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Let us be the first to say, the Seagull Merlin—it is not a ukulele. It’s not even an instrument that really existed before Seagull invented what it calls the “strummable dulcimer,” but it’s so charming and user-friendly that ukulele players looking to expand their sound could easily fall in love with the Merlin’s bright, twangy voice. The acclaimed stringed-instrument company, based in LaPatrie, Quebec, has made an instrument that’s so easy to play that just about anyone who can press a finger on a string can begin to play melodies on it two seconds after picking it up.


Excerpted from Ukulele No. 7, Winter 2014