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Sim
11-21-2011, 09:21 AM
Hi! I'm new here and never even touched a ukulele before today.

I've been playing guitar a lot more in recent weeks, and my little boy is showing a lot of interest. In between pulling the pot caps off, of course... He strums my guitar as I finger chords and he sings 'mammals, mammals!'. So I figured a uke would be a nice starter instrument. after all, we can keep it around all the time as there's no size in it, and children are encouraged to play in school once they reach a certain age. so it'd be nice to find out if he's any aptitude for it before then!

I don't expect him to play it for a while, but I'm going to try doing what we do on guitar- I finger, he strums. I need to learn a few things first though! I've been playing Israel Kamakawiwo'ole's Somewhere Over the Rainbow, which I've been enjoying.

I haven't restrung the uke yet. I've got some Aquila's on order. It looks simple enough, like a classical guitar. Am I right? Also, it's not holding its tune for very long just yet. Again, I'm assuming this is much like a guitar and, after stretching and playing, it'll hold. I'm not going to take any great pains to do that yet, not until the new strings are on.

Are there any other things I should do to set the uke up before giving it to my littlen? It's this one, the Makala Dolphin (http://www.musicroom.com/se/ID_No/0706370/details.html). I know he's not really going to know if it's in tune of not, but I suppose the whole point of an instrument is to teach that kind of thing. Makes sense to start on the right foot.

Thanks all, nice to meet you :)

river_driver
11-21-2011, 09:50 AM
He strums my guitar as I finger chords and he sings 'mammals, mammals!'.

"Mammals, mammals!" Love it! I'll have to learn that one for open mic.

river_driver
11-21-2011, 09:54 AM
And yep, stringing is just like on a classical guitar. Nylon strings take a while to stretch in though, so you'll have to do a lot of tuning and retuning at first, but aquillas are pretty stable once they're stretched.

vanflynn
11-21-2011, 10:14 AM
Wow, Mammals, eh. Already past kingdom and phylum and only 2.

You might need to drop the action a wee bit if it plays hard. Just file the saddle and nut (or grooves in nut)

nscafe
11-21-2011, 10:24 AM
Hey, a fellow They Might Be Giants fan? Nice! Keep it up! ;)

http://tmbw.net/wiki/Lyrics:Mammal

ukulele4kids
11-21-2011, 11:12 AM
Hey, need a kids DVD that uses the ukulele as a main instrument? Read my review of The Wiggles Ukulele Baby (Hey, need a kids DVD that uses the ukulele as a main instrument? Read my review of The Wiggles Ukulele Baby. http://ukulele4kids.com/2011/11/22/the-wiggles-ukulele-baby-dvd-a-review/). My young son certainly enjoyed it.

Big_e
11-21-2011, 02:00 PM
That's cool to start him out early, and you picked a good instrument for him. He's saying "mammals"? Could he mean Animals? Playing tunes on the uke from The Animals, now that's an interesting concept! :)
Ernest

Sim
11-22-2011, 01:02 AM
Thanks all! I wish he was talking about branches of the animal kingdom but alas, he does mean animals ;)


And yep, stringing is just like on a classical guitar. Nylon strings take a while to stretch in though, so you'll have to do a lot of tuning and retuning at first, but aquillas are pretty stable once they're stretched.

Brill, thanks. It looked like it is, but didn't want to go restringing without double checking!



Hey, need a kids DVD that uses the ukulele as a main instrument? Read my review of The Wiggles Ukulele Baby (Hey, need a kids DVD that uses the ukulele as a main instrument? Read my review of The Wiggles Ukulele Baby. http://ukulele4kids.com/2011/11/22/the-wiggles-ukulele-baby-dvd-a-review/). My young son certainly enjoyed it.

I was introduced to the Wiggles only last week... Not sure I can cope with them :D But thanks, I think that might be a nice way of teaching him. I haven't thought too hard about how I'm going to teach him- was thinking about one-chord nursery rhymes- but it makes sense to find something that'll reallly grab him. I don't want regimented music lessons, just fun.


Wow, Mammals, eh. Already past kingdom and phylum and only 2.

You might need to drop the action a wee bit if it plays hard. Just file the saddle and nut (or grooves in nut)

I'm finding the action pretty good for myself, but I might need to get it lowered for him. I'll have to wait until after Christmas to see how he goes (that's when he's getting it). I've already got the files, so shouldn't be too much trouble.


Hey, a fellow They Might Be Giants fan? Nice! Keep it up! ;)

http://tmbw.net/wiki/Lyrics:Mammal

I'm going to download that right now, seems like it's his kind of thing ;)

Thanks again everyone, all very helpful tips!

Sim
11-22-2011, 01:08 AM
Hey, a fellow They Might Be Giants fan? Nice! Keep it up! ;)

http://tmbw.net/wiki/Lyrics:Mammal

Oooh, cracking song, thanks! He'll love it!

fitncrafty
11-22-2011, 01:13 AM
Congrats to you!! Seems most of your questions have been answered! Yup the strings will stretch.
We have a few makala dolphins in our house, fun little instruments. Be aware that you may end up with another (and a guitar collecting dust) It's happened to many others...

Have fun strumming away with your little one, and enjoy. This is a great place for resources for the uke for sure!

Sim
11-22-2011, 01:14 AM
Congrats to you!! Seems most of your questions have been answered! Yup the strings will stretch.
We have a few makala dolphins in our house, fun little instruments. Be aware that you may end up with another (and a guitar collecting dust) It's happened to many others...

Have fun strumming away with your little one, and enjoy. This is a great place for resources for the uke for sure!

Ohhh, I know- I want my own ukulele now. Argh!

fitncrafty
11-22-2011, 01:23 AM
Ohhh, I know- I want my own ukulele now. Argh!

Uh oh, that happened fast!! You have been officially bitten. Have you checked out the videos and links section? We have some incredibly talented people here...

23skidoo
11-22-2011, 01:33 AM
Sim - I did the same thing - got 'my kids' a uke to introduce them to the guitar..... I never put it down, so I ended up getting them each a Dolphin. You might consider filing the nut a bit - it doesn't lower the action too much and it really cleaned up some intonation issues on the Dolphins.....

As far as kids' music and They Might Be Giants, you should check out these videos-

Here Comes The ABCs (http://www.amazon.com/Here-Come-ABCs-DVD-Combo/dp/B000BEZPSC)

Here Comes The 123s (http://www.amazon.com/Here-Come-123s-CD-DVD/dp/B000VDDCLK)

My kids don't get to watch a lot of TV, but they can watch these whenever they want. They are without a doubt the most entertaining kids videos I've ever seen...... For others - these make great gifts - the music might be a little quirky for your tastes, but they are genuinely funny and the music is great - kids love em......

Not to hijack the thread, but here are a few samples.....


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m3Kgj6EiZtw


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e6h7LEru69U


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PO7hCREWsA0

If you poke around, looks like TMBG loaded tons of these tunes on this YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/user/ParticleMen) channel.....

Sim
11-22-2011, 01:49 AM
Uh oh, that happened fast!! You have been officially bitten. Have you checked out the videos and links section? We have some incredibly talented people here...

I haven't yet, but I will do! Thanks! got anyone who's good at Twinkle Twinkle Little Star? :D


Sim - I did the same thing - got 'my kids' a uke to introduce them to the guitar..... I never put it down, so I ended up getting them each a Dolphin. You might consider filing the nut a bit - it doesn't lower the action too much and it really cleaned up some intonation issues on the Dolphins.....

Thanks for the vids, they're really fun! I don't like my boy to watch TV (she says, as he's watching it now... but in my defence, he's been up since 4am!), but he loveslovesloves animals (even non-mammalian creatures! ;) ) so he'll enjoy those. I've never listened to TMBG before, only the two songs that always get played, but they seem pretty light-hearted.

I'll let these strings bed in a wee bit more and properly listen to the intonation across the board. It's kind of hard to tell right now as it's still losing its tune very quickly, but I'll give it a really good inspection when I get chance.

Thanks all for your help, too kind :)

fitncrafty
11-22-2011, 01:56 AM
I haven't yet, but I will do! Thanks! got anyone who's good at Twinkle Twinkle Little Star? :D





Not twinkle twinkle but it's my daughter and I playing Skip to my lou... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NV5UoN9Fq9I

mm stan
11-22-2011, 03:16 AM
bought two of these for gifts..not sure if they are playable..http://www.toysrus.com/product/index.jsp?productId=11904685&prodFindSrc=search
http://www.azchords.com/m/miscchildren-tabs-14963.html

ksiegel
11-22-2011, 03:31 AM
"Just got a uke for my 2-year old. Eek!"

And here I was thinking it wasn't a bad trade, provided you can get him back after puberty...




-Kurt

sugengshi
11-22-2011, 06:31 PM
Ohhh, I know- I want my own ukulele now. Argh!

Hi Sim. Welcome to UU Forum. This is always expected.

Anyway, welcome to the UAS! :-)

Sim
11-23-2011, 06:17 AM
"Just got a uke for my 2-year old. Eek!"

And here I was thinking it wasn't a bad trade, provided you can get him back after puberty...




-Kurt

:agree: Sounds like a deal!

Sim
11-23-2011, 06:19 AM
Not twinkle twinkle but it's my daughter and I playing Skip to my lou... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NV5UoN9Fq9I

Great stuff, thanks! You both look like you're really enjoying it, it's so nice to see mum and child having fun. And I love your daughter's name!

australe
11-26-2011, 03:10 AM
I think thats just fantastic!!! We have full intentions of getting our son his first el cheapo uke for his 2nd birthday. I was going to get him one for Christmas, but well... I got myself one instead :)