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Thread: Your story: how ukulele found you?

  1. #221

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    I was enjoying being a father and began to reminisce on memories of my father and mother playing banjo and guitar by the fire side when I was a child. I thought what better than to offer the opportunity for those types of memories for my children. I started looking for a banjo to begin learning to frail and came across a banjo ukulele made by luthier Tommy George of Somerville, Tennessee. After a bit of conversation and deliberation I was the new owner of a tenor banjo uke with a 10” pot. This was toward the beginning of 2014. Within three months I had become comfortable with the frailing style right hand technique, but was yearning for a “real banjo” and purchased a 12” open back built by Tommy’s protege Christian Stanfield. The banjo uke having filled an intermediate role was put to the side and only played occasionally over the last several years.

    Forward to the present, my oldest has been taking fiddle lessons for close to a year and a half. He is getting to the point where he can carry a tune and might benefit form having a little rhythm under him, but something more subtle than a steel strung banjo. So back out comes the banjo uke, and I have been keeping it in the rotation for solo enjoyment for the past few weeks as well.

    Well, now I have a Pono tenor on the way, and knowing myself I’m in for a ride from here.
    Last edited by bf_; 05-01-2019 at 04:26 PM.

  2. #222
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Southwest Louisiana
    Posts
    218

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    I was in the bathroom minding my own business when an alien from another galaxy handed me an ukulele...it went downhill from there.
    Ko'Aloha KTM-00 Tenor
    Kamaka White Label Baritone
    Martin 1T IZ Tenor

  3. #223
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Location
    S.W.Texas
    Posts
    1

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    In just a few hours the auction will be over and I'll know if I have won a Gold label 1950's-1960's Kamaka Ukulele. Online estate auction. Really, really good price. Steve.

  4. #224
    Join Date
    Jul 2019
    Posts
    9

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    I have pondered this. I can't pinpoint why or how I decided ukulele would be worth learning. I think its a few things. I love music firstly and I missed making music, I needed something to work through some trauma so one thing lead to another and now I am hooked. It may be influenced by a few videos I had seen, and also my daughter saying she was going to learn. She has since learned the C chord. My children are just not as thrilled with this instrument. I am also a minimalist at heart so the idea of a small instrument made sense. I didn't think I'd buy more than one though.

  5. #225
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
    Location
    Buchanan Dam, Tx
    Posts
    2

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    Love reading these.
    My grandparents played together: the organ and pre war Gibson Mandolin Banjo. Such joy! In college my friends played guitars so I took it up, playing Arlo, John Denver, Gordon Lightfoot songs over and over. I couldn't read music but listened to the songs closely, lifting the record needle to replay and memorize, mimicking their sounds, not knowing I was playing well known chords like C7, F, G7 until much later. Talk about learning the hard way...
    Stopped playing when I married without regret, until I retired and we were visited on a Thanksgiving by a couple who we hadn't seen for years. They brought out their new hobby...A uke and guitar. I happily got out the pre war Gibson Mandolin Banjo, and guitar. I remembered all the chords. We jammed the day away, taking our new band on the road to my mom's for dinner.
    Their Uke was 'the camel's nose under the edge of the tent.' My husband then took me to 5 music stores in Austin, 90 minutes from us and not our familiar stomping grounds, to look for a Uke. With my limited knowledge, I chose the prettiest, a Mitchell Concert. I've attended the so fun Reno Ukefest twice, I joined the Austin Ukulele Society and played with over 100 others there, so well lead by amazing Bob Guzman and Jen.
    Next came a Kentucky mandolin, a new Taylor guitar, 2 banjos and an Ovation 12 string guitar. I play in a weekly sing along at a retirement home and monthly jams. My Uke is a happy time!!
    Last edited by Diane1A; 08-15-2019 at 02:20 PM.

  6. #226
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Kerrville, TX - Heart of the Fabulous Texas Hill Country
    Posts
    970

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    My wife went to Hawaii in 1984, and returned with a Soprano Kamaka as a gift for me. Still have it. That started the ball rolling. Now I have over 40 Ukuleles. I play every day, and never tire of learning new tunes and techniques. I love getting something different, or being surprised by good quality. I just got an Ohana 6 string, with the lower two strings doubled in octaves. What fun that is! And, I recently got a Mainland Red Cedar Concert. What a beauty, both to look at and to play! Since I've moved away from the big city, I've started doing my own setups. That's a whole other bunch of fun with the Uke. So many facets to this Ukulele thing. I mostly just play and sing for my own entertainment. But occasionally I'll go out to a coffee shop or mall area to sit and play. I love meeting people that way, and everyone seems to have a Uke story they want to share. My only disappointment is in the "music" so many young people seem to enjoy listening to. I don't know it, or understand it. So, they hear me playing stuff that's nearly 100 years old and don't know how to take it. Do you realize that "Tiptoe Through the Tulips" is 90 years old? Sheesh!
    "The sole cause of all human misery is the inability of people
    to sit quietly in their rooms." - Blaise Pascal, 1670

  7. #227
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    2

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    I had been wanting to learn to play for a few years. The music teacher at the school where I work was packing up the ukuleles to take them home for summer storage. I was like , “Hey can I borrow one of those for the summer?” It sat unplayed for the first month of the break. I did finally pick it up, went to YouTube, and got hooked. I watched hours of reviews and moved up from my borrowed student soprano to a KoAloha concert. Now I play/ practice everyday. I am trying to make the six month playing mark before I buy my next ukulele. I am at the three month playing mark but the UAS struggle is real.

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