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Thread: Why do you play? What got you started?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2020

    Default Why do you play? What got you started?

    I play the ukulele to entertain my son; that's also what got me started.

    I used to play the guitar to him when I was learning the guitar. That lasted a few years. After that I put the guitar away and he wasn't able to request it anymore. That was several years ago.

    About a year ago, I decided to clean out my storage closet and that brought the guitars out. My son immediately recognized them and asked me to play. I played for him again and give him a guitar so he can play it too. Unfortunately, the guitar strings were too dangerous so I had to take the guitars back.

    I got a classical guitar and let him play with it. The problem was that he also wants to sleep with the guitar, which was difficult because it is a rather big instrument relative to the bed size.

    Enter the ukulele.

    It's funny, I actually had an ukulele some years back and decided I didn't like it. So, it is funny that I'm now getting a uke, but the situation is different. Oh, BTW, that first uke from years ago died from being thrown down the stairs.

    So, I bought a uke for my son. As all parents know, kids are interested in things that you do. Since I don't play the uke, my son wasn't interested in it. So, I decided to learn a few chords and play it to get him interested in it.

    Once I started playing my uke, I noticed a problem and joined this forum.

    As they say, the rest is history.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2021


    Back in college around 2010, I got an ukulele from a little shop next to the bar I lived upstairs from because it was cheap and small, and I liked the idea of having a little instrument I could just pick up and play whenever I wanted. I was playing bass in a punk band at the time, playing a lot of shows actually, and I liked that I could have a little instrument that I didn't need to plug into an amp. I learned C, F, and G and basically would just play those chords, and I also figured out the overworld theme to Super Mario World.

    I played on and off like that, mostly off, until 2015 when my parents randomly got me a concert sized uke as a birthday gift. I played heavily for a few months, then on and off again until January this past year.

    I picked it up again because I wanted my kids to see me doing something other than playing with them and watching cartoons with them. I remember my dad doing a lot of work around the house. He played with me plenty, but most of my memories of him are of him doing productive things and I wanted my kids to see me doing productive things too. My dad is still alive by the way. Anyhow, I started playing again for my kids but now I'm playing for myself too. They get to see me practicing and failing and succeeding, and not just sitting on my ass watching Bluey.

  3. #3


    Wanted to.learn to play an acoustic guitar. Had trouble playing chords. Bought a baritone ukulele to learn the chords on the 'bottom four strings." Most ukulele tutorials on YouTube were in GCEA tuning. Tried a concert and fell on love with a soprano. Only have a soprano now. Still in love.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Los Angeles, near the Beverly Center.


    I've told this story a few times here, but glad to tell it again.

    I started playing guitar in 1965 when I was 15 with the advent of the British Invasion, as some of my friends did. Took a few lessons, then went on to play for almost 50 years. In June of 2013, shortly after I retired, I was leafing through a Musicians Friend magazine and came across a ukulele that looked like my Fender Telecaster electric guitar. It was only $60, so I bought it just to hang next to my Tele.

    About two weeks later I received a postcard from the Los Angeles Music Center for their annual Summer Play-Along series, three Saturdays, six hours a day. I had participated in the past for guitar, but this time it was for ukulele. Hey, I thought, I have one, so I signed up. After the first day (with 400 people attending), I was hooked and never touched my guitars again. (I gave my four to my nephew, a very accomplished guitar player and now film composer.)

    That evening I went online and found The CC Strummers seniors uke group that met twice a week, and the Westside Ukulele Ensemble that met once a month. I melded very well with the seniors group, but after a year with the ensemble, I found they were just a too advanced for me so I left. At the same time the leader of the seniors group asked if anyone would take up the bass to fill in our sound. All the years I played rhythm guitar, I was often told I should play bass because I have good feel and tempo, but I didn't want to be encumbered by a big electric bass, forget a standup double bass.

    With her request, I got online and discovered all the bass ukes and mini bass guitars out there, so I went for it. Little did I know that bass was right up my ally, especially small ones. So now bass uke/mini bass guitar is my main instrument, ukulele a close second, with harmonica following up.

    This is Michael Kohan in Los Angeles, Beverly Grove near the Beverly Center
    8 tenor cutaway ukes, 4 acoustic bass ukes, 10 solid body bass ukes, 14 mini electric bass guitars (Total: 36)

    Donate to The Ukulele Kids Club, they provide ukuleles to children in hospital music therapy programs.
    Member The CC Strummers:,

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Bozeman, Montana


    It gives me something to do when springtime comes along and it's too nice out to go to the gym after work but not yet nice enough to bicycle. It's either play uke or sit in my yard pulling weeds, although either is relaxing.

    It's also just plain fun.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2019


    Played guitar for 15 years. Decided to get my wife an instrument for Christmas so she could learn and play along with me. Well got her a soprano uke and she didn’t take to it, so I learned a few chords and was pretty much hooked instantly. Hardly ever play guitar anymore. By the way that Kala “learn to play” soprano is still the one I play the most it sounds and plays great for being a cheap starter instrument.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2017


    About 6 years or so ago, I saw a video of this beautiful woman playing a Cordoba concert. My reasoning was: she's totally hot, I'm totally going to play the ukulele. That's my story.

  8. #8


    Before Ukulele, I learned several Chinese traditional wind instruments, including Hulusi (Cucurbit flute), Xun (the most ancient instrument), and Bamboo flute.
    All are so loud. I can't play them home, I have to go to the park to play them. That brings several problems I'm not satisfied with,
    1, That's quite time consuming. I spend too much time in the park.
    2, During the winter, or the weather is bad, I can't go to the park and I can't play the instruments. During the winter, I tried to play them home with lower volume, the feeling is horrible.
    3, I can't play the instruments whenever I want to, such as in the morning or night.

    Then I find Ukulele. Now I can play it any time any where, that's great. And Ukulele is harmonic instrument, it's more fun than the monophony instruments.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Hong Kong


    About 2.5 years ago, my wife bought a ukulele. At that time, I had no idea what it was but once I started strumming it I became addicted to it. Although I don't play well, I find playing ukulele relaxing and feel good about improving my skill little by little.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Briarcliff, TX - Fabulous Hill Country home to Willie Nelson, and me!


    I play music because I was an only child in an abusive dysfunctional alcoholic home. Music, and playing an instrument, was my only escape. It's still my primary or "go to" solution for coping. For me, it's therapy. The Uke came along later, when my wife brought a nice little Kamaka Soprano home from an Hawaii trip as a present for me. My interest in Ukulele grew from that.
    Last edited by VegasGeorge; 05-07-2021 at 04:34 AM.
    "The sole cause of all human misery is the inability of people
    to sit quietly in their rooms." - Blaise Pascal, 1670

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