About two years ago I decided to order a ukulele. My wife plays the piano, my dad the guitar, and several of my friends can play multitple musical instruments. Up until then the only thing I could do was tap along to songs on myn steering wheel. I wanted more. But I'm also a dad, I work full time, and I wanted something I could get up to speed and enjoy quickly.
I have a guitar from my father-in-law. My dad plays it when he's in town. I tried to learn and play but i couldn't get my fingers to co-operate. I didn't find it fun so I stopped. Yes this is a lack of willpower, but at this point I had no intentions of going pro and I wanted this as something fun to kill time and mess around.
I needed something easier, something relatively inexpensive, and something i could be up and running in a few hours of playing time. Enter my first purchase:
For about $40 I got this little gem on Amazon. Its the highest ranking beginner soprano ukulele and it holds up very well. The cost is low enough that I don't mind bringing in the car with my pretty much everywhere and I can pluck it while watching TV.
I also bought a clip on tuner (super awesome) and some new strings at the recommendation of ALL the websites I visited. It has been the most enjoyable $55 I've ever spent.
Ukuleles are easy to play. With only four strings, you generally (99% of the time) strum all four to play chords. This is different than playing a guitar. The first chords you learn (C, F, and G) can all be mastered in 30 minutes and open up hundreds of songs. There are many tutorials online, especially on YouTube. I highly recommend The Ukulele Teacher for anyone looking to start learned.
The ukulele is also a humble instrument. No one who hears I play the ukulele thinks I might be in a band, or going through a mid life crisis. The ukulele says "I like music, and I like to make music, but I have no delusions I'm a musician. I just like to have fun."
I've since expanded my ukulele collection a bit. I have a Fender Tenor Ukulele that sounds awesome, and a Mitchell Concert Ukulele (with electric pickup). But I still find myself playing my original Dolphin the most. I'll be sad when it gives up the ghost, but I'll also pull the trigger on a new one that same day without blinking an eye.