“A lot of people secretly wish they could play a musical instrument and the ukelele is very easy to pick up and play”: New Uke Jam club starts in Aylesbury

Aylesbury Ukele Jam l-r Jo Whitfield, Kevin Lye, Keith Manuel
Aylesbury Ukele Jam l-r Jo Whitfield, Kevin Lye, Keith Manuel

Ukeleles are now the fastest selling instrument in the country, according to the founder of a town music group.

Keith Manuel, who runs the Aylesbury Uke Jam, says the instrument is easy to learn and is becoming very popular in schools.

He said: “A lot of people secretly wish they could play a musical instrument and the ukelele is very easy to pick up and play.

“It is now the fastest selling instrument in the country, and you can pick one up for £15. You can learn just by playing along with other people.”

The Aylesbury Uke Jam was founded by Sir Henry Floyd art teacher Josephine Whitfield and is run by Keith and fellow musican Kevin Lye.

Keith said: “The aim is to provide a venue where ukelele players can enjoy playing together. It’s not really about teaching, although we play simple songs with three or four chords that go round and round, so a beginner could pick it up quickly.”

The club meets once a fortnight at The Hop Pole Pub, Bicester Road on Wednesday evenings from 7.30 - 9pm.

Although it is open to all age groups, because it is held in a pub, it is really only suitable for over 18s, although 17-year-olds can attend if accompanied by an adult.

Jospehine, who goes along with her sister and mother, said: “We all go together, it’s a very sociable thing and very relaxing. Once you’ve learnt the basic chords you can strum along to anything.”

There is no charge, but members need to print the song book off the website. Newcomers can try things out with a borrowed ukelele and songbook.

The next meeting is on Wednesday November 7.