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Ukecaster
04-13-2017, 01:25 PM
For me it's the small size, portability, relatively lower pricing (compared to quality acoustic guitars), and the sweet, sweet tone of a good uke, which can be played and enjoyed at very quiet volumes. For me, a long time guitarist, uke has opened the door to TONS of great old classic songs that I'd never even consider on steel string guitar. :love:

jer
04-13-2017, 01:36 PM
Size, simplicity, playability, feel, look, sound.

OhioBelle
04-13-2017, 01:40 PM
Great thread!

1) The awesome people who play them!
2) Size
3) Versatility
4) History
5) Beauty

Mivo
04-13-2017, 01:40 PM
For me it's the friendly and uncomplicated size, the light tone, and the underdog status. The latter removes expectations from others and lowers the ones I have of myself. It's fun and relaxed, with a skill ceiling as high as most instruments', but without that ceiling casting an oppressive shadow on the experience.

kohanmike
04-13-2017, 01:44 PM
All the above.

igorthebarbarian
04-13-2017, 08:24 PM
everyone else nailed it. The lack of pretentiousness. The people who play ukulele are generally always nice folks too. It's not all judgy-judgerson like guitarists (not sure about banjoists).
Plus holding a guitar feels like driving a boat.

Croaky Keith
04-13-2017, 10:02 PM
Size, weight, & tone, are my starters, especially with a low G. :)

Price, makes them both affordable, & collectable ( :o ).

The people who play them aren't pretentious - & they are fun to learn to play, whether you do it well or not. ;)

And then we have this forum - which brings us all together, to discuss & show off our ukes & talents to like minded people. :D

Debussychopin
04-13-2017, 10:08 PM
I like guitar and uke. Room for both.
I like uke for its cuteness in look and sound.
I like guitar for its depth of sound and vastness of brilliant repertoire.

One Man And His Uke
04-13-2017, 10:22 PM
I like that because, generally you only have 4 strings to play around with, that "limitation" encourages you to be a bit more creative when figuring out new tunes. Less is more in that sense. That said, I play guitar and mando too. Never had issues with other players of either. I find folk are just as willing to show you stuff and encourage you no matter what the instrument.

Fuzzbass
04-14-2017, 12:01 AM
The great people I've got to know.
UAS
The fun of playing.
New callouses :-)
New music.
Keeping my mind off my illness.

jollyboy
04-14-2017, 01:09 AM
I enjoy the journey - discovering cool new things and being constantly surprised by my own progress :)

DownUpDave
04-14-2017, 03:18 AM
I like that at the age of 57 I was able to pick it up and after a few months I was actually making music. Three years later I am thrilled with my progress, I still have much to learn and a long long way to go. I have increased my circle of friends enormously because of the ukulele. I am having sooooo much fun with life right now. Having a passion is critical.......enter learning, playing and UAS

Rllink
04-14-2017, 03:49 AM
As many others have said, the size and portability is attractive to me. But I also like that you don't need a whole lot of gear to play it. Commit a half dozen songs to memory, grab your uke, and the next thing you know you're sitting on the beach strumming away and singing, while the waves crash on the sand in the background.

bearbike137
04-14-2017, 06:46 AM
I like that because, generally you only have 4 strings to play around with, that "limitation" encourages you to be a bit more creative when figuring out new tunes. Less is more in that sense.

This. Also, I think that nothing beats the sound of a great vintage mahogany tenor uke. It moves my very soul.

Osprey
04-14-2017, 08:40 AM
The ease of getting into a ukulele, by that I mean the realitively low cost to get a decent playing instrument, learn 3 or 4 chords and you can play hundreds of songs.
The way it picks up my mood when I play.
The friends I continue to make as I play in groups and jam sessions.
The fact that I appreciate all music more as I learn to make music.

jfalconc
04-14-2017, 09:10 AM
Never thought I can learn to play a string instrument, it was like love at first sight...I really like the portability, size, sound, versatility, the different woods, and it always make me smile!!!

bikemech
04-14-2017, 09:54 AM
It's the cuddle factor. No other instrument is more cuddleable :music::o in your ez-chair.

PTOEguy
04-14-2017, 11:37 AM
I can buy one for my kids without breaking the bank - and for their school class for that matter (it's a small class)

Alytw
04-14-2017, 11:56 AM
I bought one immediately after I tried a uke for the first time because it was so much fun. I play a bit of guitar too and like that it makes me think differently. I also love learning about how they are constructed. There are some pretty amazing ukes being made right now.

UkingViking
04-14-2017, 12:14 PM
For me it's the friendly and uncomplicated size, the light tone, and the underdog status. The latter removes expectations from others and lowers the ones I have of myself. It's fun and relaxed, with a skill ceiling as high as most instruments', but without that ceiling casting an oppressive shadow on the experience.

Pretty much why I like it.

lfoo6952
04-14-2017, 12:42 PM
All of the above, plus it has opened up a whole new Hawaiian culture for me. The aloha spirit suits me fine. In addition I can now play jazz chords and jazz standards that I could not do on a guitar.

Nickie
04-14-2017, 02:25 PM
1. The sheer joy of knowing I can finally play music!
2. That fact that I can share it with many people, I've made a lot of friends playing uke.
3. Take two, they're small.
4. Unless you want something really fancy, they don't cost much (until you contract UAS)
5. The lightness of it, it doesn't wear me out holding it.
6. It's very portable.
7. It sounds akin to a harp.

Steedy
04-14-2017, 05:34 PM
Ukuleles make me smile! :)

OhioBelle
04-15-2017, 04:31 AM
It sounds akin to a harp.

You are right, Nickie, it does sound like a harp! Especially if it's a Cocobolo :)

Keep the replies coming, folks, and spread the joy!

bratsche
04-15-2017, 06:22 AM
What a great question, as it has made me think about this a lot, and try to succinctly put it into words.

I'm a relative newcomer to ukes (only a few months), but definitely an oldtimer when it comes to stringed instruments. And frankly, I never expected to enjoy them as much as it turns out that I do. I find their sound captivating - yes, and very harplike. I once met someone who played a lap harp, and she let me try it. Of course, all I could do was noodle around and not really play anything recognizable, as I'm used to having to finger the strings to produce the notes, but it had a most pleasing timbre, one to which the uke voice is quite similar. With its nylon strings, it's a voice more pure and un-complex than that of my steel-strung mandola, so a definite contrast when I want something different. Likewise, it still speaks beautifully in its softest voice, ideal for playing late at night and not disturbing the peace. Its light weight makes it the perfect candidate for a travel instrument next time I have to leave home.

Perhaps the most fascinating, challenging, and ultimately satisfying thing about the ukulele for me is this: When I play my viola, I require another essential component in my other hand, an additional tool, if you will - the bow. When I play my mandola, having the perfect plectrum with which to pluck is of paramount propriety. Not so with the ukes. This is my first and only "both-hands-on" playing experience! I am frankly surprised that I have come so far in a couple months, from thinking, "well, I'll have to use a pick on my ukulele, since my right hand doesn't understand finger picking", to where I don't even think about picks anymore when I reach for a uke. It's somehow happening more by osmosis than by really studying what to do... I sit playing familiar pieces absentmindedly while watching or reading something on my computer screen, and gradually my right hand fingers are finding their way. This hands-on-ness affords an intimacy with the instrument that is unlike the others. Due to having no need for a bow or pick, and due to its lightness, the uke is now my go-to instrument when I'm on the computer arranging music for the church group I play with.

I've mentioned before that I tune my ukes in fifths, so as to be playable without further thinking. Even so, they still have a definite distinct sonoral difference, a unique contrast with my other instruments, and one that I find myself liking very much. I can't really identify with all the talk of "uke chord shapes" and the like, though, so in that sense, I suppose I'm outside the mainstream here. (But then, I don't think of chords in those terms anyhow, so no biggie to me.)

Well, somewhere I mentioned putting this succinctly; I guess it has gotten a tad long winded, so I'll stop now.

And yes, the uke makes me smile. :) ;)

bratsche

delmar500
04-15-2017, 09:27 AM
Being asked to play Over The Rainbow...

No, that is not it.

Graham Greenbag
04-15-2017, 10:42 AM
I was initially attracted by the compactness and relative affordability, then I heard some recordings of John King on YouTube and that Woodshed chap too and thought 'by golly these things are fantastic music makers'. Now the thing that makes me happiest is the great atmosphere on club night and the fun gained from collective singing and strumming.

2manistrings
04-15-2017, 03:29 PM
Size, size, size, sound that is big for its size, weight (I have shoulder issues). Recently I also switched from playing a folk acoustic guitar to a Little Martin - travel size. I can carry both now if need be. And the uke is cute and cuddly. :o I needed a guitar that was also (more) that way. :)

2manistrings
04-15-2017, 03:36 PM
1. The sheer joy of knowing I can finally play music!
2. That fact that I can share it with many people, I've made a lot of friends playing uke.
3. Take two, they're small.
4. Unless you want something really fancy, they don't cost much (until you contract UAS)
5. The lightness of it, it doesn't wear me out holding it.
6. It's very portable.
7. It sounds akin to a harp.

Yes to the harp thing! I'm a former harper (enter bum shoulder again) and I get harp-like tones without the pain or logistical difficulties of holding and transporting a harp. <3

pritch
04-15-2017, 07:27 PM
(enter bum shoulder again)

I hear you. My shoulders quickly get painful holding a guitar but so far no problem with a ukulele, the hands are much closer together. Maybe in the future I will begin a downward slide from tenor to concert to soprano but I'm hoping not.

70sSanO
04-15-2017, 07:54 PM
Everyone has made excellent points, but there is one thing that I particularly like. I can play the uke lying down. For years I tried to find a small enough guitar that I could play lying down on bed. Never really was able to get there with a guitar. It is also not a plus to stick a headstock into the head of your spouse. But a uke is perfect. Before I go to sleep or when I first wake up (I'm retired) I can prop up the pillows and play. Great way to start and end the day.

John

Rakelele
04-15-2017, 10:51 PM
All great answers which I totally relate to. Don't forget the nice people who build and sell them. Folks like John Kitakis, Joe Souza, the Okamis, Chuck Moore and Beau Hannam along with Andrew and the entire crew at HMS, Mim and the Mikes are a big part of what makes this such a great community to be part of, and not just a musical, but a social experience.