View Full Version : Novice Uke Player and Sufferer of Depression

11-05-2015, 03:46 AM
Hey everyone,

Ive posted quite a bit lately so i apologise.
I am a sufferer of depression and i have only been diagnosed over the last 3-4 weeks when i decided to take up playing the Ukulele.

I dont know if anybody else is going through the same thing on here but really wanted to find a way of sharing ideas and things to keep minds occupied to help soothe any negative thoughts and feelings.

Sorry if this comes across deep and if there is a post for this then point me in the right direction :).



11-05-2015, 03:54 AM
You are very welcome in this forum and feel free to post as much as you like.

I was needing something to bring joy back to my life and along came the Ukulele.

I just LOVE it and the beautiful tone fills me up on a different emotional level.

11-05-2015, 04:40 AM
Welcome aboard. If you are like most of us the Uke can lighten your mood. Keep it fun. Again welcome.

frets alot
11-05-2015, 04:52 AM
Welcome. The uke (and other instruments and music in general) can be great tools for helping us deal with the events and stress in our lives. You will be amazed.

bird's eye view of my ukelele
11-05-2015, 05:20 AM
the uke is wonderful, as you say just learning and playing gives you something positive and fun to think about and focus on, and once you get going with some chords you can pick out or even write some therapeutic songs - i like fast shouty stuff but you can go with any style!

check out the seasons - http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/forumdisplay.php?47-Seasons-of-the-Ukulele - weekly uke challenges, the current season is here - http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?115081-Seasons-of-the-Ukulele-194-Hey-Baby-Que-Paso - we have some really amazing and very professional-sounding people take part but also newbies and beginners, it's a wonderful way to discover new songs and bands and ideas

welcome to ukulele underground and the world of uke-ing, have fun, i know you will! :music: :rock:

11-05-2015, 05:36 AM
cheers everyone,
Means alot people saying hi and giving me nice tips....i am new to this whole Uke thing and the way i feel is very new (well diagnosed new).
I promise i wont be a complete 'debbie downer' all the time...


Pukulele Pete
11-05-2015, 05:43 AM
Hello Finley , You will have fun here , always something interesting here to read. Practice , Practice, Practice. I cant tell you how good it makes me feel when I can play a song
on my uke that I thought I would never be able to play . One tip that helped me, find a song you like and play it as best you can every time you pick up your uke, even if it is just for a short time. Keep your uke out where you can see it all the time , play it everytime you look at it even if its just for a minute , play that same damn song over and over.

11-05-2015, 08:52 AM
Welcome! I think many who battle depression find a little ray of hope in music - myself included. Good luck to you.

11-05-2015, 09:15 AM
There is an expression that I heard a long time ago. No one is ever lonely while eating spaghetti as it takes too much concentration.

The same goes for the Uke. Give it the time and it will reward you. It won't fix it all, but while playing, it keeps your mind busy.

I play for me. I don't play in groups and I don't play to impress anyone but me. This helps me be a better me.

11-05-2015, 10:40 AM
Welcome! This is a great place to be.

I have to second the suggestion to find a song you like and start to learn it.

Here is a site that has a lot of songs with ukulele chords:



Luke El U
11-05-2015, 03:34 PM
Oh yeah, UU is the online place for good vibes! Now if you could find a musical group to play with, that would help tremendously as well.

11-05-2015, 04:29 PM
Greetings and welcome. Glad you joined us. I like a little Sertraline with my uke.

11-05-2015, 05:21 PM
Lee, welcome to UU. 7 posts isn't that many. I post that many in an evening.
I've dealt with depression off and on for years, and am coming out of a nose dive now. I've read every book I can find about Music Therapy. Music is the best invention of mankind. Playing music helps heal the brain. There's nothing like making your own music.
And there's no other instrument like the ukulele.
I joined our ukulele club about 5 years ago, I guess. I've found incredible joy with these nutty, fun people. I played for sick and dying people for 3 years, and the healing and release that it facilitated amazed and surprised even me.
YOU'VE picked the right instrument for dealing with depression, and you've picked the right forum, people here get it.

11-05-2015, 05:51 PM
Hi Lee. Welcome to UU.

Ukulele & depression are a fairly common story. It's my story too. I know of no quicker way, except maybe singing, to make music. That self-made music is great for the mood. My mood still swings from time to time. But thanks to my ukuleles the swings are smoother and no longer scary. 4 chords will give you a thousand songs.

Get Uncle Rod's Ukulele Boot Camp and learn some chords. You'll be glad you did.


Chopped Liver
11-05-2015, 06:37 PM
Hi Lee! Glad you found us!

I have clinical depression. Ugly beast. But the ukulele makes me happy when I play it. Like someone else said, I don't play for others and probably never will. I play for me. I'm not that good, but the point is I smile every time I fiddle with my ukes.

Someone said to leave a uke out and pick it up and play it even for a minute. I recently started this and I am playing it more and getting spurts of fun when I do that.

No rules. Just have fun!

11-05-2015, 06:52 PM
Hi Lee,

I have had the black dog nipping at my heels for a number of years now and have developed various coping strategies over time. I personally find doodling around on the ukulele to have a very meditative quality - similar to recognized forms of 'doing meditation' (like yoga) - it makes me feel very present in the moment and helps quieten my mind. Since a major symptom of depression is negative thinking (and since anxiety is usually caused by thoughts about the past or the future) being focused on physical activity 'in the now' can be pretty therapeutic (in my experience).

11-05-2015, 07:15 PM
Hey new Uker! I found the sticky at the top of the beginners page, (http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?15464-Ukulele-Resources-%28Updated%29) that has lists of free stuff to be a great help. Uncle Rod's is a good place to start. Howlin' Hobbits chord progression page is really good as you can play a strum pattern in C and then play the same strum in G or D and get a different (and good) sound.

I found the circle of fifths/fourths about five months ago and I began to understand the theory a bit more. Reading some of the free stuff added to that but for now I just want to learn bar chords and B and E's.

There is a lot of 'jargon' that makes it hard to 'get' music theory, but I just ignore it until I can pick up the jargon. Learn C-F-G7 and strumming in several patterns, then try some of the other chord progressions making up simple songs helps you practice 'hitting' the chords correctly.

I play "I got a gold fish" using the chord progressions and variation of the strum to practice. It's a silly song but within my range and I never sing it so my wife thinks I'm doing well. (LOL)

There is a lot of free stuff on the net and if you aren't happy with what you've found, Goggle is you friend.

Playing the Uke has really helped me dismiss my depression.

Once you've got a chord sequence down, find a song that uses it and practice that, while playing a transposed version C to G transposition for example to learn other chord progressions.

11-05-2015, 09:43 PM
Welcome. I agree with joining a group. There's been a bunch of info out there on how group singing and playing is excellent for improving depression issues. My group meets twice a week and I so look forward to it as a respite from the stress I have the rest of the week. I had a bout with clinical depression in the late 70s in my late 20s when I was out of work. Sat home alone in my pajamas sleeping or watching TV day after day, weeks on end. I finally got a job and got back among them and I came out of it.

11-05-2015, 10:04 PM
Cheers everyone really!
I feel more welcomed than I ever thought I would be ��.
I have learnt a few chords and strumming patterns already, I do go between a few chords, I found Taylor Swift - Shake it off really easy to play with just three chords. Just need a few more like it really so any suggestions would be great ful too.

11-05-2015, 10:19 PM
These guys play a whole lot of songs with the same four chords. C G Am F would be a great start there's about 100 songs use just those chords.

11-05-2015, 11:29 PM
Hey I have depression too, and the ukulele has helped me no end. I think it'll be really good for you, there's something so cheerful and pure about the ukulele, you can't resist the joy it brings into your soul :D

11-06-2015, 12:21 AM
This is why I love UU. What a great thread. It reminds me I need to get back into the Seasons. I find watching everyone's videos and appreciating all the mutual support really uplifting.
+1 for the joining a group recommendation too.