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Ukecaster
04-15-2017, 04:43 AM
I'm pretty new to the uke, from the guitar world, but already find myself urging others to try the uke. My daughter was musical in high school, but not afterwards, so I've been letting her try my ukes, providing chord charts and cool, current songs she could easily play, if she takes to it. We'll see. She told me she has at least 2 other friends who play uke. How about you...how many have you recruited to the friendly uke world?

Mivo
04-15-2017, 04:53 AM
I don't actively recruit people. I do talk about ukuleles and mention them to social contacts, as it's in the center of my creative life, but I only go deeper and offer suggestions or specific recommendations if I'm directly approached. Two or three times I playfully said something like, "Hey, you would probably enjoy the ukulele!" if someone said they would like to learn an instrument, but I've never really been proactive about getting people to play. (Mostly because if someone tries to convince me of something with any sort of persistence, I shut down and lose what little interest I may otherwise have had.) I think this is the kind of hobby that is best spread by doing: playing music on it, enjoying it, being happy with (or because of) it.

OhioBelle
04-15-2017, 04:54 AM
Uke Ambassador! We need tee shirts!

While relatively new to the ukulele myself, I am doing my best to populate the planet with beautiful music. My cousins and great niece, ages 7, 8, and 3 have all received ukuleles from me. I gave my best friend one for her birthday. And just last week, while stuck in the Atlanta airport waiting for a flight, I handed my flea to a fellow stranded coworker and gained another convert. She told me she plays slide on her grandfather's old Martin guitar and commented about my flea "it's so light!" Next thing I knew, she was on her phone, Googling fleas!

Rllink
04-15-2017, 05:15 AM
I don't actively recruit people. I do talk about ukuleles and mention them to social contacts, as it's in the center of my creative life, but I only go deeper and offer suggestions or specific recommendations if I'm directly approached. Two or three times I playfully said something like, "Hey, you would probably enjoy the ukulele!" if someone said they would like to learn an instrument, but I've never really been proactive about getting people to play. (Mostly because if someone tries to convince me of something with any sort of persistence, I shut down and lose what little interest I may otherwise have had.) I think this is the kind of hobby that is best spread by doing: playing music on it, enjoying it, being happy with (or because of) it.

I'm a little like Mivo. If ukuleles, or playing a musical instrument, or something along those lines come up in the conversation I talk about it, but ukuleles is just one part of my life and it seldom comes up in casual conversation. I'm not evangelistic about it by any stretch. I'm hesitant to say this, but I will I guess, I am not always particularly supportive either. My neighbor decided to get a ukulele and learn to play it, and all she does is complain about how hard it is for her to play anything but basic chords and how it hurts her fingers. My response was to quit playing it then. But I do like to talk ukes with other like minded ukulele players, or other musicians that show an interest in the ukulele.

kohanmike
04-15-2017, 05:53 AM
As a member of The CC Strummers uke group, my promoting the uke comes on one hand by setting an example. We gig often and our leader always takes a moment to advocate our group, which is really twice week classes she leads out of the Culver City Senior Center. We've added many to our ranks from that.

In a more direct way of advocating the uke and the ohana spirit, we also support The Ukulele Kids Club, that donates ukes to kids in hospital music therapy programs. Through them, we've made a connection to the UCLA/Mattel Children's Ward where we perform regularly going from room to room, and also make formal presentations of UKC ukes to the kids. As an offshoot of that, the head of the music therapy program setup a parents uke program because inevitably after one of our visits and seeing how much the spirits of their child has been lifted, the parent wants to be involved.

Otherwise the most I do around my social group is mention how much fun I have playing and collecting instruments, and that attending rehearsal is such a great positive distraction from life's pressures.

janeray1940
04-15-2017, 06:52 AM
Definitely not - I'm more like the posters above who will talk about it when it comes up naturally in conversation, but I don't exactly broadcast it. When I do mention to someone for the first time that I play music, it's "I'm a musician" and not "I'm a ukulele player." And I definitely don't try to recruit!

Mivo
04-15-2017, 06:54 AM
I've also played uke in public parks and such; again, no one has expressed any curiosity. That's the sort of world we live in now.

A lot of people are glued to their smartphones, which might be a related observation.

I live in a tiny 290-souls village and when I played with an open window during summer, I had people walk close to my windows. It actually made me stop playing. :p Got all self-conscious.

JackLuis
04-15-2017, 07:36 AM
I tend to be a Ukulele Evangelical. I carry a Uke when ever I can. I tell people that their lives will be more fun if they play Ukulele too. I played my Uke in the airports while waiting and get a few strange looks and a lot of smiles. I was shy about it until I got to where I can play well enough to sound musical instead of random chord plucking. However I don't sing in public much, that would be a sin.

Croaky Keith
04-15-2017, 08:12 AM
If someone were to ask me about them, I'd happily converse with them, but I don't try to convert anyone. :)

Likewise, harmonica, if I get asked, I'll talk. ;)

I have suggested a ukulele, or harmonica, to people who are at a loss what to do with their time though, so maybe I am.

(But I am only a beginner at both instruments, so don't know a lot about either, other than what I've read, or found out by experimentation.)

Choirguy
04-15-2017, 08:52 AM
I force over 300 middle school students a year to play ukulele. Does that count? :)

PhilUSAFRet
04-15-2017, 09:15 AM
I started teaching beginner's uke classes for "over-50's" under a group called The Shepard Center who holds Fall, Winter, and Spring sessions. I just finished my 3rd with a class of 22 and have started a new community based uke club called the Beachside Strummers. Our first group was yesterday AM and we had about 15 people, Our new Facebook page was up and running by end of day and I believe we have a bright future.

Debussychopin
04-15-2017, 12:34 PM
I don't try to recruit. I only mention it if asked and the discussion is about music or hobbies. Or if in music circles like my class. Perhaps I'll promote I play uke more once I get better at it.

2manistrings
04-15-2017, 03:10 PM
...I think this is the kind of hobby that is best spread by doing: playing music on it, enjoying it, being happy with (or because of) it.

Agree. I have a good friend who knew what a uke was before hearing mine. I'm the only uke player he knows, and I share some original songs a couple times a week. Recently he expressed an interest and my heart skipped a few measures! But no, I don't recruit. I just enjoy, share the enjoyment, and see where it goes. If all that happens is people realizing the uke is fun, but not just a novelty, then that's enough for me. :)

PhilUSAFRet
04-15-2017, 03:40 PM
Not sure there's any "best way" to further uke playing. I think a few folks took the OP's words a little too literally. One way no better than another.

bunnyf
04-15-2017, 04:05 PM
Good for you, Phil! Some of the most successful uke groups that I've seen have been offshoots of community cont.ed. classes. Folks sign up for a group of lessons, then of course, many want to continue on and play with their new friends. Good luck with your group.

As far as being an ambassador...not really anymore. I loooove playing and if I'm playing out and someone asks me about my ukes, I'm more than happy to talk ukes with them but I don't try to get folks to play. They have to have the desire on their own. I have recruited 4 of my kids though. Three play seriously (and have fun) and one (who just had a baby) can only play occasionally for now.

I do participate in uke groups and always try to be helpful and encourage new players. I also do a lot of mixed instrument jams and share my uke love with any interested musicians (guitar and mando players are often curious).

Ukuleleblues
04-15-2017, 05:03 PM
Been putting on uke festivals 1-2 times a year since 2010. Probably not.....

http://littledavidfestival.charlestonhotshots.com

Oh yes, we will be giving free beginner lessons at the festival, but we don't physically make folks participate, but I will bring a couple of loaner Ukes for folks that I can talk into trying it out.

bikemech
04-16-2017, 03:01 PM
I guess you can count me as a uke ambassador. My interest and playing has led two of my brothers, one niece, my wife, my neighbor (sort of, he'll probably quit if he hasn't already) and my neighbor's wife to the uke. One of my co-workers is likely to be next. I get so much joy out of this instrument and so I often express that joy to others in casual conversation; one thing leads to another and...Bam! :music: They're playing ukulele. My passion is infectious. How could I not be a uke ambassador? I want everyone to experience a similar joy. :love:

Nickie
04-16-2017, 05:44 PM
Ha ha Chris!
I guess I am. I've recruited at least 5 or 6 people into TBUS. I regularly teach free beginner workshops. I lead a jam session each month. I play in a group that plays for ALF patients. I serve on the board of TBUS. And I've given 3 people ukes who've never played before.

PhilUSAFRet
04-17-2017, 12:39 AM
Been putting on uke festivals 1-2 times a year since 2010. Probably not.....

http://littledavidfestival.charlestonhotshots.com

Oh yes, we will be giving free beginner lessons at the festival, but we don't physically make folks participate, but I will bring a couple of loaner Ukes for folks that I can talk into trying it out.

Been wanting to visit Charleston, going to have to get up there to one of those festivals you put on.

TheCraftedCow
04-17-2017, 10:43 PM
Before anyone can change how we act, we must first change how we think. So much of our language is negative---I can't--I don't--I suggest they say " I have yet to______." Think ahead rather than to the past or even the present. Putting it is GCEG and telling them to strum across where the neck and the body join together will keep them from getting stuck in the hole gets them smiling. Row, row, row your boat requires no chord changes. It is successful with people who have physical or mental challenges as well as normal (whatever that means) people. Putting in GCEA and using the lttle finger on the 3rd fret of the 1st string and trying it again works with people who have control over both hands. This little uke of mine...I'm gonna let it shine can also be done with one chord. I consider it a part of my ministry to all sorts of people.

Rob Uker
04-18-2017, 06:48 AM
I guess I am a Uke Ambassador. My first two ukes I frequently loan to new players and I'm always encouraging people to introduce ukulele to their children.