A couple of months ago I met up with an old school friend who I had lost touch with about 20 years ago. A friend posted a video on YouTube from her recent birthday party showing her playing her ukulele. It looked a lot of fun. Hmm, I thought to myself. It's small and portable so you could take it anywhere. It's only got four strings, so chords looked easy. And I'm sure my friend won't mind me saying that she had no particular musical talent, yet she clearly handled her uke very well.
|And here's my lovely friend proving you really can take a uke anywhere|
Within a few weeks we all had our ukes and were totally and utterly smitten. It's such a joyful little instrument that you can't help but smile when you play it. The Boy and The Girl were scathing, yet within minutes of it arriving, The Boy, who plays the guitar, was wandering around the house strumming it and yesterday, when I announced that I was going to upgrade to a concert sized uke, which is bit bigger than my little soprano one, The Girl asked if she could have the old one.
Once word got out, another friend told us he had a mandolin and he'd like to join our strumming group. Fantastic, we thought. Three Ukuladies and a Mandolin had a nice ring to it, especially as he was a man. He turned up for our first strumming session, having never played the mandolin. We struggled to tune it - I mean, come on, 12 strings? - and managed to break two strings while we did so. While we faffed and fretted about it, he borrowed a uke and within minutes had decided to ditch the Mandolin, lovely though it was. He's now the proud owner of a lovely Tanglewood concert uke but he's completely ruined our name!
We've only been playing for a few weeks but already we can sing and play a few songs and it is just so much fun. Why schools bother teaching kids to play the recorder when the ukulele is just as easy and much more fun.Honestly, who ever learns the recorder at school then keeps it up into adulthood?
On the other hand, all these cool and in some cases surprising people play the uke
|Neil Armstong - yes, that one!|
|Frank Skinner on banjo uke. Griff|
Rhys Jones and Harry Hill also play
In the right hands (not mine just yet!), the humble uke is an instrument of incredible beauty.
|Even the leader of the Free World plays one -|
well he is from Hawaii. Get your uke-playing
Obama figurine here!