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The Mighty Uke: A Revolution

September 7, 2011

If the first few minutes of the documentary "The Mighty Uke" don't fill you full of joy and the next several minutes don't make you want to jump up, rush out, and learn the ukulele, then go to the doctor because there's something seriously wrong with you.

I found this delightful short film a couple weeks ago while channel flipping (I think it was on IFC or Sundance).

No, I'm not going to go out and learn the ukulele. I have to focus! But I did have to take several calming breaths to prevent myselve from seeking lessons.

Watching this film made me smile harder than I have in weeks, or months. And it also made me feel even more certain that we need to do everything we can to support music education in the schools.

So please check out the clips on their website, rent or buy the full documentary, and let a little joy into your life. (And if you take up the ukulele, drop me a line.)

OK, and if you are having trouble resisting the ukulele check out this short information page on the right ukulele to buy. (I said "I have to focus." I didn't comment on how successful I was going to be at focusing. Of course I had to look.)

    • Bill
    • September 7, 2011
    Reply

    Busted! I always keep a uke within reach in my studio. It helps me focus. Really!

  1. Reply

    Bill, I love learning this! I’m smiling thinking of you taking a Ukulele break! (I watched the film again and that also made me smile quite a bit. I’ve started looking around for ukes! Shhhh. I’m supposed to be focusing.)

    • Carol
    • September 7, 2011
    Reply

    I’ll try this again …
    UkuleleHunt is a fun site with lessons, reviews of instruments and some cool ebooks on the uke. Plus it has fun graphic design and attitude.

    If you’re looking to learn the ukulele and not focus on other things for a bit …

  2. Reply

    Carol, well I’ll have to go and check that out while I’m not focusing, which I think I could stand a little of right now. (This comes dangerously close to enabling!)
    Roz

    • Tom Winterstein
    • September 8, 2011
    Reply

    Roz, I too have a uke (actually two, although I only play two). It is a cute, fun, instrument, but it is not as easy to play or, rather, play well as its proponents say. The site Ukulele Hunt is an excellent starting point for buying, playing, and listening to the ukulele.

    Tom

    • Tom Winterstein
    • September 8, 2011
    Reply

    Correction to my previous post–I currently have four ukuleles, not two.

  3. Reply

    Tom, FOUR! Wow. I love it. I love hearing that people are playing Ukes.

    Several lifetimes ago I played the piano and did a brief stint when I was 13 with classical guitar. While I did OK at the former I was never very good at the latter, though I put that down to not really respecting the instructor who was hitting on all of his underage students.

    I do know that to play any instrument well will take much more time than I will be able to give it at this point in my life (with my other activities). But I must say the sound makes me so happy that I’m sorely tempted to take it up.

    Now of course that I know you play I’ll have to call you up periodically so you can play a song and I can get a ukulele fix!

    I’ve spent a lot of time looking over the Ukulele Hunt site that Carol recommended, and using another site I found the chords for my favorite song: Always Look on the Bright Side of Life (Monty Python).

    I have discovered that the Guitar Center carries the type of Ukulele I’m interested in so one of these days I’ll go over and see how they smell—the huge impediment for me on stuff like this is that the smell of most woods bothers me. Things like bookshelves and easels (I now have a large metal easel!) have to air out for a long, long time.

    Fingers crossed I’m allergic to the woods people use and I can go back to my normal and less fevered existence.

    Roz

    • Bill
    • September 10, 2011
    Reply

    Roz,

    Ukulele Hunt is indeed one of my favorite sites.

    I agree with Tom that the Uke is not easy to play well, but it’s still fun to play badly, (unlike, for instance, the violin or saxophone).

    There are also non-wood ukes. You can get a plastic one cheap. Here’s a link to 2 of my favorite ukulelists having fun with cheap plastic ukes.

    • Bill
    • September 10, 2011
    Reply
  4. Reply

    Bill thank you for the encouragement. That was exactly how I thought it must be—not easy to play well but still fun to play badly.

    I thought the link was great fun. I’m going to go search on line now for Hawaiian print shirts and cool shades!

    I’ve already found several places for plastic ukes! But I also found some with Maple and Maple doesn’t seem to bother me—my desk and some other things in the house are made of maple.

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