Daily Archives: June 4, 2011

Meet the Ukulele

A number of you have asked for details about the ukulele I just got, so here it is: It’s a Mahalo brand tenor ukulele (specifically this model), which as I understand it means it’s slightly larger than the “standard” or “concert” sized ukuleles, which is vaguely frightening to me because the thing is, like, tiny. I bought this particular ukulele because it was the ukulele that my local music store had in stock when I went in. It was also reasonably inexpensive (it and the travel bag it came in came out to $77), so it made it a reasonable impulse buy. If it turned out that I hated the thing, I wouldn’t feel like I sunk a huge amount of money into it.

Fortunately I don’t hate the thing. It’s fun, and it’s pretty simple to learn. I already have a guitar so the concept of chording was not difficult, although the chord forms on a ukulele are different than they are on a guitar (and typically simpler). As noted the other day, within 30 minutes I had learned to play a song, and other relatively simple songs have come along nicely (added to the repertoire since then: “Imagine,” by John Lennon, “Fisherman’s Blues,” by The Waterboys and “Better Be Home Soon,” by Crowded House). I should note with total honesty that “learning these songs” means that I can chord them out; my strumming remains atrocious and will have to be worked on.

Be that as it may, I feel it’s been a pretty good investment so far, and if I keep up with it I’ll be able to achieve what my goal for the thing is, which is to accompany myself whist I sing to the cats and walls. Hey, now. I never said I wanted to be a rock star.