A rainy day is the perfect time to learn to play the ‘ukulele! Stop by the Ukulele Store for free introductory lessons at 10:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. every day of the year (for ages 12 and up). It’s first come, first serve with instruments provided, so get there early to make sure you get in. The shop’s located on the second floor of Waikiki Beach Walk.

   Owner Tyler Gilman says, “You don’t need a fancy ‘ukulele to have fun! There are many basic options that are made well and offer tremendous value.

   “I was introduced to the ‘ukulele at a young age by my uncles,” shares Gilman. “They played a variety of instruments, but felt that the ‘ukulele would be the most approachable instrument for a youngster.

   “The ‘ukulele has indeed made my life wonderful. In my youth, it provided me an outlet to express myself and socialize with others. It taught me discipline and the value of the hard work necessary to improve at anything in life. As an adult, it has provided for my family and allowed me to be one of the lucky people who does what he loves.

   “However, our mission statement is not really about any of that,” he adds. “What it speaks to is that for some reason, people are drawn to the ‘ukulele in a way that I can’t explain well. It sparks joy and provides comfort to those who become familiar with it. It is this happiness and contentment that I hope the world can share by beginning their own ‘ukulele experience.”

   Is there a difference between a ‘ukulele handcrafted in Hawai‘i and a basic, imported model? “The ‘ukulele from Hawai‘i was handmade here by someone who learned to play in elementary school, and knows exactly what it is that I, as the player, am looking for,” says Gilman. “The Hawaiian-made ‘ukulele is also typically built out of solid Hawaiian Koa wood, which is generally
agreed upon as the best material for making ‘ukulele. Think of a very basic guitar or violin, and compare that to a Spanish guitar or Italian violin. In this way you can easily appreciate the differences between different grades of instruments.”

   Stop by any time to talk story with Gilman who will gladly share the uniqueness of the ‘ukulele and find one that best suits you. Also enjoy fun and easy lessons in the store at 10:30 a.m. or 4:30 p.m. daily. 

   Remember to mention This Week Oahu Magazine when you stop by for your lesson! 

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