• My First Uke


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Day 1: Ukulele? Why not?

Music is an important facet of every culture I can think of.  Music can represent emotion and heritage.  It can be a quiet message between two people and it can be a powerful tool for social change.  Who wouldn’t want a part of that?

I have no musical talent or experience.  I sing poorly, and then only when I’m alone in the car.  As a child I had maybe a dozen piano lessons and played the recorder in the second grade band.  That’s it, that’s as far as I got.  I can’t read music, I do not know music theory, musical instruments are frightening objects of great secrecy as far as I am concerned.

Recently I turned 38 and I found I was thinking more and more about learning to play an instrument.  I am an able learner, if not a quick one.  Ten years ago I learned how to knit, and now I make beautiful socks and mittens, and the occasional sweater-vest.  Five years ago I taught myself how to spin yarn and now I teach spinning.  Learning a new skill takes interest, information, and practice.  I have the interest, I know the value of practice, and I can get the information – I can do this!

The next thing I had to think about is what should I learn how to play.  I love the way the oboe sounds.  Cello music can move me deeply.  Banjos are pretty darn cool.  What was right for me?  I decided on the ukulele because I like the way it sounds, ukuleles can be affordable, lessons are readily available in my area (greater Seattle area), and I’m awfully influenced by another knitter I know.

Besides, isn’t a ukulele a terrific gateway drug?

Me with my brand new Kala soprano exotic mahogany ukulele 2/7/2010