Thursday, October 30, 2008

New Blog! or How I learned to play the Ukulele at my advanced age!

I just had to start a blog about my Ukulele experiences.

I first learned to play the Uke about 15 maybe 20 years ago, I was had the lead in a community theater production of A Thousand Clowns. I had to learn one song, Yes Sir, That's My Baby. I learned it, then I didn't pick it up for 20 years.

About 1 year ago, we started singing Praise Music at our Church, and after just singing, which is what I am by the way, a Singer, I decided I needed to maybe learn the guitar, but I have played the guitar before, and the steel strings hurt so bad, so I thought maybe learning the Ukulele would be better, Nylon Strings, only 4 Strings, and relatively inexpensive. I did not want to spend a fortune on my first instrument.

I had told my wife that I was thinking about learning the Ukulele, she is a music teacher and was taking a class at Villanova University and one of the other classes was selling the folk instruments used in the class to recoup the cost of the instruments. So my wife bought a Mahalo Ukulele, and I started to learn.

I have to say, I had a blast, it wasn't too long that I was playing silly songs and accompanying myself.

I also found that my short and stubby fingers did not work well on a Soprano, so I learned about Concert, Tenor and Baritone Ukuleles.

About a month after I got the Mahalo, my wife and I took a day trip into Philadelphia, to Independence Hall and the Constitution Center. BTW, this is a trip I highly recommend to anyone that is going to be in the Philly area, or if you have lived here all your life and don't go into town make the effort.

Since we were going to be in town, my wife suggested that I look for a music store in Philly that might have Ukuleles that I could play. We found 8th Street Music, which by the way is not on 8th Street, it is on Arch and I think it is between 11th and 12th streets.

We stopped there, and they had some ukuleles, but they were not in tune, and I had trouble getting the Oscar Schmidt Soprano they had on display in tune. We asked someone what else they had and they had a Concert Oscar Schmidt, in the back. They brought it out, we tuned it up, and boy did it sound much nicer than what I had.

My wife bought it for me for our Anniversary, which was coming up in a few weeks. It had black GHS strings, and I just really like the sound.

I was hooked, now I am planning to add a better Soprano, a Tenor and a Baritone to my collection.

In the future, I will be posting reviews and descriptions of my Ukuleles, and talking more about my time learning to play such an unusual and fun instrument.

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