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Miss Michele
09-30-2010, 05:39 PM
My interest in playing the ukulele came from boredom, really. I work an evening shift while my friends and family all work the day shift. I hardly have a social life because of this. I have other hobbies, but I wanted something different in my life. I decided it had to do something with music because I enjoy listening to music. I wanted to create my own music. So I did some research on a few musical instruments. I stumbled across an ukulele video and I was hooked! The more I watched and researched, the more excited I became about learning to play the ukulele! Before I even got my uke, I would sit for hours watching tutorials and learning chords. Thanks to boredom, I'm a happy Uker! ;)

What's your ukulele story?

Dougf
09-30-2010, 07:17 PM
This promises to be a great thread, so I'll keep mine brief:

Dad got hooked on uke when stationed in Hawaii, taught me the basics when I was about 9. Picked a little banjo and guitar in High School, moved on to piano. Bought a Kamaka as a souvenir in 1991, but let it gather dust. Two years ago, took it backpacking so I could jam with the boys, then decided it was time to finally learn to play. It is now my overriding passion in life (next to my wife (had to say that:)).

TCK
09-30-2010, 07:52 PM
Posted this about a hundred times in the past few weeks...not shy about posting it again.
I was given the holy grail, and ignored it for 20 years. Think it is a pretty good story:
An Old Ukulele (http://imhtck.blogspot.com/2010/08/old-ukulele.html)

joeybug
09-30-2010, 08:20 PM
My friend brought an Ukulele and posted pictures on her blog, she said she wanted to buy one in many different colours. Anyway, I was out shopping one day and we saw a charity shop that was selling new instruments and low and behold there was this purple Ukulele, with a blue and red one too. The price was within my budget and I thought I would give it a go, I brought it and then found myself wiling away the hours learning chords and then I found this place and the rest, as they say is history!

wins
09-30-2010, 08:31 PM
actually got tired of using the computer for gaming lol got myself a uke and now i play that instead

having a blast!!

mackie
09-30-2010, 09:41 PM
How I found the ukulele was sort of a divine intervention I believe. If you’re not spiritual, I guess this will throw you off. But I don’t know how to describe it any other way. At one night while searching for songs we will sing in church, I found in youtube a cover of really mellow Christian song reinvented using a ukulele. Knowing how the song sounded originally, I tremendously noticed the difference. The mellow heavy Christian song sounded light, honest, vulnerable, and in my opinion happier. That opened up a whole new respect for a new instrument. I googled ‘ukulele.’ From numerous articles, one of which I don’t remember anymore, I read that the ukulele is the second easiest stringed instrument anyone could learn. And it was fate from then on. Maybe I could learn the ukulele. Weeks passed, and for days I also passed by numerous music shops gazing through a very very limited stocks of ukuleles. I ended up with one that’s made in Indonesia. Got home, looked up how to tune it and then I was surprised and hour later. I was able to learn this land is your land, yellow submarine, and surfin’ USA in one hour and these were taught by one guy – Ukulele Mike from youtube. Three songs in one hour, I was amazed and happy. Sure it wasn’t MJ’s man in the mirror but it’s better than Mary had a little lamb.

Helms
09-30-2010, 09:50 PM
Great threat!

After playing the guitar for a couple of years, I realized that the music I played on guitar weren't the music I liked to play. Also, I grew tired of the fact that everyone could play guitar - Nothing special about that.
A couple of hours on YouTube showed me that ukulelemusic was what I had been looking for all the time, so I ordered a ukulele to try it out, and has been loving it ever since.
One of the things that I love the most is that Ukulele is completly underrated where I live, and most often considered a small toy. I love the expression of people's faces after I've played a couple of numbers. No more laughs when I bring my ukulele :)

fitncrafty
10-01-2010, 12:18 AM
My story not so exciting... but here it is, Years ago (I wont tell exactly how many) I was a DJ at my college radio station, just before they changed over to CD's from real vinyl, I played this song occasionally by Camper VanBeethoven called Take the Skinheads Bowling, moving forward a few years(and several years ago) One of my old DJ friends emailed me a link to a ukulele cover of it by three women, members here ukulezo is one, loved it and was amazed that the ukulele could make music like that, and then when I saw people doing Ramones covers on the uke, I was smitten.... Alas I did nothing about it.

So years later my kids are older and all taking instrument lessons Oldest 14-guitar, next 10- violin and just started flute, youngest is8 and has been taking guitar and just started double bass. I was raging in jealousy at my kids making music (loving it all the same and so excited to have live music blaring all the time) One day, chatting with the guitar teacher, he starts mentioning the ukulele and how the shop just got a good one... and says you should play because you are so intrigued with music(noting he had been trying to get me to play guitar) and that got me thinking about it again... I was a bit scared to do it because it wasn't in the budget for me to have lessons but for a belated birthday gift my husband bought me a very basic uke, a Greg Bennett for about $60. A week later, in a terrified state, I replaced the strings with aquila's and I am making my way around the fretboard a little....

I love all your stories... keep 'em coming...

Brewerpaul
10-01-2010, 12:26 AM
I've played and owned all sorts of instruments over the years, but I played guitar first. Stringwise, mandolin came next. On another board altogether, another mando player I respect (and member of this board) mentioned that he wasn't playing his mandolin much since he'd been having so much fun with uke. Uke? Who knew?
Around that time, I came across the Jake video of "While My Guitar etc" and that was that-- I had to give it a try.
I still play my other instruments too-- just revived my guitar interest, and I still play a lot of mandolin in a small Irish band and at sessions.

ytmr
10-01-2010, 02:14 AM
My story isn't very interesting, but I'll share it anyway.
I loved the version of Somewhere Over The Rainbow by Glee, the cover of Israel Kamakawiwo'ole's version, and I was in love, especially with the sound of the uke, it sounded so light and happy. I didn't go and buy an uke immediately though, I got my Mahalo completely by accident, from a guitar shop in a shopping centre. I was actually going to buy a new pair of shoes, but I saw it hanging there for a bargain $39 SGD, so I thought I'd get it. I'm really hoping to get into this like how so many people are on here.

bazmaz
10-01-2010, 02:26 AM
Guitarist for 20 years, but a big fan of George Harrison and knew he loved the uke ( I love the story about George - he always travelled with two ukuleles - so that if he started playing with a friend, they could join in)

Bit the bullet about 2.5 yrs ago with a cheap and nasty Mahalo and got hooked. Seem to play the uke more than guitar now

brucemoffatt
10-01-2010, 02:49 AM
I've always loved music and tried for many years to find an instrument I could actually play. Guitar came and went, flute, blues harp, piano, penny whistle, and mandolin. I could never get to the stage where I could competently play anything worth listening to. This frustrated the heck out of me, and I watch as my two kids grew up and took to music. Both sang in choirs, and the older kid, our daughter, took to percussion. Our son stayed with voice and is now an opera singer.

While I've loved seeing the kids successes in the background there has always been a disappointment that I have not been able to play an instrument myself. My brain just hasn't been able to make it happen. A few weeks ago, on Father's Day in Australia, I got a big chocolate and a little cardboard box from my kids, that says on the front "Dear Dad, happy Father's Day, from your loving children. xoxo Father's Day 2010." I didn't realise that is was an instrument inside until I opened the box, and when I did, there was this beautiful little Makala MK-SN. I've been playing it non-stop since then, and have five tunes in my practice set, and I'm not far off being able to play them all at a reasonable speed with enough clarity that you can tell what they are. That's better than I've ever done with any other instrument in 57 years. I'm hooked on my little uke, and I love playing it every day.

Bruce in Adelaide

1014
10-01-2010, 04:18 AM
my kupuna played.

prettiwiki
10-01-2010, 04:51 AM
My story isn't very interesting, but I'll share it anyway.
I loved the version of Somewhere Over The Rainbow by Glee, the cover of Israel Kamakawiwo'ole's version, and I was in love, especially with the sound of the uke, it sounded so light and happy. I didn't go and buy an uke immediately though, I got my Mahalo completely by accident, from a guitar shop in a shopping centre. I was actually going to buy a new pair of shoes, but I saw it hanging there for a bargain $39 SGD, so I thought I'd get it. I'm really hoping to get into this like how so many people are on here.

Same as this person, Was watching Stu on Glee and just had to do it... Brought me a 20 dollar uke to get use to the chords, Now just upgraded to a Concert Mahalo and can say I can play "Someone where over the Rainbow". I've got my mistakes to a maximum of about 8 everytime I play... But hey ... you have to crawl before you can walk :)

telebob
10-01-2010, 04:58 AM
My story is posted somewhere around here... but here's the distilled summary:

I'm a multi-instrumentalist (guitar, bass, mandolin, dulcimer, keyboards and percussion); started as a drummer in 10th grade. I always thought the uke was a toy.

Fell in love with uke on my first visit to Hawaii in 2003 when I saw/heard many Hawaiian bands on 3 of the islands. Researched the uke upon returning home and bought a mango Fluke. Wow... then I bought an Applause electric tenor uke. When I returned to Maui in 2005, I bought a Kamaka 8-string tenor uke at Bounty Music as my ultimate musical souvenir. I spent an entire day traveling between Mele Music and Bounty Music before making my decision about 2 hours before my plane departed.

Since then, I've acquired 7 ukuleles: KoAloha sceptre and a Pineapple Sunday, a very sweet Ohana soprano, and several Kala's, to add to my collection. I play them all... :)

Ingrate
10-01-2010, 05:16 AM
My clock-radio awoke me last May, and, shortly, a tune started. It was "While My Guitar Gently Weeps", and I thought, "That almost sounds like a 'ukulele!?" (I didn't know that it actually was a 'uke) I got a notion to buy a 'ukulele to see if WMGGW could actually be played on one of them. (I sold my Martin guitar about 20 years ago, and hadn't played anything since.) Through the painful fingertips and cramping left arm, I've rediscovered making music, and am enjoying it more than the guitar, by far. It is amazing just how many intricate chords and playing nuances there are on a little soprano 'ukulele. I now listen to music with a different ear. "I bet I can work that out on my pineapple.", etc. It's a terrific antidepressant as well.

So, mahalo, Jake Shimabukuro, for the inspiration.
:shaka:

Coconut Willie
10-01-2010, 05:24 AM
During a trip to Hawaii, I really liked the sound of the ukulele. Family got me a Makala Concert for Christmas and the rest is history!

Ukeffect
10-01-2010, 05:35 AM
Wasn't allowed..ALLOWED! to play music or learn an instrument as a child, so naturally I tried to learn after I left home. I tried guitar, keyboard, drums, banjo, harmonica, jaw harp, nothing stuck until this little bundle of love entered my life. I'm getting better, but maybe because I feel like I'm cheating I haven't posted songs yet on youtube, etc. Still kinda fighting the parental shame I guess.
:anyone:

janeray1940
10-01-2010, 06:17 AM
I asked for a guitar for my 7th birthday. This was almost 40 years ago and kid-size guitars were not common at all. The music shop salesperson steered my dad toward a ukulele instead; this was probably especially attractive to my dad because between growing up in the 1920s and 1930s and spending a lot of time in Hawaii he could play a bit - hey, no need to spend money on lessons for the kid! So I happily strummed my little uke for a couple years, then my dad passed on and I moved to a city where there was no cultural diversity whatsoever, and thus had no way to continue learning. I ended up trying to learn guitar and piano, did poorly at both, but never lost my interest in music.

Fast forward, um, almost 40 years. I found myself living near a great music shop where there was a ukulele instructor whose musical sensibilities were in line with my own, and - well, here I am :)

molokinirum
10-01-2010, 06:38 AM
My wife suggested that I buy a ukulele on a trip to Hawaii in 2009. Never had played ANY instrument ever. Saved up money from various sources (loose change, gift money etc.) and while in Maui, visited Bounty Music, they did not have what I was looking for (KoAloha Tenor). Went to Lahaina Music and they did not have a KoAloha Tenor....but they did have Kamaka Tenors! I played a few and bought one. Was given a $100 discount due to a very minor scratch in the gloss finish near the sound hole. They even threw in the hard case for it and a set of strings. Sold!!! Now I have been playing for a year and have aquired two more ukes (Damn UAS!!!) It has been a blast!!
Got my Makala Concert as a Christmas present from the family and most recently bought a Kanile'a 6 string deluxe tenor from Bount Music in Maui.

GoCatDave
10-01-2010, 06:58 AM
I love these stories! Keep 'em coming!

My first recollection of a ukulele is from when I was a small child. My Grampa had a ukulele that he would bring out once in a blue moon and upon which he would perform a rousing rendition of Abba Dabba Honeymoon. Me and my sister would go nuts.

Then I grew up and the ukulele fell off of my radar until I was in my 30's and on a business trip to Hawaii. I remembered my Grampa's ukulele and I decided that I had to bring a ukulele home from Hawaii as a souvenir. It was a cheap Hilo, but I fell in love with it and caught the ukulele bug.

One day, much to my chagrin, the bridge popped off right in my face. I glued it back on with superglue, but it popped off again. After repeating this process a couple more times, I realized that it was not going to work and that I was now without a functioning ukulele to play.

I quickly ordered a cow-colored Fluke (aka Mookulele) with an under-saddle pickup. Now I could plug my "mook" into my guitar amp and crank it up. And that was just incredibly fun. Since then I have added a blue Flea ukulele and a Lehua Concert Uke, made in Portugal.

I could blather on for hours more but I won't bore you. If you are interested, you can find more of my ukulele story on my blog, Ukulele Babylon (http://ukulelebabylon.blogspot.com/2010/09/welcome-to-uke-bab.html).

Keep on Uking!

Go Cat Dave

P.S. Click here if you would like to see my YouTube uke vids. (http://www.youtube.com/user/gocatdave)

DAPuke
10-01-2010, 07:10 AM
Here's mine. I grew up in hawaii in home where jazz, mostly swing and dixieland dominated the house hold airwave's, played by my father, a former amature jazz drummer. As I grew I loved music and especially singing. As a teen and young adult I had the good fortune to work in various fields with folks who could kanikapila like nobody's business, (not uncomon in the islands, many talented folks) I was always too self conscious to get involved but would take every opportunity to hang and listen. In my early 20's an older friend suggested in stead of getting high and hanging out back with 'the boy's' every night perhaps I should take an evening class at the city college, well instead of math and such, I openned the yellow pages and called every local vocal teacher, no opennings. Next I remembered the drumset my father bought me 10 yrs prior and how i wish I'd learned to play. I found a drumset instructor. So for the next twenty years I've been an amature drummer. I moved away from home to the west coast in the late 80's. But always wanted to make music and sing without needing the rest of the band. This past April after band practice I recognizeded a uke box at my keyboard players house, and asked to borrow his Mahalo souvenir soprano he brought from a trip to Hawaii. After learning some chords and a few tunes my wife, bandmate and a gifted lead singer bought me the Makala MK-T. I am now excited that she asked me to re-borrow the Mahalo so she can acompany me to the first local uke club meeting next week.
I am dig'n all your's. Thanks for sharing.
Don Parsons Jr.

kenikas
10-01-2010, 08:10 AM
I'm sure I've posted this here somewhere, but here's the condensed version. I've played guitar on and off for 40 some od years, the last 20 or so mostly Ki ho' alu, and have been mad about Hawaiian music for many years. But for some reason never really took the uke seriously. A little over a year ago my grandson was playing a uke in a school program and I thought it would be a great instrument for us to play together so started researching, found UU, and e mailed MusicGuyMic. I ended up getting a Dolphin for my grandson and his sister, and a Makala tenor for myself and it snowballed from there, we now have 5 soprano's, 2 concert's, 2 tenor's, 2 baritone's, and I just ordered an 8 string tenor! I've also gotten in to building and repairing/restoring uke's (and guitars) and have several vintage ukes and banjo ukes in various states of repair. UAS is a dangerous/wonderful affliction!

Ken
10-01-2010, 09:49 AM
My father is a bit of a crazy guy. He travels a lot for work and is very flighty, which is reflected in his interests. One day he'll be jamming (his own definition of jamming) on the harmonica and the next he'll be reading the Quran (he isn't Muslim) or learning how to speak Mandarin. Rather than describing him as flighty, I guess he's more "worldly".

Since about middle school, he'd occasionally play the Ukulele and I'd look at it, go "Oh. That's pretty cool", proceed to forget all about it, and head back to the family computer where I would waste most of my youth. Fast forward to High School at the end of Sophomore year and I'm looking for an old Queen album in my father's closet. I end up not finding the CD but I remembered for some odd reason that my father still had a Ukulele. I searched his closet, found the uke and immediately looked online for resources. I ended up at UU after a little searching and "the rest," as the cliche creator hath said "is history".

Tudorp
10-01-2010, 09:50 AM
Well.. My story is as some might look at as a sad story, but it isn't really. It is really a success story, and a happy one. I am from a musical family, but more on the side of vocals than instruments. I can sing, and am told I have a good range from tenor to baratone, however, never really been comfortable with public singing, so I just didn't much. However, at 14 years old bought an old torn up fender bass and it just felt right. I fixed the old thing up, started learning and playing bass, and if I have to say so myself, turned out quite competent bass player. I sold that old fender after working for about a year, saving every penny I could raise, and earn for my dream bass. A custom Rickenbacker 4001. It was total black on black, black bindings, cant remember the wood on the fretboard but it was a dark black hardwood as well. All blacked out, and built custom for a customer that never picked it up. A 15 year old with a premium bass like that, life is good. I played that bass in a teenage band and a Jazz band for years. I also along the way picked up the guitar, and got pretty good on it. However, even trying several times over the years, never been able to understand musical theroy, or even reading music. I tried many times, and every time I played with "music", everyone would yell at me and tell me to throw out the sheet music, and just play like I always have. From the heart. It was more soulful and everyone loved it. So, I did. Fast forward several years. After years of abuse to my body in sports, and an active lifestyle, my body started to rebel. I then was involved in an accident that accelerated artritis, back and leg issues. It took my love of guitar away as well, because I could not play due to arthritis and pain issues as well as morbid obesity creeping in. My hands would not work as they used to. About 12 years ago I was in a deppresion over my health failing me, and not having a musical outlet any longer other than just playing it from a masive LP and CD collection. I would always catch myself tabbing air guitar to my music collection. One day I was turned onto an awesome talent. A voice of an angel, and from a brother that shared allot of the same health issues I had. Yeah, it was "IZ" and his rendition of over the rainbow. I watched videos, and started collecting some of his stuff. He inspired me, a man that size, can still enjoy his craft, but in a small little guitar that I always laughed at because of what Tiny Tim did to it many years before. I had no idea that such sweet music could come from one of those. I had to get me a Ukulele. I found an instrument again, that even I can play that didn't aggravate my arthritis, or other issues, and I could carry it around where ever i went. So, basically, I became the whiteboy mainland version of IZ, and even tho I did not deserve the comparison, was flattered when I was called that. Been in love with the Uke ever since. As far as my guitar, well, success story there, because my 13 year old daughter has "it" and has picked up my torch with that, and plays very well for a gal her age. She and some friends have now formed that "teenage" band themselves, and I was proud to give her that torch. And she even plays the banjo, and my Ukes from time to time.. Life is good..

Ukuleleblues
10-01-2010, 11:07 AM
A friend brought a uke over while we were playing guitar and fiddle. My wife liked it borrowed it, I bought her one, I bought a baritone, then another soprano, concert, etc. We formed a band, great fun, now the band is two ukes and a bucket bass most of the time. Great fun, get to spend fun time with my wife of 32 years. I think it's about all we do when we aren't in the slave mines.

Miss Michele
10-02-2010, 05:02 PM
Wow, you guys! I really appreciate the response I got on this thread! So many interesting stories. And no, not one of them bored me! It's fun to see stories like these. Thanks for sharing, everyone!

Miss Michele
10-02-2010, 05:12 PM
I love these stories! Keep 'em coming!

My first recollection of a ukulele is from when I was a small child. My Grampa had a ukulele that he would bring out once in a blue moon and upon which he would perform a rousing rendition of Abba Dabba Honeymoon. Me and my sister would go nuts.

Then I grew up and the ukulele fell off of my radar until I was in my 30's and on a business trip to Hawaii. I remembered my Grampa's ukulele and I decided that I had to bring a ukulele home from Hawaii as a souvenir. It was a cheap Hilo, but I fell in love with it and caught the ukulele bug.

One day, much to my chagrin, the bridge popped off right in my face. I glued it back on with superglue, but it popped off again. After repeating this process a couple more times, I realized that it was not going to work and that I was now without a functioning ukulele to play.

I quickly ordered a cow-colored Fluke (aka Mookulele) with an under-saddle pickup. Now I could plug my "mook" into my guitar amp and crank it up. And that was just incredibly fun. Since then I have added a blue Flea ukulele and a Lehua Concert Uke, made in Portugal.

I could blather on for hours more but I won't bore you. If you are interested, you can find more of my ukulele story on my blog, Ukulele Babylon (http://ukulelebabylon.blogspot.com/2010/09/welcome-to-uke-bab.html).

Keep on Uking!

Go Cat Dave

P.S. Click here if you would like to see my YouTube uke vids. (http://www.youtube.com/user/gocatdave)



My bridge broke off of my cheap little Hilo too! It's still at the music store where I got it from. I've been without a uke for three days and I'm going nuts without it! I have a feeling though my Hilo won't be the same, so I'm investing in another uke. Not sure what to get yet. Thanks for your story! I'll be checking out your vids!

dcmoore1@gmail.com
10-02-2010, 06:37 PM
I actually got started on my ukelele as a joke. My friend matt owns a guitar shop here and got me a ukelele for my birthday as a joke, he thought it would be funny because i'm 6'8 and black. but as i started playing around with it I fell in love.

Pippin
10-02-2010, 10:58 PM
I have had a ukulele of some kind since the mid 1960s. I started playing more seriously about 1968 and at the same time started playing guitar. I have played both ukulele and guitar ever since. I also play bass, keyboard, bow psaltery, pennywhistle, recorder, harmonica, various percussion instruments, and others...

My mother was a country-music songwriter with a Nashville contract. We had all sorts of country music "stars" coming and going when I was a kid. My father's family was big into show tunes and Irish music. I played music with my father's family and my parents' country music friends, and was performing by age twelve. I was singing since I was five, so I started really young. In the late 1970s, I played southern rock, and rockabilly, classic rock, etc... I still played ukulele this whole time, but not as often as the music business demanded other things.

Move forward to the late 1980s, headed to the Catskill Mountains and Poconos to teach fly fishing by day and play music by night. I played all acoustic guitar with an occasional electric guitar (lead) track. I also played a lot of bass at that time. Recorded two albums of original tunes in the early 1990s and played lots of shows in various places. Left the Poconos/Catskills and headed for Columbus, Ohio in December '97.

I picked up my ukuleles more and more during the last thirteen years. I married a gal from Cincinnati who came from a jazz/swing family. My father's family was big into jazz, swing, big-band music, Irish music, and my wife's family was into all that. We hit it off and I have them now playing ukuleles.

I started publishing Ukulele Player Magazine (issue one was released December 3rd, 2008) to provide a publication exclusively for ukulele enthusiasts.

I guess I love ukulele because it is a cheerful instrument. I love old show tunes, old melodies, Irving Berlin songs, Bing Crosby, old jazz and blues, too. I can play a mellow uke in the den without waking up my wife. Every day begins with coffee and ukulele. While I still play a lot of guitar, and I still perform on stage occasionally, I play for the love of music and most of the time, that means ukulele.

NatalieS
10-03-2010, 01:38 AM
I've played piano my whole life, and I also like to sing. I always admired my mom who sings very well and accompanies herself on guitar. I wanted to find an instrument that I could take with me wherever I went, to sing with. I've never been able to play guitar... I get frustrated easily once my hands start hurting. So in 2004 I started hearing more and more about ukulele.

I also love Hawaii, its culture, and its people's unabashed respect for nature. That is really something to admire. Also, I love 1930s music, culture, fashion, all of it! The uke has an important role in both Hawaii and 1930s America, so I knew it would be a good match for me. I did not take to it immediately. I'd never learned how to strum before, so it took a couple of years to catch on and not give up. The hobby really took off in 2007 for me.

There is something so special about the ukulele that can't be put into words. For one thing, it's cute and the perfect size to hold (everyone can find their perfect-size uke whether they're a child or Iz!!). Also, it's one of the most beautiful sounding instruments... it can ring like a bell, be mellow and comforting like an old parlor guitar, or twang like a banjo. But it's not trying to imitate any of those instruments, it's got its own voice!

joeybug
10-03-2010, 01:53 AM
There is something so special about the ukulele that can't be put into words. For one thing, it's cute and the perfect size to hold (everyone can find their perfect-size uke whether they're a child or Iz!!). Also, it's one of the most beautiful sounding instruments... it can ring like a bell, be mellow and comforting like an old parlor guitar, or twang like a banjo. But it's not trying to imitate any of those instruments, it's got its own voice!

That is so true! I like to think that no two Ukuleles are the same, even if they're the same model from the same manufactourer, they each have their own voice!

Fuzzy
10-04-2010, 05:39 AM
Having had no previous musical experience, I started playing drums in a punk band at age 40 (it's never too late to learn an instrument!), but quickly wanted to start expressing myself musically without the limitations of a drum kit. The guitar seemed too intimidating, plus I wanted something out of the ordinary and easier to learn, and the idea of getting a uke just popped in to my head out of the blue. Now our band has added an acoustic set (yes, a punk band with an acoustic set of old country tunes) so now I play uke and sing on stage. I find it very rewarding.

byjimini
10-04-2010, 06:47 AM
All of my friends like to go out drinking and getting completely smashed - I don't, so I found myself isolated since I preferred to go out for a meal or to see a film, or do something exciting than getting drunk for the sake of it. One day I saw GUGUG on Youtube doing Theme From Rawhide, and it just stuck. I found those cheap Mahalo's on eBay for all of £12, ordered a bright yellow one, and then sat there everyday for 6 months playing and thrashing away.

My parents bought me a Sammick (Greg Bennett) concert uke for my birthday the following year, I kept practising and eventually went along to a folk sing-a-round on a nearby village. Everyoen was really supportive and wanted me to go back, so I did, kept learning new songs and getting more and more encouragement, until eventually I was being invited by them to come along to other folk nights. I bought a Bruko uke, which was several steps above the Sammick, did even more folk nights, and then bought myself an Ohana 35SG. After that I was invited to play in two bands, one of which would be a trio of a guitar, fiddle and me with the uke.

3 years from starting playing the uke, having previously no experience with making music nor any interest in doing so, we went busking at Whitby Folk Festival and really gelled together, and have now been invited to other Folk Festivals as well as a few gigs around the local area.

Suffice to say, my confidence is sky-high at the moment! :D

freedive135
10-05-2010, 11:42 AM
I was in a used instrument store looking at a set of Conga Drums when I spied a Soprano Uke hanging on the wall. I had never seen one in person, so I picked it up and started messing with it and one of the guys working there asked if I played.
I told him no and he said "You Could" and showed me a few chords C, Am, F and G and said with these I could play alot of songs, so I bought it.

SailingUke
10-05-2010, 11:56 AM
When I was about 10 I wanted to play guitar. Back then there were not little guitars and everyone said I was too small (young) to play guitar.
My Grandmother bought me a ukulele thinking it was a small guitar. The uke is a Harmony Roy Smeck with a plastic finger board. I use present tense as I still have the uke some 50 years later. They gave me a book with some songs and chord diagrams and said have fun. I never had a lesson just sat there plinking with my felt pick for hours at a time. When I was a sophmore in hs my parents bought me an electric guitar. In the 60's the guitar was cool, not so the uke.
A few years ago I picked up the uke and found I really enjoyed it. My path then crossed with James Hill and his swing ukulele class, as they say the rest is history. I am now deeply entrenched in ukulele. I still play guitar, but never am far from a ukulele.

nohandles
10-05-2010, 02:59 PM
Cool thread! My grandparents went to Hawaii in 1962 bringing me back a Martin Ukulele I was 6- still have it. I had it for years playing a little because Grandma had one encouraging me to keep playing. Finally around 2000 I saw the light and have played every day since. Love the Uke!

janeray1940
10-05-2010, 03:32 PM
The uke is a Harmony Roy Smeck with a plastic finger board. I use present tense as I still have the uke some 50 years later.

I am so envious of you that you still have yours! I started for the same reason - when I was little there were no small guitars - but sadly, I no longer have that first uke. Sigh.

tainauke
04-19-2011, 06:12 AM
One morning I just woke up knowing I had to play the ukulele. Very strange, since I have never played any instrument, and no one in my entourage does either. Perhaps the ukulele god whispered in my ear that night...

I bought a Kala Ka-S thinking I would put the uke down and not touch it after a few weeks. I just thought it was my latest fad, and would blow over especially since I have a busy schedule.

But it didn't blow over and I fell in love. I was able to find some time for uke playing (not as much as I want to though) and for my bday, my bfriend got me a Kala Flamed Maple Concert!!!!

Just a beginner, but so happy I had that epiphany!!!! Such joyous sound!

ItsMrPitchy
04-19-2011, 09:55 AM
PL yed the guitar for 3 or 4 years and in 2009 i saw charlieissocoollike playing a ukulele in some of his videos. THen in about May 2010 I asked my dad if i could buy one he laughed and said i will have a look for one. That JUly he found one it was a Stagg US10 soprano for £25. I had a guitar worth £300 pounds in the house and yet I could not put this ukulele down. At first I thought it was a toy but then I found Aldrine and Jake on youtube and I started to play even more. I finally got a decent uke that Christmas which was a Greg Benett uk 70 pkn, and well the rest is history.

ukulefty
04-19-2011, 09:59 AM
Not being very musical at all, I wandered past a music shop one day, saw the uke hanging in the window and thought to myself "Hey that looks like cheap fun! And only four strings how card can it be?" The rest, they say, is history... :)

Nixon
04-19-2011, 10:03 AM
Got one for my 16th birthday as a gag pressie as I'm 6foot 5, big man small instrument. Fell in love with the little thing and never looked back.

blab
04-19-2011, 11:07 AM
Good thread.

I started playing guitar in the late seventies. Never got as good as I wanted, though. But being sixteen, playing guitar lead to my first case of serious equipment fetishism. After a year doing the paper route I finally could buy a Martin D18 in 1979. Still have it. Me and my friends would regularly visit all the music instrument stores in the vicinity. During one of those visits I saw a Brüko No. 7 which I fell in love with. It became a birthday present soon after. :D

I learned a few chords and used it on and off for a couple of years but nothing serious.

Played guitar on and off for another couple of years but finally stopped about 1990.

Five or six years ago, when the kids were in Kindergarten (pre-school in the states, I guess), I bought a ukulele for one of them. Even got my old one from my mom's house but the neck wasn't securely glued anymore. I brought it back to my mom's where I thought it was safe.

A couple of months ago I heard 'Over the Rainbow' and was seriously moved.

Some weeks later my wife told me that one of the kids wanted to learn guitar and even suggested she 'had a teacher'. While possible at that age I thought the kid's hands were still too small.

Then, suddenly, it all klicked together, the virus got me and I haven't looked back since. The kids are playing too, one more, one less.

There was a little bit of tension when I tried to get my old ukulele from my mom's house and IT WASN'T THERE. I searched the whole house and couldn't find it. :(

I was bummed. My first ukulele was gone. Every time I talked to my mom on the phone I mentioned how much I miss it. Then, after several weeks and calls, she suddenly said, "Oh, wait a moment ...(does something) ... I GOT IT!". And so I got it back. :music:

And the most crazy thing was that Brüko was doing the neck repair for free. On a 30+ years old ukulele.

TheOnlyUkeThatMatters
04-22-2011, 04:43 PM
These are great. Thanks, all!!

I've played music (bass, guitar and drums) since I was a teenager in the late 80s. About five years ago, I got the itch to play more music outside the house---at the river, the beach, wherever. I didn't want to carry a guitar around (too big), so the ukulele seemed like the perfect new thing. But I let a whole summer slip by without buying a uke. Luckily, one of my best friends got me a Camp Uke for Christmas that winter. I didn't wait til summer to start carrying my uke with me everywhere I went. I started adapting all my favorite songs (mostly reggae and the Clash) to this wonderful, tiny instrument.

I finally fell completely in love with the uke on a camping trip with some fellow musicians. They'd brought along an acoustic guitar and a homemade three-string cigar-box slide guitar. Jamming on the uke with these guys I felt the instrument come alive in my hands. Really magical---best camping trip ever.

Since then, I've played nearly everyday. I could go on and on about how much the uke has improved my life, but I don't want to take time away from you reading more of these great posts!!

earljam
04-22-2011, 08:15 PM
Why did I get a ukulele? Because I already have a banjo and an accordion. nyuk nyuk

My story is similar to several here, late bloomer music-wise, didn't pick up an instrument until I was 40. Went to Hawaii for our 25th wedding anniversary in '09 and brought back a Kala acacia tenor. Now the banjo and dobro are getting lonesome. Hooked up with a couple of other ukers in southern Illinois and just today decided to meet on the second Sunday of the month on the boardwalk in tiny Makanda, IL, in the Shawnee National Forest. So if you're visiting Egypt, come on by.

TCK
04-22-2011, 09:43 PM
Why did I get a ukulele? Because I already have a banjo and an accordion. nyuk nyuk

My story is similar to several here, late bloomer music-wise, didn't pick up an instrument until I was 40. Went to Hawaii for our 25th wedding anniversary in '09 and brought back a Kala acacia tenor. Now the banjo and dobro are getting lonesome. Hooked up with a couple of other ukers in southern Illinois and just today decided to meet on the second Sunday of the month on the boardwalk in tiny Makanda, IL, in the Shawnee National Forest. So if you're visiting Egypt, come on by.
Another Accordion and Ukulele player- excellent. Next stop- taking over the world

earljam
04-23-2011, 05:30 AM
Da, comrade! Our plan is succeeding......

Papa Tom
04-23-2011, 10:11 AM
I was a professional drummer for most of my twenties and thirties and had a pretty good career. Then the music business dried up for me in the mid nineties and I walked away from music for an entire decade, concentrating, instead, on reinventing myself as a suit and briefcase kind of guy. That worked out OK, but there was a big hole in my life for many years.

About five years ago, after seeing a re-broadcast of The Beatles Anthology and watching George Harrison so casually and delicately playing a uke on the lawn with Paul and Ringo, fireworks went off in my head and I immediately ordered a $40 Johnson Spanish Soprano on Amazon. As if I had been playing this instrument in my dreams the entire ten years I was away from music, I picked it up and began playing instinctively. It was the weirdest, scariest, most fascinating thing that had ever happened to me.

Today, I still don't consider myself in the "skills" category of many players here, but I have so much fun when I pick up one of my four ukes that it just doesn't matter. Once again, I am able to pick up an instrument, make music, and make people smile and sing.

Ukuleleblues
04-23-2011, 04:00 PM
I was in a bank one day waiting in line with a group of nuns and orphans (One of the orphans was mute and carried a pet rabbit.)

A gang of terrorists stormed in with guns and bombs and took us all hostage. They were from the UFPSOS (Unified Front for the Playing of the Same Old ….Songs). They said they would blow us all to smithereens if one of us could not play “Free Bird” on Ukulele.

Everyone started screaming and wailing. The terrorist leader looked around and threw me a uke and said, “PLAY… BOY”, and they all laughed insanely, “Ha HA ha HA HA hhhhaaahhahhaahah… “

As I caught it, my eyes met with the rabbit’s eyes and I tore into. “If I leave here tomorrow…. “ I kind of liked the sound and I’ve kept on playing since then.

When I hear Free Bird now I think it’s a tribute to the Easter Bunny.

(Actually my friend bought a uke and showed it to me….Tooooo boring of a story for here. )

talia.jane
05-11-2011, 03:28 AM
I played clarinet all throughout middle school & high school, but I'd always wanted to learn an instrument I could sing with as I play. My hands are far too small for a guitar or piano, and a guitar doesn't feel at all comfortable for my small stature. I tried holding my friend's acoustic geet once, and I couldn't even get the guitar to sit horizontally on my lap if I wanted to strum :/ Then I heard "Hey Soul Sister" on the radio, and it finally occurred to me I could buy a ukulele! So I hopped on eBay & bought one made in China. It's nothing fancy but it's got a great sound and - check this out - I don't disappear when I hold it!

DustyElmer
05-11-2011, 03:48 AM
i kinda fell into it as a last resort of sorts. i have guitars, banjos, mandolins, dobros, you name it. when i got the itch to pick up something new, i immediately went in search of a banjo-uke , so i could play along to old-time string band and jug band stuff. a month and $200 later, i'm suffering from UAS!

mendel
05-11-2011, 04:10 AM
My son was about 4 months old. He was having real trouble sleeping and soothing himself. One day, Iz's Somewhere Over The Rainbow was playing and he calmed down immediately. I decided immediately that I needed to learn how to play it. I went out and got a Lanikai Concert Uke. That was last October. Ive played every single day since, and now my son, almost a year old likes to sit and strum with me. He sits on my lap and i put the uke in front of him. He uses his right hand to strum as I fret the chords. It doesn't sound great, but he enjoys it and it makes me feel good to be able to be close to him like that. I hope it is something we can share throughout life.

fitncrafty
05-11-2011, 04:31 AM
My son was about 4 months old. He was having real trouble sleeping and soothing himself. One day, Iz's Somewhere Over The Rainbow was playing and he calmed down immediately. I decided immediately that I needed to learn how to play it. I went out and got a Lanikai Concert Uke. That was last October. Ive played every single day since, and now my son, almost a year old likes to sit and strum with me. He sits on my lap and i put the uke in front of him. He uses his right hand to strum as I fret the chords. It doesn't sound great, but he enjoys it and it makes me feel good to be able to be close to him like that. I hope it is something we can share throughout life.

Love this story mendel!! I think he needs a photo update too.. :)

mendel
05-11-2011, 06:43 AM
Update is complete FitNCrafty!!!

SuzukHammer
05-11-2011, 07:57 AM
I just wanted to learn Blues progressions so I could play harmonica over them.

I just was no good at piano and guitar. I had bought a uke on a whim before. I tried it. I liked it. So, I went out and bought a Eleuke.

The selection I had for purchasing ukes was limited at the time; so, I decided to have risky music sessions which led to me contracting UAS.

Upon contracting UAS, my love for the uke grew and I almost daily indulged in risky music sessions.

It is a neverending affliction. I am terminal.

spookefoote
05-11-2011, 08:12 AM
Dad bought me my uke banjo for my ninth birthday and told me to knock a tune out on it. I did. I liked it.

Ren
05-11-2011, 09:02 AM
I had always been exposed to Jake videos in past years, which I always watched in awe, but always filed it under "novelty" in my head, not as a serious instrument. I've been playing guitar since 15 (so 16 years now), am no stranger to instruments, since I love music in general...all genres. Classical being my favorite, my favorite instrument is my cello, but I play violin, piano, and have given an honest try to flute, sax, and trumpet. Well a month ago again stumbling across Jake videos, the sidebar had links to a pretty little lady named Taimane, and I clicked on the video for her Toccata medley, and my jaw just dropped, and it finally clicked into place..."the uke is a SERIOUS instrument". In that video she touched on all major styles it seemed, all playing styles, and it wasn't so serious..it still managed to be FUN. Then that whole evening I went on an uke rampage, and refell in love w/ Over the Rainbow, and countless covers to current hits, even old school hip hop, and I realized I NEED THIS INSTRUMENT.

So I bought my Cordoba Tenor Uke....and I can honestly say that, even though no other instrument will replace cello as my all time favorite instrument (it's MY instrument I was born to play), Uke is making the quick climb to possibly become the second favorite...in this short amount of time.

geekinpinkhat
05-14-2011, 08:00 AM
My parents started me on the piano when I was about six. My piano teacher loved me, and told me I had a bright future in piano, but I was never internally motivated to practice. I stopped playing when I was ten or eleven, I think.

Shortly thereafter, I started on the violin and joined my middle school's orchestra, again with my parents' encouragement. My first private teacher thought I was born to play the violin, but again, I wasn't really motivated to practice. Though I continued to play violin for the next six years, my progress was slowed by the fact that I didn't really want to play.

Anyway, in May of last year [2010] I stumbled upon, in quick succession, Rocky and Ball's 'I Heart You Online' and Jake Shimabukuro's 'While My Guitar Gently Weeps' - as well as the rest of Sophie Madeleine's music. I fell in love with the cheerful sound of the ukulele, and I saved up enough money to buy a decent acoustic-electric from MGM. Motivated by my own love for the instrument (and the fact that I'd spent roughly $160 of my own money on it :P) I spent four hours playing the first night it came in and never looked back.

MUCKSTER
05-14-2011, 03:50 PM
I have always seen other people playing instruments with wonder and always wanted to be able to do this myself. Unfortunately my experiences in chorus (I was actually kicked out of chorus in 6th grade...) and my sister "playing" the trumpet (Oh god the pain, my ears still hurt) kept me away.
I am going to college at UNC Wilmington which happens to be at the beach. I started to surf and accepted the beach lifestyle which was different being from Pittsburgh. I still wanted to start playing an instrument and my friend who was a guitar major was looking to sell his old ukulele. He sold it to me for $20 at the end of the spring semester, unfortunately I did a poor job of practicing over the summer and the fall but then I saw Jake Shimabukuru in the spring. This made me really want to play more and made me buy a new Vineyard uke. I am still kinda garbage but I am hoping to take some lessons in the fall and am trying the Ukulele Boot Camp right now.
Hopefully i can get decent by the time summer is over :)

maryc
05-15-2011, 05:07 AM
I lived in Hawaii from 1985 to 2000 and often went to the big swap meet at the stadium. Some time in there I found what I assumed was an old "tourist" uke. I knew nothing about them, but had never seen one in a dark auburn (burnished, probably after painting, or stained. What little grain you see seems very rich to me), so I bought it for a few bucks. It's a Dixon Model RU-801 (Taiwan), if anyone knows about that. One database only says it's 1970's. So, I bought new strings & and tuner, 2 "how-to" books, and only tried it once since then. :-) Now, I am so bored while out of work, I really want to learn, especially since i'll probably move back to Oahu this Fall. Oh, shame, living in Hawaii without playing the uke! I'm very happy with my little (assembly-made, I'm sure) red ukulele.

Loupin' Flech
05-15-2011, 05:44 PM
My step-daughter got a wee $40 soprano uke for crimbo,I had plink on it and thought,I could play this!So the missus got me one and now I'm waiting for a set of low G strings for me Mahalo tenor and the Kala 8 string should be arriving tomorrow...UAS rules!

barefootgypsy
02-29-2012, 12:19 AM
Always loved playing some instrument or other, started with recorder at school and got quite good. Was given a second-hand piano and taught myself to play - but far too many bad habits, never got to grips with sight-reading. I didn't like the bass clef as I was too used to the treble clef, with the descant recorder. But the piano gave me huge pleasure and still does. Learnt a bit of guitar at college, but never had the time to put the required effort in. I'd learned a little classical style and finger-picking (I do mean a little) but somehow the guitar wasn't quite giving me what I wanted - more versatility. Steel strings were a non-starter - too hard on the fingers and I'm a wimp! Then a few years ago I was watching a recording of the memorial concert for George Harrison, and saw Joe Brown playing "I'll See You in My Dreams on a ukulele - I was totally bewitched - the sound went straight to my heart and I twigged that the four strings would be easier to get my head (and fingers) round than my guitar. I got a Greg Bennett UK 50 as a present and worked out the chords for I'll See You in my Dreams on the piano, and looked up the ukulele chords. Totally hooked! So many beautiful chords, the chance to tackle some of the great old songs with diminished and augmented chords - such a lovely sound, such a handy, versatile little thing! I've hardly put it down this last autumn and winter. Decided I needed a banjo-uke for a feistier sound on some pieces and just got one. I've never felt justified in upgrading my ukulele, I think the one I have is fine - a question of what you've never had (the sound of a really good one!) you never miss! But I think the ukulele well deserves the popularity it's now getting, I just love mine!

Gwynedd
02-29-2012, 12:58 AM
really mellow Christian song reinvented using a ukulele.

This doesn't throw me off at all. I got saved simply by reading the Gospel and a month later, I met a guy who I fell in love with at first sight--I mean the Lord LITERALLY dropped this guy in my lap. We had many wonderful years together and he was such a wonderful person, (today would have been our anniversary, as we did it on Leap Day.) You have to believe to see the miracles all around you.

I'd love to know what that song was. I'm threatening to play electric uke at church (we officially disdain electric guitars, but in the pre-recorded backup for our choir music, you can HEAR an electric guitar wailing along, which makes me smile. I guess if you don't SEE the guitar, it's ok. But don't get me started. I'm not a fan of heavy Christian metal but I think no instrument is bad if it's played in a worshipful way, and that includes a UKE and even... a kazoo!)

Ukuleleblues
02-29-2012, 02:27 AM
Heavy Christian metal on a Kazoo, I have to admit I have never heard that.

stevepetergal
02-29-2012, 04:03 AM
I was a concert/operatic singer for many years. Played the piano all my life, and was a piano technician/rebuilder for twenty five years. Never even knew music could actally be played on an ukulele.

A concert pianist friend sent me Jake Shimabukuro's Central Park video of While My Guitar Gently Weeps about five years ago and changed my life. I still didn't buy an ukulele. But, a few months later I received one out of the blue for my 50th birthday. Now, I'm out of control.

philpot
02-29-2012, 04:46 AM
SO THERE I WAS! Paddling a skiff through the Sahara desert, sand blowing in my hair, nothing in my possession but a loincloth, my left shoe, and a cheese sandwich...


Nah, in actuality I kept hearing ukulele songs and watching videos and decided more than anything, I wanted a ukulele for my birthday. I got one, and I haven't looked back. I've taught myself basic piano/keyboard/synth and a little guitar, but the ukulele has my heart.

UKISOCIETY
02-29-2012, 06:14 AM
Although my parents didn't play any instruments, we had guitars, a ukulele and an upright piano in our house. We all played piano and instruments in the school band. I didn't play uke for years after high school but decided to buy a Martin S-O in the 1990's. Didn't really start playing it until after I got married.
All of a sudden we were broke and couldn't go out for entertaiment. But I had that uke! I joined our church praise band and started watching uke videos on Youtube. I've been obsessed ever since.

Part of the obsession is due to the amazing ukulele players I've met on-line. So many kind, wonderful and goofy personalities! You can't help but love them.

VinnyQH
02-29-2012, 07:27 AM
I bought a classic mini cooper, and thought it would be fun to play an instrument that i can also haul around in my little car. Then on a different car forum that i was browsing there was someone selling a lanikai lu-21p with case for 70 bucks plus shipping. I sent him a PM and told him i would only give him $45 bucks shipped. So he agreed and shipped it down. I didn't play that much until recently, and now I have a slight case of UAS. Bought a pineapple sunday, and then within another 24 hours bought a kala pocket uke. Neither have arrived from hawaii yet...... so it kinda sucks waiting, and playing my lanikai..... anyways here are pictures of my mini, pineapple and the pocket!!

http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b192/vinnyqh/My%20Mini/0a9a1b08.jpg
http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b192/vinnyqh/2012-02-23%20Ukulele/IMG955089.jpg
http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b192/vinnyqh/2012-02-23%20Ukulele/pocketuke.jpg

Kobeer
02-29-2012, 07:54 AM
My story is pretty short.

Basically, I was bored on youtube looking up videos. Was watching some Weezer stuff, and was watching the Keep Fishin' video... Afterwards it suggested a video of Julia Nunes playing the same song on her uke. Thought to myself, "Hey, that's neato!". Watched more of her videos and was pretty damn impressed... A couple months goes by and I'm having a giant BBQ with some friends, playing some Waterslide kickball and whatnot... And just got a bug in my head. I NEED A UKULELE! Went and bought one, started looking up videos and chords. Here I am today. Still not super great, but I can play quite a few songs, and I enjoy it immensely.

Bob-in-Alberta
02-29-2012, 08:53 AM
My story is a short one as well. I took guitar lessons for a couple years back in the 70's. Great plan to be a rock star and meet girls. Didn't work out very well, my guitar teacher actually even moved out of town. Many years later, last year as a matter of fact, my wife and I were in Hawaii (see, I finally figured out the girls thing) and I bought a Mainland concert uke. I bought it with a wish to actually be able to make music on my own and slowly but surely it is starting to make sense. We're even going back to Hawaii this November so who knows what I'll be picking up when I'm there then.

TimboAZ
02-29-2012, 12:36 PM
One of my favorite sci-fi writers, John Scalzi, got a uke and posted about it on his blog. Then I remembered that I always loved the song Tom Hanks sang with a ukulele in Joe Versus the Volcano. So that was the first song I learned (The Cowboy Song).

Plainsong
02-29-2012, 02:14 PM
Guitar was always so big and unplayable, but I wanted to play something like it. So my husband and I were watching The Beatles Anthology, and what George was playing looked fun. Anders was saying no, it was awful. The necks were too small and thin and the strings were doubled and were murder on your fingers. He was confusing uke with mandolin. So I put it out of my head..

So years later, I'm jonesing for a real quality wooden instrument. The clarinets I'd want are pricey, and not even worth it to me considering how little I play. I could get into recorder then? Nah, the wooden ones are just annoying to care for...

I was heavy into watch collecting. There was this new brand in the dive watch forums called Bathys. They have a look I like, and it's the only watch I've not sold, but anyway, they put a flash intro on their site. It's still there btw. It's a couple of ukes strumming Jammin'. THAT'S IT! THAT'S THE SOUND I WANT!

John from Bathys taught me how to say ukulele, which ends up being the Finnish pronunciation as well. Given that, I can't pronounce it the other way without sounding weird. I did my homework, and confirmed that what Anders said was bullpuckey. And with that, I eventually found MGM and a Koaloha pikake soprano.

If only John hadn't led me to UAS, maybe I'd have bought more watches. But out of all of them I sold, I kept his.

Anders and his little brother, hating their dad's mandolin, totally saw the sense of the uke. Anders would play... If he could instantly sound like Bosko.

Edit to add - The ukulele has connected me with people around the world, who have given me friendship that I would never otherwise have found.

Gwynedd
02-29-2012, 02:18 PM
Heavy Christian metal on a Kazoo, I have to admit I have never heard that.

That's because I invented it. I also invented the children's choir doing Handel's Hallelujah Chorus on kazoo, but no church that will still have me allows me to rehearse this special number. In my aging years, I've wised up and stopped suggesting it to the music director.

I thought I invented the kazoo-ukulele combo but I found someone on Youtube had done it already and there are people who even have kazoo holders like harmonica holders. So I guess my mind isn't so unique after all.

Skozar
02-29-2012, 04:02 PM
Been playing instruments all my life - started with a clarinet in Grade School took it through first year in High School, honor bands, marching, - the whole nine yards. Gave it up and bought a concertina in college - that was fun until the bellows blew out - picked up a five string banjo while on a construction assignment my senior year and ended up lugging it all over the world on assignments after I graduated, Saudi, Greece, The Netherlands, etc, etc........ Got back to the states and let everything lanquish for about ten years and then picked up a saxophone and lugged it all over the U.S. on business trips - great conversation starter but no good when it came to practicing in hotels. Bought a guitar and did the same thing - better for hotels but a PITA on planes --- so I got a small 1/2 size ----- still too big.

Finally picked up a ukulele in search of something smaller yet and have not looked back-------much better on the planes -- just as good a conversation starter ------ keeps me away from the TV at night -----the most fun of anything I have tried ------- and I have met so many great people through this board and other meetup groups!!!!!

ItsAMeCasey
02-29-2012, 06:23 PM
I got an ukulele when I was in fourth grade, but lost interest because I was young and it was too hard lol. But I really got into music in 7th grade when I joined band, and I played the tuba/trumpet all throughout middle and highschool. After highschool I didn't have music in my life because I didn't continue band at college, so I decided to pick up the ukulele and learn haha!

Plainsong
02-29-2012, 06:48 PM
You can do zombie bluegrass on a kazoo, so why not christian metal?

Seriously though, I'll pay money to hear This Little Babe from Ceremony of Carols on kazoo. Oh the humanity!


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J3daPy27zqo

(If you're into this kind of thing, keep watching til the end for a laugh.)

ZenkX14
04-09-2012, 03:02 PM
My ukulele story...?

Well, I love Amanda Palmer... for one thing. XD

And also...

I was studying bellydance at a local gym, which I really, really loved. It cost me around $50 a month though, but I loved it. But last January, my father was diagnosed with kidney cancer. In an effort to lessen costs, and to make sure that my current salary at work could help support my family, I let go of my gym membership, since $50 in the Philippines would still go a long way.

So... I ended up letting go of something that I loved to do. I didn't want to just go to work and then go back home everyday. I needed something to cheer me up, to cheer my family up, specially now since we are facing a really hard phase in our lives. When I let go of my bellydance class, and I didn't have a ukulele yet, I was so depressed about my father's condition that I'd cry before I go to sleep at night for a week. ~_~

So I decided to buy a $20 ukulele, just to try to learn it a little bit, and as something to preoccupy my mind, and to lift my spirit. I loved doing it so much, that in a week I had a 2 clear books of songs I wanted to play.

My mom hated it, she complained that I bought it as a splurge, but my dad and my sister loved it. My sister has a nice voice, and she would sing with me sometimes. And my dad loves it when I play "Hotel California" and "Hey Soul Sister" for him, so it cheers him up too. He said that when he hears me play, he feels more confident that we can get over this, and he feels that it would be my cheerfulness and positive energy that would help him become strong.

So yeah... that's my ukulele story.

Lalz
04-09-2012, 04:03 PM
I've always been more of a dancer than a musician. When I was a small kid my parents asked me to choose between learning music and dance: I chose dance, and I was very dedicated to it. I didn't become a professional dancer as I had planned (ah dreams!) but dancing is still one of the greatest joys in my life.
Growing up listening to hip-hop (which I loved because of how inventive people were at the time in creating new fresh sounds) and to my parents' amazing collection of rare jazz, soul, and westaf music, I slowly found myself becoming a DJ and working with the engineering part of electronic music starting from when I was a teenager, until working with experimental music technology actually became my job. But it was always from the other side of the music making process than playing instruments: dancing on it, recording it, building the equipment, measuring the acoustic properties, designing interactions, djing, installing sound-art pieces in public space.
I tried learning how to play some acoustic instruments along the way but nothing really stuck, mostly because I could never find anywhere to practice and had a tendency to pick instruments too odd to find instructors for lol
Then one day a couple of years ago I passed by a music shop in the English country side and spotted a purple Mahalo in the shop window. All of a sudden, all the songs I loved that had ukulele in it flashed in front of my eyes. I immediately fell in love with that uke, bought it on the spot without knowing anything about how to buy a good uke or how to play it. Luckily it was a good one haha. Then I just left it on a sideboard for a few months, staring at it with love but not really knowing what to do with it lol... Until someone told me about a ukulele jam session circle nearby where I lived. Went once to listen. Went a second time, brought my uke with me, and tried to play along with the others. It wasn't a class but a large-scale pub jam session so I was basically thrown in without knowing anything about how to play. Came home that night, watched all the "learn how to play the ukulele" youtube video tutorials I could find until I managed to learn Beirut's "Postcard from Italy" the same night (very badly but still, haha). From then on I was hooked.
Being a dancer first and foremost, at first it felt weird being the one making the music as opposed to dancing to it, which was also something I struggled with a bit with the other instruments I tried learning, and even sometimes when tap-dancing. But then I started thinking about playing the instrument as dancing with my hands to an imaginary rhythm and it worked, you just flow through it - although I do have a hard time playing without the rest of my body moving at the same time, especially my legs haha. This also gave me the confidence to learn how to play drums - which I didn't think I could do before - and it's going quite alright too. In fact, both these instruments have really changed my life. So thank you ukulele :)

efiscella
04-09-2012, 04:32 PM
I always loved traditional Hawaiian music and I wanted to participate in the music rather than just be a listener. I wanted to play and sing along. Tried to pick it up on my own in 1979 but the time was not right and the 8 string Kamaka was definitely not right for a beginner with no instruction. This past summer I went to Hawaii and took some lessons on the beach. Found out that I could do it. Purchased three books of Hawaiian music for Ukulele with Tyler Gilman. Came back to New Jersey and have not been able to put the damn thing down.

Tycho Brahe
04-09-2012, 05:57 PM
I was at guitar center looking to buy a classical guitar this past November. I was in the acoustics room and in the corner there was a little uke that looked like it hadn't been touched in months. She was dusty and wayyyy out of tune. I never touched a ukulele before and I regularly feel sorry for inanimate objects picked it up, googled what the tuning should be and dusted her off. Played my first chord (a G, because I thought it was D like on guitar) and fell in love. I took her home that night and we've been inseparable ever since :)

bonesigh
04-10-2012, 02:57 PM
I've spent the last hour enjoying all the stories on this thread. So, I'm adding my own.

My mother played guitar for years when I was young. I loved listening to her and to her friend who would occasionally come over. My mother's friend, Amelia, could play piano too. You could put a score of music in front of her she had never heard before and she could play it (on the piano). I fell in love with the sound of the piano, I mean I liked the guitar but the piano moved me. Unfortunately it was my brother who got the piano lessons! I learned a few songs on my own from a beginners book but that's as far as it went.

My mother wanted me to learn guitar. So in Jr. High I took guitar lessons and was even given private lessons by this cute little old lady named "Bunny". I don't remember a thing about learning the guitar. It didn't stick. Years and years went by and I would only occasionally wistfully wish I could play the piano like George Winston.

Neither one of my daughters showed much interest in playing an instrument until one fateful day. We had traveled back to California to visit family after having moved away to Virginia. We stayed with my brother and his wife. His wife had a ukulele and played a few songs for us. I didn't pay a whole lot of attention for my mind was on other family matters at the time. When we arrived back home my youngest, who was then 5, begged me relentlessly to get her a uke. So okay, I went online and bought the cheapest thing I could find. Thinking, of course, yeah right, she's never gonna play the thing, right.
I now know why my mother wanted me to play the guitar. That 5yr old is now 9 and only occasionally plays but perhaps that will change soon.

Well, here comes the mail person and delivers this alien thing into my hands. I just stared at it and thought, "Oh my gosh, what have I done! I don't know how to play this thing!". So being the good mother that I am I started researching on the web. Thought "I'll just learn a few chords and get her started". It didn't take long before I was hooked. It really is kind of like falling in love.

Now every where I go I've got a uke with me and if there is a day that I just can't find the time to play I feel "wrong" somehow. I'm more active, less depressed, smile a lot more and am more involved with my community. We now have 25 ukes in our little bitty town grade school and I'm volunteering my time to help teach the kids. It's simply just wonderful!

I do feel sad however that my mother suffers from deep depression (hasn't played guitar for many a year) and I just know if I could just get her to play the uke, she could, she would feel much better.