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View Full Version : When someone asks "How good ARE you?" what would you say?



barefootgypsy
05-23-2012, 07:47 AM
Someone asked me last night, re: uke & banjo-uke.....in a very direct manner - ! "How good ARE you?" I said "Not very" - and I'm not, compared to any accomplished player.... I'm interested to know, what would you have said?

spookefoote
05-23-2012, 07:51 AM
"I'm so good that if I was any better I would have to float round on a cloud whilst angels accompany me joyously on harps"

Then I'd wake up and fall over due to my unfortunate nose extension.

I would actually say "I can bang out a decent tune"

drbekken
05-23-2012, 07:52 AM
I'd say 'pretty damn good'. Cheers :-)

mikelz777
05-23-2012, 07:53 AM
There seems to be a lot of false modesty out there. I've seen a lot of videos of people who claim that they are not very good but after watching the video I go, "Are you kidding?!" I someday hope to aspire to be as good as many of the people out there I've seen who "aren't very good".

PoiDog
05-23-2012, 07:53 AM
I usually adopt an "aw shucks" posture, look down and kick the ground a bit and say that I try and not do any harm to music.

Then I proceed to rip through "La Villa Strangiato" while doing a tap.

Actually, I tend to tell people that I am better than I thought I could be, but still not nearly good enough.

csibona
05-23-2012, 07:58 AM
I'm a beginner - after playing for a little over two years. I've got much to learn. I can strum out a song fairly reasonably - but chord melody stuff is a bear, for me... I could probably spend a lifetime studying music... If someone wants me to accompany them while they sing or there is someone on lead I could probably reasonably hold up.

GinnyT11
05-23-2012, 08:01 AM
I say, "I have fun playing."

The few times I've gotten through a song for a non-player, I've gotten a compliment, but I freeze with the thought of playing for real ukers and I just strum through a C-Am-F-G progression.

ChrisRCovington
05-23-2012, 08:11 AM
I tell them the truth... I'm pretty bad. A lot of people have said I sound pretty good but that's only because they don't know any better. GT3T11 I do the same progression when I don't know what else to do also :)

PedalFreak
05-23-2012, 08:14 AM
I usually just say that "I can hold my own".

Freeda
05-23-2012, 08:26 AM
Someone asked me last night, re: uke & banjo-uke.....in a very direct manner - ! "How good ARE you?" I said "Not very" - and I'm not, compared to any accomplished player.... I'm interested to know, what would you have said?

Enough to keep myself amused. :) Which is really my only goal.

The Monk
05-23-2012, 08:27 AM
Same thing I say when I'm asked how good a piper I am: "I suck but I'm enthusiastic."

mds725
05-23-2012, 08:29 AM
I usually say that I'm "a work in progress," which has the advantage of being true regardless of how well, subjectively, I play.


.....and I just strum through a C-Am-F-G progression.

I do this too; sometimes I sing along with it "Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life" from Monty Python's Life of Brian. People seem to appreciate that I can play a humorous song they may recognize.

flyingv8
05-23-2012, 08:51 AM
At a picnic on Sunday two little boys kept hanging around our family because they liked the music and singing. The one kid came up to me later and said "yer a really good banjo player sir". I told him it was an Ukulele and he said "cool!" How good am I? Good enough to have fun with it and make people smile! Good enough!

cantcook1
05-23-2012, 08:53 AM
I normally say good enough for my wife and dog to leave the room.

nscafe
05-23-2012, 08:54 AM
I generally go with, "I can play a few tunes". I'm no virtuoso, that's for sure.

njukeman
05-23-2012, 09:02 AM
I say something similar to The Monk. "I suck but I'm having way too much fun to stop!"

molokinirum
05-23-2012, 09:03 AM
I say something similar to The Monk. "I suck but I'm having way too much fun to stop!"

haha...same here!!!

barefootgypsy
05-23-2012, 09:23 AM
Enough to keep myself amused. :) Which is really my only goal. Thanks Freeda, this is the answer I'd have given if I'd thought quickly enough - but I never do! Story of my life...... never was a wit!

BTW I didn't have my uke with me.... if I had, she could have made her own mind up!

barefootgypsy
05-23-2012, 09:25 AM
I generally go with, "I can play a few tunes". I'm no virtuoso, that's for sure.That'd be a good answer for me as well! Thanks, nscafe! :D

barefootgypsy
05-23-2012, 09:26 AM
At a picnic on Sunday two little boys kept hanging around our family because they liked the music and singing. The one kid came up to me later and said "yer a really good banjo player sir". I told him it was an Ukulele and he said "cool!" How good am I? Good enough to have fun with it and make people smile! Good enough! I like it!

PedalFreak
05-23-2012, 09:27 AM
At a picnic on Sunday two little boys kept hanging around our family because they liked the music and singing. The one kid came up to me later and said "yer a really good banjo player sir". I told him it was an Ukulele and he said "cool!" How good am I? Good enough to have fun with it and make people smile! Good enough!

My favorite so far :)

roxhum
05-23-2012, 09:45 AM
Great thread. I used to answer "not very" like barefoot gypsy but now I am going to answer "good enough to amuse myself", thank you Freeda.

1931jim
05-23-2012, 10:51 AM
Hello barefootgypsy,
Thank you for this thread. "When someone asks "How good ARE you?" what would you say? "
We are all adults here so 'tis time for another old joke....
I'm not as good as I once was, I'm as good once as I ever was. gigglegiggle. OK Jimmy back to the old folks home.

chris667
05-23-2012, 11:01 AM
I play the ukulele like I make love; not well, but with passion.

Hippie Dribble
05-23-2012, 11:03 AM
"I'm better than my mum"

Hiddencross
05-23-2012, 11:05 AM
My unthinking reply at a recent non-ukulele get together, when someone asked how good I was.

"Not very. I mostly just play with myself."

I wondered why everyone laughed, then I laughed too.

I am mostly accidentally witty. :)

consitter
05-23-2012, 11:07 AM
Better than I used to be.

UK Paulie
05-23-2012, 11:13 AM
That'd be a good answer for me as well! Thanks, nscafe! :D

I would say, and I believe it is and always will be absolutely honest, "I'm ok but I'm nowhere near as good as I'd like to be" I do play because I love to primarily but I'd be lying if I said I didn't have ambitions to get better because I do.

'Make a decision to have a good day and follow through, misery is optional'

jhanover
05-23-2012, 11:15 AM
" A work in progress ". If I spent as much time learning songs as I do creating them I would be an OK covers guy. For now I am finding chords not normally found in uke songs and trying to experiment with tone and melodies, while constantly improving my speed. When I first started out I wrote a song with four chords and not very creative exchange between them, now four chords is rare. Although I have written some with two chords on average anywhere from six to twelve in any given song I write. Now getting them tighter and cleaner still working on that.

csibona
05-23-2012, 11:16 AM
I always liked someone's signature here who said he was the best ukulele player on the block.

barefootgypsy
05-23-2012, 11:22 AM
I always liked someone's signature here who said he was the best ukulele player on the block.Yeah - I could have said "Well, I'm the best ukulele player round this table!" And that would have been true! (No others....!) Thanks for that! :D

barefootgypsy
05-23-2012, 11:23 AM
My unthinking reply at a recent non-ukulele get together, when someone asked how good I was.

"Not very. I mostly just play with myself."

I wondered why everyone laughed, then I laughed too.

I am mostly accidentally witty. :)

Woo-hoo! Wonderful! :D

barefootgypsy
05-23-2012, 11:24 AM
"I'm better than my mum"That's a good 'un, Jon!

barefootgypsy
05-23-2012, 11:26 AM
Hello barefootgypsy,
Thank you for this thread. "When someone asks "How good ARE you?" what would you say? "
We are all adults here so 'tis time for another old joke....
I'm not as good as I once was, I'm as good once as I ever was. gigglegiggle. OK Jimmy back to the old folks home.The old ones are the best! Take that any way you like, 1931jim! :D (There's many a good tune played on an old ukulele!!!!)

pulelehua
05-23-2012, 11:34 AM
I think, I can imagine myself saying, "I'm ok." Or "Not too bad." And then I think I usually say something slightly patronising, but probably true, such as, "But you wouldn't believe how good the best players are."

As I live in the UK, there is often a George Formby reference/quip/question, at which point I launch into this big thing about how the solo at the end of Leaning on a Lamppost is just immense, and how not enough people actually know what a ridculously good ukulele player he was.

If I was talking to another ukulele player, which I do with seldom frequency these days, my honest answer would be, "I'm good at some things, but there is so much more I want to learn." My clawhammer is pretty bad. My triplet strum is so-so. My tremolo strum needs serious work. Just playing fast two-finger melodies, a la a Classical Guitarist, I would love to be good at. Golpes. Essentially, I'm a left-handed person who plays right-handed, so not surprisingly, most of my issues are with my right-hand. Though it's come a long way. Baby.

OldePhart
05-23-2012, 11:46 AM
I'd say 'pretty damn good'. Cheers :-)

And you'd be pretty darn correct, too! :)

OldePhart
05-23-2012, 11:52 AM
Nobody has ever asked but I guess if they did I'd say something like, "I'm basically a three-chord hack - but you can fake an awful lot of songs with three chords and two strum patterns."

John

philpot
05-23-2012, 12:10 PM
If they're the kind of person who would ask that question, saying "I'm the best ukulele player you've ever heard" probably wouldn't be a lie.

Pippin
05-23-2012, 12:12 PM
If I know the melody, I can play it... but I refuse to play TipToe Through the Tulips. ;)

GinnyT11
05-23-2012, 12:36 PM
I always liked someone's signature here who said he was the best ukulele player on the block.

Alas, I'm not even the best player in my house, as my husband has great skill. But I'm emphatically the best player in the upstairs TV room when he's downstairs.

Hippie Dribble
05-23-2012, 12:37 PM
Alas, I'm not even the best player in my house, as my husband has great skill. But I'm emphatically the best player in the upstairs TV room when he's downstairs.

he he...nice Ginny :)

bdukes
05-23-2012, 01:26 PM
I usually say that I play with all the divinity and virtuosity of the big man upstairs. And by big man upstairs, I mean Jake. And by Jake, I mean Jake Schwartz. Heavy set guy in Apt 5F. And he stinks.

As a 35 year guitarist and heavy dabbler, I can play the beginning to virtually every pop song written in the 70's. On the uke, I know 5 songs... and I play the heck out them.

janeray1940
05-23-2012, 02:09 PM
I tell them I'm the best ukulele player on my block.

Nickie
05-23-2012, 05:30 PM
I ask, "Ever heard James Hill?"
Then I laugh.

SuzukHammer
05-23-2012, 06:00 PM
I am pretty damned good when I'm alone and experimenting.

I go outside and play on a bench by a walkway on the beach. When people walk by, I typically mute my strumming and mouth. Sometimes I don't. When I stop muting my strumming, I will know I have improved to the point of not caring what others think.

TCK
05-23-2012, 06:09 PM
Hand them your uke and ask "how good are you?"

sim4lin
05-23-2012, 06:27 PM
At a picnic on Sunday two little boys kept hanging around our family because they liked the music and singing. The one kid came up to me later and said "yer a really good banjo player sir". I told him it was an Ukulele and he said "cool!" How good am I? Good enough to have fun with it and make people smile! Good enough!

You're good enough to play the banjo on a ukulele... that's pretty good!

Mandalyn
05-23-2012, 06:29 PM
Most people usually ask what songs can I play. If I can play a song they know, they will say "oh you're good" or " how hard is it to learn?" Whenever they look up ukulele on youtube and find Jake Shimabukuro, they post it to my facebook. "OMG have you heard this version of while my guitar gently weeps??" Well, that has only happened 3 times, but it still amuses me when someone ask if I ever heard of Jake.

webby
05-23-2012, 06:33 PM
I wouldn't say anything, I would just play some hot swing and let them decide.

bbycrts
05-23-2012, 08:28 PM
Someone asked me last night, re: uke & banjo-uke.....in a very direct manner - ! "How good ARE you?" I said "Not very" - and I'm not, compared to any accomplished player.... I'm interested to know, what would you have said?

It's in my header - I tell everybody I'm a total hack.

UkeToaster
05-23-2012, 08:39 PM
To avoid sounding like a stuck up asshole, i say, "I've been told that I'm good."

barefootgypsy
05-23-2012, 10:18 PM
If I know the melody, I can play it... but I refuse to play TipToe Through the Tulips. ;)So would I!

barefootgypsy
05-23-2012, 10:21 PM
Hand them your uke and ask "how good are you?"Ooh, I love that one! If only I'd had it with me - and thought of that answer! Delicious!

barefootgypsy
05-23-2012, 10:24 PM
I wouldn't say anything, I would just play some hot swing and let them decide.Yeah - you have to actually have your uke with you to do that! I hadn't......:(

Manalishi
05-23-2012, 11:15 PM
Good reply is usually 'I'm Pretty Competant,thanks'

Teek
05-24-2012, 05:34 AM
I generally say I play like crap but I sure enjoy the journey, which is true. I will probably steal the "best player in my house" line though, and since my hubby can't find C and the only other person living here is The Dog, it is also true.

UkeyDave
06-29-2012, 10:38 PM
I'd say "I'm frickin awesome until someone watches me" :cool:

1931jim
06-30-2012, 02:12 AM
I'm not pretty....and I'm not bad.....I'm pretty bad. Taken from the old joke. ""I'm not pretty and I'm not ugly, I'm pretty ugly.""

SailQwest
06-30-2012, 03:48 AM
I usually tell them, "I don't suck."

Then, depending on who I'm talking to, I might tell them that I also play harmonica, at which I do suck, and also blow. ;)

Uke Whisperer
06-30-2012, 05:28 AM
"Not too swift, but I'm a hell of a lot better than I used to be, but not near as good as I am going to be." Then I usually throw-in that "I would sound much better if I could sing".

(I love doing what I am able to do!)

patico
06-30-2012, 04:37 PM
i play ok .....

Bob Bledsoe
06-30-2012, 05:31 PM
Okay, imagine if a demon appeared before you with a super dope electric guitar made by some hell luthier. He plays it for you. And he's clearly like the best demon ever at playing that thing, right? But then an angel shows up and blows him away with his angel harp playing abilities - he's just a crazy good harp dude. You know what im sayin, right?... Okay, so I'm almost as good on my ukulele as that demon.

mds725
06-30-2012, 10:29 PM
I tell them I'm the best ukulele player on my block.

That's a good one. I'm going to start saying that I'm the best ukulele player in my studio apartment.


If I know the melody, I can play it... but I refuse to play TipToe Through the Tulips. ;)

I DO play Tiptoe Through The Tulips, for two reasons. First, Tiny Tim, while apparently a talented musician, played this song on his ukulele badly on purpose, for comedic effect, so the bar on this song with these people is pretty low. Second, I play it well enough so that it doesn't sound like a joke.

barefootgypsy
07-01-2012, 08:47 AM
I'd say "I'm frickin awesome until someone watches me" :cool:This is brilliant - and if I can remember it - it's my answer from now on! :D

musiccityuker
07-01-2012, 11:49 AM
Just play 'em a lick or two.... let them decide. You do keep your uke with you at all times, right?

G Hill
07-01-2012, 12:17 PM
I say "I'm a little better than I was yesterday" :cool:
cheers
Gary

chris3794
07-01-2012, 03:45 PM
I never tell people how well I play - I just tell them that i'm not your typical ukulele player! :)

janeray1940
07-01-2012, 04:30 PM
That's a good one. I'm going to start saying that I'm the best ukulele player in my studio apartment.


LOL :) The funny thing is, I'm not really sure I *can* make the best-on-my-block claim any longer - I've noticed at least two teenage kids in the neighborhood walking around with uke cases.

MisterRios
07-01-2012, 10:50 PM
I've actually never been asked this. Partly because I don't really tell anyone I play. Unless I'm actually bringing my uke to their house or picnic or whatever in order to show them that I play.

Otherwise, I play alone or with my uke group. And they all know how good I play (bad) and sing (worse).

As an aside- when I do tell people I play, they often ask if I play guitar. I say no, but then think I should have said "Guitar is for losers" for shock value.

PhilUSAFRet
07-02-2012, 03:06 AM
Depends on how long I have to come up with a really great lie and whether or not I think they'll ask me to "prove it." :rolleyes:

estreya
07-02-2012, 03:30 AM
Nobody has ever asked but I guess if they did I'd say something like, "I'm basically a three-chord hack - but you can fake an awful lot of songs with three chords and two strum patterns."

John

As Woody Guthrie once said, anyone who uses more than three chords is just showing off!