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Skitzic
01-31-2010, 02:43 PM
Why is it, whenever I tell someone I play the ukulele I get the same reaction...a blank look washes over their face, they nod slightly and say in a monotone, 'a ukulele huh?'

I am new to the ukulele world. I've had an 'obsession' (I don't necessarily think it's an obsession, but my coworkers, house mates, and friends all claim it is) for about 2 months. I received my first ukulele Tuesday, and went to my first open mic earlier this afternoon. I whipped it out for a song at a gig I had on friday, but it was only one song and it had a really bad turn out so I'm not going to count that as playing it in public.

Why is it that the ukeulele is viewed as a toy? I was under the impression that fellow musicians would be able to appreciate all instruments, even if they have no instruments.

Now I hear the lead guitarist of my band called a band meeting that I was not aware of (he was at the open mic where I played the uke). He's trying to get the others to boot me out because 'I'll probably want to drag the band into the dead end folk scene.'

WTH? Now, I live in backwater PA...serious redneck-ville...so I'm not sure if this is the normal reaction to ukulele players or if it's the rednecks freaking out over something different.

Blah. I'm frustrated.

portlandjosh
01-31-2010, 02:49 PM
Man, if your bandmates are the kind of folks who would kick you out for playing a ukulele—on your own time, no less—then I think you need to find a new band. In my circles, people seem to find humor that I am into the uke. But not judgmentally so. Be confident, show 'em how serious an instrument it really is, and if they still laugh, then @!&%$ 'em! ;)

Skitzic
01-31-2010, 02:59 PM
I think the split has been looming for awhile. I'm not sure what he wants, but it's not me in the band. It won't be any horrible loss for me, it's just frustrating I'm meeting so much resistance, from everyone. Oh well. I'm still convinced I'll convert them all...I just need to build up enough skill to crank out Hotel California.

I put that on my bucket list. Learn to play Hotel California on a uke.

Plainsong
01-31-2010, 03:13 PM
I think the split has been looming for awhile. I'm not sure what he wants, but it's not me in the band. It won't be any horrible loss for me, it's just frustrating I'm meeting so much resistance, from everyone. Oh well. I'm still convinced I'll convert them all...I just need to build up enough skill to crank out Hotel California.

I put that on my bucket list. Learn to play Hotel California on a uke.

Wow. Your (well I guess it's not yours, so I'll say THAT) band sucks. Are they smart enough to know The Beatles played ukulele (except maybe Ringo)? No, because their heads are too far up their @sses and they're probably not the brightest candles.

None of my husband's old band mates look down on uke, and his guitar virtuoso little brother thinks they're darn handy in fact, and has a tenor Fluke. No real musician is going to think less of anyone else's instrument of choice. If they do, if they're really like that, then they have their own insecurity issues. Musicians are too busy playing to care about such things. I mean not every person wants a uke or likes the sound, but they're too busy playing to give a rip about what someone else plays.

Heheh, maybe he's scared you'll drag them down into reggae, which the uke is very good at. Reggae would be way too hard for posers to play. ;)

I can play Hotel California on uke and it does shut them up... if only I could really PLAY it, which I can't. I suck.

No one I've ever met in a band would kick someone out for what they play on their own time. He was probably just looking for an excuse, and a complete jerk you don't want to waste time creating with anyway.

As for the general subject of the thread title, there was a huge thread that can't be found anymore (at least by me) about "the smile" you get when you say you play uke. Yeah sure, strangers do, and they've not heard all the cool stuff we have so it's alright. But from someone who pretends to be a musician and friend I create music with?? No frakking way.

Kick him to the curb, girlfriend!

salukulady
01-31-2010, 03:38 PM
Short sighted musicians are not the people you want to hang around. Jump the gun and step down from the band before you get the boot. It'll make it easier on everyone. Then find some other open minded accepting musicians to hang with. There are many of us out there.

Ignore negative comments regarding the uke. It's usually ignorance. Show them a vid of Jake and open up their eyes. Share the love.

Ahnko Honu
01-31-2010, 04:12 PM
To quote Admiral David Glasgow Farragut "Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!"
Mobile Bay 1864

GrumpyCoyote
01-31-2010, 04:23 PM
Now I hear the lead guitarist of my band called a band meeting that I was not aware of (he was at the open mic where I played the uke). He's trying to get the others to boot me out because 'I'll probably want to drag the band into the dead end folk scene.'


As opposed to the thriving what scene exactly? Wow. That quote alone would have me looking for some new bandmates.

ukulelearp
01-31-2010, 04:39 PM
I enjoy the "toy" image of the ukulele. If someone's got no expectations, you've go nowhere to go but up, I figure. I think I do get slightly more respect since I can play guitar though. My friends would probably take me less seriously if I exclusively played the ukulele.

Doug W
01-31-2010, 04:43 PM
When it comes up in a conversation that I play guitar, people want to know what style etc., when they find out that I play mandolin, they want to know if I play bluegrass, when they find out that I play uke they make a comment about Tiny Tim and chuckle. I imagine it is the same with most uke players.

If you need group therapy and can get away in June, head out here:
http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?18391-UWC2010-June-4th-5th

Sambient
01-31-2010, 05:17 PM
Everyone has been more polite than my initial reaction was.
The cleaned up version of my response: eff 'em.

And "dead end folk scene", really? Find yourself some new playmates.

Plainsong
01-31-2010, 10:43 PM
Everyone has been more polite than my initial reaction was.
The cleaned up version of my response: eff 'em.

And "dead end folk scene", really? Find yourself some new playmates.

Yeah, does the guy also tell you when you have permission to use the bathroom? Way to micromanage your band into suckiness. I agree - leave before they kick you out.

Sambient
02-01-2010, 04:25 AM
And before you do, make sure you share every lead guitar player joke with him. Publicly. In front of the other band members.
Musicians love musician jokes. Especially when someone else is the victim.

Skitzic
02-01-2010, 06:30 AM
I've been pondering stepping down any way. I was against bringing that ...person... in as the lead guitar player anyway. He's rubbed me the wrong way from day one, but that's besides the point.

I think the area I happen to reside in has a lot to do with it as well. Damn red necks! I'll show them all when I show up at the next open mic this sunday. I'll keep stuffing my uke in their face until they accept that it's a real instrument and I'm not going away.

I'll be that weird girl at open mics who plays rock covers on a uke and spits out the occasional sarcastically sweet and slightly comical originals about how my ukulele will end global warming and bring peace to the Middle East if I could just find my car keys...ah, the music world won't know what hit them!

Then I'm going to break a pool stick over the lead guitarist's head after I steal it from the bar that won't let them play there anymore because I have the contacts and I have the networking skills to be able to pull in regular, paid gigs.

...not that I'm bitter or anything. I need to make new musician friends.

paraclete
02-01-2010, 06:41 AM
Heh... when I mentioned my affinity for the uke at a band rehearsal at church, the lead guitarist was kind of like "huh? the ukulele? I don't know anyone who would want to play the ukulele." But then that Sunday, I took it along for something to do between sets, and when he saw it, he immediately wanted to play it and wanted me to show him different chords!

wheelgunner
02-01-2010, 07:38 AM
Most of the people I know have been quite receptive when I tell them that I have taken up playing the ukulele. Of course that might have something to do with the fact that I used to be a competitive shooter and they all know I'm a better shot than they are. :)

Gipserio
02-01-2010, 08:47 AM
I was actually attracted to the uke partially because it looks so cute. Thing is now that I'm playing I'm getting all pretentious and wan't to take it as far as I can. I live in Spain, which is a (should I say THE?) country of guitars and mandolins, and many people don't even know what an ukulele is! I tell friends I want to play the thing seriously and I get giggles. And nobody to jam with either!..... or any teachers.

There's no stopping me though! The uke and myself were bound to come together at some point.

Gipserio
02-01-2010, 08:49 AM
... forgot to say... GO FOR IT SKITZIC!!

aviezero
02-01-2010, 09:11 AM
Tell them you play a modified 4 string soprano classical guitar. An easy way to play Hotel California is Dm, A, C, G, Bflat, F, Gm, A. I've noticed there is a night and day difference in the reaction of people hearing you play a ukulele and the reaction of you telling people you play the ukulele. Good luck with your music.

Skitzic
02-01-2010, 09:19 AM
I like that, a modified 4 string classical guitar. I may have to crank that one out at the next open mic.

And I am totally working on Hotel California when I get home. :D

ukecantdothat
02-01-2010, 09:19 AM
I've been pondering stepping down any way. I was against bringing that ...person... in as the lead guitar player anyway. He's rubbed me the wrong way from day one, but that's besides the point.

I think the area I happen to reside in has a lot to do with it as well. Damn red necks! I'll show them all when I show up at the next open mic this sunday. I'll keep stuffing my uke in their face until they accept that it's a real instrument and I'm not going away.

I'll be that weird girl at open mics who plays rock covers on a uke and spits out the occasional sarcastically sweet and slightly comical originals about how my ukulele will end global warming and bring peace to the Middle East if I could just find my car keys...ah, the music world won't know what hit them!

Then I'm going to break a pool stick over the lead guitarist's head after I steal it from the bar that won't let them play there anymore because I have the contacts and I have the networking skills to be able to pull in regular, paid gigs.

...not that I'm bitter or anything. I need to make new musician friends.
Glad to see the internal politics of the modern rock band haven't changed since I dropped out of active rock gigging some (gulp) eighteen years ago! Now, first of all, having meetings to determine a player's fitness to be in the band, without that player being present, is soooooo like, y'know, childish. Are there other "girls" in the band? Maybe the Almighty Lead Guitarist wants it to be an all boys club. Secondly, you're right to let your uke do the talking. Thirdly, the reason the uke is viewed (outside of Hawaii, anyway) by some as "toy" is partly because of the lingering effects of Tiny Tim (discussed ad nauseum in the threads here, George Formby in the U.K.) and partly because small equals cute. The latter also makes some people smile uncontrollably when the uke is played.

And finally, Q: how do you get the lead guitarist to turn it down? A: Put a chart in front of him (her).
Or: Did you hear about the lead guitarist who was so bad that even the drummer noticed?


Equal time, Q: Why do rock guitarists take an instant dislike to ukulele players? A: It saves time in the long run.
and from Seeso (I think) a while back: Q: What's the difference between an ukulele player and a pizza? A: The pizza can feed a family of four!

Ukulele JJ
02-01-2010, 09:23 AM
I think the area I happen to reside in has a lot to do with it as well. Damn red necks! I'll show them all when I show up at the next open mic this sunday. I'll keep stuffing my uke in their face until they accept that it's a real instrument and I'm not going away.

Why is so important that anyone think the ukulele is a "real" instrument? Why should it matter if people get blank looks on their faces when you tell them you play one? If everyone hated the uke but you, would you quit playing?

Didn't think so. :-)

It's nice to have popularity and acceptance when it comes to the art you create. After all, art is there to share with people. But once your goal becomes winning over everyone, you're sunk. Not only is it impossible, but trying for it is a one-way ticket to Blandville, with stops in Sellout Town and Artistic Compromise City.

Do your thing. Enjoy yourself. Play out of love for music and love for your audience (yes, even the rednecks). Don't worry so much about playing for approval for either you or your instrument. Some will dig it, others won't. But that's only a "plight" if you make it one.

:shaka:

JJ

Skitzic
02-01-2010, 09:29 AM
Glad to see the internal politics of the modern rock band haven't changed since I dropped out of active rock gigging some (gulp) eighteen years ago! Now, first of all, having meetings to determine a player's fitness to be in the band, without that player being present, is soooooo like, y'know, childish. Are there other "girls" in the band? Maybe the Almighty Lead Guitarist wants it to be an all boys club. Secondly, you're right to let your uke do the talking. Thirdly, the reason the uke is viewed (outside of Hawaii, anyway) by some as "toy" is partly because of the lingering effects of Tiny Tim (discussed ad nauseum in the threads here, George Formby in the U.K.) and partly because small equals cute. The latter also makes some people smile uncontrollably when the uke is played.

And finally, Q: how do you get the lead guitarist to turn it down? A: Put a chart in front of him (her).
Or: Did you hear about the lead guitarist who was so bad that even the drummer noticed?


Equal time, Q: Why do rock guitarists take an instant dislike to ukulele players? A: It saves time in the long run.
and from Seeso (I think) a while back: Q: What's the difference between an ukulele player and a pizza? A: The pizza can feed a family of four!

I'm dreading the first 'will you play Tiptoe Through the Tulips?' I may have to vomit on someone's shoes.

I am the only female of the group, and you're probably right when you say he wants a boy party. Ah well. I need to sell my house and move somewhere with a better music scene.

Skitzic
02-01-2010, 09:33 AM
Why is so important that anyone think the ukulele is a "real" instrument? Why should it matter if people get blank looks on their faces when you tell them you play one? If everyone hated the uke but you, would you quit playing?

Didn't think so. :-)

It's nice to have popularity and acceptance when it comes to the art you create. After all, art is there to share with people. But once your goal becomes winning over everyone, you're sunk. Not only is it impossible, but trying for it is a one-way ticket to Blandville, with stops in Sellout Town and Artistic Compromise City.

Do your thing. Enjoy yourself. Play out of love for music and love for your audience (yes, even the rednecks). Don't worry so much about playing for approval for either you or your instrument. Some will dig it, others won't. But that's only a "plight" if you make it one.

:shaka:

JJ

I'm just cranky this week. I quit smoking and have apparently been a b***h on wheels. I figured I would attack the internet and give those around me a break. I still think people need to take that stick out of their butt though.

Plainsong
02-01-2010, 06:43 PM
It sounds like he's most likely one of those who believes girls can't play rock.. or any other kind of music that isn't lame and trite. Lots of female guitar-playing friends complain about this, these seemingly normal guys who suddenly think that women aren't musical? Huh?

And if everyone else wants to be in a band where you can't use the bathroom without his permission, then they are welcome to future gigs on the Fail Boat.

A friend of mine in a locally famous hard rock band almost gave "the smile" until he saw my uklectic. He didn't have to be told the capabilities of an electric instrument and could see it was quality stuff. He also thought the neck shape made more sense than the more accepted mandolin. I'm not saying he invited me into the band to radically change their sound, but nor would I have been KICKED OUT for doing stuff on MY OWN TIME.

Neil Young learned on a baritone uke. And I can see that yes, a band shouldn't have anything to learn from Neil Young in any way. Take comfort in the fact that Neil would be cooler with YOU than with THEM. :)

Real muscians just don't give a rip what you enjoy playing on your own time. Even if they hate uke, they're not going to care what you do on your own time.... other than teasing and ribbing of course, which you're supposed to dish right back.

Print out this thread so he can read it.

Fuzzy
02-02-2010, 05:58 AM
I'm sorry to hear about your uke-related band issues. You need to challenge him to a cagematch to the death for control of the band.
I'm in the opposite boat. I play drums in a rock band and took my uke to practice one day. They were so enthused that we are now trying to put together an acoustic set with the ukulele as a centerpiece.

Skitzic
02-02-2010, 06:40 AM
Dude, I'll move to Ontario if I can come jam with you guys!

I had an acoustic thing going on the side for awhile, just me and a friend with his guitar. If I ever fill his spot in the acoustic thing I'll probably try to put the uke as the center in a few songs.

Ah dreams, dreams.

bunnyflower
02-02-2010, 06:55 AM
What they said! :) I mean, dude. You expand the number of instruments you can play, and they mock you? Definitely time to move on. Just keep loving what you're doing, and be happy.


I need to sell my house and move somewhere with a better music scene.

Athens, Ga has an awesome music scene... :cool:

ukecantdothat
02-02-2010, 06:58 AM
I had an acoustic thing going on the side for awhile, just me and a friend with his guitar. If I ever fill his spot in the acoustic thing I'll probably try to put the uke as the center in a few songs.

Ah dreams, dreams.
When a friend of mine who plays steel drum called me one day to ask if I would back him up on guitar for a gig, I told him I'd back him up, but only if I could play the ukulele exclusively. It turned out so well, we're still doing it almost a year later. We recently had the opportunity to play a gig with Aldrine in Long Beach, CA, and I'll tell you it was at least as exciting to me as any other gig I've ever done, and I owe it all to UU and my decision to utter the words, "Yes, but only if I can play the ukulele..." At first, putting the uke front and center felt kinda gimmicky (strictly a mainland perception, BTW), but now it's so natural, it's like "Gimmicky-schmimmicky! Where's the next gig?"

Skitzic
02-02-2010, 07:07 AM
I'll keep plucking away at open mics. Maybe I'll inspire others, then I won't stick out so much. :D

It would be seriously awesome if I found some people who were into acoustic as much as I am...then instead of an acoustic duo we could have a triplet or *gasp* a...a...whatever four people would be! I think the stuff I did as an acoustic duo is probably the best music I've ever made.

Maybe I'll take a break from plugged in for awhile. It may do me some good, I'll have to play cleaner because I can't hide behind a distortion effect.

molokinirum
02-02-2010, 07:28 AM
Never give up!!! My nephew is a musician, plays guitar, classical guitar and records. When I handed him my uke (he had never played one before) he started playing and LOVED it. He said it is the coolest thing he has played in a while. Everytime he visits, he wants to play the uke. He is a musician who loves music and ALL instruments! Your band buddies....well you know....