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View Full Version : I had a pretty miserable experience tonight...



KevinV
06-18-2014, 05:08 PM
…and it's still bothering me. I suppose I took it personally or it wouldn't still be gnawing at me.

I was invited to an "Ukulele Plink-a-Long" several months back by a former band member who said I should come out, he thought I'd really enjoy it. I never made it until tonight and it was horrible. They only do it every so often and I can see why.

I thought the name was rather condescending but figured I can't let that bother me. After all, an ukulele jam should be a good time. What I ended up at was an open mic where nobody played ukulele. I sat in a chair, one of 6 audience members and watched the regulars play their 3-song sets. I figured, OK, I guess the uke jam will be after they get their open mic stuff in. About an hour into it, the MC, the one who invited me, announced that the Plink-a-Long was about to start. He apologized for it and said that after the first one he wished he had never instituted it. He'd tried to kill it several times, but invariably, someone would ask when the next one was. He said "If you don't have an ukulele, you're lucky. If you do, now's the time to pull it out.". They blasted through 3 quick, 2 and 3 chord songs on the uke, 2 of the regular performers on stage (the MC and a female) while denigrating the uke the whole time, while an older gentleman pulled out his uke in the audience and tried to keep up with their ad lib performance. It lasted all of about 6 minutes and the MC said something to the affect that that was finally over and rushed to put his Oscar Schmidt on the table. Then it was time to get back to the real music. Off key singers who couldn't remember the lyrics as they strummed their 3 major chords on their guitars.

I sat in disbelief through another 3-song set and then quietly slipped out the back and headed home.

I felt embarrassment, disgust, and anger. Three emotions I never expected to feel tonight as I thought I was headed to a bonafide uke jam.

It's safe to say I took it personally, but I shouldn't have. I'm trying not to be cynical, but it's just seething out of me. I would have fit in much better with an Esteban guitar and a Hal Leonard "Play guitar in 3 easy steps" songbook. Then I too could have felt above the little toy guitar plink a long.

I hate that I wasted the time and gas to experience that.

coolkayaker1
06-18-2014, 05:24 PM
Interesting story. I understand your frustration. Maybe I missed something though; you began and ended you story by saying you "took it personally". Why? Were you anything but a frustrated attendee?

DaveY
06-18-2014, 05:25 PM
It makes me wonder why they have the "Plink-a-Long" at all, unless it's to make them feel better about themselves. But how could they feel threatened by an insignificant little toy instrument like a ukulele?

Maybe the antidote is to get to a decent open mic ASAP to replace that experience with a better one. I'm sure there have been people who look down at the uke (and therefore me) at music and comedy shows that I've done, but only once has anyone ever expressed it to me (and it was backstage before a comedy show, by another comedian, when he saw the Flea I was then playing: "Oh. A prop.").

janeray1940
06-18-2014, 05:28 PM
The name says it all I guess - Plink-a-Long, really?? Ugh.

With one exception (a ukulele ensemble class that I've been in for years), I have to say I've found most uke jams and other uke-specific events to be... underwhelming at best. Never anything at the level you've just described, but I have found myself thinking "there's two hours of my life I'll never get back" often enough that now I rarely attend anything other than the aforementioned class. And this is a generalization, but I've found jams that are not instrument-specific to be a far better use of my time.

KevinV
06-18-2014, 05:29 PM
Interesting story. I understand your frustration. Maybe I missed something though; you began and ended you story by saying you "took it personally". Why? Were you anything but a frustrated attendee?

I think I took it personally because I was specifically invited to attend on a night with the "Plink-a-Long" because he "thought I'd really enjoy it". He obviously doesn't see the uke as a real instrument, nor me as a real musician. I think it was a stab. A trap, and I fell right into it. It was for his edification. The joke was on me.

ukemunga
06-18-2014, 05:41 PM
Or not. Maybe (likely) he has no clue. Whoops. Possibility. And I'm told if I add "just sayin'" it wouldn't be offensive.

DownUpDave
06-18-2014, 05:43 PM
That is a shame, really. I know you have said in the past you would like to be able to attend a uke jam on a regular basis. To bad you didn't connect with the other uke player, you could start something on your own.

didgeridoo2
06-18-2014, 05:43 PM
You should've yelled out "this is bull#%*#!" Kicked over a chair and walked out singing tiptoe through the tulips.

RichM
06-18-2014, 05:51 PM
I understand your distress, but please remember that the thoughtless actions of others do not reflect on you. Frankly, the whole scene you describe sounds just awful, and the "friend" a complete jerk. I'm also aware that when people are in MC roles, they feel the need to keep the patter going, and often say some really dumb stuff, thinking they're being clever or snarky.

There are plenty of good venues out there for musicians of all stripes to play. When I moved to my current area a couple of years ago, I was lucky to find a regular acoustic jam on Meetup.com. The musicians I met there were talented enough to play well together, but low-ego enough to welcome those less-talented and not be intimidated by those more talented. It's a great environment. While the majority of the players play guitar, when I brought my uke and banjo uke, they were thrilled to have some different instrumentation. I started a band with some of the guys I met there, and we gig occasionally (I play bass, not uke).

I also occasionally play at a local uke jam. It's oriented towards letting anyone play, and most of the tunes we play are really basic. I treat it primarily as a social event, and its still a lot of fun. Playing music is almost always fun if your expectations are set right, and you're playing with nice people.

Jim Hanks
06-18-2014, 05:52 PM
That stinks. Sounds like you didn't get a chance to play or were too disgusted to play. Sounds like a time to say "step aside boys and let me show you how it's done." :p

Ukulele Eddie
06-18-2014, 05:56 PM
You should've yelled out "this is bull#%*#!" Kicked over a chair and walked out singing tiptoe through the tulips.

Absolutely! And on the way, given your number to the poor other gentlemen there and invited him to join you in starting a welcoming new Uke group.

I suggest you give your friend a copy of the movie Under the Boardwalk as a gift! Or better yet, invite him over under some other guise and dupe him into watching it. ;-)

All in jest. Sorry your buddy didn't think about how you'd feel. Maybe you should let him know.

Phluffy the Destroyer
06-18-2014, 05:59 PM
It seems to me you have a couple of choices.

1. Continue to feel bad about this and let a bunch of clowns suck all the joy out of your music. THat will eventually either keep you from ever playing for anyone else or you'll just wake up one day and throw all your ukulkeles in the fireplace in a fit of bitter resentment.

2. Knuckle under and learn a 3-song set of your own on the ukulele and really learn the F**K out of those three sons so you can show up on open mic night in a month or two and show them that a uke is a serious instrument.

Personally, I'd go for #2...

iamesperambient
06-18-2014, 06:12 PM
…and it's still bothering me. I suppose I took it personally or it wouldn't still be gnawing at me.

I was invited to an "Ukulele Plink-a-Long" several months back by a former band member who said I should come out, he thought I'd really enjoy it. I never made it until tonight and it was horrible. They only do it every so often and I can see why.

I thought the name was rather condescending but figured I can't let that bother me. After all, an ukulele jam should be a good time. What I ended up at was an open mic where nobody played ukulele. I sat in a chair, one of 6 audience members and watched the regulars play their 3-song sets. I figured, OK, I guess the uke jam will be after they get their open mic stuff in. About an hour into it, the MC, the one who invited me, announced that the Plink-a-Long was about to start. He apologized for it and said that after the first one he wished he had never instituted it. He'd tried to kill it several times, but invariably, someone would ask when the next one was. He said "If you don't have an ukulele, you're lucky. If you do, now's the time to pull it out.". They blasted through 3 quick, 2 and 3 chord songs on the uke, 2 of the regular performers on stage (the MC and a female) while denigrating the uke the whole time, while an older gentleman pulled out his uke in the audience and tried to keep up with their ad lib performance. It lasted all of about 6 minutes and the MC said something to the affect that that was finally over and rushed to put his Oscar Schmidt on the table. Then it was time to get back to the real music. Off key singers who couldn't remember the lyrics as they strummed their 3 major chords on their guitars.

I sat in disbelief through another 3-song set and then quietly slipped out the back and headed home.

I felt embarrassment, disgust, and anger. Three emotions I never expected to feel tonight as I thought I was headed to a bonafide uke jam.

It's safe to say I took it personally, but I shouldn't have. I'm trying not to be cynical, but it's just seething out of me. I would have fit in much better with an Esteban guitar and a Hal Leonard "Play guitar in 3 easy steps" songbook. Then I too could have felt above the little toy guitar plink a long.

I hate that I wasted the time and gas to experience that.



I feel your pain. I'll flash back to around 2005.
I used to do folk music /folk pop kind of stuff around than.
I went to play an open mic with my than acoustic-electric concert i think it was actually an oscar schmidt. I got up on stage as the only ukulele based song writer. first thing i hear is some a-hole belt out 'what are you tiny tim you f-ing faggot' than people laughing and making fun of me the whole time. Than about a year and a half later beirut came out and every hipster and his/her mother was playing the ukulele and it was no longer for 'faggots'. I noticed if your in a guitar centered open mic kind of thing its never good. Guitarists have that 'guitar rules im awesome, ukulele is a toy and a joke' mentality and it just kills it, and ruins the whole vibe. I think i actually cried than night from being so embarrassed and never went back to that place again.
Even now, i have been jammign with guitarist friends and now that the ukulele is more acceptable they jam along fine but i still feel im the oddball and they don't 100 % get why i choose the ukulele. Ah well i love this instrument i'm not going to let idiots ruin it for me and neither should you! Sorry for your bad experience dont let it bring you down!

KevinV
06-18-2014, 06:16 PM
It seems to me you have a couple of choices.

1. Continue to feel bad about this and let a bunch of clowns suck all the joy out of your music. THat will eventually either keep you from ever playing for anyone else or you'll just wake up one day and throw all your ukulkeles in the fireplace in a fit of bitter resentment.

2. Knuckle under and learn a 3-song set of your own on the ukulele and really learn the F**K out of those three sons so you can show up on open mic night in a month or two and show them that a uke is a serious instrument.

Personally, I'd go for #2...

I most definitely pick door #2. I was actually thinking the same thing as I sat through the next set after the Plink was over. I admit that I came here looking for solace, and I appreciate all the posts. I was feeling a bit the underdog and you all put it into perspective for me. Thank you.

You get 3 songs for the open mic. I've been refining The Ukulele Waltz by Roy Smeck which I think would be a fine one to do, also Margaret's Waltz from my new Ukulelezaza songbook, and I have others I know that I could do. Although I'd rather add one of John King's Bach arrangements if I could get it down.

We'll see. I'll get a set together. Whether I take it back to that venue or not, it will be good practice for any other open mic opportunity that arises.

Thanks again, folks. You're a good group of people. I needed that.

iamesperambient
06-18-2014, 06:20 PM
It seems to me you have a couple of choices.

1. Continue to feel bad about this and let a bunch of clowns suck all the joy out of your music. THat will eventually either keep you from ever playing for anyone else or you'll just wake up one day and throw all your ukulkeles in the fireplace in a fit of bitter resentment.

2. Knuckle under and learn a 3-song set of your own on the ukulele and really learn the F**K out of those three sons so you can show up on open mic night in a month or two and show them that a uke is a serious instrument.

Personally, I'd go for #2...


I've kind of done 2 a few times when playing with guitarists they will try to show off
than i'll just do all the ukulele jazz stuff i know (im very good at this sweeping technique with my fingers)
and than guitarists usually shut up and ask me how the hell i learned to play like that. Number 2 is a very good
option show those 3 chord 6 stringers a thing or 2!

Dane
06-18-2014, 07:06 PM
Sounds like a friend you need to lose touch with.

igorthebarbarian
06-18-2014, 07:23 PM
Sounds like a "friend" whom you should go leave an anonymous stinky flamin' deuce on their front porch.


Sounds like a friend you need to lose touch with.

Hammond
06-18-2014, 09:28 PM
This is bad, I feel your anger and sadness. There are always some a.hole taking joy by ruining others life. And that "friend", not worth to keep serious friendship.

Take this as experience, which push you to a upper level.

I also feel you may contact that gentleman.

I am not good at comfort others. There are many nice people out there, and on UU, that you can seek for positive energy. :)

RAB11
06-18-2014, 10:15 PM
That sucks man. It is annoying when people don't take you seriously with the uke. I started playing about a year ago, just with my Dolphin, and after three weeks I took it to an open mic (similar three song format) I'd formerly been torturing with some awful guitar work. The songs I played were fairly simple 3/4-chord affairs but for the most part I got some really positive reactions.

As I left the stage though one of the regulars approached me (Can't stand this guy either. He's a 'recording artist' who lives in Florida but still comes back to dingy Portsmouth every couple months to play an open mic. Pretty much plays the same three songs every time, always plugs his CD and gives the same unfunny shtick prior to each one. And his songs are painfully uninteresting but that's besides the point) and said "nice work mate, that was different. Where'd you get the chords for Mack the Knife?" Told it was from a songbook I'd picked up, and thanked him, saying I fancied a bit of a change musically and I was having a lot of fun with it. He then said "Yeah, well I guess it's a lot easier when you've only got four strings." Just annoys me.

Vagrant
06-18-2014, 10:23 PM
You get 3 songs for the open mic.

I think for your third song you should work out a ukulele cover of Slipknot's 'Everything Ends', it sounds like the opening lyrics would be appropriate to these people! (I've often thought it'd work quite well on uke).

Sometimes groups of people just need some other group to look down on, it makes their position seem higher. Don't take it personally. The whole reason I got attracted to the uke was to bypass the snobbery and arrogance of the guitar world that dominates music... obviously it's not everyone, but it only takes a few to spoil it and set a bad tone to forums or meet ups (you get the same sorts of men - and it is usually men - in photography groups, who only have time for one way of doing things, one type of equipment). The best thing about the uke is the all round friendliness and tolerance of everyone I've met or communicated with (so far!). There's no culture of competition, one-upmanship... and I hope it stays that way (ach, with so many lovely ukuleles to choose from there's no time for fighting!).

coolkayaker1
06-18-2014, 10:32 PM
I think I took it personally because I was specifically invited to attend on a night with the "Plink-a-Long" because he "thought I'd really enjoy it". He obviously doesn't see the uke as a real instrument, nor me as a real musician. I think it was a stab. A trap, and I fell right into it. It was for his edification. The joke was on me.

Well, that may be, if he was your friend. Not to justify his actions, as there is no justification, but it sounds from your well-detailed story that he had invited you "several months back" when he (or whoever runs it) actually gave a damn and tried, perhaps. Now, several months later, the thing has imploded to the point of being a joke. The life has been sucked out of it. It's done, like an over cooked marshmallow. Perhaps that was the last Plinkalong. Lol. It should be.

Good idea to get a three-song set for the open mic, and an additional notion: bring twelve of your best uke buddies to play along with you. Overwhelm the crowd, if not the stage. Frankly, you could overwhelm the entire night with solos or duets by signing up for multiple slots like a mini UWC. "I'll show you a damned Plinkalong!" Fun to think about, even if in a fantasy way.

Know that if you play at all at the Open Mic, you'll have to knock it out of the park, like Smeck or Zaza that you mention. Anything less might feed into their low esteem for the ukulele.

Best to let it go, as you suggested you may do, KevinV. And have solace that the Manny uke that you recently scored, even though they'll always look at it as a toy, we all love it on this end. Looking forward to your epic thread update when you get it back. :)

kypfer
06-18-2014, 10:57 PM
I was invited to an "Ukulele Plink-a-Long" several months back by a former band member who said I should come out, he thought I'd really enjoy it. I never made it until tonight and it was horrible. ... maybe that just about says it all ... several months ago. In the meantime those that do attend on a regular basis have managed to mould the evening to their own preferences.

Back in the '60's a group of friends and myself attended one of the then-fashionable "Christian" coffee bars, on a regular basis. One or more of us usually had a guitar "in tow" and it wasn't too long before the evenings degenerated? into a round of wannabe singer-songwriters airing their latest creations interspersed with renditions of various traditional folk-songs and popular acoustic music. Inevitably when the question was asked "What happened to the "Christian" aspect?" the answer was often a querying blank stare ... where were the preachers when the guitars arrived ;)

CeeJay
06-19-2014, 12:32 AM
You should've yelled out "this is bull#%*#!" Kicked over a chair and walked out singing tiptoe through the tulips.

I love your style sir and I would have done exactly the same ...but would have said "What a load of bollocks" then done the furniture rearranging ...

ichadwick
06-19-2014, 12:38 AM
Lot of angry folks here, it seems. What about those people who came along because they wanted to learn, to play and discover the delights of the ukulele? People who have not learned the skills yet to strum in time, to sing in tune... where is the loving, friendly uke community?

I run a small local uke group and it's mostly beginners. People who don't know what a "chord" is - or rather didn't when they first attended. We who have some experience work with them, help teach them, try to help them develop their skills. Teach them how to tune and strum. Try to help them share the joy.

Sure, anyone of us with some experience could swear, kick over chairs and storm out. What would that accomplish? Would they be better players afterwards?

Raygf
06-19-2014, 12:45 AM
So sorry to hear this Kevin. What a sad, pathetic group of losers. With friends like him . . . While it might be gratifying to return with a group of top notch ukulele players it's not worth it. Leave them in their own miserable little hell that they've created and obviously love and find better things to do with your time. It's no wonder the level of play is so underwhelming. Why would anyone want to subject themselves to such a dreadful experience? The next time my "friend" called I'd tell him just what he could go do to himself. JERK! WTF is wrong with people?

CeeJay
06-19-2014, 12:54 AM
Lot of angry folks here, it seems. What about those people who came along because they wanted to learn, to play and discover the delights of the ukulele? People who have not learned the skills yet to strum in time, to sing in tune... where is the loving, friendly uke community?

I run a small local uke group and it's mostly beginners. People who don't know what a "chord" is - or rather didn't when they first attended. We who have some experience work with them, help teach them, try to help them develop their skills. Teach them how to tune and strum. Try to help them share the joy.

Sure, anyone of us with some experience could swear, kick over chairs and storm out. What would that accomplish? Would they be better players afterwards?

Well from reading the OP there was not a whole load of ukulele playing going on or being encouraged firstly...secondly it sounds like it was a poseurs party piece party......and thirdly it does not hurt to occasionally get a little steamed up and express a true opinion......call it stress relief ......:nana:

Ukuleleblues
06-19-2014, 01:17 AM
In another thread about open mic someone suggested attending and just lurking to see what the atmosphere is like. After reading this I am taking that to heart.

The first time ever we got on stage we were invited to an "open mic" by an ex band member's neighbor. So we get there and the the neighbor doesn't show. In reality it was 3 other acts and not really an open mic. So we "sign up" and the MC announces the acts and says "and we have a special treat, a ukulele band" . To which one of the folks in the audience responds with a loud "Why?"

Remember we have never played in front of people. They put us on after the 2004 SC State Champion Bluegrass Band. They get up and tear it up (we are sitting there slowing dieing). The banjo guy is playing a run with his fretting hand while drinking a cup of coffee (we are dead). They were great, they finish and a few in the audience just half assed claps, the rest stare. Nice crowd.

My band mate wants to pull out (run out) I been in first timer hell for an hour and say No Way I Leaving, we are going to do this.

We play three old songs from the 20-30 and when we are done someone in the audience says "thats the kind of stuff my momma used to listen to." I figure if I could survive that crowd I was good to go.

Luke El U
06-19-2014, 01:34 AM
And I'm told if I add "just sayin'" it wouldn't be offensive.

Yes! I've always hated that phrase which people hide behind.

Anyway, as for KevinV, now you know not to waste time with people who are not serious about music.
Hang in there, you'll find them.

stevepetergal
06-19-2014, 02:15 AM
Did you do a three song set? If not, will they let you do one next time?
I surely would.

itsscottwilder
06-19-2014, 03:40 AM
You should've yelled out "this is bull#%*#!" Kicked over a chair and walked out singing tiptoe through the tulips.

walk up the mic, then yell out "this is bull$h!+" then drop the mic on the floor and walk out. :)

itsscottwilder
06-19-2014, 03:47 AM
Or not. Maybe (likely) he has no clue. Whoops. Possibility. And I'm told if I add "just sayin'" it wouldn't be offensive.

The other phrase that apparently excuses all forms of idiocy is "my bad" :)

RAB11
06-19-2014, 04:10 AM
The other phrase that apparently excuses all forms of idiocy is "my bad" :)

No offence but....

bearbike137
06-19-2014, 04:11 AM
I have decided that there are only two types of people in this world:

Those that get "Napoleon Dynamite" and the ukulele,

and everyone else...

stevepetergal
06-19-2014, 04:11 AM
I would become a regular. I'd play three songs at every event, but I'd also invite the best ukulele players in northern Florida to play. All with the very best intentions. I'd make as many friends as possible. Couldn't hurt.
More flies with honey, you know.

coolkayaker1
06-19-2014, 04:50 AM
No offence but..... True dat,mRabb11.

With all due respect... :rolleyes:

OldePhart
06-19-2014, 04:52 AM
You should've yelled out "this is bull#%*#!" Kicked over a chair and walked out singing tiptoe through the tulips.

So...you've met me then... LOL

didgeridoo2
06-19-2014, 05:05 AM
Lot of angry folks here, it seems. What about those people who came along because they wanted to learn, to play and discover the delights of the ukulele? People who have not learned the skills yet to strum in time, to sing in tune... where is the loving, friendly uke community?

I run a small local uke group and it's mostly beginners. People who don't know what a "chord" is - or rather didn't when they first attended. We who have some experience work with them, help teach them, try to help them develop their skills. Teach them how to tune and strum. Try to help them share the joy.

Sure, anyone of us with some experience could swear, kick over chairs and storm out. What would that accomplish? Would they be better players afterwards?
Just attempting to bring some levity to an already impossible situation, Ian. Glad you teach, though. It is joyful.

Skinny Money McGee
06-19-2014, 05:21 AM
You know what they say is true? The number of true friends you have in your life, you can count on 1 hand. True friends don't behave like Kev's so called friend did. Personally, I'd never talk to that guy again, and if he asked me why, I'd flip him my middle finger 2 inches from his nose.

Icelander53
06-19-2014, 05:35 AM
I guess I should be glad I came to the ukulele when it was pretty popular and well accepted and at a time when I'm old and don't usually give a F
what others think about my hobbies. Or not as much anyway. It seems that many of the uke players of this world have a short guy complex cause I hear this kind of thing fairly often.

When I get this kind of crap from friends I send them a youtube of James Hill or such and then tell them to play me something with more skill on their instrument. Until they do that I don't plan on feeling like my chosen instrument is a toy no matter what they say.

In the end the way to shut them down is to play well and don't let what they think get to you. Had someone with real skills done a uke set at that gathering things would have turned out very different. And for those of us that aren't there yet we will have to choose carefully who we play with.

And lastly I've almost never seen anyone with real musical skills put others down around their abilities or choice of instrument. It's crap wannabe players that are always looking to feel better than someone else cause they know where they really are on the musical totem pole

OldePhart
06-19-2014, 05:45 AM
And lastly I've almost never seen anyone with real musical skills put others down around their abilities or choice of instrument. It's crap wannabe players that are always looking to feel better than someone else cause they know where they really are on the musical totem pole

:agree: This in spades! You don't want to be around those kind of folks anyway as it's obvious they have little or nothing to offer as musicians or as human beings. Find a better class of folks to be annoyed with!

A real musician confident in their own ability recognizes that extracting interesting music from an instrument with limited range requires more skill, not less!

John

23skidoo
06-19-2014, 05:57 AM
If you're still in Winter Haven, you should check out Tampa Bay Ukulele Society (http://www.meetup.com/tampabayukes/), if you haven't already. It's kind of a haul - about an hour maybe? - but you couldn't meet a nicer bunch of ukulele-centric folks..... screw those other cats.

Ukejenny
06-19-2014, 06:46 AM
Dang, nothing like being invited to a ukulele jam and finding out it was actually a ukulele bashfest. Well, now you can say you've had the worst; it is time to go out and find the best - real ukulele clubs who have real fun and understand how valuable the instrument it. I hope you have the chance to let the guy who invited you (the MC, right?) know how disparaging his behavior was.

katysax
06-19-2014, 06:48 AM
In trying to find groups to play with I've had a lot of bad experiences. If you were really miserable why not just quietly leave? I understand the frustration and even the anger, but why take it personally?

Sometimes you get lucky and find a group that clicks and works for you. The odds are that if you find a group of uke players, most of them won't be able to play at all. If you do find a group where the people can play, there will be one or two people who are so intense about it that fun is not on the agenda. For me the best groups are the ones where there are a handful of people who are decent musicians but who don't take themselves too seriously and and array of various beginner to intermediate players. Playing with others can be a lot of fun, but it can also be incredibly frustrating.

Ukejenny
06-19-2014, 06:58 AM
I was a lonely ukulele player, so I started my own club. We are a small group, mostly in the beginning stages of playing, and we try to have fun. Sort of like what Katysax talks about - we try to have fun and not take it too seriously.

peaceweaver3
06-19-2014, 07:13 AM
If I had the brass ones (which probably I don't but hopefully you do!), I would go back, sign up for the open mic, and confidently but unassumingly play my own 3 songs. I.e. wouldn't say anything about the uke or make any comments about other performers or instruments. Just play my songs and know I did my part, my real musical part. Oh, and afterward I'd approach the older gentleman with the uke and see if he wanted to get a nice, welcoming uke group started!

I feel for you though, in fact I must take out my own uke and play away some of this vicarious frustration! :mad

peaceweaver3
06-19-2014, 07:31 AM
Yes! I've always hated that phrase which people hide behind.

Anyway, as for KevinV, now you know not to waste time with people who are not serious about music.
Hang in there, you'll find them.

I know what you mean. But I'd say respectful rather than serious, respectful of and happy about music and the people who like to make it, no matter the tools in the toolbox. :)

bobinde
06-19-2014, 10:22 AM
"and it's still bothering me. I suppose I took it personally or it wouldn't still be gnawing at me.

I was invited to an "Ukulele Plink-a-Long" several months back by a former band member who said I should come out, he thought I'd really enjoy it. I never made it until tonight and it was horrible. They only do it every so often and I can see why.

I thought the name was rather condescending but figured I can't let that bother me. After all, an ukulele jam should be a good time. What I ended up at was an open mic where nobody played ukulele. I sat in a chair, one of 6 audience members and watched the regulars play their 3-song sets. I figured, OK, I guess the uke jam will be after they get their open mic stuff in. About an hour into it, the MC, the one who invited me, announced that the Plink-a-Long was about to start.

(SNIP)

I hate that I wasted the time and gas to experience that."

KevinV, that seriously sucks. Me, I was lucky - VERY lucky - I was invited to a guitar jam/open mike a few months ago and when I got there the guys and gals all - and I mean ALL - had upper level Martin and Taylor acoustics.. I show up with my Taylor GS Mini and my KPK pineapple and freaked out, expecting to get seriously dissed. However, they all looked at the pineapple and the essential sentiment was "Cool! What's THAT? Can I try it??" and more similar comments. And after the session, they asked me to come back again. Often.

And one of the guys blamed me (at a later Jam) for turning him to the Dark Side. He bought a Kamaka tenor.

I love being a missionary!

bobinde

Brian W
06-19-2014, 10:49 AM
I'm sorry to read about your recent bad open-mic-night experience, but don't let that get you down. The recent ukulele renaissance is still gaining momentum, and I bet in another 5 or 6 years you aren't going to get the same condescending reaction as you did the other night. There is a small music store in the Fairgrounds here in Raleigh, which had primarily sold guitars and basses until recently. They now added ukuleles, in fact one whole wall is now dedicated to them. I struck up a conversation with the owner about the ukes that he was selling and he told me that they are outselling acoustic guitars right now, and he was thinking of adding more to his inventory to keep up with demand. I know the ukulele still generates a few snickers form people who don't know any better, or see its true potential, but when I show them videos of artists like Jake Shimabukuro or James Hill, they all stop laughing and their jaws drop.

Dane
06-19-2014, 11:49 AM
I play ukulele, I mountain unicycle. I've learned the best way to get back at people for laughing, making fun, snickering at me..... Is to just show them what it's all about. Shock them with talent. Show them what they don't expect, what they are missing. You will actually find many people didn't realize how offensive they were being, and they are actually now HIGHLY interested and impressed. Then they will proceed to ask you many questions.

Icelander53
06-19-2014, 12:17 PM
What a fine and mature attitude to take on this. I applaud you sir. This is life 101 and these things happen in all parts of our life experience. How you deal with it determines how it ends up feeling to YOU. And in the end that's what counts.

CeeJay
06-19-2014, 12:55 PM
I play ukulele, I mountain unicycle.

At the same time ?

cool...now that is cool ...I am impressed.






Actually ...I have always fancied a go at a unicycle....at 55 it may be a bit of an ask !!?

SteveZ
06-19-2014, 02:53 PM
Life's too short to: 1) dance with ugly women; 2) drink lousy beer; 3) play rotten instruments; and 4) suffer fools and @&&#€£%&. At least the OP found out early that the folks were in the 4) category. In this "half the folk you meet are below average" world, stuff like this happens.

The good news is that there are other places in the vicinity where like-minded (at least regarding ukuleles) persons meet for the fun of it. A couple such places have been mentioned here.

So, as far as the negative experience, forget it but remember the fellow who endorsed it. If it was his idea of a joke for the OP to go, then the question is whether to take it as a joke or not. It did give an insight into the character of others, and knowing who they are and how they think may make future dealings more pragmatic. If in doubt about what else to do, see Sentence #1 of this post.

Dane
06-19-2014, 04:10 PM
At the same time ?

cool...now that is cool ...I am impressed.






Actually ...I have always fancied a go at a unicycle....at 55 it may be a bit of an ask !!?

Even though you might think so.... I've never even tried. I've almost attempted it a few times but always the risk is too great (a nice ukulele) but when I was going to college, I frequently ate food, drank.. drinks, and texted or talked on the phone while riding to and from classes. I could probably at LEAST strum chords while riding. There used to be a guy in downtown SB that would idle on his unicycle and play guitar. Never saw him in person but I did see videos.

If you know how to walk, and can do it consistently without falling over, then you can unicycle. It's the same basic physical motions, if you are walking and you start to fall forward, you put a foot out to catch your balance. Likewise with a unicycle, if I am falling forward, I move the wheel out in front of me to compensate. So, as you are walking about town, or riding a unicycle, you are doing all these minor "corrections" ALL THE TIME. When on a unicycle, the uni becomes an extension of your legs, and you simply need to train your brain to understand how to "walk" again. There is not a single person who cannot learn to unicycle (disabilities excluded) there are simply people who are not dedicated enough to learn. Most men of your age ride big wheel 36ers and do distance touring, but there are more than a few that still do, or have recently learned to mountain unicycle. I ride locally with a man who is 52 years old, and has been mountain unicycling for about 10 years. I have been doing it for about 5 years, I am 25, and he is much better than me. There are many disciplines of unicycling, but I recommend distance touring and mountain unicycling, as they are the safest and some might say easiest.

But that's off topic! :)

itsme
06-19-2014, 04:28 PM
If you know how to walk, and can do it consistently without falling over, then you can unicycle.
Perhaps, but when you're 60, the potential mishaps and injuries during the learning curve may not be worth the risk. :o

Icelander53
06-19-2014, 05:07 PM
I can fall over consistently. Especially after a few gin and tonics.

ksiegel
06-19-2014, 05:28 PM
. True dat,mRabb11.

With all due respect... :rolleyes:


...bless your heart...

coolkayaker1
06-19-2014, 07:21 PM
Even though you might think so.... I've never even tried. I've almost attempted it a few times but always the risk is too great (a nice ukulele) but when I was going to college, I frequently ate food, drank.. drinks, and texted or talked on the phone while riding to and from classes.
But that's off topic! :)

Yo, Dane, we have something in common! I unicycle, too. Ever since age 10 or so (on and off). Currently have a Torker Unistar CX 24 for road and, of course, the Kris Holm's classic blue 24 mountain unicycle for off roading. My stamina ain't what it used to be, but I hear everything you write about. You are dead on, brother--just takes will to learn. Up and up again, to the end of the driveway in a week, around the block the second week. You know the score. Your words are encouraging to others. Unigeezer, much older than me (who is much older than Dane, I think) who can tear it up on a Uni (no coasting, have to keep peddling, by definition!). There's no way I could do this stuff, and I'll admit it! So you ride with Unigeezer?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CenW0Rx3G5A

Okay, back to ukuleles.

Dane
06-19-2014, 08:42 PM
Perhaps, but when you're 60, the potential mishaps and injuries during the learning curve may not be worth the risk. :o

I will not deny that. But you do have the ability to learn how. At only age 25 I find myself avoiding certain sports I used to partake in. Having that ACL reconstructive surgery really put things into perspective for me. (The injury was not Muni related however, in fact, I learned to ride Muni with a torn ACL)


Yo, Dane, we have something in common! I unicycle, too. Ever since age 10 or so (on and off). Currently have a Torker Unistar CX 24 for road and, of course, the Kris Holm's classic blue 24 mountain unicycle for off roading. My stamina ain't what it used to be, but I hear everything you write about. You are dead on, brother--just takes will to learn. Up and up again, to the end of the driveway in a week, around the block the second week. You know the score. Your words are encouraging to others. Unigeezer, much older than me (who is much older than Dane, I think) who can tear it up on a Uni (no coasting, have to keep peddling, by definition!). There's no way I could do this stuff, and I'll admit it! So you ride with Unigeezer?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CenW0Rx3G5A

Okay, back to ukuleles.

Funny story, I was at the Moab Munifest this year (which was awesome) and we were standing for the group photo when some guy came up, pointed to my gopro mount on my muni and said "What is that thing on your frame?" I look up and to my surprise Kris Holm is poking my unicycle. He also actually knew who I was (from Strava), super cool normal guy. He's also Canadian, so all nice and stuff.

You can see Kris, my local riding buddy Phil, and myself in this photo:

http://i.imgur.com/7aHr6kr.jpg

Here I am thinking about dropping in on porcupine rim.... Man I hope they do the event again next year.

http://i.imgur.com/88hjcQe.jpg

I do know Terry Unigeezer Peterson and I've been on several rides with him. I have to be honest, I can't keep up. He has so much energy and stamina, he is truly a well-oiled muni machine.

Sorry for the threadjack.... back on topic....... I have to be honest, I really loved the tip-toe through the tulips idea. It had real style and I approve.

Icelander53
06-19-2014, 11:24 PM
That's cool stuff. I have a friend in my little town who in in his 40s and has won many competitions on unicycle in his age bracket. He's amazing on that thing and rides everywhere in town on it. He's better on that than I am on my mountain bike that's for sure.

He's a Naturopath by profession with a wife and two kids. We met due to our love of and vast collections of Frank Zappa music.

Nickie
06-20-2014, 01:41 PM
Kevin, that stinks...I wouldn['t go back, for sure!

ichadwick
06-21-2014, 04:33 AM
There's a story I always (or almost always) try to remember when I get angry, frustrated or mad at someone (like when I am on hold trying to reach my ISP or phone company).

A famed, mendicant Buddhist teacher was loved by everyone who heard him. So loved was he that he attracted a large retinue of followers as he travelled around, spreading the Buddha's word. His followers wanted to do things for him, to care for him, to meet his daily needs so he could concentrate on teaching. But the teacher kept with him a cook he would not let be replaced.

The cook was old, grumpy, and complained all the time. He was in a bad mood constantly and grumbled at everyone who approached him. He wasn't even a good cook and the food he prepared for the teacher was never very good. The disciples could barely eat it, it was so bad. yet the teacher ate it all without complaining.

The followers were unable to befriend the cook, and the cook refused to join their company.

Finally, the followers got fed up. A small group of them approached the teacher.

"Teacher," their spokesperson said. "You are loved and respected everywhere you go, by everyone who hears your words. You have attracted many followers who would dedicate their lives to serving you to help you spread the Buddha's word. We will prepare your clothes, we will keep your rooms, we will find you food and shelter, all without asking for anything more than to be by your side to hear your teaching. We would even cook for you, but you keep that old man with you. He is not a good cook. He is always angry. He is always in a bad mood. Teacher, would you please get rid of him and let one of us take his place? We promise we will be happy, contented when we cook, and the food will be much better. Would you let us take care of your food, please teacher?"

The teacher smiled and shook his head. "No, my young disciple. All of you give me great joy. You care for me wonderfully. You give so much of yourselves, and ask nothing in return. You teach me that there is still love and respect in the world. Yet there is one thing you cannot teach me, that my old cook can."

"What is that, teacher? What is it that he can teach you, you who know so much, you who are schooled in the words of the Buddha, you who teach all of us?" asked the disciple, perplexed.

"Patience," replied the smiling teacher.

DownUpDave
06-21-2014, 04:41 AM
Very nice example above Ian. Without darkness we could never appreciate the light, cold the warmth, frustration the contentment.

Down Up Dick
06-21-2014, 08:45 AM
Wow!! I think I've just heard the sound of one hand clapping! Thank you, Grasshopper.

Rllink
06-21-2014, 10:02 AM
walk up the mic, then yell out "this is bull$h!+" then drop the mic on the floor and walk out. :)This is my favorite response. I've never done an open mic or played with other people, or anything, so I don't know how I would react. I haven't been at it long enough. I took up the ukulele specifically because everyone and their brother was playing the guitar and most of them are so serious and pretentious, and I'm not into that. So I'm sorry, but I do not myself take the ukulele very seriously and for me I hope it never becomes so. Because if it does, I'm going to have to find something else. I have experienced losers my whole life who have to put everything and everyone down to their level to compensate for their own lack of accomplishment. If I'm around people who are so insecure in their art, that they have to make fun of someone else's, I would walk up to the mike, yell out "this is bull$h!+" and throw the mic on the ground and leave. Thank you Scott for that advise, as I will most definitely use it if I find myself in similar circumstances. Kevin, go find new friends who appreciate you and have fun with them.

CeeJay
06-21-2014, 01:20 PM
Wow!! I think I've just heard the sound of one hand clapping! Thank you, Grasshopper.
ROFL
I needed that after that ....:rofl::rofl:

Kevin ,mate ..look your buddy in the eye and say "Twat". And that will be that.

Skinny Money McGee
06-22-2014, 04:56 AM
Correct me if I'm wrong Kevin, but what I got out of your original post was, you were upset by being back-stabbed by a so called friend, not so much that your ukulele sensibilities were hurt.

I personally can ignore people who laugh at the uke. I could care less, I play for me, not them. But can understand being upset by a Friend deliberately setting you up to attack and humiliate you.

Dan Uke
06-22-2014, 07:08 AM
Correct me if I'm wrong Kevin, but what I got out of your original post was, you were upset by being back-stabbed by a so called friend, not so much that your ukulele sensibilities were hurt.

I personally can ignore people who laugh at the uke. I could care less, I play for me, not them. But can understand being upset by a Friend deliberately setting you up to attack and humiliate you.

That's a great point! It's a uke and most of us take it lightly. I've been to several different groups and it's social. I don't like it when it someone gets too serious. I enjoy the uke too much to let someone discourage me for playing it.