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tbeltrans
07-11-2014, 12:50 PM
This is just an update on learning the ukulele. Last month, I got two new ukuleles, both my first having never played ukulele and knowing nothing about them. One is a Ko'olau Delux tenor (high G tuning) and the other is a Kamaka Ohta-san (between a concert and tenor, with tenor neck and low G tuning).

Since first posting about this, I am now gaining some familiarity with getting around on the fretboard. Having played fingerstyle guitar for some time, I seem to be taking well to learning music from Daniel Ho's Polani CD. I am very impressed with how much music I can get from a ukulele and how wonderful it sounds. Seriously, I can play the same phrase over and over and simply wonder at the sounds I am creating. Daniel Ho seems to really have a strong melodic sensibility and spreads it across the strings so the ukulele just "sings" with his music. It is truly stunning. I am "hooked", to say the least. This is motivation enough to just continue learning this music. I am also working through the "by ear" materials I purchased from Jim D'Ville (http://www.playukulelebyear.com/).

Also, it is also somewhat embarrassing how good these ukuleles are, especially considering that I knew nothing about ukuleles when I got them. This probably doesn't come across as it would saying it in person, but I truly feel this way. It is as I get more familiar with actually playing these instruments that their quality and musicality is unfolding for me. Earlier, I appreciated their looks and the fact that they are expensive, but now I am experiencing what they can really do, and I am sure this is only the beginning.

I have spent the time going back through all the UkeTalk pages from the beginning, and have learned a lot about different ukuleles, books, etc (I did get a number of books based on some of the recommendations and they are quite good). I am glad I didn't do that before getting my ukuleles because I would have been so confused and second-guessing my choices (Moore Bettah or Collings or Martin or Kamaka or ...) which would most certainly have led to a severe case of UAS. As it is, I am very happy with the ukuleles I got and have no desire to get anything else. They are both every bit as nice as fine guitars, and definitely not the "toys" many people (non-players) seem to think ukuleles are. I am sure these instruments and the sounds coming out of them largely contribute to the results I am getting in return for my efforts at learning to get music from them.

From here, it is just a matter of continuing to play and grow into these ukuleles. I hope to make some Youtube videos as I build repertoire over time. I do have a keen sense of direction and it does seem to be getting the results I desire to stay motivated. It isn't that I expect to learn overnight, but as long as I am seeing some improvement over time, I am fine with what I am doing. Having taught myself to play guitar and keyboard, I know the time and effort it takes to learn an instrument, and the fact that it is the journey that is the joy of making music.

Tony

SteveZ
07-11-2014, 01:03 PM
"...the joy of making music." You've definitely broken the code. Enjoy!

Ukejenny
07-11-2014, 01:05 PM
Great writing, Tony. So glad you are loving it. You have two very fine instruments and hopefully, you won't get a case of UAS, but if you do, we have people here who can help. LOL

I would love to see some videos of you playing them.

CeeJay
07-11-2014, 01:21 PM
Great writing, Tony. So glad you are loving it. You have two very fine instruments and hopefully, you won't get a case of UAS, but if you do, we have people here who can help. LOL

I would love to see some videos of you playing them.

Wha...????.....

So how about all the others on this forum that have done the same thing but do not feel the need to shower a sort of soft rain of smug self congratulatory contemptuous disdain over other posters......sorry...but the OP is as offensive in his writings to this author as this author may be to those who are impressed by the OP......

Chris Jarvis.

Jim Hanks
07-11-2014, 01:32 PM
the OP is as offensive in his writings to this author as this author may be to those who are impressed by the OP.......
Dang CeeJay, don't take it so personal. We'd love to see videos of you playing your ukes too.

CeeJay
07-11-2014, 01:39 PM
Dang CeeJay, don't take it so personal. We'd love to see videos of you playing your ukes too.
hmmmmm....I seriously doubt that ......not quayt haybrow enough I would reckon ....lol.....(you have to read that in a Mrs Slocombe accent)

tbeltrans
07-11-2014, 01:54 PM
Wha...????.....

So how about all the others on this forum that have done the same thing but do not feel the need to shower a sort of soft rain of smug self congratulatory contemptuous disdain over other posters......sorry...but the OP is as offensive in his writings to this author as this author may be to those who are impressed by the OP......

Chris Jarvis.

Where is this response coming from? I meant nothing of what you are describing! What is it that you have so strongly against me?

I was expressing joy in playing ukulele, and here you are attributing terrible things that are nothing even close to what I intended.

If I have done something to you that makes you so angry with me, I apologize.

To others reading this, can any of you see what is so terrible in what I wrote? Should I leave the forums? I honestly don't want to fight with anybody here and have been completely taken by surprise at the consistent tone of CeeJay's response to me.

Tony

therinkydinktink
07-11-2014, 02:11 PM
You have two very fine instruments and hopefully, you won't get a case of UAS, but if you do, we have people here who can help. LOL


Salespeople? ;)

Good for you Tony but beware of the enablers!:D

Jim Hanks
07-11-2014, 02:13 PM
To others reading this, can any of you see what is so terrible in what I wrote? Should I leave the forums? I honestly don't want to fight with anybody here and have been completely taken by surprise at the consistent tone of CeeJay's response to me.
Don't feed the trolls Tony. :-)

mr79
07-11-2014, 02:23 PM
Where is this response coming from? I meant nothing of what you are describing! What is it that you have so strongly against me?

I was expressing joy in playing ukulele, and here you are attributing terrible things that are nothing even close to what I intended.

If I have done something to you that makes you so angry with me, I apologize.

To others reading this, can any of you see what is so terrible in what I wrote? Should I leave the forums? I honestly don't want to fight with anybody here and have been completely taken by surprise at the consistent tone of CeeJay's response to me.

Tony

Don't worry, CeeJay has a particular sense of humour, what you wrote was good and interesting to read - it's good to see your progress (which is faster than mine... grrr!) :)


CeeJay. No other way to describe your post but utterly unacceptable. This rant is unfair, totally uncalled for and stands in direct opposition to everything this forum represents. Have another break and consider changing your attitude sir, for next time the holiday will be a permanent one.

Dang, he managed a whole week :D

tbeltrans
07-11-2014, 02:34 PM
Thanks everybody for the supportive responses. I sincerely hope that CeeJay and I can work out whatever this anger toward me is. I fully realize that people (including me) can inadvertently step on one another's toes, especially in a forum where facial expression and body language are not available to help provide context. However, usually, an apology is enough to fix the problem. I extend that to CeeJay for whatever it is he feels I have done to him, and hope we can patch it up.

I just retired, have been in a rut for some time with my guitar playing, and am truly re-energized by the ukulele. It is a wonderful instrument and I really hope to share that joy with others here as we all progress. I intend to fill my days with this music. :)

Thanks,

Tony

Camsuke
07-11-2014, 02:47 PM
Good luck with your playing Tony, if anything can lift you out of a rut it's the mighty uke!

tbeltrans
07-11-2014, 03:23 PM
Good luck with your playing Tony, if anything can lift you out of a rut it's the mighty uke!

Thanks Camsuke (Campbell). I started playing the guitar when I was in the Army because it was portable. After the Army, I moved around a lot and the guitar went with me. Some people talk about how they reacted to hearing their first chord on the guitar. I didn't have that, but I do with the ukulele. There is just something about the ukulele and I would have never guessed!

Tony

caukulele
07-11-2014, 03:46 PM
Hi Tony, I agree with you...I played guitar for thirty years before I discovered the ukulele, but it took over my heart completely after that! It is a wondrous instrument.

tbeltrans
07-11-2014, 04:19 PM
Hi Tony, I agree with you...I played guitar for thirty years before I discovered the ukulele, but it took over my heart completely after that! It is a wondrous instrument.

That is interesting. I have read a number of similar comments as I went through the "back pages" of the UkeTalk forum. Teh ukulele just seems to invite experimentation and can sound really full. I watched a Youtube set of videos of a Daniel Ho workshop. He talked about how he plays the melody across the strings rather than along one string. Learning Polani and other tunes from that CD, he clearly does that. Instead of the typical chords under the melody, the melody seems to weave its way across the strings in a sort of arpeggio manner with a note or two supporting it as needed. It is a really interesting approach and it sounds magical. Learning his music is a way for me of both learning some wonderful music that I enjoy listening to and getting his vocabulary into my hands so I can begin to create my own music in that style.

For whatever reasons (I know, fewer strings...but there is something greater than that about the ukulele too), the ukulele just makes more musical sense to me at this point.

Tony

SteveZ
07-12-2014, 03:18 AM
Hi Tony, I agree with you...I played guitar for thirty years before I discovered the ukulele, but it took over my heart completely after that! It is a wondrous instrument.

It's amazing how many folk transitioned from 6-string guitar to 4-string ukulele and other 4- and 5-stringed instruments, and now spend so much more time on the 4-5 stringed stuff. My current 6-string has been with me for 35 years, but has only gotten about an hour total play time in the past year.

sukie
07-12-2014, 04:34 AM
I'm glad you are enjoying. I love playing my ukulele, too.

KevinV
07-12-2014, 04:55 AM
I watched a Youtube set of videos of a Daniel Ho workshop. He talked about how he plays the melody across the strings rather than along one string. Learning Polani and other tunes from that CD, he clearly does that. Instead of the typical chords under the melody, the melody seems to weave its way across the strings in a sort of arpeggio manner with a note or two supporting it as needed. It is a really interesting approach and it sounds magical.

I believe that is described as Campanella style. If you pull up some videos of John King, you'll see another master at work using that technique. I've worked out some Roy Smeck music where he does it also. It certainly makes for a more full bodied and interesting sound.

tbeltrans
07-12-2014, 04:59 AM
I believe that is described as Campanella style. If you pull up some videos of John King, you'll see another master at work using that technique. I've worked out some Roy Smeck music where he does it also. It certainly makes for a more full bodied and interesting sound.

That is interesting. In going back through the forum pages, I found a lot of people discussing John King's book of classical music done on ukulele, so I bought that one too. It will be interesting to read through it as I continue to work through Polani.

Tony

tbeltrans
07-12-2014, 05:01 AM
I'm glad you are enjoying. I love playing my ukulele, too.

Sukie -

I see that you are in the Twin Cities. So am I. There is apparently a ukulele group that meets downtown (unless the Twins are playing a home game). Do you participate in that (or another group, since there seem to be more than one)?

Tony

tbeltrans
07-12-2014, 05:03 AM
It's amazing how many folk transitioned from 6-string guitar to 4-string ukulele and other 4- and 5-stringed instruments, and now spend so much more time on the 4-5 stringed stuff. My current 6-string has been with me for 35 years, but has only gotten about an hour total play time in the past year.

Is that because many of us are getting to that age where it becomes more difficult to grapple with too much at once? I am semi-serious in that I am finding the ukulele easier to "get my head around". I am not saying it is easy, and do accord it the same respect I would learning any instrument, but really understanding the instrument and how it works does seem more possible on the ukulele than other instruments I have learned to play to some extent.

Tony