• My First Uke


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Day 3: A little more on why

While perusing the internet for ukulele goodness I came across this article in today’s online version of the Hamilton Spectator.  It is a boilerplate article about how the ukulele had fallen out of favor, but is growing in popularity once again.  I have seen this article written about knitting a hundred times in the last few years.  “Ukuleles (knitting) isn’t just for weirdos (grandmas) anymore!”  I read along unimpressed until I found the one gem that really spoke to me (quoting Tony Coleman):

“For thousands of years we made music together. We sang together when we worshipped, when we worked and when we celebrated. Then at the beginning of the 20th century, the record player came along and all of a sudden you could have Caruso singing in your living room instead of your brother.”

This encouraged us to be listeners rather than players. He says we’ve gone full circle now and want to participate in music rather than be passive listeners. From this the ukulele became the perfect instrument for musical newbies.

That is it you see, I am no longer satisfied being just a consumer of music.  I want to participate in music.  I want to speak music.  I want to see if I can find a place for myself in music and in music communities.   I want to see if I can replicate the personal renaissance I have had through my work with fiber in this new-to-me medium.  I suppose I also crave the satisfaction of learning a new skill, the joy of seeing my own progress in leaps and bounds.  As I have grown in my knitting and spinning the milestones have grown smaller and farther apart.  I don’t imagine I will ever give it up, fiber work still soothes and satisfies me, but I am ready to take this brain out of its comfort zone and see what it will do.

Progress – ridiculous to even use that word yet.  I plan to practice for 30 minutes to an hour each day (except Friday, that’s movie night).  It’s easiest for me to carve the time out after dinner while my honey does the dishes.  So far so good, 3 days into this grand experiment.  Dusty Strings was out of their top two beginner books when I went in this weekend so I picked up the Ukalaliens Songbook to begin with.  I don’t think it’s the right fit for me, the music is dated or original and neither appeals to me.  This is not a dis of the book, the artwork is lovely and the information seems sound.  I just don’t think we are right for each other.  I want to order something from Amazon that will be here tomorrow, but instead I think I’ll wait and see if Dusty Strings gets any books in this weekend.  I’d rather support them and I need to start building relationships with the local music stores.  In the mean time I’m practicing chords (it was easier, yet less satisfying last night – what’s up with that?).

While I’m on the subject of what I “plan” to do, I should state for the record that my goal is to be able to comfortably play at least a song or two in front of people (not just my partner) in 100 days.  I think that’s May 16th, oddly a personal marker day.  I’ll have to learn something for Dad – anyone have chords for “Sophisticated Lady”?