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View Full Version : UAS - how to balance enjoyment and guilt.



PTOEguy
11-11-2016, 03:00 AM
I've been struggling with UAS and related syndromes (BAS, more BAS and TGAS) lately.

I think the UAS urge for me comes from a couple of things:

First, the thrill of the chase - what can I find that is different? unique? a truly great deal?

Second - I'm looking for different sounds - there are definitely some songs that need a baritone uke, or a banjo-uke, and a low-G vs. high-G tuning.

The thing I struggle with is guilt. I've got a great uke - I doubt anything else I buy will come close to my Clara (that may be a once-in-lifetime budget for me). How can I justify the hours I spend finding out about Kiwaya laminates or how the Opio is braced like the hawaiian Koalohas, or that Ibanez makes a very inexpensive tenor guitar and there is one for sale about 40 minutes south of me.

And the guilt gets worse when I think about spending the money - and taking up even more room in my living room with ukes (actually don't have guilt about that - I have guilt about how my wife feels about it).

But - I'd really like to hear how that Kiwaya laminate sounds back to back with my flea. I want to see if the Clearwater Roundback Baritone Uke sounds different than my Pono MB. I've heard the Opios are amazing - and I don't have a tenor uke, so I need one of those.

My only justification is a little catch and release - If I play a uke for a year and sell it for $100 less a year later, that costs a lot less than a Starbucks habit and is easier on the waistline.

With that said I'm interested in your thoughts on UAS, and what else I need to add to this wish list:

- Mainland anything - I've heard great stuff would like to experience it.
- Clearwater Roundback Baritone - I'd like a bari with a pickup
- Kiwaya KS-1or KS-5 - best laminate soprano ever?
- Opio - can't decide between tenor, concert and did you see the spruce-top soprano?
- Ibanez tenor guitar - steel string bari?

Doc_J
11-11-2016, 04:53 AM
I've been struggling with UAS and related syndromes (BAS, more BAS and TGAS) lately.

I think the UAS urge for me comes from a couple of things:

First, the thrill of the chase - what can I find that is different? unique? a truly great deal?

Second - I'm looking for different sounds - there are definitely some songs that need a baritone uke, or a banjo-uke, and a low-G vs. high-G tuning.

The thing I struggle with is guilt. I've got a great uke - I doubt anything else I buy will come close to my Clara (that may be a once-in-lifetime budget for me). How can I justify the hours I spend finding out about Kiwaya laminates or how the Opio is braced like the hawaiian Koalohas, or that Ibanez makes a very inexpensive tenor guitar and there is one for sale about 40 minutes south of me.

And the guilt gets worse when I think about spending the money - and taking up even more room in my living room with ukes (actually don't have guilt about that - I have guilt about how my wife feels about it).

But - I'd really like to hear how that Kiwaya laminate sounds back to back with my flea. I want to see if the Clearwater Roundback Baritone Uke sounds different than my Pono MB. I've heard the Opios are amazing - and I don't have a tenor uke, so I need one of those.

My only justification is a little catch and release - If I play a uke for a year and sell it for $100 less a year later, that costs a lot less than a Starbucks habit and is easier on the waistline.

With that said I'm interested in your thoughts on UAS, and what else I need to add to this wish list:

- Mainland anything - I've heard great stuff would like to experience it.
- Clearwater Roundback Baritone - I'd like a bari with a pickup
- Kiwaya KS-1or KS-5 - best laminate soprano ever?
- Opio - can't decide between tenor, concert and did you see the spruce-top soprano?
- Ibanez tenor guitar - steel string bari?


That's a lot of guilt. If you have the funds and you're not shorting your obligations and family, loose the guilt.
If space is a problem consider a music room, hangers, multi-uke cabinet. If your house is looking like a Hoarder's episode, then it's a problem.

Ukes are joy, passion, entertainment, ....

Folks spend money on hobbies, sports, concerts, dinning, vacations... why not spend money on something you enjoy ... like ukes. We all have limited time on this planet spend it doing things you find rewarding and joyful.

My wife has her hobbies she loves and I have mine.

So, if you can afford a number of ukes without it adversely effecting anything of significance in your life (I pack a lunch and drive a reliable older Honda until my mechanic says "don't fix it" :) ) then it is not a problem and not something to have guilt or remorse over.

Ukulele Eddie
11-11-2016, 06:35 AM
that's a lot of guilt. If you have the funds and you're not shorting your obligations and family, loose the guilt.
If space is a problem consider a music room, hangers, multi-uke cabinet. If your house is looking like a hoarder's episode, then it's a problem.

Ukes are joy, passion, entertainment, ....

Folks spend money on hobbies, sports, concerts, dinning, vacations... Why not spend money on something you enjoy ... Like ukes. We all have limited time on this planet spend it doing things you find rewarding and joyful.

My wife has her hobbies she loves and i have mine.

So, if you can afford a number of ukes without it adversely effecting anything of significance in your life (i pack a lunch and drive a reliable older honda until my mechanic says "don't fix it" :) ) then it is not a problem and not something to have guilt or remorse over.

^^^ this. ;-)

kypfer
11-11-2016, 07:18 AM
how to balance enjoyment and guilt. ... sit on the floor, it's a lot easier to balance sitting down ;)

That said, having experienced Instrument Acquisition Syndrome in some other areas (whistles and recorders, mostly) my methodology is to try out as much cheap second-hand stuff as I can reasonably afford, to establish a base-line for exactly what I'm looking for, then buy that (or as close as I can get).

I've got the whistles and recorders I want, (mostly) all the guitars I want, I can't think of another ukulele I want/need, but that may change ... I just want a short-scale "Irish" tenor banjo, open-backed, in maple or similar, at a price I want to pay ... I can wait ;)

For me, I establish more or less exactly what I want then wait for a suitable instrument to become available at the right price. That way I can satisfy my syndrome(s) without upsetting my budget too much ... I'm in no rush :)

kohanmike
11-11-2016, 07:37 AM
I have totally embraced UAS, no more guilt or second thoughts, as you see in my signature. I have three basses on their way or in the works right now and I just put up another wall rack to fit them.

http://www.kohanmike.com/uploads/New bass racks 800.jpg

Croaky Keith
11-11-2016, 07:56 AM
When I started out I didn't know how many ukes there are in this world! :rolleyes:

First off was, of course, size - then there are laminate & solid wood - high G or low G. :)

So after actually learning the basics, there was the experimentation period, different ukes have different sounds.

At first I didn't think I would be interested in solid wood ukes, until I tried a cedar topped baritone, & I only have that one baritone because it is so good.

Eventually, I decided to get a pair of tenor necked solid mahogany ukes, one soprano bodied, & one concert bodied - these I like. :D

Since then I haven't been tempted again - so I think we are looking for our own personal preferences. :cool:

Booli
11-11-2016, 08:31 AM
I have no guilt about UAS.

Most folks outside of UU have no idea of my uke collection and I prefer it that way, as opposed to being judged or laughed at for experiencing something that gives me pleasure and does not require the involvement of others in order to do so.

Music is my meditation, anyone who would try to make me feel guilty for that is not worth my time and is quickly removed from my life.

I do not 'collect' THINGS, my instruments are my tools and a means to an end, and should not feel that I have to justify them to anyone.

Life is too short for me to follow the dogma and ignorance of mis-informed/ignorant people or to lay prostrate to those with intent of malice who use ridicule as a form of bullying and manipulation.

There are plenty of guitarded folks that want to make fun of our 'toy guitars', and for me, those are people who lack imagination and creativity, no matter how well they can 'shred' 64th-note arpeggios in any key with one hand tied...

Uk3player78
11-11-2016, 09:45 AM
If you eliminate low G and alternative tunings everything else sounds like a ukulele with a different voice.

I have had a tech issue and a wristwatch issue. Collect to buy and try costs as once the chase is over its just money wasted. I carefully consider purchases. Trying to go minimalist after the hole previous hobbies have burned. Savings are bulging for a nice soprano but that's it. Honest. ;)

With my experience the thrill is the chase then it's over. Often over when one is in the mail and the mouse finger gets twitchy. Have a think first.

Mivo
11-11-2016, 10:09 AM
I don't feel guilty about having several ukuleles, but I prefer having few to owning many. When I had 12 ukuleles at the same time, I felt cluttered and it wasn't a good feeling. I didn't play several of them at all, I just had them. So when I started to sell and give away some, I felt a sense of liberation. Now I'm down to six. One of them I plan to gift to someone for Christmas, two or three I might sell eventually. I do plan on getting "one more", but I think I'll end up with a total of two or three instruments that I really connect with.

For me it's really just a "how many do I feel good with" question. I have more of a minimalist mindset, so when I had 12 I really wasn't comfortable. I felt "swamped" and it also led to a lot of bouncing around between instruments. There was a sense of "overwhelment" (should be a word) and exhaustion. I probably follow the school of thought that you learn better with fewer ukuleles, though I could also see why having many may benefit people. It didn't benefit me, though, and so I did something about it. It really just came down to how I felt with it, not with external opinions (my partner likes me being enthusiastic about ukes, and she's never once commented negatively on me having more than one ukulele).

As for financial aspects: After expenses for living and general necessities are covered, it's mostly a matter of what unnecessary thing or activity I spend the "fun money " on. I live relatively frugally, but I don't deprive myself of indulging in treating myself with fun stuff now and then. If I hadn't gotten some ukes, most of my fun budget would instead have been spent on electronics of various kinds, games, or other things that ultimately have very little or no resell value at all. I financed some of my ukes by selling others, too, which is something you can rarely do with electronics (and not at all with most software or e-books) because they lose their value so quickly.

I certainly didn't break even, but I never attempted to, either. When I spend money, then in my mind it's gone. If I can get some back of it, good. If not, that's okay too. In the end, it's never about whether I should spend "fun money", only about what I want to spend it on. Ukuleles make for an interesting hobby, and compared to many other hobbies it's a relatively cheap one (especially if you spread out the purchases a little, or trade/sell/buy used instruments).

kypfer
11-11-2016, 12:41 PM
There are plenty of guitarded folks that want to make fun of our 'toy guitars', and for me, those are people who lack imagination and creativity, no matter how well they can 'shred' 64th-note arpeggios in any key with one hand tied...

One of these shredders "demonstrated" a ukulele to me in this very fashion ... when I asked him if it could be used to play tunes he got very upset ;)

PTOEguy
11-11-2016, 01:24 PM
That's a lot of guilt. If you have the funds and you're not shorting your obligations and family, loose the guilt.
If space is a problem consider a music room, hangers, multi-uke cabinet. If your house is looking like a Hoarder's episode, then it's a problem.

Ukes are joy, passion, entertainment, ....

Folks spend money on hobbies, sports, concerts, dinning, vacations... why not spend money on something you enjoy ... like ukes. We all have limited time on this planet spend it doing things you find rewarding and joyful.

My wife has her hobbies she loves and I have mine.

So, if you can afford a number of ukes without it adversely effecting anything of significance in your life (I pack a lunch and drive a reliable older Honda until my mechanic says "don't fix it" :) ) then it is not a problem and not something to have guilt or remorse over.

thank you - this helps a lot. I'm thinking that where i need to be is to lose the guilt (both my wife and I get an allowance for fun stuff).

DownUpDave
11-11-2016, 01:54 PM
thank you - this helps a lot. I'm thinking that where i need to be is to lose the guilt (both my wife and I get an allowance for fun stuff).

A friend of mine has a "Uke Fund" and ukuleles are purchased from these monies only. I agree with everything Doc J said above. If you can afford it and it brings you joy than do it. Life might be short but we can make it wide.

Choirguy
11-11-2016, 02:15 PM
Most of my collection is made of less expensive ukuleles. I consider "less expensive" to be any ukulele under $200.

My first was my Makala MK-CE, bought for $89...followed by a number of used ukuleles. I could probably sell a few off, but I don't need to right now, so I am keeping what I have.

I didn't plan the last two purchases, each which was major...the Opio Sapele Tenor and the Pono RTSH. And for now, I don't feel the need for another ukulele.

I want to buy a ukulele at Mainland (in person) someday soon...and if my wife and I actually settle on a date for a Hawaii trip, I want to buy a ukulele in person (likely a full KoAloha or a Kamaka). And since I am paying off the Pono, those things aren't going to happen.

I also get tempted to buy a KoAlana since I love my Opio so much...but the coming months will keep me from bringing that instrument to school where I cannot control the humidity.

I like the idea of a ukulele fund...sort of like a Christmas fund! :)

actadh
11-11-2016, 02:21 PM
This is not my only hobby, in fact, it is one of my least expensive hobbies.

I upgrade computers and TV's every few years and never felt it was CAS or TAS.

Ziret
11-13-2016, 04:04 PM
Some people play golf. Some people have boats, RVs, BMWs, expensive vacations, mistresses, some people have more than one of these, plus ukuleles. In fact, leaving out the mistresses, I know some of those people and like them just fine. As my brother said, when my sister-in-law was chiding me about my musical instrument collection, how do you know you don't like something if you haven't tried it? Everyone buys things they end up regretting. The key is to get the regret out of the house so you stop feeling bad. And if your hobby makes you happy and doesn't take away from others, just enjoy it.

katysax
11-13-2016, 07:02 PM
Don't feel bad. If you want to get UAS under control stay away from this website. I do for long periods of time and when I do I don't think about wanting ukes. It's not that I feel guilty, just that too much stuff starts to feel overwhelming and I start selling things. Most of my ukes are bought used, and they are pretty easily converted back to cash.

Finally, get out of the house, get away from the computer and start getting together with people and playing. You won't have time to start thinking about what you want to buy.

pritch
11-13-2016, 07:14 PM
Y'all seem like a well adjusted group of people.

I decided a while back to buy used instruments hoping to avoid the worst of the depreciation incurred with new ones. My most recent purchase though broke this self imposed rule. I have more ukulele than I can justify, seven now, but I enjoy them and being retired I'm motivated to enjoy myself, not to worry about the distant future.

However many you have, enjoy them. Apart from your significant other, it really isn't anybody else's business.

Have fun.

Iulia
11-13-2016, 10:59 PM
Life might be short but we can make it wide.

nice quote

Croaky Keith
11-13-2016, 11:36 PM
thank you - this helps a lot. I'm thinking that where i need to be is to lose the guilt (both my wife and I get an allowance for fun stuff).

I don't take holidays, I buy myself things to enjoy instead, always been like it, used to buy a new bike every year, & the pleasure I got from it was worth more than anyones holiday to me! :D

I tallied up what I've spent on my uke hobby this year, (I have bought a few), & it works out at the equivalent of having 3 weekends away, I don't think my spending is excessive at all. :)

Louis0815
11-14-2016, 02:53 AM
Just like many others I own more ukes than I can play - but I feel I reached a good level of "saturation" now. UAS has not kicked in for quite a while, it seems I have a uke for every occasion by now. Actually I start thinking about which one(s) could be sold again...
Many of my ukes are 2nd hand and I fortunately never had to sacrifice anything for buying another uke - that's my way to avoid guilt of any kind.

Despite all that I am still tempted to get my hands on a few ukes, not necessarily forever but at least for a try
- the Ohana O'Nino (I don't like the iUkes though, they are too tiny and tinny)
- the newer Outdoor Ukulele (I've seen a used tenor for sale already....)

Iulia
11-14-2016, 06:40 AM
my little Ohana cost what you could easily spend one night out in London - restaurant meal followed by a couple of tickets to a show ...

I have friends who do that at least once a month - cool, they have the money. I don't think they sit around feeling guilty about it tho :)

JustinJ
11-14-2016, 11:36 AM
The problem depends on your priorities.

Do you like collecting ukes or playing? That's really the first question that you need to ask yourself.

If you want to collect instruments then keep buying if you have the means. If your desire is to play, pick one or two and play them everyday and stop looking for new ones.

One of the best things I did for UAS was to play the uke I had for a year. I told myself if I still wanted another uke after playing it for a year, then I would buy one. There's a comfortableness that you get when you play the same instrument.


I've noticed that when I'm looking for guitars or ukuleles, I'm not playing. I try to stay off of UU but still enjoy reading the posts. But the time spent on here would be better used to practice my instrument.

stevejfc
11-14-2016, 12:09 PM
Y'all seem like a well adjusted group of people.
.
Hmmmmmm.......

kohanmike
11-14-2016, 05:18 PM
The problem depends on your priorities. Do you like collecting ukes or playing? That's really the first question that you need to ask yourself. If you want to collect instruments then keep buying if you have the means. If your desire is to play, pick one or two and play them everyday and stop looking for new ones. One of the best things I did for UAS was to play the uke I had for a year. I told myself if I still wanted another uke after playing it for a year, then I would buy one. There's a comfortableness that you get when you play the same instrument. I've noticed that when I'm looking for guitars or ukuleles, I'm not playing. I try to stay off of UU but still enjoy reading the posts. But the time spent on here would be better used to practice my instrument.

I like collecting, playing and surfing UU. I collect all the time, I play my bass ukes everyday and my ukes a couple days a week (because I'm focussed on bass for the uke group to which I belong), I'm on UU all the time. Which says you can do it all if that's your inclination, no need to hold back on any. The time I spend on each is enjoyable and fulfilling and I don't feel I'm neglecting any.

70sSanO
11-16-2016, 09:26 PM
There's a comfortableness that you get when you play the same instrument.

This is a lot of merit in that statement. For 8 years I had three ukuleles. Over the past year or so I have picked up a few more. One pretty expensive and the rest are 3 string.

But if I had to play like my life depended on it, it would be the tenor I got in 2007 and the one I still play the most. As odd as it sounds, it is almost like a trusted friend.

John

Teek
11-16-2016, 10:31 PM
There's a lot of wisdom here.

Some people are collectors so they collect, and some people are intensely ccurious and like to go deep into things that spark a passion, and figure it all out. I did that with a lot of things in my life, I like scratching the itch of my curiosity. I also have been a fine artist, both a painter and sculptor, so instuments are also functional art to me. I was later a dealer in antiques, vintage images, and other memorabilia (which I have since let go), so I have the collector mentality too. It resulted in a ton of fun, since for many years I was tied down by my jobs and struggle for consistent income, but I never bought anything when I didn't have a good surplus of funds in the bank, like 5-6 months rent, etc.

Currently I have had a change in life circumstances and I could now afford a Moore Bettah, but I can't get on the list. But, now, I don't really want one! :rolleyes: I think they're stunning, but I have a closet full of ukes and I don't need them all, and I'm not focusing on them at the moment, I am loving my 24" scale parlor guitars. I have the ukes balanced in between and on top of guitars in that small closet and I realized it's time to move a bunch of them along too. I really like all of the ones I have but don't need them. I don't want my stuff to own me. Now that I have even more stuff that was dumped in my lap to disperse, it's going to be a full time job for awhile on top of my other job, but I want to slim down and declutter my life, and don't want to leave a mess behind for someone else to deal with if I expire suddenly. If I had a bigger house than 700sf it would be way easier!

I don't regret too many of my purchases, only the ones that had issues that were not disclosed by online sellers. I have pretty much bought 95% used, and I move them along either mostly breaking even and sometimes getting a profit from fixing them up, because I enjoy doing that too, or not losing much and sometimes giving them away. So other than taking up space in a small house, it ceased being a problem once my spouse understood it was like his model cars (WHICH COVER EVERY FLAT SURFACE!). So, truce.

We don't go out to eat, we don't travel, my car is a 2002 and I like it fine, we go to museums and ride bikes at the beach and enjoy our yard. Life is good. It's just priorities for what brings us joy. I figure as long as I'm not spending my retirement, have a cushion for unexpected expenses, and am willing to shuffle some if necessary, and am honest with myself, I think it's a healthy hobby. I know I love to look at guitars, I've learned a ton, I'm making a tiny bit of progress through my arthritis, and when I start looking thinking of buying, I remind myself I basically have a small shop in my closet (and a few cases stacked around), so I go pick up a different one I haven't played for awhile. I played two steel stringed parlors back to back a couple of days ago, an old dinged up original P-01 Larrivee that just knocked my socks off since the last time I had it out and went "Eh", and an Alvarez Masterworks all solid 'hog. They were both around $500 used and they both sounded remarkable. The weather must be to their liking! So I'm really blessed to have two great guitars (I have more, but those two are enough, the rest are gravy).

I think when it stops being a thing of joy and we aren't playing, practicing, learning and growing, then maybe it's become something else.

SailingUke
11-17-2016, 04:06 AM
So what is this UAS you speak of.
95717

Iulia
11-17-2016, 04:18 AM
So what is this UAS you speak of.
95717

whole lorra fun in that room :-)

cml
11-17-2016, 07:19 AM
I have no guilt over my ukes, but perhaps a little over money spent to build my latest one (tools)...

Rllink
11-17-2016, 07:32 AM
Interesting thread, because it looks to me like all this guilt is about money. I like the justifications by the way. I wonder if money wasn't an issue, would some people just buy and buy and buy ukuleles all day every day?

Croaky Keith
11-17-2016, 08:09 AM
I wonder if money wasn't an issue, would some people just buy and buy and buy ukuleles all day every day?

Certainly not in my case. I have been looking for 'something' all along, & I think that I have now found it. :)

Teek
11-17-2016, 08:28 AM
Interesting thread, because it looks to me like all this guilt is about money. I like the justifications by the way. I wonder if money wasn't an issue, would some people just buy and buy and buy ukuleles all day every day?

I think if there was an underlying addictive process going on, possibly, but personally I think it would be boring to buy a uke every day, even one a month. If money and storage was not an issue I would in the past maybe buy one every few months. I would also be selling some though. Once I got past sentimentality, it was just about experiencing and refining.

Iulia
11-17-2016, 09:06 AM
I think the urge to shop for the pleasure of shopping varies hugely from person to person. I've often wondered if I won the lottery would buying anything be that much fun? (But I don't worry too much - I'd figure it out ;)

I personally believe its important to first - provide for yourself and your family, and that includes savings, rainy day money, call it what you will.

Some form of charitable giving, of your choice.

What money you have left over - as long as legally and morally acceptable, that's your call.

If you collect gold coins, travel the world every summer, buy ukes - who cares? If the two above are fulfilled, I don't think anyone has the right to accuse you.

Its just balance.

If you think you are buying too much - ask yourself why? Are you leaving yourself short? Or is there some other issue, like did you grow up in an environment where you were taught you didn't deserve nice stuff?

Just MO - worth what you pay for it :-)

bnolsen
11-17-2016, 12:10 PM
switch over to ukulele book acquisition and use the time playing through them :-p

Actually i did something bad and switched over to more expensive instruments.

started some years back with a xaphoon and now I find I own an alto and a tenor sax.

Honestly tho I'm happy with the 2 saxes I have (both of them used, one of the was someone's gigging sax for 15 years until he recently upgraded). The cost starts jumping when you mess with different mouthpieces and reeds.

PTOEguy
11-18-2016, 07:25 AM
I think the fun for me comes from what you learn by doing the homework. I was reading a guitar building website recently (while doing some research on tenor guitars - I was considering one as a baritone alternate) and he made an interesting comment on building a loud instrument.

It went something like "there is a lot of discussion about how tone quality is more important that volume. This is not true because you want an instrument that is responsive - and it can't be responsive if the dynamic range is stuck on quiet". I think this is very important - that is what makes my Clara so incredible to play.

Nickie
11-18-2016, 04:30 PM
First:
Guilt is a useless emotion, stemming from some BS idea that we don't deserve what we have, or what we want. Guilt is always about the past. If we let go of the past, the guilt is easy to remove.
So much for philosophy. You probably don't really feel guilt at all, just a little buyer's remorse.

I only play two of the ukes we have (8). And I have no guilt at all about that. I have remorse about one of them, because the neck warped and it isn't worth tearing into. I think I'll hang it, cause it's pretty.

I think I can justify every penny I've spent on ukes, because I WANTED THEM. And I played them all. And I like tweaking them.. I think I'm done buying, because the one uke I play the most, I don't wanna put down. It has turned into my dream uke, and it cost me half what I thought it would, so no remorse there at all.

I do have buyer's remorse about the damn hammer dulcimer I bought two years ago, and still cannot play a scale on it. I want to sell it or give it away, or make a mini table out of it. Geez.