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Griffis
03-07-2017, 09:46 AM
A thread on this subject may have been done here before. If so, apologies.

I was curious as to who here plays ukulele exclusively?

I know from reading many posts here that we have numerous multi-instrumentalists on the forum. And that's a wonderful thing.

But I wonder who may be ukulele-only.

Also, who has only ever played uke, and who may have moved to uke from other instruments, then forsaken those for "full ukulele immersion?"

After 40 years of playing many instruments from brass to keys to percussion to a large variety of string instruments, I am uke-only now. I played uke to the exclusion of everything else from about 2000-2010, then briefly reverted back to gigging guitar and bass for a time.

I am, now again, happily focused solely on the ukulele. It fulfills me.

I remain interested in learning harmonica, but I'm in no rush.

MickeyD
03-07-2017, 10:01 AM
Love the ukulele, but love making sounds on other instruments too much to give any up! Can't be a one instrument man, but I am interested to hear from people who are!

Griffis
03-07-2017, 10:29 AM
Love the ukulele, but love making sounds on other instruments too much to give any up! Can't be a one instrument man, but I am interested to hear from people who are!

I guess another question I could have asked would be: if you play other instruments, what are they?

Debussychopin
03-07-2017, 10:38 AM
I am..happily focused solely on the ukulele. It fulfills me.
This is awesome.

peanuts56
03-07-2017, 10:50 AM
I guess another question I could have asked would be: if you play other instruments, what are they?

I majored in music Ed and spent 34 years teaching band and violin. My primary instrument is trumpet. I don't play too much these days. Through the years I managed to do a passable job on flute. I was functional on all the traditional concert band instruments. Most music Ed majors play keyboard, I get by pretty well on keys. Along the way I met a few people who are African Drumming instructors and performers. Through them I got interested in the djembe and still play. It's great therapy to pound away on djembe! It's also much harder than it looks!

Uncle Rod Higuchi
03-07-2017, 11:03 AM
I'm pretty much a uke-only player.

I played the tenor and alto sax in Middle School,
also dabbled with the guitar about the same time.

I had learned to play the ukulele in 6th grade, just
prior to Middle School, and took the uke with me to
College in Chicago.

Since then, pretty much uke-only :)

just for reference, 6th grade was back in 1959-60 :)

NO REGRETS! :)

keep uke'in',

PS I did move from Soprano to Tenor and Baritone for a few years,
however, it's pretty much Soprano only as well :)

Griffis
03-07-2017, 11:11 AM
My primary instrument is trumpet...

Trumpet was my first instrument when I was very young. Elementary school band. I showed up wanting to sign up for drums but all those spots were filled...

Mivo
03-07-2017, 11:33 AM
I have one guitar, various kalimbas and a marimba, and a tambourine, but I view myself as a ukulele player (of which I have a few!). I keep the other instruments around in case the mood strikes, but I could probably also sell or give them away without missing them. Except the tambourine, but I got it solely for improving my rhythm, so it's a training tool for ukulele playing.

WestyShane
03-07-2017, 11:36 AM
I only play the uke.

Long story short, I had two guitars for a looooong time and never bothered getting lessons so never progressed to where it was even fun for me to play - and much less fun for anyone listening. I stumbled on the uke, got hooked, got lessons, traded the electric guitar and amp for my CK1.

With 4 ukes in the quiver I have no intentions of learning any other instrument. I have lots of hobbies competing for my time so I'm happy to focus the musical side in one direction.

kypfer
03-07-2017, 12:23 PM
I guess another question I could have asked would be: if you play other instruments, what are they?

Having strummed/fingerpicked folk/blues/acoustic guitar for 40+ years I ventured into the field of melody on a tin whistle! This involved learning to read music, simply 'cos that's how the tunes I wanted to play were presented. From there, with my new-found skill set, I've ventured into electric lead guitar, flute, mandolin, clarinet and sundry other wind and fretted string instruments.

In a "parallel universe" I finally learnt to play clawhammer on a 5-string banjo. Then I learnt that one could clawhammer on a re-entrantly tuned ukulele ... so I had to have a ukulele (or two, or three or ...)

So then I learnt to read tab and notation for the ukulele so's I could play tunes on that ... which brings me back to the penny whistle, which is why I learnt read music in the first place!

Keep away from them whistles, they cause nothing but trouble :music:

Ziret
03-07-2017, 12:28 PM
I was just going to talk about TWAS. Good thing is they are cheaper than ukuleles and you can hide them in your sock drawer.

Having strummed/fingerpicked folk/blues/acoustic guitar for 40+ years I ventured into the field of melody on a tin whistle! This involved learning to read music, simply 'cos that's how the tunes I wanted to play were presented. From there, with my new-found skill set, I've ventured into electric lead guitar, flute, mandolin, clarinet and sundry other wind and fretted string instruments.

In a "parallel universe" I finally learnt to play clawhammer on a 5-string banjo. Then I learnt that one could clawhammer on a re-entrantly tuned ukulele ... so I had to have a ukulele (or two, or three or ...)

So then I learnt to read tab and notation for the ukulele so's I could play tunes on that ... which brings me back to the penny whistle, which is why I learnt read music in the first place!

Keep away from them whistles, they cause nothing but trouble :music:

kohanmike
03-07-2017, 02:05 PM
Played guitar almost fifty years, then about four years ago I started playing the uke, haven't touched my guitars since. About two years ago I also started bass uke, oh, and I dabble with harmonica as well.

Gammo
03-07-2017, 02:33 PM
I'm ukulele only. I've tried again and again to learn guitar over a space of about 25 years and the bug never bit me so I never kept it up. I'm a better uke player after four months than I ever was guitarist over 25 years.

j.roth
03-07-2017, 03:08 PM
I primarily play ukulele, but every now and then I will focus for a while on the guitar. It just depends on how I am feeling. I do not believe that I have really played a song on the guitar since December. I picked up the ukulele about 8 years ago. Up until that time, I was proficient on the standard rock band instruments (bass, drums, lead and rhythm guitar). I have gotten almost totally away from electric playing. I am too lazy to plug in. I played forever in bands, and I am over having pedals and amps. This makes me primarily play the acoustic guitar or ukulele. They are their own amp.
I started playing ukulele because I wanted to learn music theory. I was too cool for school on the guitar... actually, all the resources I could find were either Mary had a Little Lamb level (which my playing ability made boring for me) or Jazz (which was outside of my skill set, music taste, and ability). I found the ukulele, and learned music theory with it. Just seemed like a perfect pairing. Now, I am proficient with both. Thanks, ukulele!

Nickie
03-07-2017, 03:47 PM
I'm "justa uker". My poor beautiful Yamaha piano just gathers dust and the bench acts as a uke case holder. I mentioned selling it but my spouse said "You'll regret it." I don't even know where my harmonica and didgeridoo are at the moment....
I do play some banjolele, does that count as another instrument? It's harder....

janeray1940
03-07-2017, 03:50 PM
I'm strictly uke-only. When I was a kid I flitted from uke to guitar to piano to bass, and failed miserably at everything because I was so un-focused. I'm on a mission to make up for that now - in the time I have left on this earth, I'd like to focus on one thing and learn to do it well. Or at least competently.

Griffis
03-07-2017, 04:06 PM
I picked up the ukulele about 8 years ago. Up until that time, I was proficient on the standard rock band instruments (bass, drums, lead and rhythm guitar). I have gotten almost totally away from electric playing. I am too lazy to plug in. I played forever in bands, and I am over having pedals and amps. This makes me primarily play the acoustic guitar or ukulele. They are their own amp.

Hear, hear. I switched to bass soon after taking up guitar close to 40 years ago. Never got good at guitar aside from rhythm playing but made a decent bass player. Lots of bands and gigs over the years. Pain set in, pretty much precluding me from guitar and bass, but I was already fed up with electric gear...cords and cables, effects pedals out the wazoo, and I sure don't miss hauling amps the size of compact cars around in an out of clubs (though I do sometimes miss playing loud bass in a rock band context.)

The ease of 4 nylon strings...the natural, simple beauty of acoustic instruments...just grab, go, play. It's so freeing.

I did continue to play and practice bass for a few years after I stopped gigging and recording, but for me bass isn't exactly a solo instrument. It just seemed fruitless to play bass outside of a band context. To my mind and ears, the ukulele is more melodic and self contained. My wife has even commented how nice she thinks it is to hear me sing and play songs as opposed to just basslines and riffs.

It just maks me happier with so much less fuss.

Griffis
03-07-2017, 04:14 PM
I do play some banjolele, does that count as another instrument? It's harder....

Just my opinion, but I absolutely consider the banjo-uke to be a ukulele.


I'm strictly uke-only. When I was a kid I flitted from uke to guitar to piano to bass, and failed miserably at everything because I was so un-focused. I'm on a mission to make up for that now - in the time I have left on this earth, I'd like to focus on one thing and learn to do it well. Or at least competently.

I feel exactly the same. I undertook everything from trumpet to violin to drums to banjo to synthesizer over the years. Jack of all trades, but not very good at any aside from bass. I've dedicated myself (re-dedicated, really) totally to uke. Very satisfied; no interest or intention to take up anything else, except possibly a bit of harmonica, mainly as occasional accompaniment to uke.

bikemech
03-07-2017, 05:42 PM
My musical focus is dedicated entirely to the ukulele. The only other instrument I have ever seriously pursued is the guitar. I played classical and steel string guitars for many years, but I never felt as if I was a musician and always seemed destined to hit a dead end. Then I picked up the ukulele a couple of years ago. It has been a liberating instrument for me - a sort of four-string freedom. I can strum and sing and make music with others. Or I can relax on the couch and quietly finger-pick into the evening. I can rock (sort of) like Kansas. I can channel my inner-Dylan. I can croon like Bobby Darin as I strum to the rhythms of Mack the Knife. I can finger pick an Irish jig or an Italian etude. I can play a clawhammer (banjo style) version of Oh Susanna. I can be silly and teach a new generation (and remind the old generation) of the hilarity of Monty Python's Lumberjack song. I can write and perform a parody of Vance Joy's "Riptide", titled "Ziptie". Or I can discover the youthful music of Twenty-One Pilots and play right along with them.

In addition to all this, I am now spreading the joy of the ukulele. I have joined UU, a place where I can share my experiences and knowledge. In addition, I am giving ukulele lessons to my wife and to our neighbors as well; and we have all been attending a local ukulele gathering. Fun.

Enough rambling. Ukuleles rock, dude! :music:

Croaky Keith
03-07-2017, 10:57 PM
I tried lots of instruments over my life time, none were successful until I tried the uke, with it I have learned a lot more than with any of the others I tried.

I concentrated on the uke last year & feel I have become a reasonable player of melodies on it, whilst also trying out a lot of other techniques owing to having joined in with the Seasons on here. :)

I don't intend to be exclusively uke, as I am at present learning to play harmonica, which I tried before the uke, but just couldn't get it at that time, now I think I can - & I still have my electric piano to learn sometime.

drbekken
03-08-2017, 01:32 AM
I play piano (primary instrument), guitar, guitalele, soprano and baritone ukulele, tuba, harmonica and diatonic accordion. Sometimes, I sing.

TopDog
03-08-2017, 07:15 AM
I have played guitar for many years,bass guitar,keyboards and
sitar...but I now play ukulele only,as it fits in with what I like and
with what I want to do!

Doc_J
03-08-2017, 07:15 AM
While I currently play only ukes, can't say that I play just one instrument. My playing varies from sopranos to tenors to baritones, all with various turnings. My largest is the 21" Pono steel string bari. So yes, I play only ukulele.

Rllink
03-08-2017, 07:35 AM
Fourth grade I played the Tonette. I think that was to get us ready for band in fifth grade. A side note, when people say that they can't read music, I wonder where there were in forth grade? That's where they teach kids to read music. Every Good Boy Does Fine, and FACE. Who missed this in grade school music class? Anyway, that's where I learned to read music. Fifth grade my parents signed me up to play the trumpet, I got bored, and talked my parents into letting me quit after the first year. Over the years I have made a couple of stabs at playing the guitar. None of them lasted long. The last time was three years ago, and that is when I discovered the ukulele.

I only play the ukulele, unless you want to count playing a hand drum in a Plena Band. I have one rhythm that I have to play, I learned it in ten minutes, there is nothing to practiice, and I've been doing it for about five years. I often think about learning to play something else, but I come to the realization that learning to play another instrument is just going to take time that I could spend learning to play the ukulele better. So I just play the ukulele. And pretty much the same one most of the time as well. There seems to always be plenty more to learn. I think to myself, wouldn't I rather just get better at playing one instrument, than try to divide my time between any number of other instruments and maybe not get real good on any of them. I know there are people who do play multiple instruments, and play them well, but I just don't have the time, the talent, or the dedication to do that. The uke is about all I can handle.

Cornfield
03-08-2017, 08:05 AM
I guess another question I could have asked would be: if you play other instruments, what are they?

I have 6 active ukuleles, 3 guitars (one a tenor), a 5 string banjo, a tenor banjo, a cornet, a piano, many harmonicas, Blue Man Group tubes and Blue Man Group keyboard
http://musicthing.blogspot.com/2006/06/blue-man-groups-amazing-range-of.html

Too many instruments? Never! Too little time? Always!

actadh
03-08-2017, 08:06 AM
Played piano and guitar until my teens.

40+ years of no musical instruments later, I am ukulele only for the last three years.

actadh
03-08-2017, 08:10 AM
Fourth grade I played the Tonette. I think that was to get us ready for band in fifth grade. A side note, when people say that they can't read music, I wonder where there were in forth grade? That's where they teach kids to read music. Every Good Boy Does Fine, and FACE. Who missed this in grade school music class?

.

No music class offered at my elementary school. No band offered at my high school.

Rllink
03-08-2017, 08:21 AM
No music class offered at my elementary school. No band offered at my high school.

Did you have art? I thought every school had music class in elementary. My fourth grade class had fourteen kids, and we had music class every week. And we are talking the fifties here. That just surprises me that you could go through school without having to take a music class. I did not know that was the case. Are you an exception, or do you think that a lot of schools do not offer music classes?

Griffis
03-08-2017, 10:37 AM
I play piano (primary instrument), guitar, guitalele, soprano and baritone ukulele, tuba, harmonica and diatonic accordion. Sometimes, I sing.

Doctor, it's not hyperbolic of me to say you are one of my favorite ukulele players, but I have watched you jam on a variety of instruments on your YT channel. It's intimidating.

You mentioned diatonic accordion. It's too late in my life to wallow in regrets, but I do wish I had become more learned and skilled on piano. However the one instrument that has always captivated me into wanting me to play it is the concertina.

I just love the history of it, the sound...all of it. I know there is a variant of it (English?) that creates the same pitch on the squeeze and draw, but even there, it's like trying to perform algebra with my brain and both hands simultaneously while also attempting to create music. I just don't have it in me.

I always thought a trio of ukulele, bass concertina and musical saw would be very cool.

Griffis
03-08-2017, 10:43 AM
I only play the ukulele...I often think about learning to play something else, but I come to the realization that learning to play another instrument is just going to take time that I could spend learning to play the ukulele better. So I just play the ukulele. And pretty much the same one most of the time as well. There seems to always be plenty more to learn. I think to myself, wouldn't I rather just get better at playing one instrument, than try to divide my time between any number of other instruments and maybe not get real good on any of them. I know there are people who do play multiple instruments, and play them well, but I just don't have the time, the talent, or the dedication to do that. The uke is about all I can handle.

That's where I'm at, though I did participate in music class and school band starting in 3rd grade. I played many things in the intervening years, but there is only so much time. The ukulele inspires me to get better at it. Some other instruments seemed like a chore to me. I always enjoy picking up the uke.

As I say, I do keep threatening to get decent at harmonica. I have a few good ones. Someday maybe...

Griffis
03-08-2017, 10:46 AM
No music class offered at my elementary school. No band offered at my high school.

This strikes me as so sad. May I ask your age? I played and took music classes in school back in the late 70s in a rather small town in Oklahoma. It never occurred to me that wouldn't be an option in most schools.

Ziret
03-08-2017, 01:38 PM
Every time I realize I can sight read and hardly anyone around me can, I say to myself (silently), "Thank you, Minneapolis Public Schools." I live in Washington State. One evening at symphony choral rehearsal, a woman much older than me turned to me and said those very same words! I hadn't even known she was from Minnesota.

I wonder if they still make you learn. I think it would be so much harder and more confusing to learn that as an adult. I admire everyone who learns because they want to and not because they have no choice. 😊


This strikes me as so sad. May I ask your age? I played and took music classes in school back in the late 70s in a rather small town in Oklahoma. It never occurred to me that wouldn't be an option in most schools.

DownUpDave
03-08-2017, 02:47 PM
Zero music for me as a youth. I discovered the ukulele three years ago at the age of 56. It is my main instrument although I have ventured into tenor guitars. But they are tuned DGBE just the same as my baritone ukes so I consider them big steel string baritones.

janeray1940
03-08-2017, 03:40 PM
Fourth grade I played the Tonette. I think that was to get us ready for band in fifth grade. A side note, when people say that they can't read music, I wonder where there were in forth grade? That's where they teach kids to read music. Every Good Boy Does Fine, and FACE. Who missed this in grade school music class? Anyway, that's where I learned to read music.

Kids don't get this any more, at least not here in Los Angeles. I'm not sure when it stopped, but public schools have cut music and art classes down to nearly nothing. I lived with two elementary school kids about 10 years back and they went to so-called "good" public grade schools, but they certainly did not get any music or art. They also were never taught to write cursive! But they were doing more advanced math by 4th grade than I got by the time I graduated high school. Times have changed.

In California in the late 1960s-early 1970s, we did get the recorder in public school, but there wasn't any actual music reading going on - I can't recall whether we played by colors, or by numbers, or both. I learned how to read music at home probably - I have no memory of learning how, it just seems like something I always knew. Not that I ever learned how to do it well, but hey, I keep trying!

daviddecom
03-08-2017, 05:25 PM
Since discovering the ukulele last summer, it's been my only musical outlet, even though the house is full of musical instruments (piano, harpsichord, toy piano, violin, banjo, harmonica, tin whistle, ocarina, ...).

I started music early in life with solfege (with my mother) at 4, piano at 5, and violin at 8. Piano fell by the wayside in high school, and violin was replaced with choral singing in college. I kept singing for years after college, until my daughter was born a few years ago and there just wasn't time for all the rehearsals and performances. I actually wasn't doing much musically at all when I came across the ukulele, but somehow it struck a chord, and I'm now playing more than I've played anything in years.

zztush
03-08-2017, 05:28 PM
Zero music for me as a youth. I discovered the ukulele three years ago at the age of 56. It is my main instrument although I have ventured into tenor guitars. But they are tuned DGBE just the same as my baritone ukes so I consider them big steel string baritones.

Dave, please try a guitalele!

Mivo
03-08-2017, 06:37 PM
Dave, please try a guitalele!

I tried one and it didn't work out for me, sadly, though it was a wonderful Kanile'a with a beautiful sound and amazing appearance. I eventually sold it with a heavy heart but without regrets. I recall Dave saying he had sampled one in a store.

MainlandGal510
03-08-2017, 08:14 PM
Great thread!

Took piano as a kid for ten years up until probably freshman year of high school - the last 2 or 3 years of which I considered practicing a chore and HATED it. No TV unless I practiced for 30 min everyday. I swear time slowed down during those 30 min! Lots of memorization of songs but with no explanation or little application of theory to what I was playing. There was a classical guitar in the house that I tried to play but I didn't know how to tune it (no Snarks in the early '80s) and it was neck was too wide for my 10 year old kid sized hands.

As an adult I wanted to take up the piano again mainly to help with hand dexterity (both my mother and grandmother developed arthritis as they got older) but thought of a huge piano in our small living room immediately answered that question.

Then I discovered the ukulele about 2 1/2 years ago (small, portable, cheap initial investment if I didn't like it - HA! pre-knowledge of UAS!!!) and took lessons from a couple of great teachers who actually linked theory to songs. During those lessons I had many "OH, NOW I GET IT" moments. UU+ & Aldrine's videos have helped immensely! The guitar interest showed up last year & I taught myself with carry-over concepts from the uke. NOW I can't wait to learn something new, figure out the chords for a song, ponder if a song on the radio would be better on guitar vs. uke and if I can play it in the same key or have to transpose it...etc. If there were only more hours in the day. I'm trying to catch up and so far I'm loving the ride!

TCK
03-08-2017, 08:54 PM
My dad begged me to learn an instrument when I was a kid (he plays pedal steel and all slides, since the 60's)- no way was a I doing that. At about 22, I decided that learning something musical was a pertinent step in taking over the world, so I learned accordion and played with all my friends punk bands as "Special Guest". Learned Uke because my wife wanted to learn banjo (so I got her a uke...kinda easier) and someone had to teach her how to play it, and I guess I am one of those "what do you play" guys now. After five years of playing the Uke only (five years really taught me a lot) I am learning the guitar, lap steel and mandolin. I guess I just like to make noise. I also play the bones.

LucilleJustRocks
03-08-2017, 10:28 PM
My dad begged me to learn an instrument when I was a kid (he plays pedal steel and all slides, since the 60's)- no way was a I doing that. At about 22, I decided that learning something musical was a pertinent step in taking over the world, so I learned accordion and played with all my friends punk bands as "Special Guest". Learned Uke because my wife wanted to learn banjo (so I got her a uke...kinda easier) and someone had to teach her how to play it, and I guess I am one of those "what do you play" guys now. After five years of playing the Uke only (five years really taught me a lot) I am learning the guitar, lap steel and mandolin. I guess I just like to make noise. I also play the bones.
I started with playing guitar, had some ups and downs...longer breaks and times when I only taught myself theory. Due to my shoulder arthrosis I decided to play baritone uke..very easy to play though but nonetheless a full value instrument.I came back to the guitar when health problems slowly but surely subsided...now my ukeing helps me to understand my guitar better:). I'm looking forward to listening to your efforts on the guitar :)

zztush
03-09-2017, 12:46 AM
I tried one and it didn't work out for me, sadly, though it was a wonderful Kanile'a with a beautiful sound and amazing appearance. I eventually sold it with a heavy heart but without regrets. I recall Dave saying he had sampled one in a store.

Hi, Mivo!

Many people, who have guitar back ground, play ukulele. They have no problem (red arrows in the figure below). I am one of them. I wanted to know if green arrows work or not. I am teaching ukulele to my friend. He can play Bb and E now. I will test him if he can play F and B on my guitar soon (green arrows).

https://s19.postimg.org/gvb6xh88z/combine_images.png (https://postimg.org/image/8d1qt51q7/)upload img (https://postimage.org/)

Rllink
03-09-2017, 03:06 AM
Kids don't get this any more, at least not here in Los Angeles. I'm not sure when it stopped, but public schools have cut music and art classes down to nearly nothing. I lived with two elementary school kids about 10 years back and they went to so-called "good" public grade schools, but they certainly did not get any music or art. They also were never taught to write cursive! But they were doing more advanced math by 4th grade than I got by the time I graduated high school. Times have changed.

In California in the late 1960s-early 1970s, we did get the recorder in public school, but there wasn't any actual music reading going on - I can't recall whether we played by colors, or by numbers, or both. I learned how to read music at home probably - I have no memory of learning how, it just seems like something I always knew. Not that I ever learned how to do it well, but hey, I keep trying!

I went to a small country school, graduating class of three, that consolidated with three other country schools and a small town school when I went into 4th grade. In 4th grade we learned to play the Tonette. 98413 In fifth grade we started in band. That was in 1959. As far as I know, they still have the same process. My kids and my nieces and nephews did the same. Maybe rural Iowa is just more enlightened. :)

My parents bought me a trumpet for fifth grade band. I quit after the first year. So my mother traded my trumpet in on a clarinet for my sister. Later on in life, like when I was in my fifties. I saw my sister's clarinet in my parent's basement and asked my mother where my trumpet had gone to. So she felt bad that she traded it and said that she would buy me a new one. I told her that I didn't want a trumpet, but she bought me one anyway. I kept it until she passed away, then I sold it.

Estudiante
03-09-2017, 03:20 AM
Ukulele purist asks: What do you call someone who plays a linear tuned tenor and a re-entrant soprano?
Answer: a multi-instrumentalist
;):cool::eek:


PS - I play tenor ukulele only, for just over a year now, mainly as a solo instrument. I'm always thinking about classical guitar, there's tons of learning materials out there for that. For ukulele there aren't a lot of options for graded learning material for learning as a solo instrument.

actadh
03-09-2017, 03:56 AM
Regarding my previous entry about no music or band in schools - I went to Catholic school in the 60's/70's in the D.C. suburbs and it was not offered. My family was able to afford private lessons in guitar and piano. Never missed it in school because it was not an option. However, we often went to Mass during the school day as the church was next door and we sang hymns. We had musical events for parents or assembly, and those who learned an instrument on their own often solo'd (I played some Beatles at an assembly once on the piano). But, there was no formal class.

Regarding exclusively ukulele, but different sizes and tunings making them different instruments - thanks to all who expanded upon this. I have a teeny sopranino up to a tenor and do consider them very different.

Regarding ukulele as a solo instrument - that is how I played for 3 years. I could never accompany anyone because I emphasized different parts of the song, changed tempo, fingerpicking or strumming pattern etc. in the song. I am now in a ukulele choir and having to play on the same page, same time, same way as a room of people is interesting, but different than my normal approach. I consider it as practicing with human metronomes. I still enjoy using my ukulele as a solo instrument.

Griffis
03-09-2017, 04:04 AM
...In 4th grade we learned to play the Tonette. 98413 In fifth grade we started in band.

Gotta admit, had never heard of the Tonette, though I assumed it was a recorder-style instrument. Cool!

Hard to believe art and music are considered valueless by so many, in public schools or as part of the fabric of our society.

They'll interrupt tv programs with high school football scores, but if a kid wins a spelling bee or gets their artwork in a gallery or a school band or choir wins an award, it's tumbleweeds and crickets. Very sad to me.

peanuts56
03-09-2017, 04:45 AM
No music class offered at my elementary school. No band offered at my high school.
Some school systems have cut many of the arts related programs. I'm a retired music educator as of June 2016. I spent the last 13 years teaching band/string and some classroom music at an arts magnet elementary school. State funding has dried up quite a bit. We regularly had resident artists such as theater, and African Drumming. Most of that was eliminated as well. The after school arts programs were drastically cut. The musical theater program had to start a Go Fund Me Page to put on their production this year.
When I left, the city and the principal elected to eliminate my position. I know that my principal didn't want to do that but the financial situation forced her to make that decision. I taught next door to another wonderful music teacher. She had to absorb the classroom music part of my schedule. The result was the death of instrumental music at a school for the arts! We had a good band and string program. I had 60 plus students in band and at least that many in string. Instrumental music was only taught in grades 3-5. When parents heard that instrumental music was being eliminated it made the 6 o'clock news.
A colleague and friend taught band at the middle school next door. He had a good program. He transferred to a high school position and the band program disappeared. It may be up and running now.
I attended an all boys catholic high school from 70-74 and we had a killer band program. We won a statewide competition when I was a freshman. We did not even have a senior class that year. The school had opened in 68 with just a freshman class. We had a Holy Cross Brother as our director. He had other teaching responsibilities as well an administrative position. He left to take a position as principal at a parochial high school in New York after the 74-75 school year. Eventually, a very fine local musician and teacher took the music director job and stayed there for 35 years. Through the years as the school grew in population the band reached over 100 members. The music director retired and now that program is down to app. 20 kids. They have a former trumpet section mate of mine teaching there a couple of days a week. However, the school and the program are on life support The school population has shrunk drastically as well. The tuition is simply too high for working middle class parents to afford.
Love may make the world go round but money greases the axle!

hendulele
03-09-2017, 04:53 AM
I played clarinet in elementary school. I plink around on a keyboard, but can't read music well enough to do anything with it other than plink.

I've thought of trying tenor guitar, but the uke is quite satisfying and challenging. And fun!

BTW, I also play harmonica, but decided that's not what you're asking about, since you can play that and the uke simultaneously.

Ziret
03-09-2017, 04:56 AM
Hi, Mivo!

Many people, who have guitar back ground, play ukulele. They have no problem (red arrows in the figure below). I am one of them. I wanted to know if green arrows work or not. I am teaching ukulele to my friend. He can play Bb and E now. I will test him if he can play F and B on my guitar soon (green arrows).

https://s19.postimg.org/gvb6xh88z/combine_images.png (https://postimg.org/image/8d1qt51q7/)upload img (https://postimage.org/)

Your illustration just convinced me that I better stick with uke. Thank you. You saved me time and money.

hendulele
03-09-2017, 04:57 AM
Some school systems have cut many of the arts related programs. I'm a retired music educator as of June 2016. I spent the last 13 years teaching band/string and some classroom music at an arts magnet elementary school. State funding has dried up quite a bit. When I left the city and the principal elected to eliminate my position. I taught next door to another wonderful music teacher. She had to absorb the classroom music part of my schedule. The result was the death of instrumental music at a school for the arts! We had a good band and string program. I had 60 plus students in band and at least that many in string. Instrumental music was on taught in grades 3-5. When parents heard that instrumental music was being eliminated it made the 6 o'clock news. Love may make the world go round but money greases the axle!

I would imagine one reason public school music programs have been cut back is that decent wind instruments are too expensive for most kids to own (or even rent) and I've heard more than one teacher say that if their schools owned the instruments, maintenance was a problem. Kids break stuff.

It's really sad, and I feel lucky to have been around when i could play an instrument (badly) without breaking the family budget.

Griffis
03-09-2017, 05:03 AM
I've thought of trying tenor guitar...

I tried tenor guitar and banjo on and off for a few years. I love the instruments. Tried a few different tunings, but it never took.

I owned a few of each here and there. I enjoy them, but for me the necks are too narrow to do anything other than straight rhythmic chording. I like to flatpick and fingerpick too much to stick with tenors enough to become decent. Unlike uke or 6 string guitar, the tenor guitar just struck me as more of a band instrument than a solo instrument, at least as far as my skills ever took me...

janeray1940
03-09-2017, 05:05 AM
I went to a small country school, graduating class of three, that consolidated with three other country schools and a small town school when I went into 4th grade. In 4th grade we learned to play the Tonette. In fifth grade we started in band. That was in 1959. As far as I know, they still have the same process. My kids and my nieces and nephews did the same. Maybe rural Iowa is just more enlightened. :)


Graduating class of three, wow. If I had graduated (I opted to take the GED and head straight to junior college) I think I would have been in a graduating class of 400, if memory serves correctly. I think it all comes down to per-student budget. Or hey, perhaps enlightenment :)



Hard to believe art and music are considered valueless by so many, in public schools or as part of the fabric of our society.


On the positive side, I know a few faculty who recognize the importance of this and on their own time, using their own money (or fundraising skills), have organized extracurricular music programs - including two teachers who have implemented ukulele programs for at-risk kids! But yes - sad that our society at large doesn't see this.

Apologies to the OP for the derail. This is an important discussion to have but on a forum like this, it's probably preaching to the choir.

daviddecom
03-09-2017, 06:46 AM
I'm always thinking about classical guitar, there's tons of learning materials out there for that. For ukulele there aren't a lot of options for graded learning material for learning as a solo instrument.

I've actually been using some classical guitar materials and just transposing them (and adjusting for missing bass notes, as needed). It's been good practice writing out music, too. I'm currently working through Stanley Yates's Classical Guitar Technique book.

Rllink
03-09-2017, 10:54 AM
Graduating class of three, wow. If I had graduated (I opted to take the GED and head straight to junior college) I think I would have been in a graduating class of 400, if memory serves correctly. I think it all comes down to per-student budget. Or hey, perhaps enlightenment :)

.The year that I went into 4th grade, the small schools consolidated into one larger school. When I graduated there were 104 students graduating in the consolidated school district. I don't think that it had to do with the number of students, it was the curriculum.

Mivo
03-10-2017, 07:21 PM
Things have remained the same here in Germany. Kids still learn recorder, just like I did 35 years ago in 5th grade. I still like the instrument, but it's not the most suitable choice for quiet practice (I keep entertaining the idea of getting an alto recorder).

zztush
03-11-2017, 01:11 AM
I tried one and it didn't work out for me, sadly, though it was a wonderful Kanile'a with a beautiful sound and amazing appearance. I eventually sold it with a heavy heart but without regrets. I recall Dave saying he had sampled one in a store.


I think you really understand how wonderful ukulele is now.

https://s7.postimg.org/7benttk7f/sketch_1489233956773.png (https://postimg.org/image/6lvvhgjnr/)how to use print screen (https://postimage.org/app.php)