The Ukulele: Six Months In

About six months ago, I picked up the ukulele I’d been schlepping around from place to place for seven years, and fell madly, deeply, passionately in love with playing it.

Vera (no-brand tenor) has since been joined by Johnny (Makala Dolphin) and Malcom (Mainland Mahogany concert).

I’ve taken no real lessons, just jumped on the Internet, discovered a chord finder website and a place with a lot of songs with chords and started picking out songs I liked, trying to make them sound the way I knew they ought to sound.

I’ve transitioned recently into playing with songs that I know how they should sound into fun ways to play them. Which lead to me quickly recording Madonna’s Vogue while channeling my inner 14 year old teenage girl from Tennessee with a very heavy accent this weekend and shipping it out to some friends who do Internet radio shows.

I’ve got five songs memorized, several dozen I can play through while looking at the Chordie page, and a round handful I run through regularly in an attempt to get my stupid fingers to either a) GO FASTER IN CHORD CHANGES or b) learn the B, Bm, or E chords.

Last night I figured out that, while I can’t play them all yet, I know the finger placement of every major and minor chord. And a couple of 7ths (yay American Pie!)

The ukulele is karaoke without the special equipment and the drunken bachelorette party in the corner. It’s stretching my fingers to go farther than they can. It’s making people’s eyebrows go up when you mention you play, and making them go up farther when you show them what the little thing can do, from Tiny Bubbles to Pachabel’s Canon in D.

So, to boil it all down to a tl;dr– I have no feeling in the fingertips of my left hand and I couldn’t be happier.

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