View Full Version : Why ukulele?

11-11-2011, 10:05 PM
If you should single out one specific thing that makes you play the ukulele (and not another instrument) what would that thing be?
For me, it's the SOUND.

11-11-2011, 10:13 PM
GREAT weapon of defense in a zombie attack.:)

11-11-2011, 10:19 PM
Bringing sexy back

11-11-2011, 10:46 PM
Just one thing?

I'm gonna have to go with the sound too, it's so calming, so beautiful....

Yup the sound (and the cost, and the accessibility....but you said one thing!)

11-11-2011, 10:48 PM
It's an xxxx, FUN instrument to play ........ooops that's not 2, is it - not now!!



11-11-2011, 10:53 PM
Yes; ONE thing...

11-11-2011, 10:56 PM
You can take it anywhere.

Hippie Dribble
11-11-2011, 11:53 PM
chick magnet

(If 70+ year old chicks is your thing...he he)

...I work in a nursing home so happy days are here again...

oops, did I say too much again? :o

11-12-2011, 12:17 AM
inability to take it seriously.

11-12-2011, 01:45 AM
I gotta say the sound as well.

11-12-2011, 01:49 AM
Incredibly fun to play

11-12-2011, 02:14 AM
Makes you smile :)

11-12-2011, 03:38 AM
easier to play than an oboe

Jake " it's simple"


11-12-2011, 03:43 AM
Affordable string fun.

11-12-2011, 03:51 AM
Funnunity. (You said just one thing, so I had to make up a new word.)

The uke puts a smile on the face of the people who play it, and the people who hear it. And I have never met a group of people who were more nice, friendly, solid folks, than uke players.

And think about it, when was the last time you saw a listing of Oboe clubs?

11-12-2011, 03:51 AM
Portability, sound and sex appeal

Pete Beardsley
11-12-2011, 04:52 AM
Being musically challenged, I like the fact that it is quite easy to play.

..... and cheap .....

..... and portable .....

..... and fun .....

..... and happy .....

..... and ..............

Dan Uke
11-12-2011, 04:56 AM
Why Ukulele? Why NOT!! That should be a T-Shirt Slogan

11-12-2011, 04:59 AM
The sound.

I bought it because I wanted something completely different from my guitar, and I got it. Uke is definitely one of the most unique sounding instruments out there, and depending on what you're playing you can get all kinds of emotions into that little body and transform it from the happy little ukulele to a powerful and multifaceted instrument.

I think the uke can be taken seriously...it is just a great instrument, even compared to guitars, and when it catches on even more so than it has people might start taking it more seriously.

11-12-2011, 05:02 AM
Because I CAN!

No, really - I can't play guitar anymore due to an arm injury, and was getting very depressed at not being able to make music anymore. Then along came this little thing, and I could make music again - bye, bye blues! Why play ukulele? because I CAN play ukulele!

(And even if I could play guitar again, like I used to, I wouldn't give up my little friends!)


11-12-2011, 05:13 AM
4 strings=4 fingers...all the rest was icing on the cake!


11-12-2011, 05:18 AM
I wanted to learn a musical instrument. I learned to play the accordion. I wanted to learn a second instrument. Why ukulele? After the accordion?

ease and comfortable to play.

I rarely play the accordion anymore.

11-12-2011, 05:51 AM
Portability and sound for me, it's also easy to learn. Among the 3 if I had to vote, it would be all the three. :p

Canoe Lady
11-12-2011, 07:02 AM
The smiles. No one can play or hear a ukulele without smiles.

11-12-2011, 07:03 AM
Simplicity (above all and in all aspects)

11-12-2011, 07:12 AM
Because it's fun.

11-12-2011, 07:35 AM
I wanted an instrument I could take anywhere with me. I settled on the ukulele because its just the right size.

mr moonlight
11-12-2011, 07:40 AM
Size. Portability and it's small enough for my kid to play it.

11-12-2011, 08:34 AM
Very easy to learn to play at a basic level.

11-12-2011, 08:47 AM
Because it's a ukulele!

To explain, I've been singing with bands for a long time. After picking up the ukulele (simply because I've always loved it and it fits me perfectly, personality-wise), I realized I don't need a band any more, unless I want one.

And, most importantly, in that aspect, it gets the audience's attention, the most vital thing in entertainment. If eyes aren't lookin', ears aren't listenin' (metaphorically). Walk on stage with a ukulele and people look at you. Play something they enjoy on a ukulele and people LOVE you!

And... all the other stuff everyone's said

11-12-2011, 09:14 AM
Because, in a pinch, you can paddle a canoe with it.

And, because the Japanese sanshins were sold out at my local Guitar Center.

11-12-2011, 09:21 AM
I would have to say the sound. It is so calming, peaceful, and beautiful.

11-12-2011, 09:55 AM
Magic. The ukulele is magic.

11-12-2011, 10:04 AM
You can play songs that are so hard on other instruments so easily on the uke .

11-12-2011, 10:26 AM
And, because the Japanese sanshins were sold out at my local Guitar Center.

Hate it when that happens. Guitar Center, way to be inconvenient.

11-12-2011, 11:02 AM
Short answer, because it's fun.

Long answer, I've been playing guitar for 35 years. And I dearly love the instrument. But it takes a fair amount of work to play guitar. And people tend to take the guitar pretty seriously. Sometimes too seriously.
The uke OTOH is easier to play. And it's just not the kind of instrument most people (myself included) can get unpleasantly serious about. Not that the uke can't be a "serious" instrument. Just note the word "unpleasantly" there.

Which gets back to my short answer. It's easy and it's not overly serious, which adds up to fun.

And, because the Japanese sanshins were sold out at my local Guitar Center.

Hey, it's called "Guitar Center." Not "Sanshin Center."

Just sayin :)

11-12-2011, 12:25 PM
Because it's a little music box.

11-12-2011, 02:01 PM
because i love them, i love the sound, i love the portability, i love the fact that before i played the uke i was NOT a musician, i love the fun atmosphere they create and they are damn sexy the ladies love them tooo

11-12-2011, 02:19 PM
why ukulele? Because the voices in my head said so.

11-12-2011, 02:33 PM
Why Ukulele? Its Fun !!

11-12-2011, 02:52 PM
Because I can't not play ukulele. (Parse it out - it's not a typo or a grammar mistake.)

11-12-2011, 03:03 PM
Because as a geek, the 'ukulele has that uber-nerdtastic quality I need in a musical instrument

11-12-2011, 03:14 PM
Because the world looks brighter when viewed through Uke colored glasses.

11-12-2011, 03:33 PM
You can play it while wearing a tux or your pjs. No matter what you play on it, you are always in the comfort zone

11-12-2011, 05:07 PM
Because it brings out my inner geek.

11-12-2011, 07:03 PM
after not playing guitar for 20 years, after playing guitar for 15 years, it got me playing music again...and it's just fun!

11-12-2011, 07:28 PM
I don't know why. It just flows back and forth between the instrument and myself. Geeky answer for sure, but best I can give. No wait, I have a better one...love of playing it...but it applies to the first part of the answer.

Inner Prop
11-12-2011, 07:45 PM
after not playing guitar for 20 years, after playing guitar for 15 years, it got me playing music again...and it's just fun!Hey, I haven't played guitar for 45 years!

11-13-2011, 03:41 AM
Just so much fun. It's a stress reliever, a pick-me-up and even when I play it, it makes people smile.

I teach music in a primary school. One morning I was taking singing practice with about 470 kids, and whipped out a cheap Mahalo uke. Their reaction (and the headteacher's) was priceless. Now we have to have at least one song per day with the uke. :cool:

Ukulele Club starts next term when all the Christmas ukes have been delivered.

11-13-2011, 12:22 PM
The reaction in the pub singaround last Friday night when I started into Sloop John B.

Not the reason I started with the uke, but a good reason for keeping going.

11-13-2011, 01:08 PM
I like all the great answers to this thread! Keep 'em coming!

11-13-2011, 01:11 PM
I would have to say because of its connection to my favorite place, Hawaii.

11-13-2011, 01:46 PM
Because "Zing went the strings of my heart" didn't sound so great on my fender electric guitar.

11-13-2011, 03:07 PM
Its small, Im big (6'7')

It was cheap to buy my first one (lanikai pineapple)

Portable (can throw it on the truck and play at work, can play in car when wife drives us to Michigan)

It makes people happy (especially me)

11-13-2011, 03:14 PM
It makes me happy because I can play it (sort of). Other instruments are dumb because I can't play them :D


11-13-2011, 04:28 PM
Because a song incompetently plunked out on ukulele sounds fresh, whereas the same hack-job rendition on a guitar just evokes negative comparisons to all the millions of hours of guitar playing I've spent my life listening to.

That and my granddad had the good sense to invest in a couple of Martins back in the 20's.

11-13-2011, 05:10 PM
It just seems right

11-13-2011, 05:31 PM
Itís the only instrument that will tolerate me.

Iíve never been musical. Many, many years ago, I flunked piano lessons and I never had interest in playing another instrument. However, early this year I was inexplicably drawn to the ukulele. Sometimes I can even make something that sounds like music.

11-14-2011, 02:51 PM
It just seems right

To this, I add: Why NOT play ukulele?

11-14-2011, 05:33 PM
My answer is the small size.
How can such sweet music come out of an instrument so small?

Hippie Dribble
11-14-2011, 05:35 PM
because it's the instrument that is most sympathetic to the singing voice.

11-15-2011, 04:08 AM
Question: If you should single out one specific thing that makes you play the ukulele (and not another instrument) what would that thing be?

Answer: It makes me a better person.

11-15-2011, 05:29 AM
There are so many great things about ukes that "one thing" is too limiting (I never could follow instructions), but if we stick with one, it's ease of play

11-15-2011, 05:41 AM
Answer: It makes me a better person.

I love this answer. I believe I have become a better person by playing Ukulele. :D

Lardy Fatboy
08-26-2012, 01:27 AM
Because its FUN

The Big Kahuna
08-26-2012, 01:33 AM
I'm old. I can't remember what the other two strings on a guitar are for.

08-26-2012, 02:22 AM
I love this answer. I believe I have become a better person by playing Ukulele. :D

...and I love this answer, which is why I will persevere, even though right now I find it so frustrating. But it is a fun kind of frustrating!

...and I'm glad this thread was resurrected for those of us who have joined this year...


08-26-2012, 08:26 AM
Question: If you should single out one specific thing that makes you play the ukulele (and not another instrument) what would that thing be?

Answer: It makes me a better person.

I was trying to narrow it down to one thing for me as I read the posts! Rafe hit the nail on the head... this...

and my uke friends I have made! My uke friends are the best friends I have ever had in my life. Including a lot of them that I have never met face to face! Friends from all over the world! I love the uke community!

08-26-2012, 08:55 AM
One thing:

FUN to play........

(Fun, as in, a joy, enjoyable, pleasurable, soothing, relaxing, fulfilling, etc....... That's ONE thing, right??)

08-26-2012, 06:03 PM
Because when I hold it up to my ear I hear the ocean.

Yestyn The Great
08-26-2012, 06:47 PM
I love everything about it but if I had to choose one thing it would be the reaction I get from people when I tell them I play ukulele.

" what!! You play the yoo-kuh-le-ly!?!?!"

" I thought no body played that anymore!!! "

" You mean you play one of those little guitars?!?

08-26-2012, 10:44 PM
That it's inclusive.

By at I mean it has a quick shallow learning curve - at our jam sessions we have everyone from those playing weeks to those playing years, from the young to the old - ALL thoroughly enjoying it and feeling part of the group. I can't think of another instrument that allows that.

08-26-2012, 10:53 PM
The sound takes me back to my trips to Hawaii in 94, 96 and every couple of years since. Stand outs for me where ( Kapena ), later on I was lucky enough to see Jake Shimabukuro ( Pure Heart ) and came across a big festival in the park at Waikiki in around 2007. Fell in love with it.



08-26-2012, 11:22 PM

08-27-2012, 04:12 AM
A friend visiting from Canada was walking past a music shop, spotted a cheap one in the window and decided he had to get it for me.

It then spent six months in the corner of my room virtually untouched up until a couple of months ago. At this time I was feeling mighty low having had a really crappy break-up with someone very special, was out of work and was spending too much time going over things in my head whilst cooped up in my room. It was then that I picked up the wee thing and started strumming.

I'm not sure if it's a strictly causative relationship between starting to play and feeling chirpier but I can now quite happily say that I'm getting alright on the uke, and feeling a million times happier than I was a few months back. Conclude from that what ye will. To top off the jolly tale, I've been meeting up with said special person over the past few weeks and we're making tentative steps towards getting back together.

Now I'm playing the uke I can't figure out why I didn't think about playing one sooner. It's given me the creative outlet I've been lacking since having to stop unicycling while I wait for surgery, and given me something I can make up ditties with to put the occasional scribbles of verse to that I sometimes note down in fleeting moments of inspiration/inebriation.

The story isn't an entirely jolly one though, for the time being anyway. I've played with a few other people's uke's recently which has been great... But! It has made me realize just how dodgy my own uke is intonation and ease of playing wise, leading to me having spent an inordinate amount of time over the past week or so researching and drooling over ukulele's on t'internet, counting the days until the end of September when I'll be able to afford something a bit lovelier than the uke I'm currently bashing away on.... The fabled UAS has smote me!

In a way I feel slightly disloyal to the poor little thing - and the friend who gave it to me - though I'm going to keep it, paint it pretty and keep it for travels and lending to other folk to learn on.

08-27-2012, 11:11 AM
The only reason I picked up the ukulele is to teach my grandchildren, all under the age of five, the basics and joy of music. I'm a working musician and the last thing I wanted to do was to come home and continue with my work day. Now, I see a pod of Dolphins in the living room making interesting sounds and all I can do is laugh. The stress so the day is gone! I give them just enough to be dangerous for the day and turn them loose.

The oldest, at five, is now asking questions that fall in the realm of theory. For me, that's the payoff of the ukulele.

08-27-2012, 12:19 PM
The sound. Definitely the sound.

08-27-2012, 12:54 PM
Size and number of strings. The ukulele has been my gateway to the world of stringed instruments (a goal since childhood) and, as someone who played the clarinet from third grade through high school, a way to re-enter the world of music and to learn some stuff about chords and music theory. I've been able to learn how to play stringed instruments because an ukulele has a more compressed fretboard than a guitar and four (or six or eight) instead of six (or twelve). For a lot of the songs I play, I actually prefer the sound of a tenor guitar (four strings!) I bought recently or a baritone ukulele, but playing the ukulele also introduced me to Hawaiian music, and for that I love the sound of tenor ukes.

08-27-2012, 01:33 PM
The oldest, at five, is now asking questions that fall in the realm of theory. For me, that's the payoff of the ukulele.

Yep, that's very rewarding. My equivalent to that was this past weekend when I went down to Houston to visit my oldest daughter and her bunch. I'd given all four of her kids ukes this past Christmas and the oldest boy (10) has really taken to it. He was sitting around the living room just noodling away and he was surprisingly good - honestly better than I am at triplets thought that in itself isn't saying a lot. :)

08-27-2012, 03:42 PM
big sound, little bucks. plus it doesn't hurt that it's a chick magnet! Ha!

08-27-2012, 04:18 PM
What I like about playing the ukulele....you can't be sad when you play a uke, it just makes you smile

corny huh?

Dan Uke
08-27-2012, 04:32 PM
big sound, little bucks. plus it doesn't hurt that it's a chick magnet! Ha!

Yeah, but what's the age of these chicks? Ha!

08-27-2012, 10:16 PM
I chose to learn uke for three reasons:

1: I've always wanted to learn an instrument. A good friend recommended the uke as a stepping stone to acoustic guitar, due to soft nylon strings, chord shapes being the same (with added bass strings on the guitar obv.) and cheapness of good beginner instruments. (though now I'm happy with the uke, it makes me smile.)

2: the inspirational videos on youtube, particularly UOGB, U900 and Eugene's stuff.

3: I'mm 6'8" and I enjoy the image of 'big guy, tiny guitar'

08-27-2012, 10:23 PM
Forgot to say before: It's pretty great playing something on which you can paint the words: This machine kills diminutive fascists.

08-28-2012, 07:52 AM
big sound, little bucks. plus it doesn't hurt that it's a chick magnet! Ha!

Yeah, but what's the age of these chicks? Ha!

And how long do you have to feed them with no return before they start laying eggs? :)

08-28-2012, 11:16 AM
When you say you play the ukulele, everyone's expectations are so low. When they hear you play, all that goes out the window.

Curly Koa
09-02-2012, 11:04 PM
I have to do two!

1. Lack of pretense. Nashville is full of pretentious musicians who are all better than me & it's not always fun to play with them because they are so darn serious about being awesome, looking cool, and making it big. I just want to have some fun. Been there, done that, got too fat for the tight jeans, bought a uke!

2. The uke doesn't hurt my hands. Steel strings don't feel good, but the uke feels natural. And all the frets are close, so I can be lazier and not have to reach far to hit a note.

09-02-2012, 11:48 PM
As a Michael jackson fans

I start dating with uke in the James Hill's Billie Jeans performance. :cool:

09-03-2012, 12:05 AM
I love the sound. Sweet and timeless.

Plus, if I can get familiar with the fretboards and learn the theory behind both uke (re-entrant tuning) and guitar (scaled tuning), my ability to create my own music should skyrocket. Eventually. Given time and work.

That's my personal theory, anyway.

Plus-plus, guitars don't fit as well in my backpack.

09-03-2012, 02:39 AM
4 strings=4 fingers...all the rest was icing on the cake!


I agree 100%!

09-03-2012, 07:17 AM
Having arthritis, guitar is too painful to play. Uke feels just right. The sound makes me smile, too!

09-04-2012, 12:48 PM
My one word would be "everything" Sorry, but there are too many reasons why I love this instrument.

09-04-2012, 01:31 PM
I wanted to accompany my singing. You can't sing while blowing into a piece of tubing with holes in the side. At least, I can't

09-05-2012, 09:38 AM
Ukuleles have beautiful souls.