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

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2015


    I saw one in the window of a shop and desired it, so I bought it.
    It turned out that "jazz chords" was way easier on an ukulele than on guitar, so many of the songs that I wanted to sing but were afraid to try on guitar were suddenly within reach. Yes, this is because I never learned the guitar properly and looked a chord diagrams strumming most strings at the same time, but uke is a shortcut.
    The Seasons of the Ukulele kept me going. Gave me a reason to learn new songs, other than just play them for myself and forget them again as I used to do with anything.
    Anuenue AMM tenor - Magic Fluke Koa Tenor - Cocobolo concert - Kamaka Tiki concert - Cort concert - Ohana LN soprano.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2020
    Mankato, MN


    I purchased my first ukulele approx 10 years ago. It was a beginner"ish" Lanikai. Both of my kids are musicians, talented in multiple instruments, I am not. The uke seemed like an instrument that I might be able to learn, playing music and spending time with my kids. After a year or so, my Lanikai was stolen. Life got busy and I had little down time. Enter... COVID. During a time of quarantining, I realized that I had no hobbies to take my mind off of life's challenges. I love to read, but I also read a lot for my vocation, so even that wasn't a total break. I began talking about taking up the ukulele again, mentioned I'd have to save up for the one that I wanted (a Kala KA-SMHCE-C). My son (now a young adult) found out and purchased that very ukulele as a Father's Day gift for me in 2020. I then purchased a ukulele for him and we spend time strumming together. He's much better than me, but it's the time together that I mostly enjoy.
    Mankato Uke Club

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    West Midlands GB


    I live next door to a pub which hosted regular play/sing along sessions. I wanted to be able to join in. Tried a guitar, but it was much too big and cumbersome. Then I found a ukulele in the attic, complete with a tutor book. That was about twenty-five years ago. It's the longest I've ever stayed with any hobby, apart from being a keen motorcyclist for fifty years.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    East Midlands UK


    I play because I simply love music.Many kinds. After almost fifty years being a competent but hardly original guitarist, I simply bought a cheapie painted Mahalo that caught my eye in our local music shop. And have never touched a guitar since!
    Soprano is what does it for me every time!*

    *Other Scale sizes are available and very popular with many players.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2020


    When I was a kid I got to live in Hawaii for a couple years and a friend showed me how to play a couple chords. Unfortunately, I was too into metal and trying to seem cool to admit that there was a real connection to the uke and I spent decades thrashing about on the guitar until a wrist injury stopped that.

    Fortunately, I got the chance to move back to Hawaii for a few more years, this time older and mature enough to realize I had made a big mistake as a young teenager.

    I got to the islands, picked up a uke, and started playing. A lot. I love it, especially trying to play melodies. I taught my kids some stuff for their homeschool programs, but they didn’t stick with it. That’s okay. It’s not for everyone and sometimes I hear them playing in their rooms so you never know - it could develop into something later.

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Sep 2020


    Quote Originally Posted by dcw uke View Post
    I began talking about taking up the ukulele again, mentioned I'd have to save up for the one that I wanted (a Kala KA-SMHCE-C). My son (now a young adult) found out and purchased that very ukulele as a Father's Day gift for me in 2020. I then purchased a ukulele for him and we spend time strumming together.
    That is a beautiful story.


  7. #17
    Join Date
    Jul 2018


    I took up the acoustic guitar after playing the drums for 25 years. It's hard to play the drums with babies in the house! In another life, I think I would've loved the guitar. But at that point in my life I didn't like using a pick (and fingerpicking on the guitar seemed way off) and the fact that many chords don't involve all the strings. I hit a plateau pretty quickly and lost interest.

    My wife got me a Kala concert for our anniversary, and I was hooked. Now, I play because it's my chief hobby to relieve stress (something that drums did when I was a kid). It has become my main form or musical expression. The tactile activity of strumming and plucking the strings that creates beautiful sounding notes makes it such an intimate instrument. In addition, I have found the ukulele community is absolutely awesome in every way!
    KoAloha Opio - Acacia

    aNueNue AMM3 - Mahogany (Low G)
    aNueNue UT3K Koa Bird - Koa
    aNueNue UT200 Moon Bird - Spruce/Rosewood (Low G)
    Jupiter Ukulele #64 - Cedar/Sycamore (Low G)
    Kanile'a K1-T Premium - Koa
    Kanile'a K1-T5 - Koa
    KoAloha KTM-25 #161 - Koa (Low G)

    Kanile'a K1-B - Koa
    Pono UL4-30 - Spruce/Rosewood Steel String

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Aug 2012


    Iz, is why I play.

    Used to listen to a morning radio show at work, Beth and Bill on 99.9 KEZ. Bill passed away from cancer and after that, at the end of the show everyday, they would play Iz's Wonderful World/Over the Rainbow medley, I thought it was such a cool sounding song and instrument that I bought a $45 Lanikai and learned a few chords. About a year after that, I moved to Sun City and joined the Ukulele Club and the rest is history...😁🤙🎶
    Just Play

    Sopranos: 1st uke, Lanikai soprano LU-11 - Aquilas | 30's Martin style 0 - Martins
    Concerts: Kanile'a K-2 CP - Living Water | Islander AC-4 - Living Water | Waverly Street banjolele - Worth Browns
    Tenor: Martin Iz - Living Water low G
    UBass: Kala FS2 (fretless) - Pahoehoe

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Near Lake Okeechobee, Florida


    My 'ukulele journey started on my cousin's couch. She had a uke hanging on the wall, so I grabbed it, learned a few chords, and something just clicked. 3-4 hours later, I was hooked (my other instruments are all woodwinds, so the 'ukulele was a refreshing change of pace).

    My reasons for playing the uke have expanded over time. At first, it was for meditation and self-therapy. Then it became part of my social life as I began to frequent 'ukulele groups and festivals and participated in an ensemble. Then the uke became a teaching tool as I started a weekly beginner workshop at a mom & pop music store & cafe where the proprietors are sympathetic to the 'ukulele. These days, the 'ukulele is both a musical conduit for me and an important tool for supplementing my income.
    Last edited by bacchettadavid; 05-07-2021 at 04:26 AM.
    "Who hears music, feels his solitude Peopled at once -- for how count heart-beats plain / Unless a company, with hearts which beat, / Come close to the musician, seen or no?" - Robert Browning, "Balaustion's Adventure"

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Mar 2021


    Quote Originally Posted by bacchettadavid View Post
    where the proprietors are sympathetic to the 'ukulele.
    Lol well said

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