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Thread: Hello from Durham, UK

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2020
    Location
    Durham, UK
    Posts
    114

    Default Hello from Durham, UK

    Hi all,

    Here is another confession of a longer-time lurker who finally decided not to drag her shoes anymore.

    My musical career started well over 30y ago, as soon as my girly arms could support the weight of a flute and my fingers could reach all of the keys. I added on piccolo in my teenage years, and mainly played in a mixed wind orchestra. I became interested in early music, so around the age of 30 I started learning the baroque flute. Doubling modern and baroque flutes came with some challenges. However, I learned a lot and I still continue in my amateur studies. For good measure I added on the alto flute. This is a fantastic instrument since it has a very mellow sound, it lends itself to a variety of flute music, though I currently unashamedly work through Bach's cello suites.

    So how did I happen to pick up the ukulele?
    A friend of mine asked me to play along with her and her ukulele friend for some Christmas home concerts in 2017. One concert was for families and children, so my daughter was there and her interest was apparent. I sent a picture of her exploring a soprano to my father-in-law, who bought and gifted her a Lag Tiki Ukulele. I was curious and tried it out for myself, but I did not like the size of the instrument. But in May 2018 I decided to use an Amazon voucher and I bought a Donner Tenor I'd seen Barry Maz review. It was within my budget and it wasn't too horrible, but more importantly, Barry seemed to be OK with its playability.
    When the uke arrived I was pleasantly surprised, apart from the strings. The next 6 weeks I played it every day and I obviously made progress. Then next I know, I open up the gig bag and the bridge has come off (heatwave? insufficient glue? combination?) so I asked Amazon/Donner for a return and my money back. Donner tried to change my mind as they would send me a new one and the manufacturing process had been improved, but I stuck to my guns and I got my full refund, a return was not even necessary (despite a good gig bag, nice tuner strap and installed strap buttons, and more lousy strings). As soon as I got my money back I bought a VTAB solid mahogany tenor from the Uke Shop up here at Washington. I was happy again.
    When my father-in-law visits our family I show him my new uke and the broken one. He inspects the bridge and the top and asks for a pencil to trace the outline where the bridge sat before. The top is only slightly damaged. The repair will be straightforward he promises. So a month later we take the broken instrument on holiday and he repairs it during our visit. It looks a bit worse for wear but it is now fully playing. It has become my trusted beater that I take to the park or in the garden. Easter 2019 I bought a cheap KMISE baritone, Amazon reference B07HJ3GVL6, to satisfy my curiosity. It's the only bari I've played, but I am actually happy with it.
    I bought a Kmise concert solid spruce top, laminate mahogany back and sides for my husband, and whilst many people seem to like it I don't really care for it. It was shabby compared to my tenors and even the Kmise baritone.
    In October I bought an Enya Nova, which I really like. But I lent it to my Mum, who will soon have surgery and a very long recovery afterwards.

    I made a list in December of different learning goals on the uke, so I might let you know how some of them go, whether I'm making progress or not. I hope that maybe it may inspire some of you, and that your feedback will also help me grow my practice.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Tampa Bay, FL
    Posts
    8,407

    Default

    Hello, and welcome to UU.
    If you can play one more chord than you did last week, that's progress!
    Stick with us.
    "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. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Posts
    385

    Default

    Welcome to UU
    Grandma Uker Penny

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Location
    Corvallis, Oregon
    Posts
    545

    Default

    Welcome to the UU, Ms. Bean. Sounds like you have jumped aboard the ukulele train with great enthusiasm, and have managed to bring all of your family members along with you as well. It’s going to be a joyous journey. Hang on and enjoy the ride. :-)

    Jan
    KoAloha KCM-00 (koa concert)
    KoAloha Opio KCO-10 (acacia concert)
    Thormahlen Yew-kulele (yew concert)
    Kala KA-SLNG (long neck soprano)
    Flight TUS35 (blue soprano)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    CH
    Posts
    1,912

    Default

    Welcome to the Underground from another European. Love your username, I suppose your husband is Mr Bean?

    Seriously though, great to get your entire family started on the uke. This will warrant buying more instruments for years to come. I've got my wife started, then my mother, some of my co-workers, my sister, and now my nephew. He is getting that very same Spruce top Kmise you mention. The one I got is very neatly built, as I mentioned in my NUD thread, so perhaps they are hit or miss...?
    Enjoying instruments by - Beau Hannam - Jay Lichty - Jerry Hoffmann - Luis Feu de Mesquita - Kala - Kamaka - Kanile'a - KoAloha - Ko'olau - Moore Bettah - Pono - Romero Creations - and others

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Ma., Ga., Fl.
    Posts
    2,190

    Default

    Welcome Ms Bean!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2020
    Location
    Durham, UK
    Posts
    114

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Rakelele View Post
    Welcome to the Underground from another European. Love your username, I suppose your husband is Mr Bean?

    Seriously though, great to get your entire family started on the uke. This will warrant buying more instruments for years to come. I've got my wife started, then my mother, some of my co-workers, my sister, and now my nephew. He is getting that very same Spruce top Kmise you mention. The one I got is very neatly built, as I mentioned in my NUD thread, so perhaps they are hit or miss...?
    The Kmise is probably hit and miss. The build quality of the one we have here is 'you-get-what-you-pay-for' with general scruffiness, and a bridge that allows paper to be slid under it. It hasn't gotten any worse, though:-) I also have to point out that my preferred size is tenor, and that both my tenors and the baritone have a 3.8mm nut. The narrower 3.4mm nut on the Kmise is not comfortable for me (but I loved my Enya Nova with its narrow nut and string spacing).

    Mr Bean is not my husband
    A former colleague always told the office that I looked like Mr Bean's girlfriend. On top of that a preschooler called me Bean, instead of Sabine. So I have settled on Ms Bean.

    Thanks for all your welcoming messages; it's nice to get to know some of you!

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