Saturday, March 8, 2008

How do I love the ukulele? Let me count the ways.

It's obvious that I love the 'ukulele. That's why a blog such as this exists. Someone at Ukulele Underground forum posed the question "What do you like about the ukulele" and it got me thinking why am I so addicted to the 'ukulele? There are a lot of reasons for it, so I will put some of them down here for your reading pleasure (or not):

1. I love the sound. Yes, the first time I heard it, I just had a fondness of the sound. It was this guy playing the 'ukulele at the Dole Plantation in Oahu. I was just really drawn to the sound and noted that I really liked it. Even a humble little Mahalo uke sound pretty good by itself. That's the number one thing that drew me to the 'ukulele. It's sweet sound.

2. It is very portable. I have ukes scattered through out my house and all it takes to be playing a uke is to open the case and take it out. You can literally play it anywhere. I often take a uke out with me just in case there is some time for me to play it. Unlike say a guitar, it is so light and small (even a tenor is really not that big) that you can just tote it around and play. The portability alone makes it much easier to practice your playing since you can just move it anywhere you need to be in the house. Trying taking a guitar up and down the stairs of your house while playing something.

3. It is easy to learn. I have never played any stringed instrument before the 'ukulele and have long forgotten how to read music. Yet the 'ukulele has been really accessible and I have had a great time learning to play it. It's difficult to find anyone teaching 'ukulele lessons here in Minnesota, yet because it's so easy to pickup and play, the great materials available on the Internet makes it possible to learn to play the uke at a good pace.

4. It's unique. Outside of Hawaii and Japan, the 'ukulele is still very much a niche instrument. Not a lot of people play it. So you feel unique being a 'ukulele player. After all, it's good to be unique. Right?

5. There are great communities of 'ukulele players around the country. I have exchanged emails and even talked to some fellow 'ukulele enthusiasts I've "met" online at various forums. I have surfed the 'net on various forums before this is the first hobby where I actually interacted with other posters outside of the forums. Many of the uke players seem to be very friendly and eager to talk uke. I hope to meet many more of them at 'ukulele festivals in the future.

6. 'Ukulele lends itself to a collection. This is probably a lame reason, but I have a history of "collecting" things. It seems that anything I get into, I end up with a collection. Since 'ukuleles don't take up a lot of space and are relatively inexpensive (although more expensive than I initially thought), it's easy to build a collection. As you can see from this blog, I already have a decent sized collection of ukes. The good thing is, they are all unique in some way so I don't feel like I'm collecting a bunch of the same things.

7. It's something I can use to serve God at church. Since I've taken up the 'ukulele, I've used it to lead church worship or play backup music for others at church many times. For me it just feels more powerful to be able to play something instead of just singing. I'm very happy that it is something I can use at the church setting.

There are probably a lot more reasons I can think of for why I love the 'ukulele, but these are probably as good as any. I truly think this will be a life long commitment and I very much look forward to the rest of this journey.

No comments:

Which uke should I bring on my next trip to Oahu???

What's the maximum you'd spend on a ukulele case for your best uke?

If you could steal one of my ukes, which one would it be???

How curly do you like your koa? (preferably on a uke)

What's the maximum number of ukes a perfectly sane person should have???

Poll: How often do you play the ukulele???

Poll: Which guitar company's approach to ukes do you prefer???

Poll: What's your favorite type of headstock???

Poll: The new basic Collings concert uke (UC-1) sells for about $1k, your reaction is: