I feel inferior

MorganTheBard

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Germany
Hi everyone
I hope this is the right forum for it, but I just don’t know where else to put it

I own an Enya Nova U which is rather a cheap instrument and I am very happy with it. I would never replace it except if it were broken.
also, my banjo is a cheap one for €170 and also other instruments, I own are cheap

no matter in which community, I look people are saying that the instruments I own are like okay for beginners or even worse just to put in the fire. But even if I were unhappy with these instruments I couldn’t buy better ones and that won’t change
I am disabled and don’t work, live on Social Security. I don’t exactly know how it’s called in English it’s okay to live but it’s not much
if I pay in my rent and other regular costs, I have like €500 left that I have for food and everything else so I can’t really save up for things, especially because every now and again things happen where I have to buy more expensive things like two months ago our dishwasher broke and I had to pay half of it as I live in a shared flat
this has been like that since 2012 and if no miracle happens, I will have that kind of money. As long as I live. I am a musician and do some gigs sometimes, but I’m realistic I won’t earn that much money from it, especially as it’s mostly on social and political events where people don’t have much money

so I’m afraid to connect with other musicians or go to local jams, because I am afraid that people will see my instruments and comment on that like either they say how shitty they are or something like well sooner or later you have to replace it anyway, which I just can’t
and the thing is for me, I’m happy with all of my instruments they don’t feel like a bad choice or something I just have to live with I just only get this feeling of playing something bad whenever I communicate with other musicians

like a week ago, I was in a guitar shop and wanted to try out banjos the ones they had and liked, but the cheapest one started at €350 as I asked the guy for Harley Benton. He said that the only use I could get out of them is as a child’s drum and for firewood. He also said that all the stuff from Holly Benton was crap
as I asked. about cheaper models, he said that they weren’t playable and if I couldn’t afford the banjos he offered I should rather stop considering to play banjo.
I was so disheartened after I left the shop that I really was considering just to give it up, but a friend encouraged me to just order online and I’m very happy I did
but because of those things, I feel very inferior in the music community
and yes, I know €1000 ukulele will sound differently than one for 100 But it’s like with a laptop, you can get one that’s very expensive and it will have a lot of specs, but if you just are normal computer user who likes to play a couple of games surf the web and listen to stuff etc laptop for a couple of hundreds is totally fine
but I have the feeling that’s in the musical community This is somehow forgotten me.
 
Sorry to hear how much snobbery you are encountering.The important part in all this is the music you play. And even that is not that important….

There have been and always will be judgemental towards others. Clothes not fancy enough or car not fast enough. Ignore them to find the majority who are good and appreciative. This forum is a good place to start.

Welcome!
 
Don't EVER let people tell you off on what instrument you play. Money doesn't make the music, YOU do!
I have cheaper instruments than yours, so you can have a go at me ;). Thing is: I love them to bits. And whatever you say, that won't change that.

Cherish your instruments. Love them for what they are, don't hate them for what others say they are not.

Be easy on yourself, OK? 🍀
 
The guy at the guitar shop sounds like a major jerk, and I wouldn’t go back.

I do believe that the ukulele community in general is much less snobby compared to others. Everyone here has been so incredibly nice and i’ve been offered instruments as well. Honestly, if you play well, it’ll show regardless of what instrument you’re on.

I went to my first ukulele jam group the other day, and the guy next to me didn’t even know what kala he had, and had never tried other sizes. But you could tell he was a veteran from his thick 3-ring binder. We traded instruments for the session because I wanted him to try a soprano (he had no idea what a k-brand was). But he was doing fun riffs on it and everybody there had a great time. No one paid attention to instruments at all, other than myself because I have UAS and just want to try them all.

On this forum there’s definitely more of a focus on nice instruments because it’s like UAS Addicts Anonymous, but most ukelele players out there won’t care a bit and play whatever they’ve got.
 
Oof I'm sorry you've been treated that way! That's the worst. I'm fairly new to ukulele myself but I have noticed much of the snobbery seems to come from the guitar side. Aka guitar shops that also sell other instruments, guitar players who occasionally play ukulele. As a general rule I find that primarily ukulele players (at least that I've encountered online) are quite welcoming and accepting. The Nova from what I've seen seems to be an overall well-liked ukulele, too, with a number of the YouTube ukulele teachers using one for at least some of their tutorials. My understanding of it is that it's a great and durable instrument for someone who has just one ukulele, and a popular choice for people who do have more expensive ukuleles but also want something that they can travel with and not worry about it being damaged.

"Cheap" is just fine, especially if you love it! That's all that matters and people who feel the need to impose their own preferences on others should learn to keep their mouths shut.
 
I think that what is lovely about ukulele is that nobody has to feel inferior, but joyous. If you have ever been with an ukulele meetup group, everyone is playing different ukes. Some have $45 ukes and some paid thousands for them, however, the joy is the same with everyone. The joy of sharing our love for music and community through a little four-stringed instrument. I now have some great ukulele but one of the best ones I ever had was a $45 Harmony uke. it was great because I loved playing it and loved the sound of that little soprano. Sometimes I listen to recordings without knowing which instrument the musician is playing, I can't tell. I just enjoy the music. I remember when I first started in ukulele, I got UAS really bad and I had a $1500 Kanile'a ukulele. At that time, I was running a performing Arts Center and we presented Jake Shimaburo there to perform. After the show, some of the members of this forum were there and they brought their ukes and we all sat in a circle with Jake. I had my expensive Kanile'a but honestly, it did not make me sound better. Jake did not have his uke with him for this (it was in the dressing room) so he took one of the ukes that was around. it was a Sam Ash special kind of uke and he played it and sounded wonderful. My point, however, is that the brand or cost of the uke did not matter. it was the playing and the sense of community that mattered. I love when I go to an ukulele meetup and we all try each other's uke. I kinda wish I never got the UAS bug because every uke I own is great, no matter the cost. The trick is in finding the one that sings to you.
 
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Consider the bright side to this kind of attitude, it's a good thing they don't spend your money.
Start your own group if needed. Then you can control the attitude. Non carbo whatever!! :devilish:😎
 
It takes good budgeting skill to live on fixed income, but life gets a lot better if you focus on gratitude for the things you have instead of dwelling on what others do or may think about you. There are many great things you told us: that you get some assistance, that you have a place with dishwasher and don't need to wash them by hand, that you have two instruments and you have ability to play them for others. That's a lot more than what other people have. So yeah some people have more money and buy more expensive things, that does not make them any better than you and if they talk down to you then they are asses. I also have Nova Mini and I take it to jam and I don't ever feel that anyone is judging my ability to play along based on the silly white plastic uke I bring, as it does the job. Sometimes nicer instruments can also be found used for a low price.
 
I'm really sorry of what happened to you in the shop. What I really like about ukulele community is that they are welcoming and don't judge the other people instruments price or brand or whatever like I saw in other players' communities. As soon as the ukulele is in good playing order it's mostly up to your ability to make it sound good. Of course a more expensive/nicer wood can help the sound but by no means a player must feel inferior or treated as such and I can't stand that attitude. We are all a big family, I can't afford expensive instruments too but luckily I never met someone who made me feel inferior. Some music shops do that when they see a newbie because they want to sell the most expensive ones... but it's not always trash what is cheaper. Just need a good eye to recognize the big faults that make an ukulele unplayable, but you can get a good playable concert ukulele for about 30 euros like the Harley Benton Kahuna for example. I tried it from a friend, it's a nice laminated instrument and with the right strings can play with no problems and it's by no means firewood. If you are good to play and the instrument is in tune, doesn't have big faults you won't sound bad just because it's not a 2000 euros Hawaian Koa limited edition ukulele. My first ukulele was a cheap black Mahalo rainbow, 20 euros, it's perfectly in tune, and has a pretty decent sound despite most people call it toy or firewood.
I'm european too, if you want a hint try looking for Aleho/My Leho or Baton Rouge too, they are cheap brands that sound really good for the price. I have both of them so I speak from direct experience, just replace the standard Aquila strings with D'addario pro arte EJ45 classical guitar strings (cheap on amazon or in almost every music shop) and the sound really improves without the need to shell a lot of money
:)
 
You were treated outrageously, @MorganTheBard! I’m shocked that ukulele people would behave this way. Are the communities you mention all ukulele, or are they just folks who jam, perhaps mostly guitarists?

One reason I love the ukulele so much is because of the people who play it. They are so supportive and encouraging, and tend to treat every new convert—along with every new convert’s instrument and skill level—as one more star in the firmament of the divine UKULELE UNIVERSE.

I’m glad you found us, and I hope you can soon connect with other UU members in Germany. That guy at the music store is a swine. If an instrument makes you happy, you can’t ask for more.
 
It might not have anything to do with you but you hit a sore point. Harley Benton is the inhouse discount brand of big online seller Thomann and retailers are afraid of or just hate them, so that's probably why he reacted that way.
 
Just listen to Corey and Kalei playing any of the cheaper ukuleles they have on their website, or watch the video of Jake Shimabukuro playing an actual toy ukulele and you'll know that the quality of the instrument doesn't matter; a musician can do anything with it as long as it plays. That shop owner was probably just trying to rip you off and get you to spend more money in his shop. Sounds like a jerk.
 
Snobbery is a universal and ancient blight on humanity. My one and only uke began as a $19.00 Amazon DIY kit. Here’s a sound sample. Not bad. Yours also sounds really good because of the player (you) :)
View attachment Blue Hwy.m4a
When Jesus Christ said, “It is easier to put a camel through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter heaven”, He wasn’t condemning wealth per se, but the attitude that one can BUY his/ her way in. Snobbery goes hand in hand with that characteristic.
 
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You'll run into snobbery in lot of endeavors that require gear.

You have been able to acquire instruments that fit your budget. Make sure they are set up properly, have some strings on the instruments that you like. Play.....play.....play.....

As they say hike your own hike, beat your drum to your rhythm....

You'll meet some snobs along the way but you'll also meet some great people.........kind of like life everywhere.....
 
You are clearly no fool, and you need not suffer them either.

In the end, what matters most are the people and the music. Have a good time making music, and you will find others who do the same.
 
I’m smiling because your user name says you’re a bard, and I suspect the truth is that most bards played very humble, very repaired instruments. True for lots of very good modern musicians, too.

I used to lead canoe trips in the Canadian north, and every weekend there would be people out there in their fancy . and backpacks, and boots that were ready for Mt Everest and that cost more than I made that month, and I was carrying a cheap tent held together with duct tape (true for quite a few of the canoes, too) and using a paddle that was only decent because I made it.

I would like to hear Morgan the Bard, playing on their humble Nova :)
 
It's sad to hear the negative responses you've gotten from others. 😔 It's none of their business regarding what you play! Members of my ukulele groups don't care what you play, as long as you have fun. (range from plastic to Martin, custom Koaloha & Kanile'a)
 
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Hi everyone
I hope this is the right forum for it, but I just don’t know where else to put it

I own an Enya Nova U which is rather a cheap instrument and I am very happy with it. I would never replace it except if it were broken.
also, my banjo is a cheap one for €170 and also other instruments, I own are cheap

no matter in which community, I look people are saying that the instruments I own are like okay for beginners or even worse just to put in the fire. But even if I were unhappy with these instruments I couldn’t buy better ones and that won’t change
I am disabled and don’t work, live on Social Security. I don’t exactly know how it’s called in English it’s okay to live but it’s not much
if I pay in my rent and other regular costs, I have like €500 left that I have for food and everything else so I can’t really save up for things, especially because every now and again things happen where I have to buy more expensive things like two months ago our dishwasher broke and I had to pay half of it as I live in a shared flat
this has been like that since 2012 and if no miracle happens, I will have that kind of money. As long as I live. I am a musician and do some gigs sometimes, but I’m realistic I won’t earn that much money from it, especially as it’s mostly on social and political events where people don’t have much money

so I’m afraid to connect with other musicians or go to local jams, because I am afraid that people will see my instruments and comment on that like either they say how shitty they are or something like well sooner or later you have to replace it anyway, which I just can’t
and the thing is for me, I’m happy with all of my instruments they don’t feel like a bad choice or something I just have to live with I just only get this feeling of playing something bad whenever I communicate with other musicians

like a week ago, I was in a guitar shop and wanted to try out banjos the ones they had and liked, but the cheapest one started at €350 as I asked the guy for Harley Benton. He said that the only use I could get out of them is as a child’s drum and for firewood. He also said that all the stuff from Holly Benton was crap
as I asked. about cheaper models, he said that they weren’t playable and if I couldn’t afford the banjos he offered I should rather stop considering to play banjo.
I was so disheartened after I left the shop that I really was considering just to give it up, but a friend encouraged me to just order online and I’m very happy I did
but because of those things, I feel very inferior in the music community
and yes, I know €1000 ukulele will sound differently than one for 100 But it’s like with a laptop, you can get one that’s very expensive and it will have a lot of specs, but if you just are normal computer user who likes to play a couple of games surf the web and listen to stuff etc laptop for a couple of hundreds is totally fine
but I have the feeling that’s in the musical community This is somehow forgotten me.
You do what's best for you and what brings you joy. It's funny. People in the Appalachian region of the American south learned to make music with spoons and washboards. Buskers on the street often use upturned buckets as drums.

Money isn't necessarily the answer to all life's musical questions.

"No heat no judgement!"

There's a thread here on UU called "what's your hidden gem?" and it's mostly folks extolling the virtues of their favorite ukes, most of which are inexpensive pieces of happiness.
 
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