the uke, happiest instrument

4 Jan

I first started playing the ukulele about a year ago when a friend of mine moved to Hawaii. She got a ukulele first and during the holidays when she came home, I went over to her house and played on a ukulele for the first time. Back then, I had already been playing guitar for a year and I didn’t quite understand how this new instrument worked yet. All I did know is that each strum on the ukulele sounded happy. After that day, I decided to get a ukulele. My first songs on the ukulele were songs I taught myself. I learned “You and I” by Ingrid Michaelson. Soon enough, my guitar teacher, who also had a ukulele taught me “I’m Yours” by Jason Mraz, which is one of my favourite songs to play. Later, I learned the laid back tune, “Somewhere Over the Rainbow/What A Wonderful World” by IZ. My main focus is playing guitar, but every now and then when I want a break from music theory and sight reading, I go back to the ukulele for some easy going tunes and playing. At first, the only ukulele players I knew were Ingrid Michaelson, Jason Mraz, IZ, followed by Train, Priscilla Ahn and Beirut. Because these musicians played the ukulele, I wanted to play as well. As I keep discovering new music, new styles and genres, new musicians such as Jake Shimabukuro, I realize there is a whole range of musicians from all kinds of genres who play the ukulele. There was a point in my very short-lived few weeks break from guitar when all I did was play the ukulele. When I played my classical guitar again, I forgot the size of a standard guitar body and that made me laugh. I’ll never abandon playing guitar for long again and I’ll always have the ukulele on those days when I need a get happy or pretend I’m at home in Hawaii moment. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again…the ukulele is the happiest instrument around. And this video makes me smile. Jake Shimabukuro knows how to rip on the uke as well as living aloha.


One Response to “the uke, happiest instrument”

  1. jasihn January 7, 2011 at 19:00 #

    He’s right, I can’t imagine playing the uke and then bashing someone’s head in.

    I went to Hawaii for my honeymoon and picked up a cheap uke but never really played it. I’ve always played guitar and have recently picked up the banjo and the mandolin. I know exactly what you’re talking about in terms of switching back and forth between them. When I play the mando for a while and then go back to the guitar it’s laughably huge.

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