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dannyman
04-20-2010, 05:28 AM
recently i was in hawaii for a weekend-- thats right, just one weekend. my father had business there, and of course, i jumped at the opportunity to visit the islands. one of my rules is never to leave my house without my uke, and this trip was no exception. i had a great trip, wrote some music on the beach, ect.
its what happened in the honolulu airport that i'm going to tell about.

i got to my gate about an hour early, so naturally, to fill the time i took out and started playing my ukulele. a few minutes after i began i noticed a young thirteen-year-old kid sit down with his parents holding a uke case. he seemed interested in my playing, so i approached him and asked what type of ukulele he had (i was hoping he was one of those incredible child prodigies). alas, it was no kamaka, and the kid was no mini-shimubukuro. The ukulele he had was one of those tourist models that play... but play very poorly (you know, that ones with flamboyant designs on them). I resumed playing to myself shortly thereafter.

as time went on, i noticed the kid slowly getting closer to me and my music (pretending to look out of the window). well, it was obvious he was interested in the uke, and since i teach lessons, i decided i would help this kid out. i gave him my ukulele and started teaching him to play. now you have to understand, he didn't know anything about ukuleles, in fact, the only time he touched one was when he bought his tourist model. nonetheless, within a minute or ten i had him beginning to strum away to "anyone else" by the moldy peaches (its the song from juno, the chords are C and F... THE WHOLE TIME). he was really getting it, and i was about to give him another chord to learn when another guy holding a uke walked up. his was also a tourist model, and after tuning his uke, i began to teach him too. long story short, in the end there was about twelve people I taught and jammed with that day. it was amazing.

i had a fantastic time, and the connection we all felt by the end was awesome.
hopefully twelve more people will REALLY get involved in learning the uke, but i can tell you for sure that twelve people had a fantastic time jamming it up in the honolulu airport. thats the thing i love about hawaii, even if you're not a native you can still feel the aloha spirit!
:cool:

Skitzic
04-20-2010, 06:14 AM
That is an awesome story.

I will be at the Philly airport May 2nd, feel free to stop by and teach me!

nscafe
04-20-2010, 06:35 AM
That sounds better than any of my airport experiences to date. Thanks for sharing.

SailingUke
04-20-2010, 06:55 AM
i had a fantastic time, and the connection we all felt by the end was awesome.
hopefully twelve more people will REALLY get involved in learning the uke, but i can tell you for sure that twelve people had a fantastic time jamming it up in the honolulu airport. thats the thing i love about hawaii, even if you're not a native you can still feel the aloha spirit!
:cool:

I think the aloha spirit is built in all ukuleles. It seems as though whenever and wherever I get to share with others it is a great time.
Many years ago I was in St. Petersberg, Russia there was a group of folks on the street playing and singing. The only song they could sing in English was "You Are My Sunshine", it was one of the most memorable music experiences in my life.

dannyman
04-20-2010, 08:00 AM
sailinguke, i think we all have little anecdotes and stories like this, which is just another reason why i LOVE the ukulele!
thanks for sharing!
if anyone else has a story like this, please feel free to tell it!
if this thread got big, it could really have alot of spirit to it.
lets see how many people we can get!

Dane
04-20-2010, 08:48 AM
Great story! I'm always a little shy with my uke in public outside of Santa Barbara

Huckleberry
04-20-2010, 09:10 AM
Wow !!! What an experience. Keep it going.

Uncle Rod Higuchi
04-20-2010, 09:12 AM
Great Story Dannyman,

You da' man.

Kind of makes one a bit sad thinking that with just a few more dollars they might have picked up a
more playable ukulele. a better starter uke.

During my last trip home (Honolulu), at the Aloha Stadium Swapmeet, I chanced upon a couple of
young tourist guys (separated from their parents/friends?), high school age, but with very cheap
ukes. I gave them copies of my FREE Songbook Method (see link below my signature). I hope they
got some benefit from it. Their ukes were horrible and basically couldn't be tuned at all. I really
felt badly for them, but I didn't want to rain on their parade so I did not criticize their purchases.

I wish I had the time and resources to help them out more.

I wonder how many fledgling ukulele players become discouraged because their first ukulele is a real
cheap model that is more of a toy or ornament rather than a beginner ukulele. It would be a real
shame (crime?) if as a result of their unhappy first experiences they chose to give up on the ukulele.

I hope some of them find UU and then realize that if they just had a slightly better instrument, their
experience might be much more enjoyble and satisfying.

Let's do what we can to support the cause of ukulele enjoyment for all interested individuals.

Keep uke-in',

dannyman
04-20-2010, 10:22 AM
good point uncle rod!
its good that you didn't criticize their ukes, we don't wanna discorage any fledgling players.
considering lots of the ukes that tourists buy are about $20 or less i don't think its a problem.
all we can do is try to help them-- thats where i think doing things like giving mini-lessons and free songbooks comes into play.
if we can get all those people who buy tourists ukes to get REALLY interested in the instrument, the number of people playing uke will increase dramatically.
while those ukes may be more of an ornament then an instrument, they can be the gateway to the purchase and playing of a REAL instrument.
thats where the encouragement and support of those who play the instrument can be so... instrumental! (excuse the poor shot at humor)
the purchase of a cheap uke is (in my opinion) no crime or loss as long as we can show the purchaser that the instruments they're playing are NOT the epitome of the ukulele.

so the moral of this mini-post is to help those who don't know as much, and through that let them discover they joys and wonder of UKULELE!
show them this great community of people by telling them about UU and showing them how to play.
share the love and fun for an amazing instrument!
uncle rod has JUST the right idea!

P.S:
i may add that some amazing playing can be done cheap uke...
proof here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ii9CBQ0OJd0

apparently you can buy that uke for $20...

BadLands Bart
04-20-2010, 12:28 PM
I think the aloha spirit is built in all ukuleles. It seems as though whenever and wherever I get to share with others it is a great time.
.....

Yes the Aloha spirit lives in ALL ukes, no matter what they cost. What a great story, now the airports are just a little bit nicer (not much!) but then again you were in HNL!!
Mahalo for sharing!!!

molokinirum
04-20-2010, 12:36 PM
Great story and thanks for sharing with us! I had an experience where I was in Maui with my brand new Kamaka and could only play some easy chords. I was at the Kaanappali Beach Hotel where a man was making bowls and hats out of palms and there sitting on the ground was a young guy maybe in late teens early twenties and he had a toy uke. The palm maker had a Mele uke and he gave his Mele to the tourist to play while he tried to get the toy uke in tune. It was not easy. Anyway, he never mentioned that it was a cheap toy and no good. He kept on working on it while tuning the toy uke. Then they saw me with a uke case invited me to join them and we had a little jam session that was great. In fact other tourists were watching, clapping and taking pictures.
It is the uke and the magic it brings.