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View Full Version : I think I'm suffering from a new, and as yet (at least to me) unidentified malady



PoiDog
08-08-2011, 04:02 AM
As my sig now shows, I am down to one uke. Let me tell you why.

One of the things I like best about the 'ukulele is how it makes me feel. It's just such a joyous instrument. Maybe it's the size, maybe it's the sound, or maybe it's the fact that you have to smile when you say the name, but it really is something that seems as if it was created to be shared.

So, I was over at my cousin's place yesterday for a BBQ, and, thanks to a recent post in the marketplace (by paulbsa looking to sell his Luna Tattoo), I brought Laka (my Luna) with me for grins and giggles. After all, it's my beater uke, so I wasn't worried about minor accidents. Anyway, as I was playing a few songs (or, at least playing them as well as I could), my 12 year old goddaughter grew more and more interested, until she asked if she could try it. I handed Laka over to her and before I knew what was happening, I was giving some basic lessons to her, her younger brother, and the other kids who were there.

It was loads of fun being able to teach them even the simplest things, like how to properly hold the 'ukulele, the names of the parts, how to do a couple of simple strums, how to make the basic chords (C, D, A, F, G), and even how to correctly pronounce 'ukulele. It was great watching how excited they were with every small success, and after about an hour or so they were on their way to strumming out simple melodies and trying to play easy songs. It was a hoot to hear a chorus of kids jamming on the uke trying to belt out three-chord songs like "You Shook Me All Night Long" and "I'm a Believer"

When the BBQ was done and it was time to go I packed Laka back into her gigbag, then pulled aside my god-daughter and handed it to her. At first she didn't understand what I was doing, so I told her that I was giving Laka to her. She stood there for a second, then broke into a huge smile, did a slight squeal, and ran off shouting, "Guess what! I got an 'ukulele!" Evidently, at some point during the afternoon, when she was concentrating over how to switch from G to F and back, I knew that Laka had become hers.

So this makes the second 'ukulele I've passed on to a kid. The first was in spring when I gave my nephew that no-name soprano I inherited from my dad (by the way, he loves it and has been playing it every day). And as a result I've come to realize that I really only need one 'ukulele, because I can only play one at a time. Not only that, but I'm beginning to think I now have the opposite of UAS. I've got UDS: 'Ukulele Distribution Syndrome. In fact the only reason I now want to get a new 'ukulele is because I think my current 'ukulele would be perfect for another nephew, and I really want to give it to him for christmas. Sure, I could just buy him one, but there is something special about passing on an 'ukulele that's been played and appreciated. It just feels more "aloha" that way.

UkeLookingatMe?
08-08-2011, 04:21 AM
Very cool story! I agree, giving a used and loved uke is much more meaningful than just buying a new one. Thanks for sharing this fun story!

Trinimon
08-08-2011, 04:57 AM
Great story! Lots of ono spirit in you. I agree, there's something about being given a uke that was well loved and played than buying one. You just got to find the right person to give it to, someone worthy and appreciative of it. Looks like your god daughter will cherish that uke now and one day, pass it on to someone just as deserving.

Sir
08-08-2011, 05:10 AM
Lovely story. I've been in a position to give away a couple of Ukuleles (to adults AND children) The smile you get back is like no other smile on earth

Aaah

PoiDog
08-10-2011, 04:23 AM
I've been in a position to give away a couple of Ukuleles (to adults AND children) The smile you get back is like no other smile on earth


I agree, there's something about being given a uke that was well loved and played than buying one.


I agree, giving a used and loved uke is much more meaningful than just buying a new one.

Those are my feelings as well. And, considering I got my first uke in this way, I guess it's only right that I keep the cycle going ... at least, as much as I am able :)

ricksan66
08-10-2011, 04:32 AM
What a great story. Thanks for sharing. I've given three ukuleles away. One to my youngest son and one to each of nieces. All three were simply delighted. I had a beater acoustic guitar that I gave to my sons friend. I wasn't playing it, and he really enjoyed it. The only thing I told him was that if he ever got rid of it, to please try and give it to someone he thought would enjoy it.

wolfybau
08-10-2011, 04:42 AM
what wonderful story! :)

I've got this too, though I dont have the means to give away instruments I give away the aloha. I take my uke everywhere and always encourage the people I meet to try it and let them try mine. I was sitting by the bay a fw days ago playing and some little kids gathered round , one in particular was very interested and so I taught her a few chords .

I taught guitar to kids for years and miss it and on one occation got up the moeny to buy a begginer guitar for a troubled neighborhood kid and helped a lt of kids through teaching. I so wish i could that again and much more! I realy wish I could do charity concerts and go play hospitals and stuff and sponcer things like uke lessons for troubled kids or kids with autism and disabilities and underprivallaged. I did charity work at a horse riding camp for the autistic and it was a great thing,and the way many kids are savant with things like music I think it woudl be a great thing. These are my dreams anyway. If only I wasnt so damn poor and sick myself errr, its so frustrating!! :( But i would encourage anyone that can, make the most of what you have to offer and spread the aloha.

PoiDog
08-12-2011, 06:39 AM
I've given three ukuleles away. One to my youngest son and one to each of nieces. All three were simply delighted. I had a beater acoustic guitar that I gave to my sons friend. I wasn't playing it, and he really enjoyed it. The only thing I told him was that if he ever got rid of it, to please try and give it to someone he thought would enjoy it.

Good for you! And I especially like how you made sure to do what you can to have them pay it forward when the can.


what wonderful story! :)

I've got this too, though I dont have the means to give away instruments I give away the aloha. I take my uke everywhere and always encourage the people I meet to try it and let them try mine. I was sitting by the bay a fw days ago playing and some little kids gathered round , one in particular was very interested and so I taught her a few chords .

I taught guitar to kids for years and miss it and on one occation got up the moeny to buy a begginer guitar for a troubled neighborhood kid and helped a lt of kids through teaching. I so wish i could that again and much more! I realy wish I could do charity concerts and go play hospitals and stuff and sponcer things like uke lessons for troubled kids or kids with autism and disabilities and underprivallaged. I did charity work at a horse riding camp for the autistic and it was a great thing,and the way many kids are savant with things like music I think it woudl be a great thing. These are my dreams anyway. If only I wasnt so damn poor and sick myself errr, its so frustrating!! :( But i would encourage anyone that can, make the most of what you have to offer and spread the aloha.

This is a great story, and actually kind of serves to kick my butt a bit in terms of an idea I have about trying to set up some sort of thing where old instruments are donated and passed on to kids who otherwise couldn't get them, so they can get the benefit. I wonder how possible that is?

Anyway, thanks to both of you for sharing, and for living the 'ukulele spirit!

Ghibli
08-12-2011, 02:24 PM
You've become a uke evangelist: spreading the uke gospel amongst the unaware.........noble & very satisfying.......it summs up the uke really............:o

chindog
08-12-2011, 02:29 PM
What a fantastic story! I'm currently picking out ukes for my nephews and nieces. I'm following your lead, and spreading the uke distribution syndrome!

kissing
08-12-2011, 05:24 PM
I always keep one potential giveaway uke in my collection.
Each year I go on a mission trip with my church overseas. Naturally I always take a uke with me.
Last year, we went to Cambodia, this year we went to Thailand. Each time I gave away a uke to someone who was destined for it :)

Ukes were practically non-existent in Cambodia.
What I noticed in Thailand though is, while there is a bit of uke fever going on there, the uke seems to be an instrument of the rich and wealthy. It's almost as though it's a status symbol.

I'm thinking, if I goto Thailand again, perhaps I'll take a bunch of soprano ukuleles for the children living in remote villages.