View Full Version : when was your first contact with an ukulele

04-29-2009, 12:23 PM
MY first contact was a 1 week and a 3 or 4 days ago... when was yours?

04-29-2009, 12:51 PM
When I found my grandpa's old baritone in his house after he died. About 9 years ago.

04-29-2009, 12:54 PM
late december 2007 in honolulu bought a 10 dollar souvenir uke on the street

04-29-2009, 01:15 PM
I can't really say.
There's still an order of protection out on me but I'm fighting it.

04-29-2009, 01:18 PM
3 years ago? someone at my church brought a uke and i was like sweet!
but i started playing a month ago... haha

04-29-2009, 01:26 PM
Dunno - my family has always had one. We have one uke in particular that all the kids in my family have played at some point. It's seen 4 generations, is completely thrashed, but still has the original strings. I'm planning on picking it up the next time I'm down there to restore it. It needs cracks sealed, tuners changed (you can hardly turn them now), strings changed, and a refinishing. I don't know how to do any of that stuff so it should be a fun project. :)

Ahnko Honu
04-29-2009, 01:29 PM
Heard it right at the moment of conception in 1959 a 1957 model Kamaka pineapple, dad was a hopeless romantic. :shaka:

04-29-2009, 01:40 PM
at my cousins' house in poulsbo washington like forever ago, but i never really played one while i was knowing what i was doing until about 6 months ago.

04-29-2009, 01:51 PM
July of 08. Even though I've been registered at UU longer, haha.

04-29-2009, 02:05 PM
January '09....right around innauguration day.

04-29-2009, 02:07 PM
my dad had a bari in the house as far back as i can remember, and it had a strong influence on me...after a 35+ year incubation period.

04-29-2009, 03:21 PM
I was checking out a sidewalk sale in my home town when I was about 15 years old. I saw what I thought was a couple of very small guitars with no strings for about 7 or 8 bucks at one of the tables. I bought one on a whim and brought it home. Lucky for me, my dad knew what it was. Since he worked in NYC, he had no problem getting his hands on a set of strings and a chord book. I remember learning 3 chords and just using those for the entire time I played it. I gave it up after a few months.

30 years or so later I saw this amazing video of some kid named Jake playing a version of "While My Guitar Genly Weeps" on a uke and my interest came back.

04-29-2009, 04:41 PM
13 months ago.

04-29-2009, 05:23 PM
I saw Jake on Conan and a month later I bought one on my honeymoon on Ohau. That was last May. Almost a year now.

04-29-2009, 05:24 PM
Wow is that all Deach? I don't know why, but I was under the impression it took longer to acquire all those ukes, plus all the fame. I guess good things come quickly to those who deserve it :D

For me, I bought a $15 uke in Ron Jon surf shop at Cocoa Beach last June where my wife and I went for the weekend of our first anniversary. I figured it'd be a fun and cheap alternative to buying an acoustic guitar... little did I know that within a week I'd already be calling it my main instrument and still 10 months later haven't shown any signs of looking for an acoustic guitar. That day I actually tried tuning it by ear with the G being the lowest, not seeing that it's plainly a smaller string... Monday I found UU forums, asked for some advice and bought a flea immediately. I love this community :D

04-29-2009, 05:28 PM
Early March '09 when I received mine from MGM.

No Talent
04-29-2009, 05:42 PM
2 years ago. Brought it in an ABC store in Maui for $20 for my son. Got a nice case for $20 too. Added 2 Ohana's and now we have 3.

04-29-2009, 06:00 PM
mine was when i was 10 in fiji i bought my first ukulele which i broke after 2 weeks, after that it was a year ago i bought one with my banjo hooked since then

04-29-2009, 06:33 PM
5 years ago.

04-29-2009, 08:02 PM
i rented a room from a buddy for a semester (about 6 mo. ago), and he left a tourist trap uke in there ( along with alot of other stuff LOL ). Got bored one day and learned "No Woman No Cry" from dominator's site. Been hooked ever since (damned you dom LOL)

04-29-2009, 08:17 PM
nearly 2 years ago! :smileybounce:

04-29-2009, 08:41 PM
In the early 1960s I had a ukulele and just plinked on it a little. In 1968, I started taking it seriously. By 1970, a new hundreds of songs.

04-29-2009, 10:32 PM
A few years ago I was walking down a street in my town as a I came across a guy I talked to once. He just bought a very cheapy Uke and gave it to me. Like: "Hey, do you wanna have this? I just bought it..." I was like, uhm, Ok. When I got home I had no clue how to tune it and tried to tune it like guitar (not that I knew that tuning^^) until the bridge came off.

Last summer I had a very long distance relationship to a girl in Boston who played the Uke and in late August I fixed my Uke and that's when it all started!

04-30-2009, 01:01 AM
I bought a cheap mahalo sometime last summer. spent more time reading about ukes after that than i did playing it. started learning around late october/ early november time :shaka:

04-30-2009, 01:07 AM
A friend bought a Baritone a couple of months ago and I was totally sold. I went out almost immediately and bought my Mahalo for £18 in a local shop. I've hardly put it down since.

04-30-2009, 01:39 AM
Wow is that all Deach? I don't know why, but I was under the impression it took longer to acquire all those ukes,

LOL. the interwebz is the debil.

04-30-2009, 04:48 AM
August 2002. A year after I moved to Hawaii...sitting on the beach with my friend Niki. She was playing. After that I was hooked. Have since moved back to Louisiana, but still plinking.

04-30-2009, 06:55 AM
my grandma bought be one in the 80's when she went to hawaii.. i sure wish i could find that one!! but for real... last summer JULIA NUNES.. then I HAD TO HAVE ONE!! a uke not a julia nunes.. ummm okay.. maybe i wanted one of each.. but i will settle for the uke..

04-30-2009, 07:25 AM
38 years ago when I heard "Tiptoe Through the Tulips)
5 years ago when I got into slack key and Hawaiian music and bought my first uke
6 months ago when I first saw Julia Nunes and decided to learn how to play

04-30-2009, 07:26 AM
For me it was sometime in the early 70's. My family had a saprano we would play with as kids. Never knew how to play it though.

In 2001 we started going to Maui every other year, and I enjoyed the music. During the 2005 trip I discovered Jake and bought my first CD's of his. On my 2007 trip I finally broke down and bought my first one, and acquired my second during our 2009 trip.

Just a vary mild case of UAS, for now....

04-30-2009, 08:33 AM
I found out my parents had a Sonny D tenor that was given to them. It was a beauty, although I wasnt hooked yet. But I would pick it up everytime I went over to their house and became intrigued. Sorry to say, we ended up selling it due to hard times.

05-03-2009, 01:58 PM
My parents bought me one at K-Mart, must have been 1975 or so. I remember it was a soprano and came in a cardboard box. I strummed on it for several months but discovered guitar and the uke got put away and later sold at a garage sale.

05-03-2009, 05:31 PM
Grandma's Roy Smeck Vita Uke in my parent's attic, circa 1971. I finally got around to playing the uke when I bought a cheapolele in 2006. I still have Grandma's uke, it's playable but too fragile for everyday playing.

07-12-2009, 08:03 PM
uhhh 11 years ago? but then i lost it the same year
and got my uke on jan 08 and actually started playing !

07-12-2009, 09:19 PM
I'd estimate the time-frame as some time around 1965 or so. I began serious pursuit of the ukulele about 1968 and guitar shortly thereafter.

07-12-2009, 09:23 PM
38 years ago when I heard "Tiptoe Through the Tulips)
I'd have to say my first exposure was also to Tiny Tim on tv years ago, although that did not make me interested in the instrument. Quite the opposite. I thought he was a bit creepy.

I'm a guitarist, have played mando before, won my uke in a drawing recently, had never actually touched one before.

I have to admit that I find it fascinating, though. :)

07-12-2009, 10:31 PM
First contact for me was about 1967-68. I got a plastic Beatles uke/toy guitar when I was about 7 or 8. I never learned to play it and have no idea what happened to it.

I learned guitar and other instruments from about 1971 onward, but didn't really come across ukuleles again until last year.

07-12-2009, 11:03 PM
about 25 years ago I was playing mandolin and violin, and went to see an old man who was selling. On his kitchen table he had a new Martin uke that cost $250. I was amazed at the delicacy of the sound, but I didn't consider learning to play; I thought it was a toy instrument.

Nowadays I've drifted towards guitar and other stuff, and got interested in ukes because they are a simpler subset of guitar. I like to record myself as a ficticious band, and guitar chords are sometimes kind of heavy. I wanted a rhythm instrument that was light and clean, and that Martin uke popped into my head.

Once I started looking into it, I was hooked by all the varieties. Also, the advantages of portability and physical ease of playing are starting to be a big deal. I'm 50 now, and have gotten wrist problems from guitar and banjo and have been hurting my hearing with (loud) clarinet playing. It's not as much fun playing the clarinet with ear protectors on, so I've been turning to my ukes more and more.