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BigJackBrass

Charlatan, Humbug & Imitation Humorist
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Someone on Mastodon linked to this article about learning to play keyboard instruments, which I started to read as it's something that interests me. Then I hit this part:

While there are other instruments, like the harmonica or ukulele, that don’t require extensive technique to produce sound, they come with their own disadvantages. With the ukulele you will find it hard to graduate from the realm of campfire sing-alongs – where do you go when you’ve mastered 'Somewhere Over The Rainbow' and 'You Are My Sunshine’?
 
It is woefully ignorant, but I started off playing ukulele with two guys who insisted on including Has Anybody Seen My Gal/Five Foot Two Eyes of Blue and Ringo's You're Sixteen every time we performed together, both of which I now loathe with a passion. 🤣 I miss music Twitter, which I jumped ship from before signing up here, but is Mastodon any better?

"bowed string instruments can be a fiddle" - you don't say! :ROFLMAO:
 
I miss music Twitter, which I jumped ship from before signing up here, but is Mastodon any better?
I enjoy Mastodon rather more than late-era Twitter, but it's worth noting that my Twitter experience was heavily self-curated using a particularly customisable software client. When Musk banned such third party apps Twitter became unusable for me, as suddenly the algorithm dictated my timeline and ads showed up.

Mastodon is similar to the quieter, more user defined experience I enjoyed, but it is a different beast in many ways. Following hashtags is essential if you want to encounter people with similar tastes and follow topics. There's also the possibility of signing up to an "instance," as they're called, which is tailored to your tastes. The reputation for Mastodon being complicated to get into is, I think, unwarranted, but it does require making more choices than Twitter.
 
[[While there are other instruments, like the harmonica or ukulele, that don’t require extensive technique to produce sound, they come with their own disadvantages. With the ukulele you will find it hard to graduate from the realm of campfire sing-alongs – where do you go when you’ve mastered 'Somewhere Over The Rainbow' and 'You Are My Sunshine’?]]

Sadly, there's no shortage of misinformed, small-minded people.
 
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…and as for the violin, where do you go after you’ve mastered the Classics?

(snark..snark..snark)
 
Nothing new, it seems.

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Man I would have loved to be in high school when the average American girl was playing ukulele. When I went to high school the American girls weren’t playin nothin but GAMES.
 
Someone on Mastodon linked to this article about learning to play keyboard instruments, which I started to read as it's something that interests me. Then I hit this part:

While there are other instruments, like the harmonica or ukulele, that don’t require extensive technique to produce sound, they come with their own disadvantages. With the ukulele you will find it hard to graduate from the realm of campfire sing-alongs – where do you go when you’ve mastered 'Somewhere Over The Rainbow' and 'You Are My Sunshine’?
They're just jealous that they can't play SOTR like @Brittni Paiva.

 
Five puns there, folks! Count ’em, five! (y)
But I don't want to be like Pagliacci and hide my intent behind comic make-up. I do believe there is a kernel of truth to the criticism. There are people on this forum who don't want to learn scales or move beyond the 4th fret. That's totally acceptable. But if someone says "you ukulele guys aren't taking this seriously" we cannot take offense because some of us aren't taking it seriously. We should just acknowledge it and say "it is just a hobby and we're having fun. Get over it." I think that would be more honest than adducing as examples Brittni or Jake or those of us arranging and playing minuetti.
 
But if someone says "you ukulele guys aren't taking this seriously" we cannot take offense because some of us aren't taking it seriously.
I don't disagree! But, as someone who's never played a fretted instrument before, I find "not taking it seriously" demands a fair amount of seriousness! It's pretty challenging!

I also love that I don't have to aspire to be the best, which kinda takes the joy out of playing for me. (Ask me how I know.) 😜 I think there are people playing every instrument who don't really take it seriously but there's a lot of room in between. There's no need to dichotomize and put everybody into either the "serious" or "not serious" camp. 🫡
 
I do believe there is a kernel of truth to the criticism. There are people on this forum who don't want to learn scales or move beyond the 4th fret. That's totally acceptable. But if someone says "you ukulele guys aren't taking this seriously" we cannot take offense because some of us aren't taking it seriously.
That’s not the criticism in the original article.

“With the ukulele you will find it hard to graduate from the realm of campfire sing-alongs – where do you go when you’ve mastered 'Somewhere Over The Rainbow' and 'You Are My Sunshine’?”

He’s trying to argue that the ukulele is an unserious instrument, with an unserious repertoire. Because of course no decent musician would be caught dead with Somewhere Over The Rainbow being one of their seminal works….

Eh, people are allowed to have wrong opinions 🤪. I don’t think repertoire defines who is a serious musician and who isn’t, and I don’t think scales or moving beyond the fourth fret do, either. I know some amazing fiddlers who would fail that test, and some amazing classically trained violinists who have gone over to the dark side and left their shifting, vibrato, and fancy bow holds behind (and volunteered themselves for a pile of judgmental crap) because folk music is where their passion lies.

As for ukulele, some of us are hobby players who put in six hours a day on “campfire songs”. If I play an hour a day and do scales, am I more “serious” than they are? Nah. I’m just chasing my passion down a different fork in the road. Ukulele attracts lots of folks because you can take it very unseriously and still have fun, and I think that’s wonderful. I don’t need to get mad at the guy who wrote the original stupid. I’ll just wish him a life-altering encounter with Bach on a banjo someday 😁.
 
"As for ukulele, some of us are hobby players who put in six hours a day on “campfire songs”. If I play an hour a day and do scales, am I more “serious” than they are? Nah. I’m just chasing my passion down a different fork in the road."

For most everyone who is playing ukulele - or any instrument - it's "just a hobby." Very few actually make a living at it. Playing scales or strumming chords are just the path we choose for our hobby, and it's all good as long as we're enjoying our hobby. None of it is superior to the other.
 
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