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Thread: Is it just me? Or does everyone have to deal with the critics?

  1. #41
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    I find this thread interesting. I've noticed that people have different motivations. It seems a lot of people just want it to be a private experience. Something they do in the privacy of their own home. Something for their own private enjoyment. Others want to entertain in some way, some want to strum and sing, others try to dazzle the audience with their fingerstyle powerless, their mastery of the fretboard, or a combination of both. It often times are the non singers who are into that dazzler thing it seems to me. It is just an interesting study. There are just so many approaches to it.

    Back in the day, when my kids were just little, talking early eighties here, we had this friend who played the guitar. A bunch of us would get together in his back yard, let the kids all play, build a fire, drink a little wine, roast hotdogs, and sing folksongs. It was a time of innocence for me. We were so young, and we had our whole life ahead of us. It is a time that was lost when our careers took over, and when our kids got old enough to set our agendas. And so it was.

    A few years ago, my wife and I met some young people who reminded us so much of ourselves back then. They got together, they sang, one played the guitar, another kept time with some wooden sticks. They invited us to join them, and we brought the wine. A seed was planted. I was inspired, and I ended up playing the ukulele. We have found a whole lot of like minded people, young and old, who want to get together, relax, play music and sing. For me, it is about sharing the music. It is about everyone's voice. And when it is about everyone's voice, it has to be about something everyone knows, and what everyone wants to hear. I like to do some fingerstyle once in a while, and dazzle everyone who is not used to seeing that kind of thing, I like making up my own stuff, but if I really want to impress people, I ask them what they want to hear. To me, it is all about being able to pulling it off, whatever it is. I want to give people what they want, not what I want. My gift is to give them that, and I work very hard with my ukulele to that end. And by the way, in answer to the question, I don't get a lot of criticism. Well, except for my wife, who knows a lot more about music than I do, and her criticism is without exception, constructive in nature. She makes me a better ukulele player.
    Last edited by Rllink; 06-28-2015 at 08:05 AM.
    I don't want to live in a world that is linear.

    I just want everyone to understand that I am not a ukulele expert, even though it may look at times like I'm pretending to be.

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  2. #42
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    I used to have a lot of parties, I played for my guests and invited them to sing or play along. Once, one of them insulted my playing. I never invited her again. 'Nuff said.
    IMHO, the only rule to ukulele is E-N-J-O-Y it.
    Keep doin your own thing!
    "Those who bring sunshine and laughter to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves".

    Music washes from the soul, the dust of everyday living.

  3. #43
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    It goes and comes with me. I do love to entertain and while only having played for about 4 years I am not shy about playing in public. I play in my backyard for the neighbours to hear, so far no one has run and started their lawnmower. My wife's family are difficult to play for, it doesn't seem like they are music lovers, they prefer to talk, perhaps it's the size of her family there were 14 children in 19 years and not one musician.

    I am the Mayor of my hometown and take my ukulele to the seniors lodges to entertain them and talk about the issues that they find important ....transportation....healthcare etc. I am used to playing for old folks, growing up my Mom was the head nurse of the Nursing home and forced me to practice my piano lessons there.

    Two weeks ago I Was playing and singing at the palliative care unit, now these folks have gone through everything and find no need to mince words. I opened with Everybody's talkin' from Midnight cowboy. When I finished the old gal in the front row said " well you whistle better than you sing " . I thought the nurse who wheeled them all in was going to have a cow but I just smiled and said well I'll whistle another for you in a bit. Later she said she really like my Kristopherson tune and when I left asked me to learn and song for her and come back.

    I think we all seek approval in some fashion, entering politics has taught me that you must prepare to accept rejection hen it comes. I have worked very hard at my playing and my singing and am getting some very positive feedback but what to do about the critics ?

    Practice is what I do.

  4. #44

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nickie View Post
    IMHO, the only rule to ukulele is E-N-J-O-Y it. Keep doin your own thing!
    Exactly my point... If people don't have anything nice to say, maybe they should say nothing.

    I play when asked to play. It's not like I trap people and force them to listen. lol

    If I'm at my son's soccer practice, I play. If I go out for a walk, I occasionally play. If I sit on my balcony, I play.

    I just love to play. I'm not concerned with impressing anyone.

  5. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by DownUpDave View Post
    There is a bit of truth in all ukulele songs sounding the same. Ralph Shaw made a great point about this and addressed it in a workshop. You learn to play your first song and by the time you have learned to play your fifth song you notice they all sound the same. He was teaching a strumming workshop and we played with the same song with VERY different strum patterns and tempos, made a huge difference. Just some food for thought.
    I'll vouch for this. Back in the early '90s, I saw Shawn Colvin on solo acoustic guitar leading in for Richard Thompson. Although she had an album out at the time with a lot of good songs, playing live she strummed every song exactly the same and they all ended up sounding the same. Ever since, I go out of my way in the songs I write on uke to change up my strums and throw something different into every song so they won't sound alike.
    Uke can't always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you just might find uke get what you need!

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  6. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by JCryan View Post
    Then the criticisms begin...

    "Maybe if you strung your ukulele for a lefty, you'd be able to improve your skills."

    "All your songs sound the same!"

    "Why don't you learn to strum with your fingers like a real ukulele player?"


    Although I don't let it get to me, I'm almost at the point in which I just want to hide when playing to a avoid the critics.

    Am I the only one that deals with this?
    I'm first and foremost a bass player, most regularly a six string electric. I hear all sorts of comments from people either trying to be clever, or honestly don't know they're being rude. At the end of the day, I'm doing my thing, my way. I really could care less if someone tries to criticize me for not playing a "real" bass, or that if I wanted six strings, I should just play guitar. I'm still the one on stage playing; they're not.
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  7. #47
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    Some people like to pull other people down to their level. I know people who say disparaging things about what other people are doing, because those people are doing something they can't. That is how they cope with their lack of accomplishment, they minimalize what the other person is doing.
    I don't want to live in a world that is linear.

    I just want everyone to understand that I am not a ukulele expert, even though it may look at times like I'm pretending to be.

    https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_n...tective+Agency

  8. #48
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    My late mother-in-law was a conservatory-trained trombonist, pianist, music teacher, choral director, and music executive. I'd listen to her suggestions about my playing and singing. Other folks without credentials, I don't bother with. They can criticize all they want. Opinions are like a$$holes, right? Everybody's got one. Smile and proceed.

    Ukes: Alvarez 4- & Kala 6- & O.Schmidt 8-string tenors; 1 Ohana & 2 Kahalo sopranos; Harmonia concert & bari
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  9. #49
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    Seems like most threads are for affirmation. I don't post videos of me playing to hear that I suck.

  10. #50

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    This is the first video I've ever posted of myself playing and I did so only to provide readers of this thread with content from which they can make a valid assessment of my abilities.

    I understand that my choice to play a right-handed ukulele upside down (as a lefty) subjects me to challenges that a proper ukulele playing would not face (some chords are nearly impossible to play upside down).

    With that being said, I relaize that I am not a skilled ukulele player, but I personally do not feel that my playing is unbearable.

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