So I turned the grand old age of late 20 something last month and was amazed by the wonderfully thoughtful gifts that were bestowed upon me. One such gift was bought by my older brother and his lovely wife. It was this…
Yes I was bought this beautiful ukulele for my birthday! I couldn’t believe it, I was so surprised! They also bought me a set of spare strings, some picks and an electric tuner. My fella then allowed me to open one of the gifts from him…a beginners guide to the ukulele.
I’m so excited to learn a new instrument. I’m not a complete newbie to the world of music, I was a pianist (hehe pianist) for 9 years. Nothing professional mind, just a hobby. I was always drawn to music when I was younger and when the opportunity came up at primary school, I begged my mum to let me take lessons. Now I don’t blame my mum for being a tiny bit hesitant, as a youngster I had a bit of a habit of picking up a new hobby and dropping out once it seemed like I was gonna take it seriously.
Ballet: dropped out once I had all the gear
Brownies: dropped out once I had the uniform
Horse riding: no I didn’t drop out once I had a horse, but after my mum bought me a riding helmet for Christmas.
I wanted to try everything and I’m so grateful to my mum for allowing me to do this at her expense and time. The only things that seemed to hold my interest were swimming: 8 years and piano: 9 years.
With both these hobbies it came down to school. I couldn’t take the early morning swim training sessions and weekend galas along with my school work and I dropped piano because I struggled to practice for my grade 5 whilst trying to study for my GCSEs. In the end I chose school as I knew what I wanted to do with my life needed good grades.
But I have always kept that interest in music. Having a piano in my life isn’t really an option for me at the moment and then I started day dreaming about playing the ukulele.
“Why not a guitar?” I hear you say.
I have tried playing Nick’s electric guitar and I did enjoy it, but there is something about this miniature music machine that just captures my heart. I like the idea of being able to take it with me on our travels, play sweet mellow music and getting everyone singing. That is if I manage to learn how to play it…
Struggle number one: If you have read my post ‘Big Hand Big…Nails’ you would know that I have rather large hands and long fingers. Nick says if he painted my hands blue I would look like I have one of those Go Team foam finger hand things the meany! Now these beauties worked a treat when I played the piano! I was able to stretch out wide for chords with ease. Now when I have to press the chords on my ukulele, it’s a little challenging to squish my hand into those positions. It feels like hand yoga! I’m sure with time and practice my hands will get used to it.
Struggle number two: My lovely long nails! I am lucky to be blessed with large long canvases that I paint and decorate often. My piano teacher used to always ask me to cut my nails to avoid the tapping sounds on the keys but I refused. In netball I would rather take a hard hit and have one of my nails fly across the court before I voluntarily trimmed them all. Now I have had to. I tried to keep them long but I have the issue where the tip of my nails are touching the fret board and my fingers aren’t actually touching the strings. Waahhhh! But I’m dedicated to the cause and have trimmed my nails to a manageable length.
My brother would like me to learn two songs before I return home for the Christmas holidays. I’m glad he gave me this challenge. It puts me under pressure and gives me a deadline to aim for. I have to admit, after starting this first one it may only be one for Christmas, but hey…better than nothing right?! So the song I have chosen is…‘Ho Hey’ by The Lumineers. It’s a catchy song and really good for beginners. I started watching YouTube videos to help me out and they’re great! YouTube is such a great source for learning new skills. I’m still at the early stages. I understand what I have to do but my brain and my hands aren’t quite cooperating at the moment. But I will get there with practice.
So I will keep you informed on how I’m getting on and if I do actually manage to learn how to play it, I may even record it and post it on here. Ah more pressure!
If you have any other ukulele newbie song recommendations please let me know!
So that it is all for now from your ukulele playing Moo Face. Have a good weekend guys and girls