At what age did you get your first uke?

Kenn2018

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I tried piano lessons in grade school. Did not hold my interest at all. My mother told me I would regret it later in life. She was right!

I tried guitar in High School & College playing my sister's Gibson folk or classical guitar. When I turned 38-ish I bought a Washburn folk guitar and practiced every day for a year. My fingers did not do well with steel strings—yes I developed thick callouses. Developed wrist and tendon problems.

When I finally discovered the tenor ukulele, I knew several of the chord shapes from my abortive guitar attempts. So, I didn't struggle as much as some other friends did.

With knowing a handful of chords, I could accompany myself as I sang mostly folk songs I grew up with.

Now I'm trying to learn some music theory and basic music reading. So I can understand what makes a Cminor7th chord or the Nashville Number System. Still don't understand Circle of 5ths. Playing scales. Learning finger style. Long way to go, and I wish I retained the info more quickly. But I enjoy it all.
 

Ms Bean

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Now I'm trying to learn some music theory and basic music reading. So I can understand what makes a Cminor7th chord or the Nashville Number System. Still don't understand Circle of 5ths. Playing scales. Learning finger style. Long way to go, and I wish I retained the info more quickly. But I enjoy it all.
I think Gracie Terzian is an excellent teacher and she has lots of music theory videos on YouTube.

https://www.gracieterzian.com/learnmusic

Here's her class on the circle of fifths. Grab some scrap paper and take notes. I used to count out the intervals to draw my circle until I saw this. Since I grew up with 'do-re-mi-fa-sol-la si-do', I also learnt to recite the sharps as 'fa-do-sol-re-la-mi-si' and the flats as 'si-mi-la-re-sol-do-fa'.


 

Ms Bean

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I started flute when I was 9, and I could just reach all of the (closed) keys. We had to learn the recorder in school around the age of 12 or 13. I started learning the piccolo at 14, which keeps the same fingering as the concert flute but requires a firmer embouchure and more focused breath support. I started on the traverso (baroque flute) at 29. I added on the alto flute which also keeps the same fingering, but is a transposing instrument (a fourth lower than the concert flute, so transposing is basically identically to the GCEA and DGBE ukes).
I'm currently trying to get better on the guitalele. Maybe later on I'd want to add either bass uke or harp ukulele (stringwise). I have told my Dad that I'd love him to teach me to play the saxophone, but we're in different countries, and his health may not allow this.
 

jtsteam

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I got my first uke when I was about 30. I learned C, F and G7, then gave up and threw it in the bottom of a cupboard. Recently I found it at the bottom of a cupboard. Trying to play it again, I think I can see why I gave it up:

As for ukes that I stuck with, I got the first one of those when I was 42. It was the start of lockdown and I needed something to do...

I started clarinet when I was about 7, but never got any good at it, and I never really stopped dabbling with keyboards. I bet the theory I picked up then is helping a lot now though.
 

hendulele

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Fifty-five. I played clarinet in grade school and was in a few musicals in high school.

A co-worker started playing and collecting mandolins and got me intrigued. Ukes were less expensive and less intimidating. I hooked on with our local uke club about eight months later.

I’ll celebrate my 9th Uke-iversary in September!
 

Jan D

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As I mentioned in an earlier response, I bought my first ukulele when I was 64. However - to follow up on kerneltime’s request - my first introduction to music lessons began with the piano at the age of 4. It was my main instrument for many years. Arthritis prevents me from playing it much these days. Like many people in the 60’s and 70’s, I took up the guitar when I was in my teens, but I never got past playing a bunch of chords and singing with friends. Fun, but only mildly proficient. In my mid-40’s, I discovered the celtic harp, fell down that rabbit hole hard, still down there actually. Over time, this resurgence of music in my life lead to a series of more new instruments - hammered dulcimer, bowed psaltery, penny whistle, and plucked psaltery (which bears no relationship to the bowed psaltery). My other musical adventures have included singing in a barbershop chorus when I was in my 20’s; dancing seven nights a week for about 12 years - spanning my 40’s and 50’s - which is why I now need a new hip; and most recently, back to singing - this time with a local community choral group. Wow. Writing all of this down has made me realize that during some of these periods in my life I must have lived in an alternate universe where there obviously was waaaaaay more than 24 hours in the day...... :)
 

TerryM

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As I posted earlier, I was 70, and it was about two and a half months ago. Other than a guitar that didn't stick in my 20s, it's been my only instrument, although music has always been important. Guess I'm equally a gear-head, as I now have 7 ukuleles and have had to implement a one-in, one-out rule.
 

robinboyd

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I played piano and flute from about 6 to 12. I didn't play any music again until I picked up the uke at 33.
 

dr_mitch

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I was at the tender ago of 46 just over a year ago when I bought my first and strummed my first chords. Soon upgraded from the cheapo. I now have…several, and gave away the first. I’m in love with the instrument.

I tried the guitar just over 10 years before that but never really took to it. Its smaller cousin, oh how it inspires me.
 

frets alot

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Started guitar and flute at age 9.
Switched from flute to alto sax at age 12.
Got into 5-string banjo into my teens.
In my career-working ages, dabbled with mandolin and fiddle.
After I retired at 43, I got seriously into mountain dulcimer, Native American Flute, and ukulele.
 

ancient

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i Got my first uke at age 5. It was a plastic uke with the Arthur Godfrey chord attachment.
that didn’t last long because I took it off of the uke and threw it in the toy box. Then learned on my own.
loved that uke and used to sit on the steps of my apartment building and serenade everyone. There was quite a nice echo in that hallway.
nobody complained so I guess it wasn’t too bad.
still playing today at 78 years old.
 

ElvishParsley

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26 or 27. Living in a shared house, and I'd been playing the guitar for several years. My housemate got a bit obsessed with listening to ukulele cover versions on YouTube, which in turn got me curious about the instrument. Partly for a bit of variety: back then I'd turn up to the folk club or open mic, see twenty or thirty other acoustic guitars leaning up against the wall, and feel an urgent need to shake it up a little! (That's my first uke in my profile picture - it's a Mahalo soprano. The plush mouse has lived in the case for the past 15 years.)
 

jer

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I think I was about 25 give or take...I'm not certain. I started guitar at 18 then bass so I already had stringed instrument experience when I picked the uke up. That was really helpful. I think I would've found starting uke a lot less frustrating than starting guitar was.
 

emba

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My first uke was a birthday present to myself for my 40th birthday, two years ago. We’d been to the guitar store a week or so before to buy strings for my daughter, and myself and my son were very taken by the colorful ukulele on display. I woke up on my birthday and thought “Today I’m going to buy a ukulele”. So glad I did!

i had tried to learn guitar in my teens, then twice in my early twenties. I gave up each time, and just sort of decided that I didn’t have musical talent.

I tried harmónica in my late twenties, and was able to get somewhere with it, but dropped it when flummoxed by bending. I still have my harmónicas and have been thinking of picking it back up lately.

but really, after the repeated failure of guitar it has been so great to find out I CAN play music. I could probably learn guitar now if I wanted to, but really, there are two and a half guitar players in the house (my middle son is halfheartedly learning, daughter and husband play) and we need some variety. :)
 

Nickie

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I did not start with the ukulele. At age 10, I was given a trombone, and put into the school band/orchestra. That lasted until Senior year of HS.
I took a hiatus until college and was inducted into Violin 101 by my more ambitious than me roommate. I wound up buying a fiddle and a mandolin, which were both stolen. I later bought another of each, gave up on the mandolin. I kept messing with fiddle until a hand injury and a shoulder injury put me out of it. A couple of guitars, nah! Sold em. A Ubass, and a keyboard, got rid of both. Just ukulele now, but wanna learn bass or harmonica, can't decide which!
 

Paul1973UK

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I was about 41 when i bought my first, A 'Flying V' Ukulele signed by the band 'Dragonforce', 8 years later i now own 16... with more to follow!
1 x Flying V, 1 x homemade travel uke, 6 x Traditional ukes, 7 x vintage banjolele's & 1 x Banjolin
 

FatherMother

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39! I'm soon to turn 44 and I have 5 ukuleles now, so that averages 1 uku per year.

Background: started voice lessons at 15 or 16, went on to get a Bachelor's and Master's degree in classical vocal performance. Professional singer and busy teacher. Picked up ukulele on a whim in 2017, learning from books and a few sing/strum videos, and then started teaching ukulele 7 months later because it was so much fun. I love to play fingerstyle.