Ukulele & Languages

Different countries,
Different cultures
one common language... the ukulele.

My first ukulele anniversary

16 2009

My-ukes

On the 16th of May last year, I came back from work to find an odd-shaped package from Juste Cordes awaiting me : my first ukulele.
I was really thrilled. Would I be able to play it ? Was it going to be just a passing interest ?

I didn’t know about the powers of the tiny instrument at the time. In fact I was completely ignorant : I had only just discovered the existence of an instrument called ukulele, I had never played another instrument before, and I knew close to nothing on music theory.

That’s precisely what attracted me : an instrument that was supposedly easy to learn _ from what I had read about it _  and not mainstream or hackneyed  ;)

Now, buying a ukulele was not too difficult : I just read pieces of advice here and there and settled for a Brüko 6 with Brown Worth strings. More challenging was learning to play it on my own, with no one around to show me. It was easy enough to learn C, G, F, Am etc… from books but one thing I didn’t understand was why a song with just a few chords like say “Blowing in the Wind” would not be recognisable when I played it. It sounded dull and far from the original. I had yet to discover that the strum did everything. 2 months of my ukulele history had elapsed and I had learnt many chords without really knowing what to do with them.

That’s when Ukulele Hunt entered my life. I was searching for ukulele-related information and came accross Al’s site. It was everything I was looking for : a site where you could find tab, chords, build up a ukulele culture thanks to the SaturdayUke tube, find technical information about ukuleles and buy e-books that answered so many of my questions. And I quickly found out that my comments/questions posted to the site were always promptly answered.
The site Uke Hunt is so professional it’s hard to believe it’s only 2 years old. So, many MANY thanks to Al who is not only helping my ukulele learning process but who also helped me with my blog, whether it be by adding links to my posts on his widely visited site, sending me links to ukulele songs in several languages or simply by encouraging me to be a free spirit.

Another thing I found useful was to register to various ukulele forums : Ukulele Underground, Ukulele Cosmos and more recently King David Ukulele station’s forum. There is quite a bunch of friendly ukulele players there, ready to answer your questions or comment on your videos. Thanks to all the members of these forums who have helped me. The forums are also great for finding out about ukulele events.
And one I am going to attend is the Paris Uke Fest, on the 4th of July when, for the first time I will meet other ukulele players. If you are going to be there too, leave me a comment.

2 Comments »

  1. Hippie Guy on the 17th of May 2009 @ 04:12

    It’s incredible how the ‘ukulele has changed so many lives. And it’s definitely not mainstream. Jake seems to be changing that slowly, but I still get plenty of stares when I tell people what I play. Do you still play the Worth brown strings? Have you tried the clears? I like them best and everyone else seems to favor them over the browns.

  2. Armelle Europe on the 17th of May 2009 @ 04:12

    Hippie Guy,
    yes I guess choosing to play the ukulele is helping you accept that you are not mainstream.
    I still play the Brown Worth on my Brüko but I have changed the Hilo strings that were on my Fluke for Worth Medium Clear and that makes a huge difference !

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