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View Full Version : The uke is inferior!!



philpot
03-13-2011, 07:55 AM
I am involved in a heated discussion (read: intense escalating argument) with a friend of mine about the ukulele. He posted a status on facebook along the lines of, why is the uke so popular? its an annoying limited instrument. My response of course was, LOL! limited. you wish. Then promptly posted links to several Jake Shimabukuro songs. He then proceeds to rant about how it has less frets and strings then a guitar, less frets then a bass and less neck then a cello/violin. I answer with the fact that my '79 Ovation Custom Balladeer acoustic has 20 frets, while some tenors have 20+. he ignored that, and continued to harp on limited range, and how it can only convey one emotion(meaning happy Hawaiian pop emotion). I kindly directed him to Weeps and several other of Jakes songs, and told him in no uncertain terms if he can watch those and still say it can only convey one emotion, he is clearly insane. He watched Bohemian Rhapsody and a couple others and once again stated that, yes the ukulele can only covey one emotion because there were no songs that are "dark and foreboding." I asked him of the original was dark and foreboding, to which he responded that the vocals were somewhat pained. I, once again, LOL'd. I informed him of the fact that an instrumental, on any instrument, is going to reflect THE MELODY. not the singing style. Then he said something about how it sounded like 90s game boy music.
Can someone provide me with something that will get the self absorbed guitar player to realize that just because the instrument is small does not make it inferior?

byjimini
03-13-2011, 07:59 AM
The problem is, some people are more obsessed with talking about the ukulele than actually playing it - a bit like the Ferrari owners club.

philpot
03-13-2011, 08:01 AM
The problem is, some people are more obsessed with talking about the ukulele than actually playing it - a bit like the Ferrari owners club.

not sure how to take that... was it directed at me? Because I do quite a bit more playing then talking ;) 3-4 hours a day usually...

didgeridoo2
03-13-2011, 08:09 AM
Show him some gritty blues uke like Bob Brozman and Manitoba Hal. Or how it fits in a great ensemble like Larry And His Flask.

cletus
03-13-2011, 08:09 AM
Can someone provide me with something that will get the self absorbed guitar player to realize that just because the instrument is small does not make it inferior?

I cannot assist.:biglaugh:

byjimini
03-13-2011, 08:18 AM
not sure how to take that... was it directed at me? Because I do quite a bit more playing then talking ;) 3-4 hours a day usually...

Him. If he's stupid enough to criticise something that makes music then he's not worth the effort.

soulpowerbreaks
03-13-2011, 08:29 AM
I once knew a guy at my University who told a music education student that the student's piano should be tuned to his guitar...lolz all around.

Also, by his logic, an archlute is better than both the uke and the guitar because it has more frets and strings.

Finally, if he's so butthurt by the ukulele's tone, then he should pick up the wahtar (a portmanteau of the guitar and lots of sobbing)

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_gKJKPU7wqX0/S_Uk1pmhY9I/AAAAAAAABX4/OCmOgoDVAus/s1600/a+cure_141124s.jpg

Plainsong
03-13-2011, 08:29 AM
He doesn't sound like the brightest candle. Like those horse people who say you have to have a quarter horse for reining, or an Arabian for endurance, or who believe in swirls and markings meaning anything about what a horse can do.

I mean he can't even count frets. What's the point?

haole
03-13-2011, 08:33 AM
If Jake, James Hill, and John King can't convince him otherwise, he's probably a lost cause. At this point it would be way more fun to troll him. :B

OldePhart
03-13-2011, 08:37 AM
The problem with arguing with a fool is that sometimes bystanders can't tell the difference... LOL Don't remember who said that but I love it.

Seriously, though, what's the point of arguing with this clown? Why does it matter to you what he thinks about the uke? What impact should this person's approval or disapproval of an instrument you like have on you? If it has any, then you really need to work on your self-esteem or whatever other issues drive you to crave someone else's approval so badly that you have to change their opinion about the instrument.

Just sayin... LOL

John

philpot
03-13-2011, 08:44 AM
The problem with arguing with a fool is that sometimes bystanders can't tell the difference... LOL Don't remember who said that but I love it.

Seriously, though, what's the point of arguing with this clown? Why does it matter to you what he thinks about the uke? What impact should this person's approval or disapproval of an instrument you like have on you? If it has any, then you really need to work on your self-esteem or whatever other issues drive you to crave someone else's approval so badly that you have to change their opinion about the instrument.

Just sayin... LOL

John

Good question. Its not that I crave his approval so much as it angers me slightly when the uke is held as inferior. I pointed this out a few times in my discussion with him, I cant change his opinion, nor can I argue with it. De gustibus non est disputandum (in matters of taste, there is no dispute.) but when he holds to his declaration that the uke is inferior, that is not an opinion, it is a statement of fact and can be challenged. And when he still holds to it after what I showed him, it makes me wonder about his sanity xD

OldePhart
03-13-2011, 08:48 AM
And when he still holds to it after what I showed him, it makes me wonder about his sanity xD

Heh, heh. I wonder about the sanity of people around me all the time but unless the relationship is such that my well being depends on their being sane I just don't try to fix them. LOL

(Oh, and I'm sure plenty of those same people worry about my sanity...)

John

dkcrown
03-13-2011, 08:51 AM
I frankly don't care what other people/musicians think of the ukulele. There is only one person that I have to justify it to and that is myself. I love it.

RyanMFT
03-13-2011, 08:52 AM
The problem with arguing with a fool is that sometimes bystanders can't tell the difference...

Ha! I needed that perspective myself today!

austin1
03-13-2011, 08:53 AM
He doesn't sound like the brightest candle. Like those horse people who say you have to have a quarter horse for reining, or an Arabian for endurance, or who believe in swirls and markings meaning anything about what a horse can do.


One white foot, buy him. Two white feet, try him. Three white feet, look well about him. Four white feet, go without him. :D Although I firmly believe in the crazy white eye.

Plainsong
03-13-2011, 08:59 AM
There's also myths about swirls in the coat and what they mean for how stubborn or smart a horse is. I'm even open about the "crazy eyes" because some horses have that, and it doesn't mean anything. One of those "smartest ponies I ever met" types converted me there.

And Patches would hang out with uke players over "tune the piano to match the guitar" players any day. :D

Maybe the "friend" should be told something along the lines that real musicians are too busy creating music to give a crap about who plays what instrument, and which one is "best."

I Ukulista
03-13-2011, 09:03 AM
Ignore him and keep on playing brother. You have more friends.

philpot
03-13-2011, 09:17 AM
We have a convert!! I had him listen to a couple Beirut songs and James Hill's Billie Jean and he likes it now ;) hes decided he just hates pop artists who ruin it. After he watched Billie Jean, hes like "Its like... Hendrix on uke..." I was like, "Oh... speaking of..."


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_zFw5sevMIE

soulpowerbreaks
03-13-2011, 09:28 AM
Dude...awesome. :D

hmgberg
03-13-2011, 09:36 AM
The problem with arguing with a fool is that sometimes bystanders can't tell the difference... LOL Don't remember who said that but I love it.

Seriously, though, what's the point of arguing with this clown? Why does it matter to you what he thinks about the uke? What impact should this person's approval or disapproval of an instrument you like have on you? If it has any, then you really need to work on your self-esteem or whatever other issues drive you to crave someone else's approval so badly that you have to change their opinion about the instrument.

Just sayin... LOL

John

Yeah! What John said. Why are you concerned with continuing the argument? So the uke is comparatively limited in some ways. Particularly if you tune it reentrant, the range is not great. And, truth be told, a dirge played on the ukulele would probably not be very convincing. But what does that matter? A lot of beautiful music can be played on a ukulele. If you like the sound of the ukulele, and you like to play it, are you going to stop playing it because it has limitations?

It's an inane argument, really. Most other instruments are limited when compared to a piano. And, there are instruments that are more limited than the ukulele - penny whistle, harmonica. By your adversary's/friend's logic, everyone should play a piano. Oh, but the piano isn't portable. Forgot that part.

What's most frustrating about the argument is that it is kind of soulless. There are many of us who are passionate about the instrument. It brings us great joy. We don't suffer from a sense of limitation. Get off it. Let him think what he wants; go play your ukulele, be happy!

hmgberg
03-13-2011, 09:41 AM
Oh well, he was converted while I was composing my post. Anyway, there was a time when folks thought similarly about the guitar: it was only good for playing Spanish folk music. Then there was Segovia. The ukulele evolved later. First, Hawaiian and Vaudeville music, then there was John King.

pdxuke
03-13-2011, 09:50 AM
Glad he sees the light now.

For me, I don't much care what anybody else thinks of

the instrument
my playing
my singing

..I'm enjoying myself!

FreakyBob
03-13-2011, 10:41 AM
Well even though I got in on this too late here's the video I've shown some doubting guitar players and they walk away impressed: http://www.youtube.com/user/Adrienguitare59#p/u/3/YCXsa0Je-pw

This young guy puts so much into this tune that I'll never tire of watching it.

dip.mojica
03-13-2011, 10:48 AM
lol, i don't even try to argue with people like that. there's just no point.

FlakMonkey
03-13-2011, 10:56 AM
That guy sounds like my girlfriend. I wish she could understand bigger isn't necessarily better... *sob*

joeybug
03-13-2011, 11:46 AM
That guy sounds like my girlfriend. I wish she could understand bigger isn't necessarily better... *sob*

That sucks! I wish my sort-of boyfriend loved Ukes, I told him I just got number 5 and he's like "Why do you need five?!" and I said "Why do you need more than one copy of Star Wars on DVD/Blueray" he said it was different, they were all different and I said "Exactly"...don't think I won the argument though

.
Hey, you're in the UK too, and Dorset isn't far from me, maybe if my Uke club idea doesn't take off we could all get together and jam sometime? (I feel so isolated at home with no fellow Uke lovers to talk to in person)

Teek
03-13-2011, 11:47 AM
Guitar player, enough said. When they finally grow up they're usually a LOT more open minded, lol! Evidenced by all the ukers here who played guitar for years and now play phenomenal uke and a lot of other instruments.

And my own cousin who plays superb guitar and keyboards and when he handled my ukes and said he knew nothing about them then figured out the chording one afternoon after all I gave him was "same as the top four strings up a fifth". He played for a couple hours before he could put down the Kamaka concert, (and that was because it was time to eat) and wanted to borrow the bari for recording in his studio.

Brilliant open minded people. Real musicians. Excellent example for the rest. Just my own opinion, and no offense intended anywhere.

Nuprin
03-13-2011, 12:16 PM
Glad he sees the light. If he still needs a bit more proof that all ukulele songs are not "happy" you can show him Aldrine's cover of Romance (d'Amour).


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X9A6at5Hhzc

Ukulele JJ
03-13-2011, 12:28 PM
...but when he holds to his declaration that the uke is inferior, that is not an opinion, it is a statement of fact and can be challenged.

Nah. It's still opinion, because "inferior" is completely subjective.

It's a fact that the uke has a shorter neck than a guitar. But it's opinion that shorter necks are inferior.

It's a fact that the uke has less of a range than a guitar. But it's opinion that instruments with less of a range are inferior.

You get the idea. This guy is coming into the debate just plain not liking ukuleles. You're not going to change his mind. Can't reason something out of someone when it wasn't reasoned into them in the first place.

But no biggie. It's not really important that people view the uke with the same level of legitimacy we do anyway.

JJ

hmgberg
03-13-2011, 12:35 PM
Glad he sees the light now.

For me, I don't much care what anybody else thinks of

the instrument
my playing
my singing

..I'm enjoying myself!

Absolutely. I enjoy myself too. I enjoyed myself a lot less prior to the ukulele. In fact, through the ukulele I've come to see the light: It's good to be happy, and taking yourself too seriously is seriously wrong...seriously.

Chris Tarman
03-13-2011, 12:41 PM
It might be too late to post this, since he's (supposedly) converted. It's certainly not in the same league of playing as Jake, James, Aldrine, etc, but it's definitely not "Happy".

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

Huna
03-13-2011, 12:41 PM
well piano is a real instument lmao. idk I like the ukulele for the size and that it has four strings. I am not looking for a piano.

PhilUSAFRet
03-13-2011, 12:54 PM
He probably needs a large instrument to compensate for his teeny, weeny little..........you know!

Realistically though, from a retired counselor's perspective, his problems have nothing to do with music or musical instruments.

OldePhart
03-13-2011, 01:05 PM
He probably needs a large instrument to compensate for his teeny, weeny little..........you know!

Earings? :)

Hippie Dribble
03-13-2011, 01:26 PM
The problem with arguing with a fool is that sometimes bystanders can't tell the difference


John

another fragrant piece of back door wisdom from ye olde phart.

Funny, I had a similar experience yesterday with someone. By the time I realised it was wasted breath I was already in the middle of the argument!!! Best not to argue if one can help it I guess. This friend of yours is probably just a missile in search of a target. You can't win with some people. Say your peace and move on. Like that old saying 'you can lead a horse to water...' His opinion is fixed and not going to change. And a bit like that old joke about the lady who bought her husband 2 ties..he went upstairs, tried one on and came back down and said "what do you think love?" to which his wife replied "WHAT WAS WRONG WITH THE OTHER ONE???!!!!" Some battles you just aint gonna win I'm afraid!

OldePhart
03-13-2011, 01:35 PM
Like that old saying 'you can lead a horse to water...'

Heh, heh. My "back door wisdom" version goes something like, "you can drag a dead horse to water but no amount of beating will make him drink." LOL

John

cletus
03-13-2011, 02:00 PM
On the other hand, if we all reinforce the perceived sense of inferiority towards ukes, it will help keep prices down for those in the know.

sonicbaker
03-13-2011, 02:03 PM
I wonder if the guitar player thinks that a 12-string guitar is twice as superior as a 6-string one?

Reminds me of an anecdote shared with me by a friend, who is "technical" - minded when it comes to music appreciation. He commented that he once lost a lot of respect for David Bowie when he came out carrying a Flying V guitar and had a dueling jam with Adrian Belew who was in his touring band. My friend lost respect for David Bowie "because I found out he only had one string on his guitar!" I asked him if he enjoyed the jam. He said "Yeah!"

I said, well, that actually makes me respect David Bowie even more!

Plainsong
03-13-2011, 02:35 PM
But as much as some guitar players would like to think, I-vi-IV-V7-I was around way before they were.

And really, it is an inferior musician indeed who feels the need to belittle what others choose to play. Let's not lump all guitar players in with the stereotypical ones that give their instrument a bad name. Brian May plays a uke. Would this guy like to have a go at Brian May? Be our guest...

But for all that, it doesn't matter what the list of people is who play an instrument. I'm sure this guy also has a huge fast car. ;)

bottlegreen
03-13-2011, 02:52 PM
Haters gonna hate. Play like a Boss. Trololol.
Well, that's memes enough for one day.

Seriously, OP, your friend sounds like a "sh*t-starter." Doesn't he even have the berries to stand behind his filthy accusations for more than half an hour? I don't think I'd put too much stock in his smack-talk.

mds725
03-13-2011, 02:53 PM
A bicycle has fewer wheels (2) than a tricycle (3) or a bike with training wheels (4), and yet the best cyclists in the world make do with fewer wheels rather than more. I would think it would be harder to do with four strings and fewer frets what others do with six strings and more frets.

cb56
03-13-2011, 03:39 PM
If some folks don't get it, they just don't. Let them wank away on their guitars.

MutinousDoug
03-13-2011, 05:12 PM
You might introduce your "friend" to Tom Waits Chocolate Jesus. I believe that is a banjo uke in there.
I play that one and God's away on Business on my Lanikai.
My fan club is rather small though, so he's probably not heard me?

Teek
03-13-2011, 10:40 PM
I forgot to mention my digeridoo, (two) mate. Awesome music made on those!

mm stan
03-14-2011, 01:11 AM
I'm tempted to comment on the opening post friend comments....nah, just having fun with my uke......

pat rock
03-14-2011, 03:52 AM
Maybe you can just send him a link to this thread! Plus, there's a whole orchestra full of instruments with less frets than a guitar!