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View Full Version : What's Ukulele Culture To You?



Rubbertoe
05-11-2008, 06:20 PM
When I think of early uke culture (after it migrated from Hawaii to the rest of the world) I imagine guys in long fur coats with a pocket inside that held a soprano, playing The Charleston (just stuff I've read about & seen on Bugs Bunny cartoons). I know there was a resurgence in the 50's (or so) as Hawaiian culture became more and more popular and there seems to be a new ukulele era happening right now. New school uke players respecting the old school but also being led by ukulele phenomes such as Jake, Aldrine, Taimane & James Hill into areas of music and life as yet untouched by our lovable little instrument. Just from hanging out on this board, I've read posts from members of all ages, races, cultures and walks of life.
How would you describe the new ukulele society and culture?

cheeseburger
05-11-2008, 06:44 PM
I would describe it as cool and awesome. I'm amazed at the talented people on this forum alone. :music:

KAWIKA27
05-11-2008, 07:21 PM
I think of it now as a small underground movment that is quickly gaining the respect and fascination of the main streem. It is also not only Jake & James, Aldrine Etc. but the members and none members alike that are really bringing this instrument foward and geting people to recognise that this is an actual insrtument and not just some childrens toy and that it and the players deserve the same amount of respect as any other instrument or musician would get.

:rock::nana::bowdown::music:

This is what i think of the modern Ukulele culter

Ame
05-11-2008, 07:31 PM
wow this would have been great for my podcast, which i JUST finished haha cuz its due tomorrow for pop culture. xP

Vroom
05-11-2008, 07:54 PM
Today's uke culture to me is about challenging the status quo. It's like everyone else has said, it's about showing the world that it is a real instrument, and setting the stage for uke playing generations to come.
Also, when I think of the ukulele I think of a blissful afternoon and beautiful sunset with a relaxed atmosphere. When I play the uke I feel at peace.

Rubbertoe
05-12-2008, 02:35 AM
Also, when I think of the ukulele I think of a blissful afternoon and beautiful sunset with a relaxed atmosphere. When I play the uke I feel at peace.

I love that about the ukulele. Plucking the strings DOES bring an immediate feeling of serenity. I also love how the uke, from what I've seen on this forum, does not necessarily cater, attract or symbolize any specific type of person or group of people. I don't thing they is a "stereotypical" ukulele player now. Everyone loves this little, unassuming instrument.

rayan
05-12-2008, 07:58 AM
Honestly, when Aaron came to me with the idea of making an ukulele website I was like, "Nobody's going to go to it. We'll have maybe like 100 members..." I initially turned it down. After thinking about it some more, I figured, what the hell, there were people watching the IAH lessons, we can't just leave them hanging.

Theres sort of a stigma and expectation about the Ukulele in Hawaii. It's an accepted instrument but at the same time, it's heavily associated with Jawaiian and local contemporary stuff. People in Hawaii, like me before, don't realize how fast the ukulele is growing outside of Hawaii especially with the younger demographic. People in Hawaii assume that Hawaii is the end all be all for the uke. Obviously the growth of this forum tells a different story. People in Hawaii make up less than 10% of our total traffic. The ukulele is exploding outside of Hawaii. The best part about it, the people outside of Hawaii are trying to learn Jake's stuff, or James Hill's stuff, or even making up their own songs! They're not tied down by preconceived expectations of what you are supposed to do with an ukulele.

When Aaron and I sat down and began planning the website our mission statement was, "To grow the next generation of Ukulele players throughout the world by providing educational resources and a community to bring them together." Our logo is based on the idea of growing the next gen ukulele player. The second important goal for us was to destroy those preconceived notions of what an Ukulele should sound like, or what kind of music you're supposed to play on it. People in Hawaii expect Jawaiian stuff, people on the mainland expect Tiny Tim style stuff, so we wanted to do whatever we could to help change that and show that the uke is a legitimate instrument that is easy to learn and can be used to play ANYTHING.

Everyone who is a part of this website now is pretty much ahead of the game. Talking to people like Mike Upton at Kala Ukuleles, he says he can't even keep his stuff in stock and lets face it, you know what kind of people are buying Kala type ukes today; the beginner - intermediate who will become the teachers, artists and superstars of ukulele tomorrow.

Plainsong
05-12-2008, 08:18 AM
I imagine that uke culture is laid back and chill. Kicking back, relaxed, and giving a new sound to old tunes... or a new sound to new tunes. Also, uke players know "the secret." ;)

sukie
05-12-2008, 08:21 AM
I'm a 51 year old woman who started to play the ukulele this Feb. I think it is a fabulous little instrument. I take it very seriously and am really surprised at the looks I get from people when I tell them I take ukulele lessons. (What I have learned here at UU is amazing. :bowdown:) If people would just catch a few You Tube videos I believe they would see what this instrument is all about. Jake blows me away -- my husband went to his concert with me and came out impressed! Seeso is a great example of "ukuleleism". He will be a great leader and teacher. It's a huge movement, I believe. Look at the age ranges and ethnicities of the players. It's time has come!

I'm not sure I feel at peace when I play but that's because I'm learning the Flight of the Bumblebee! Actually, a great piece for learning picking and fingering. Whew!

JackT
05-12-2008, 08:41 AM
I love how everyone on here is from around the world, but we all have love for such a unique instrument. Taking the uke to college gets everyone smiling and its probably the best instrument to play on a sunny day. I think the uke will become mainstream once again like it was in the US in the 50s.

h-drix
05-12-2008, 09:43 AM
to me its about breaking out from your "common" instruments, you guitar bass and drums. Its about breaking the mold not only to open the uke to a wider audience but to open all the other tiny instruments that get looked over.

I get alot of crap from my family like "you cant really play that many styles" or "well if you do play a rock song, wont you get that ukulele sound' which i must say is the dumbest thing i have eve heard. to me its like saying "im going toplay a uke to get a guitar sound" lol.

anyways, the uke community is amazing, the best of any kind. i go to a lot of other forums for other instruments and there are all sorts of stereotypes and elitism. "Danny carry is god" "yngwie malmsteen is the only guitarist". i hope to god that UU never gets like that.

Rubbertoe
05-12-2008, 10:20 AM
the uke community is amazing, the best of any kind. i go to a lot of other forums for other instruments and there are all sorts of stereotypes and elitism. "Danny carry is god" "yngwie malmsteen is the only guitarist". i hope to god that UU never gets like that.

I second that whole-heartedly! It seems that no one, regardless of age or skill level hesitates to help anyone in need. And while we all may have a different favourite ukulele player, we seem to be very open-minded and accepting of everyone else's opinions.

Jimmy
05-12-2008, 10:35 AM
I've noticed there's hobby ukulele players, and like, revolutionary ukulele players. Some that just come here to play, have fun, and talk to others about their interest in the uke. But then there's others who want to change the world via ukulele. Regardless, both of these kinds of people can hang out here. Just talking about what they like doing, ukulele or otherwise.