What Are You Going To Do With That Ukulele?

While visiting my aunt this summer, she took Alex to visit my cousin in Tampa and she has a ukulele.  Alex fell in love with her ukulele. She taught him the basic strumming method in the time they were there. Her roommate has a baritone ukulele. He didn’t like that one as much. He wants a tenor ukulele like my cousin’s. He wanted guitar lessons but he really wants ukulele lessons now.

Coincidentally, my friend Bill Kizer got a ukulele for Father’s Day. The book I read this summer on rapid learning protocols has a chapter on ukulele. Less coincidentally, my friend and colleague, Kevin Conlin, pointed me to this video of Jake Shimabukuro playing Bohemian Rhapsody on ukulele in a TED Talk from 2010.

The video is pretty awesome! I never thought anyone could play Bohemian Rhapsody on the ukulele…or would.
I posted about this whole ukulele thing previously. Since then, I have found hundreds of videos on how to play the ukulele on YouTube. Fortunately his school’s music teacher thinks he can teach Alex to play the ukulele. His first lesson is today. For the first few days as Alex practices scales (or whatever), this is what I’ll be hearing.
What does all of this mean for you? I have absolutely no clue other than you get to watch a really cool video.

2 thoughts on “What Are You Going To Do With That Ukulele?”

  1. Who knew there was a TED talk on playing the ukulele! Jake is the man. The best live uke performances I ever heard were:

    1) At a post funeral gathering for my friend’s dad and mom who both had recently passed away. The purpose was to gather family and friends and celebrate their life (instead of mourn their death). One of the friends of the family (or maybe it was an extended family member) she sang and played Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World” on the uke. It was tear jerking but so enjoyable!

    2) Recently at Bill Kizer’s end of summer party. In between the set of a very pleasant and talented duo playing Hawaiian tunes, Bill gave his own uke to Malia and told everyone to get ready for quite a treat. She is the 9 year old (9 I think) neighbor’s daughter with a lot of raw musical talent. She played Ho Hey by The Lumineers. In the way we love our children and root for their success is the way I listened to Malia play and sing her heart out. OMG what a treat that was.

    I hope Alex is enjoying his uke lessons.

    1. Ask Kizer about Jake. But only if you’re prepared for a rant. 🙂

      Th ukulele has a very interesting sound. He’s playing a tenor uke. I like the sound of it a lot. He’s getting pretty decent.

      He’s left handed and we’ve chosen to have him learn to play right handed with the thought being to have the more dexterous hand doing the chords. The other side of that is, I think he may have a little more problem keeping his right hand strumming while changing chords but that will be easier to overcome with time.

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