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Thread: Not Converted Yet.....

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by donboody View Post
    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.
    I started violin at 10 and guitar (and bluegrass fiddle) at 13. At that stage of life I could throw all my effort into things, and I was pretty hooked on both instruments right away.

    Many years later, at 48 I started mandolin and was immediately hooked. In less than a year I added octave mandolin, mandola and mandocello. In about two years I was better on mandolin-family instruments than I was on violin or guitar in 10 years. Of course part of that was having prior experience on the other two instruments.

    I've got the ukulele basics down - transposing chords is no problem. I do fingerpicking (as well as flatpicking) on guitar, octave mandolin and mandocello, and now ukulele. So far, being an intermediate uke player isn't as fun or satisfying as being an intermediate mandolin plyer was.

  2. #12
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    Sep 2019
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    Quote Originally Posted by mandobart View Post
    I started violin at 10 and guitar (and bluegrass fiddle) at 13. At that stage of life I could throw all my effort into things, and I was pretty hooked on both instruments right away.

    Many years later, at 48 I started mandolin and was immediately hooked. In less than a year I added octave mandolin, mandola and mandocello. In about two years I was better on mandolin-family instruments than I was on violin or guitar in 10 years. Of course part of that was having prior experience on the other two instruments.

    I've got the ukulele basics down - transposing chords is no problem. I do fingerpicking (as well as flatpicking) on guitar, octave mandolin and mandocello, and now ukulele. So far, being an intermediate uke player isn't as fun or satisfying as being an intermediate mandolin plyer was.
    I have a feeling many folks who listen to music will feel like a winner when they become an intermediate player.

    So my theory is this: if you play music like the music you like to listen to it is easy to feel fulfilled. Now I personally am exposed to very little uku music out in the world, so i don't have much ukulele music that inspires me to emulate. I end up trying to play ukulele versions of songs I like, and very few of those had a uku in the original song. So I seek out other players to copy when playing uku, but I choose songs to copy when playing guitar.
    Last edited by Neil_O; 05-19-2021 at 08:32 AM.
    Too chicken to install strap buttons...

  3. #13
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    Briarcliff, TX - Fabulous Hill Country home to Willie Nelson, and me!
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    I'm an old brass player. The Uke was my first, and remains my only stringed instrument. Unlike many of you lucky so and so's, I had no guitar abilities to get me started. The whole fretboard thing was a weird new world for me. So, yes, it took quite a while for me to get hooked on Ukulele. And, I started out back in the 80's when there wasn't nearly as much interest in, or resources for Ukulele. I am hooked now, but I'm still trying to find "my style" of playing. My fingernails are no good at all. So, I go through periods of thinking that finger picks are the way for me, then I switch to a flat pick, then back to my default fleshy finger tips, and then I cycle back to the picks. Meanwhile, I'm trying to develop a two finger picking style, but get distracted by all that finger picking material for four fingers. In the meantime I've neglected strumming, and feel pressured to practice that. Frankly, it's a bit frenetic. I keep hoping I'll settle down to a method and style of playing that feels like my own. I guess time will tell.
    "The sole cause of all human misery is the inability of people
    to sit quietly in their rooms." - Blaise Pascal, 1670

  4. #14
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    Mar 2016
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    Irvine and San Jose, CA
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    Hi Mandobart:

    Nice to see you here on this forum, as well as AGF and MandoCafe forums. I don't know how lively the uke scene is in your neck of the woods but in the SF Bay area, it is very active. Here I've been exposed to uke jams, uke concerts and workshops from some of the best players who flew in from Hawaii, and within driving distance to excellent uke shops (Gryphon, Sylvan, Ukulele Source). The "aloha" spirit is alive and well. Could this be the reason why the uke hasn't taken hold for you?
    Last edited by lfoo6952; 05-20-2021 at 07:40 AM.

  5. #15
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    Mar 2021
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    Just weighing in, not to say my experience is the same as others' .... but when I first bought a uke I thought it was "fun" but it didn't hook me.

    After fifteen years of it mostly sitting in a closet, I took it out to compare it back to back to my guitar to see which I liked best. To my surprise the uke suddenly hooked me. I was about to sell it until then.

    So it can be a matter of timing to suddenly hook you. For me it took fifteen years of tinkering with it here and there, now it's a total joy. Weird huh?

  6. #16
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    Another aspect to be considered in the question of being converted or not...is the matter of irony. I have never for a moment in my life played ukulele music; I use the ukulele to make music. The very fact that the ukulele is a musical punchline draws me to it. I figure: thousands upon thousands of people make music with guitars and pianos, but I am going to do the same thing with this little toy and that will make me special.

    That's the basis of my relationship with the ukulele. I offer it just to show that whether or not you are converted to the ukulele depends on how you approach it, what you bring to the table, and what you want from the instrument.

  7. #17
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    Mar 2015
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    Quote Originally Posted by ripock View Post
    I have never for a moment in my life played ukulele music; I use the ukulele to make music.
    ^ This. I like that a lot. I've always just played what I want to and treated it as any other instrument.

  8. #18
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    I love music. I have very eclectic tastes in what I listen to. I have music playing most of the time. From classical to rock, blues to jazz, even some new age from time to time.

    I tried to play the guitar. Several times. I could never do it, my hands just wouldn't cooperate. One saving grace was that the chord shapes I learned made starting to play the ukulele easier. I tried all three of the sizes available for use at the uke club. The tenor just stood out as the right size and sound for me.

    The ukulele is a terrific way to make music. I enjoy singing and I can accompany myself on an instrument reasonably well.

    It's been three years so far. And I really enjoy it. I've been learning in a scatter-shot sort of way, and it's time to get more focused with some paid lessons.
    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

  9. #19
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    Mar 2021
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    I used to play guitar. Now I can't anymore because there's too many strings. And whatever, who wants to play guitar when you have a uke anyhow. The answer? Not me.

  10. #20
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    Chicago
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    Moms love all of their kids equally well (right? RIGHT!?) But no law says we have to love all of our instruments the same. It's OK to keep a uke, play it sometimes when the mood strikes, and otherwise neglect it. It doesn't take up much space and it won't hold a grudge. I know lots of players who perform one or two songs on uke during a set that's otherwise all guitar. Maybe you're cut out to be a mandolin player who plays the occasional song on uke for variety.

    Another thing: I agree wholeheartedly that we should play the music we love, no matter what our instrument is. There is no "ukulele music" separate from other kinds of music. And yet... well, if you're playing bluegrass and you love bluegrass, there's no denying that bluegrass is generally played on a certain mix of instruments and if you play something else (like a nylon-strung uke instead of metal-strung guitars/banjos/mandos) then it won't sound the same. If your heart's wedded to that bluegrass sound (this is just a general observation, not directed to you personally) then uke is simply not going to get it done.

    It's easier to bond with a uke if you like the kind of music you've heard played on ukes. I think that's a fair statement, even though this forum is full of people playing hard rock, bluegrass and who knows what else on ukulele. If you love folk music, saxophone and synthesizer might not be your first choices. Doesn't mean you can't do it, but it does mean you'll be swimming upstream.

    I guess what I'm saying is, it's OK if you haven't bonded with your uke. Play it sometimes and see what develops.

    ETA: Having gone back to re-read the OP's question (you'd think I should do this before posting, and you would be right) I will add that my original true love is the mountain dulcimer. I found a uke for 20 bucks in a resale shop (this was the 1980s when that was possible). The uke didn't do much for Pretty Saro or Cripple Creek. But then the dulcimer wasn't much help with Gershwin, Porter and Berlin, either! I bonded with the uke over songs that were written in the 1920s and 30s when sheet music came with uke chords. For me, uke was the path of least resistance to a repertoire that I loved but was unable to play to my satisfaction on dulcimer.
    Last edited by acmespaceship; 05-21-2021 at 07:27 AM.

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