainstream approval wasn't to come until 2008 when Hawaii's national treasure, Israel Kamakawiwo'ole, re-entered the charts with his uke version of 'Somewhere Over the Rainbow.' He brought the sweet simplicity of the four-string instrument to the masses and the novelty exterior of the long chastised ukulele was stripped back, revealing the musical potential beneath.
Since then, Jake Shimabukuro's video has clocked over 10 million hits on youtube and has earned him international tours, a record deal and numerous television appearances. The digital world is abuzz with ukulele love and specialist sellers are reporting astonishing sales figures on all corners of the globe. So what is it about the uke that is attracting such a dedicated following? "It's a non-threatening musical instrument,' answers British comedian and ukulele enthusiast Frank Skinner, '[it's] not too difficult to play, easily portable and unpretentious.'
And Skinner's right; strictly speaking, you don't need any musical training or know-how to pick up a uke and start strumming. Likewise, thanks to its four strings it's a relatively easy instrument play whist singing ' a skill that can take years of practise with other melody makers. All you have to do is get your hands on one and uke'n play! That's right, uke'n play!
In light of the ukulele revival, Music News has teamed up with Musicroom, the world's local music store, to offer one lucky winner the chance to win a ukulele! Not only that, the winner gets to pick from one of four awesome animal designs: the Turtle, the Giraffe, the Frog or the Flamingo. These are some seriously enviable models and an absolutely perfect instrument for a ukuholic in the making.
1) Follow us at then tweet "I want to win a MUSICROOM UKULELE! @musicnewsweb"
2) Like us on and comment "I want to win a MUSICROOM UKULELE"
3.)Send an email with MUSIC ROOM UKULELE! in the subject line to firstname.lastname@example.org including your name, address and telephone number.
It's that simple! Best of luck!
Terms and Conditions
• By entering into this competition, all entrants agree to be bound by these Terms and Conditions.
• In the event that any entrant does not, or is unable to, comply with and meet these Terms and Conditions and the competition information, Music News shall be entitled at its sole discretion to disqualify such entrant, without any further liability to such entrant.
• Only entries made via the published competition entry method will be deemed valid. Only one entry per person is permitted.
• The closing date for this competition is 27/07/2012 and the start date is 06/07/2012
• To enter this competition you must be: (a) a UK resident; and (b) 18 years old or over at the time of entry.
• This competition is free to enter and no purchase is necessary.
• Music Room may exercise its sole discretion to use the winner's name and image and their comments relating to the prize and competition experience for future promotional, marketing and publicity purposes in any media worldwide without notice or without any fee being paid.
• This competition is not open to employees (or members of their immediate families) of Music News, Music Room or the competition promoter.
• No cash alternative for the prizes stated is offered.
• Only one entry per person is permitted.
• The winner/s will be the entrant who Music News selects to be the best of the entries by the judges. [OR] The winner/s will be randomly selected from all entries by a number generator.
• The judges' decision will be final, and no correspondence will be entered into.
• Winners will be notified by email. If winners fail to reply within 48 hours, Music News reserves the right to pick another winner.
• The promoter of this competition is: Further, The Old Church, St Matthews Road, Norwich, NR1 1SP.
• These terms and conditions were set out in accordance with The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations (2008) and the The British Code of Advertising, Sale Promotion and Direct Marketing Code.