View Full Version : Newbie or Oldbie?

11-24-2011, 03:08 AM
This thread is a supplement to the "average age" (http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?56356-What-s-the-average-age-of-a-ukester) one. I've often wondered how many people on this site self-identify as "veteran" uke players and how many see themselves as "new" uke players. So...were you playing the uke long before the relatively recent meteoric rise of the uke? Did you pick up the uke because of its trendiness or its sudden availability? Did a veteran influence you? Did another relatively new player influence you? Were you one of the people who caused the uke's ascendance?

One interesting aspect of the uke trend, as exemplified by the other thread, is that it has swept up people of all ages. However, this fact sometimes acts to disguise those uke players who have been playing the instrument all along...or else it may lead to the assumption in younger players that older players are veterans when they are, in fact, enthusiastic newbies.

I don't think it's really necessary to divide everybody into little categories; I'm just curious.

Dan Uke
11-24-2011, 04:44 AM
Thanks for the supplement poll as I started the other poll. Being new to the uke, I was hoping that the younger people would make the majority of the players and the popularity could continue as there's been waves in the past. However, it's good to know that uke is for all ages.

I think when you have "others" option, that will be the winner. Hopefully if people pick others, they will explain more in the thread.

11-24-2011, 05:07 AM
I'm am old newbie, sort of. Started at age of 8 stopped and picked it back up 40 years later after a trip to Hawaii

Pete Beardsley
11-24-2011, 05:44 AM
Not sure when the recent "renaissance" started to be honest, but I started to play around about this time two years ago. I consider myself a newbie.
I found Tony Casey's channel on YouTube and spent hours watching every last one (I think he got fed up of my commenting on old videos in the end!) and I was captivated. After spending heaps more time researching the whole Uke thing on the Internet, I went out and bought an Ohana. Events conspired against me and I didn't really get to play much in the first year, but from then on I haven't looked back.

11-24-2011, 05:57 AM
I'm am old newbie, sort of. Started at age of 8 stopped and picked it back up 40 years later after a trip to Hawaii

This is me, too - change 8 to 7, and 40 years later to 37 years later and there you have it. When I picked it up again, I had NO IDEA that it was "trendy" and/or "cool" - I just knew I loved how it sounded and figured it would be cheaper and easier than trying to re-learn what little piano I learned as a kid.

11-24-2011, 03:10 PM
I'll always consider myself a newbie, especially since I've been practicing for so long and feel that I still have alot more to learn. I've definately been playing the uke before it became popular and before we were able to see more being sold in music stores.

Seems like just 2 years ago, if I would have walked into Guitar Center and asked for a uke, the staff would have looked at me as if I had a horn growing out of my head. We didn't have stores dedicated to the ukulele like UkeLady's store in the East of town either.

11-24-2011, 03:26 PM
Got my first uke on my 10th birthday. I just celebrated my 70th

11-24-2011, 03:40 PM
Veteran guitarist/bassest (30+ years). I never considered myself a veteran uke player though. Not sure where the cut off is for that. I been playing the uke for about 5 years, but I don't consider myself very good because I have limitations due to arthritis. My head is doing it, but my hands don't always do what my head tells it too. So, am I a vet? not sure, because I can never feel comfortable in playing 'gigs", simply because I feel I am not good enough.

11-24-2011, 05:08 PM
I picked "Helped Cause" only because over the course of many years (and the judicious lending from my ever-growing ukelibrary) there are 3 more uke players in my corner of the world than there were when I started.

11-24-2011, 05:50 PM
When I got interested in playing, I had no idea that ukulele playing was a trend. I didn't know any ukulele players, except for Jake. Later I discovered they were around (in my pool of friends and acquaintances), but undercover. Now, I am a very vocal ukulele enthusiast, so I hope I am a promoter, but not a pioneer.

11-24-2011, 06:12 PM
I've always played music and own a variety of instruments. I've been telling myself for years.....one day, I'll get a ukulele. But the ones I saw in stores here always felt like toys to me. When I finally decided to get one online, I discovered how wonderful it is and, I fell in love with this instrument. No ukulele scene around here so, it has nothing to do with any trend going on.

mr moonlight
11-24-2011, 07:02 PM
When I started playing I had no idea that ukulele's had become so popular. I wanted an instrument that was small enough for my son to play and a good friend of mine had recently picked up a uke from guitar center during a big sale. After seeing his uke I picked one up, then a second.... Another friend then sent me an article that talked about the Ukes meteoric rise and I realized I wasn't just some random guy playing the ukulele but I was in some way part of a movement.

It's hard to see the popularity of an instrument when it's so rare to find another uke player and it's so difficult to find one.

11-25-2011, 09:37 AM
I have to admit, that when I picked up the uke, I had no idea it had such a following either. I just picked it up to "play widdit". I found out it was huge right now, after I took an interests. I am the typical guitarist, that never really took it seriosly, mainly because being a 1960s child, and being suject to the "Tiny Tim" nightmare, took it as a "tiny tim" toy instrument until I started playing one, and realized it was a real instrument, then quickly fell in love with the thing.

Hippie Dribble
11-25-2011, 09:46 AM
when I bought my first mahalo uke in 2006, the shopkeeper laughed at me. when I walked back in there yesterday, I looked at a rack of $400-600 ukes on the wall, and someone started to 'road test' one just in the couple of minutes I was in the shop...he he...now he's selling ukes by the truckload as they are the fastest selling instrument in our state...he's still laughing, but for different reasons!!!

11-25-2011, 10:40 AM
I bought my first ukulele in October 2009. If the "recent rise of the uke" was happening then, I was unaware of it. Actually -- and don't hate me for saying this -- I was looking for a mandolin at the time (I love Dave Grisman's music) and I "settled" on an ukulele after learning that the chord shapes of a mandolin aseemed really complex and discovering that I was uncomfortable trying to fret the double strings. I'm pretty sure the ukulele wave hit a little after I bought my first one. When I began taking Hawaiian music ukulele lessons in January 2010, I was one of only two people in the beginner's 8-week class. In August 2010, the new beginner's class had 10 people. Jake Shimabukuro played to a half-filled Symphony Hall in late 2009, but when he returned to SF in May 2010, he sold out two shows at Yoshi's Jazz Club in just a few hours. I like to think I was one of those people who helped cause the rise of the uke by jumping in when I did.

11-25-2011, 10:51 AM
My first uke was one of those old Silvertones (made by Sears,no??). I bought that back in the late 70s. I moved up to a Martin uke in the 80s. Funny though~ I played all those years in ADF#B. A couple months ago I decided to start tuning GCEA. Now I feel like I'm learning the uke all over again. And here's the thing~ there wasn't much out there on how to play like there is now. I learned by poring over a Mai Singhi Breen songbook. It is absolutely wonderful to have all the uke vids and websites that abound now. Really, it's opened up a whole new uke world.

11-25-2011, 02:44 PM
Funny, because I stopped into my local music store (Acoustic Music Works, Squirrel Hill) and was all impressed with myself that I had been taking my fingerstyle blues guitar skills (as meager as they may be) and applying to the uke, when the proprietor said that's now the big thing and that even Ernie Hawkins was doing ragtime on the uke.
Kind of burst my bubble. I thought I had discovered something new. A few months later Del Rey came through town and gave a workshop on blues and ragtime ukulele. Oh well, at least there are now lots resources to help me out.

11-26-2011, 02:27 PM
I've been playing uke for 35 years.

11-26-2011, 03:19 PM
What period of time would you define as the "recent rise"?

I got into ukes 2-1/2 years ago and it was totally by accident (won it in a drawing) and had no idea there was any kind of uke revival going on. Thought it would be a lark, but ended up really enjoying it. :)

11-26-2011, 03:23 PM
What period of time would you define as the "recent rise"?

I got into ukes 2-1/2 years ago and it was totally by accident (won it in a drawing) and had no idea there was any kind of uke revival going on. Thought it would be a lark, but ended up really enjoying it. :)

Well, I left it vague because I'm really not sure exactly when it started. As I've been playing since the early 1980s, I was one of the people caught by surprise a year or so ago when I started seeing ukes popping up everywhere. I expect the really frenzied bit of the trend is a year or two old, but the renaissance must have started considerably before that. Anyone know of a Patient Zero in this case?