Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Why I play the ukulele

About two years ago I decided to order a ukulele.  My wife plays the piano, my dad the guitar, and several of my friends can play multitple musical instruments. Up until then the only thing I could do was tap along to songs on myn steering wheel.  I wanted more.  But I'm also a dad, I work full time, and I wanted something I could get up to speed and enjoy quickly.

I have a guitar from my father-in-law.  My dad plays it when he's in town.  I tried to learn and play but i couldn't get my fingers to co-operate.  I didn't find it fun so I stopped.  Yes this is a lack of willpower, but at this point I had no intentions of going pro and I wanted this as something fun to kill time and mess around.

I needed something easier, something relatively inexpensive, and something i could be up and running in a few hours of playing time.  Enter my first purchase:

For about $40 I got this little gem on Amazon.  Its the highest ranking beginner soprano ukulele and it holds up very well.  The cost is low enough that I don't mind bringing in the car with my pretty much everywhere and I can pluck it while watching TV.

I also bought a clip on tuner (super awesome) and some new strings at the recommendation of ALL the websites I visited.  It has been the most enjoyable $55 I've ever spent.

Ukuleles are easy to play.  With only four strings, you generally (99% of the time) strum all four to play chords.  This is different than playing a guitar.  The first chords you learn (C, F, and G) can all be mastered in 30 minutes and open up hundreds of songs.  There are many tutorials online, especially on YouTube.  I highly recommend The Ukulele Teacher for anyone looking to start learned.

The ukulele is also a humble instrument.  No one who hears I play the ukulele thinks I might be in a band, or going through a mid life crisis.  The ukulele says "I like music, and I like to make music, but I have no delusions I'm a musician. I just like to have fun."

I've since expanded my ukulele collection a bit.  I have a Fender Tenor Ukulele that sounds awesome, and a Mitchell Concert Ukulele (with electric pickup). But I still find myself playing my original Dolphin the most.  I'll be sad when it gives up the ghost, but I'll also pull the trigger on a new one that same day without blinking an eye.

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