View Full Version : How did you get started on the 'ukulele?

06-24-2011, 08:44 AM
I always wonder what it was that first spurred people on to pick up an instrument and want to learn to play it. Guitars are pretty easy - the allure of being (or pretending to be) a Rock Star! But other instruments seem a bit less obvious.

So I figured I'd ask: What got you interested in the 'ukulele?

For me the answer is probably needlessly complicated. Back in the mid-90's I was living on Oahu when my wife got a gig with the English Lit dept at UH. We stayed with some of her extended family, and one of her Jichans had a home-built 'ukulele he'd play when we'd get together for some pau hanas and to talk story. He taught me a few simple chords on the thing, and I kind of fiddled around for a while, getting comfortable with it and learning some strums, but that was about it.

After a few years, we had to move back to LA, and I decided I'd get an 'ukulele for my dad, thinking he'd enjoy it as he had just retired. It was a really low-end model, but since I wasn't sure if he'd like it, I figured better to spend less than more.

Turns out he didn't like it, and just tossed the uke into a closet.

Fast-forward to mid-April of this year, when my dad is cleaning out his junk, spots the uke, and asks if I know of anyone who would want it. Seeing it reminded me of da kine afternoons, so I took it. It was too small and really cheap, but I mucked with it for long enough to decide to buy something a bit better and to get serious. Haven't looked back (so far), and have been kicking myself for the last two months about why I didn't keep playing all them years back when I had a genuine teacher willing to give me lessons and pointers during balmy Honolulu afternoons, with a lot of beer, spam musubi, and other ono grinds.

Anyway, I plan on handing off my little starter uke to my 7-year old nephew with offers of helping him get some basics, to try and pass it on. Hopefully his story will start, "One day my uncle gave me this 'ukulele and taught me a few chords ..."

So, anyone else? How, why, and when did you decide to start?

06-24-2011, 09:23 AM
I've played guitar for a long time, but mostly I just used it for accompaniment. I had always considered ukes kind of a novelty instrument, but over the last year or so, I've come across so many ukulele covers on Youtube that sounded amazing. Whether it was Jake Shimabukuro, or just some kid in their kitchen rocking out a Lady Gaga tune, it's just a great-sounding instrument that doesn't take itself too seriously and has an amazing ability to generate smiles.

06-24-2011, 09:35 AM
One person, four words.
James Hill is awesome !!!!

06-24-2011, 10:19 AM
My Dad gave me his Pre-war Martin O on my 10th birthday nearly 60 years ago. Only got serious within the past year. Loving going to my meetup group and playing ukewith my son. Picked up a few more.

06-24-2011, 10:29 AM
Born and raised in Honolulu, it was almost a given that us kids would learn the uke, much like horses to kids in Texas or Montana. Started at 8 years old, learning from other kids in the neighborhood, we never knew the names of the chords, but learned the finger positions. I grew up in Kalihi Valley Housing where there was "uku pilla"(lots of) kids and we all sat together teaching and learning off each other. Week ends were especially fun as the adults would have their normal "beer parties" with lots of singing with ukuleles and guitars. Us kids would watch and learn....magical nights....
Dabbled off and on with the uke for many years. Then when I took my grand-daughter to a musicstore to purchase a saxaphone reed, I seen a display of ukes in the corner. Lanikai and Kala were unknown to me. I picked up a Kala concert and started playing. All that I learned some 50 years ago came back and I was hooked. Bought several ukes since then, got 2 of my daughters, 5 of my grandkids, a female friend and her 3 sons, and a son-inlaw all involved. Bought 13 entry level uke for x-mas gifts. Teaching them is a joy for me, learning the names of the chords is a job for me, but having the time of my life..................................BO.......... ..................

06-24-2011, 10:35 AM
I'm a BIG Pearl Jam fan so after "Soon Forget" from Pearl Jam's Binaural record (2000), and a bootleg I found of a show Eddie Vedder did in 2002 I bought a CHEAP uke (soprano or concert, not sure which). I played that thing until I couldn't play it anymore. With the Ukulele Songs record, many of which were on that bootleg, I decided to buy a nice(r) tenor and really learn to play. I play guitar which has helped, but I don't want to treat this as a miniature guitar. I've spent the week learning "Tears in Heaven" and "Something" thanks to YouTube and UU.

ps, I want to point out that Ukulele Underground is one of the friendliest online communities I've ever been a part of. Everyone is respectful and seems to genuinely care for others on the board. The attitude here is infectious and encouraging, so good on ya!

grace and peace,

06-24-2011, 01:03 PM
I started about a year ago. The reason I started to play was I thought it would be nice to have something I could accompany myself with while I sang. I find it quite hard to sing in front of others and never stuck with the guitar for very long although I played a while when I was younger. so I thought maybe the uke might be an idea. I always enjoyed singing so that was part of it but also I had recently been to a family gathering and the inevitable "sing song" came along. I am Irish and this is so common at parties or at a "lock-in" in at a bar sometimes. Anyway, every time this happens I get this horrible and overwhelming feeling of dread and go completely blank on what song/poem I could do! Its pretty much obligatory so it usually ends in me mumbling something, poem or song, while steadily going redder and redder.... Its a little crippling at times to be honest. So I thought if I got a uke, learnt a few basic songs then i could get through this uncomfortable ordeal with a minimum of stress and go back to enjoying the other more confident performers!! That was really it, the basic plan..... BUT, I soon found, once I had learnt those few basic songs I found I really enjoyed it and loved learning new songs to sing. I found that the uke could actually be quite a wonderful instrument and really started to enjoy playing and practised whenever I could.
The funny thing is that a family gathering with the obligatory sing song has not come along but, slowly but surely, I have got out of my bedroom/living room and begun to sing for others and have even begun to really enjoy it! I've even found I am not a terrible singer, I'd been told I could sing before but never totally believed it. So now I don't have to worry about the scary sing song coming up anymore, but I have also gotten alot more out of it than that. I discovered the uke, and have got huge pleasure out of exploring my voice and the uke itself. I've even started looking into playing and singing with others and am starting a little uke group with friends i would not have met if it wasn't for my little Soprano "Powell". My only regret is that i didn't start earlier, but hey at 25 theres plenty of time to learn and improve.
Its been a hugely positive event in my life.

Cheers -F

06-24-2011, 05:38 PM
My Daughter wanted an ukelele last Christmas. In the process of buying one, I discovered this amazing world and was totally smitten. And now I'm a part of it.

06-25-2011, 06:22 AM
I wanted to make my own music, if the power and batteries went dead, then I could amuse myself with music. I heard a JAKE S cd playing in a gift shop and decided togive uke a chance. I hoped 4 strings would be easier than guitar which I found hard to learn. I was right, and I have been playing for my enjoyment for about 4 years.

06-25-2011, 07:21 AM
I got started playing uke because I always grew up playing piano and wanted something more portable to take everywhere with me. My mom sings and plays guitar, and I've always loved singing but been intimidated by guitars. The ukulele seemed like a natural choice for me. I also love Hawaiian culture (have had family over there for over 20 years) and I also love 1920s-1930s music and culture. The uke has been integral for both of those styles, so it quickly became the instrument for me. :D

06-25-2011, 08:01 AM
I'd played guitar, bass and drums since the 80s. I wanted a portable instrument for trips to the river, the beach, hikes, etc. I mentioned this a couple times to friend, and that Christmas he gave me my first ukulele! It was love at first strum.

06-25-2011, 12:22 PM
Saw Charlieissocoollike using one on many of his videos. So i picked one up for a novelty and then found out that people like aldrine and jake do solo instrumentals on the uke. And since i cant sing this really inspired me to play.

06-25-2011, 12:48 PM
Jack Johnson made me do it. I just wanted to play Breakdown. Now I have a few ukes and the rest might be familiar to you guys and girls.

06-25-2011, 04:35 PM
I always loved the 1920's. (No idea whay, I was born in 1957.) I played tuba, trombone, harmonica and recorder, all fairly seriously in my teens/early 20's. My grandfather gave me his tenor banjo and I learned to play that, it worked perfectly with my 1920's interest. But those big stiff strings tuned in fifths were never easy for me. My wife had twins, then a third, and I was too busy to practice the banjo. Broke my pinky on my fretting hand playing basketball and then broke the ring finger on the same hand working on a car. Tried to go back to the tenor banjo when the kids got older but those two fingers were not up to it.

I researched instruments and learned that the uke was great for 1920's tunes and the strings were easier to fret than the ones on a tenor banjo. So I bought a uke. Now I tune the tenor banjo like a baritine uke with light gauge guitar strings, but I play the ukes a lot more.

06-25-2011, 04:46 PM
I was looking for a small instrument that I could take around with me. I first walked into a music store looking for a charango. They are not to be had anywhere in Texas! I saw a ukulele, picked it up and was hooked!

06-25-2011, 04:47 PM
First time around, I started playing when I was 7 years old and wanted to learn guitar, but I was really small for my age. Back in those days guitars sized for really small kids weren't very common, so someone suggested ukulele and that's what I ended up with. I didn't study formally, just learned bits and pieces from my dad. Eventually I became an oh-so-jaded teenager and lost interest.

Fast forward to around 10 years ago when I saw Janet Klein play for the first time. It was a lightbulb moment: I love all that old music, why am I not playing ukulele? Took me another 8 years or so to actually *get* one and start playing it. And I've played every single day, ever since, save for one day a couple months back when I was in the hospital and didn't think my uke would be welcome there :)

06-25-2011, 04:55 PM
I always wanted to be a musician, but could never really "get" the piano or the guitar.

I had to observe a child in a daycare setting a few months ago and watched a guy lead a Music Together class with a tiny guitar. He played all the songs I had previously heard on guitar. When I asked him why his guitar was so small, he filled me in. (Boy, was that embarrasing to type.) A few months of research later, I've found my a-ha musical moment. Practicing every night for the past month and it couldn't feel less like work.

06-25-2011, 07:08 PM
i played guitar years...years ago...used to play every friday night for a couple of years at a songwriters bar in dallas, being on stage playing your own original music always gave me the willies! had to have liquid courage to be in front of an audience! haven't really played in 20 years or so...came across julia nunes playing the uke. never knew! that was last june...got my first uke last july, found UU in september...have never looked back! seemed safe and fun to have a youtube channel...not too much "live" pressure....though i now, really strive to know and learn more, but still, at heart i am just a glorified strummer..and the voice doesn't always want to cooperate! i am hooked! and it's fun!

Leigh Coates
06-25-2011, 07:41 PM
I became hopelessly in love with the ukulele about 10 years ago when a very dear friend of mine (who has recently passed away) pulled out a Kamaka concert uke that he had stashed away. He had purchased it in Hawaii 20 years ago while on a holiday. It was beautiful and sounded even better when he played it! After that, I discovered that George Harrison had been a wonderful ukulele supporter, and then I heard Jake Shimabukuro on YouTube, and then I discovered James Hill. I was sunk. Now I can't seem to stop buying the darn things!

06-25-2011, 08:47 PM
Received a Keilani Koa Soprano matte finish ukulele and the Treasury of Ukulele Chords by Roy Sakuma as a gift from my good friend Nacho when he returned from Hawaii in the early 2000's and have had a ukulele in my hands every day since. I played bass guitar in many bands since I was 12 years old and thought I'd never be able to play an instrument and sing until I started strumming my uke. I still have great difficulty playing bass and singing unless it's a very simple bass line. Might have something to do with being strictly left handed except for playing music or just the syncopated rhythms when playing bass. Thoughts?

06-26-2011, 10:18 PM
I heard Israel Kamakawiwo'ole's Over the Rainbow on the radio a few years back and about a year ago I heard and saw Jake Shimabukuro perform on Woodsongs Old Time Radio Hour. A lady who sometimes plays at a coffee house where my wife and I perform plays the old Martin uke her aunt left her and I started to reconsider it as a serious instrument and not just a toy. I've played guitar since 1959 and picked up banjo and mandolin along the way, but never really got into ukulele, partly because of a really crummy one my folks got me when I was still in grade school. I ended up throwing it away it was so bad.

Had my father-in-law's old early '60s Silvertone sitting around (mostly as decor) and decided to put some strings on it and give it a go. UGH! Horrible intonation, friction pegs wouldn't stay in tune, BUT with the new strings I realized there might be some hope. I cut out the wooden saddle and replaced it with a saddle I'd taken off of a guitar I'd done some work on and ordered some geared Grover tuners from Stew-Mac. A few minutes at the drill press to get it ready for the new tuners and NOW it sounds like an instrument. But I wasn't satisfied. I wanted a concert or a tenor.

Played a Lanikai LU-21CE at a local music store a couple of months ago and bought it. My wife started getting interested in playing, so I found another concert uke on Craig's list and got it a couple of weeks ago. So now we have three ukes and we're definitely not finished. Yeah, it's a little addictive. Love the sound and the portability and the versatility of this great little instrument. Wish I hadn't been so narrow-minded about them before and glad I finally came around. We're planning on adding uke to some of the songs we perform now.

I've played Martin guitars for years so I'll probably be adding at least one Martin uke and I've already seen a couple of Kamakas for sale locally, just didn't have the spare cash.

Sixty years old today and learning a new instrument. And LOVING it! Who'da thunk it?

06-28-2011, 09:36 AM
My story is a little round-about, but it all culminated into a uke addiction. Guess stuff works out in the end eh?

I played piano when I was a kid. Just didn't stick with it. Back in the early 2000's, a colleague of mine became the lead develop for Guitar Hero. I played that game until my fingers dropped off. That led to a few tries with the guitar, but it was just too tough so I stopped. My sister was living in HI at the time and when she'd come back to the mainland with her uke. I would tinker with it, but nothing serious. Always intrigued by it though. She taught me some chords and I could pick it up quickly, but the uke would go back to HI and I wouldn't think anything else of it.

Fast forward a few years and my sister moved back to the mainland for the time being (may not be permanent). The uke was close again and I'd tinker, but not so much that I wanted my own. Then my sister and I bought a summer cottage along one of the Great Lakes. I started imagining lazy days in a hammock, paddling on the lakes, etc. She brought her uke with her one trip when we were fixing it up and then I was entranced. The uke would fit perfectly into my idea of lazy hammock days.

5 months later, I'm hooked. I've experimented with a bunch of ukes (much to my wife's chagrin). Any trip to a music store could mean disaster for our bank accounts (^_^). I play/practice at least an hour a day (it's easy to do when the sun is setting and the weather is warm). I do finger exersises whenever I can. I actively look for music and read voraciously about the uke and music theory. I'm still trying to find my preferred size and strings. I also like to make up little dities for my kids, like "Jimmy's pooping song".

Here's a little iPhone video that my daughter and I made up about her school work.

This is what we do during lazy days in a hammock.

06-28-2011, 09:42 AM
I have loved IZ's version of Somewhere Over the Rainbow since I first heard it. Not sure if that is why I started playing or not. But I bought my first uke about 10-11 years ago off of ebay, a Johnson soprano. Nothing good really, had to redo the nut and saddle to make it playable. Played on that a few years, then I bought a Lanikai Koa Tenor, a Fluke Tenor. Then sold both of those. Then bought a Bushman Jenny. Sold that, got another Fluke, then a flea. Then sold both of them to get my Kamaka earlier this year.

I've loved the sound of the ukulele, and have loved all things Hawaii since I was a little kid. Which is probably where my desire to learn the instrument came from :)

09-17-2011, 07:39 AM
I started last christmas my teenager and myself started guitar lessons and my younger daughter and I started Uke - my son quickly surpassed me in guitar and I found I was having so much more fun with the Uke so I went all the way with the Uke - glad I did.

09-17-2011, 08:15 AM
We were on Kauai in February of 2009. Shopping in the little town of Koloa. My wife - who had often bemoaned the fact that when she met me in the 80's I was a full-time musician/singer/songwriter and had since left that behind me, said "Hey - there's a Ukulele shop, why don't we go in there". (Was Larry's music.) I hadn't noticed it, but said "Ok." So we go in and then my wife says "Why don't you try one?" I said: "Ok". She then says "Why don't you buy one?". I said: "Sure.".

That path that my wife led me down returned me to a passion for music. And now our home is filled on a daily basis with the beautiful sound of ukulele :-))

09-17-2011, 08:16 AM
I remember being 14 or so and for some reason I began to fall in love with all things Hawaii (it was around the time when Hawaiin shirts were making a comeback). I walked into the local music shop and there it was!!! It was a crappy Samick ukulele, but I immediately picked it up, strummed it a couple times, and took it to the counter to purchase it. One of the best purchases I've ever made!

09-17-2011, 10:59 AM
Loved playing the guitar when I was 9/10 and then discovered I was really good in sports. Fast forward a few decades to an old, fat and out of shape me who thought one day it might be nice to teach myself guitar again. Purchased a really nice acoustic but found I didn't have the time to sit, practice and teach myself all over again. A few years later Ukulele Source opened up near my house and Smiley Kai showed me a couple of chords while I was hanging around. Bought a Kala at the end of May, started lessons in August and now I play every day during my lunch hour. Also added a Dolphin for my son, a Komoa pineapple (SM-P) for my wife and a Kamaka HF-3 for myself. Plus at least half a dozen Makala sopranos to have on hand in my classroom for any students who want to hang out and learn a little.

09-18-2011, 03:42 AM
While buying various blues LPs in the mid-70s, I happened upon the Yazoo LP 'A Bear in a Lady's Boudoir' by Ukulele Ike and was hooked. Dabbled with the uke since then while concentrating on fingerstyle guitar. The last couple of years I've been trying to take that knowledge and apply it to the uke and having a lot of fun doing so.

09-18-2011, 06:49 AM
I played the ukulele when I was a boy. Then I grew up to be a professional jazz & blues pianist. I had totally forgotten about the uke till I saw a documentary on Norwegian TV about a year ago. Then I realized I had to re-learn the stuff I used to play, so I bought a cheap Richwood soprano (couldn't find the uke I had when I was a kid), and got started again. I absolutely LOVE playing it, and I won't forget about it again unless dementia gets the best of me. As a pianist, I have seven solo cd releases, my first ukulele album will be released digitally (download only) soon. The rediscovery of the uke has been nothing but beautiful!

09-18-2011, 06:52 AM
Played guitar for forty eight years;had a serious
illness and after that,just couldn't seem to get
interested in it.Then One day,I spotted a Mahalo
painted soprano in a local music shop,thought,
that could be interesting.....and wallop,a born
again string player!

09-18-2011, 07:19 AM
Was watching the movie 'The Jerk' and wanted to learn how to play 'Tonight You Belong To Me' so i went out and bought a ukulele. Was my first song i learned!

09-18-2011, 07:26 AM
I have no musical talent--while Tiny Tim was becoming synonomous with ukulele for much of the country, I was flunking piano lessons. Flash forward to 2011--I saw a YouTube video of a young friend playing a quiet, sweet song on a ukulele. I was completely oblivious to its popularity, and I had no idea a ukulele could sound like that. It really stuck with me--I just couldn't stop thinking about it and after a couple of weeks, I found myself wondering if I could possibly learn to play that little instrument. That was almost 7 months ago. My progress has been slow but steady. I'll never wow anybody with my playing, but I'm completely hooked, and I'm thrilled to have found a way to bring music into my life!

09-18-2011, 09:22 AM
I am a 59 year old woman who has always had the calling to play a musical instrument. I have tried the piano, recorder, and harmonica. None of these instruments held my attention. Then my nephew sang happy birthday and played his uke for me. Next thing I knew I was buying a uke. That was 5 months ago, and I have not missed one day of practice yet. Just holding it in my hands, gives me a peaceful feeling. I know that I am going to be an amazing uke player someday. You could say I have found my calling. Some folks laugh when I tell them that I am learning to play the ukulele. I think they equate it with Tiptoe through the tulips, and don't realize what a wondrful sound a uke can make. So, that's what got me started on the ukulele. Thanks for asking. I have to practice now.

09-18-2011, 09:27 AM
Ditto! I'm near Boston too.

09-18-2011, 11:26 AM
Mid 60s to early 70s played some mean drums. The FM rock stuff of the times. From R&B to Cream to Hendrix to CSNY and all the other usual suspects. Missed going to Woodstock dammit.

Always wanted to play a tune. Guitar never worked out. Keyboard, yea, good luck. Jeeze, I wish I could play jazz sax. Ain't gonna happen.

Saw Jake playing "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" on Youtube. Had to try a uke. I knew I'd never ever be able to play like that but it sure had to be fun trying.

And I could actually afford one!

It IS fun! And I'm still trying.

09-18-2011, 06:22 PM
I played piano all my student life and shared a guitar with my sister for the final 2 student years - she also bought a ukulele, so we both had an instrument to play - but that was back in the late 60s, early 70s - we used to do just basic strumming folk songs & the such ......... then she left school & took both instruments with her! :(

Fast forward to April this year, when I found my Mainland Banjo Uke in a 2nd hand shop in Sydney & fell in love with it and just HAD to have it - and have been a Uke Tragic ever since!! My sister now has a new one, her partner has 2, I gave my brother an old one that I had laying around for 5 years (not being played) and his father in law & sister in law now have one too! Viral Marketing - word of mouth! It works! I have another one 'on the way' - a kamaka! :) (I am excited!) and am also keen to get a Mainland Concert Pineapple too, for my husband to try.

The first time I heard Iz's Somewhere with the footage of his ashes being returned to Hawaii, it had me in tears. I love his version above all others now. I still get emotional when I watch that vid.

I have restarted the uke group in my town, and I am keen to 'play better' & would also like to master Formby style as well, tho I am the only one in the group keen to do this, so far.

AJ Leonard & Bosco & Honey are playing just 1/2hr from our town on Thurs & most of us are attending the concert & workshop afterwards - can't wait! It is my first uke concert, ever!



09-19-2011, 03:45 AM
3rd grade music class at Pearl Harbor Kai Elementary in late '60s. 30 kids crammed into a room play a three chord version of "King of the Road" over and over again. Restarted after a 40 year sabatical and loving it.

09-19-2011, 04:31 AM
My mom has always played the ukulele which she learned from her mom. My mom then "lost" her ukulele, and for years, didn't have one to play. About 15 years ago, my sister helped my mom purchase a new soprano uke, though it was kind of a piece of junk, my mom refreshed her memory with it. A couple of years with the crappy uke, my mom fell in love with an Oscar Schmidt OU-3 concert uke, and I had to buy it for her for her birthday. However, I never had a desire to play the uke. I wanted to be a rocker.

About 8 or 9 years ago, I took up playing the 5-string banjo since I love bluegrass music. Took lessons for a few years, and when my teacher couldn't teach me anymore, I took up the guitar. While I took up the guitar, I started having a small interest in the uke as I found out the chord fingerings are basically the same. I started playing my mom's uke (when she let me) and found out how fun it was, though I never took it seriously since I figured it was more novelty than anything. Still though, I was curious.

Since I was learning how to repair musical instruments, I figured that maybe it was time to have my own uke. So, I purchased a Grizzly kit and assembled it. It never sounded that great to me, even though it was set up pretty nicely (and looked pretty). So, that uke spent a couple of years on the book shelf.

Now, about two or so years ago, I was picking up a few small items at Sam Ash music. Naturally, I wanted to test drive some guitars and banjos since I was there. As I am playing one of the instruments I wasn't going to purchase, I looked over and saw an Oscar Schmidt OU-2 uke hanging on the wall. Not the best looking uke, but for some goofy reason, it was calling to me. So, I went over and picked it up. The action was nosebleed high, and when I turned it around, I noticed that the back wasn't properly glued to the neck block. Aligning the back to the sides fixed it. I asked the manager about it, and they were just going to send it back to Oscar Schmidt. I asked if I could buy it, so since they weren't going to be out any money, they sold it to me for cost. I repaired it, strung it up, and it came home to live next to the other uke that was already collecting dust.

Well, a few months ago, I am browsing the Craig's List adds,and came across a guy selling 9 broken ukes for $50. Thinking this would be great practice for me at repairing instruments, I purchased them. Well, after picking them up, all I could think about was the uke. I found this site, and posted about those 9 ukes. Then, I read some of your posts, and all I wanted to do was to go home and play by neglected Oscar Schmidt OU-2. Got home that night, blue the dust off of the uke, tuned her up, and I couldn't put it down.

Fast forward a few months to present time. Half of my family developed an interest in the uke when I brought mine over to my mom's house (the family tries to get together for church and dinner every Sunday at my mom's house). It's weird, my mom has been playing the uke all her life, but no interest from any of us, I play one for just a few days, and everyone wants one. So, everyone still living at the house purchased a Mahalo and I am teaching them what I know. My Grizzly uke stays at my mom's house as the "community" uke for those who come over who don't have a uke with them, and after dinner, we sit around the table strumming our ukes. I have since purchased a Lanakai S-T, and that's been the one I bring to my mom's house and to church when one is requested.

Sorry for the long post.

09-19-2011, 05:11 AM
Played guitar for years but only really started getting serious about it earlier this year..... My seven year old daughter wanted to learn, so I got her a little Squier mini-Strat. She learned a few chords and then it sat on its stand collecting dust. She saw this video


and started asking for an 'uke. The same week, someone started a thread on 'jazz 'uke' on a jazz guitar forum I frequent. The discussion got me interested and after a little research (and a recommendation on an instrument from UU member lindydanny) I ended up with my Kala KA-T from MGM. This just happened to be the period when his health problems got serious agian and in trying to figure out why I wasn't receiving the 'uke I'd ordered on e-bay, I ended up here at UU. Got my 'uke, found a great forum, and the rest is history.....

09-19-2011, 07:49 AM
While i was waiting the plane at a very small airport, Kalaupapa, Molokai, a worker who was also waiting on the plane, was casually strumming an 8 string ukulele, making the most beautiful sound, the air was warm, the day's events were amazing, and then to top it off this guy was playing such lovely music, I thought to myself "I would love to be able to do that some day". And I am still trying. I took a photo of the scene it is very Hawaiian esq with a couple of workers and my wife waiting for the airplane in this very small outdoor tropical terminal. Beautiful

09-19-2011, 09:08 AM
Vacationed in Hawaii relatively recently and fell in love with everything about the islands (particularly the weather and swimming with the honu and humuhumunukunukuapua`a). Starting playing to enjoy some Hawaiian Aloha at home till my next trip to the islands.

09-19-2011, 03:05 PM
My story starts with an old friend of mine who started buying Ukuleles because she wanted one in every colour, she couldn't tune them and didn't know much about playing them (though she had played guitar for a long time). I didn't really know that they were popular but after being so musical in my youth and losing that ability when I got sick (used to play Oboe, lung function is now too declined to play, played Viola, but couldn't remember the fingering and tuning stuff) I thought about playing an Ukulele but never looked into it.

On August 31st 2010, I went to have a haircut before school started back for Miss D and us and also my SO would be in the UK for a week or so and wanted to look nice for him. Anyway, we went past the Sue Ryder Cancer Care charity shop and there it was, a purple Ukulele and for once I had spare money so thought I'd buy it and the worst that could happen was it became a conversation starter. I looked online for tutorials and eventually found Baz Maz's "Got A Ukulele" Blog and from there found UU in the September of 2010. Joined up, watched a few of Aldrine's videos, planned to take UUU when I had some spare cash, I played Astrid every day, not knowing or caring really that she had crappy strings or that she had a buzz, I was finally making music again and that was all that mattered.

Shortly after joining UU, I was advised on my second Ukulele purchase which was Lilo - an Ohana SK10S and the rest, as they say, is history!

Eight Ukuleles later and I've been playing for a year, play almost every day, have my own blog, written seven original songs and am very happy!

That's my story!

Joey :music:

09-20-2011, 06:26 AM
Loved playing the guitar when I was 9/10 and then discovered I was really good in sports.

Women who dig musicians are MUCH more fun than women who dig jocks. ;p

09-20-2011, 06:48 AM
Women who dig musicians are MUCH more fun than women who dig jocks. ;p

Then I guess I've had the best of both worlds :)

09-20-2011, 12:42 PM
guitar hero for playstation was the first thing that got me interested in making my own sounds, then i read a book about a school teacher who cycled from the UK to india for charity, he also took a uke with him, the enjoyment it brought to him and the people he met on his amazing journey convinced me to have a go, i have been hooked ever since

09-20-2011, 01:00 PM
Was watching the movie 'The Jerk' and wanted to learn how to play 'Tonight You Belong To Me' so i went out and bought a ukulele. Was my first song i learned!

Nice!!! Love that movie:)

09-20-2011, 07:36 PM
I hope I haven't repeated myself here, but I saw the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain on You Tube, and it looked like they were having so much fun, and then I thought, I bet I could do that! (I'm not sure I was right, though, LOL)