Bad Early Review

Inner Prop

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So I got my Lanikai LU-21 for Christmas and I've practiced everyday at least a little bit.

A couple of nights ago my wife and 9yo were dancing in the kitchen to no music. I jumped up to grab my ukulele and provide some.

They all yelled, "NO!" My wife, my baby daughter and my two teen daughters who were just in the room doing homework.

I was devastated.

My wife tried to soften the blow by saying that she thought I might play one of the harder rock songs I had been working on, like You Shook Me All Night Long by ACDC, but that wasn't the way it seemed when she yelled.

It's pretty discouraging.
 

fitncrafty

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I could cry just hearing that because that is what happens at my house! I feel terrible to even think of taking it out when they are home now... It is so heartbreaking to love to do something and want to do it so much and then be that hurt like that. I am truly sorry, I wish no one had to feel that way about something they love to do in their own home....

Wishing for us to both have a safe and happy place to play!
 

TCK

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Once again, I lucked out in the spouse department- she plays too, and is not progressing as quickly (she did not play accordion for the last 20 years- dexterity is dexterity)...so too her I am a virtuoso :) She also puts up with the bones (which fit in my pocket and thus...), the yoyo that is always coming out wherever we go, and, well, the number one reason not to marry Dave, the ACCORDION!
Inner prop- I would not feel bad about their review of your playing. I would go electric. They will beg you to play the acoustic whenever and wherever.
 

didgeridoo2

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Screw em. Keep playing. And then do what we all do... buy more ukes.

Do you still play the sax?
 

OldePhart

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Inner prop- I would not feel bad about their review of your playing. I would go electric. They will beg you to play the acoustic whenever and wherever.

BWAAA-HAAA - that is so true!

I'm lucky in that my wife and grandkids love it when I play the uke (unless it is during one of their favorite TV shows) and my daughter is at least noncomittal!

Sometimes, though, you just gotta do what you just gotta do. My wife really doesn't like electric guitar - she just had to get over it. I played for years (and still do) and whenever her whines got too bad I'd remind her that I could be out carousing and playing guitar. That usually shut her up pretty quick! :)

John
 

Plainsong

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I feel so bad when I read stuff like this. It sounds like she didn't mean to hurt your feelings, but the truth came out. :(

Does or did she once ever play anything or sing? Maybe you could ask her what it sounds like you need to work on, or what about the sound that annoys her. But try to ask in such a way that she doesn't feel she needs to get defensive.

Do either of your daughters get involved with music? Maybe they can give you an honest critique of what needs to change.If it's just that uke always sucks to them, then that's really heartbreaking. :( The only card then that you have left to play is to say that like with guitars or any other instrument, the sound gets better if you pay more. (generally speaking)
 

Imaginary

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Let resistance fuel you!

Oh man, that's pretty harsh, huh? Keep playin' it up though. I read a post quite a long time ago on a blog about learning Japanese (which, like learning to play an instrument, takes relentless practice to master). The purpose of the post was to lay out an interesting way to think about motivation...it went something like this.

Let's say motivation can be numbered on a scale zero through one hundred with positive and negative integers (so really, -10 to 10). Something like "Wow, you're the best Uke player I've ever heard" is a +100 while "Oh, ouch, can you put that thing away?" is a -100. Now, the trick is that motivation is counted on this scale only in absolute values. So, in other words, -100 is really |-100|, which is simply 100. With the right mindset both statements give the same motivational value, just in different ways. Negative statements should strike up an "Oh yeah, I'll show you! I'm going to be great!" sentiment. Let resistance fuel you!

*The original post is labeled "Turn Yourself Into A Monster: What To Do When People Around You Are Not Encouraging Or Supportive," so if you want the whole thing (he says it a lot better than I do) you can google that :).

Not sure if that helps any but definitely keep practicing anyway! :)
 

Doug W

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Well I have 4 kids ranging from age 11 to 30. All 4 of them play the guitar and uke. My wife has a couple of guitars, a uke and a dulcimer and a few other instruments.

Still I do get asked to play elswhere sometimes, especially when I have been working on the same strum for 10 minutes. I think I am just improving my skills by playing the same triple strum over and over and over and over. They just hear this incessant, mind numbing, repetitive, noise.

One of the things about a uke is that it is small and easy to pull out and play anywhere, unlike a tuba. In fact, I remember when my son was learning the tuba. If he had practiced it everywhere in the house like I have at times with the uke, he and his big brass contraption would have ended up in the garage.

I have no idea where you are playing the uke. Maybe there are times when practicing is best done in private. Don't know if any of your other family members would appreciate a uke as a present?...

Are you getting together with any other uke players in your area?
 

Chris Tarman

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I know how you feel. My wife is usually pretty supportive (or at least doesn't say anything negative), but after the Denver Uke Fest (which she did not attend) we had spent the night at a friend's house in Denver. That morning over breakfast, she let a comment slip out to our friend about how she hoped she wouldn't have to listen to me playing the same things over and over. I pointed out that it was how you learn new songs, and she acted like I wasn't supposed to have heard the comment. On the way home, she didn't want to listen to ukulele music (which I can understand... it ended up being a 7 1/2 hr drive due to the weather, and even I didn't want to listen to THAT much uke music!), and didn't want to hear much about the festival. Oh well.... usually she's ok with my eccentricities.
 

mm stan

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Aloha Inner Prop,
Don't worry, there will be a day when they will be begging for you to play.....you'll know when you get better....persevere man ....and alot of patience and practice....Happy Strummings !! MM Stan
 

marymac

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I would talk to your wife about how hurt you were about that harsh criticism. I think everyone deserves support from their spouse or at least a closed mouth when it's something you really love doing. And maybe you can work out a place/time for you to practice that will be agreeable to both of you.
 

ukunuke

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If variety is truly the spice of life, then these off days can be chocked up to being just that . . . off days. Over the years, I've found that sometimes it's better to just look at the positive. You have a family that loves you, you have a place and a tribe that is your own. Sure, your uke can make them crazy and their lack of support can have the some affect on you. But whether it's uke or an incessant need to discuss mundane details of one's day or a misplaced addition to shoe shopping, they're still your tribe. My suggestion is to lay down the uke, grab a hug, and then find a quiet corner that's the Switzerland of your home. Hope it works out. Remember, we're your enabling group! We GET you!
 

Ambrosius

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I have a wife of the same kind, Inner Prop. No sence of true art.

Besides, when my neighbours lady heard I got an Uke for christmas, - she said, - no bbq with you lot this summer!!
 

Skitzic

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What if you learned songs your wife and your kids enjoy? Are they not ACDC fans?

Learn Hey Soul Sister or something...maybe they'd like that?
 

lozarkman

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Yeah that is sort of a bummer, But shake it off. She at least tried to compensate a bit. Were you playing and SINGING or just p;laying. Maybe practice some catchy strum rhythms Without singing that they might be able to dance to hearing just the rhythm. Keep at it and with improvement they will come to appreciate your uke and you more.. Lozark
 

DAPuke

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What if you learned songs your wife and your kids enjoy? Are they not ACDC fans?

Learn Hey Soul Sister or something...maybe they'd like that?
I agree with Skitzic, learn something your wife would like. There are plenty of easy songs in all genres. I feel for you as I am quite sensitive about my playing and singing too.
DAP
 

P-Uker

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Sounds like grounds for divorce to me...and the kind of divorce where you won't have to pay any sort of spousal or child support due to their cruel treatment of you and your love of the ukulele.
 

georgio

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A prophet gets no respect in his home town.
Comes with the terratory.
 

sailboats

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I wouldn't be discouraged. I bet it's not because they think you are bad...I mean look at it from their point of view! they just wanted a break of hearing it. My girlfriend asks me to stop every now and then( I usually just leave and practice in another room though hahah)