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Thread: What style or kind of music draws you into playing the ukulele?

  1. #1

    Default What style or kind of music draws you into playing the ukulele?

    A question like this probably has been asked times before but I thought I'd start a thread to get a glimpse into what folks like or want to play here.

    For me, I've primarily been drawn to ukulele by the awesome sounds made possible in the hands of skilled musicians like Jake Shimabukuro and Kalei Gamiao. I also like pretty much anything traditionally Hawaiian (just makes me feel happy). Lastly, I like listening to/attempting to play songs by "mainstream" artists past and present.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Whidbey Island, WA


    A diverse mixture. I finger-pick old-time American songs, blues, classical music, Hawaiian (some in slack-key tuning), and others. For strumming and singing, mostly pop songs from the 50s, 60s & 70s. I began finger-picking trying to play Bach's "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring," probably inspired by an old Leo Kottke record. I'll never play like Jake--started about 50 years too late.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2020


    Mostly American children and folk music/songs on the ukulele for me.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    San Francisco CA USA


    I was drawn to the ukulele by a lifelong wish to be a Beatle and frustration with guitar. The first songs I learned to play on the ukulele were Beatles songs and other popular music from the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. But soon after I started playing ukulele I discovered Hawaiian music, and now I play a lot of Hawaiian music.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2012


    Just about anything. My previous musical life was as a trumpeter. I worked in various styles and played in a few different bands. I spent a year playing in a Portuguese Band and six years playing with a jazz quintet. On ukulele I play whatever suits my fancy. Most recent pieces I'm working on are Blue Skies by Irving Berlin and It Don't Mean A Thing by Duke Ellington. Prior to that it was Moving Out by Billy Joel.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Sparta, Wisconsin, USA


    Mostly folk. But some rock and blues. Not skilled enough to do the last two justice yet.
    There is a subtle yet profound difference between the learning of something and the knowing of that thing.
    You can learn by reading, but you don’t begin to know until you begin to try to do.

    —Lou Churchill, Plane & Pilot Magazine

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Sunny Jersey - where the cows come from!


    I was drawn to the ukulele when I discovered one could be used to play claw-hammer arrangements, as per Aaron Keim, then I diversified into transcribed lute music from the likes of Jamie Holding and Rob MacKillop ... I always preferred to be "different"

    There are those who will wax lyrical about the ability to play a double shuffle with a split fan and a tight G-string ...
    it just makes me walk funny!

  8. #8


    It's not a specific kind of music that draws me to the ukulele but rather that so many genres sound unique but good while always - ALWAYS - seeming to knock people out. When my parents found out I played ukulele, their only point of reference was Tiptoe Through The Tulips, so they're always impressed when I play pieces more intricate than that. ;-)

    The thing I really like, though, is the versatility. When I play guitar, I get really wrapped up in the gear chain. I feel like I need this style of guitar and these pedals and these amps and these mics, etc. On the ukulele, I just play and feel like I get more from it. The confines of four strings makes everything a lot easier to learn when compared to guitar and my progression has been very satisfying to my soul.

    So I guess it isn't any one type of music, but rather how satisfied I feel when I play ukulele that keeps drawing me to it.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Catskill Mountains, NY


    I didn't have any particular kind of music in mind when I began with the uke. I wanted to play the uke. Period.
    Too many ukes, but I can't stop buying!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Seattle, WA


    Like Gary52, my interests involve playing and singing old popular favorites of the 30's, 40's,
    50's and 60's along with Hawaiian Songs. I also enjoy Seasonal/Holiday Songs (Winter & Christmas).
    Please check out some of my YouTube uploads (uncle rod amapola, Crazy G, etc)
    I would like to expand the number of uploads... but sometimes think I'm being pretentious
    However, at 72, it may be time to try to 'archive' what I can still do... just for fun!

    Keep uke'in', everyone!
    Uncle Rod Higuchi
    ( )

    Ukulele Boot Camp, FREE Songbook, Holiday, Hawaiian & More:
    Crazy G tutorial on YouTube ( uncle rod crazy g )
    pdf file for Crazy G:

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