one thing wanted: the baritone uke
Quite suddenly the other night, I got it into my head that I’d really like to learn the ukelele.
I don’t know where these ideas come from.
Usually, I mosey around in life, minding my own business (well, OK, not really), doing normal Amber stuff like procrastinating over writing projects and tripping over cats. And then something will hit me. The cartoon lightbulb will blink above my brain, I’ll get that look in my eye. I want to buy watercolours. I want to switch from drinking black tea to green tea. I want to wear bright, bold lipstick when I haven’t for the other first 25 years of my life.
I want to learn the ukelele!
I can’t play any instruments. I can sing in tune but that doesn’t count. I used to be able to play the piano because my mother gave me lessons when I was a kid, circa 1993. (I mean that the lessons were circa 1993, not that I was a kid circa 1993. The latter is true, but I was a kid for a much greater time-frame.)
Those piano lessons didn’t go so well. Many things involving my mother and me in an enclosed space with someone giving instructions do not go well. However, I continued to be able to play some scales and certain songs into my early teens. Now I can only play my major scales and sight-read a hymn at approximately one note every three seconds. It’s dire indeed.
I tried to learn the guitar once, too. The guitar is sort of my dream instrument, because it rarely sounds bad and it’s very portable. You can take your songs anywhere. Take that, grand piano! (PS when I was little, my parents were in a band and we three Gwynnelets always had to share the back seat of the Toyota station wagon with the neck of dad’s double bass. Some instruments ain’t made for walking.) But the guitar lessons didn’t go well either. My cousin Mafew tried to teach me (circa 2002). The lessons stopped after a few tries when he finally announced: ‘This isn’t working, Hamble. You’re too gumby.’
But a ukelele… Maybe my little hands are made for the little ukelele! Maybe I’m Israel Kaʻanoʻi Kamakawiwoʻole in a much smaller body!
I’ve been told that I want a baritone uke because it is strung like a guitar, only with four strings instead of six.
That way, if I get stuck while watching YouTube tutorials, I can ask my mother (who also plays the guitar rather well) to show me a chord.
Then again, if we are in an enclosed space with one of us giving instructions, things mightn’t go well.
Categorised as: favourites+essentials