Life lessons from 1 year of ukulele

Today I realised that I’ve been writing on ths blog – and therefore playing the ukulele – for a year this month! It’s been an interesting journey from not being able to strum a chord to where I’m at today.

Playing the ukulele has certainly taught me a thing or two. So for my first anniversary post, here’s a few things that the ukulele has taught me about life:

Everyone has their story. People are natural storytellers, whether it be old friends around a campfire or a stranger on a country path, there’s a story inside everyone. Along these lines, the uke is a natural conversation starter. If you’re out strumming your uke, conversations and stories flow more easily.

Slow down. In music, as in life, sometimes it’s best to take a step back, relax and just slow the pace a little. As the age-old cliché goes, “take time to smell the roses.” Or in ukulele-speak: Learn it slow, learn it correct, then speed it up!

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Persistance is key. Like everything worthwhile in life, it may not come to you overnight. Pair that with an ever-aging brain filled with degrading neural pathways and it may not even happen next week or month, this could take some time… But eventually, one day, it will just click. Persistance pays its dividends to those who stick with it.

Like minded individuals. Sure you can progress just practicing by yourself, but nothing compares to getting together with a bunch of like minded people and jamming out. This is especially true if you get the chance to play with people more advanced than you are! There’s only so much you can learn from books.

Be Prepared. The great scouting master Baden Powell said it and it rings true for life and ukulele. Always have a repertior of “most wanted songs” to draw on. From my experience so far, over 40’s tend to ask for a bit of classic Formby. Anyone under 40 may request Train or Jason Mraz.

And lastly, lots of good-looking females in their 20’s will ask you to play a bit of Bruno Marz. Just sayin… 😉 Happy strumming!

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2 Comments

Filed under General Uke

2 responses to “Life lessons from 1 year of ukulele

  1. Thanks for this post and Congratulations on your up coming 1st year anniversary.
    At this point I am going to hold you to your words. I am almost going to hit my 4 month mark from first picking up my Ukulele, I have learned lots of chords and the rest I am hoping will fall into place sometime in the near future. I will admit that I am not picking it up daily at the moment, kind of suffering from a bit of disappointment that I have not advanced farther, but not giving up, still practicing every 2 or three days.
    I agree, you can only learn so much on your own and then there is a need to have someone to help guide you a bit to keep you on the straight and narrow.
    Again, thank you for the post. It really puts it all in perspective for me and will help me get back into the full swing of it again, knowing that it is not just me.
    Bill

  2. Thanks for the comment. It’s all small steps and slowly stringing all your skills together. It took me ages to get my fingers to remember just a couple of basic chord shapes! I almost gave up after a week or two. So glad I stuck with it.

    I try to pick a uke up every day, even if it’s just a quick 30 second strum to keep me in touch. Some days are better than others, it’s all part of the journey!

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