The Ukulele craze seems to be going global. All over Hong Kong you can see people carrying small “mini me” black vinyl cases. But why is the Mandolin the ugly stepsister? No one seems to be interested in playing this 8-string instrument.
I am a fan of the Ukulele. Jake Shimabukuro is a wonderful talent and heck, my twin brother lives in Hawaii but in Asia, the Mandolin seems a more logical choice. Why? Because it is tuned like a violin, same strings, except more of them. Many children in Hong Kong take violin lessons early on. Having violin chops would certainly make it easier to play the mandolin over the ukulele. The Ukulele is a cute little instrument, cheap to buy and easier to learn. Also, it’s accessible, as many stores carry c cheap beginner models. Trying to buy a Mandolin in Hong Kong i is not an easy task. Besides a lack of music stores, most carry violins, pianos and guitars. There is a dedicated Ukulele shop, which has some great instruments but nothing for the Mandolin.
So I have decided to help the Mandolin get the recognition it is due. I will start to teach mandolin in Hong Kong, publicize the instrument and even import some for sale. If I fail, then I will have a lot of Mandolins to sell you, very cheap.