The ukulele is a pop thing over the past few years. Since I don’t listen to enough pop to know if one particular song or star launched the current craze, I will just talk about the ones I am aware of. Twenty One Pilots has a cute little ukulele video of “I Can’t Help Falling in Love With You“, plus they feature ukulele in several of their own songs, like “House of Gold” and “Judge“. Meghan Trainor sang “Better When I’m Dancing” and “Just a Friend to You” and most recently she teamed up with Michael Buble to sing “Someday“. All include ukulele. My favorite is probably the late Brother Iz singing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow“. That’s what really decided me on learning to play uke myself.
Last Christmas, Alan surprised me with my very own. I was thrilled but scared at the same time. What if I couldn’t actually play? As I do often when I’m afraid or intimidated, I procrastinated. Anyone else? But by July I knew I needed to open the case and begin learning the chords. I shut my library door not wanting Alan to overhear and laugh at my pathetic attempts at strumming and forming chords. When he did hear me, he was super encouraging and said he couldn’t believe how quickly I was catching on. He found me a few tutorials on youtube and that helped me learn better than simply going through a list of chords. I practiced “Just a Friend to You”, “House of Gold”, “Someday” and it felt great, even with mistakes. Then I decided to use the chords I could play to write a little love song, which we will eventually record and release. And now I’m learning “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” and getting ready to take on more challenging chords. Being able to strum with Alan is lots of fun. I had to purchase another ukulele with a pickup so that I can plug into our sound system. And now we are getting ready to debut these ukulele songs at our next performances.
We’ll be at:
Bandwagon Brewery (Interlaken) on Sunday October 8 from 2-5pm and
Ithaca Bakery on Friday October 13 from 6-8pm.
Are you learning to play a new instrument this year? I’d love to hear all about it in the comments below.