Monday, 9 November 2009


As my surprise birthday pressie, DH bought me a Ukulele.    I heard a programme on the radio about the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain (UOoGB)some time ago, and I went on to listen to the UOoGB Prom.  They were amazing. I had no idea that a Uke could be so versatile.  

I was particularly interested in the audience participation part of the Prom, where the audience had been invited to bring along their Ukes and to join in "Ode to Joy".  Fab.

I thought how great it would be to learn to play a Ukulele so I could join in, should the opportunity arise.    I played the guitar a bit as a child, and I couldn't see it would be much harder than that.

Well. It isn't harder,  but being able to play the guitar (a bit) has turned out to be a real hindrance.   The frets on the Uke are much smaller,  and the chords are different.  So instead of just learning the Uke chords, I have to unlearn the guitar chords.

Progress is slow.  I can play 9 chords now without looking at a crib sheet (C, C7, G, G7, A, A7, D, D7, F) and I am practising my changes.  I've also learned to play the melody for "Ode to Joy", but i'm not mistake free.

And I'd forgotten how sore it makes finger pads.

Still. I'm keeping the Uke in it's (open) case on the kitchen table, so I can pick it up and have a quick play.    On the beginners DVD it says that Ukes need frequent retuning, sometimes between songs.   It's certainly true of one of my strings.

DH told me I need to learn more songs.  Uh-huh.  I explained that, as it's primary purpose is an accompaniment by chord strumming,  it's a bit difficult to hear the difference between one song and another.  

I don't sing. Well, I do attempt to sing while I play, when the house is empty, but it's not a pretty sound.

We'll see how it goes, and whether I carry on or put the Uke in the wardrobe next to the Accordion.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like you are doing a great job learning and practicing. Enjoy!