By: Jake Shimabukuro

My first ukulele was a standard size Kamaka (soprano) that belonged to my mother. She would often strum it and sing songs to me when I was a baby. This year is Kamaka Hawaii’s 100th anniversary as a family business. They were the inventors of the modern day ukulele.

It was given to me by my mother when I was four years old. I practiced all the time. My parents would have to take it away from me to get me to do my homework, eat dinner and go to sleep.

I still remember my mother placing it in my hands and teaching me how to play a C major chord. The sound of the ukulele was so beautiful and I didn’t want to part with it. We’d sit on the floor in the living room and strum songs almost everyday. She’d teach me new chords followed by new songs. It loved it.

The ukulele taught me how to be more expressive and more in touch with my feelings. It also helped me to be more sociable and overcome my shyness.

I still have my very first ukulele. I haven’t played it in years, but I could never part with it. Someday, I’ll pass it on to my children. It is still in good condition, considering my mom had it from the time she was a little kid.

~Jake Shimabukuro

For more information including tour dates visit:

Produced by Jeff Gorra — Artist Waves

If you enjoyed, please recommend below. Follow Artist Waves on: Medium, Facebook & Twitter