I bought a ukulele exactly three months ago today, and now that I’ve been noodling around with it for a bit, I thought I’d let you see how far I’ve gotten. (Though if you watch the video below, perhaps you’ll instead think of it as how far I haven’t gotten.)
I’ve been tempted by the uke for awhile now, and boingboing has been goosing me along, first with its write-up of Sophie Madeleine’s project to record 30 uke songs in 30 days, and then with its review of the extremely tempting Firefly banjolele. But what finally pushed me over the edge and made decide that yes, I must have one, was Amanda Palmer’s performance of “The Ukulele Anthem” at Occupy Boston. And so, when those Black Friday sales rolled around, I jumped, and bought a Mitchell MU-70 concert ukulele.
Surprisingly, when I asked the sales guy which books I should pick up to teach myself the ukulele, he shook his head and simply said, “YouTube.” And amazingly, there do seem to be tens of thousands of videos online from which you can learn almost any song you wish. And so that’s what I did, tracking down songs that spoke to me and clumsily following along with those YouTube teachers to learn some basic chords. But I soon realized I needed a kick in the pants in the form of someone who could critique my progress, and so I found a local teacher from whom I’ve taken four lessons so far.
Since he has to suffer, and my wife has to suffer, I figure it’s time you did some suffering, too. So here’s a sample of how I’ve been entertaining myself these days.
And so, with great trepidation, welcome to the “Teddy Bears’ Picnic.”