A New Poll!! Did you play/practice a string instrument for at least a year before starting ukulele?

Did you play/practice a string instrument for at least a year before starting ukulele?

  • Yes

  • No


Results are only viewable after voting.
I only played piano/keyboard years and years before picking up the uke. Thought about trying guitar, figured the uke would be easier. It was but I realised the skill ceiling is basically infinite so I'm still on that path. :)
 
I bought a guitar. My attempt to learn failed. It sat in its case for year before I found the ukulele.

This seems to be a common theme.

I bought a guitar (1999ish). Very feebly attempted to learn it sporadically over a few months or so. Sold it.

About 10 years later (2011) I decided to try ukulele, and I've been at it since. Definitely started practicing A LOT more since COVID.

Absolutely no musical experience otherwise.
 
I studied and played the violin for many years but now play it only rarely. I played mandolin as a teenager in a renaissance music group. My wife plays the piano. We've been playing and studying the ukulele now for several months and we're having a ball.

It's interesting to see the advantages of my string experience vs. the advantages of my wife's piano experience as we both learn the ukulele. We both read music and know the basics of key signature and meter. I new nothing of chords and little about harmony beyond scales, arpeggios, and double stops. She has more trouble with left hand technique for scales and melody which comes more naturally to me based on my violin experience.
 
Previously played piano (has strings though it’s a percussion instrument), then violin, then guitar. And for some reason there always seemed to be autoharps around the house when I was growing up. Somebody or other always seemed to be making noise on one.
The piano is a percussion instrument argument has always felt like the tomato is a fruit argument. Undeniably correct, but very unsettling!!!
 
I started on electric bass over 25 years ago and quickly picked up acoustic guitar after. Added in the occasional mandolin along the way. Didn't dabble in ukulele until 2015.
 
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I had a guitar for a micro second when I was 12 years old. Played percussion in high school band. Nothing since then until I found the ukulele 5 years ago. Fell in love instantly.
 
I had wanted to learn guitar since I was in high school. It wasn't until my early 30's that I actually tried. The dream is envisioning yourself already having the skill, strumming and picking away entertaining yourself and others. The reality, learning how to get there is another thing. This was in the days before the internet so resources were limited to whatever method or song books you could find at a music store and you were on your own unless you wanted to pay for lessons. I did a bit of both to very modest success. I was like many beginners. I was excited and practiced/played a lot at first. I could accompany myself on easy songs but I was never any good. As time went by the enthusiasm and achievement waned and I played less and less until the guitar became an unused dust collector. Fast forward a couple of decades and I was feeling that itch to play a stringed instrument again but didn't want to pick up the guitar. The uke had been gaining popularity and showing up in TV and movies so I thought I'd give that a try with a starter uke and the rest is history, I've stuck with it for over 10 years.
 
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This seems to be a common theme.

I bought a guitar (1999ish). Very feebly attempted to learn it sporadically over a few months or so. Sold it.

About 10 years later (2011) I decided to try ukulele, and I've been at it since. Definitely started practicing A LOT more since COVID.

Absolutely no musical experience otherwise.
I did have previous musical experience. I played the trombone, but I was only so good, and most importantly it wasn’t an instrument I felt comfortable just pulling out and playing with friends or around a campfire. After learning some ukulele, I diverted to the bagpipes, but eventually set them aside and started taking the uke more seriously. Now I’ve added the uke bass to the mix.
 
I only played piano/keyboard years and years before picking up the uke. Thought about trying guitar, figured the uke would be easier. It was but I realised the skill ceiling is basically infinite so I'm still on that path. :)
As usual, Dohle and I seem to have almost the same history and be on the same path - with one big exception. I started looking for other instruments when many years ago my wrists started giving out on the piano due to arthritis, probably due to not choosing my ancestors wisely and my love for boogie woogie and stride piano! (and oh yeah, that classical stuff too :) )
 
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No. I was a Music Ed major as a trumpeter. I started trumpet in 1966 and worked/gigged quite a bit in my younger days. I did take guitar and violin class for my degree. I taught band the first half of my career. The second half I did teach violin and a few guitar students. By that time, I had started ukulele.
 
I bought a guitar in Spain when I was in the Navy back in the early seventies and learned to play it a little. I played for maybe three years steady. After I got out of the Navy I played guitar off and on for a few years then sold my guitar to pay rent when I was going to college. Maybe thirty five, forty years later I'm retired and the neighbor was having a bon fire on Sunday evenings during the summer and fall. After a few drinks everyone started singing old sixties and seventies folk songs. I decided to get a guitar and play along. So I went to the local music store looking for one and bought a ukulele instead. It was cheap and easy to carry down to the neighbor's house.

Several years ago I got interested in playing bluegrass. I bought another guitar and started playing it again. But I still play ukulele as well. It isn't either or for me anyway. I enjoy both.
 
I can’t answer that question. Started with choir and flute, had a summer flirtation with ukulele, back to years of choral music and flute, dropped flute, years of nothing but choirs, added violin, kept with choirs, dropped violin, still with choirs, found ukulele again at a time when there was no good choir available, stuck with it.

So what I’m saying is, my first stringed instrument before the ukulele was the ukulele.

The nice thing about ukulele is you don’t need a bunch of other people to do it—although you can do that too. But much as I enjoy it, ukulele never has provided the occasional transcendence you can get singing, say, Fauré’s Requiem, with other people. I’m not sure if that’s even possible, but if so, I doubt I’ll reach that level of ability.
 
I said no, because of the addition of the phrase “for at least a year”. I tried and failed to learn guitar on at least three separate occasions, beginning with some in person lessons at about age 12, but even added all together I don’t think it totaled a year. As someone said above, that was mostly in the days before Internet, though toward the end I know the Internet was there but I wasn’t aware of it as a resource for learning guitar (and there was definitely no YouTube) so I was limited to what I could cobble together in person, which during the later efforts did not include an in-person teacher, because no one I knew played guitar and I was broke. At one point I had a deteriorating Mel Bay book that I got at a thrift store. I just want naturally talented enough to learn that way, without some example of how things ought to sound. Nothing I played sounded much like the music I wanted to play, so I gave up.

I’ve thought often that part of why I’ve been successful at learning ukulele even without in-person lessons has just been that it’sa different time, and there are now so many video resources available on the Internet, plus I’m just surrounded by more musically inclined people. So when I had questions in the beginning about keys and chords, my husband could help explain, even though he plays guitar and not ukulele (though if course he can pick a uke up, look at a chord chart, and play things, which was very frustrating to me when I first started to learn).
 
Never tried to learn stringed instrument of any kind until now. I think I am learning to play, somedays it feels otherwise. Not going to stop trying, I can do this.
 
Is anyone else surprised by the poll, one way or another? I had prior experience, so that colored my expectation. I thought there’d be way more with experience than the poll shows.

Anyone fee the opposite?
 
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