But for that four-stringed Hawaiian wonder that seems to be making a comeback of sorts these days, there's no one name. So take your pick. Me? I'm going with Uker. Short and to the point, and it sounds cooler.
My boy got his uke a few weeks ago after pressing me to get him one. I found it for a steal. He's going to take lessons this summer from George, a fellow Mayberry musician who teaches most anything with strings on it. I wound up getting one myself soon after, and may try to incorporate it into my acoustic gig at Round Peak Vineyards this weekend. He's already written two tunes that use the same three chords he made up, just switching the order. Oh, and he's tackling Bohemian Rhapsody. Not kidding.
It's a fun little instrument - easy to hold and play, easy on the fingers. I dig the sound that comes from a well-crafted uke - bright when you pluck, percussive when you strum. The biggest challenge are the chords - they bear a striking resemblance to guitar chords, but it's in a different tuning, so it plays with your mind a bit. A "D" is actually a "G" and an "A" is really a "D". We're working on it.
I don't know what qualifies one to be an expert Uker, but I'm nowhere near that. I'm just meandering around in a new musical arena, like taking a hike on a beautiful mountain trail I've never been on before. I've engaged in this exercise before, with varying results (note to self: there is no way to just "pick up" playing the fiddle). This time around, I'm going to enjoy the journey and have some fun along the way.
And it's nice to have some company as well.