One of the hardest things to do when it comes to playing the ukulele, is actually playing the ukulele. One common theme in the forums and on Reddit is how to be better faster, how to get the most out of practice sessions, or what to learn next now that you’ve “mastered” C, G, Am and F. I’ve had these same thoughts, and I absolutely believe that you can devise a routine that provides maximum benefits to make you the best player in the shortest amount of time. But, c’mon…
We play the ukulele because it’s fun. Because we love singing along with our favorite songs, or because we took a vacation to Hawaii and found this little piece of magic that we wanted to keep a little piece of for ourselves. We’re not professionals. We don’t toil in the studio for 8 hours a day living and breathing the ukulele. We don’t worry about what the audience is going to think about our new album. I could continue with more examples, but I think you get the picture. Wait… one more: We don’t tour for weeks on end, only to find ourselves strangers in our own homes, to discover our children have become real people with unique personalities; the kind of people we wish we could have been there for, to guide through rough patches with our infinite wisdom or tough love. That’s not us.
We’re just people with a passion who want to find some way to keep it alive. Passion for music, that is. For tips on how to keep the passion in your love life, consult Dan Savage.
Playing music, like a marriage, requires commitment. Till death do us part. There will be times when it all just comes so easy, when we find ourselves drawn to the instrument. Times when we realize we’ve been sitting in the office daydreaming about taking hold of that mahogany body and plucking those strings until our wrists or fingertips just can’t take it anymore. Other times, we’ll have difficulties remembering when the last time was that we were really intimate. We’ll wonder if we’ve lost the touch, if we remember how to do it anymore. But, persevere we must.
Like the moon (or a marriage), our playing will wax and wane, but it remains, beckoning. Heed the call. Dig deep and find the gumption to pick up that estranged companion and caress it in that old familiar way.
I’m going to take my own advice and I’ve already started down the path. I recently received some felt BoloPicks and I’m going to introduce them to my Aquilas. I’ve never played with a pick on the ukulele, in fact, I actually had to force myself to struggle through the learning curve with a pick on the guitar, so this will be a new experience (it’s good to mix things up every now and then). I’ve also ordered a couple of self help books: Ukulele for Dummies and Ukulele Exercises for Dummies. I will explore these new resources and report my experiences. There are no secrets between us.
Until then, rekindle your passion with the ukulele, or maybe even flirt with more strings. There’s nothing wrong with a little guitar on the side. Whatever keeps the passion alive.