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Rllink
09-19-2015, 04:06 AM
I'm not a big ukulele evangelist. If someone asks me about ukes for some reason, I will talk them up, but frankly, ukuleles seldom just come up in the conversation. I also do not run into very many other ukulele players, but when I do, I always ask if they are members of UU, and I am always surprised how few are. I am somewhat of a UU evangelist. In fact, if the subject of ukuleles comes up, I will suggest that if someone is interested in ukuleles, that they come here to learn about them. I always wonder if they just haven't discovered UU, or if they just don't get on the internet a lot.

Mivo
09-19-2015, 04:15 AM
For me, it's just a byproduct of being excited about the hobby. I talk with friends and colleagues about what "moves" me and what's going on in my life, and for a while now the ukulele has been a major part of that. So I mention it, tweet about it, share videos, and so on, though not in an attempt to promote, advertise, or convert -- it's simply sharing excitement, without a motive.

Most of the people I interact with are not musicians. They are writers, programmers, (game) designers, graphical artists, and gamers, and many of them don't really know much about instruments. They are also curious and excitable, and interested in original things (which ukuleles are, in those circles). It's fertile ground, and I probably caused some folks to learn more about the ukulele. I, however, don't recommend specific places (like the forum) because I don't want work to follow me around. And I trust that people find resources easily enough when and if they are looking for them.

turtledrum
09-19-2015, 04:15 AM
Amen!.......

Hippie Dribble
09-19-2015, 05:37 AM
For me, it's just a byproduct of being excited about the hobby. I talk with friends and colleagues about what "moves" me and what's going on in my life, and for a while now the ukulele has been a major part of that. So I mention it, tweet about it, share videos, and so on, though not in an attempt to promote, advertise, or convert -- it's simply sharing excitement, without a motive.

Most of the people I interact with are not musicians. They are writers, programmers, (game) designers, graphical artists, and gamers, and many of them don't really know much about instruments. They are also curious and excitable, and interested in original things (which ukuleles are, in those circles). It's fertile ground, and I probably caused some folks to learn more about the ukulele. I, however, don't recommend specific places (like the forum) because I don't want work to follow me around. And I trust that people find resources easily enough when and if they are looking for them.
Great post M.

CactusWren
09-19-2015, 05:45 AM
Lots of people say things to me like "I always wanted to play the guitar" or "I wish I had learned to play guitar when I was a kid", and I recommend that the get a ukulele. It's much easier to get started, and they might never desire to move on when they realize how fun the uke is. As far as I know, not one has ever followed my advice. I did, I think, play a part in one of my old guitar teachers' getting a tenor a week or two ago. He has had trouble putting it down, he said.

VegasGeorge
09-19-2015, 06:05 AM
In my experience, those who are truly interested will buy a Ukulele and get started with it. I don't think children or adults can be talked into becoming interested. They either are or are not interested. In my case, a Ukulele came as an unexpected gift. It sat around neglected and unused until I decided to get interested in it. Thinking back, I really can't remember what, if anything, spurred me on to start playing the little thing. Well, wait one. I did go through a period of thinking I wanted to learn the guitar. But it always felt too big to me. I think I started getting serious about the Ukulele on the basis that it was like a very small guitar, and something I could carry around easily.

spookelele
09-19-2015, 09:11 AM
my evangelism is limited to, "You know.. it really is a real instrument"

janeray1940
09-19-2015, 09:25 AM
I'm not an evangelist at all. I enjoy playing music, and most of my friends are musicians - some ukulele, some not. I talk about being a musician with them, and even with my non-musical friends, but my choice of instrument isn't really the focus - it's the fact that I play music that gets me through the day, not ukulele per se.

One thing I've noticed among my uke-quaintances is this: it seems the more one identifies with "ukulele" and talks it up, spends hours on UU, obsessively researches and buys and sells and trades different ukes and all the associated gear, spends time and money on travel to festivals, catches every uke-related act that comes through town, and so forth, the less actual *playing* one seems to do and the less one actually knows about music, musicianship, theory, what have you. I'll admit that this is a huge generalization and yes, there are many exceptions. And hey, if that's what floats one's boat, who am I to judge? I don't intend to, and hopefully this comes off as an observation and not a judgment.

As for time on UU - I try to pop in when I have downtime, mostly between this and that at work. When I'm not being held captive to my computer, I'd prefer to either be outdoors or be playing music. Or both!

ETA: one last comment. I wonder how much the "evangelism" thing comes up with regard to other instruments? Most of my musical friends are guitar/bass/drums/piano and they definitely don't go to "bass festivals" or "piano retreats" or hang out on online forums (although I know those do exist). But what about, say, French horn players? Recorder players?? Just thinking out loud :)

Mivo
09-19-2015, 10:07 AM
I wonder how much the "evangelism" thing comes up with regard to other instruments? Most of my musical friends are guitar/bass/drums/piano and they definitely don't go to "bass festivals" or "piano retreats" or hang out on online forums (although I know those do exist). But what about, say, French horn players? Recorder players?? Just thinking out loud :)

Just some unsorted and unstructured thoughts on those (and related) topics:

I think that is in part just a cultural aspect that some instruments are surrounded by and that others lack (I'll touch on possible reasons in a moment), especially the festival bit. The ukulele is more strongly associated with a certain mindset, attitude, or spiritual viewpoint, in part influenced, or perhaps created, by the Hawaiian approach to life (I put this very broadly).

Perhaps it is also a result of the "lack of respect" as a serious musical instrument that the ukulele sometimes seems to suffer from in the mainstream view. I don't know how many times people said to me "I didn't know you could play that on a ukulele!" when I shared with them a Jake video or classical piece. It's very frequent. You'll almost never get that response when you show someone a classical piano performance or a rock guitar solo. When groups of people feel "excluded" (too strong a word), they look for like-minded folks to spend time together with. Hence the festivals and clubs, which furthermore assist in finding others. Like nudist beaches, just with clothes.

I also feel ukulele players are more laid back and don't take themselves too seriously, which in turn means they like gathering with others in a not-so-competitive setting. The ukulele is a very social, accessible instrument, so it appeals to people who are social and perhaps a little more fun-oriented than "performance oriented", that is, they don't have impossible ambitions and are less toxic (the UU forum is one of the least toxic forums I have ever encountered). If that's true to a larger degree, and I don't know if it is, it also means that people who are drawn to it are different (as far as their preferences and social desires are concerned) from the people who are drawn to a bassoon. The ukulele somehow oozes "fun" in a way that is not common.

French Horn players are less likely to meet up for a beach festival and start "strumming" (whatever the equivalent is on a French Horn :p) -- same with flutists, I guess --, because the nature of those instruments doesn't really lend itself to spontaneous, laid back "social music making". Grand pianos are also a lot less portable, and much more expensive, which also makes them less suited for a "piano festival" where everyone brings their own instrument along. Some of these instruments have a much higher entry barrier (in terms of cost, but also in terms of "getting started", including expectations to oneself and from others).

The ukulele checks a lot of different boxes (technical, financial, social) that make it a non-threatening, affordable instrument for people who do not first and foremost define themselves as musicians, but as people who like to make music, either by themselves or with others.

Icelander53
09-19-2015, 10:16 AM
I'm not a big ukulele evangelist. If someone asks me about ukes for some reason, I will talk them up, but frankly, ukuleles seldom just come up in the conversation. I also do not run into very many other ukulele players, but when I do, I always ask if they are members of UU, and I am always surprised how few are. I am somewhat of a UU evangelist. In fact, if the subject of ukuleles comes up, I will suggest that if someone is interested in ukuleles, that they come here to learn about them. I always wonder if they just haven't discovered UU, or if they just don't get on the internet a lot.

UU forums are for ukulele misfits and that is the reason that so few belong. :D (IMO as a misfit)

k0k0peli
09-19-2015, 10:17 AM
Nope, I never took my trombone to a 'bonefest, nor my clarinet 'way back when, nor even either Cümbüş nor the dobro, although I have been stopped on the street when carrying the latter axes. I don't feel a great magnetism for mando and 'uke gatherings either -- the nearest venue with such looked more like a classroom session than a jam. If not for the fire cancellation we'd be at the Fiddler's Jam in Fiddletown CA today but I don't fiddle so it would have been strictly a vicarious experience. 'Uke addiction and mando jonesing must be specialized diseases.

Evangelism? If I'm playing mando or 'uke whilst sitting on a shopping mall bench awaiting my wife's return I may be asked "What's that?" and I may answer, trying not to go into eye-glazing technical details. If I'm playing harmonica nobody asks.

Fleapluckin_Flapper
09-20-2015, 10:39 AM
I have been known to wear a cool ukulele brooch when I'm out & about-however I don't talk about ukes unless someone asks. I do suggest it as a first instrument for anyone,regardless of age,as it's easy to learn,highly portable,and affordable to nearly everyone.:cool:

Nickie
09-20-2015, 03:24 PM
I prefer to consider myself an ambassador of the ukulele. Evangelism has negative connotations for me, just MHO. I love teaching beginner workshops. Most of my local uke friends are NOT on UU, even though I recommend it as a resource. I'm on it just when I'm at work, cause it's really boring here. I've learned a lot, so I don't consider it a waste. Facebook might be more of a waste.

What surprises me is when I meet local people who play uke, and don't join TBUS. Oh well, we have over 1000 members. The others don't know what they're missing. Just like non UU people don't. Maybe my friends are just too busy. Like me when I'm not at work.

SteveZ
09-21-2015, 02:34 AM
Evangelism no, informant yes. Have brought up ukulele often with mando players looking for a lightweight travel and practice instrument; the same with banjolele with banjo folk with similar needs. As long as folk aren't fanatical about keeping GCEA tuning, the versatility of ukuleles to fit many musical needs is amazing.