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Thread: My 2017 Ukulele Journey

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Toronto , Canada

    Default My 2017 Ukulele Journey

    The year is coming to an end so what have we done in our ukulele journey?

    I have made more friends on UU. They are very special to me - they held my hands, cheered me on, told me not to get well whenever I was sick with UAS! Oh yes , you know who you are!

    Because of YOU. I added 8 new ukes from all sizes (even a Risa stick and a pocket uke ) ! One is in the process of finishing in a few weeks so that falls into next year inventory therefore I did not meet this year quota! Thanks goodness the year is not over yet!

    I learned a new tactic from one of you - "buy it to tide you over to the next uke."

    I also learned that the highlight of my 2017 journey was clicking on those beautiful tracking numbers from all different carriers ! I even chased after the mailman in the snow when sixth sense tells me he got the uke that he claimed he didn’t have.

    My goal of the year was to improve my dynamic - I think I have achieved that ! I have also started a new playing technique that is using a thumb pick - some of my UU friends called it my band aid !

    Looking back at my journey:
    2015- bought my first uke
    2016- improved sight read...uploaded my first video
    2017- uploaded video with added footage

    My goal for 2018 is to continue improving my skill , continue searching for a unique looking uke! Thank you all for giving me a year of fun and laughter and most of all lots of encouragements!
    How about you? Did you achieve any of your ukulele goal ?
    Last edited by SoloRule; 12-25-2017 at 05:29 PM. Reason: To add Kathryn 'tide you over theory'

    Please participate in our Mike Lynch tribute thread :

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    St. Louis, MO, USA


    Sadly, no, I did not achieve my ukulele goal, but 2018 is a chance to start over. **Today** is a chance to start over.

    When people see me with a uke and ask,"Do you play?" I usually make a joke about being better at buying ukes than playing them, but that's getting old, even for me.

    I need to pick a method and stick to it. That would be the best way to achieve good progress. In-person lessons have proven to be a waste of time, and my schedule is too chaotic anyway.

    Thank you to all of my good UU friends!

    Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and Happy 2018 to all!

    P.S. I learned the "tide you over" technique from former member OldePhart (wherever you are) - he purchased an Ohana 5-string while waiting for his custom 5-string to be finished.
    Last edited by kvehe; 12-22-2017 at 04:14 AM. Reason: shout-out to OldePhart

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Upper Hale, Surrey/Hants border, UK.


    This year, I more or less put aside my ukes & concentrated on my chromatic harmonicas.
    But what I was learning, whilst learning to play them, was also to learn to read sheet music.
    I'm still not good at it, but that, & playing my ukes again, along side my chromatics, is my aim for next year.
    So 2018 will be the year that I improve at all three, hopefully.

    2016 = learned to play ukulele
    2017 = learned to play chromatic harmonica
    2018 = improving
    Last edited by Croaky Keith; 12-22-2017 at 03:47 AM.
    Trying to do justice to various musical instruments.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2012


    Started playing Ubass and recently got my 2nd Ubass and sold the first one. I play "basic bass", but the people I play with appreciate it. Also, started helping out with the Mentoring program in our club, although the program seems to focus on music theory/circle of fifths type stuff that I really don't fully understand and don't think most beginners need to worry so much about it.
    Just Play

    Sopranos: 1st uke, Lanikai soprano LU-11 - Aquilas | 30's Martin style 0 - Martins | Fender Piha'eu - Worth Browns | Lanikai banjolele - Worth Browns
    Concerts: Kanile'a K-2 CP - Living Water | Islander AC-4 - Living Water | Ohana CK-35-8 - Living Water | Kala KA-ACP-CT - Living Water, low G
    UBass: Kala Exotic Mahogany - Road Toad Pahoehoe

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Ames, Iowa/San Juan, Puerto Rico


    I had a pretty good journey this year. It had highs and lows, but the highs outweighed the lows. I think that the high was doing a solo set on the stage at a seedy bar full of loud patrons in September. The Blues Brothers and their gig at the country bar has always been my inspiration. The low point was just when I thought that I was pretty hot stuff and could just wing my way through anything, I bombed at an open mic just a couple of months later and lost a lot of confidence for a month or two. I learned a bit of humility there. Also I learned that I have a lot left to learn, especially about paying attention to preparation and knowing what I'm going to play, which is good in a way, it gives me something to work on. But this is year four for me, and I still feel like I want to play my ukulele every day. Great thread, by the way.
    I don't want to live in a world that is linear.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2017


    I began my ukulele journey in April 2017. Until the ukulele, I have never played any musical instrument before. I went looking for a portable instrument to play while on rafting & kayaking trips. I work at a children's hospital that is blessed with a wonderful music therapy department and the music therapists urged me to give the ukulele a try. The rest is history!

    I bought a starter uke and began learning from You Tube. Next I found a beginner ukulele class through the University of Utah community ed program. That lead me to finding two local ukulele groups, attending monthly jams, and then finding a weekly workshop where I have learned a ton.

    I have been through 7 different ukuleles since April. Some purchased, one was a birthday gift, and one I won at a local uke festival. I have gifted and sold a few. I currently own 2, with one more in transit from the luthier. I have my eye on a possible fourth to round out my ukulele family. While I've been learning & playing daily, I've also been refining what size, build type, and sounds I prefer.

    My big step for 2017 has come in the last two weeks. I volunteered to join the worship band at my church. It has been fun, and challenging, and fulfilling all at once.

    My goal for 2018 is to get my UAS under control and have 3-4 ukuleles that I play regularly. Each with a specific sound & purpose. Then I want to focus more on learning and perfecting my skills. I want to continue to play with groups and at church. Maybe my fear of singing will even improve in the coming year.

    Happy Holidays & many ukulele blessings to all my UU brothers & sisters. You have been so helpful to me this year!
    Last edited by RafterGirl; 12-22-2017 at 05:38 AM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Nashville, TN USA


    2017 has been a good year for me on ukulele. I attended my first real ukulele festival, the Kentucky Uke Fest, and had a great time meeting and jamming with folks, and doing the workshops and open mic. A month later, I was at my first old-time music weekend and discovered I really like the sound of a bunch of fiddles and banjos all playing together.

    In 2018, I wanna learn to play old-time fiddle tunes on ukulele, attend UWC and a few other events, and just get out and play more music with more people!

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to All,

    Last edited by Steedy; 12-22-2017 at 05:24 AM.
    If music be the food of love, play on! -Bill Shakespeare

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Irvine and San Jose, CA


    My journey is just beginning. To use a baseball analogy, I am only in the 2nd inning of my journey, which started in 2016. 2017 was a very satisfying year, having satiated my UAS by buying two custom made instruments. Looking ahead to 2018 and beyond, my goal is to join a band, and to visit the ukulele motherland, Hawaii, and attend a Hawaiian ukulele festival.

    Merry Christmas to all!


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Pickering, ON, Canada


    Brenda, what a nice thread. You are getting a jump on the "year in review" idea that happens at the beginning of the new year.

    The year of 2017 has been very good to me. I acquired a few more outstanding ukes and rehomed some others to happy recipients. I am always amazed at how slow playing improvement can be but at the same time it is there. I have memorized at least 8 chord melody pieces this year.

    I continue to enjoy doing open mic performance with my "Girl Band" I am the token male. We are improving noticably as well. We are now able to prepare for performances with less practice sessions. I started attendinga different jam at a local music store. They do an open "kitchen" jam, all acoustic instruments welcome. There are uke, fiddle, guitar, banjo, harmonic players of different numbers in attendance. It is an absolute blast to play with other instruments.

    For the year 2018 there are certain things I want to do. Attend a few uke festivals or a week long Uke Retreat held up in the cottage country a few hours north of me. I want to perform more solo open mic performances. I have just paired up with a friend and fellow uke jam member who has always wanted to do an open mic performance for the first time . We are currently working on two songs we will do in the new year. I just want to continue to improve. I LOVE everything about the uke, the making of music and most importantly all the new friends I have made because of it.
    Last edited by DownUpDave; 12-22-2017 at 06:36 AM.
    Ukuleles.............yes please !!!!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Port Hueneme, CA


    2017 was a very interesting year.
    The low point was having the motor home broken into at the Reno festival and several instruments stolen.
    A much better experience was when they were recovered from a pawn shop.
    The real highlight of the year was starting a Ukulele program at the Boys & Girls Club.
    Many of my ukulele friends donated to the cause and I was able to purchase Ohana Ukuleles for the program.
    Ohana also donated some ukuleles to the cause. My goal for 2018 is to expand the program to some of the satellite clubhouses.
    Keep Strummin'

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