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afeatheredhat
01-21-2009, 04:04 PM
What are the weirdest responses you've got out of people seeing your Ukulele?

I've had about four different people from within my family since Christmas ask me, "Is that a mandolin?" And then, when finding out that its a Ukulele, ask, "Well then, what's the difference between a Ukulele and a Mandolin?"

I volunteer at a local church youth group and I brought in my uke one day--I actually had one of the kids ask me, "Is that a banjo?"

edit: Oh, and I have had HEAPs of people ask me, "Why do you have such a small guitar?" or "Is that your toy guitar?"

Link
01-21-2009, 04:06 PM
LOL. I've been asked if I am from Hawaii. In the winter, I definitely don't look like I'm from anywhere that has sunshine.

ShortCut
01-21-2009, 04:07 PM
The only responses I've gotten are people saying it's stupid, and laugh... One of my friends even said its not a real instrument, and when I told him it was, he got mad and said "You don't know shit" even though I've been playing for 4 years... I think I would know by now if it wasnt an instrument. The only people that dont laugh and make fun of me for it, is the other people in pacifica ukes.

hoosierhiver
01-21-2009, 04:16 PM
Alot of people tell me,"my grandpa,(or aunt,etc.) used to play the ukulele".Other people immediately think it is cool.Some people aren't interested,but I think they might be the boring types anyway.

Link
01-21-2009, 04:42 PM
The only responses I've gotten are people saying it's stupid, and laugh... One of my friends even said its not a real instrument, and when I told him it was, he got mad and said "You don't know shit" even though I've been playing for 4 years... I think I would know by now if it wasnt an instrument. The only people that dont laugh and make fun of me for it, is the other people in pacifica ukes.
That's so strange to me. I hear people say that, but I have never gotten that response. People can really suck, it seems. Glad people here seem to be a bit nicer.

gp-ak
01-21-2009, 05:57 PM
People think that its cool. Last time I went through airport security the guard took it out of the X-Ray machine and played a song.

haole
01-21-2009, 06:05 PM
Whenever I have friends over, they ask me to play my uke for them. (That is, if I'm not already playing it. ;) ) Not sure how seriously they take it as an instrument, but they appreciate it nonetheless.

Still, I'm probably the only person who picks up the token cheap uke in any music store un-ironically, tunes it, and jams on it. Music store staff around here just end up with them as part of a package deal, I guess, and keep a soprano around in hopes that someone will buy it as a joke. I get some odd condescending stares, but that's about it.

RadRenee
01-21-2009, 06:39 PM
A lot of people confuse the uke with the mandolin. They use the words interchangeably and I find it kind of annoying. Also, they assume I can play the mandolin as well and I'm like. .. uhhh no they are so different!

When I was on the train going to college, the super cute guy sitting next to me thought I had a tiny guitar and was a bit confused. But when he found out it was a ukulele he seemed to find it really cool that I played (well, I did not tell him I was just a beginner!)

SamWise
01-21-2009, 08:32 PM
People are sometimes stupid. When I hear about people who say it's not a real instrument, and then tell you you don't know anything, I just assume this is people still in high school, but when I hear that music store employees laugh or look at you with pity, that astonishes me. When I went into one of our local music shops to try to find a half-decent Mahalo, the staff were amazed I could play, told me that nobody who comes in can EVER play one, and asked me to play more for them.

I did have one slightly dense colleague who just couldn't get her head round the fact that it was not a small guitar, just a different instrument. I'd leant one for a leadership development programme we were running (yep, leadership development with ukuleles), and she just kpet asking "is YOUR one bigger than that though?". Not maliciously or rudely, just couldn't quite get it into her head, bless her.

Pippin
01-21-2009, 09:59 PM
Oddly, I have never had that happen in Columbus, Ohio. We have the Vaudevillities stage act in town and they have played ukulele for many decades. We also have a local pub and coffee house scene where ukuleles are regularly played. So, many people in the area are familiar with ukes. In the 1960s through early 1970s, schools in my district still taught ukulele as a music class elective. I was already playing at that time. I am fifty years old and have played over forty years.

I use ukulele playing Irish music, my own original pieces, renaissance tunes, and jamming with others. I also play some tunes like Hotel California on ukulele that surprise people. I do play guitar, too and for about forty years, so, I play both in the course of an evening. I've never had anyone mistake a ukulele for mandolin, but then, I play with a lot of experienced musicians and folkies are usually savvy on instruments.

bbycrts
01-22-2009, 06:02 AM
I have a Pono soprano I keep at work so I can practice during lunch. A couple of guitar guys work next door and showed up at my cubie one day all excited about the uke. They were very impressed by the little guy - not one bit of superiority shown at all - but a lot of respect.

Lanark
01-22-2009, 08:46 AM
I've had my share of "the smirk". (The one where they want to laugh at you, but are trying to be polite kind of thing.) Fortunately the folks who really know me understand how seriously I take playing music (although I'm not particularly serious when playing...) But it still kind of galls me from other musicians that have known me from bands get all smirky about it.

I've also had my share weird attitude from music store employees.

Like recently when I took the soprano lk to get set up (at a place that sells Martin 5k's and Nationals) and the tech told me that he did this and that, "but after all, it's only a uke..." and when I inquired about what strings they carried since I'm looking for a local source for Aquilas was told by the manager that there were D'Addarios and some other brand that I'd never heard of that were wound. When I explained that I preferred ones that weren't wound she said, "D'Addarios then. I can't help you. there's only two brands of uke strings". Yeah, and this is a store that may become a Kamaka dealer...

And another recent trip a little farther out of the city to a larger local store that carries a few ukuleles in stock, including a Hamano Concert I wanted to try in person. (I didn't come home with it.) There was a nice old lady by the door and some kind of dickish fellow who works there comes up to her with a portable dvd player with the extras from whatever Steve Martin movie has him and "ukulele lady" in it because he knew she played a little. He just thought it was hilarious and was surprised to imagine that the person who did the playing in the movie "could actually made their living playing the ukulele. Can you believe it?" All the while I'm ten feet away tuning and jamming on their meager stock.

In some ways it's made me a bit more defensive about telling people I don't know well that I play.

SeanKy671
01-22-2009, 09:18 AM
I hate those who say it's not a real instrument, but I actually get a lot of popularity playing the uke. And ppl are ALWAYS asking me to teach them somthing. "Teach me a song!!" "Can you teach me how to play??" Gaaaahh, I'm tired of teaching... haha Go Away!!

Captain Google
01-22-2009, 10:30 AM
To be a truly great ukulele player takes two things: the ability to shrug off the words of nonbelievers, and the ability to show them just how wrong they are.

And if you can't prove it yourself, show them Jake's "While My Guitar Gently Weeps".

Howlin Hobbit
01-23-2009, 10:26 AM
I've only had a few of those snippy comments over the years. I just shine 'em on. Not worth getting all in a stew about.

ukulelemotion
01-23-2009, 11:46 AM
People think that its cool. Last time I went through airport security the guard took it out of the X-Ray machine and played a song.

what airport? san jose? i've done that before. hahaha

ukulelemotion
01-23-2009, 11:49 AM
i've never had someone comment me like that before, saying its not an instrument.. i usually get the.. " thats pretty cool or thats pretty cute" or they ask is it a small guitar or violin.. most just ask if they can hear a song. i brought one of my ukes to my jr. high ministry and now they buy ukes and started a club in their high school which i am proud to say im the off site advisor. haha oh yah.. i usually tell people its a great stress reliever..

Renaissance-Man
01-23-2009, 01:39 PM
I routinely play at public parks, beach boardwalks, and street corners. Hundreds of people have seen me play. I've never received anything but kudos about the ukulele from the public.

100percenthapa
02-23-2009, 05:59 PM
well I'm a freshman in high school and I told some of the people I met that I played ukulele they all thought it was really cool. Someone told me that at least I play a cool instrument unlike the banjo. I've even had some upperclassmen come up to me and requests songs when I bring in my uke. Also, there are about 3-5 kids in my grade alone that play.