Going beyond just four strings, a local group is exploring all of the aspects of the ukulele, the Hawaiian-based instrument.
The Lacombe Ukulele Group is looking to welcome new members in to enjoying all the compact instrument has to offer.
Co-organizer Rhonda O’Neill said the newly formed group hosts a drop-in evening twice a month in Lacombe.
“We are reaching a little bit further and are hoping to get a regular crowd to come out every second week and play with us,” she said.
O’Neill and another woman started the group around a year ago on a whim.
“We were on our way to an event and we just started talking. All of a sudden, we were talking about ukuleles,” she said. “She wanted to learn how to play and I said that I wanted to pick it up again.”
O’Neill considers the ukulele a gateway instrument to the guitar as many individuals, like herself, first learned how to play the instrument in elementary school.
The two organizers of the group then attended a ukulele club in Camrose a few times, but decided it was time to start a group in Lacombe.
So far, the group has had a lot of fun, having many people drop into sessions. Members vary from those under 12 who are just starting out on the ukulele to adults who may want to try out a new instrument.
“We’ve had a lot of people drift in,” said O’Neill of the Tuesday night sessions at the coffee shop. “We have many people who are curious and are wondering what we are up to.”
So what’s the allure of a ukulele – an instrument that resembles a miniature guitar?
“We like the ukulele because it is small and you can kind of take it easily in your car,” said O’Neill. “You can literally take them anywhere.”
The group is hoping to branch out, broadening their all ages and abilities scope through hosting lessons for absolute beginners and young children in the coming months.
The Lacombe Ukulele Group meets every first and third Tuesday at Kavaccino’s front room from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. For more information contact 403-477-4630 or visit their facebook page at www.facebook.com/LacombeUkulele.