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Igraine
05-04-2012, 05:44 AM
Does anyone else get confronted by a lot of negativity and derision for playing the ukulele?

Generally, people are supportive..... my family is very enthusiastic. I've even bought a uke for my mom and brother, and my sister bought her own. It's just that the people that don't get it.....don't get it.

I know it's not that big a deal. Just seems when I tell people that I play the ukulele it's gets tiring to hear them say "like Tiny Tim?" Anyone have fun, creative comebacks?

The Big Kahuna
05-04-2012, 05:48 AM
Just laugh.


Then say, "I'm not laughing because I think you're funny. I'm laughing because I know you'll be dead someday"


Probably best not to use that on family though.

1931jim
05-04-2012, 05:51 AM
You could always say...."If I had made the money Tiny Tim made strummin' and hummin' I would be happy."

Igraine
05-04-2012, 05:52 AM
I like it.......how about in-laws? Like family, but sometimes more annoying.

kirbo
05-04-2012, 05:57 AM
Direct them to a video of Jake on YouTube. That should shut them up.

The Big Kahuna
05-04-2012, 05:58 AM
"I play the Ukulele because it helps drown out the voices in my head, the ones that...wait...one second, they're talking to me again...do what ? with a knife ? OK..now, what were you saying ?"

GinnyT11
05-04-2012, 06:02 AM
Direct them to a video of Jake on YouTube. That should shut them up.

Also direct them to a video of the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain to show people playing in black tie in a large auditorium, and to Eugene Ukulele's videos to show a variety of playing styles. Tell them how much it costs to attend a Jake concert.

Tell them you have the joy of music, the challenge of learning and accomplishment, and a whole bunch of friends and supporters on UU. What do they have?

RyanMFT
05-04-2012, 06:08 AM
I understand where you are coming from. I get tired of having people kind of snicker when I say I play ukulele. It also annoys me when people say it must be easy because it only has four strings. I always reply "Yeah four strings, just like a violin". That backs them off......

One good thing though. I work at a university, and the young people there have no negative associations with the ukulele. When they see me playing they come up and tell me how cool the uke is and that either they themselves play, or have friends who play!

Ken Middleton
05-04-2012, 06:08 AM
Does anyone else get confronted by a lot of negativity and derision for playing the ukulele?




Nope! Never.

dkcrown
05-04-2012, 06:25 AM
I wouldn't let it bother you, Igraine.

Years ago when Cal Ripken was chasing Lou Gherig's iron man streak, he gave an interview to Sports Illustrated and was asked about how important his kids were in his life. He said this. "Kids are the secret of life. People that don't have them don't know the secret." The same could be said for the ukulele.

BTW. You live in a beautiful place. I have climbed all of them multiple times.

OldePhart
05-04-2012, 06:27 AM
"I play the Ukulele because it helps drown out the voices in my head, the ones that...wait...one second, they're talking to me again...do what ? with a knife ? OK..now, what were you saying ?"

Perfect!

Seriously though I've never had the "tiny Tim" thing from anybody except really good friends who know the uke ain't like that. I do get an occasional condescending smile from other "musicians" - usually guitarists who have never heard me or anyone else play uke. I remember last year I spent a week with a friend in MO on my way back from UWC. I sat in with the praise band at his church on my mango tenor with the MiSi and a small amp. I was taking a lot of good natured ribbing from the band at first - after church the pastor / worship leader asked if I could hang around a few weeks 'cause it was nice to have some top end. They had no keyboard - just two acoustic guitars, an electric guitar, bass, and drums.

Basically, though, the bottom line is I just never feel I have to prove myself to anybody. If they don't like my playing the uke they don't have to listen - and they're the ones missing out!

John

ChrisRCovington
05-04-2012, 06:28 AM
People ask me if I can play tip-toe through the tulips when they see me with one. I tell them no and play something else that I like. They usually end up suprised at how good it sounds (even with my limited and poor playing ability... I've found if you can do something better than someone else even if you aren't that good they will still be amazed because they know they can't do it as well!). I've found that a lot of it isn't negativity either but genuine lack of understanding what the instrument is about. For most people the only reference they have to the ukulele is Tiny Tim so they go with what they know. When you break out some David Bowie, or Ramones, or whatever people tend to change their mind. A Sgt. in my department is thinking about trying one out himself and for his kids after I let him play mine for a few min. He has really fat fingers and he was struggling on the soprano a bit, maybe a tenor for him?

ChrisRCovington
05-04-2012, 06:30 AM
+1 for Cal Ripken.

I'm a Baltimore native so we all love him here!

Freeda
05-04-2012, 06:31 AM
I am under forty so I just give them a blank look and go "Tiny who?"

Thinker
05-04-2012, 07:10 AM
Does anyone else get confronted by a lot of negativity and derision for playing the ukulele?

Generally, people are supportive..... my family is very enthusiastic. I've even bought a uke for my mom and brother, and my sister bought her own. It's just that the people that don't get it.....don't get it.

I know it's not that big a deal. Just seems when I tell people that I play the ukulele it's gets tiring to hear them say "like Tiny Tim?" Anyone have fun, creative comebacks?

OK - I'm new to all this - but I have to tell you - I get a lot of "that's cool". Now, I'm pretty sure I introduce the topic in a very self-deprecating way. Also, I have been blown away with the number of people who say - You mean like Jake-Whats-His-Name who plays Bohemian Rhapsody? To which I say, "Yes - Just Like That with my two weeks of practice under my belt."

Dan Uke
05-04-2012, 07:24 AM
It all depends on the age group...I know that UU hates it but if you are talking with the younger crowd, Jason Mraz, Train, work really well. If you can sing, I think Sublime, Santeria sounds really good even though the chunking, offbeat strumming is not easiest. Seeso has a great cover and Aldrine & Victor Kim sing it together as well.

You gotta know the person and play what they like to hear. However, the most important thing is play for YOURSELF FIRST.

dhoenisch
05-04-2012, 07:34 AM
People give me crap all the time when I pull out my uke. The smaller the uke, the more crap I get for it. I don't care though. I just tell them that I left my guitar out in the rain and it shrunk. I also get the "that's not a real instrument" comment, but when I play a song on it, or even show them how to strum a couple chords to a song they may know, they change their tune (no pun intended). I get a lot of crap for playing the banjo too, but once I start playing "Ballad of Jedd Clampett," the cool factor shows up.

Dan

hoosierhiver
05-04-2012, 08:03 AM
You should promptly ask them what they can do?, can they play any instruments?, do they have any hobbies?, any skills? any personality?

RichM
05-04-2012, 08:07 AM
I have had much the opposite experience. People think the uke is cool-- and yes, people like Jake, Jason Mraz, and Ingrid Michaelson (even Zooey Deschanel) get mentioned. And as a 40-something, I'm well out of the demographic for most of those performers. I mean, Tiny Tim is at the very edge of my consciousness, and I ain't young.

I attend an acoustic jam group where almost everybody else plays guitar. When I showed up with my uke, they were thrilled. Everybody wants to give it a try, and it cuts through a room of guitars really well.

Like dhoenisch above, I play banjo--it seems that all the nastiest jokes in the world are reserved for the banjo. By comparison, the popularity of the uke is a breath of fresh air.

Tootler
05-04-2012, 08:23 AM
Being in the UK, I am more likely to get comparisons with George Formby than Tiny Tim. Sometimes from people who ought to know better and don't realise just what a good musician he was because of the nature of his material.

I also get the "I see you left your guitar out in the rain" type jokes, but they tend more to be good natured banter. I use my uke to accompany my singing regularly in local folk clubs and mostly get a positive reaction. For some people it makes a change from the ubiquitous guitar.

After playing "Whiskey in the Jar" on one occasion (to an enthusiastic reception - it's great for joining in the chorus), someone commented "It looks like you've found your instrument, Geoff!" I took that as a compliment, though it was not quite true as I was originally, and still am, a wind player. You can't accompany yourself on wind instruments, though; unfortunately.

hawaii 50
05-04-2012, 08:25 AM
some people are always negative about things they do not understand..i call them haters...ha ha

RichM
05-04-2012, 08:34 AM
Being in the UK, I am more likely to get comparisons with George Formby than Tiny Tim. Sometimes from people who ought to know better and don't realise just what a good musician he was because of the nature of his material.

I would be flattered to be compared to George Formby-- what a consummate entertainer he was. Tiny Tim was more famous for his oddball personality than his ukulele playing, but Formby was a genuine superstar who still has a very passionate following today. He's virtually unknown over here in the US, but thanks to the internet, I've become a huge fan. I'm sure he seems hopelessly silly and old-fashioned to some, but there's no denying his power to command a stage and charm an audience.

Goats Can Eat Anything
05-04-2012, 08:36 AM
In the parlance of the kids: "haters gonna hate".

But why do you really care? If you like playing the uke, to hell with them. If they don't get, it's their loss. You have no reason in the world to defend your decision.

I've yet to experience any hate. Let your freak flag fly!

DaveY
05-04-2012, 08:52 AM
I've heard the Tiny Tim reference only a few times. I guess the next time I could say "Tiny Tim? I don't remember a ukulele in any of Dickens' work, including 'A Christmas Carol.'" But mostly if people are making cracks about it, they're doing it behind my back (the cowards).

As for the "only four strings" remark, the first time one friend of mine heard I was playing the ukulele he kind of screwed up his face and said "Isn't that only four strings?" Within a month or so he had bought one of my ukes and he -and his daughter - were playing. The irony (or something) is that he's a bass player (four strings, usually). (Further proof that the ukulele has magical, transformational powers.)

mybote
05-04-2012, 09:56 AM
I put up with the "Deliverence" jokes with my banjo. And the Tiny Tim jokes with my Uke. I always make it a point to have at least one "Razzle Dazzle" tune under my belt for each instrument.
After playing, I whimsically tell them, "You may applaud now." They do. Their curiosity peaks, they're learning a C chord on my uke, The only question left for them is, "should I start with a Soprano or concert. What do you think about this tenor. Tell me about these baritones." Does this banjo uke make my butt look big?"

Noobulele
05-04-2012, 10:00 AM
Like I give a crap about what other people say.

Besides, you can counter the Tiny Tim comment with George Harrison.

csibona
05-04-2012, 10:06 AM
I guess I haven't heard anything negative - but I'm not sure - I may just blow off the negative comments. I do get some questions about the instrument every once in a while - but I think those questions are sincere. I tend to tell people the instrument plays chords - so you can play a whole lot of music even with its limitations.

jackwhale
05-04-2012, 10:17 AM
I would just smile and stay friendly. No need to be defensive. I just say the ukulele has come a long way since Tiny Tim. George Harrison, Eddy V, Taylor S. and many others play the ukulele. And then there are the stars of the ukulele world. Kimo H, Jake S, James H...its a long list. Suggest that they listen. Most of the derision absolutely evaporates when they hear a uke played. And from there its just a short step to becoming a big time fan of the ukulele. "I didn't know so much sound could come out of such a small instrument." "Maybe I'll get one."

I'm sure in 25 years people will look back on the first two decades of the 21st century as a golden age in the development of our instrument--look at all the great builders who turn out wonderful ukuleles. ukulele virtuosity--so many great players, both well known stars and very advanced regular people. If everyone played a ukulele, the world would be a much safer and happier place.

mr roper
05-04-2012, 10:24 AM
I just point out to them how many mainstream TV commercials have uke backing. Have the rest of you noticed this?

Bill Mc
05-04-2012, 10:41 AM
[QUOTE=Igraine;931046]Does anyone else get confronted by a lot of negativity and derision for playing the ukulele?

Generally, people are supportive..... my family is very enthusiastic. I've even bought a uke for my mom and brother, and my sister bought her own. It's just that the people that don't get it.....don't get it.

I know it's not that big a deal. Just seems when I tell people that I play the ukulele it's gets tiring to hear them say "like Tiny Tim?" Anyone have fun, creative comebacks?[/QUOTE

From your post it sounds like you have a great family that enjoys music - like I have. So don't worry about idiotic comments and think twice before casting your pearls before swine.

cb56
05-04-2012, 11:09 AM
I play banjo--it seems that all the nastiest jokes in the world are reserved for the banjo.
Play banjo uke and you get to hear all the jokes uke/banjo. Seriously most folks think it's cool. The ones that don't are just jealous.

kaizersoza
05-04-2012, 11:33 AM
i used to get a lot of stick about playing the uke and still do sometimes but my love for the instrument far outweighs the jibes and some people who originally made fun have started learning themselves

Plainsong
05-04-2012, 11:36 AM
I like it.......how about in-laws? Like family, but sometimes more annoying.

The in-laws are more uke positive, and my father in law actually has my old Kala spruce/lacewood concert. It replaces that unplayable mandlolin he used to noodle on. My mother in-law has a Makala to plink out stuff she used to play on guitar. His side is all musical, and the rule is you pick up and play... anything. His little brother has a Fluke tenor. I think they see it as a parlor type instrument, something you kick back and enjoy.

My parents? Hah! I stupidly sent them this single that my husband and I did with JoeyBug that's about to be released on iTunes for charity. It's all shiny and new, and I came up with most of the music... ya know, that dumb little kid inside you that wants to show off? Yeah, them, with their zero music experience - Not.Impressed. Uke not real.

Gutted, but not surprised...

Zaki
05-04-2012, 11:43 AM
In my experience I've got two reactions, they love it or they hate it. But I haven't got mean jokes about it :( when they don't understand it I just smile and say that I think it's really cute and everything, that shuts them up, but I think that "reaction" only works if you're a girl :P

OldePhart
05-04-2012, 12:46 PM
You should promptly ask them what they can do?, can they play any instruments?, do they have any hobbies?, any skills? any personality?

BWAA-HAAA - love it.

I think if I ever did get an outright snide comment about "only four strings" I'd probably come back with, "yeah, it's so much harder to play those interesting solos when you don't have those extra strings to fall back on."

The funny thing is that the people who give you a hard time about playing a ukulele (or whatever) are usually the people with the least right to brag. Either they don't play anything at all or they play rock guitar with three barre chords and five riffs that they just reuse over and over. Real musicians, and those who are confident in their own abilities, don't look down on other musicians because they play a different instrument.

John

addicted2myuke
05-04-2012, 01:05 PM
Hello, and welcome to UU. Today marks the one year anniversary of playing this awesome insturment. Yes, I have met with negative comments and positive ones as well.Some say, "Now you can play "Tiptpoe through the tulips" and "Why don't you play the guitar?" By the way, I have learned to play Tiptoe through the tulips and it's really fun. Most folks just say they are impressed that I took on any instrument at 60 years old. To quote the great Jake Shimabukuro."if everyone played the ukulele, the world would be a happier place" Nuff said. Be the embassador of joy and play the ukulele!

ukuleleleluku
05-04-2012, 01:35 PM
I've never heard any snide remarks really but I can tell that for many people the ukulele is still viewed as a novelty intrument and not to be taken seriously.

One event that hurt me though was when I had hoped to start up a ukulele children's group at church. I talked to some parents and then to the pastor and was met positively. So I asked the pastor if I could bring in my ukulele and play a couple songs and introduce the idea to the church. He was all for it.

The following Sunday I had my uke in hand with music and such waiting to be introduced after the announcements. My heart was beating in my ears from being nervous but was ready. Well he never called me up. I was sitting there in plain sight with my uke case.

The church service went on and finished and no word was said and nobody even asked why I had my ukulele. I packed my stuff up and put it in the car and never said a word. To this day almost 2 years later no one has ever come to me and said. "What ever happened to your ukulele group idea?"

I go to a Filipino baptist church and the guitar and bass is king there. Recently though a few parents, some of them were the ones I talked to bought their kids some ukes. A few kids wander around after church and play random riffs, mostly from popular pop hits and trendy stuff.

I'm over it but I never bring my ukuleles to church anymore. Nobody is intertested. After church the musically gifted mostly just want to jam on the guitars and piano and show off their abilities.

On a side note though I like to wear hawaiian shirts and a good straw or fur felt fedora, sometimes a pork pie hat to church. Nothing tacky, my wife thinks I look sharp but it never fails that the same people as long as they've known me still have something quirky to say about what I wear. One guy always says "Hey you're on Safari again!" At first I didn't see the relation of a Hawaiian shirt to an African Safari but it dawned on me later he meant "Surfing Safari"... sheesh!

Jim

vanflynn
05-04-2012, 01:39 PM
The funny thing is that the people who give you a hard time about playing a ukulele (or whatever) are usually the people with the least right to brag. Either they don't play anything at all or they play rock guitar with three barre chords and five riffs that they just reuse over and over. Real musicians, and those who are confident in their own abilities, don't look down on other musicians because they play a different instrument.

John

So right you are John. And if you have a decent "go to" song, those that aren't familiar with the uke usually will give an approving nod.

SuzukHammer
05-04-2012, 02:07 PM
I've never heard any snide remarks really but I can tell that for many people the ukulele is still viewed as a novelty intrument and not to be taken seriously.

One event that hurt me though was when I had hoped to start up a ukulele children's group at church. I talked to some parents and then to the pastor and was met positively. So I asked the pastor if I could bring in my ukulele and play a couple songs and introduce the idea to the church. He was all for it.

The following Sunday I had my uke in hand with music and such waiting to be introduced after the announcements. My heart was beating in my ears from being nervous but was ready. Well he never called me up. I was sitting there in plain sight with my uke case.

The church service went on and finished and no word was said and nobody even asked why I had my ukulele. I packed my stuff up and put it in the car and never said a word. To this day almost 2 years later no one has ever come to me and said. "What ever happened to your ukulele group idea?"

I go to a Filipino baptist church and the guitar and bass is king there. Recently though a few parents, some of them were the ones I talked to bought their kids some ukes. A few kids wander around after church and play random riffs, mostly from popular pop hits and trendy stuff.

I'm over it but I never bring my ukuleles to church anymore. Nobody is intertested. After church the musically gifted mostly just want to jam on the guitars and piano and show off their abilities.

On a side note though I like to wear hawaiian shirts and a good straw or fur felt fedora, sometimes a pork pie hat to church. Nothing tacky, my wife thinks I look sharp but it never fails that the same people as long as they've known me still have something quirky to say about what I wear. One guy always says "Hey you're on Safari again!" At first I didn't see the relation of a Hawaiian shirt to an African Safari but it dawned on me later he meant "Surfing Safari"... sheesh!

Jim

Good Story. Its what musicians call 'paying your dues". Paying your dues means getting past the BS.

SuzukHammer
05-04-2012, 02:10 PM
I just got a hater to post on one of my youtube videos. All he posted was "no" and hit the dislike.

haha.

I went to the hater's site and realized he must be a 12 year old kid so I will let that dog lie and laugh at it.

Its just an opinion. Even 12 year olds are entitled to. No sense in me trying to retaliate.

so long as playing makes my family happy, I'm ok with it.

Plainsong
05-04-2012, 02:14 PM
So right you are John. And if you have a decent "go to" song, those that aren't familiar with the uke usually will give an approving nod.

Yup, the two people giving the most grief about it are the ones that have not picked up a single instrument or played or sung a single note that was in tune their entire lives. Try pointing that out when they're you're family though. ;)

Ukuleleblues
05-04-2012, 02:19 PM
Does anyone else get confronted by a lot of negativity and derision for playing the ukulele?

Generally, people are supportive..... my family is very enthusiastic. I've even bought a uke for my mom and brother, and my sister bought her own. It's just that the people that don't get it.....don't get it.

I know it's not that big a deal. Just seems when I tell people that I play the ukulele it's gets tiring to hear them say "like Tiny Tim?" Anyone have fun, creative comebacks?You are lucky, I get that from my family and relatives too, even before I played the Uke.

I have started to gauge folks from their response and don't spend a lot of time on the ones that are dull, narrow shills of the marketing machine.

dhoenisch
05-04-2012, 03:42 PM
I've never heard any snide remarks really but I can tell that for many people the ukulele is still viewed as a novelty intrument and not to be taken seriously.

One event that hurt me though was when I had hoped to start up a ukulele children's group at church. I talked to some parents and then to the pastor and was met positively. So I asked the pastor if I could bring in my ukulele and play a couple songs and introduce the idea to the church. He was all for it.

The following Sunday I had my uke in hand with music and such waiting to be introduced after the announcements. My heart was beating in my ears from being nervous but was ready. Well he never called me up. I was sitting there in plain sight with my uke case.

The church service went on and finished and no word was said and nobody even asked why I had my ukulele. I packed my stuff up and put it in the car and never said a word. To this day almost 2 years later no one has ever come to me and said. "What ever happened to your ukulele group idea?"

I go to a Filipino baptist church and the guitar and bass is king there. Recently though a few parents, some of them were the ones I talked to bought their kids some ukes. A few kids wander around after church and play random riffs, mostly from popular pop hits and trendy stuff.

I'm over it but I never bring my ukuleles to church anymore. Nobody is intertested. After church the musically gifted mostly just want to jam on the guitars and piano and show off their abilities.

On a side note though I like to wear hawaiian shirts and a good straw or fur felt fedora, sometimes a pork pie hat to church. Nothing tacky, my wife thinks I look sharp but it never fails that the same people as long as they've known me still have something quirky to say about what I wear. One guy always says "Hey you're on Safari again!" At first I didn't see the relation of a Hawaiian shirt to an African Safari but it dawned on me later he meant "Surfing Safari"... sheesh!

Jim

So sorry that happened to you. I know exactly what you are talking about. I used to play the banjo or the guitar at church and all was well. Well, there was a slight falling out with the musicians, and I decided it wasn't good for me to play music at the church any longer with their group, so I just didn't play at all. Well, I work in the children's ministry, and I was always asked if the kids could sing a special number. So I found a song that I really enjoyed and thought they would too. I saw a YouTube video with a kid singing the song along with playing the uke, so that did it for me.

Fast forward, and we did get to play the song, and the parents loved it. I even gave each one a lei and I wore a Hawaiian shirt to set the mood. So, I had the bright idea to have the kids do another song in the future, but I thought we could do a two or three chord song, and I would provide the ukes (which I actually had). We'd take the last 10-minutes of Sunday School to learn the chords and the lyrics. Well, I brought that up to my paster, and he told me to "just stick to teaching." That killed me hearing that. So, I sold the ukes, and I won't make mention of it any longer. In fact, other than playing my uke for sing-along time in Wednesday night Kids Club, I won't bring an instrument to church any longer since I am supposed to "just stick to teaching."

So, from one once excited hopeful church uke player to another, I'm sorry it happened to you, and I feel your pain.

Dan

ICMB
05-04-2012, 04:43 PM
Lots of people think its not a real instrument tell me its a toy

jazzbo
05-04-2012, 06:35 PM
As a lifelong guitar picker, I started with dreadnaughts and evolved into 000/OM guitars, then I added a parlor guitar. It was a natural progression to start playing a uke and although it could be said that it's a simple instrument, it is most difficult to master, which gives us plenty to practice for and a great feeling of accomplishment, as we progress.

I haven't experienced hurt feeling about playing any instruments, and if someone says something negative, I consider it their problem and it doesn't make me feel bad, one bit. I see playing music as a God given talent and those of us who can play are truly blessed.

You certainly have my respect for playing a ukulele and I hope that you learn to let any criticism roll away like water off a duck's back.

Good Luck, Jazzbo

UncleElvis
05-04-2012, 07:49 PM
If a guy asks "Why don't you play a REAL guitar?", I tell him that I'm compensating... then say "I bet you got a REAL big car, don'tcha?"
They usually say "Yeah? Why?" (after all, they ARE the type of moron who asks "Why don't you play a real guitar?")

If they say something about it only having four strings, I hold up my hand and say "I only gots the four fingers. How many YOU got?" and then point out that I rarely go over the fourth fret, so what more do I need?

If I'm at a gig and someone mentions something about being a musician, I ask if they play and (invariably) when they say "Yes", I tell them that they are definitely a better musician than I am... then ponder, "But I bet everyone in here likes me better'n you... and I BET I'm happier'n you."
If they keep going, I ask where their gig is at so we can all go watch them... oddly, not one of these fools has a regular gig. Funny, that.

In general, though, the negatives are few and far between and, you know what? You play the ukulele. Let it fill you with joy. If someone feels the need to bring negativity, that's on them, not you. You don't have to accept it.
The more you let the joy in, the less these people will come at you.

The best thing about a ukulele (or any instrument, I'm sure, but I only play the ukulele, so...) is that you don't need anyone else to make you happy with it. You can play ANY song out there and, as you get better, you can play it in keys that suit you, so you can become your own ipod and just close out all that nonsense and create a bubble of joy.

ukuleledaveey
05-04-2012, 07:59 PM
If a guy asks "Why don't you play a REAL guitar?", I tell him that I'm compensating... then say "I bet you got a REAL big car, don'tcha?"
They usually say "Yeah? Why?" (after all, they ARE the type of moron who asks "Why don't you play a real guitar?")

If they say something about it only having four strings, I hold up my hand and say "I only gots the four fingers. How many YOU got?" and then point out that I rarely go over the fourth fret, so what more do I need?

If I'm at a gig and someone mentions something about being a musician, I ask if they play and (invariably) when they say "Yes", I tell them that they are definitely a better musician than I am... then ponder, "But I bet everyone in here likes me better'n you... and I BET I'm happier'n you."
If they keep going, I ask where their gig is at so we can all go watch them... oddly, not one of these fools has a regular gig. Funny, that.

In general, though, the negatives are few and far between and, you know what? You play the ukulele. Let it fill you with joy. If someone feels the need to bring negativity, that's on them, not you. You don't have to accept it.
The more you let the joy in, the less these people will come at you.

The best thing about a ukulele (or any instrument, I'm sure, but I only play the ukulele, so...) is that you don't need anyone else to make you happy with it. You can play ANY song out there and, as you get better, you can play it in keys that suit you, so you can become your own ipod and just close out all that nonsense and create a bubble of joy.
Well Said, couldnt of put it any better :bowdown:

AussieAsh
05-04-2012, 07:59 PM
I recommend buying a Flea or a Fluke ukulele: their plastic construction makes them a great blunt force instrument. ;)

In all seriousness though, don't take to heart the musical criticisms of people who would most likely cite The Prodigy as "real musicians".

Plainsong
05-04-2012, 08:13 PM
Wow, I don't have a dog in this hunt theism-wise, but Grandpa became a priest early in my childhood, and he lived close to my family and had lots of priest friends, so you get a lot of talking shop... And I gotta say, you both deserve better churches. It doesn't have to be negative and hypocritical like that. Seriously, there are priest/pastors not like that. Why worship what is supposed to be positive at a place that wanted to remind you just what they think your worth is. You don't have to take that. I mean you really really don't.


So sorry that happened to you. I know exactly what you are talking about. I used to play the banjo or the guitar at church and all was well. Well, there was a slight falling out with the musicians, and I decided it wasn't good for me to play music at the church any longer with their group, so I just didn't play at all. Well, I work in the children's ministry, and I was always asked if the kids could sing a special number. So I found a song that I really enjoyed and thought they would too. I saw a YouTube video with a kid singing the song along with playing the uke, so that did it for me.

Fast forward, and we did get to play the song, and the parents loved it. I even gave each one a lei and I wore a Hawaiian shirt to set the mood. So, I had the bright idea to have the kids do another song in the future, but I thought we could do a two or three chord song, and I would provide the ukes (which I actually had). We'd take the last 10-minutes of Sunday School to learn the chords and the lyrics. Well, I brought that up to my paster, and he told me to "just stick to teaching." That killed me hearing that. So, I sold the ukes, and I won't make mention of it any longer. In fact, other than playing my uke for sing-along time in Wednesday night Kids Club, I won't bring an instrument to church any longer since I am supposed to "just stick to teaching."

So, from one once excited hopeful church uke player to another, I'm sorry it happened to you, and I feel your pain.

Dan

Rick Turner
05-04-2012, 08:20 PM
Ummm, errrr...

"Man up and get over it?"

All I can tell you as a heterosexual man is that...

UKULELES ARE CHICK MAGNETS!

We're talkin' sonic pheromones here folks!

What the dissers don't know can only help here...

AC Baltimore
05-04-2012, 09:47 PM
I get it some but I don't care at all. I just grin then play an ozzy song. I play for my enjoyment. Guitars pay my bills and opinion matters with what I do there but uke is my fun, heck with opinions :)

tjomball
05-05-2012, 12:31 AM
Like previously mentioned. I get more shtick for my banjo than my uke.
But it doesn't get to me. I have bigger things to ponder than that. ;)
And my job get me way more shtick than anything else.. Being a plumber by trade you can imagine some of the jokes told over the years..
And as a bike mechanic I had the usual saddle sniffer jokes..
And there's also the ever present saamii jokes referring to my ethnicity. All good. None of it offends me.
Hell some jokes are even funny. Haha.
Especially the ones that nail one aspect just right..

Sporin
05-05-2012, 04:15 AM
I've had very, very few negative words and those were mild and turned around immediately. IMO, the negative comes out of genuine ignorance that the ukulele is anything but a toy. A quick "education" is all it takes to get most folks on your side.

On the flipside, I get FAR more incredibly enthusiastic responses to showing upo with a ukulele.

haole
05-05-2012, 05:06 AM
Haven't really gotten too much crap for playing uke. Occasionally some Tiny Tim references or assumptions that I might be a trust-fund hipster kid that's trying to be quirky by carrying it around and strumming the same four chords, but being able to produce a pleasant sound and displaying a little bit of musical knowledge usually makes people back off.

bazmaz
05-05-2012, 05:23 AM
There is just one chap I know who scoffs. I play guitar with him and he is very particular about the narrow sort of music he likes (bluegrass). That's fine though, we play anyway, and everyone else is supportive.

Must say though, in the guitar world I find a lot more negativity (to music styles, to techniques, to instruments) than I ever have with ukulele!

NatalieS
05-05-2012, 06:38 AM
I used to get grief for playing the uke but funnily enough, those incidents are getting more and more rare. Whenever someone laughs at it, I just shrug, smile, and say "it makes me happy!". It's hard to follow that up with a snarky comment.

One of my coworkers sent a prank email to everyone with a picture of me plying ukulele and making fun of it. But I laughed harder than anyone about it, which threw him off. I'm proud to be known as the ukulele girl. Now he says it's "so cool" that I can play.

Just don't let it get you down. Everyone is entitled to their hobbies. :-)

WhenDogsSing
05-05-2012, 08:20 AM
Post deleted. Video wouldn't load up.

RevWill
05-05-2012, 08:30 AM
Tiny Tim had his share of personality flaws, but he really was a good musician with an encyclopedic knowledge of the great American songbook.

His Sinfulness
05-05-2012, 08:39 AM
I get some snickering, partly because I'm a pretty big guy and the uke is so small. As a former cop turned teacher of middle school kids, I have a well-practiced "That's not funny at ALL" look that shuts just about all of them down... ;)

rasputinsghost
05-05-2012, 02:32 PM
I've gotten more condescension (it's sooo cute!) but the vast majority of folks I've encountered really love it.

Jcollazo
05-05-2012, 05:49 PM
Show up with on the Harley with 101 skulls, wearing full leathers, with a couple of ukes strapped to your back. All I have to say is... "Any questions?"

yorick
05-05-2012, 07:08 PM
My mom is like, "Oh you and that ukulele..." Condescension mostly.

A co-worker of mine, whom I suggested getting a Uke because he and I both play guitar (and I obviously fell in love with the uke) said, "Grass skirts and hula dancing don't suit you." He was just being funny, but it goes to show the attitude that some people have.

I don't let it bother me. I'm too won over by the instrument to be made to feel like I'm doing something wrong by choosing that over something more prestigious.

TCK
05-05-2012, 08:15 PM
In a bit over a year, there are now 18 ukes within my reach as I type this. I play them all day, every day. At work, when not at work, for my chickens. Everyone who knows I play watches my hack videos, sees me teaching kids to play, watches me practice while I should be doing something else.
They all unanimously think I am crazy.
They all also wish they had a bit of what I have.
Most of the would be detractors are so hung up on my other musical affair (the accordion) that they never even notice the Ukulele ;)

Ken Middleton
05-05-2012, 08:35 PM
They all unanimously think I am crazy.


You are crazy. So are a lot of us.

But think of some of the other hobbies and pass-times that people pursue and decide whether you are as crazy as them. What about dangerous sports? Free skiing down mountains, for instance. Uke playing is far less life-threatening. What about collecting expensive stuff? Beatles memorabilia or antique vases. Uke collect is much cheaper. What about doing things that just pass the time away? Watching America's Got Talent on TV or gambling in a casino, for example. Playing ukes is far more creative.

No, to an alien from outer space you would not seem crazy at all. But they'd probably wipe us out anyway.

yorick
05-05-2012, 08:58 PM
They all also wish they had a bit of what I have.
Most of the would be detractors are so hung up on my other musical affair (the accordion) that they never even notice the Ukulele ;)

Not to get too much off topic... One of my TA's in college played a really wonderful piece on the accoridion. I had no idea she played until she announced she was going to play something for the whole class. It was an amazing experience.

I can't even remember what she played. I can only describe it in hind-sight as gypsy-esque / Eastern European.

It gave me a tremendous amount of respect for the instrument.

barefootgypsy
05-05-2012, 11:02 PM
I understand where you are coming from. I get tired of having people kind of snicker when I say I play ukulele. It also annoys me when people say it must be easy because it only has four strings. I always reply "Yeah four strings, just like a violin". That backs them off......

One good thing though. I work at a university, and the young people there have no negative associations with the ukulele. When they see me playing they come up and tell me how cool the uke is and that either they themselves play, or have friends who play!
"Yeah four strings, just like a violin". I love that one, that's brilliant! Must remember it! In the UK, associations with Tiny Tim did a lot of damage to the ukulele, and it was Joe Brown who started the big mend here. Posting videos of good players on facebook helps a lot...

Igraine
05-07-2012, 03:25 PM
Wow......thanks for all the great responses. All good reads and much appreciated.

Don't worry, none of the negativity actually is that big a deal. Since the uke has come into my life, low these past six months, it's brought with it tremendous amounts of joy. I've always loved music and now I'm no longer a spectator, but am actually able to make music......not a whole lot better feeling in the world then that.

The real story is this......I sent my brother a ukulele for his birthday and his wife posted on her Facebook status her opinion (she thinks it's "silly and for old people") and I came here to find solace. (Thank you all for the encouragement, and yes she is a troll and a cantankerous barracuda) Any other incidents have been mild and basically stem from a lack of information......so they are opportunities to educate.

philpot
05-07-2012, 04:19 PM
She thinks it's silly? For old people? Maybe she missed out on the fact that every pop artist and their purse dog is playing a ukulele now.


Yes, people start out negative. They back off once I play. Especially the egotistical guitar players who can't manage to do with 6 strings what most uke players can do with 4.

His Sinfulness
05-07-2012, 05:00 PM
Igraine,

Is it wrong of me to hope that your brother completely falls in love with the Uke and plays it nonstop, just because it will annoy the trollish barracuda? :p

Plainsong
05-07-2012, 05:06 PM
Oh jeez, I feel so bad for the guy. It sucks when not even your spouse can be supportive. Hey, my parents can hate all they want. But my husband? I have to live with him! He's totally uke positive, but finds all sorts of reasons to not play. His fingers are too dry (well that part is true), or he doesn't know fingerings, or doesn't understand why there can't be 6 strings, or why can't the strings be tuned to guitar, and if they are tuned to guitar, why not 2 more? And if there are two more strings, then why not just make it a full bodied guitar?

I can refute each one, that he'd enjoy the lesser tension, that you can be creative with 4 strings, that even messing up sounds nice, and on and on, but he's just set in his ways.

Still though, after fighting his dad's mandolin, he's completely uke positive.


Wow......thanks for all the great responses. All good reads and much appreciated.

Don't worry, none of the negativity actually is that big a deal. Since the uke has come into my life, low these past six months, it's brought with it tremendous amounts of joy. I've always loved music and now I'm no longer a spectator, but am actually able to make music......not a whole lot better feeling in the world then that.

The real story is this......I sent my brother a ukulele for his birthday and his wife posted on her Facebook status her opinion (she thinks it's "silly and for old people") and I came here to find solace. (Thank you all for the encouragement, and yes she is a troll and a cantankerous barracuda) Any other incidents have been mild and basically stem from a lack of information......so they are opportunities to educate.

Nickie
05-07-2012, 05:33 PM
I've only had one bee-otch deride me for it. I havne't spoken to her since. Good riddance!
Everyone else likes it...

barefootgypsy
05-08-2012, 12:33 AM
Wow......thanks for all the great responses. All good reads and much appreciated.

Don't worry, none of the negativity actually is that big a deal. Since the uke has come into my life, low these past six months, it's brought with it tremendous amounts of joy. I've always loved music and now I'm no longer a spectator, but am actually able to make music......not a whole lot better feeling in the world then that.

The real story is this......I sent my brother a ukulele for his birthday and his wife posted on her Facebook status her opinion (she thinks it's "silly and for old people") and I came here to find solace. (Thank you all for the encouragement, and yes she is a troll and a cantankerous barracuda) Any other incidents have been mild and basically stem from a lack of information......so they are opportunities to educate.YOur uke has brought you tremendous amounts of joy - that's the only thing that counts. And every one of us on here shares that feeling - and the more you learn and the more you play, the more joy it brings. It has taken me a lifetime to discover that actually, not everybody likes music, let alone appreciate the uke! So rejoice in the the uke, rejoice in the pleasure it gives you, and play to your heart's content! What others think just doesn't matter one jot. And some of those people will actually be, underneath, rather jealous!

SketchMan3
05-08-2012, 09:04 AM
I don't understand all the h8 for the Tiny Tim guy. I thought his stuff was cool. I wouldn't mind playing "Tiptoe Thru the Tulips" if somebody asked me to.

I'm not outspoken enough for people to feel comfortable responding to my ukulele playing negatively. I've gotten mostly positive reactions, though. People ask me if I can play "Hey Soul Sister" and all that guff. I say, "Yeah, that and the million other songs that sound like it." If I'm playing one of my silly songs, they usually laugh and start doing the hula or something.

I used to take the ukulele way too seriously. It's ironic that the less seriously you seem to take your ukulele playing, the more seriously others will take to it.

Jcollazo
05-08-2012, 09:19 AM
.... and yes she is a troll and a cantankerous barracuda....

Theres a song there, somewhere!