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Thread: What's your Ukulele story?

  1. #31
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    I've played piano my whole life, and I also like to sing. I always admired my mom who sings very well and accompanies herself on guitar. I wanted to find an instrument that I could take with me wherever I went, to sing with. I've never been able to play guitar... I get frustrated easily once my hands start hurting. So in 2004 I started hearing more and more about ukulele.

    I also love Hawaii, its culture, and its people's unabashed respect for nature. That is really something to admire. Also, I love 1930s music, culture, fashion, all of it! The uke has an important role in both Hawaii and 1930s America, so I knew it would be a good match for me. I did not take to it immediately. I'd never learned how to strum before, so it took a couple of years to catch on and not give up. The hobby really took off in 2007 for me.

    There is something so special about the ukulele that can't be put into words. For one thing, it's cute and the perfect size to hold (everyone can find their perfect-size uke whether they're a child or Iz!!). Also, it's one of the most beautiful sounding instruments... it can ring like a bell, be mellow and comforting like an old parlor guitar, or twang like a banjo. But it's not trying to imitate any of those instruments, it's got its own voice!
    Last edited by NatalieS; 10-03-2010 at 01:42 AM.

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by NatalieS View Post
    There is something so special about the ukulele that can't be put into words. For one thing, it's cute and the perfect size to hold (everyone can find their perfect-size uke whether they're a child or Iz!!). Also, it's one of the most beautiful sounding instruments... it can ring like a bell, be mellow and comforting like an old parlor guitar, or twang like a banjo. But it's not trying to imitate any of those instruments, it's got its own voice!
    That is so true! I like to think that no two Ukuleles are the same, even if they're the same model from the same manufactourer, they each have their own voice!
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  3. #33
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    Oct 2009
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    Having had no previous musical experience, I started playing drums in a punk band at age 40 (it's never too late to learn an instrument!), but quickly wanted to start expressing myself musically without the limitations of a drum kit. The guitar seemed too intimidating, plus I wanted something out of the ordinary and easier to learn, and the idea of getting a uke just popped in to my head out of the blue. Now our band has added an acoustic set (yes, a punk band with an acoustic set of old country tunes) so now I play uke and sing on stage. I find it very rewarding.

  4. #34
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    All of my friends like to go out drinking and getting completely smashed - I don't, so I found myself isolated since I preferred to go out for a meal or to see a film, or do something exciting than getting drunk for the sake of it. One day I saw GUGUG on Youtube doing Theme From Rawhide, and it just stuck. I found those cheap Mahalo's on eBay for all of 12, ordered a bright yellow one, and then sat there everyday for 6 months playing and thrashing away.

    My parents bought me a Sammick (Greg Bennett) concert uke for my birthday the following year, I kept practising and eventually went along to a folk sing-a-round on a nearby village. Everyoen was really supportive and wanted me to go back, so I did, kept learning new songs and getting more and more encouragement, until eventually I was being invited by them to come along to other folk nights. I bought a Bruko uke, which was several steps above the Sammick, did even more folk nights, and then bought myself an Ohana 35SG. After that I was invited to play in two bands, one of which would be a trio of a guitar, fiddle and me with the uke.

    3 years from starting playing the uke, having previously no experience with making music nor any interest in doing so, we went busking at Whitby Folk Festival and really gelled together, and have now been invited to other Folk Festivals as well as a few gigs around the local area.

    Suffice to say, my confidence is sky-high at the moment!
    Kamaka 8-String | KoAloha Sceptre Tenor | Compass Rose Flamed-Maple Tenor | Goldtone Tenor Banjolele | Ken Timms Soprano Martin Style-O | Bruko Flat Soprano #6 | Sco Dart Jazzbox Uke | Tiki Surf Flea | Kala Cedar & Acacia Baritone
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  5. #35
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    I was in a used instrument store looking at a set of Conga Drums when I spied a Soprano Uke hanging on the wall. I had never seen one in person, so I picked it up and started messing with it and one of the guys working there asked if I played.
    I told him no and he said "You Could" and showed me a few chords C, Am, F and G and said with these I could play alot of songs, so I bought it.
    Ukulele, the most fun I've had being bad at something!!!

  6. #36
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    When I was about 10 I wanted to play guitar. Back then there were not little guitars and everyone said I was too small (young) to play guitar.
    My Grandmother bought me a ukulele thinking it was a small guitar. The uke is a Harmony Roy Smeck with a plastic finger board. I use present tense as I still have the uke some 50 years later. They gave me a book with some songs and chord diagrams and said have fun. I never had a lesson just sat there plinking with my felt pick for hours at a time. When I was a sophmore in hs my parents bought me an electric guitar. In the 60's the guitar was cool, not so the uke.
    A few years ago I picked up the uke and found I really enjoyed it. My path then crossed with James Hill and his swing ukulele class, as they say the rest is history. I am now deeply entrenched in ukulele. I still play guitar, but never am far from a ukulele.
    Keep Strummin'

  7. #37
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    Cool thread! My grandparents went to Hawaii in 1962 bringing me back a Martin Ukulele I was 6- still have it. I had it for years playing a little because Grandma had one encouraging me to keep playing. Finally around 2000 I saw the light and have played every day since. Love the Uke!
    Music is found in the spaces between the notes- in the silence between the chords. Get your spaces right, and you've got it. Albert Greenfield

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by SailingUke View Post
    The uke is a Harmony Roy Smeck with a plastic finger board. I use present tense as I still have the uke some 50 years later.
    I am so envious of you that you still have yours! I started for the same reason - when I was little there were no small guitars - but sadly, I no longer have that first uke. Sigh.

  9. #39
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    Apr 2011
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    One morning I just woke up knowing I had to play the ukulele. Very strange, since I have never played any instrument, and no one in my entourage does either. Perhaps the ukulele god whispered in my ear that night...

    I bought a Kala Ka-S thinking I would put the uke down and not touch it after a few weeks. I just thought it was my latest fad, and would blow over especially since I have a busy schedule.

    But it didn't blow over and I fell in love. I was able to find some time for uke playing (not as much as I want to though) and for my bday, my bfriend got me a Kala Flamed Maple Concert!!!!

    Just a beginner, but so happy I had that epiphany!!!! Such joyous sound!

  10. #40
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    PL yed the guitar for 3 or 4 years and in 2009 i saw charlieissocoollike playing a ukulele in some of his videos. THen in about May 2010 I asked my dad if i could buy one he laughed and said i will have a look for one. That JUly he found one it was a Stagg US10 soprano for 25. I had a guitar worth 300 pounds in the house and yet I could not put this ukulele down. At first I thought it was a toy but then I found Aldrine and Jake on youtube and I started to play even more. I finally got a decent uke that Christmas which was a Greg Benett uk 70 pkn, and well the rest is history.
    Ukulele is more than just a hobby. Its a way of life.

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