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Thread: Are ukulele players more dedicated?

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by captain-janeway View Post
    ...the local uke groups play things so far over my playing level that I kind of gave up.
    I know what you mean. My very local group will pick a song with a dozen or more chords. We'll play it badly, talk about it, and play it once or twice more. Not much fun in that.
    Too many ukes, but I can't stop buying!
    https://www.catskillukulelegroup.com/

  2. #32
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    Raftergirl, I'm so glad you made it to TBUG. That was our only festival for several years. Now, we also have Uko-de-Mayo, World Ukulele Day, Uke It Out, and Uka-Palooza. TBUG is still the biggest, although WUD 2019 hosted upwards of 300 people.
    TBUS has several jam sessions each month, and several open mics. I think we actually have about 1,000 members, although Meetup and Fakebook show way bigger numbers.
    Being able to go to something and play with others creates momentum. People stick with it.

    I think I've persisted because, unlike my other instruments, I learned enough with the uke to start an ensemble, which has become fairly successful playing for old folks. Then, last year, I started another group that plays in the Shriner's Childrens hospital, and plays for individual hospice patients as assigned by the nurses. There are at least 4 other pretty decent ukulele ensembles here now.

    I've met 2 people who quit playing ukulele, that's it. I've met bunches of people who sold their guitars.
    I think I have taught at least 100 rank beginners how to play 5 chords, strum in unison with a group, and then show the desire to continue. Lots of them show up at TBUG!
    "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. #33
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    Mar 2015
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    USA
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    ^ A thousand members? Wow. I didn't know any uke group had that many people. Very cool!
    It sounds like you've played a big role there. Nice!

  4. #34
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    For decades the guitar was the dominant instrument and formed the base for most popular music regardless of genre. I think that status has diminished some as music tastes, Rap, Hip Hop, ??? has become more popular. Regardless of what Fender says, I don’t think the guitar is as popular as it once was.

    As to whether the ukulele will retain more players, I think a lot has to do with the age demographics playing the instrument. I would think that there are fewer young people, teenagers, taking up the ukulele than there are adults. I’m not involved in too many uke groups, but the ones I’ve gone to are not exactly playing the latest cutting edge music.

    Put a relatively easy to play instrument in a non-competitive environment (in a large group you don’t even have to play all the chords) and play generational familiar music and you can’t miss. Playing in a uke group is nothing like playing in a bluegrass group. I’m not saying there are not extremely talented ukulele musicians who can master the most complex techniques, but for the masses, the ukulele is about the perfect instrument to learn and stick with.

    John

  5. #35
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    That's interesting the ukulele is attractive to older folk on the mainland. Here in Hawaii the ukulele is played by pretty much all ages from elementary school kids to retired seniors. It's not unusual to see teens playing ukulele while walking down the sidewalk. Plus, it's integrated into DOE curriculum and there are ukulele teaching studios galore. Is it more popular than guitar here? I don't know but enrollment numbers in my guitar courses is about the same as the ukulele so it's pretty even at the college level. Across the UH system, the most popular music performance classes are usually piano, not voice, guitar or ukulele.

  6. #36
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    Mar 2017
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    Guitars are definitely harder for beginners to play. Believe that's one reason.

    Ukulele groups tend to have a wide range of abilities, from total beginners to those that are pretty good. With groups having several different instruments, (guitar, bass, drums, keyboards, steel guitar) the level of proficiency is much greater. The fact that ukulele groups tend to be more welcoming probably contributes to the popularity of ukuleles.

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by captain-janeway View Post
    I've even found that in the local uke groups. I don't feel like I've progressed much and the local uke groups play things so far over my playing level that I kind of gave up. Found a guy who does great group lessons though, so let's see what happens. I don't want to just strum (I like bluegrass, country and things to fingerpick) so maybe that's why I have a harder time fitting in. For some weird reason I've found it really hard to get the strumming patterns people use. I'm getting all kinds of Travis picking down though
    I know what you're saying, when I first started with the local uke group everything was over my head. I spent a lot of time fingering chords without strumming to learn without disrupting the group. Now five years later there's still stuff that I struggle with but hopefully I'm blending in better than before.
    Last edited by kkimura; 11-07-2019 at 02:32 AM.
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