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View Full Version : Listened to an NPR piece and want to know......



jacothedog
07-25-2010, 04:53 AM
I just listened to this nice piece from NPR about the resurgence of the Uke:

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=127116452

I'm sure it's been posted before, but I'm interested in knowing what you all think of the instrument's resurgence.

Those of you who are new to it: Is it the current popularity that sucked you in? If not, how do you feel about the new popularity?

Those of you veteran players: Are you glad this is happening or did you like being a player of a truly alternative instrument?

For me, I'm glad this happened, or I may not have owned one of these happy little boxes.

telebob
07-25-2010, 06:00 AM
Thanks much for sharing the NPR link. I listened to the whole 7 minutes and read the accompanying article. I didn't catch it on the radio when it was first broadcast. Here's my story:

Admittedly, as a long time guitarist (30+ years), I had always thought the ukulele was a toy, and a musical genre fad.

On my first trip to Hawaii in 2003, I saw and heard several Hawaiian rock bands that featured the uke as the lead instrument - instead of lead guitar. What a surprise! I picked up a couple CDs by various bands and artists featuring the uke, like Koa'uka, Bruddah Iz, and the Ka'au Crater Boys. When I returned to the mainland, I sought out ukes on eBay and purchased an Applause electric tenor uke - mostly because that's what West Mulivai had used on the first Koa'uka album. Although West was playing a G-String uke when I saw him and talked with him on Oahu, I couldnt afford one.

Then I bought a used Fluke concert uke - another great eBay deal. From there, I was hooked and found a local ukulele group who gathered once a month to jam. Then I soon learned about Herb Ohta Jr., Troy Fernandez, and of course Jake Shimabukuro. Meeting other local uke players a the local gatherings was great, as were the local uke festivals. I learned about many fantastic and entertaining ukers like Victoria Vox, Patsy Monteleone, James Key, Gordon Velasco, and others.

In 2005, I returned to "da islands" and spent 9 days on Maui. One entire day was consumed driving between Mele Music and Bounty Music. I pulled down every single uke and played them, and finally decided to acquire a Kamaka 8-string concert uke at Bounty just two hours before my plane was leaving. I hand-carried that $1000 uke onto the plane with a BiG smile and much happiness. I had my ultimate uke. But I digress...

To answer your questions, I guess I got sucked into the uke from a musical standpoint: learning that it was indeed a serious and fun instrument. Many people picked up on Iz's version of SOTR from the various TV shows, but I'm not a fan of TV shows. Iz was gaining even more popularity - post-death - in 2003. Perhaps Iz was one avenue of discovery for many people getting 'into' the uke. For me, I didn't know or care if the ukulele was making a resurgence. I enjoyed the aloha feeling of playing the uke, and its Hawaiian roots. I l-o-v-e Hawaiian music and its beautiful melodies. And besides, the uke was a cool little instrument to learn and add to my multi-instrumental capabilities.

I certainly don't consider myself a veteran player of the uke as I've only been playing it for 7 years. I am glad to see the ukulele is popular. Its popularity has expedited my learning timeframe due to the local groups and players, uke-fests and wonderful websites like UU that offer cyber-community friendship and share knowledge, wisdom, playing hints and tricks, tabs, etc. Like you, I'm happy to be part of the ukulele community.

Graymalkin
07-25-2010, 08:52 AM
For me, as someone who'd never even held a ukelele until a whim struck me a few months ago, I didn't really know there was a resurgence in popularity (actually, now I type that, I do seem to remember reading an article in a newspaper a few years ago about the uke's revival). Certainly more than a few of the people I know have expressed surprise that anyone plays the uke nowadays - several teenagers have even had to have the ukelele explained to them!

Don't get me wrong, I'd been hearing the ukelele more often in the hands of people like Beirut, tUnE-yArDs, Mirah and Lady Lioness (and guest appearances with the likes of Bishop Allen and The Shortwave Set) but for me it was just another instrument - and during my youth I've used melodicas, theremins, stylophones, washboards, and old analogue synths to make 'music' so a uke didn't seem at all odd. I wonder if it could be that the resurgence is mainly centred around Hawaiian music and the more 'classical' instrumentalism of Shimabukuro et al - none of which particularly interests me, so would easily escape me (love Roy Smeck, though - he's practically punk!).

It is fretted, though, which is something I've always avoided before. Guitars just didn't feel right - clunky and huge, with illogical fretboards and that alien 'strumming' thing. The uke just felt 'right' when I first played it, for some reason. And practicing is fun, which I've never known in an instrument before (except possibly the tambourine).

In short - I don't really know why I picked one up, but there's something about it that stops me putting it down...

jehicks87
07-25-2010, 09:04 AM
I've been playing for two or three years, so I still consider myself a beginner.

How I came to the uke...
I was engaged once upon a time. My (now-)ex had a lot of stories that she loved to tell, and I loved to hear. One of her favorites to tell was when she was a little girl and her family vacationed to Hawaii. Her dad was a pretty successful lawyer, so they had a decent amount of money to spend on vacations and such. Well, on this particular trip her dad rented a helicopter ride to tour one of the islands. She says she still remembers flying over the black beaches when Bruddah Iz's SOTR came over the internal comm system and played in her headset. Of course, I had never heard of Bruddah Iz or his rendition, so I looked it up and burned a CD for her, that being one of the songs.

Flash forward a bit to when things fell apart. I was devastated. Emotionally drained. I actually hated life. One night after a bit of self-loathing and self-pity (you'd be surprised how often those two things go hand-in-hand) I needed some comfort. I remembered that story, and that song. I went to YouTube to listen to it one more time, hoping that maybe the sweet melody and the fond memory of times earlier would ease my troubled heart. I found it and listened to it, and low and behold I didn't feel so bad. At the end of YouTube videos there are "you'd be interested in..." links, as I'm sure you all know. I clicked one. It was Jake's Gently Weeps. At the end of that one, I clicked another. Then another. Then another. And so on. I found Julia Nunes, Victoria Vox, and Seeso. These three stick out in my mind the most. These three artists, their songs, and the plinky little instrument they were playing totally absorbed me and took my mind off of my pain. For the first time in a very long time, I did not hate life. I began to research more youtube uke action, and the more I saw over the next few weeks, the more I found the aching went away while I was in the company of the sound of the Uke.

Eventually, I ordered one, and I haven't looked back. I have had many failed instrument attempts (harmonica, guitar, bass to name a few) but when I got my Uke, I found out I could play it. I learned a song in a day. Then another. And so on. It took a long time to get over the darkest period in my life, but I certainly credit the Ukulele, and especially those Ukulele artists I have mentioned in this post, with helping me to overcome the worst, as well as introduce me to actually PLAYING music.

So, through my story I am sure you can already tell my answer to your question, but I'll go ahead and say it: I do not find the resurgence of the Ukulele in any way, shape, or form "bad." I find that it is nothing if not absolutely positive. The Uke actually helped me; the more available it becomes to others, the more likely it will help someone else.

DaveVisi
07-25-2010, 10:36 AM
I started up playing Uke as a travel substitute for carrying a guitar. I didn't even know about this "resurgence" until I went online and found UU and other resources.

jacothedog
07-25-2010, 02:47 PM
Wow - some awesome responses here. I feel like I'm getting to know you!

Being new to it, I just can't get enough of these stories.

arw
07-26-2010, 01:24 AM
Thanks for posting this. I really enjoyed it.

I'm not sure my interest is a result of the popularity - I guess indirectly it is.

About 5 or so years ago, I was buying banjo strings at our local guitar store and the owner just got in a shipment of Lehua Ukes that she was sending back for cosmetic imperfections. I tried them out, fell in love with a tenor and she cut me a deal.

I found when I took my Lehua to jams or on vacation with my banjo, it always got commandeered, and I didn't get to play it. This summer, I bought four Mahalos and tricked them up with Aquillo strings and clip on electronic tuners. It's instant parties at the lake and at the beach. I have already given two away. One, I know is in heavy use now. My daughter's best friend carries her green Mahalo wherever she goes.

I need to restock. i think dolphins, or I would love to find and clean up some beater Kamaka Pineapples. I have my eye on one, if I could just talk the shop owner in to cutting me a deal.

I love this forum - great song ideas and a great community.

Uke on my brothers and sisters!

stonecutter2
07-26-2010, 05:46 AM
I decided to get a ukulele after just visiting Maui on my honeymoon last month. I'd been thinking about it for some time, and I've been playing guitar for 15 years. It seemed like it would be fun to play around on the uke and bring a little Hawaiian sound to Illinois :)

It takes me back to the islands when I strum it. I've only had it a few days, but I'm loving the Kala TEM-E3!

spookefoote
07-26-2010, 05:59 AM
My dad bought me my sheltone ukulele banjo for my 9th birthday in 1971 for 9.50. I learned traditional songs and of course wanted to emulate George Formby. I still have and play the sheltone. I'm not one for fashion myself but if the uke is now fashionable then hey, it only took me thirty nine years to get hip. The next time I get hip will probably be a hip replacement!

janeray1940
07-26-2010, 06:21 AM
I'm neither a veteran nor a beginner - somewhere in between. I first played when I was a kid back in the 1970s, when the uke was definitely not popular. It was my first instrument for three reasons: it was small and so was I, it was inexpensive, and my dad could teach me. But I got bored with it at some point and didn't pick one up again for over 30 years. Last year, I decided to get back into it. Like others have said, I had *no* idea that it was in the midst of a resurgence.

I've got mixed feelings about the trendiness of it. I LOVE that it has led to the development of so many resources such as this one, and that the web has fostered a community that is so willing to share their talents and knowledge. The downside of the uke's current fad status for me has been when others find out that I play and they automatically assume that I fall into that cutesy/ironic category of uke player/singer that is proliferating on YouTube. Having to explain to others that I don't sing, I don't do ironic covers, I study music theory, and that I take it all really seriously can sometimes be an exercise in frustration. Not that I'm going to let that stop me!

Swampy Steve
07-26-2010, 06:28 AM
am glad theres a resurgance , and hope it will continue. I started playing uke after becoming "tired" of guitar after 25 or so yrs.
I follow the whimsies in my head, and right now they all have 4 strings :)
Steve

arashi_nero
07-26-2010, 07:39 AM
personally, i didn't start playing the uke because of the resurgence. but i'm actually kind of glad it's gaining a bit of popularity.

the first time i started playing uke was when i was in middle school. because i didn't take band my 6th grade year, we had to do half a year of music appreciation (recorders, uke, singing, etc). i think i caught the bug then. that was a great class because the teacher of that class played the bassoon. because of that teacher, i remembered how much i wanted to play the ukulele, the bassoon and bagpipes. i've now done 2 of the 3.

for me, seeing people play the uke has never been weird. most of my family played (not religiously, tho). two of my aunts taught uke when they were elementary school teachers and now several cousins teach school and use the ukulele in lessons. after that music appreciation class, i didn't touch a uke again until i was a senior in high school. all my friends starting playing guitar/bass and i wanted to be different, so i started playing drums. however, i did want to play a string instrument that wasn't a guitar or bass. one day, while looking for something in my dad's closet, i found his old soprano uke. it had one string, two tuners, and no saddle. i took it to the local music shop and bought new tuners and strings, but the guy didn't have saddles and so i put card board on there to raise the action. i never thought it was great sounding, but man i loved to play. i think the first song i learned was "stairway to heaven". after that, i lived in japan for a couple years (this was in 2000). every hawaiian there had a uke and i would always play those ukes--although at the time they thought playing "stairway to heaven" was weird.

after i got back from japan, i would pull out my old soprano on occasion and strum a song or three and then not touch it for a year or so. then in 2006, i played my co-worker's lu-8 and totally fell in love with the uke again. i played my little soprano quite a bit until i bought my tenor in 2008 and have been going crazy since then. truthfully, i only found out about jake shimabukuro and all those new people last year. up till then, my ukulele heros had been don ho and bruddah iz. you'd be surprised how many people around here don't know who don ho is haha.

i think the resurgence of the uke has been a good thing because stores are carrying a good selection of ukes now. before, most stores had one or two ukes and they were really crappy. it's easier to get strings and other accessories without massive ebay and google searches. it's also fun to see that the aloha spirit is spreading. i think once it gets too popular, i'll be a little sad, but i doubt that's going to happen for quite some time.

until then, i'll be jammin and spreading the spirit to whomever i can!

redheadedali
07-26-2010, 08:16 AM
I wasn't really aware there was a resurgence when I started playing, at least not as I understand it now. The first inkling I had that I might want to play the uke was when I read an article about female ukuleleists in Bust magazine a few years ago. I thought "Wow, that really looks like fun!", but I had something of a track record of throwing myself wholeheartedly into a new hobby/interest and then getting bored and dropping it (guitar being one example), and I decided I really didn't need to add ukulele to that list. There were a few things that made me take another look at the uke after that (such as discovering that the very cool actress Miracle Laurie, from the show Dollhouse, played uke), but it wasn't until I heard Paul McCartney's uke rendition of "Something" when we saw him in concert last year that I was like, "That's it - I'm doing this". My husband got me a uke for Christmas, and away I went - thus far, there's no sign of me dropping the habit :).

I love that the ukulele is getting more popular, but I do think it's one of those things that's kind of relative. From hanging out here and at other places on the WWW, I can see that the status of ukuleles is soaring compared to what it used to be, but I think it's still kind of a niche phenomenon. I recently got together with a friend who I hadn't seen in a while because she's been busy with her baby twins, but who I'm friends with on Facebook, and she said, "So I saw that you've taken up an instrument - what is it, the flugelhorn?" and I was all "I DO NOT PLAY THE FLUGELHORN!" (no offense meant to any flugelhornists out there, but come on). She just knew it was something with a "funny" name. So I think to a lot of people it is still definitely a curiosity, a fringe kind of thing. Which just means it is incumbent upon us to educate/convert them :).

SuzukHammer
07-26-2010, 01:48 PM
New to uke. New to strings.

I have succesfully fell in love with playing harmonica. I bought playalong CDs and playing on top of chord progressions was always better than playing alone. So I bought chord harmonicas. Those take some getting used to.

I wanted to play chord progressions of my own so I could play my harmonica riffs over it and understand music theory application better.

I had a bass collectig dust. I had 2 acoustic guitars collecting dust. I had a keyboard that I used for fun and music theory practice; but, I was having problems mastering keyboard. I was just about to continue to get hooked on keyboard; but I remembered I had bought a ukulele before (collecting dust) and I had small amplifiers and line6 pod that I liked. I searched the internet and strummed a bit but my uke did not have a jack. AHA - electric ukes with jacks!!! I found a site where they sold an electric uke. cheap. I got home and tried to do ACDC' highway to hell. Damned!!. I sucked but there was something there. ANd I hooked it up and kept going through other voicings from the Line6 pod and there was NO FEEDBACK. Damned!!!. Still, I sucked but I decided to join here and try to learn some things and I took up Uncle Rod's Boot Camp for chord progressions.

Its been about 1 month. 6 ukuleles in the house and 2 more on the way from New Zealand. The latest is a Pono MS-E which I wanted after not being able to finger blues progressions (Uncle Mike MusicTeacher2010) on my concerts or tenor.

I fell in love with a sopranino from Koalua. Expensive and sounds great and damned good for blues fingering; but it will have to wait as I chose the Pono for the electric pickup.

Resurgence? I see it. I feel it. I'd say that as a second thought to my harmonica purchases, I'd been looking at buying those small travel/kids electric guitars for me and so it would always lead to looking at the acoustics - ukuleles. I bought that Cordoba uke because I wanted/needed to eventually learn guitar chords and uke seemed a inexpensive way to learn. Over the course of 2-3 years, it seems like more and more ukes are in music stores.

There is 2 guitar stores in the fancy upscale mall in Bangkok. One store does not have ukes and has never had customers in it when I visit. THe other store has Oscar Schmidt ukes on display. Every time I visit. Every time!!! Most of their customers are looking at the ukes, not the guitars 80% on average are trying the ukes.

I finally asked them if they are selling more ukes. Sheepish smile. Yes. WHy? Internet exposure or seeing ukes on TV. Lula is a popular singer here and getting lots of air play and TV exposure. Her album cover is her with her custom uke.

jehicks87
07-28-2010, 02:44 AM
I think this is a really good thread, so I am bumping it. Bump.

BWright
07-28-2010, 11:02 AM
I agree that it is a really good thread. what does "bump" mean?

thebot
07-28-2010, 01:27 PM
Like a few people on this thread I didn't know anything about the uke's resurgence in popularity, in fact I probably wouldn't be playing the uke at all if it hadn't been for my wife buying me one as a birthday present - one of the flying V ones as one of those little extra presents beside your main present. I've played guitar for years and couldn't get my head round the bottom string being higher than the second bottom string and ended up taking the huff for a while. Then one day I pulled it out again and got into it and haven't looked back since. Right now I play more uke than guitar.

I can't help thinking though that all the people who've just happened to get a uke recently, without being aware of the resurgence in popularity, have actually picked it up as a result of the popularity anyway? Even if it was just a random purchase the popularity might have meant that ukes were more on display and you know have those things can get in your head subliminally if you see them enough?

wickedwahine11
07-28-2010, 01:33 PM
I agree that it is a really good thread. what does "bump" mean?

Basically, make a posting to an older thread and bring it back up to the new posts page for those who might have missed it the first time.

Dougf
07-28-2010, 05:59 PM
My interest in the uke renewed before I became aware that a resurgence was already underway. I first started playing uke when I was about ten years old. My dad had done his internship in Honolulu, and as many before and since, he fell in love with the uke. He taught me the basic chords, a few of the songs he knew, and bought a songbook of American folk songs. I had a great time with it, but eventually moved on to other childhood pursuits, activities, and time sinks.

In high school, guitar was the thing, and I picked up the basics pretty quickly, but then my mom bought a piano for my younger sisters, and it became my instrument of choice. I mostly learned from fake books, working out my own arrangements.

My company sent me to Honolulu on a project in the early 90's, and knowing the difference between a souvenir uke from Waikiki and the real thing, but also watching the family budget, I visited Kamaka and bought a factory second soprano. It has a hairline crack in the back, but I can't hear anything wrong with it. I had fun for a while, but it has pretty much collected dust since then.

The turning point came about five years ago on a backpacking trip in Yosemite. One of the group suggested a group rhythm jam around the campfire. Something clicked, and we all knew we had touched something real.

For the next trip, Noah, who had suggested the group jam, said he was bringing his bongo. Mike decided to bring his daughter's child-sized guitar. So I brought my Kamaka. We had some great jams, but after listening to what Mike could do with that toy guitar, I decided to become a better uke player, or at least to expand my repertoire.

So I googled up some uke, and learned a couple of songs from Mark Occhionero's site. After failing to find tabs for "It don't mean a thing, if it ain't got that swing", I worked out my own basic arrangement, using my fake books and what I could glean from Mark's site. I felt proud of my accomplishment.

Things really picked up after I bought my tenor. The richer, deeper sound inspired me to practice more.

Then I saw the post for the Mya-Moe contest. I had recently come up with what I thought was a cool little chord progression, so I decided to add some words and enter it in the contest. It was my first youtube upload, and I know it's pretty unpolished, but I felt it was a decent effort.

Since then I've uploaded another original (w/o lyrics), Gold Miner's Lament, a Gershwin arrangment, an original song as entry in the Kanile'a contest, a Strayhorn arrangment, and most recently, a Monk tune for the Eleuke contest. I feel like I'm really starting to hit my stride.

I'm not sure at what point in my personal resurgence that I realized a worldwide uke resurgence was underway, but it was probably around the time that my son sent me the link to Jake's Gently Weeps in Central Park. Although the uke's range and versatility are limited compared to the guitar and piano, there can be no doubt that its expressive power can be enormous.

NikePenguin
07-28-2010, 10:19 PM
My (limited) musical background is in piano but I've had a curiosity of the ukulele for years. I finally decided to give it a try after plucking out tunes on a toy guitar my brother bought for his daughter, then discovering how inexpensive entry-level ukes were. $50 for a Lanikai LU-21 was a pretty low-risk investment but wow, what a reward! I was hooked (completely with UAS) the very first weekend. I bought a Kala Travel soprano a week later for a uke dedicated to low-g tuning. Now I fight the urge everyday to buy a KoAloha soprano pineapple. Maybe I'll buy one after I've been playing for a month. =P

BWright
07-29-2010, 03:33 AM
The resurgence has been good for me, providing resources and support which didn't exist in 1965 when I enjoyed the ukulele in the Oscar winning movie "A Thousand Clowns". Jason Robards and a young Barry Gordon showcased the joy of uke playing with the song, "Yes Sir, That's My Baby". Over the years, I would insert a melodic, "By the way..." into conversation when starting a new topic in a casual discussion. After 40 years of listening to that conversational transition. my wife bought a uke for me so I could learn the rest of the song!

jacothedog
07-29-2010, 07:18 AM
Although the uke's range and versatility are limited compared to the guitar and piano, there can be no doubt that its expressive power can be enormous.

Nice story - and the quote above is perfect!

rjamesak
08-08-2010, 07:25 AM
I bought my first uke while on vacation in Maui (Dec/Jan 2009-2010). It was less than $10 and I was really just getting it as a souvenir. That night while I was playing around with it, I jumped online, tuned it up as best I could and learned a few chords. I couldn't believe how much fun it was. I also couldn't believe that I was playing music on an $8 instrument.
That was all it took. I played that little toy nearly every night for about a month and a half until I got two new ones (concert and soprano) as birthday gifts. I was unaware of the resurgence, but I'd guess I am a product of it (and proud of it). I'll try to keep my UAS under control, but I see a tenor in my future.
I hope its popularity continues to grow. I'd love for there to be more people in Alaska who play and would want to get together to practice and improve. (Opinion Alert!) I'm not a fan of those who only like something because it is obscure or a bit unique. I don't need it to feel special, I just wanna play it and improve. The uke, plain and simple, is fun. Bring on more ukers.

pat rock
02-16-2011, 08:26 AM
I just stumbled on this thread and thought I would add my two cents in. I bought an ukulele for my daughter to learn to play an instrument that was easy and her size. I just simply fell in love with everything about it! People are commenting on how limited it can be, but every instrument has limitations - the joy is in working with the instrument to express yourself. Rock on!

johndwapa
02-16-2011, 10:03 AM
Happened upon the uke world when visiting Banjo.com for some finger picks. Bought a kala concert mahogany. Loved the portability and tone. Have had 5 other ukes since. Have 4 now, still on the learning curve, but love the variety of wood options and builders. Really good builders out and about now-a-days. which has led me to weissenborns and slack-key guitars.

Strum on

Plainsong
02-16-2011, 10:44 AM
I'd love to get a flugelhorn...

But yeah, I first saw the uke during the Beatles Anthology airing, and commented that the (what I now realize is a Kamaka concert) uke looked and sounded like something I could get into. My husband confused it with mandolin and said it was a horrible instrument with its unplayable too-cramped neck and insanely close strings. His dad had a cheap mandolin that he was basing this off of. So I put it out of my head until some years later when one of my favorite watch brands, Bathys Hawaii, had a flash intro with some kicked back uke reggae. That was the sound I wanted in my life. I had to have it. John from Bathys even clued me into the brands to look for, and how to pronounce ukulele so that you don't sound like a tourist (also the same way it's pronounced in Finnish, since Finnish is phonetic. English is my first language, but because of what John said, combined with how everyone here pronounces it, I can barely say youkulaylee).

From the first down strum of the Koaloha pikake soprano, I haven't looked back. I didn't know about any uke popularity and I didn't care. It was just what I was looking for is all. I was pleasantly surprised to even find a uke scene here.

I like the rise in popularity in terms of the uke being a great instrument that deserves some love. It'll always be a niche though. You're not going to be able to walk into any boutique fretted instrument store anywhere in the world and see a nice uke hanging on the wall. The advice of "play one first and buy the one you like" just won't have any meaning for the majority of uke players once they step outside the budget zone. In a way, that's sad. It'll always be the poor red headed step child because what's in the stores, if there is anything, might have Issues and not sound as great as it could. But then, what would increased distribution mean? It would mean the main uke brands would need to grow and expand, it would no longer have that feeling of ohana.

So either we want these higher end ukes in more of the higher end stores, or we want to keep our favorite companies as they are. I don't have a solution, just to say that it's a great instrument that deserves to be accepted as a great instrument. Sure it's easy to pick up and play, but as with anything, it's difficult to play well.

Pine Apple Slim
02-16-2011, 10:47 AM
New Uker here. Ive played guitar, bass, etc for 30+ yrs. ALways considedered the uke a "novelty", Tiny Tim was about all I knew. I was aware there was such a thing as a quality uke and real uke players doing Hawaiian stuff, but it remained on the prephery of my conciosness. The only ukes Id ever seen in person were really cheap poorly intonated $30 plasticy things that barely made a tone.

Then back around last Thanksgiving, my partner in musical crime(acoustic duo) got an aNueNue tenor. Not sure why. I think he was enabored with Jake S and he's a big Beatles fan, plays a lot of fingerstyle, the Harrison connection, I dunno. He drug it out at practice and I wen t"huh?" But I played around with it some and was suprised by the sweet tone coming out of it. He showed me the famous "Git Gently Weeps Weeps" vid and some more like it. I was kinda intregued.

Spent the next few weeks from time to time surfing around the net, found this place, and others, watched a lot of YouTubes. I think the tipping point came when I ran across the Rentrants, and their great off the wall pop covers, and laughed my ass off. Discovered the whole "resurgence" and all the different & cool things people were doing with them. So decided Id get one too for Christmas. Thought maybe we could do a few uke tunes in our duo. Ordered me a long neck Soprano aNueNue, cause from playing my buds, I at least knew kinda what I was getting quality & contruction wise.

Now I cant put this thing down dammit. I'm hooked. Its such a versatile little monster. Its great for anything from Tin Pan Alley to Madonna to Hank to Zep. It has a retro 20s and 30s coolness factor about it that fits my musical personality and tastes. I can take it with me everywhere. Just the best thing ever invented for just a guy and a song, IMO.

My guitars are very lonely.

joeybug
02-16-2011, 10:54 AM
I was attracted to the Uke not just because of its growing popularity (if it hadn't been in the shop I wouldn't have brought and it wasn't a music store) but also because of a friend having an ever growing collection. I like that its popular as I didn't plan on paying for lessons, just teaching myself and without places like UU - active with many new players each day, I wouldn't have had anywhere to start!

If if was to become something people rarely played, that wouldn't stop me, too much in love with my Ukes now!