Thursday, April 10, 2014

Ukutastic Ukuinisms

So I took up playing the ukulele 2 years ago...How does one get to a point in one's life to say one day..."I want to play the ukulele?"
A friend of mine, Mike Marcuzzi, who sadly passed away a year and a half ago, lent me a little green pineapple ukulele, hoping he would someday start a ukulele band.  I spent a couple months ukuoodling around with it, then it sat in it's cardboard case until... of my newly retired BFFs, Judy, told me one summer day while we were sitting on the patio at the boat club drinking too much boxed wine, that on her bucket list was to learn how to play the ukulele.  Of course I said it would be ukutastic if I could teach her the basics.  "Really", I thought to myself in an egotistical tone of voice,  "how hard COULD it be after playing the classical guitar all my life, to play the ukulele...?" 
I then started ukutroducing myself to new people as "Hi, I'm Jen, and I play the ukulele".  Seems like a ukureffic place to start off that awkward first moments of meeting new people.  Most people chuckle and ask me if I play "Tip Toe Through the Tulips" - that would be a ukueforic "no".  Then I point out that a ukulele really isn't just a toy, it's a pretty ukucool instrument.  Now, I'm not an expert, or prodigy by any stretch of the means but I can play some pretty ukutastic jazz tunes.  I also rock pretty hard some Radiohead, Green Day and George Michael tunes.

Why have one ukulele when 12 will do?  So here's my ukulele line up:

Green Pineapple (summer 2009):

Lanaki Tenor (summer 2010):

Banjo (October 2013):

Electric Gretsch (December 2013):

Lanaki Soprano (January 2014):

As far as I'm concerned - playing the ukulele is ukueriffic.  When I play a tune for someone they are ukually surprised at what can be done.  I can't say I'm not totally self taught, I did attend ukulele camp for a couple days in Toronto in 2011 with Judy and watched a lot of UkuTube, signed up for cool ukulele websites like Ukulele Underground and Ukulele Forum for hints and tips.  I guess you could call me a ukulele nerd but I wouldn't kick anyone out of bed for playing the ukulele. 

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