Guitar gathering dust.

Calbrit

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I took up playing Ukulele 10 years ago with my first tenor. Up until then I had noodled away on a nylon acoustic for years. Initially, I played the guitar more than the Uke but adding a soprano or two over the last few years has changed everything. The ukulele playing addiction began. Not only playing but I am studying the theory side of things more than I ever did on the guitar.

I am still trying to work out why, for some (many of us here I guess) the Ukulele has become a more engaging instrument than the guitar. Occasionally, I pick up the guitar and play but not for long.

Have any former guitarists here abandoned/partially abandoned their former instrument in a similar way to focus on the Ukulele?
 

snowdenn

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I am still trying to work out why, for some (many of us here I guess) the Ukulele has become a more engaging instrument than the guitar. Occasionally, I pick up the guitar and play but not for long.

Have any former guitarists here abandoned/partially abandoned their former instrument in a similar way to focus on the Ukulele?

Slightly different: my guitar sat unused for a number of years, and at first playing the ukulele did nothing to change that. But eventually, interest in the ukulele rekindled my interest in guitar. And probably like many others, I think a side effect of Covid-19 is more time spent playing musical instruments.
 

KohanMike

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I played guitar for almost fifty years, inspired by the Beatles and the British Invasion in the mid-sixties. I started in 1965 when I was fifteen, took a handful of lessons, then played with my friends for years, who were also influenced in the same way. I was reasonably good, and at a point, even influenced my nephew (my identical twin brother's younger son). My nephew became a very accomplished guitar player and is now composing music for TV, commercials and films.

I bring that up because over seven years ago I bought a ukulele that looked like my Fender Telecaster guitar to use as a wall hanger. About two weeks later I received a postcard from the Los Angeles Music Center for their summer play-along series, which I attended before on guitar, but this time it was for ukulele. Hey, I thought, I have a ukulele, so I signed up for the three Saturdays of 6 hour sessions. After the first hour of the first session, I was hooked.

With my guitar experience, I slipped right into the uke and joined two groups, having just retired and knew I needed to find something to keep myself occupied. A year later I added bass uke when the leader of one group asked if anyone like to take it up. Between both, I never touched my guitars again and gave all four to my nephew.


This is Michael Kohan in Los Angeles, Beverly Grove near the Beverly Center
9 tenor cutaway ukes, 4 acoustic bass ukes, 12 solid body bass ukes, 14 mini electric bass guitars (Total: 39)

• Donate to The Ukulele Kids Club, they provide ukuleles to children in hospital music therapy programs. www.theukc.org
• Member The CC Strummers: YouTube: www.youtube.com/user/CCStrummers/video, Facebook: www.facebook.com/TheCCStrummers
 
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clear

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It's a circle for me, and the ukulele made the link up.

I once quit guitars; then picked up ukulele; and now, I plan to get back to guitars (in addition to ukuleles). I'm even thinking about classical guitars (which I used to think I'll never, ever, never, ever, never, ever, never, ever want to get involved.. because I've seen some scary finger nails).
 

Dbhughes

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I played guitar for 40 years including an 8 year stint in a working band and have now sold everything guitar related and fallen under the ukulele spell. For starters, in my opinion, there is a lot less of a need to mute strings in ukulele playing. String muting is the most unsung guitar skill but can literally make or break your playing. Also, put on a low g and you have an instrument voiced completely different yet played the same. Personally, switching back and forth between the 2 is a huge appeal for me. Finally, the ukulele community seems to have a lot less music snobbery imbedded. Ukers seem to be willing to strum and sing most anything and have fun doing it!
 

TopDog

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Played guitar for forty seven/eight years, then stumbled upon the ukuklele. Gave away my solid electric guitar, my trusty 12 string acoustic,my Ovation acoustic/electric and a nondescript 6 string acoustic that had served me well; all went to good friends,and I never regretted it. Played a friends guitar for ten minutes a couple of years ago, and while I could still manage it,and it all sounded okay, the spark that had driven me to guitar in the first place, was lacking. I wanted to return to my ukes!
 

DownUpDave

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I am the opposite. Noodled on guitar for a few years about 15 years ago then stopped. About 6 years ago I picked up the ukulele and started attending uke jams, got seriously addicted. I picked up the guitar again 2 years ago and rediscovered how much I loved the sound of a steel string acoustic. That’s pretty much all I have played since Covid happened and I was laid off for four months. I know when our uke jams reopen I will be back at the ukulele. It was the social aspect of the jams, joining bands, doing open mic performances that really appealed to me. So I love both, just guitar a little more right now.
 
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mikhou

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I played guitar for around 20 years before picking up the uke. "Played" is a generous use of the word. I was a strum and singer. I could hold my own in a praise team setting, but I didn't really understand what I was doing or why I was doing it. Then I picked up the uke around 3 years ago. I now enjoy playing both, but most of my time is spent on uke, my knowledge of music theory and of the fretboard is much more grounded on the uke, and I really only pick up my guitar to lead worship as a strum and sing guy while I play more chord melody and fingerstyle on the uke.
 

Jarmo_S

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I played guitar for around 20 years before picking up the uke. "Played" is a generous use of the word. I was a strum and singer. I could hold my own in a praise team setting, but I didn't really understand what I was doing or why I was doing it. Then I picked up the uke around 3 years ago. I now enjoy playing both, but most of my time is spent on uke, my knowledge of music theory and of the fretboard is much more grounded on the uke, and I really only pick up my guitar to lead worship as a strum and sing guy while I play more chord melody and fingerstyle on the uke.

With ukulele, all things are more like song oriented. We can't play solos as easy as with guitar. About 47 years ago, I started with classical guitar playing, taking it quite seriously. Soon moved to electric after noticing my nails would not last easy.
Also acoustic guitar.

Guitar players have this obstacle. It can only be played in fewer keys, easy. Our limited ukes can play in every (almost) key without a capo. There is a trap say with an electric one, to make solos sound great. I fell to that too.

With our more limited instruments we don't have that. To play ukulele we have to concentrate more on chords and stuff. Guitar is of course the uber instrument, it always will be, but the uke is so nice a folk singster.
And in my opinion a better one to learn music theory for that reason.
 

donluca

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For me, the uke perfectly complements my electric guitar.

In order to play electric, I have to get around a very heavy and big solid body guitar, hook it up to the pedals, amps, turn everything on, find a good settings... by the time I start playing I've probably already wasted almost 10 minutes.

With my uke I just pick it up and start strumming and/or noodling.

Depending on how much involved I want to get into playing something, I choose one of the two.

As I said, they are really a great match.
 

Rllink

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I am the opposite. Noodled on guitar for a few years about 15 years ago then stopped. About 6 years ago I picked up the ukulele and started attending uke jams, got seriously addicted. I picked up the guitar again 2 years ago and rediscovered how much I loved the sound of a steel string acoustic. That’s pretty much all I have played since Covid happened and I was laid off for four months. I know when our uke jams reopen I will be back at the ukulele. It was the social aspect of the jams, joining bands, doing open mic performances that really appealed to me. So I love both, just guitar a little more right now.

Dave's story is very close to my own. I was attracted to the ukulele because I found the portability attractive. But the ukulele eventually took me back to guitar. But I don't feel like it has to be one or the other. I'm playing guitar and I'm still doing weekly online get togethers with the ukulele group. Guitar is just an added dimension. I actually find it refreshing and interesting to play both.
 
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CPG

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I enjoy playing ukulele, guitar, and clawhammer banjo (and occasionaly futzing around on harmonica...and I really want to learn lap steel). I was a serious drummer in my youth and at one point was set on doing that for a career. Life took me other places and I stopped playing music entirley for about 10 years. About 5 or so years ago, my wife asked for a uke for her birthday. I got so excited about playing music again that I got myself a banjo and started learning clawhammer. She likes to make fun of the fact that in addition to getting her an $80 uke for her birthday I got myself a $500 banjo for her birthday. Anyway, I mostly focused on banjo for 3-4 years, but kept picking up her uke (which she never got very intersted in) and eventually started buying my own ukes and practicing uke (as opposed to just noodling).

Having spent so much time in my college years playing in bands with guitartists I had this hang-up about becoming a guitar player myself and resisted it for a long time. I even bought a guitar and sold it as it just didn't hold my attention. Guitar just didn't seem that interesting to me and banjo and uke were just so novel as I didn't grown up with anyone around me playing them. However, I kept finding myself wanting to play things that just weren't easy to translate to uke or banjo and sound the way I wanted them too, so I eventually decided to dedicate some time to guitar.

In addition to my banjo and ukes I now own a Telecaster that I play regularly and a Taylor 324 that I play regularly. I tend to practice in "seasons", usually heavily practicing one instrument, lightly practicing another, while ignoring the 3rd. Lately, I've been splitting time between guitar and uke and my banjo is sitting untouched. At some point I'll get bored of working on what I'm working on and focus on banjo again.

Switching instruments makes progress slow on any single one of them, and sometimes I think about how much better I would be if I just focused on one (or two). I really enjoy playing different instruments though. It keeps me inspired and excited and each one informs and helps my playing on the others in some way. It is such a different mentality and experience than the die-hard extreme focus I put into drumming in my high school and college years. The more progress I make on multiple instruments the more it makes me want to play and feel like I can learn other instruments.
 
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LarryL

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I started guitar at 16 and played a lot of guitar over the last 57 years, including teaching guitar for 40 years. I got interested in uke about 2 years ago and really enjoy it a lot and now own a tenor, baritone, u bass, a banjo uke and most recently a Pono 6 string. I also play pedal steel and non-pedal steel. My interest in uke came from my non-pedal steel guitar playing, as I wanted to start making my own back up tracks for the Hawaiian style songs I play on lap steel, altho my non-pedal is a 3 neck Fender stringmaster from 1957 and hardly a lap steel...haha...anyway my intention was originally just to learn enough uke to add that sound to my backup tracks, but then that lead to me first love of guitar playing, which is chord melody, so I started working on that style on uke. Then I missed the bottom strings that I use for playing Chet style or travis style guitar, so I recently purchased a Pono 6 string, to satisfy that need. I also play 5 string banjo, but also enjoy 4 string style plectrum banjo, so I purchased a banjo uke to satisfy that niche.....sooo I guess this is all to say that I love the uke and all that can be done with it, but I still love my guitars and play them as much as I do my ukes.