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Thread: Not Converted Yet.....

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2021
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    Nevergreen part of WA
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    24

    Default Not Converted Yet.....

    I'm a multi-instrumentalist from way (over 40 years) back who recently (beginning of this year) started playing ukulele. I also play violin, viola, guitar, mandolin, mandola, octave mandolin and mandocello, plus just enough bass to be dangerous.

    I know of so many people completely taken with the ukulele, it becomes their main thing. I have a well set up Martin T1K that sounds and plays great. I've been learning my classical, bluegrass, Americana and Hawaiian slack key repertoire on my uke. Not too difficult at all.

    I like playing uke just fine, but not the same way I love playing guitar or mandolin. Just wondering for the rest of you - did it take time to really grow on you?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2021
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    It did not take time to grow on me, but I didn't have a million instruments to compare it to.

  3. #3
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    Mar 2015
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    USA
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    Welcome Bart.

    I was first a percussion player, dabbled a bit with keyboards, then heavy into guitar and bass at times. Nothing on a pro level or even close. Uke came after that. Sometimes I'm more into uke, sometimes more into guitar, sometimes more into something else like home-made box (typically known as cigar box guitars) guitars or various other instruments. I've tried a bit of everything at one time or another.
    I did really appreciate the simplicity of uke and fewer strings right away though as well as the small and comfortable size.
    I've had quite a few times when I didn't have a guitar and played just uke. So I'd just say it depends on where I'm at and what I'm more into at any given time.
    I don't think it has to be an all or nothing kind of thing. It can be your main instrument or just one color in your palette. If you're going to have a lot of instruments around I'd say it's definitely great to let an uke be one of them. I've played on a Martin T1K and liked it quite a bit. Nice choice.
    Last edited by jer; 05-18-2021 at 01:51 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2020
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    780

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    Quote Originally Posted by mandobart View Post
    Just wondering for the rest of you - did it take time to really grow on you?
    The uke must be liked for its own unique features. It took me 2 tries to like the uke. The first try, I think I was kind of like you by comparing it to other instruments (in my case, the piano and guitar) and found it totally lacking and didn't further consider it. The second try (a few years later), I needed an instrument of the size of and the easy nylon strings of the uke and realized that it can stand on its own, as a unique instrument.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2021
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    115

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    I know I've already responded to this thread but now I want to know how long it took the other instruments to grow on you.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Los Angeles, near the Beverly Center.
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    I played rhythm guitar for almost 50 years before I touched a uke, but when I did in mid 2013, I never touched my guitars again. About a year later I started playing bass uke and mini bass guitars and discovered that the people who told me when I played guitar that I should play bass because I had good tempo and feel were absolutely right. Now I play bass uke more than uke, but continue to play uke as well.


    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. www.theukc.org
    Member The CC Strummers: www.youtube.com/user/CCStrummers/video, www.facebook.com/TheCCStrummers

  7. #7

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    My main instrument has been wind (ocarinas). However the sound of ukulele appealed to me and I wanted a rhythm instrument that I could use to accompany myself in recordings. Ukulele was easier to get started on than guitar, and now here I am now with 10+ years of experience dabbling with uke (which also led me to learn guitar and bass).

    I think I am still more skilled at my wind instruments, but I've been more ambitious in what I do on ukulele lately.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
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    Port Hope, Ontario, Canada
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    Well Mandobart, I started on accordion at about eight or nine, but lost interest after a few years. My brother played guitar and I bought my first guitar in 1960 and was hooked. Along the way I added mouth harp, mandolin, banjo and dulcimer. In the seventies I added Autoharp to my arsenal and in the eighties, my wife bought me an octave mandolin and an English concertina.

    Over the years I had dabbled in ukulele, thinking of them as toys that folks just strummed chords on to accompany their singing and not something to really take seriously. Then one night after the turn of the century, I was at a party and a fellow had a resophonic uke, all shiny and cool. He asked me if I'd like to try it and I said, "Sure." I'm sure we both meant for a song or two, but he ended up having to play the guitar for the rest of the night and I was hooked. I realised that the ukulele was capable of far more than just strumming chords. That very ukulele is now mine since the owner sold it to me a couple of years later.
    Since COVID lock down, I have discovered the Seasonistas group and have spent almost as much time playing the uke as the guitar.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2010
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    Good question! I've also started out on different instruments (in chronological order: recorder, guitar, accordeon, mandolin; keyboard instruments don't seem to attract me much) but for the last 16-17 years it's been mainly ukulele, occasionally accordeon and rarely mandolin.

    I suppose part of it is how you use your music. If you want to fill a hall with sound, accordeons are far better (or electric guitars). If you want to play intricate lead lines and fills in a band, you can do that on ukuleles but it's not very obvious - mandolas and mandolins are easier at that. I like ukulele for its foot-tapping, rhythmic chording that doesn't overwhelm the singing I do. Yes, there are slower instrumentals and intros and rhythmic fingerpicking and beautiful classical pieces, but the ukulele's superpower is in the kind of music setting I just described.

    And in that big snare-sound coming from a little soundbox, of course - have you tried a really good soprano ukulele yet?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
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    462

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    Majored in music ed as a trumpeter and gigged a lot in my younger days in a variety of settings. As my teaching career took hold I played less and only worked here and there. Playing trumpet is physically demanding and it requires daily practice to stay in shape. Lot of trumpeters don't practice and take jobs when they're not in shape and sound like crap. I participated in a production of Music Man in 02 as a cast member. The guy playing lead in the pit admitted to me he didn't practice a lot and it showed. There was an exposed high D in the overture and he missed it in each of the 6 performances. Miss a note on uke and very few people know, miss a high note on trumpet and everyone knows.
    When I got married I played very little. If a gig came up I would practice like mad and after put the horn away. After a while I pretty much stopped. I decided to start up again about 10 years ago and took some lessons from a chop doc and was doing just fine. Melanoma surgery just above my left eye left me unable to practice for a few months. I had a large patch of skin removed and the remaining skin needed time to stretch out. School started up, it got busy and I pretty much quit. On the plus side I've remained cancer free and and have very few wrinkles on my forehead.
    One by one I sold most of my horns and still have 2. Trumpeters can have acquisition syndrome and I had 7 horns at one time. The late, great Lew Soloff who played with Blood, Sweat and Tears in their heyday once tried to bring 21 horns on a plane as carry on luggage!
    I started horsing around on uke around 2000 having married a gal from Hawaii. Oddly enough she never really played. It was fun and just strumming chords and singing simple songs. Nearing retirement I got serious about fingerstyle and began taking lessons in 2013 after buying a Kamaka tenor. Now I doubt I 'll ever be serious about the horn again. Practicing trumpet is hard work and actually boring. Playing trumpet in a group or solo is fun but there's not a whole lot of work around. The other issue is the hours when you gig. At 65 I can barely make it past 11 pm before I hit the sack. Playing until 1am and getting home at 2 or 3am just isn't in the cards any more. I had fun working as trumpeter and still connect with friends I worked with but won't ever go back. That's my story and I'm sticking with it.

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