Fender has launched the all-new Fullerton Ukulele Series, a non-traditional marriage of ukulele and electric guitar that features Fender’s signature aesthetics and colors. Whether you’re looking to pick up a new skill, or occupy your littles, Fullerton Ukuleles are a great instrument to start your musical journey.
“Ukuleles have that beachy, road trip vibe, and we had a long-term strategy to integrate the iconic Fender shape and headstock, the things people recognize,” Billy Martinez, VP of Category Management, Acoustic Division, tells Parentology. “We’ve continued to maintain that fun lifestyle while making the ukuleles stage-ready. They look like guitars, and they’ve been played by rock, indie, and jazz bands alike.”
Martinez’s division was inspired to develop the Fullerton Ukulele series after noticing a surge in popularity for the small instruments. He saw the potential to stake a claim in the world of ukes by imprinting the popular mini guitars with a distinctive Fender look.
Whether you’re a Stratocaster fan, or prefer Fender’s Telecaster, or Jazzmaster models, there’s a Fullerton ukulele that matches your style. Martinez and team were deliberate when designing them, making sure they looked like their large-scale guitars.
“Traditional ukes are constructed differently,” he says. “In this instance, we’ve taken what a uke is known for and thrown some flair against it.”
Fender is also known for the unique sounds its guitars produce — just ask Eric Clapton, George Harrison or David Gilmour. Martinez wanted the Fullerton ukuleles to have a wider range of sound, a feat he accomplished by designing them to play plugged or unplugged like electric guitars.
“In a traditional uke world, you can amplify them, but if they’re going to look like iconic instruments, we say let them also have electric characteristics and the ability to adjust and take the tone in a different direction,” Martinez says.
The result is a product offering that’s unique and cool from a performer’s perspective, while making it affordable for everyday consumers, or people who are just starting out on their musical journey.
“Ukuleles are a great beginner instrument, and they also work for musicians performing on stage,” Martinez explains. “From a playability standpoint, we want these to be fun.” Martinez and his team also wanted the instruments to appeal to the masses. “I want someone who has no idea about a Stratocaster to say ‘that’s awesome’. If you’re a pro, you’ll like that it’s loud, it looks good and you can get new sounds from it.”
Learning the Ukulele
Fender Play is an online learning series and resource for musicians of all levels, and it offers ukulele lessons, which Martinez notes is a much easier stringed instrument to start learning. Fender Play was designed to be interactive; you’re not watching someone play, the process is less static and more dynamic.
“When you think about going online with the intention that the lesson platform won’t replace a physical lesson, but enhance it, you start to see the benefits,” Martinez says. With the pandemic and the resulting self-isolation, players can make their own schedule. “You can spend 20-30 minutes a day and tackle the lessons in increments, and we definitely see more engagement; people now have a chance to learn something they’ve always wanted to learn,” he says.
Fender is offering new users three months of free access to Fender Play, the complete online learning app for guitar, bass, and ukulele. To get started, go to fender.com/playthrough, and click the button to get your code. Once the code has been redeemed, download the Fender Play app via iOs, Android or sign in via web/desktop.