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

  1. #31

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    They are all excellent suggestions, but if I invested that much effort into my playing simply to please others, I'd likely despise playing.

    If Bob Ross didn't keep painting those "happy little trees", he wouldn't have been true to himself. I think I'll stick with my "happy little tunes".

    Maybe I'll eventually begin posting ukulele tutorials on YouTube for those like me that choose to play their right-handed ukuleles up-side-down.

  2. #32
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    I think it is great that you do your own thing.
    You can become an eccentric and have some confusing or comical comebacks ready for critics.

    (Before they can say anything) "Silence, go and absorb my greatness."
    (If you don't feel like performing) "I want to play alone."
    Comebacks:
    "My strumming is way ahead of your time."
    "It takes an evolved person to understand my music."
    "Quiet, I am channeling Tiny Tim."

    Of course, that is the kinds of stuff I do to pick on people, but not in a mean fashion. All in good fun.
    KPK Mahogany Tenor

  3. #33
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    A few months ago my cousin made one of his regular visits from Toronto and he, my twin brother and my sister-in-law came up to my place (they live two floors below me). As we were sitting around, my cousin asked me to play my ukulele for them, so I got out one and knowing my sister-in-law loved Iz's version of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow." I started to do it, when suddenly my cousin and sister-in-law looked at each other and burst out laughing. I know I don't have much of a voice, but I have to say, that really hurt my feelings. I immediately stopped, put away the uke and vowed to myself that I would never play for them again, and I never have.

    I have to say, the members of the group I'm with don't ever have anything negative to say about my poor voice or when I hit clams on my bass or uke. It's a pleasure to play with them.
    Last edited by kohanmike; 06-28-2015 at 10:46 AM.

  4. #34
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    Families are often your worst critics. If they don't like what you do, they say so and usually bluntly. Of course they hear you at your worst when you're trying to play something new and making mistakes all over the place, stopping and starting and playing the same thing over and over until you get it right. I never play in front of my family, it's not worth it. If I get out an instrument, all I usually get is groans.

    I belong to a History group and I was doing an item about Sir John Franklin's ill-fated expedition to find the North West Passage. I thought I would start it by singing Lady Franklin's Lament as the song encapsulates the story of the expedition very neatly. When I got out my ukulele, my wife's eybrows shot up and the inward groans were obvious. It actually went down very well with the rest of the group and made a good introduction to the rest of the presentation.

    As to choosing what to play. My primary purpose in taking up ukulele was to accompany my singing. The songs I sing are songs I like but I do sing in public so choosing what to sing does involve considering what might be well received and it's always worth having a few "crowd pleasers" under your belt but I don't think anyone would advocate singing something you don't really like. You might have to do it if you had an audition or were taking an exam but singing in public for pleasure, you should please yourself. Mix your material, yes. Include stuff that may be less popular and mix it with stuff that you know will go down well. If you write your own songs mix old and new - you have to test out new songs but mix them in with better known songs. Same principles apply if you play mainly instrumental material.
    Geoff Walker

    I have several ukuleles in various sizes and am not planning on getting any more...

    at least, not yet.

    I also play some blowy things and a squeezy thing

    Internet:
    You Tube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/TootlinGeoff
    Soundcloud: http://soundcloud.com/tootlingeoff

  5. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tootler View Post
    When I got out my ukulele, my wife's eybrows shot up and the inward groans were obvious.
    Hahaha!

    I'm quite familiar with that reaction.

  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by JCryan View Post
    Hahaha!

    I'm quite familiar with that reaction.
    This has been a well received and contributed to thread, thanks.

    Giving this topic more thought has brought me to see that if you are going to play in public or just for other listeners it had better be something they are familiar with and hopefully like. A gigging musician or comedian would not knowly perform material that experience shows is not well received. Get a repetoire of 3-4 popular, well known songs. Play them that stuff and keep your personal music to either the end or just to yourself for your own enjoyment.

    Or develop really thick skin. I think it's great you play your own stuff and your own style
    Last edited by DownUpDave; 06-28-2015 at 03:07 AM.
    Currently enjoying these ukuleles : *LdfM tenor, *LfdM 19" super tenor. *LfdM baritone, *I'iwi tenor , *Koolau tenor, *Webber tenor, *Kimo tenor, *Kimo super concert, *Mya Moe baritone, *Kamaka baritone, *Gianinni baritone, *Fred Shields walnut pineapple super soprano, *Kala super soprano, *Loprinzi super soprano, *Black bear ULO concert , *Enya X1 concert, *Enya X1 pineapple soprano, *Enya Nova *Gretsch tenor, *Korala plastic concert

  7. #37
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    It's really a shame that most people are so insecure that they avoid anything that isn't sanctioned by the media. If I hear a street musician I want to hear original music. Most songs are best done by the band that made them popular.

  8. #38
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    I'm in the "I play for myself" camp. Playing and learning the ukulele is something I strictly do for myself, as a meditative, creative activity, and I try not to let any competitive or comparative aspects taint it for me. If people happen to hear me and they like it, that's cool -- always fun to make people smile or enjoy something. If they don't, c'est la vie. I don't play for them.

  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by DownUpDave View Post
    ...Get a repetoire of 3-4 popular, well known songs. Play them that stuff and keep your personal music to either the end or just to yourself for your own enjoyment.

    Or develop really thick skin. I think it's great you play your own stuff and your own style
    The general advice is to start and end with the well known material and play the new stuff in the middle. You need to mix the popular and the less well known. A well established performer can get away with a set of all new material but most of us have to mix it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Icelander53 View Post
    ...Most songs are best done by the band that made them popular.
    Not necessarily true. We used to say of Bob Dylan back in the 60s that his songs were great but generally better when sung by others. the problem is that people often get upset if someone does something different with a song rather than accepting that everyone is entitled to interpret the song in their own way and to listen with an open mind. Often a different arrangement of the song is refreshing to hear simply because it is different.

    The important thing is to make the song your own. Don't try to slavishly copy the original, give it something that makes it different and yours. Good example: Iz's version of Over The Rainbow is completely different from Judy Garland's original and both are good.
    Geoff Walker

    I have several ukuleles in various sizes and am not planning on getting any more...

    at least, not yet.

    I also play some blowy things and a squeezy thing

    Internet:
    You Tube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/TootlinGeoff
    Soundcloud: http://soundcloud.com/tootlingeoff

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tootler View Post
    ...when you're trying to play something new and making mistakes all over the place, stopping and starting and playing the same thing over and over until you get it right...
    I actually know "Rainbow" well and was doing a good job with it, despite my voice, that's what bothered me so much.
    Last edited by kohanmike; 06-28-2015 at 06:37 AM.

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