Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Ukulele love

Mark has been researching stringed instruments on the internet for a couple of months now. Not violins and cellos. He's been stalking youtube videos of mandolins, lutes, dulcimers...

One evening I asked him why.

Turns out he was searching for an instrument he could play and enjoy. He had tried guitar, even took lessons a few years ago, but his fingers never toughened up enough for him to enjoy playing. The guitar has been gathering dust for some time now.

He researched video tutorials, samples of musicians, different brands of instruments, music available. He thought about mandolins long and hard, but eventually settled on...

...a ukulele!!??

Yup. We visited Guitar Center last week and he came home with his new love.

Now, what makes this really fun for me is that I have owned/played a ukulele since I was a teenager. I used to know lots of chords, remember a few of the basics, never got good at strumming. Now that Mark is learning to play the ukulele, we've been having some fun together with this. I had no idea there were so many tutorials on youtube! Mark is learning chords and I'm finally learning to strum. Mark is picking up (pun...sorry...) how to pick the notes for some songs, too. (Can you imagine "Ode to Joy" on a ukulele? It's true.)

Here we are with our instruments. Mine is an heirloom banjo ukulele. (I just looked it up on wikipedia, and it's also known as a banjolele.) My banjo uke belonged to my great-uncle when he was a student at Stanford in the 1920's. They were popular back then. It has a higher, more banjo-ish tone than Mark's concert ukulele. They sound pretty good together.

We bought a very cool little tuning gizmo called a Snark when we bought Mark's ukulele. I thought maybe the salesman was just trying to get us to buy something, but it turns out he was right. The Snark makes it so quick and easy to get our ukes tuned up and ready to go.

We're currently working on "Somewhere Over the Rainbow." We'll make a little video for the grandkids as soon as we get it down, and I'll post it here for your listening pleasure.

6 comments:

Katie said...

Haha. How fun! I'm sure Olivia will love the video that's forthcoming. :)

Dorothy said...

Oh, what a happy hobby to learn together! You've got to bring those along on our next camping trip. Happy, happy campfire time. :)

Polly @ Helping Little Hands said...

Awesome. Can't wait to hear some duets.

Katie said...

Olivia was looking over my shoulder while I was looking at some other blogs just now and she said, "See Gramma?" So we came over here and I showed her this picture of you and she said, "Sing wheels on the bus!" :) You guys should really record yourselves singing wheels on the bus and put it on here. Olivia would want to watch it over and over and over again. On second thought...

Mike said...

I got a glimpse of these two in action last weekend. Fabulous!

When does the world tour start?

Anna said...

This is so so awesome. I can't WAIT to see a video.




Seriously, so cool.