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revdj
07-07-2013, 04:50 AM
I'm pushing 50 - hard - and nothing like this has ever happened to me before.

I'm in Ann Arbor for a few weeks, and my friend invited me to a monthly music thingie. "Drums will be provided! Bring your instrument!" So I brought my ukulele, thinking for the first time I could play with other people. I pictured asking the guitarists what chords they were playing, and playing along.

My friend couldn't make it. Roomful of strangers. But I'd spent the day psyching myself up, so I went in. And... nobody else brought an instrument! Everyone with drums, and me with my little uke. But "you pays the money you takes the ride" and I started playing with the group. Since I was the only one playing chords, it didn't matter which ones I played, so I just played the chords from songs I've been working on, and tried to get the rhythm to fit in.

The guy running things invited me to go to the live microphone and play into it, so everyone could hear, not just the people near me, but there was no way I was going to do that.

Then this elderly cool lady brought out her flute. And it was awesome. And I started trying to back her up, from across the room. And when she went to the mike, I went to the chair next to the mike. And when she sat down, I got up.

G C G D repeated. (The lion sleeps tonight). Into the mike. To the rhythm of the drums... so many drums, playing a distinct rhythm. And then... once I did a few bars, all these people got up and started dancing! I couldn't believe it! Dancing up a storm! Old, young, hippie, non-hippie, different races, like something out of a movie, and I'm at the mike, trying not to screw it up, G C G D to the rhythm, which was getting more complex, and then it started getting faster. And faster. They were whirling. I never played so fast, or strummed so... hard. And I didn't miss a chord - it was like my fingers knew how to do this for a while and just hadn't told me. And then I sat down, and someone else got up and they didn't stop dancing. A half hour later, two people began singing in harmony, and I was strumming and I hit on what their song was doing (Simple: C C C C F F F F repeat forever) so I was playing with them, so I got up to the mike with them, and everyone went nuts, and the flute lady started playing with it, and the drums the drums.

And then they sat and I stayed with C C C C F F F F and the drums got REALLY fast and I was just strumming every chord my fingers could hit, and then something happened and I was seated again and we all were clapping.

This was my debut playing with strangers. And it was a good one. I am still rushing.

Texangal
07-07-2013, 04:55 AM
I'm pushing 50 - hard - and nothing like this has ever happened to me before.

I'm in Ann Arbor for a few weeks, and my friend invited me to a monthly music thingie. "Drums will be provided! Bring your instrument!" So I brought my ukulele, thinking for the first time I could play with other people. I pictured asking the guitarists what chords they were playing, and playing along.

My friend couldn't make it. Roomful of strangers. But I'd spent the day psyching myself up, so I went in. And... nobody else brought an instrument! Everyone with drums, and me with my little uke. But "you pays the money you takes the ride" and I started playing with the group. Since I was the only one playing chords, it didn't matter which ones I played, so I just played the chords from songs I've been working on, and tried to get the rhythm to fit in.

The guy running things invited me to go to the live microphone and play into it, so everyone could hear, not just the people near me, but there was no way I was going to do that.

Then this elderly cool lady brought out her flute. And it was awesome. And I started trying to back her up, from across the room. And when she went to the mike, I went to the chair next to the mike. And when she sat down, I got up.

G C G D repeated. (The lion sleeps tonight). Into the mike. To the rhythm of the drums... so many drums, playing a distinct rhythm. And then... once I did a few bars, all these people got up and started dancing! I couldn't believe it! Dancing up a storm! Old, young, hippie, non-hippie, different races, like something out of a movie, and I'm at the mike, trying not to screw it up, G C G D to the rhythm, which was getting more complex, and then it started getting faster. And faster. They were whirling. I never played so fast, or strummed so... hard. And I didn't miss a chord - it was like my fingers knew how to do this for a while and just hadn't told me. And then I sat down, and someone else got up and they didn't stop dancing. A half hour later, two people began singing in harmony, and I was strumming and I hit on what their song was doing (Simple: C C C C F F F F repeat forever) so I was playing with them, so I got up to the mike with them, and everyone went nuts, and the flute lady started playing with it, and the drums the drums.

And then they sat and I stayed with C C C C F F F F and the drums got REALLY fast and I was just strumming every chord my fingers could hit, and then something happened and I was seated again and we all were clapping.

This was my debut playing with strangers. And it was a good one. I am still rushing.
What a great story! I'm so happy for you. :D

Mandalyn
07-07-2013, 06:04 AM
Sounds like a great time!

ukemunga
07-07-2013, 06:06 AM
THAT is some awesomeness!!! Way to go! Sounds like an amazing experience.

kvehe
07-07-2013, 06:06 AM
Oh my gosh, that is so cool! Congratulations! Amazing!

caukulele
07-07-2013, 06:20 AM
What a great experience! Thanks for sharing such a wonderful experience.

TheOnlyUkeThatMatters
07-07-2013, 08:07 AM
Par. Tay. Congrats on a great jam!

OldePhart
07-07-2013, 09:00 AM
It's what they call "being in the pocket" - and there's nothing like it when it happens. It doesn't always happen even with a set band that is used to playing together so when it happens in a pickup situation like that it's extra special.

Congrats!

Now I can pretty much guarantee you are hooked for life... :)

John

addicted2myuke
07-07-2013, 01:18 PM
It doesn't get better than that. First time I played out with other uke players, it was pretty pathetic. The person who organized it gave us a song list and the first thing he did was instruct us to play something off the song list. Duh! Everyone tried to improvise and it sounded awful. I long to do what you did and just have an impromptu get together with musicians that play different instruments. I'm gonna keep trying. Welcome to your new addiction. Cool!!!!!

PhilUSAFRet
07-07-2013, 03:33 PM
Hate to be redundant, but AWESOME! I think that is what was "supposed to happen." Great experience. Wish I'd have been there with you. Thanks for the neat anecdote.

revdj
07-07-2013, 03:59 PM
Now I can pretty much guarantee you are hooked for life... :)


I think you are right.

ArtOfDavid
07-07-2013, 04:14 PM
Very cool story!

Flaky
07-08-2013, 02:43 PM
Great read. Thanks for sharing!

Blackwingy
07-08-2013, 09:20 PM
This made my day-totally inspiring. Thanks for relating it.

we tigers
07-08-2013, 10:10 PM
Read your story with a smile on my face. Congrats on a great jam experience!

sugengshi
07-09-2013, 01:38 AM
Wow, wow, wow. Great sharing. It must have felt very awesome being able to do those. Thanks for sharing.

belshi
07-09-2013, 07:46 PM
That is so great sounds like a super time .music is what moves us

rubyrain
07-10-2013, 04:15 PM
Thanks for the inspiration! Love your story!

ukuLily Mars
07-10-2013, 05:16 PM
Good for you! Sounds like a blast!