PDA

View Full Version : Ukuleles are our musical instruments.



Rllink
03-28-2017, 06:31 AM
I didn't want to rain on Cassie's thread, and I realize that some people really become emotionally attached to their ukuleles. And like life, for some that turns out to be a long term commitment, for most it appears, it lasts until the next one comes walking by. For me, after three years of playing the ukulele, I have not bonded emotionally with either or any of my ukuleles. I like my ukuleles, don't think that I don't, but they are just ukuleles to me. I'll go ahead and admit that I have an emotional attachment to making music, but not to my uke. So let's take it from there.

Mivo
03-28-2017, 06:59 AM
I'm somewhere between those views. I loosely bond with the ukuleles that I had for some time in a way that is much less than how I'd feel about a living thing, say a pet or to a lesser degree a potted plant, but there is a deeper connection than with a device like a computer or a desk lamp. They are tools to me, but with an added sentimental value, with more attachment than I generally feel about stuff. I don't name them, don't talk to them, and if I lost them, I'd miss them as something that I'm used to and familiar with, but there'd be other ukuleles to play, enjoy, express myself through, and that I'd eventually like just the same way.

valde002
03-28-2017, 07:06 AM
It probably depends upon the person, as anyone can get attached to anything. I think that anyone with musical capabilities expresses their emotions through their music. It is their feelings that are shared through sound, via musical instrument of their choice. Because of the nature of the emotions being shared, I can see how one may become attached with their instruments. I know what you mean Rllink, as I myself have been playing since I was eight years old and did not bond much with the instruments through the years. For some reason, though, the uke though is such a cute little thing! Plus they are pricey, so if you have a good one, you oughta pay attention at least to the maintenance of it. Same goes with bonsai, lol (at least the uke does not drop leaves and die on you though).

Croaky Keith
03-28-2017, 07:57 AM
Just in case you didn't realise - Cassie has sight impairement, which is why I think she feels more attached to her little Kalea, it has opened up her life to music.

OK, now on to the subject of this thread - I don't know that I have 'bonded' with any of my ukes, but I do like them all, to a greater or lesser degree.
I would miss them, if anything happened to them, but they are all replaceable - I haven't gone in for custom ukes.

My 'collection', which is probably what some of you would call them, have slightly differing tones, & are of different shapes & styles, & this is likely why I do have so many - I like the less than usual looks of them as much as I appreciate their differences in tone.

Debussychopin
03-28-2017, 08:06 AM
I didn't want to rain on Cassie's thread, and I realize that some people really become emotionally attached to their ukuleles. And like life, for some that turns out to be a long term commitment, for most it appears, it lasts until the next one comes walking by. For me, after three years of playing the ukulele, I have not bonded emotionally with either or any of my ukuleles. I like my ukuleles, don't think that I don't, but they are just ukuleles to me. I'll go ahead and admit that I have an emotional attachment to making music, but not to my uke. So let's take it from there.

I agree with you on this and wanted to comment on this phenomenon here on this forum which I found personally peculiar (nothing wrong about it, just found it peculiar) but wanted someone with more venerability to address this.


I feel the same. I have emotional and soul move towards music. And my pursuit of it I use these instruments as tools. I am passionate about the learning and practice of music though. Technique and musicality. Sometimes, in a way, bonding to the instrument is key though.

Rob Uker
03-28-2017, 08:15 AM
This is an awesome thread.
As a person who still owns my first guitar and has an unnatural love of vintage instruments, you'd think I would fall on the emotional attachment side of the fence.
But at the end of the day they're just tools and it's probably better to reserve my emotional attachments for humans and not objects.
But instruments are beautiful in the same way art is and there's nothing wrong with being moved by a piece of art.
I love hand crafted items because as a builder I know that I've put my imagination and have spent hours thinking and day dreaming about my projects. Each to me is a one of a kind piece of art. I don't know if the same is true of a mass produced ukulele but you can still admire there beauty.

Rllink
03-28-2017, 08:40 AM
Just in case you didn't realise - Cassie has sight impairement, which is why I think she feels more attached to her little Kalea, it has opened up her life to music.

.I realize that, and I appreciate it. That is why I didn't go off in this direction on her thread. I also appreciate all of the like minded people who do feel the same attachment to their ukes. I also appreciate those who can not function without a ukulele withing arms reach. I just don't. That's why I started a different thread. I didn't feel that commenting to her thread would be appropriate in my case.

spookelele
03-28-2017, 09:07 AM
To some it's an instrument and a hobby.
To some it's a voice, and they have something they need to say.

DownUpDave
03-28-2017, 09:24 AM
I realize that, and I appreciate it. That is why I didn't go off in this direction on her thread. I also appreciate all of the like minded people who do feel the same attachment to their ukes. I also appreciate those who can not function without a ukulele withing arms reach. I just don't. That's why I started a different thread. I didn't feel that commenting to her thread would be appropriate in my case.

Well said Rolli, I get the drift of your thread.

At the start of this ukulele endeavor I got kinda attached to my first really good uke. The sound.....oh the sound and the feel and the finish. I still do admire and appreciate a well made, beautiful looking instrument. But as my playing proficiency increased ( some would question that:p) I fell more in love with being able to make music, just like you Rolli.

Ukes have become the instrument I make music with. Some have a few scratches and dings and dents. In the beginning this would have mortified me, now it shows I love them enough to play them into sawdust

kohanmike
03-28-2017, 09:59 AM
I'm glad you started this thread, I too didn't want to push Cassie's thread in this direction, so I didn't post my feelings. I'm a gadget freak, which for me also includes musical instruments. I have an attachment to my ukes and basses because in most cases I've designed or modified them, but at all times they're inanimate objects. I don't name them, other than the manufacturer or style name. I enjoy using them for their intended purpose, to make music, and that they are also aesthetically pleasing to the eye.

bearbike137
03-28-2017, 10:33 AM
I certainly don't regard my ukes as pets!

That said, although I have been a life long guitar player, I connect with the uke more deeply than I ever have a guitar. I don't know why that is - but its true. It took awhile to find my #1 uke (a vintage Martin Tenor - I actually own two of them), but once I discovered those beautiful old mahogany tenors, it all came together. I simply don't feel fully at peace if I haven't played them for a bit. I even now use my ukes in recording where I once used guitars.

ksiegel
03-28-2017, 10:55 AM
Well, I understand the thought of the ukulele as "just a tool, at the end of the day", but I do have a emotional attachment to two of my ukes.

My KoAloha Sceptre, which a) sounded incredible from the first moment I played it, and b) was the first uke I played in front of an audience - my Father-in-Law's memorial service. He, after all, gave me my first uke after an injury left me unable to play guitar.

My Concert Uke, custom built for me by Bradford Donaldson. This is absolutely my favorite uke, and is loved by anyone who has played it. between Brad's skill in making the instrument, and the addition of little reminders of my life and careers built into the instrument, yeah... I have a deep emotional attachment to this instrument. It is a celebration, every time I play it.

Rllink
03-28-2017, 11:13 AM
All I'm saying here is that it is the music and not the ukulele that inspires me. Nothing more.

Cornfield
03-28-2017, 11:19 AM
Yes, they are our instruments but I still love my cat.

peanuts56
03-28-2017, 01:43 PM
All I'm saying here is that it is the music and not the ukulele that inspires me. Nothing more.
Nice thought. I love my ukes. I majored on trumpet in college. I really don't play any more. I still have two trumpets left from my previous collection of six. They're worth about 2 grand apiece. I can't seem to let them go.
Lately I've been working on my digital piano. I also play djembe fairly well. It's a fun instrument to play. What it comes down to is it's all about making music. Doesn't much matter what instrument we play. When I was still teaching school we had a visiting artist duo who taught African Drumming and Dance. They would be with us for 2 weeks. I can't begin to tell you how much I looked forward to their residency. I became very close friends with them and learned so much.
The kids absolutely loved it.
I retired last June and sadly budget cuts resulted in virtually all visiting artists not being retained.

Bill Sheehan
03-28-2017, 04:02 PM
Some months ago, while installing an internal disc-style transducer in my Makala Shark, I accidentally allowed some super glue to get on my fingertips as I pressed the disc into position. I guess you could say that was one uke that I REALLY bonded with! Okay, that was bad...

janeray1940
03-28-2017, 04:23 PM
Thanks for starting this thread Rollie. I, too, was hesitant to comment on Cassie's thread. I don't want to detract from the joy those who love their ukes as pets feel, but - as someone with both pets and ukes, my relationship to each is entirely different. I don't name my ukes, feed my ukes (no humidifiers needed where I live), groom my ukes, have them pose for photos, have to be home to look after my ukes, or any of the other pet-care-like behaviors referred to elsewhere. Truth is, if I did have to do any of those things, I'd probably feel somewhat resentful! I would not like to feel a sense of responsibility to an inanimate object.

Like Rollie said, for me it's not about the ukulele as object - it's about the music, which I just happen to be able to use a ukulele to make. I don't really much listen to "ukulele music," and I don't really self-identify as a "ukulele player" - I listen to music, and I self-identify as a musician. If I had room for a piano I'd probably love it just as much as I do my ukes - but again, I probably wouldn't name it :)

Ziret
03-28-2017, 04:45 PM
Well quite a few musicians whose skills are far above mine have named their guitars, and, likely, violins, banjos, cellos, and more, so I don't think it has anything to do with your attachment to music over an instrument, it just shows affection for and attachment to a tool. http://www.guitar-muse.com/14-famous-guitars-with-names-and-where-they-are-now-5037

Nickie
03-28-2017, 05:02 PM
I've exchanged many a PM with Cassie. I feel honored to have been contacted. I comment on most of her posts because I feel an attachment to her as a budding musician.
Our musical tastes differ. Our attachments to our ukes are similar. I bonded with only one uke so far, really, my Cocobolo cause it is exactly what I needed. It has become my "trademark". Everyone who knows me honors it.
I was playing our Tiny Tenor today, and I paused and looked at it and said "Dang, I like this thing more and more." It is an awesome sounding uke, and the only tenor I really enjoy playing. I may be bonding....
Cassie gave my uke the name Coco, so that's what I calls it. I never name my ukes, but if a friend does, well, let it stick.
I used to clean and polish my ukes, but anymore I don't. The only time "Coco" gets a bath is when I change strings. (No, not in the tub or shower)

jollyboy
03-28-2017, 05:28 PM
I got the impression that Cassie's thread was intended to be somewhat tongue-in-cheek (not suggesting that she doesn't feel a strong connection to her uke). She previously started a thread where she compared developing an interest in ukuleles to being like contracting a disease. My reading was that she was inviting other UUers to have some fun with that idea and to suggest ways of extending the analogy. And I got the impression that she was trying something similar with the 'ukes are like pets' thread. Personally I didn't read too much into it and just posted what I thought was the sort of humorous reply that I felt she might be looking for.

Honestly, I can't get very emotionally invested in any particular viewpoint, including the 'ukes are just tools' one.

bratsche
03-28-2017, 06:59 PM
In the natural order of life, we're most likely to outlive our pets, but our instruments will very likely outlive us, and whoever plays them after we're gone, and after that person's gone (provided they're well cared for, of course). I am a devoted cat lover for all my adult life (unfortunately had none in my childhood), some might even say I'm a cat whisperer, and I've found that it is it is the felines' unique individual natures, their "otherness" to humans, and definitely the transience of their existence, that endears and bonds me with them all the more during the time I have with them. I cherish the photos from all stages of the lives of the ones that have gone on and the memories they evoke. OTOH, I look at pictures taken over the years of me with my instruments, and guess which one of the subjects inevitably shows their advancing age the most clearly? Hmmm, I wonder if on some level, I am my instruments' "pet". LOL

bratsche

Rob Uker
03-29-2017, 04:00 AM
I know that my ukuleles will never love me back. But I do feel an attachment to them that I don't have with my blender or toasteroven. Even through both have made me feel warm and toasty from time to time.

weeshan
03-29-2017, 07:07 AM
I for one, absolutely bond with mine. If I dont, they get sold. I think it also depends on your story. I spent 14 years searching for an instrument that "felt" right. When you spend that long searching and then strum a uke for the first time and feel like its a long lost family member, yup, bonded. Reasons for playing is another. For some, its just something to do and a uke is just a tool...thats great, everyone has their reasons. I tend to be a very high stress, high anxiety introvert. Just "adulting" is hard some days. The world is very peopley at times LOL. My uke is like a long lost friend when I get home. Playing knocks my blood pressure down and relaxes me. When something just does THAT MUCH for you as a person, bonding and naming ukes just goes with the territory. As a newbie I am just amazed at the instrument itself. When I can sit in front of my boyfriend who is playing his acoustic guitar and FEEL his music coming out of his instrument and then resonating within mine and making it vibrate right in my hands...that my friends is not an inanimate object to me. It was once a living breathing tree and its now a still living, wood instrument that screams to you that its alive. Yup...for me, I will always love them and hug them and call them George LOL!

valde002
03-29-2017, 08:37 AM
Don't tell this to Willie Nelson

Recovering Bassist
03-30-2017, 03:31 AM
In the natural order of life, we're most likely to outlive our pets, but our instruments will very likely outlive us, and whoever plays them after we're gone, and after that person's gone (provided they're well cared for, of course). I am a devoted cat lover for all my adult life (unfortunately had none in my childhood), some might even say I'm a cat whisperer, and I've found that it is it is the felines' unique individual natures, their "otherness" to humans, and definitely the transience of their existence, that endears and bonds me with them all the more during the time I have with them. I cherish the photos from all stages of the lives of the ones that have gone on and the memories they evoke. OTOH, I look at pictures taken over the years of me with my instruments, and guess which one of the subjects inevitably shows their advancing age the most clearly? Hmmm, I wonder if on some level, I am my instruments' "pet". LOL

bratsche

What an awesome post bratsche! This board certainly has some interesting and deep thinking people on it. Wow. I don't see any musical instruments as "pets" at all. They're just that, instruments of mass enjoyment if we allow them to be so. We get out of them what we put into them, and I don't mean financially. Of course the same could be said for many other things in life too.

Cassie
03-30-2017, 12:54 PM
I didn't want to rain on Cassie's thread, and I realize that some people really become emotionally attached to their ukuleles. And like life, for some that turns out to be a long term commitment, for most it appears, it lasts until the next one comes walking by. For me, after three years of playing the ukulele, I have not bonded emotionally with either or any of my ukuleles. I like my ukuleles, don't think that I don't, but they are just ukuleles to me. I'll go ahead and admit that I have an emotional attachment to making music, but not to my uke. So let's take it from there.

Oh yes, some may not have attachment to their ukulele but some do. I am very much attached to Kalea. She has been with me two years and I'm very much attached to her. She is my savior from UAS. A lot of people have puppies and kitty cats, but when you don't want to have an actual pet, a ukulele is the best way to go.