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SoloRule
12-22-2017, 02:45 AM
The year is coming to an end so what have we done in our ukulele journey?


I have made more friends on UU. They are very special to me - they held my hands, cheered me on, told me not to get well whenever I was sick with UAS! Oh yes , you know who you are!

Because of YOU. I added 8 new ukes from all sizes (even a Risa stick and a pocket uke ) ! One is in the process of finishing in a few weeks so that falls into next year inventory therefore I did not meet this year quota! Thanks goodness the year is not over yet!

I learned a new tactic from one of you - "buy it to tide you over to the next uke."

I also learned that the highlight of my 2017 journey was clicking on those beautiful tracking numbers from all different carriers ! I even chased after the mailman in the snow when sixth sense tells me he got the uke that he claimed he didn’t have.



My goal of the year was to improve my dynamic - I think I have achieved that ! I have also started a new playing technique that is using a thumb pick - some of my UU friends called it my band aid !

Looking back at my journey:
2015- bought my first uke
2016- improved sight read...uploaded my first video
2017- uploaded video with added footage

My goal for 2018 is to continue improving my skill , continue searching for a unique looking uke! Thank you all for giving me a year of fun and laughter and most of all lots of encouragements!
How about you? Did you achieve any of your ukulele goal ?

kvehe
12-22-2017, 03:33 AM
Sadly, no, I did not achieve my ukulele goal, but 2018 is a chance to start over. **Today** is a chance to start over.

When people see me with a uke and ask,"Do you play?" I usually make a joke about being better at buying ukes than playing them, but that's getting old, even for me.

I need to pick a method and stick to it. That would be the best way to achieve good progress. In-person lessons have proven to be a waste of time, and my schedule is too chaotic anyway.

Thank you to all of my good UU friends!

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and Happy 2018 to all!

P.S. I learned the "tide you over" technique from former member OldePhart (wherever you are) - he purchased an Ohana 5-string while waiting for his custom 5-string to be finished.

Croaky Keith
12-22-2017, 03:45 AM
This year, I more or less put aside my ukes & concentrated on my chromatic harmonicas.
But what I was learning, whilst learning to play them, was also to learn to read sheet music.
I'm still not good at it, but that, & playing my ukes again, along side my chromatics, is my aim for next year.
So 2018 will be the year that I improve at all three, hopefully. ;)

2016 = learned to play ukulele
2017 = learned to play chromatic harmonica
2018 = improving :)

UkerDanno
12-22-2017, 04:32 AM
Started playing Ubass and recently got my 2nd Ubass and sold the first one. I play "basic bass", but the people I play with appreciate it. Also, started helping out with the Mentoring program in our club, although the program seems to focus on music theory/circle of fifths type stuff that I really don't fully understand and don't think most beginners need to worry so much about it. :shaka:

Rllink
12-22-2017, 04:38 AM
I had a pretty good journey this year. It had highs and lows, but the highs outweighed the lows. I think that the high was doing a solo set on the stage at a seedy bar full of loud patrons in September. The Blues Brothers and their gig at the country bar has always been my inspiration. The low point was just when I thought that I was pretty hot stuff and could just wing my way through anything, I bombed at an open mic just a couple of months later and lost a lot of confidence for a month or two. I learned a bit of humility there. Also I learned that I have a lot left to learn, especially about paying attention to preparation and knowing what I'm going to play, which is good in a way, it gives me something to work on. But this is year four for me, and I still feel like I want to play my ukulele every day. Great thread, by the way.

RafterGirl
12-22-2017, 05:06 AM
I began my ukulele journey in April 2017. Until the ukulele, I have never played any musical instrument before. I went looking for a portable instrument to play while on rafting & kayaking trips. I work at a children's hospital that is blessed with a wonderful music therapy department and the music therapists urged me to give the ukulele a try. The rest is history!

I bought a starter uke and began learning from You Tube. Next I found a beginner ukulele class through the University of Utah community ed program. That lead me to finding two local ukulele groups, attending monthly jams, and then finding a weekly workshop where I have learned a ton.

I have been through 7 different ukuleles since April. Some purchased, one was a birthday gift, and one I won at a local uke festival. I have gifted and sold a few. I currently own 2, with one more in transit from the luthier. I have my eye on a possible fourth to round out my ukulele family. While I've been learning & playing daily, I've also been refining what size, build type, and sounds I prefer.

My big step for 2017 has come in the last two weeks. I volunteered to join the worship band at my church. It has been fun, and challenging, and fulfilling all at once.

My goal for 2018 is to get my UAS under control and have 3-4 ukuleles that I play regularly. Each with a specific sound & purpose. Then I want to focus more on learning and perfecting my skills. I want to continue to play with groups and at church. Maybe my fear of singing will even improve in the coming year.

Happy Holidays & many ukulele blessings to all my UU brothers & sisters. You have been so helpful to me this year!

Steedy
12-22-2017, 05:15 AM
2017 has been a good year for me on ukulele. I attended my first real ukulele festival, the Kentucky Uke Fest, and had a great time meeting and jamming with folks, and doing the workshops and open mic. A month later, I was at my first old-time music weekend and discovered I really like the sound of a bunch of fiddles and banjos all playing together.

In 2018, I wanna learn to play old-time fiddle tunes on ukulele, attend UWC and a few other events, and just get out and play more music with more people! :)

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to All,

Stephen

lfoo6952
12-22-2017, 06:12 AM
My journey is just beginning. To use a baseball analogy, I am only in the 2nd inning of my journey, which started in 2016. 2017 was a very satisfying year, having satiated my UAS by buying two custom made instruments. Looking ahead to 2018 and beyond, my goal is to join a band, and to visit the ukulele motherland, Hawaii, and attend a Hawaiian ukulele festival.

Merry Christmas to all!

Luke

DownUpDave
12-22-2017, 06:33 AM
Brenda, what a nice thread. You are getting a jump on the "year in review" idea that happens at the beginning of the new year.

The year of 2017 has been very good to me. I acquired a few more outstanding ukes and rehomed some others to happy recipients. I am always amazed at how slow playing improvement can be but at the same time it is there. I have memorized at least 8 chord melody pieces this year.

I continue to enjoy doing open mic performance with my "Girl Band" I am the token male. We are improving noticably as well. We are now able to prepare for performances with less practice sessions. I started attendinga different jam at a local music store. They do an open "kitchen" jam, all acoustic instruments welcome. There are uke, fiddle, guitar, banjo, harmonic players of different numbers in attendance. It is an absolute blast to play with other instruments.

For the year 2018 there are certain things I want to do. Attend a few uke festivals or a week long Uke Retreat held up in the cottage country a few hours north of me. I want to perform more solo open mic performances. I have just paired up with a friend and fellow uke jam member who has always wanted to do an open mic performance for the first time . We are currently working on two songs we will do in the new year. I just want to continue to improve. I LOVE everything about the uke, the making of music and most importantly all the new friends I have made because of it.

SailingUke
12-22-2017, 07:18 AM
2017 was a very interesting year.
The low point was having the motor home broken into at the Reno festival and several instruments stolen.
A much better experience was when they were recovered from a pawn shop.
The real highlight of the year was starting a Ukulele program at the Boys & Girls Club.
Many of my ukulele friends donated to the cause and I was able to purchase Ohana Ukuleles for the program.
Ohana also donated some ukuleles to the cause. My goal for 2018 is to expand the program to some of the satellite clubhouses.

DownUpDave
12-22-2017, 07:41 AM
2017 was a very interesting year.
The low point was having the motor home broken into at the Reno festival and several instruments stolen.
A much better experience was when they were recovered from a pawn shop.
The real highlight of the year was starting a Ukulele program at the Boys & Girls Club.
Many of my ukulele friends donated to the cause and I was able to purchase Ohana Ukuleles for the program.
Ohana also donated some ukuleles to the cause. My goal for 2018 is to expand the program to some of the satellite clubhouses.

Wow that is fantastic. Thank you for doing that for our young people. May you have much success with it and bless you for doing it.

bratsche
12-22-2017, 08:08 AM
Approximately a year ago, I began sniffing around this forum, subsequent to reading threads on MandolinCafe that discussed substitute mandola- and octave mandolin- fingered instruments, achieved by tuning tenor and baritone ukuleles in fifths. Many thanks to those here who recommended Pono as a solid brand; I am very happy with the two I acquired. The experiment has been (pleasantly) more than I had bargained for, also. Not only am I gaining the ability to fingerpick, but I'm finding that this way, I can even do some things I couldn't do with a pick - such as playing non-adjacent strings simultaneously without hitting the one(s) between! This is an advantage I previously hadn't even thought about, and has opened up great new possibilities for my chord melody arrangements. What fun!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to everyone!

bratsche

Jim Hanks
12-22-2017, 11:40 AM
Looking back at my started threads, the first quarter of 2017 was pretty good with a new album release, receipt of the new Covered Bridge cuatro, and a successful collaboration with Mezcalero. After that it slowed way down. I did get a handful of tracks written and recorded with ukes and Native American flutes but I'm probably no more than halfway towards having enough material for the next album. Maybe early 2018 will get productive again.

ukeinfused
12-22-2017, 11:52 AM
Brenda,
I would love to see link to video for your 2017 year's playing accomplishments!
We would get to see your wonderful ukes too!!

SoloRule
12-22-2017, 11:53 AM
Brenda,
I would love to see link to video for your 2017 year's playing accomplishments!
We would get to see your wonderful ukes too!!

Videos are all uploaded under link and video on UU

mm stan
12-22-2017, 03:43 PM
Keep the UAS PASSION AND PLAYING STRONG FOR 2018 AND BEYOND.. AS THE OLD SAYING GOES.. BUY TILL YOURE BROKE ������play till your hearts content too ������

Lapyang
12-22-2017, 04:38 PM
Thanks Brenda for starting this wonder topic.

My ukulele journey started in April 2016. It took me 6 months to acquire 3 Ukes. Then starting in 2017, I got bitten by the UAS bug and expanded the collection to 17 at its peak. A few was later re homed and got the play time it deserved. I still have 2 being built and hasn't arrived yet.

As for the music journey, I feel that something clicked in the last few months in 2017. Chords that were difficult before, or right hand techniques that seems to be impossible previously, are now attainable. Coincidentally, that's about the same time I joined UU forum. Coincidence? Hmmmmmm......

I hope to get more ukulele practice time in 2018. Find some local uke group to join, and maybe get good enough to post some videos...

TobyDog
12-22-2017, 04:39 PM
Bought my first uke (Pono mahogany concert) in April 2017 and jumped in with both feet. I took piano and flute as a kid, so I had a little base to start from.

I bought several of Fred Sokolow's books and Tony Mizen's Lute to Uke book - really liked them. But the highlight for me was in discovering Sam Muir's classical ukulele site. I've worked through a Bach rondo and most of the first Carulli book. My goal for 2018 is to be able to play each of her classical books.

And I just recently joined a local uke group that plays rock and roll and performs benefits for UKC. Also hoping to learn some cool strumming techniques from YouTube.

SoloRule
12-23-2017, 11:04 AM
Everyone has an interesting story to tell
Glad 2017 was a good year whether you achieved your goal or not. The most important thing is we are still here learning from each other through this forum !
May 2018 continues to be a happy year in our ukulele journey!

dasuol
12-23-2017, 08:00 PM
I began 2017 searching for a local the group to play with. I had played on my own off and on for years but wanted to find others to jam with. After no luck finding any local groups, I decided to try starting one. It turned out to be short lived, unfortunately, but it was fun while it lasted.

As the year went on, my UAS fully transformed into the even more chronic UBS (ukulele building syndrome). I just finished building my 11th. I am learning and trying new things with each one. It has been quite the journey.

In 2018, I want to continue to learn and improve in the craft of instrument building. I'm also going to focus on improving my fingerstyle playing.

Nickie
12-23-2017, 09:26 PM
Thanks for opening this, Brenda. Wonderful topic idea. Dasoul, I'd love to see some of your work.
2017 was the beginning of performances in ALFs by our ensemble, the Ladies of Uke. We lost two of the original members, one quit (we are still friends), and one disappeared mysteriously. Drama, drama. We picked up a new member. We've played several open mics, and three private parties. and a library fund raiser. Our rehearsals in one another's homes has helped us form a stronger bond, we were all friends before TBUS. We began to use iPad for songs rather than paper music sheets.
We've learned a lot about collaborating and listening to each other.
In 2017, myself being liaison, TBUS began to form a relationship with the UKC, which I believe might be our most important one. This year I found out what hard work it is to put on a successful ukulele festival. I became the official new member greeter for TBUS. We started our new MUM (Making Ukulele Music) kids summer camps with the library system, in which I got to volunteer. TBUS became a sponsor of WMNF's Uke It Out, a one day festival of ukulele madness and mayhem, which raised over $4600 for the radio station. We also put on the John Lennon birthday tribute concert which raised over $1200 for Metropolitan Ministries.
And I actually wrote two songs worth performing!
And after 3 years, we ended our Saturday Evening Jam Session. It was way too much work.

2018 will involve real work in a pilot program with the UKC, more performances, setting up a practice studio, and maybe adding a 5th member to the Ladies of Uke. I'm planning to progress my chord melody and Campanella skills.

I wish all of you a wonderful holiday season!

Ziret
12-24-2017, 03:55 AM
Thanks for opening this, Brenda. Wonderful topic idea. Dasoul, I'd love to see some of your work.
2017 was the beginning of performances in ALFs by our ensemble, the Ladies of Uke. We lost two of the original members, one quit (we are still friends), and one disappeared mysteriously. Drama, drama. We picked up a new member. We've played several open mics, and three private parties. and a library fund raiser. Our rehearsals in one another's homes has helped us form a stronger bond, we were all friends before TBUS. We began to use iPad for songs rather than paper music sheets.
We've learned a lot about collaborating and listening to each other.
In 2017, myself being liaison, TBUS began to form a relationship with the UKC, which I believe might be our most important one. This year I found out what hard work it is to put on a successful ukulele festival. I became the official new member greeter for TBUS. We started our new MUM (Making Ukulele Music) kids summer camps with the library system, in which I got to volunteer. TBUS became a sponsor of WMNF's Uke It Out, a one day festival of ukulele madness and mayhem, which raised over $4600 for the radio station. We also put on the John Lennon birthday tribute concert which raised over $1200 for Metropolitan Ministries.
And I actually wrote two songs worth performing!
And after 3 years, we ended our Saturday Evening Jam Session. It was way too much work.

2018 will involve real work in a pilot program with the UKC, more performances, setting up a practice studio, and maybe adding a 5th member to the Ladies of Uke. I'm planning to progress my chord melody and Campanella skills.

I wish all of you a wonderful holiday season!

Wow! I wish I lived near Tampa Bay! Or you and all your friends lived near me. What a great ukulele year for all of you.

dasuol
12-24-2017, 09:01 AM
Thanks for opening this, Brenda. Wonderful topic idea. Dasoul, I'd love to see some of your work.

Here's a link to an album I've been putting together as I go. I'm always looking for feedback. I'd love to hear any you may have.

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/fkkeyrtlxyzzdzc/AADv2_sasWLjyWz0Mzq8dDMxa?dl=0

Nickie
12-24-2017, 11:41 AM
Some very nice lookin ukes, dasoul. I especially like the last one, the double bout uke....nice wood.

TobyDog
12-25-2017, 01:36 PM
Here's a link to an album I've been putting together as I go. I'm always looking for feedback. I'd love to hear any you may have.

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/fkkeyrtlxyzzdzc/AADv2_sasWLjyWz0Mzq8dDMxa?dl=0

They're all beautiful - but I especially like the pineapple;)

1890
12-25-2017, 04:34 PM
I received a ukulele as a gift in about July of 2016 and it sat in the house for about a year before I finally got around to trying it. So 2017 has really been the start of my uke journey. I was really lucky to find a ukulele circle that meets over lunch just 2 blocks from my work so I've been really enjoying joining them once a week. It's a great and fun break in the middle of the day, and the middle of the week. A new ukulele is currently in shipping on it's way for me and I'm looking forward to trying to private lessons in the new year. I'm really looking forward to continuing to learn and improve on the uke, and I really appreciate having music back in my life. (I was a trumpet player for 15 years, but stopped a decade ago.)

Best of luck to everyone for 2018!

SoloRule
12-25-2017, 05:26 PM
Here's a link to an album I've been putting together as I go. I'm always looking for feedback. I'd love to hear any you may have.

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/fkkeyrtlxyzzdzc/AADv2_sasWLjyWz0Mzq8dDMxa?dl=0

Very unique looking ukes you got there! Were they built by you?

zztush
12-26-2017, 01:08 AM
I have been teaching ukulele to a friend of mine last 14 months. We really enjoy it. He improve very fast. We've done 3 chord melodies. Now he is practicing Old Black Joe. I am strummer on my guitar and ukulele but it is very good opportunity to learn and play solos to me too.

dasuol
12-26-2017, 05:02 PM
Very unique looking ukes you got there! Were they built by you?

Thank you. Yes, I built them. As I mentioned earlier in the thread, my ukulele journey in 2017 has involved getting my feet wet with building. It has been a lot of fun and very rewarding trying something new and learning more with each instrument.

captain-janeway
12-27-2017, 07:57 AM
Here's a link to an album I've been putting together as I go. I'm always looking for feedback. I'd love to hear any you may have.

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/fkkeyrtlxyzzdzc/AADv2_sasWLjyWz0Mzq8dDMxa?dl=0

Creative and beautiful. What woods did you use on the last one? Have you done a lot of woodworking before? I'm impressed. I would think it's hard to get the bending and slicing the tops down. Don't know if they're solid woods, laminates or both, but they are really pretty and the designs are creative. I really like the tuning peg setups on a couple of them just because they're different.

dasuol
12-27-2017, 06:03 PM
Creative and beautiful. What woods did you use on the last one? Have you done a lot of woodworking before? I'm impressed. I would think it's hard to get the bending and slicing the tops down. Don't know if they're solid woods, laminates or both, but they are really pretty and the designs are creative. I really like the tuning peg setups on a couple of them just because they're different.

Thank you. The last one is Cherry wood for the body; Maple for the neck; and Walnut for the binding, fretboard, bridge and tuner pegheads. Woodworking has been another hobby for a few years, so I'm definitely comfortable with it, but I had never attempted making an instrument until about a year ago. Bending the wood and getting everything down thin definitely takes some trying (I'm still learning a lot, but tips on this forum and from other builders on YouTube have been invaluable). It took me quite a while to get up the nerve to actually try bending. I kind of baby-stepped my way along from solid-body to the semi-hollow tahitian style, to actual acoustic ukes. They're all solid wood. It's a lot easier for me to get some solid hardwood than finding laminate thin enough to work with.

MopMan
12-27-2017, 08:26 PM
July 2017 - Went on vacation in Ocean City NJ with the family. On a lark, purchased a $65 Kala soprano ukulele (my first uke) from a shop on the boardwalk. Spent the rest of my vacation fiddling around with it.

September 2017 - Two months had passed, and I just could not stop fiddling with the damn thing. Noticed I had been neglecting my keyboards--hadn't touched a keyboard in two months.

October 2017 - Bought a nicer ukulele: the Ohana CK-39, a concert-size Martin S3 clone. Cast aside the cheap Kala as it had been outclassed in every measure. Began taking a more methodical approach to ukulele by drawing up a lesson plan. I guess this is where my relationship with uke became serious.

December 2017 - Now own 5 ukuleles: 3 sopranos, a concert, and a tenor!!! More are on the way. Frequently cannot decide which to play. Have not touched keyboards in six months. Maybe I have a problem?

Looking forward to 2018: Looking to discover a couple (two or maybe three) ukes that I really like and connect with to continue my studies. Hoping to unload the others and recoup some of my losses as I will soon have more ukuleles than I can possibly regularly use. Considering finding an instructor. Progress has been good so far, but I know that nothing beats learning from a master. Also, need to go back and burnish some keyboard skills at some point...

strat4me
12-28-2017, 02:43 PM
Well the Sig says it all. I decided to humor my wife back in July when she decided she was interested in ukuleles. We now have 19. Many favorites but all are enjoyed and played hours each day. Looking forward to learning more and having so much fun doing it together.

Croaky Keith
12-29-2017, 12:03 AM
We now have 19.
That's some serious UAS you've got there - it took me almost two years to reach 16. :biglaugh::music:

sopher
12-29-2017, 01:23 AM
2017 was a pretty good ukulele year. I acquired a Pono Pro Classic bari a few years ago that I string re-entrant and it is still my main "Baby"

My wife and I were attending some Cleveland uke groups but they have dwindled down to a single meeting a month and on a workday, so sometimes difficult to attend.

We attended the Allegheny Ukulele Soiree again this year in Pennsylvania and I recommend it as we always have a great time.

In the Spring I helped organize a toy and book collection at work and to draw attention to our donation table I played uke in the lobby a few times during the week - I tend to play pretty mellow music, and people seemed to really enjoy walking in to work and hearing some music.

In the summer my daughter visited from the Peace Corp to attend her best friend's wedding - I ended up providing the music for the outdoor ceremony using "Baby" and a Loudbox Mini. The rooster that was dueling me during rehearsal didn't show for the ceremony, to my great relief. Some bees replaced it however and we came close to some "discordant" sounds as a result.

While volunteering on the route of the Akron Marathon, a couple walked up, pulled out their ukes and starting strumming and singing to entertain the runners and the audience. I chatted them up and discovered that there are 2 new uke groups right here in Akron (10 minutes from work). We have attended both groups and met some wonderful people since then. Life can be amazing at times.

Not long afterwards, Jake came to Cleveland and at his concert (2nd year in a row) we met that same couple from the Marathon again.

My Christmas concert this year was as part of "Tred Zeppelin", the employee band for the Goodyear Christmas Party - quite a production with drums, bass, 6-string and 12-string guitar, ukulele, clarinet, flute and 10 singers. It's always fun to play in a bigger group.

My last "public" performance of 2017 is a real tradition at work. On the last workday before the holiday break - a day I refer to as "the day when there are no grown-ups at work" - I take my uke in and play instrumental songs (a lot of Christmas carols and other mellow stuff) as mood music. On this day a Management rep will eventually appear and give us the "magic handshake" that means we can go home early. I always seem to be one of the last people to get the handshake and this year they admitted that it's because they are enjoying the music.

One of the uke groups that we just joined has a public performance in January. On their playlist is "Stand By Me". I got a good deal on a U-bass earlier in the year, but I don't know anything about playing bass. I have learned the famous bass line to this song however, and I will play U-bass for "stand by me" at our performance, because that song just isn't right without that bass line. For the rest of the performance, I'll play "Baby".

For next year, I'd like to learn enough about playing bass to be able to wander into a uke group, be given a chord sheet I've never seen before, and be able to play a simple bass line to it. I think this is the biggest contribution I can probably make to the uke groups.

I hope you all are enjoying your uke(s) as much as we are!!

sopher

SoloRule
12-29-2017, 03:47 PM
Two more days left to achieve our goal!