I’ve always had an interest in learning a musical instrument. In college, I bought myself a bass guitar and attempted to teach myself to play. I learned quickly however, that a fraternity house is not the ideal place to concentrate on such a task, especially when there’s a large, low volume speaker involved. I took an intro to piano class my senior year which was incredibly valuable in understanding music, but I had little desire to learn the instrument itself. I’ve thought numerous times about attempting other instruments, but none have hit home as the ideal instrument that would motivate me to continually discipline myself to play.
Finally, I decided I wanted to learn the ukulele. Yes, feel free to make fun all you like, but I came to that conclusion rationally, based on three solid parameters –
1. I wanted to be able to backpack with it. This means it has to be compact and lightweight.
2. I want to play common tunes (i.e. Simon & Garfunkel, Beatles, etc.) There’s no sense in learning an instrument that isn’t conducive to the music you want to play.
3. I want something relatively inexpensive. I don’t want to invest in something that (has history has shown) may not become a constant in my life.
After all that, I settled on the uke. It’s small, lightweight, portable, and can pass as full-sounding enough to work as an around the campfire type instrument. Now the next step is teaching myself. I picked up an intro-booklet and read a ton of information on chords, music charts, etc. online. I’ve spent about 30 min each night practicing, and am slowly learning the different chords. Check up with me in about a year to see how it’s going.
Oh yeah, and because I have a small addiction to Amazon, I picked up a backpacking guitar (with the hope that one day I’ll be able to transfer my uke skills to a six-stringed instrument). The backpacking guitar has a much fuller, louder sound, but it’s quite a bit larger than the uke. It’ll be great for car camping and air travel. Once again, check back in a year.