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Snow
04-22-2008, 05:26 PM
So after abandoning guitar for my ukulele, my mom believes ukulele isn't a "serious" instrument. She said there's NO way to get anywhere with it and no waay to play in a band or something. She recommends playing something like violin or flute. And a lot of times i'm being asked, "what's the point of playing ukulele?", "Can you ACTUALLY play that thing?" or "Why would you want to learn ukulele?". I'm so annoyed with these comments and I don't know how to respond. Have you guys experienced any comments like these? How do you respond?

Ukulele_Junkie
04-22-2008, 05:28 PM
people in my city are pretty open to encountering new instruments, but all u need to do is play ur heart out and show them its a great instrument.

Dominator
04-22-2008, 06:01 PM
I would sit your mom down at your computer and let her watch some of Aldrine's videos and then she what she has to say ;).

Ian Boys
04-22-2008, 06:02 PM
Well... for me, the ukulele is a somewhat less serious 'fun' musical instrument, when compared to the other instruments that I play (namely cello).

However, I do spend a lot of time being serious on the ukulele... using it to compose... using it to study theory.... using it to improve general musicianship... and using it as a tool to work on my singing.

As far as dealing with comments degrading the ukulele, I simply respond by bursting out into some complicated instrumental song, play a well-known guitar part (stairway works well for this), and sing something.

If the person still thinks the ukulele is some inferior instrument after that, I have no need to take anything they say seriously, as they obviously either have been scarred for life by Tiny Tim or have little appreciation for different types of music.

edit

Oh, and also... if your mom is making some sort of offer to get you set up with the violin... I'd take her up on her offer if you have the time. It's an amazing instrument that I'd like to take up later on in life... I'm just too busy with cello right now (which is also an amazing instrument, by the way). If you have time, you can easily work on learning and playing mroe than one instrument at once.

UkuLeLesReggAe
04-22-2008, 06:11 PM
I would sit your mom down at your computer and let her watch some of Aldrine's videos and then she what she has to say ;).

doesnt sound like a bad idea Dom :D

My mum and dad were excited - because it was "cute"

tad
04-22-2008, 06:20 PM
You know what's not a serious instrument? Guitar. There's guaranteed to be about twenty "guitar players" at any open mic you go to. How many serious ukulele players? A helluva lot less.

The piano can be beautiful, and it's great for learning theory, but HOW MANY people take piano lessons who never get anywhere with it?

Seriously, just explain the principle of "big fish, small pond."

And then some vids of Aldrene, Jake, and James Hill...

KAWIKA27
04-22-2008, 06:35 PM
Sad to say its not uncommon to get comments like that. all i could say is play for you and try not to give any thought to the opinion of others. I have goten a few comments from other people at school or just stares but u cant convince everyone all you can do is keep strumming.

Orlando
04-22-2008, 06:39 PM
In addition to what everyone else had already said, I kind of welcome those comments when new people see my ukulele. I like it because it gives me a chance to change their perspective and to respect a whole new instrument. Playing the ukulele comes with bragging rights, because not many people do play.Play it loud and proud buddy!!!:D

Ukulele_Junkie
04-22-2008, 06:41 PM
You know what's not a serious instrument? Guitar. There's guaranteed to be about twenty "guitar players" at any open mic you go to. How many serious ukulele players? A helluva lot less.

The piano can be beautiful, and it's great for learning theory, but HOW MANY people take piano lessons who never get anywhere with it?

Seriously, just explain the principle of "big fish, small pond."

And then some vids of Aldrene, Jake, and James Hill...

I really dig that analogy! :D

Vroom
04-22-2008, 07:17 PM
In addition to what everyone else had already said, I kind of welcome those comments when new people see my ukulele. I like it because it gives me a chance to change their perspective and to respect a whole new instrument. Playing the ukulele comes with bragging rights, because not many people do play.Play it loud and proud buddy!!!:D


haha, i'm totally with you on that. If you can play something ... anything, thats good on the ears on a ukulele, its like whoa thats sweet. if you played the same thing on a guitar in front of people, 25% of them would probably tell you that they can play better.

seeso
04-22-2008, 07:27 PM
I think that there could be some faulty logic in your mom's argument. She assumes that one plays an instrument to "get somewhere" with it.

Oftentimes, one plays an instrument just because it's fun. There doesn't need to be an endpoint.

puremarkska
04-22-2008, 07:33 PM
Your mom's response to her kid wanting to learn the ukulele actually isn't a very surprising one. In fact, I even heard that Aldrine's parents felt (& somewhat still feel) the same way when he started seriously studying ukulele - and he's freaking awesome.

Plus, you have to remember that the last major period of ukulele exposure was in the seventies (which is probably what your mom remembers). During that time, people chose to make the uke feel like a novelty instrument. But this age of ukulele is NOTHING like it was then. We're banging on doors and breaking down walls here. So, it's understandable that you and your mom don't see the instrument in the same light.

In addition, there are tons of serious bands and artists coming out today that are incorporating and bringing new meaning to the uke. Jack Johnson & Colbie Caillat are two mainstream artists who immediately come to mind that regularly tour with ukulele players in their group. If it came down to it, I think any one of us could name more bands that use ukulele players than those who regularly use violinists. I can't even name one that uses the flute (other than a few who disbanded long before the age of tie-dye).

Sorry, this turned out a little long-ish, but the point is - no matter what your mom (or anyone else) says, if you're serious about the ukulele, then it is definitely a serious instrument. And you've always got 1,629 (and growing) good friends here to back you up on that.

Guting
04-22-2008, 07:40 PM
whats your fams background?

tad
04-22-2008, 07:42 PM
I just gotta say...


Informer, you no say daddy me snow me Ill go blame,
A licky boom boom down.
Detective mon said daddy me snow me stab someone down the lane,
A licky boom boom down.
Informer, you no say daddy me snow me Ill go blame,
A licky boom boom down.
Detective mon said daddy me snow me stab someone down the lane,
A licky boom boom down.

Kaneohe til the end
04-22-2008, 08:32 PM
why dont you ask your mom how much money she makes, then tell her that jake makes more than her, then ask if she can name 5 great flute/violin players, then name like ten great uke players.(aldrine, seeso, guting, etc.)

Ame
04-22-2008, 08:41 PM
yea, my mom had a similar reaction, no not really but it was funny but not at the time it happened because she was just not having a good day..
When I first got my uke in the mail I got so excited. I opened it up and started tuning it. My mom came in my room and with sarcasm and attitude in her voice yelled "WHY IS IT SO SMALL?!" and stormed out of the room. I pretty much had that "WHATTHEEF?!" look on my face and screamed back, "It's an ukulele mom! What did you expect?!"

But other various comments I've gotten while carrying it around the city and such, "Is that a toy?", "Do you really play it?", "Can you play songs on that thing?", and a lot of "What is that? a little guitar?" and I respond with "It's an ukulele." and I quickly get, "A what?" or "A uku-what?"

I've also been assumed to be Hawaiian and to have lived/gone to school in HI just because I had a uke.

Not many people think of it as a serious instrument, but when you play them something, they can possibly change their minds.

I play the uke because it's fun. Don't get me wrong. I AM serious about it, but I don't plan on making money off of it or anything. I like to learn new things and uke is my newest thing to learn. So, no one can tell me what I can or can't enjoy doing with my time. ><;;

Ame
04-22-2008, 08:46 PM
I think that there could be some faulty logic in your mom's argument. She assumes that one plays an instrument to "get somewhere" with it.

Oftentimes, one plays an instrument just because it's fun. There doesn't need to be an endpoint.

haha I read this after I posted my reply.
He pretty much summed up what I wanted to say in two sentences.

jaggtmolina
04-22-2008, 08:57 PM
doesnt sound like a bad idea Dom :D

My mum and dad were excited - because it was "cute"

hey that's true. i've sat people down to watch some Jake and Aldrine and made believers out of them. :)

UkuLeLesReggAe
04-22-2008, 08:59 PM
haha true Jagg :D

If somebody dont believe its a real instrument - just hit them in their face and say "its not made up ;)"

Plainsong
04-23-2008, 12:14 AM
I would get the same thing from my mom, who knows nothing about nothing when it comes to music. In fact if it wasn't a clarinet, my parents didn't want to know.

And I'm glad I'm an adult now, but I also put up with a bit until I played some of her favorite songs and she was impressed that I was smart enough to figure all that stuff out. ;)

But she grew up in Hawaii and her image of the uke is very Tiny Tim, or something for little kids.

I have a short fuse though when it comes to people who don't know anything and yet talk crap anyway. Maybe it's because I have a cold still and I'm in a bad mood, but if my mom took that attitude with me, my response would be that when she was a degree in music, then she can bring it, otherwise STFU. ;)

No, I don't miss being a teenager and living at home, why do you ask? :D

UkuCouS
04-23-2008, 12:34 AM
I'm soo annoyed by those people who says that ukulele isn't a real instrument, "it's a toy" or "it's a kid's guitar".
To these people I'm just asking who they are to judge this or this instrument is a "real" one, people around the world are making so beautiful things with ukulele, Jake Aldrine James Hill, Dominator, Herb Otha JR, Abe Lagrimas .... and a lot more.
Why if this isn't a true instrument is there such a community of players around the world, why is there so much great musicians who played also this instrument for example George Harrison ?
People already told me "but it has only four strings, what can you do with it ?" I just tell them how beautiful instruments have only 4 string, the perfect example is violin.
I think people think this because the hasn't got any reference has we do, the uke is a "young instrument" (aprox. +/- 100 years), and this is less familiar than guitar, but belive me I think in a near future (maybe decades from now) ukulele will be a familiar instrument, for a few years now it's popularity is growing up, we are seeing more and more artists playing this fabulus instrument.

dnewton2
04-23-2008, 01:30 AM
If somebody dont believe its a real instrument - just hit them in their face and say "its not made up ;)"

Maybe a little extreme, but is it fake?

Plainsong
04-23-2008, 01:42 AM
Come to think of it, in this very thread someone said "haha" about the recorder. Yeah, that's a common 3rd grade music class kind of thing to start out on. But did you know that recorder is also a serious instrument? You can pay thousands for the best (wooden of course) ones, and baroque recorder isn't actually easy to play.

backdoc972
04-23-2008, 02:08 AM
If you plan on being a professional musician, she may have a point. There are fewer opportunities there. But with an instrument like the guitar, as has already been pointed out, you gotta be really special to stand out from the crowd.

I play uke for fun and from what I can tell, even guys like jake have a ball playing the things even though he is a serious musician. No reason you can't play more than one instrument. I wish when I was your age I had taken some music.

mr_dust
04-23-2008, 03:33 AM
So after abandoning guitar for my ukulele, my mom believes ukulele isn't a "serious" instrument. She said there's NO way to get anywhere with it and no waay to play in a band or something. She recommends playing something like violin or flute. And a lot of times i'm being asked, "what's the point of playing ukulele?", "Can you ACTUALLY play that thing?" or "Why would you want to learn ukulele?". I'm so annoyed with these comments and I don't know how to respond. Have you guys experienced any comments like these? How do you respond?

My mom is quite the opposite, she introduced me to the ukulele!:cool:

bof
04-23-2008, 03:35 AM
So please tell me how any musical instrument can be serious or not serious? It's not about the instrument, but about the player.
Ukulele has been used by many entertainers or clowns because it looks like a tiny guitar to common people who are not very involved with musical instruments. So they think because they know the Ukulele from all these entertainers and clowns and because it looks like a tiny guitar (they probably don't know how many strings a guitar has in general), they think that the Ukulele is not a serious instrument.
Why is a mandolin a serious instrument, then? Because it has steel strings, the tuning is different and the strings are "doubled"? No, just because there were only few (if there were any) entertainers who used the mandolin as their instruments of choice to entertain the people visiting or watching their shows.
So you have to ask, is the player serious with playing the instrument? and absolutely not whether an instrument is serious...

Lanark
04-23-2008, 04:01 AM
That's the gist of it.
It's all a matter of preconceived associations and for most people it's with Novelty Acts like Tiny Tim and Hawaiian music which falls to most ears somewhere between Ethnic & Novelty tunes.
It's also smaller than what most people associate with a guitar shape which gives people unfamiliar with the uke the impression that it's a "toy".
And don't forget, that the ukulele despite the history and our enthusiasm is still pretty much a niche instrument to your average person. (Like taking up the bagpipes or something.) To a certain extent you've got to kind of grin and bear it. If you're serious, sooner or later they'll at least have to appreciate that you are serious about playing.

(That being said, I could also live without ever having someone ask me if I can play "Tiptoe Through the Tulips" again.)

I'm kind of lucky though. The Lovely Wife is from Hawaii and most of my other friends are musicians who play several instruments already and can appreciate it.

nikolo727
04-23-2008, 04:13 AM
FALCON PUNCH HER IN THE FACE!


no.

like dom said just show her some of jake's vids or some of aldrines vids.


show her jake playing grandma's groove or some of his really fast songs to impress her.


it really is a great instrument and i believe any one can get far with a ukulele if they just put the heart and soul into it.

cuz thats all great playing is broh: It's putting love and joy into every note that you strum and pick.

a couple of my friends and i are slowly starting to form a band and im playing ukulele and base in it.

i will do some ukulele solos in some songs or just be in the backround in the rest of them.

it really does add a nice touch to the music.


show her some vids and she'll hopefully, begin to understand that it really is a great instrument.

ChiyoDad
04-23-2008, 05:52 AM
Here's an audio program related to this discussion (RealAudio file):

http://cbc.ca/ottawa/media/audio/ottawamorning/20071105ukeO05.ram

la_ingrit
04-23-2008, 05:57 AM
Dont get involve with comments!!...what YOU think is what matters!!!!
if it's worth for you play ANY instrument...that's cool!!!!!!!
And remember: HAVE FUN PLAYING THE UKE!!!!!!!!!!

NotoriousMOK
04-23-2008, 09:22 AM
"I play ukulele because it makes me happy."


. . . . at the end of the day, this is all she wants anyways.

nikolo727
04-23-2008, 10:35 AM
Dont get involve with comments!!...what YOU think is what matters!!!!
if it's worth for you play ANY instrument...that's cool!!!!!!!
And remember: HAVE FUN PLAYING THE UKE!!!!!!!!!!

REMEMBER THE FALCON PUNCH TOO!


HIIIIIAAAAYAAAAAH!

Woodstocksp3
04-23-2008, 11:33 AM
I think that as long as you're having fun playing it and it makes you happy, then that is all that truly matters.

h-drix
04-23-2008, 12:48 PM
(Like taking up the bagpipes or something.)

besides the ukulele thats the instrument i really want to learn to play.

i was walking down the street playing the uke. i got a couple weird looks, a few waves, a few peace signs, and a few rednecks calling out names. but then again they're rednecks lol.

SMillette92
04-23-2008, 01:47 PM
I remember when I saw one of my friends mom's and she said that the ukulele was a "toy". I sent her a link to Jake's Gently Weeps, and that shut her right up. :D

<~/UkeDude\~>
04-23-2008, 02:15 PM
Hey, I had a similar encounter when I went to this get-together thingy that happened at my church this past weekend. . .
Long story short, I went to go play some praise music, and when song service and the surmon was all over everyone started to hang out and play in the gym.
My friend and I decided to have a small jam session, so we went to the back of the stage and started jammin.
A little bit later a few other guys came over and wanted to jam with us, so we let em and it was all good. . .
Until they saw what I was playing then they gave me this real dirty look as tho to say "what is this boozo doing here with that toy?" LoL so I saw this and decided to start showing off, so I played "Gently Weeps" and holy crap did their faces change from snarky and angry to wow and amazement haha ^_^

And in the end we all became pretty good friends, and we all jammed out till 11 o'clock or so haha it was awesome!

Sry to bog you guys down with so much writing lol, I didn't mean to keep going on and on haha but yeah that's my awesome experience with the Ukulele and changing people's outlook on it ;)

Bourbon Boy
04-23-2008, 02:35 PM
first of all i have to give it to you snow. You put it all out there but looking to you fellow UU members for advice on such a situation. To be honest i get the same response as you are getting from a ton of peeps. OH WELL. Cant make everyone happy right. I have to say I have played guitar for years. I have had way more fun and far more self satifaction from the uke than I have ever had from the guitar. I love it. and for now thats all i care about is how happy it makes me. When I get home from a long day of work...i play my uke and a :D grows on my face. keep it rockin bro....dont put it down!!!

Bourbon Boy
04-23-2008, 02:37 PM
your mom may not even realize how frequent the ukulele is used in many popular songs that she may love. Since i have been playing the uke I have learnd to be keen on its sound and I can hear it in many songs in the background. Or leading the charge. Uke is no joke man. real deal!

Snow
04-23-2008, 03:35 PM
You know what's not a serious instrument? Guitar. There's guaranteed to be about twenty "guitar players" at any open mic you go to. How many serious ukulele players? A helluva lot less.

The piano can be beautiful, and it's great for learning theory, but HOW MANY people take piano lessons who never get anywhere with it?

Seriously, just explain the principle of "big fish, small pond."

And then some vids of Aldrene, Jake, and James Hill...

haha, that's so true. I like your comparison. I better learn some tricky songs to prove people wrong hahaha. Ima show her some videos of Aldrine and Jake and I'll tell you guys how she reacted haha.

And i'll give her that Falcon Punch in my head :D lmao

tad
04-23-2008, 04:25 PM
Also-- Roy Smeck....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BAQSUFxCpBo

Snow
04-23-2008, 04:29 PM
Also-- Roy Smeck....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BAQSUFxCpBo

Wow, he pwnz soprano :p

spaztick
04-23-2008, 04:47 PM
Hi, I'm new to both this forum, and the ukulele. This is the first topic I've read, and it seems like a great place to start!

I'd never really thought much of the ukulele until I saw Julia Nunes (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yr09fYxQXMU) playing The Beach Boys "God Only Knows" on Youtube.

I myself had just recently started to play the guitar, and I was at a friend's place when she pulled out this old ukulele. She said she didn't play it, and lent it to me to tinker around with. I've found it's a lot of fun, and it always lifts me up. Now I alternate between ukulele and guitar.

The first song I "taught" myself on uke was The Counting Crows "Mr. Jones". I've posted it on youtube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jh2alpHMKP8), and I'd love for you to check it out and let me know what you think!

Oh, by the way, this site was linked to the video, so I assume somebody here did that. Thanks!

Howlin Hobbit
04-23-2008, 04:58 PM
I realize that this thread was started with the sincerest of intentions, but I have to tell you, this is one subject that just chaps my ass.

Basically, who cares if this person or that one thinks the ukulele isn't a serious instrument? I don't care if nobody but me takes it "seriously."

I don't get worked up about changing anyone's opinion about it either.

It gives me all sorts of joy because I can play the kind of stuff I always wanted to play on guitar (and could, to an extent) but on the ukulele it's just way simpler. At least for me. And if nobody else in the whole freaking universe dug it except me, I'd still play.

Plus it satisfies the very opposite urge in me. I like the fact that it's an odd little beast. I love the fact that people see me sitting there at Pike Place Market (or wherever I'm playing) and think, "What's that odd little sod playing?"

I don't seem to get a lot of the flack that I see complaints about on the various forums. And the few times that I do, my attitude is, why be normal?

Don't think of it as serious/not serious. Think of it as extraordinary.

And if strumming it makes you as happy as it makes me, don't even think about the issue at all. Just enjoy it.

OK. I'll stop ranting now.

(Dang. I need to shower. I worked up a sweat and stuff. But first, a little strum.)

studentaccount1
04-23-2008, 04:59 PM
You could probably stand to make more money and have a more stable career as a professional musician if you played the flute or violin.

So, in that sense, maybe she had a point....

Plainsong
04-23-2008, 07:18 PM
You could probably stand to make more money and have a more stable career as a professional musician if you played the flute or violin.

So, in that sense, maybe she had a point....


And having a career in either is less to do with talent and more to do with being in the right place at the right time. Music is music, and it's a tough thing to make any money at, so you may as well pick something you love to play.

And it's chaps my ass too, Hobbit. :D

Ukulele_Junkie
04-23-2008, 07:21 PM
http://abstraxx.com/book_7.jpg

tad
04-23-2008, 07:30 PM
Wow, he pwnz soprano :p

The greats did with 12 frets what most of us could never do with 100.



I'd never really thought much of the ukulele until I saw Julia Nunes (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yr09fYxQXMU) playing The Beach Boys "God Only Knows" on Youtube.



I have a total musical crush on Julia Nunes!

I mean, the fact that she's adorable doesn't hurt anything, either, but I love her performances-- her spirit. Her and SweetAfton23 are AMAZING performers-- they could get by on charm, if they didn't have the talent... but they do!

Plainsong
04-23-2008, 07:37 PM
Yeah, Julia really has a good vibe going. I have a non-sexual woman crush on her too. :D

tad
04-23-2008, 07:46 PM
Yeah, Julia really has a good vibe going. I have a non-sexual woman crush on her too. :D

"Vibe" is a good term for it.

She has an amazing rapport with the camera, and it translates into her mp3s.

dakine2009
04-23-2008, 10:24 PM
Being from Oahu, ukulele is the way to go. An instrument is an instrument. Tell your mom to take a chill pill. It sounds like you enjoy playing the ukulele and you shouldn't give it up just because you mom doesn't consider it a "serious instrument." Go for it! =D

spaztick
04-24-2008, 10:23 AM
I have a total musical crush on Julia Nunes!

Haha! I know what you mean! I was so intrigued with her... still am! She kinda opened my eyes to the instrument! As far as the topic of this thread, which I realize I meandered from earlier, I think that if your passionate about anything, go for it! If you're serious about it, that's what's most important in my mind!

acabooe
04-24-2008, 10:58 AM
I have been more lucky than most.

My wife ( who is from Hawai'i & introduced me to it ) and my parents and brother have all been really supportive.

They feel that if it makes me happy and isn't dangerous, then go for it.
I feel the same way, If it makes you happy then do it, & don't think about what others say.
Be who you are.

Acabo'oe

JennyJo
04-26-2008, 05:47 PM
You could point out to your mom that there are some fairly cool bands that *do* include the ukulele, like Beirut or the Magnetic Fields. Maybe not the most mainstream, but they're out there. I'll wager the uke shows up in more places than most people would think.