by Mat Dirjish
Many often say that, to get ahead in the music business, or any business for that matter, you gotta’ have a gimmick. The “gimmick” is something novel, unique, innovative, or all three. Such is the case for partners Guitar Center and Southwest Airlines.
Guitar Center is partnering with Southwest Airlines and their gimmick is providing passengers on the airline’s flight from Long Beach, CA to Honolulu with ukuleles and lessons on how to play them. Obviously, Guitar Center provides the ukes and the lessons. The first in-flight ukulele class launched on Friday, September 16, 2022.
Passengers onboard the Boeing 737-800 aircraft received a Mitchell MU40 Soprano ukulele, a Road Runner carrying case, and a unique lesson. Reportedly, after learning how easy it is to to play the ukulele, passengers were able to play the song “Hello, Aloha. How are you?” Hey, this might even spawn the next Eddie Vedder!?
Alexandra Windsor, educational affairs specialist for Guitar Center Lessons, and Ryan Miyashiro and Ryan Imata, Guitar Center instructors at Guitar Center’s Pearl City store, led passengers in a group lesson. Windsor said, “I’ve taught students through Guitar Center Lessons since 2014, but never in an airplane. It was inspiring to see how quickly passengers of all ages picked up the ukulele, many with no musical background. The ukulele is the perfect instrument for beginners, and it shows just how fun and easy learning something new can be.”
Further commemorating the partnership beyond the in-flight entertainment, Southwest Airlines and Guitar Center customers can enter the Ukuleles Take Flight sweepstakes for a chance to win round trip air travel on Southwest for a winner and a guest and two Mitchel MU40 Soprano ukuleles. No purchase is necessary. To enter, visit the Ukuleles Take Flight info page.
This all sounds like a lot fun as well as a great way to take the stress out of air travel. Of course, if one suffers from motion sickness, one could end up playing pukeulele, which would not be much fun, particularly for the passengers sitting on either side.
I personally am not an aficionado of the ukulele; however, I do enjoy a good uke out now and then. But, if I could find a uke with two Seymour Duncan Super Distortion pickups and a Floyd Rose tail, I might take it up.
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