Wednesday, September 28, 2011

I play the ukulele.

Okay, admittedly, the title of the post is more an affirmation than the truth at this point.  I'm teaching myself to play the ukulele.  I'm hoping that if I keep telling people, I won't get bored and stop before I can actually play something well enough for someone to hear.  At this point I can get through the chords to "Popeye the Sailor Man" without stumbling and can stumble through a few more songs.  The lovely part is I've found ukulele chords and charts for free all over the web.  Everything from traditional ukulele music to modern rock songs.  So, I've got plenty of material to work on.

Cool things about the ukulele:
   A professional grade instrument can cost you as little as $100.  Not many other professional grade instruments are that cheap.
   The uke was originally a Portuguese instrument that was modified by the Hawaiians.
   They don't really make left handed ukuleles.  You can always flop the strings, but it's not recommended. (This is important to me as I'm left handed.  It felt really weird at first holding the instrument the "wrong" way.)
   Apparently, ukuleles are addicting.  Few people only have one.  (Yes, I already know what I want for my second one, but I'm not gonna until I'm comfortable playing in front of other people.  This is my bribe to myself.)  George Harrison apparently had quite a collection of them.

So, why would one want to play the uke?  Well, for me it was kicked off by an impromptu jam session at Christmas.  We had traveled to one of my cousins houses and didn't have a single instrument with us.  My husband grabbed a set of spoons and added percussion.  I pretended my voice was a flute and added upper harmonies to songs I'd never heard before.  Somehow, I didn't suck and was even complimented by one of the professional musicians in the group.  (insert happy dance here)  So, we did get to participate. On the drive home the next day, I lamented the lack of a good basic instrument that I could haul around.  Something small, but not like one of my flutes.  I'm not any good at making up harmonies on flutes.  So, an instrument that I could just chord along.  And then a song came on the radio.  And the answer was obvious.


I did make myself wait 3 months before actually looking to purchase one, just to make sure I was serious.  
And, yes, I do have the chords for "Hey Soul Sister" now.  Although, playing it is more a drunken crawl than a stumble.  But I'll get there!

Now to go practice.

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