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View Full Version : Ukers are Different...Here's my Take on it...



KevinV
09-07-2010, 04:39 PM
I played guitar for 30 years. Everyone measuring each other by the price tag, the name on the headstock, etc. It seemed that all too often visions of grandeur replaced the fundamental element of music.

I've come to the 'uke...there are awesome dudes and chicks everywhere playing everything from plastic ukes to imports to special Hawaiian builds. But nobody gives a rats ass what the other plays as long as they're happy. The 'uke has an inclusiveness to it where the guitar had an exclusivity. I like this better. I sold my last guitar tonight...I dig this club better. I play 'uke full time in a gigging band where I get paid at least twice a month. It's fun!

I love you guys, I really do. I've learned lots and even though I don't participate in every thread, I follow most and glean info, chuckle, learn a lick, etc. You're good people. So, now with my meds on board, a little hops to wash it down, and a full day of work ahead of me, I say 'adieu. You guys are awesome.

jacothedog
09-07-2010, 04:57 PM
Well said. I've neglected my guitars due to my recent fascination with the uke. I still love the guitar, but what I love about uke is different - and you described it perfectly!

Lexxy
09-07-2010, 05:09 PM
Amen to a wonderful statement!
We never judge a person by their uke? :)

TCK
09-07-2010, 07:51 PM
Well said- I play 4 different instruments and collect music, but at this point I am three weeks in and I care about nothing but the Uke (and the next Uke). It is amazing to finally find something in this crazy life that totally personifies my complete inability to care about what people think of me, and yet bring a smile to the face of everyone who hears it...the accordion (or 25 accordions) was a close bet, but they melt way before a Uke does.
This little thing, it gets under your skin- but it is a good thing.
And as an aside- if most Uke players were jerks, I would give it up on principle (I am that punk lol), but the people I have met playing and being on here are certainly of the highest order- can't wait to meet some of you next weekend

mm stan
09-07-2010, 07:53 PM
Yup the UU has helped me alot too, as well as the ukulele...and I am greatfull for all the cool members here.

Pippin
09-07-2010, 09:59 PM
There are lots of guitarists that have found and love the ukulele.

I said (in print) one time, "Give a kid a guitar and he wants to be a rock star. Give a kid a ukulele and he learns how to play music."

It is true, but, part of the reason is that there are so many guitarists that you see all sorts of personality types. Given a growing ukulele fan-base, we are seeing a lot of attitudes popping up in circles here or there. There are different "schools of thought" as to what constitutes a "proper" ukulele and a ukulele song. So, be aware of them now so you are not disappointed later. For every bad egg, there are a lot more good eggs.

The Ukulele Underground gang is a pretty enthusiastic group and largely influenced by Hawaiian performers and younger-aged entertainers. The European gang (Cosmos) are more enthusiastic about tin-pan-alley and Vaudeville-like acts and past entertainers. FleaMarketMusic is largely influenced by the West Coast USA ukulele scene, but every online community is pretty good over-all.

deepeepee
09-08-2010, 12:40 AM
This has hit the nail on the head for me. I too have been a guitar strummer for a good long while. I realised a couple of weeks into playing the Uke, that in my own personal case, I had actually been playing the wrong instrument for the best part of my life. I have learned more about music theory, rhythm and strumming patterns in the last two months than I did in the previous 20 years because I want to get better and enjoy the experience. I surf YouTube I look at the greats in awe Jake, Aldrine to mention a couple of obvious ones. I follow a few Uke players who I just love to watch and listen to, Julia Nunes, Miss Zooey, who seem to enjoy what they do so much. Ukulele Mike - who has taught me so much from afar as well as UU and the tremendousvideo lessons, my confidence has soared, I would happily get the Uke out at a get together and play a couple of sing alongs. Just recently my son had a group of his mates over for a BBQ, many of them are musicians, two of them actually play the Uke. At one stage 6 of us were playing, noisely, loud without a great deal of structure, but what a laugh we all had. I would never have done the same with the guitar.
Oh and the best Ukulele is the one you are holding.

philxbx
09-08-2010, 01:11 AM
I'd been playing Guitar and other stringed things for 20 odd years, but never really got anywhere with it. Ukulele on the other hand has been amazing, and out of all the instruments I can play, the Uke has been the easiest to learn and the most enjoyable to play. Hugely rewarding, fun, sweet and massively addictive!!!

Another thought.... I've never meet a uker I didn't like! By far the best bunch of musicians one could hope to meet!

Happy strumming folks

Hippie Dribble
09-08-2010, 02:51 AM
thanks Kevin for your open-ness and honesty mate.

All I can add is ditto to what you've all said so far. For me, the main characteristic of the ukulele is its humility and its amazing ability to put a smile on the face of people who hear and watch it being played. I totally agree Kevin: it is an inclusive instrument that brings people together.

It also bridges the generation gap...I work in aged care as a support worker and Diversional Therapist and also as a Sunday School teacher and am always amazed that both age groups can enjoy and sing the same songs with just a little ol' uke to accompany them. Cheers for the thread Kevin. eugene

Ukulele JJ
09-08-2010, 03:36 AM
Part of it is the instrument itself, of course. It's humble and unpretentious, so it tends to attract the same. Few people start learning uke to "get girls" and/or "be a star".

But I think the biggest part of it is the sort of high-profile players who influence the rest of us--not just musically, but attitudinally. Like any social group, things "come down from the top." Players like Jake, Aldrine, etc., come across as genuinely nice, non-judgemental guys who are certainly great musicians, but who also encourage others to be great too.

There just seems to be a certain kind of "egolessness" that has become part of the the template for the modern uke player. And that's because of the examples we have right now who are out playing and promoting the instrument.

JJ

lozarkman
09-08-2010, 04:16 AM
yeah, you nailed it Kevin, and a heartfelt comment. You all have great additional comments, and I will say that UU has been an awesome sight for me as well. I have almost abandoned facebook :) and some other comment sites because of my "can't wait to see what is being said now" on UU. I have played piano for over 65 years (yes really!) and it has been my main instrument, but SOOO Difficult to carry it with me, and have played guitar for about 10 years, but a trip to Hawaii a few years ago prompted me to buy a Uke (Baritone Makala) which I played around with for a year or so and the more I played around with it the more hooked I got, and I finally got into Tenors and have two tenors, and I haven't touched my guitar for almost two years now. I still play my piano of course, but not nearly as much. The Uke is truly awesome and so easy to pick up and play and carry around compared to that large six string Martin D Guitar. Anyway, it is a great family we have here and always helpful!! Lozark

hoosierhiver
09-08-2010, 05:19 AM
I heartily agree. After the UWC alot of the locals expressed amazement at how wonderful all the uke players were and how the event had such a great feeling to it.

Lexxy
09-08-2010, 05:28 AM
Have to agree that Ukulele players are by far, the most humble and non-competitive group i have ever met.
(not that i have ever played any other instrument)

But everyone around here must agree that Ukers, are the best!

Pueo
09-08-2010, 05:34 AM
I could not agree more. I cannot imagine taking my guitar out when we have people over and singing and playing for them. I bring out my ukulele and people say, "That's great party music... That sure is easy to listen to..." They are surprised that you can play "regular" songs and not just Hawaiian music. I must admit that *I* was surprised as well. I joined an ukulele group that is full of wonderful people that feel like family to me. Playing ukulele makes me happy, and I think it is infectious, and that's why ukulele players are such a great group of folks!

morningstar
09-08-2010, 05:34 AM
I haven't touched my guitar since I bought my ukulele :D

UKISOCIETY
09-08-2010, 07:17 AM
Sorry to burst your bubble, but we plastic ukers look down our noses at all of you! :P





/just kidding.

AzMichael
09-08-2010, 07:43 AM
It's not just guitars...try joining a jam circle at a banjo gathering.

The first time I went to an ukulele group...someone stopped playing, introduced themself and offered to share their music with me.

Just plain better people!

~Michael

farmerboy
09-08-2010, 09:05 AM
Just feel the need to join in this thread - it's lovely to see such positivity. It also makes me somewhat introspective. I trained on the accordion for many years and when I used to see other 'box' players I used to look at their instruments and judge whether I felt they 'deserved' the instrument they had. It's not the same with the uke - I'm just happy for anyone who enjoys the instrument. This site has definitely added to this. It is so positive and the people within it seem lovely and all have utmost respect for beginners - a real change from how it was in the competitive folk festivals and clubs I grew up playing in.

Mandarb
09-08-2010, 09:43 AM
Great People. Great Instrument. Great Site. Great Feeling.

spookefoote
09-08-2010, 09:55 AM
And good natured banter.

clayton56
09-08-2010, 10:19 AM
it's tough to be snooty and superior when your instrument is the size of a piece of fruit

70sSanO
09-08-2010, 10:25 AM
I think the biggest difference is that when you pull out a guitar the expectations are so high because you are measured against every great guitarist out there.

Even when I was on Church worship teams there can be this duel mentality that whatever riff you can do I can do better, faster, cleaner... fortunately I played bass so no one cared what I was doing...
...except the drummer!

When you pull out a ukulele the expectations are so low, that it really becomes the music and not being impressed with the musician's technical ability.

However, I can see as the ukulele gains more and more popularity, that some of this may creep in.

John

Pippin
09-08-2010, 10:45 AM
Sorry to burst your bubble, but we plastic ukers look down our noses at all of you! :P/just kidding.

Upstart! Rogue! I shall open thee up like a solid-packed can of tomatoes.
(Bugs Bunny reference number 37)

King FarUke
09-08-2010, 10:46 AM
I have to agree with most everything that has been stated. I personally do not think uke players take themselves as seriously as other musicians. They know it is a fun instrument played mainly for self satisfaction. I rarely play for others and I am perfectly happy to strum, pick and sing by myself for 30 minutes to an hour each day. The uke community also seems to be very supportive of each other. Uke players remind me of runners. I was a big jock in school and played all major team sports. Not until I started competitive running later did I realize how self-centered most team sport players were. Your competitor in a running race will stop and help you up if you fall just so he can beat you fairly. A football player on the other hand will try to hurt you intentionally and put you out of the game in order to win. I think uke players are just all around "good sports" and try to share their joy with others and want other players to be successful.

scottie
09-09-2010, 07:59 AM
I used to participate on a forum where the attitude was that you weren't really in the club unless you had an spendy guitar, and to really be there it had to be a custom guitar. On that forum I got into a discussion with a guy who tried to convince me that he could hear the difference between his 150.00 Elliot capo and a 20.00 Planet Waves capo. I really don't think he could and told him so arguing that you're hearing rubber stopping a string against a fret and, while the clamping mechanism may be stainless or surgical steel and made to much tighter tolerances worthy of the price tag, SONICALLY, unless the radius of the capo was a mismatch to the radius of his fingerboard and damping strings, he was on a losing argument. well. . . I guess that means I'm "jealous" (as opposed to envious?) of his expensive guitars. . .

Its nice to get the best tools you can afford, but in the end it's all about a person's desire and commitment to make music.

clayton56
09-09-2010, 11:44 AM
I used to participate on a forum where the attitude was that you weren't really in the club unless you had an spendy guitar, and to really be there it had to be a custom guitar. On that forum I got into a discussion with a guy who tried to convince me that he could hear the difference between his 150.00 Elliot capo and a 20.00 Planet Waves capo. I really don't think he could and told him so arguing that you're hearing rubber stopping a string against a fret and, while the clamping mechanism may be stainless or surgical steel and made to much tighter tolerances worthy of the price tag, SONICALLY, unless the radius of the capo was a mismatch to the radius of his fingerboard and damping strings, he was on a losing argument. well. . . I guess that means I'm "jealous" (as opposed to envious?) of his expensive guitars. . .

Its nice to get the best tools you can afford, but in the end it's all about a person's desire and commitment to make music.


I've bought a lot of instruments, and always go for pro quality, but I've never gone for "stupid" quality, where you spend $5,000 on something you'd be afraid to pick up.

Hippie Dribble
09-09-2010, 07:43 PM
Sorry to burst your bubble, but we plastic ukers look down our noses at all of you! :P





/just kidding.


hi ukisociety,

have you seen the hot-pink plastic uke that has just been put up on ebay?

Looks in pretty good shape (the seller has dated it back to the 1940's) and has some nice, bright "hawaiian " themed artwork.

Could be a little bargain to add to your collection...

cletus
09-09-2010, 07:52 PM
it's tough to be snooty and superior when your instrument is the size of a piece of fruit

"that's what she said..."

fitncrafty
09-10-2010, 01:22 AM
Clayton... this should be on a t shirt!! Love it!