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View Full Version : Slam article begs the question................



NotsoGoodyet
04-01-2011, 06:56 AM
Why do YOU play the ukulele?

RyanMFT
04-01-2011, 07:05 AM
Off the top of my head....

It brings me joy. I get out of my head when I am playing/singing and I am totally in the moment and absorbed in music I love. It makes me feel good just to hold a ukulele, I love the hunt for vintage ukulele's, and I have met so many wonderful people through our mutual connection of this instrument that I feel like my world and life becomes richer through my friendships with them!

haolejohn
04-01-2011, 07:37 AM
I play b/c it makes me look cool.

SweetWaterBlue
04-01-2011, 07:44 AM
To be honest, I play the ukulele because I saw some YT videos of people playing it, and it looked like fun. Then I was in a music store in December 2009 and saw how cheap the ukuleles were. I went home with a Kala KA-TG and started playing it. I played the trumpet in high school, then took a long hiatus (about 40 years) from playing music, other than strumming my old classical guitar once and year and remembering how hard it was to play. Now, I have 7 ukuleles, 2 guitars, a clarinet (which I don't know how to play), a Casio keyboard, some recording equipment, a drum machine, and am thoroughly enjoying myself with music again. I have met a lot of new friends in my ukulele group and around the World. Its just more fun and easier to play than the guitar. At my age, I no longer care too much about what chics or guitar snobs think of me (other than my wife).

When I first bought it, I thought it was cute, but have come to discover its a serious instrument. The uke rekindled my dormant love of playing music. Anyone who thinks otherwise should try playing some classical music on it, or maybe some of Jake's or Dominator's stuff.

jlester2200
04-01-2011, 07:44 AM
for the chicks

janeray1940
04-01-2011, 08:08 AM
Because it fits my hipster image? :)

Seriously though - in addition to the fact that I love the sound of it and it's fun to play, I started playing a couple years ago because when I was a child, it was my first instrument. For years I had thought about getting one again, taking lessons, etc but somehow kept running into excuses. Eventually I ran out of excuses - and it's been the most amazing little journey, between the people I have met and the learning I have done. I just can't imagine life without it!

ukulelecowboy
04-01-2011, 08:16 AM
It was seven years ago. I was 42 years old and struggling to learn how to play the guitar. I had my first heart attack followed by a Quad Bypass. During my recovery, I decided that life was too short and that the guitar had too many strings. I picked up the ukulele and never put it down.

Ukulele JJ
04-01-2011, 08:17 AM
To annoy Jim DeRogatis?

Um, really though, I guess I play them because they're just so darn playable. How can you not play one?

I mean, you might as well ask why you pet kitty-cats. :-)

JJ

Tudorp
04-01-2011, 08:49 AM
Cause I got em layin all around the house.. ;)

GrumpyCoyote
04-01-2011, 08:50 AM
Because I couldn't fit a cello on my motorcycle.

greenway
04-01-2011, 08:54 AM
I don't really have a specific reason :(
I just like playing instruments.

That's kinda how I got into playing guitar, bass, drums, harmonica, ocarina, recorder, tinwhistle, keyboard/synthesizer/piano (barely :P) and ofcourse, ukulele.

MattLindahl
04-01-2011, 09:21 AM
I originally picked up the ukulele after a long period of guitar strumming. I honestly felt that I had played all of the songs out of that specific guitar that I could. So I picked up the uke with intentions of writing the saddest songs I could come up with on the happiest sounding instrument I could find. I wrote two sad songs and that was all I could do. Everything else that has come out has been at turns- beautiful, happy, perhaps a bit melancholy, but still light. I broke my left wrist years ago and it never healed properly, and ukulele doesn't fatigue me as much as guitar does. I've had the intention of picking the guitar up more, but a uke is so handy. So easy to pop into the car. And I've recruited about a dozen people into the uke world. That makes me happy. And more than anything else, uke people are good people.

Kem
04-01-2011, 09:29 AM
I don't really have a specific reason :(
I just like playing instruments.

That's kinda how I got into playing guitar, bass, drums, harmonica, ocarina, recorder, tinwhistle, keyboard/synthesizer/piano (barely :P) and ofcourse, ukulele.

What greenway said, except that with me, it's piano, flute, harmonica, accordion, tinwhistle, recorder, ocarina, mandolin, guitar (barely), various hand drums and other percussion (bones being the latest), and, of course, ukulele.

Granted, the uke was one of my first instruments, and I've played it since I was a little kid. I am one of those people who has been watching in awe as what has been considered a dorky little instrument by almost everyone I know for much of my life has suddenly and unexpectedly become cool. I'm still waiting for the same thing to happen to the accordion.

70sSanO
04-01-2011, 09:31 AM
I first tired the ukulele becuase it looked interesting and... if you can play guitar you can play ukulele... like that if you can dodge a car you can dodge a wrench mentality.

I PLAY the ukulele becuase it is more fun to play, it is not competitive, you can play it anwhere, love the sound, but another very selfish reason is that I can play it lying in bed.

For years I tried to find a small guitar that would let me lay back in bed at night, watch some hockey or basketball, and noodle away. I never found one that really worked. But a ukulele is perfect, so I always have one that I can pick up and noodle as my beloved Ducks make another playoff run... the Lake Show isn't a bad venue either.

John

pete1030
04-01-2011, 09:34 AM
For the same reason I ride a motor scooter and have a funny looking dog, it amuses me. The ukulele asks nothing of me, it only brings me joy. I rarely play in front of other people but I enjoy saying that I play a ukulele. I'm too old to care if any one thinks what I do is lame, pluck them if they can't take a joke!
Pete the plucker

roxhum
04-01-2011, 09:48 AM
I wanted to learn a instrument and chose the accordion because it is happy and quirky. I was having so much fun that I wanted to learn another instrument. I chose the ukulele because it is happy and quirky and a whole lot easier than the accordion.

Doug W
04-01-2011, 09:58 AM
I mean, you might as well ask why you pet kitty-cats. :-)
JJ
:D Well I try to avoid our cats but I liked the reply.
My parents bought me a banjo uke in 1961 or so. We played in front of our 3rd and 4th grade class and we were cool.

jop
04-01-2011, 10:45 AM
Well, I built my first ukulele as a college project 30 years ago. Why? Because it was different, cute, portable, unusual, friendly, always brought a smile on people's faces... It has also taught me more about musical theory than the guitar ever could.

engravertom
04-01-2011, 10:50 AM
I play Uke because I can make the music I want to make on it. Also, I couldn't really play drums unless I found a band to play with, and that would mean time away from my family.

Now, my family is becoming a mini Uke orchestra!

Lovin' life with the Uke!

Dougf
04-01-2011, 11:19 AM
To paraphrase RFK:

"Some see those who play ukulele and ask why... I see those who have never played ukulele, and ask why not?"

RandyVA
04-01-2011, 12:30 PM
Because it is a lot more fun to play ukulele badly than it is to play guitar badly. ;-)

OldePhart
04-01-2011, 12:32 PM
It's funny - the uke is about my fourth or fifth instrument. I picked it up primarily because my granddaughter was showing interest in my guitars but her hands were obviously still too small even for a "youth" guitar. I figured I'd get her a uke - and, naturally, if "peepaw" was going to teach her to play he'd have to get one and learn first.

Little did I know that it was going to fill that musical "spot" I've been trying to fill on so many other instruments all these years. I can make better music on it after a few months than on guitars, flutes, whistles, etc., etc. after many. My many guitars have become very lonely and most are going to end up going on Craig's list whenever I get unlazy enough to take pictures and list them. I'll keep one acoustic and one electric, probably...maybe. I still play bass but that's because I have a regular gig on it. If our worship leader ever finds a better bass player (something that wouldn't be at all difficult) I'd be happy to retire my basses and play uke there, too.

Oh, and, yes, my granddaughter is showing promise on the uke, too!

John

ombracorta
04-01-2011, 12:43 PM
444
"Four fingers for four strings, and an opposable thumb for keep it"
Mother Nature designed humans to play ukulele :D

SuzukHammer
04-01-2011, 12:49 PM
I just say I'm learning the ukulele when in actually, I have desires to learn to play the accordian but I didn't want to admit that.

haole
04-01-2011, 01:08 PM
I can drink PBR right out of it, although sometimes it gets all over my ironic t-shirt and filthy neckbeard.

Uncle Leroy
04-01-2011, 01:19 PM
I play the Ukulele because:
I think it is a cool, valid instrument.
I don give two shits what other folks, musical or otherwise think about the ukulele.
My leather pants don't fit anymore and my poodle perm is long gone.
and of course,,,,,,,,hipster chicks dig it.

pepamahina
04-01-2011, 01:20 PM
It was seven years ago. I was 42 years old and struggling to learn how to play the guitar. I had my first heart attack followed by a Quad Bypass. During my recovery, I decided that life was too short and that the guitar had too many strings. I picked up the ukulele and never put it down.

Glad you're still here Mike. Strum on!

pepamahina
04-01-2011, 01:23 PM
I mean, you might as well ask why you pet kitty-cats. :-)

JJ Exactly! or baby bunnies!

uke4ia
04-01-2011, 01:52 PM
As a teenager back in 1976, I was staying a couple weeks with my sister in Chelsea, Maine. A suburb to a town of 20,000. There wasn't a thing to do. But she had this old ukulele she'd bought for $15 for my brother. (A Martin 1920s 2-M) He hadn't learned to play it and gave it back. Bored out of my mind, I sat down with the uke and the Mel Bay instruction book she had and learned many of the chords. Since I was the only one who'd ever bothered learning to play it, she gave it to me. And 35 years later....

For many years, I was playing both uke and keyboard. I had a professional quality synthesizer. I wrote lots of songs on both instruments. But eventually the synthesizer died, and I never replaced it. I realized electric keyboards are going to be dependent on software and operating systems and therefore tough to fix, expensive to replace. But that 1920s uke still plays just fine. So I've learned out to translate a bunch of my keyboard songs to the uke and I'm having a great time.

SweetWaterBlue
04-01-2011, 01:57 PM
Great story. Thanks for relating that.

uke4ia
04-01-2011, 01:58 PM
It was seven years ago. I was 42 years old and struggling to learn how to play the guitar. I had my first heart attack followed by a Quad Bypass. During my recovery, I decided that life was too short and that the guitar had too many strings. I picked up the ukulele and never put it down.

Glad you're doing well. I had a heart attack and triple bypass last year, and I have no memories of a six day period following the surgery. When I was finally aware again, I was bummed that it couldn't have come a week later, because I missed a show where I would have gotten to play a half hour uke set.

rem50
04-01-2011, 02:00 PM
I was at a bluegrass jam and this 82 year old guy showed up with a uke and did a few tunes. I was captivated by the sound and had to get one. Now he and I jam together and have a blast. By the way he has played since he was 15! He sure knows some classics! :)

Huna
04-01-2011, 02:04 PM
mandolin was sort of a pain to play and guitar was too big. Oh and because I can play it in my easy chair and I could't the guitar.

Ukulele JJ
04-01-2011, 02:31 PM
I just say I'm learning the ukulele when in actuality, I have desires to learn to play the accordian but I didn't want to admit that.

As one of the two people responding to this thread who play both ukulele and accordion, I can only say... do it!

Learn accordion! You'll love it! And it pairs well with the uke too... :-)

JJ

Huna
04-01-2011, 02:42 PM
I needed to replace a worse addiction

Brad Bordessa
04-01-2011, 02:44 PM
To rip a hole in this universe, step through to another, then come back with messages of peace, love, and beauty.

Huna
04-01-2011, 02:53 PM
they had one on sale for 30 bucks at guitar center

aljanny
04-01-2011, 03:23 PM
I play the ukulele because it gives me happiness every time I pick it up. I enter into this little zen area of my head - it's almost meditative. It gives me a break from my stressful, busy life. It's also a personal challenge - I love learning things, it gives me a sense of accomplishment.

I've tried guitar, piano, violin, and harmonica. I've never, ever gotten the same sense of joy from them that the ukulele gives me. They always gave me a sense of dread to pull them out. So, I stopped playing them, and would have branded myself 'musically disinclined' except that my musically-minded boyfriend took that as a challenge and bought me a ukulele for my birthday. 8 months later, and I still play every day, no sign of dread or frustration in sight =)

I think it's the sound - that 'plinky little instrument' reaches somewhere peaceful and happy in my mind.
That, and my fingers are too small to be comfortable on 'grown up guitars' =P

Kem
04-01-2011, 04:07 PM
As one of the two people responding to this thread who play both ukulele and accordion, I can only say... do it!

Learn accordion! You'll love it! And it pairs well with the uke too... :-)

JJ

Yes, I love my little red accordion (as well as my OTHER little red accordion. I have two little red accordions). It's really a wonderful instrument, and much more versatile than many people will admit. Just for instance, it is possible to play pieces that are not polkas on the accordion. Yes, it really is. I swear.

pdxuke
04-01-2011, 05:19 PM
I'm with Ryan: I play uke because

It raises the level of joy in my life

And in the world

And there's always more to learn (and I love to learn)

And to buy and try (and I love to buy and try)

And I love the new friends I have met in person and online

Who like us (me and my ukes)

just the way we are. :)

haolejohn
04-01-2011, 05:33 PM
Because I couldn't fit a cello on my motorcycle.

I agree Grumpy.