Sales of Ukuleles are up after the quirky instrument experienced a rise in popularity with some Nottingham firms seeing as much as a thirty per cent surge in demand.
When the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain began over 30 years ago, the diminutive stringed instrument had a hard time getting taken seriously.
The four-string mini guitars are now strumming up a storm after recently rocketing in popularity. The instrument which ranges in price from £20-£3000 has become one of the most popular items sold in music stores this year.
Nottingham has seen as much as a 30% increase in sales since November, making it one of the most popular presents this Christmas.
Neil Marriot, founder of the 100-member Nottingham Ukulele Club created the group a few years ago and helped to popularise this unique instrument.
“The idea began four years ago, just after I’d been playing six months. I wanted to have a club to go to so decided to make one, made a website and so on. First meeting we welcomed thirty people in and it’s just grown from there really.”
The Ukulele Club welcomes members of all ages but is a particularly popular activity for pensioners. A huge spectrum of songs is available at the club ranging from the Pink Panther theme tune to Frozen’s Let it Go and with performances such as Light Night coming up it is set to grow in popularity.
Ukulele clubs aren’t the only ones benefitting from this new trend. Music shops in the city centre have also witnessed the perks to the instruments rise in fashion.
Dave Mann Music shop on Mansfield road stocked up on the mini guitars just before the festive season.
Rachel Mann, one of the Nottingham store’s directors says they stock 75 ukuleles in their shop alone and sell on average 5-10 a week.
Though they have seen an increase in sales Rachel said that ukuleles have always been a popular instrument. “Covers of famous songs and the rise in The Ukulele Orchestra within the last decade are among just some of the advantages to why they are the up and coming trend.”
Ukuleles are becoming an addictive passion, with both old and young intrigued with this old favourite it seems the future for this diminutive instrument is nothing to ‘fret’ about.