Saturday, May 9, 2015

my ukulele

I am not sure if I mentioned this or not, but my husband gave me a ukulele this past Christmas. I have been craving for an instrument to get all creative with music (I think a good majority of my body was created with music), and I haven't done too much in the sense of playing an instrument since I left high school. I played the viola from 4th grade through to my senior year, even made it into our local youth symphony in 6th grade! But playing the viola was just not the same by myself compared to playing in a full orchestra, and my interest in the instrument dwindled. My heart would absolutely love to have fun on a penny whistle (and I have, we own several), but they are so high pitched that the sound really tends to hurt my ears, and the deeper toned whistles are much longer, requiring quite a large hand span to play, which I don't have. So this past Christmastime, I was pondering and researching on instruments that I thought I would really enjoy. I didn't want a complex instrument, but I wanted that I could fully enjoy, without hurting me ears. I settled on a ukulele, and before I had even shared my desires with my husband, he was apparently already deciding to get me a ukulele for Christmas! I was lucky enough to find a tenor ukulele, the only one in the store. As we were paying for it, another lady came in, disappointed to find that I had purchased the tenor, as she came to purchase it herself. It was destiny I suppose, that I arrived just before her and got my hands on this ukulele!
Aside from all my reminiscing about Christmas, I came home and got right to learning it. The first night I was playing some simple Christmas songs. I eventually grew upset about the ukulele, feeling as though it was very limiting (and in some ways it is). I then put the ukulele away in my closet....until last night. It has been whispering softly in my ears for a week or so, haunting me to give it another go. I am now trying to approach it differently. I had meditated a lot on this instrument and came to understand that I need to approach it more as a lute or harp than a guitar, strumming it much differently. I gave that a try last night and had a lot of fun with it. I need to just experiment and figure out how to translate that to being able to play actual songs from books rather than just plucking my own magical tunes.  
I really only own 2 ukulele music books (and a fold out chart of all the chords that I haven't even used yet), one filled with Christmas music and the other filled with Irish songs. I so want to be able to play a lot of fun Irish songs on an instrument, that was my ultimate desire or reasoning to trying a go at a new instrument. That is, I guess my goal, to master an instrument in a way that allows me to enjoy playing Irish music. I am glad that I put it away after Christmas, it allowed me to shake that guitar connection with the ukulele so that I could learn it a bit differently, a way that might actually allow me to get to where I want to be with this instrument.
So I think that is what I will be doing this Mother's Day weekend. That and enjoying my new mint, basil, and lucky bamboo plant (my first mint and basil sadly died). Oh, and my lovely Mother's Day bouquet of blue flowers!


  1. That's so exciting! Wow, that's a long time to play the viola! I'm impressed; I've heard the viola is very difficult:D

    I like the sound of ukeleles. They sound really cheerful and Hawaiian to me;)

    Oh, and Happy Mother's Day!:)

    1. Thanks! I have heard that the viola is one of the hardest stringed instruments to play...but I don't know if that is really true or not? I think the difficulty comes from that it is one of those instruments that play all the middle notes in a full orchestra, never really playing any of the coolest parts and kind of in their own world within the song. I would say the hammered dulcimer or harps would be harder though (which I would love to play if I had the money to get one)! But knowing the viola does make picking up just about any other instrument pretty easy. I am still trying to figure out which "style" I want to play the ukulele in.