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View Full Version : Do you feel you were destined to play uke?



kissing
11-12-2010, 11:34 PM
Today, I was watching a very nostalgic cartoon from my childhood.
There was a character in it who was a musician ("Michael").

And in the first scene he comes out, he plays a 4 string electric guitar-type (Electric ukulele?!) instrument. I couldn't believe my eyes. I watched this when I was 8 or 9 years old, and since then I really wanted to be a musician like him. Who woulda thought after all these years, I'd be playing a 4-string electric uke just like him!


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wQlrtwseJx8
40 seconds in.

(more likely, the artist was too lazy to draw 2 more strings)

mm stan
11-12-2010, 11:52 PM
Aloha Kissing,
Man, you gotta get one made for you like that!!!!

kissing
11-12-2010, 11:56 PM
It would be living my childhood dream ^^;; Perhaps some day!

GreatGazukes
11-13-2010, 01:05 AM
And what 4 pegged instrument magicaly flies them off at the 4.14 spot???

(LOL will have to watch the entire Thunderbirds to see if any of the Tracys play a Uke, surely Tintin is a uke playin' gal)

ichadwick
11-13-2010, 01:29 AM
Nah. Destiny and pre-destination are religious notions, not musical ones. I can't imagine some omniscient supernatural entity pre-destined me long before my birth to play shuffle on a four-stringed instrument. Rather a bizarre idea, that. It would mean my musical tastes are pre-destined, too (so some god or godlet made me love jazz but not country music?). And my type of car must be pre-destined. My clothes. My books. My mediocre chess game and my preference for E4 openings. My preference for FPS over MMPORGs. My dog's name. The colour of my carpet. The kind of toothpaste I bought when shopping. The movie I watched last night.

Nope. Give me free will any day over some medieval notion of deity-invoked, irrevocable fate.

I CHOOSE to play the ukulele. Any day now, I could wake up and choose to play the oud. Or the sitar. Or the charango. Or nothing at all. Today, though, I CHOOSE the uke. I CHOOSE to play a relatively unknown Bob Dylan piece on a four-stringed instrument. I CHOOSE to pick up the mahogany baritone instead of the lovely mango tenor. I CHOOSE to fingerpick instead of strum. No kismet, no fate, no predestination.

The only things I know for sure that are predestined are death and taxes (well, at least in my wage bracket - were I rich and crafty, I might even escape those!).

Papa Tom
11-13-2010, 02:17 AM
I always had toy ukes as a toddler in the 60's. Yes, they were Beatles and Monkees models that'd probably be worth a couple of bucks now if my Mom hadn't thrown them down the steps and broken them to punish me for playing after she told me to stop. That's a different story.

Anyway, after that, I became a drummer and took to it almost like magic. I spent the next 25 years or so playing drums, professionally for a big chunk of that. However, I always regretted not being a guitar player, as they seemed to get all the girls. Long story short: Years after putting down my drumsticks for the last time, I picked up a $40 uke on eBay, put it in my hands and started playing like I had been playing my whole life. I don't mean that I'm an impresario, but I have a natural ability for the instrument that blew the minds of all my guitar player friends.

My only "experience" with a stringed instrument my whole life was watching the guitar players in my bands and thinking "I can do that," so it's pretty spooky that the ability turned out to be there all along. Yes, I believe I was destined to play the uke. I only wish I had started many, many years ago so I'd be better at it now.

lambchop
11-13-2010, 02:28 AM
People tell me the uke fits e best, not just in a phsyical sense, but this is a very interesting question. We do choose, but there may be something about us that helps us make those selections as well, even if it's something like being tuned in to like certain colors or shapes or music. Of course, I have also found changes in the things I like over the years, so who really knows, but still a cool question to ponder. Mike

Tudorp
11-13-2010, 02:44 AM
As technical as this sounds, and I don't mean to take the fun out of it. But, the 4 string thing is more than likely just a chartoon logistic. In cartooning, you don't want to get too technical in your drawings, it takes the imagination out of it, as well as porportions are ussally exaduated in cartoon art. This is also why most cartoon charactors only have 4 fingers, not 5. 5 fingers on their hands are too "busy".

But none the less, it got you interested and yeah, it would be cool to have one built just like it like mentioned if that was your inspiration to be a musician. Besides that, how cool would it be to have an electric uke with a wammy bar? lol

kissing
11-13-2010, 02:50 AM
I CHOOSE to play the ukulele. Any day now, I could wake up and choose to play the oud. Or the sitar. Or the charango. Or nothing at all. Today, though, I CHOOSE the uke. I CHOOSE to play a relatively unknown Bob Dylan piece on a four-stringed instrument. I CHOOSE to pick up the mahogany baritone instead of the lovely mango tenor. I CHOOSE to fingerpick instead of strum. No kismet, no fate, no predestination.

My idea of "destiny" is a bit different from being 'pre-destined' or 'fated' . It is a guiding force that we have an active part in shaping. Destiny is things like where we are born, where we live, where we end up moving, etc. It is not necessarily a superstitious/supernatural thing. They are simply factors in our lives beyond our control that will have some influence in how our life progresses. Destiny and free will are thus not mutually exclusive in my mind.

I don't believe in Fate though - that things inevitably happen completely beyond our control because of some pre-set control we have no part in.
Speaking of religion, I don't think Christianity revolves around fate either. I think (from a Christian perspective) God gave us free will; however there is always a choice to give our lives for a 'calling' or 'purpose' he has planned for us. But that comes with choice.

Another example, musically related, is that ever since I was a little kid, my dream instrument was a small, portable and unique flute-like instrument. One I could take along anywhere with me and play music to my heart's content. In a TV show I watched later in life, I encountered an instrument called 'ocarina' that was used to summon a legendary bird (I think it was a Roc).

Later in life, I played Zelda Ocarina of Time and I felt very very compelled to go look on the internet to see real life ocarinas in action and it wasn't before long that I ended up buying the instruments myself and playing them. I got passionately involved, and had some part in developing an internet community of ocarina players and makers.

One day, I had this idea, which turned into a dream, that I would use ocarinas for charitable reasons somehow. Just January this year, that dream came true - I took 250 ocarinas to Cambodia to teach children how to play music on them.

I believe destiny played some role in this happening. Ukulele is no different. There have been certain exposures throughout my life to ukuleles that really drove me to get into them.
I believe that given the kind of person I am, it was only a matter of time I got into ukuleles. I believe I discovered ukuleles for a reason, and at the same time it was by free will.

rasputinsghost
11-13-2010, 03:02 AM
Depending on your denomination, some might think that their fate is already decided.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Predestination#Predestination_in_Christianity

To contribute, it FEELS like this is the isntrument for me. I tried guitar and found then unwieldly and strange, and hated piano lessons. Uke is a joy to play, and to practice.

kissing
11-13-2010, 03:11 AM
I think the differences in Christian denominations is just looking at the same thing from a different angle though.

As in

View A: God gave us free will. We make our own choices in life, including whether to serve him.
View B: God planned and knows all the decisions we'll make. So in a sense, people are already 'chosen'.
But the way God works is so complex that it is still free will at a human capacity to understand.

Even if there are predetermined things, there's no way for us to know, so we just keep on rolling as we would naturally and see what happens lol.
As long as we are not omnipotent ourselves, life goes on with a degree of unpredictability and freedom ^^;;


And what 4 pegged instrument magicaly flies them off at the 4.14 spot???

It seems to a violin of some sort.
In the cartoon, they call it a "Time-Cosmos", which is a magical time/space warping device.


As technical as this sounds, and I don't mean to take the fun out of it. But, the 4 string thing is more than likely just a chartoon logistic. In cartooning, you don't want to get too technical in your drawings, it takes the imagination out of it, as well as porportions are ussally exaduated in cartoon art. This is also why most cartoon charactors only have 4 fingers, not 5. 5 fingers on their hands are too "busy".

But none the less, it got you interested and yeah, it would be cool to have one built just like it like mentioned if that was your inspiration to be a musician. Besides that, how cool would it be to have an electric uke with a wammy bar? lol
Though in a different episode of the same cartoon, he's shown playing a 6-string guitar.
I'm pretty sure the 4 string in the other one wasn't intended to be a uke (I'm not that naive ^^), but I found it a fun observation at a personal level :D

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

(A silly song about how much they love Ramen noodle)

cb56
11-13-2010, 04:05 AM
my avatar says yes.

Papa Tom
11-13-2010, 04:35 AM
>>>my avatar says yes.<<<<

So does mine, but your uke looks much cooler. Is that a baby Gretsch Country Gentleman?

cb56
11-13-2010, 10:58 AM
>>>my avatar says yes.<<<<

So does mine, but your uke looks much cooler. Is that a baby Gretsch Country Gentleman?

No it was a plastic mickey mouse uke. probably made in 1958 or so.

Ukuleleblues
11-13-2010, 11:37 AM
If you would have told me when I was 18 that when I was in my 50's I would be playing the ukulele in a band, performing on a regualr basis and would be into it this much I'd have thought you were out of you mind or on drugs. I would have never believed it.

ukecantdothat
11-13-2010, 12:02 PM
...This is also why most cartoon charactors only have 4 fingers, not 5. 5 fingers on their hands are too "busy"...
Walt Disney always said Mickey Mouse was designed with 4 fingers because it was easier to draw and saved labor time. In animation, those digits add up fast!

Papa Tom
11-13-2010, 02:01 PM
>>>>>> No it was a plastic mickey mouse uke. probably made in 1958 or so. <<<<

The one in my pic was either The Beatles or The Monkees uke. Had we both saved those toys, we might have been able to afford some REAL nice real ukes today, eh?

hoosierhiver
11-13-2010, 04:06 PM
This is also why most cartoon charactors only have 4 fingers, not 5. 5 fingers on their hands are too "busy".



cartoon characters and aliens.....

vacuousnacho
11-13-2010, 05:25 PM
I actually do think I was destined to play ukulele in a way. Well alright I don't know if destined is the right word but it's definitely the instrument for me. I mean, played a little bit of piano when I was younger and never really did anything with, didn't even get good at all. I played saxophone all through middle school and never did anything with that either. Now I play an ukulele and I love it; I play every single day and get excited to learn new things on it. =]

ADD
11-13-2010, 09:34 PM
My idea of "destiny" is a bit different from being 'pre-destined' or 'fated' . It is a guiding force that we have an active part in shaping. Destiny is things like where we are born, where we live, where we end up moving, etc. It is not necessarily a superstitious/supernatural thing. They are simply factors in our lives beyond our control that will have some influence in how our life progresses. Destiny and free will are thus not mutually exclusive in my mind.

I don't believe in Fate though - that things inevitably happen completely beyond our control because of some pre-set control we have no part in.
Speaking of religion, I don't think Christianity revolves around fate either. I think (from a Christian perspective) God gave us free will; however there is always a choice to give our lives for a 'calling' or 'purpose' he has planned for us. But that comes with choice.

Another example, musically related, is that ever since I was a little kid, my dream instrument was a small, portable and unique flute-like instrument. One I could take along anywhere with me and play music to my heart's content. In a TV show I watched later in life, I encountered an instrument called 'ocarina' that was used to summon a legendary bird (I think it was a Roc).

Later in life, I played Zelda Ocarina of Time and I felt very very compelled to go look on the internet to see real life ocarinas in action and it wasn't before long that I ended up buying the instruments myself and playing them. I got passionately involved, and had some part in developing an internet community of ocarina players and makers.

One day, I had this idea, which turned into a dream, that I would use ocarinas for charitable reasons somehow. Just January this year, that dream came true - I took 250 ocarinas to Cambodia to teach children how to play music on them.

I believe destiny played some role in this happening. Ukulele is no different. There have been certain exposures throughout my life to ukuleles that really drove me to get into them.
I believe that given the kind of person I am, it was only a matter of time I got into ukuleles. I believe I discovered ukuleles for a reason, and at the same time it was by free will.

Two words explain why after 40 years I am playing the uke again: Serendipity and Synchronicity.

Dane
11-13-2010, 09:54 PM
I'm not going to lie.... that video really creeped me out and I had to stop watching it. I also don't do well with most puppets, or ventriloquists.

Now that that is out of the way, yes, I think I was meant to play the ukulele. I am in no way whatsoever religious, I just find that as much as I like my other instruments, I can live with not playing them. But I can't resist playing my ukulele. I think a piece of me was missing until I started getting inspired on my uke, now I can express things that I cannot voice verbally.

countrybumpkin
11-14-2010, 07:41 AM
I believe that I was destined to play uke and the level of uke playing is proportional to the number of ukes one possesses.

clayton56
11-14-2010, 08:34 AM
I think what drew me to try uke was the convenience of it. It's smaller, lighter, less tension on your fingers and that makes it a practical choice for me these days. I'm working more and have less time than before and the uke makes it out of the case faster than any other instrument. So I can keep playing without as much hassle.

I don't think my identity is truly tied up with uke at this time. I played a lot of music in the past on banjo and also have been heavily into clarinet. I still think of myself as a banjo player, but uke might take over for the above reasons. Thing is, I don't really think of myself as playing only one instrument, but searching for interesting combinations. I'm working on some Irish tunes on uke, but they can't be uke alone. What seems to sound good is a quiet guitar fingerstyle in the background, and lead voice on uke and banjo together. The uke is an octave above the banjo. Anyway it's a tool right now, not my identity or religion.

808boy
11-14-2010, 10:01 AM
Growing up in Hawaii, you're pretty much destined to swim, surf, spear fishing, pole fishing and of course playing the ukulele. Nuff said.....BO....

Papi
11-14-2010, 12:39 PM
I would never have thought I would be consumed by a Uke. I played guitar for almost 40 years and thought I always would. From teenage garage bands to guitar teacher and member of many bands in between... the guitar defined me. It was not until last Winter when I had my shoulder totally reconstructed that I picked up a Uke just to be able to keep my fingers working and making music. I feel "in like" with the tenor Uke and as I progressed I found the 6 sting tenor Uke. That was LOVE at first chord. Sooo I am not sure I was destined for the Uke, but clearly my fate pointed me in the Uke direction and frankly I cannot put the 6 string tenor down. Interestingly, I am working with a Uke trio and we are seeling to add more members.... all very surreal when I look back over my musical career and experience.

Hippie Dribble
11-14-2010, 02:25 PM
I feel like I've been a fringe dweller and misfit most of my life...don't think I ever felt destined to be a ukulele player, but I guess it goes with the signature:o

70sSanO
11-14-2010, 05:23 PM
No I don't feel I was destined to play the ukulele or guitar or participate in any other hobby or pastime that I enjoy.

I would think that if one or both or your parents was involved in an industry and a person followed in their parents or grandparents footsteps then I suppose the person was destined to be a part of that industry.

Multi-generations of actors or actresses come to mind as a good example.

John

stevecarrero
11-14-2010, 06:02 PM
My brain sez yes, but my fingers say no.