is the grass any bluer...

is the grass any bluer...
on the other side?

Monday, March 11, 2013

Hawaiian Punch

I have given all my grandchildren and my son a ukulele!
Anybody who reads my blog knows I have been crazy about the ukulele for about the last three years or so. I taught myself to play after a friend kept pestering me about getting a ukulele band together.  He already had four or five ukuleles, gave me an old and used one with pieces missing, but I named her Scarlet Blue and played her like a pro ... until I got good enough to just know there was a better ukulele waiting for me somewhere out in UkeLand. 

I tried to teach the frenemy how to play, but he had no impetus to learn on his own, saying he just wanted to 'get laid.'  Here is how  the conversation went over the course of three years. I would play something like Ain't She Sweet, and be interrupted. "I need to learn that song!  Do know how easy it will be for me to get laid?  Oh, and the group's initials will spell out F.U.C.K, isn't that funny?" said my soon-to-be-ex-friend, to which I replied, "NO it is not funny, I'm serious about the ukulele, and I am not going to let you waste my time. I spent 3 years teaching myself how to play, just to have you trivialize my sincerity like that?  No no no!!"  

Despite all of that, I still love to teach ukulele.  So with an earnest heart, I still agreed to teach his friends, but another group soon annexed us, they started plugging in stuff, blah blah blah ... driving this acoustic purist nuts, until eventually, I wanted out.  Immediately.  So I left them with many sheets of music I had already taught them to get started...George Jones' sad songs and all.  lol 

I sing in a great choir surrounded by serious musicians.  I was not going to be in a band with people I had to convince to listen, and to love learning how to play it, ya know?

So I went off and started up my own gig with people who really wanted to learn to love to play and sing.  Coz if you do all that, you'll eventually get laid.  Right? 
Did you see my self portrait pic in Ace Weekly's 12.12.12 edition? any rate, I have started a new group.  I teach beginners or experienced players, but I do not really teach music as much as I teach Love.  I love to kindle the Love for the ukulele more than anything.  It is because it is an instrument you can play on your own and always be happy.  

The ukulele's limitations teach a strict musician like myself that it's okay not to have every finger on every key, it's okay to just chop chords...and so that's what I do. I chop chords.  And oh, what a glorious day when I finally realized I can be a chord person as well as a note person.  

This is where I hold my weekly ukulele sessions. Best BLT in town!

For those who play guitar or other string instruments, you may think that sounds crazy, but for a girl who played piano all her life, bass clarinet in high school, and sings alto in a choir, it's a huge transition.  It's going from big to small in one way, and vice versa.  It's learning that my voice is good enough to sing just about any song, and my ukulele is good enough, too, to accompany me on most any tune.   

In fact, the uke taught me that indeed, I am good enough. I am enough.  That's the lesson I learned from playing this simple little four-string happy music box.  

I needed to learn that lesson, and continue to learn it over and over again lest I forget.  So if you have a ukulele or your mama has one, bring your ukulele questions to me and I will answer them honestly and without an ulterior motive.  

My uke sessions have already drawn some big names.  We have been visited by a former Mayor, and one of Lexington's best guitarists, the human jukebox, as they call him. 

I asked my Linked In connections to recommend me as a ukulele teacher and am happy to say that Tanzi Merritt, Kate Savage, Kathy Jones and Arthur Rouse have all been gracious enough to say some very kind things about my ukulele music.  Thank y'all!
So there will likely be no magazine covers of me angrily clutching my ukulele in a defensive stance -- I don't want to fight.  My motive is Love, and that, my lambchops, is all you need  '-)

Ryan Case and I sing Tonight, You Belong To Me

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