When I first moved to Miyakojima, Japan I was in love with the culture and music (actually I still am). The traditional instrument here is the sanshin, which is a three stringed banjo type instrument. After attending several festivals and listening to a lot of Okinawan music, I joined a class and learned to play the sanshin myself.

However, after playng for a couple of years I started to notice the instruments limits. Playing was fun, but the sanshin has a very distinct sound which limits it to playing Okinawan music.

My wife, who was dancing hula, started playing the ukulele. After doing a bit of research on the web looking for different songs, I realized how broad an ukulele really is. Basically it is like a mini guitar. At first I started playing in a Hawaiian Ukulele group (and may eventually go back), but decided I wanted to learn to play more modern songs.

After a bit of searching on Youtube, I found a good video to learn the simplified version of I’m Yours by Jason Mraz on the ukulele.


The Ukulele is a lot of fun and is pretty easy to learn. I am by no means a musician, so if I can do it anyone can.

I would say that the most difficult part is finding a good ukulele for beginners. I started out with a cheap Mahalo ukulele we got from a catalogue as a gift. It didn’t make much sound, and the sound it did make was horrible. If you want to play the ukulele, then I recommend you spend a little more to get something decent. You can find decent ukuleles for sale for around $60 and can get ones that are pretty good for around $100-$150.

If you do plan to buy an ukulele, then I recommend that you try to find a place that you can check them out and play them. There are a lot of ukuleles for sale and they come in different sizes and have different sounds. Getting the wrong one (like I did) can take away from that fun.

And remember that like anything, learning an instrument is simple repetition. If you do something a lot, you will get good at it.