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View Full Version : Why The Tension? (Non string thread)



AC Baltimore
05-09-2010, 09:16 PM
I am still pretty much a uke noob but I have noticed there seems to be some kind of "you are beneath me" tension between strictly guitarist and strictly uke players. Like I said... SOME not ALL, but enough that I noticed.

ichadwick
05-10-2010, 01:39 AM
I am still pretty much a uke noob but I have noticed there seems to be some kind of "you are beneath me" tension between strictly guitarist and strictly uke players. Like I said... SOME not ALL, but enough that I noticed.
Are there any "strictly guitarist" posters here? I've never seen anything from one. Can't imagine why any of them would frequent a forum for an instrument they don't play. Would that suggest that "strictly ukulele" players frequent guitar forums? Just seems an odd habit; trolling for conflict.

There is some tension between guitarists and music retaillers who treat the uke as a toy, not a serious instrument, and any of us who know different. It does get tiring to have to defend your instrument in music stores or at jam sessions. But it's not a feud, more a matter of education. Once someone realizes the range of expression and the depth of playability the uke offers, they're not likely to disparage it.

heyjude
05-10-2010, 02:06 AM
You're going to find diehards anywhere, whether it be religion, politics or yes, even music. Good natured bantering among friends can be entertaining and fun. I play lap steel and have a friend that plays pedal steel. I call his a steel guitar with training wheels. Wouldn't do that with someone I don't know.:)
Hey, at least we don't have to listen to ukulele jokes like the banjo players do about their favorite instrument. "Paddle faster, I hear banjos" is my favorite. You've had to have seen the movie "Deliverance" to get that one.
A lot of it is just folks putting down something they don't understand or have any knowledge of and don't want to admit their ignorance. A bit of if you don't understand it, run it down attitude.
I've been attempting to entertain myself with a musical instrument for over fifty years. Right now I'm spending my time trying to learn the ukulele, mountain dulcimer, hammered dulcimer and shakuhachi. I know, if I had the discipline to stick to one instrument I would be better at playing something but I love them all. Kind of like being one of them potentates with a harem.:)
Well, I've babbled long enough. Time to go and practice something. Take care.

Jude

ichadwick
05-10-2010, 02:31 AM
Right now I'm spending my time trying to learn the ukulele, mountain dulcimer, hammered dulcimer and shakuhachi.
I spent some time trying to learn the shak myself. Discovered I have no talent for wind instruments, despite being a blowhard myself.

I have quite a few CDs and instruction manuals for the shak still - PM if you're interested in buying them from me (I'll be putting them all on eBay soon otherwise).

Ukeffect
05-10-2010, 06:11 AM
Well personally, the ukulele has opened up a world of music for me (something I wished for all my life!) Now, I appreciate good music no matter what instrument it is on...I've also taken up guitar, harmonica, xaphoon, djembe, didgeridoo, ocarina, strumstick, and dulcimer...can't play a lick on any (yet), but hey...at least I'm learning a lot!
:music:

GVlog
05-10-2010, 06:37 AM
Are there any "strictly guitarist" posters here? I've never seen anything from one.
He didn't say that it was on the forum. Likely, he means that there's such an attitude outside of Hawaii in general.

The problem might be on both sides of the fence. I ran into one ukulele player who immediately became defensive when he learned that I played guitar ... until he learned that I also played ukulele. Of course, maybe his reaction was conditioned by previous encounters with guitar players. I didn't bother to inquire.

Tudorp
05-10-2010, 06:48 AM
Well, also being a former Bass player, bassists get that too from time to time. In bands, the bass player generally ends up the butt of jokes, etc, but it is what it is, and I never too offense to it, because it was just part of the gig. In fact, I played along with it too. If it got too rough, I would simply remind them my theory. A band is like your fat aunt Bertha's Christmas jello mold. The rhythm section (Bass and Percussion) are the gelatin (jello) that forms the foundation, and holds it all together, the melody guitars, keyboards, vocals are just the fruit and nuts that make it look pretty. hehheh. Point is, instead of taking it as a bad thing, make light of it, and play along, or develop your own defense. Point is, you know better... ;)

arashi_nero
05-10-2010, 06:55 AM
i have a die-hard guitarist uncle who was not demeaning in anyway, but i don't think he really approved of my choice of going gung-ho with ukulele when i first picked it up again. but then i played some songs for him and he gained more respect for the instrument. now that i have my eleuke, he's really interested. i think he may end up buying one soon haha. but yeah, outside of hawaii, i think most people still have the toy image in their heads and they don't believe the uke is a "real" instrument.

Tudorp
05-10-2010, 07:01 AM
Another thing that I feel put the uke in a bad light. I was a 1960s child, and grew up with a horrible artist (IMHO). Tiny Tim I think did a HUGE amount of damage to the image of Ukuleles outside of Hawaii. Even as a kid, his "Tip Toe Through the Tulips" brought chills up and down my spine.. lol

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=skU-jBFzXl0

brickerenator
05-10-2010, 08:26 AM
Play both. Picking up the guitar has helped me think differently about the ukulele.

And now I can't stop thinking about leaning bass guitar

GrumpyCoyote
05-10-2010, 08:40 AM
Yep - purists exist on both sides of the guitar/uke equation. It doesn't matter what you do in art or music - someone somewhere will turn a nose down at it, and at you for doing it.

I look at it as an easy way to tell who the jack-ass in the room is. He's the guy phoo-pooing my uke.

Skrik
05-10-2010, 09:35 AM
No tension here: I hate everyone.

ukulelearp
05-10-2010, 11:13 AM
The solution: learn 'em both! I've found a lot of the things I've learned on ukulele are applicable on the guitar, and vice-versa.

AC Baltimore
05-10-2010, 12:55 PM
Wow, lots of great replies. Yes I was speaking in general, not just this forum. I have noticed it a lot with the cats I do guitar sessions with/for. When I tell them I have been getting into uke, they either say yeah right or why. I don't get the limitations, music is to me a form of artistic expression... that sometimes manifests on a uke, sometimes a guitar, or beating on a bucket... it all comes down to creativity in my mind. I would guess that if many of the "strictly" guys picked up the others instrument, they would have a new respect for the skill that goes into each instrument.

Just my two cents.

ichadwick
05-10-2010, 01:41 PM
Yep - purists exist on both sides of the guitar/uke equation.
Well, it's the same everywhere. there are Ford purists, GM purists, Toyota purists and BMW purists, Harley Davidson, Triumph and Honda motorcycle purists (I completely empathize with the Triumph purists, by the way because they are so right on...), solid-state versus tube purists, tenor versus soprano purists, cat versus dog purists, Illustrator versus Corel Draw purists, Mac versus PC purists, Canadians versus Americans purists, Democrat purists, Republican purists, socialist purists, Beatles purists, France purists, Kala purists, Jane Austen purists (hmph. latecomers. REAL purists are Shakespeare purists, I say...) - the list is endless.

KevinV
05-10-2010, 03:32 PM
I played guitar long before I picked up a uke and although I didn't look down on it or its players, I saw it as a limited instrument. I figured, why play an instrument that's 2 strings short of a guitar when you can just play a guitar? I saw it as a novel instrument that was perfect in its own environment, but without much breadth of application. I now know that I was wrong, and imagine it's the same mindset many others have that are not educated on the ukulele. I get plenty of quips from my friends and coworkers that know I've dove headfirst into the world of uke, much to the dismay of my guitars, but it doesn't bother me.

The uke has actually expanded my musical horizons much more than I could have ever thought it would this soon. I've been practicing with an established, gigging trio the past few weeks, and they're very open to the uke being in the mix. Currently there is one guitar player, one guitar/banjo player, and one upright bass player. The music is Americana/folk/Caribbean, and the uke fits well into many on the set lists. Once I get the knack for singing harmony, which they're working on with me, we'll be a quartet. They've said that whether I play guitar or uke on any given song is my choice...whatever I think would work best.

So yeah, some may snicker, but others appreciate...just depends on the individual.

GVlog
05-10-2010, 04:53 PM
Well, it's the same everywhere.
And it's within the uke-playing community as well. UU is rather decent owing thanks to active moderation, but go visit some of the other forums. I've seen topics where people sneer at an uke that costs less than $500 or isn't one of the K-brands. Some people don't like ukes being played like guitars. I'm sure the list can be expanded.

AC Baltimore
05-10-2010, 05:31 PM
And it's within the uke-playing community as well. UU is rather decent owing thanks to active moderation, but go visit some of the other forums. I've seen topics where people sneer at an uke that costs less than $500 or isn't one of the K-brands. Some people don't like ukes being played like guitars. I'm sure the list can be expanded.

Seen that as well. Maybe resentment for the treatment the uke gets in general?

clayton56
05-10-2010, 09:46 PM
I've generally played "everything BUT guitar" partly because of that snobbishness. I remember stopping in music stores to get mandolin strings and watching the cool-guy guitarists playing Stairway to Heaven over and over. Guitar is one of those things that attracts that type, because it's been the instrument of choice for lots of stars and those that emulate them.

You're pretty much going your own way if you play mandolin, banjo, uke, or others. What's funny to me is, after learning guitar and finding it useful, is that it seems to be just a backup instrument, and more than a little clumsy as a melody instrument.

ichadwick
05-11-2010, 01:59 AM
I've seen topics where people sneer at an uke that costs less than $500 or isn't one of the K-brands.
I got that treatment a couple of years ago on another forum where I had the temerity to ask about a Lanikai. The ichor in some of the posts was truly astounding. I was insulted, belittled and abused for even mentioning a factory-made instrument.

It showed there are some sad, angry people in the ukiverse. But here it's much more mellow and accepting - aside that is from my occasional grumblings about poor spelling, capitalization and grammar. But then, I'm a purist of a sort too.

GVlog
05-11-2010, 04:34 AM
Seen that as well. Maybe resentment for the treatment the uke gets in general?
Who knows? People come from different experiences.

EDIT: But why sneer at someone because they're starting on an inexpensive ukulele? Isn't that just pure snobbery?

If I may be so bold, I'm inclined to surmise that part (perhaps a great part) of the ukulele's less than favorable reputation outside of Hawaii is a self-inflicted wound that is dealt by some members of the broader ukulele community who associate it with their eccentricities.



What's funny to me is, after learning guitar and finding it useful, is that it seems to be just a backup instrument, and more than a little clumsy as a melody instrument.
I'd prefer not to contradict you but this is also a case of not having adequately explored the abilities of an instrument. I'm surprised that you should make such a broad unfavorable assessment.

I'm absolutely certain that I'm not the only one on this forum to know otherwise.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=87S3cUdiX-g

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mwvDon1_iKs&a=6Z5DH0nJnAc

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j6ASMFbAe5k



It showed there are some sad, angry people in the ukiverse.
There are sad and angry people everywhere and they're associated with all sorts of instruments (or with none at all). :)

paraclete
05-11-2010, 05:33 AM
There always seems to be a little one-upmanship that goes on in music, whether it is the violin players claiming to be superior in sound and intellect over the viola section or the electric guitarists thumbing their noses at acoustic guitar players or fingerstyle guitarists laughing at those who insist on using a capo for every song.

I've dealt with all sorts of attitudes, but one of the funniest moments yet was with one of the lead guitarists at church. He snickered at the sight of me playing uke. He's one of the electric guitar purists... and preferably a US-made Fender strat with Marshall amp. Everything else is beneath him... especially acoustic instruments. But of course he wanted to examine my uke more closely and then started plunking on it and then wanted me to show him a few chords... and then couldn't put it down!