Ukulele

Here is something not a lot of people know about little me. 

I like to play the ukulele. And by like, I mean, I bloody love it. And by like, I mean, out of all the stringed instruments out there in all the world, I think I have found the one I like the best. This is a fairly new hobby, and I reckon my friends thought it would be a passing phase, as so many of my hobbies turn out to be. So I can’t really blame them for that.

I am flighty. I pick things up, and if I can’t do it easily I give up pretty quickly. Take, for instance, knitting. That was a pretty short-lived hobby. Hand me a crochet hook and I’ll crochet you up something pretty (in basic crochet stitches, natch, hard ones are too tricky) but hand me a pair of knitting needles, and I’ll maybe poke you with one of them. 

Or, here’s another example: a regular, six stringed guitar. I just couldn’t do it. God knows, I tried. I really tried, for a couple of weeks. I even managed to learn how to play that Metro Station song.  Badly. When I played it to my sister, whose guitar it is, she looked very confused. Maybe even baffled. 

“Megan” I said, “It’s Metro Station! It’s bloody Metro Station! Shake it! Can’t you hear it? Look, like this.” And I played it again. I’m playing fast and loose with the word ‘played’ here. 

In my head I looked like Courtney Love (complete with big hair and smudged eye makeup). My sister looked blank. I called it a day. As it turns out, even Metro Station can’t play Metro Station songs well, so I don’t feel so bad about that. It’s the extra two strings, they blew my mind. 

I did, once, try to play bass guitar. Just once. I went into a shop in Denmark Street in London and pretended I knew what I was doing because basses are cool aren’t they? They are such a “I don’t give a fuck” instrument with everything they have going on, and I was about fifteen. The staff straight up knew I was an impostor, my friend looked at her feet, and I haven’t picked one up since.

See? Flighty. It’s okay, I am aware of my faults.

So, I surprised myself when I picked up the ukulele. I only did it because there’s a ukulele in my novel, which I wrote in on a whim. There’s also a bass guitar (or two) and I wanted something pretty much opposite sounding to that. So I picked one up and had a go and haven’t really put it down since. It’s fun to play. It makes a nice sound. It’s not at all scary, and it really isn’t at all hard. I think I’m all right, in any case. I can play a few songs now without even having to look at tabs. Including Post Break Up Sex by the Vaccines. Oh yeah, and Shake It, by Metro Station, because I wasn’t going to be defeated by Miley Cyrus’ brother, no sir. Today I taught myself how to play a Maximo Park song, and now I feel badass.

Last night I went along to Southampton Ukulele Jam, which obviously means I am well serious about ukuleles, doesn’t it? It was great. Hilarious. A lot of fun, and we played some cool songs. Everyone was friendly, and I didn’t even get picked on for being new. I’ll go back, for sure. Plus there was beer. My friend Liv and I walked home in the rain, puffing away on fags and generally enjoying life. It was a good evening.

ukulele love

And look! They come in pretty colours! 

 

 

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7 comments

  1. I love this post, it makes me happy!!

    I, too, am great with a crochet hook but bloody useless with a pair of knitting needles!! What is with that?

    I’ve also had a guitar since childhood but never had any lessons, and still wish I could play it lol

    What’s this novel you speak of? I am intrigued… Now that is a huge endeavour, not flighty at all!! Mine has been sitting unloved for years but it still hangs in there… Novels are so opposite to flighty, so I’d love to hear more about it :)

    1. Aha! Well, I’ve spent a lot of the year writing a book. It’s getting there. Without giving too much away it’s about a girl from London, a guy from LA, and a huge misunderstanding, but it’s okay, it’s chick lit so it has a happy ending. It’s called Getting Over Jesse Franklin xxx

  2. Just came across your blog via. the Southampton Ukulele Jam reference. I’ve been going along about 18 months (and was there last night) and totally agree that it’s great fun. I’d played the guitar for quite a while and had lapsed, but was brought along to the Jam by a few friends and have loved it ever since. I think the fun and communal nature of playing together really can’t be beaten. So welcome along – it’s always good to hear new people coming along and enjoying it. And get yourself along to a gig at some point as well – they’re really good fun as well.

    As an aside, I noticed via. one of your other posts that you like Meghan Trainor’s All About That Bass. A few of us from the Jam have recently got together to form a little band, and we played that song at a mini-gig on Sunday evening. It works really well on the uke – give it a try.

    1. Hello! Thanks for your comment. I had a look on your blog and mastered All About That Bass like a boss today – so thanks for that, because I hadn’t managed to find a version I liked before. I guess I’ll probably see you in a couple of weeks :)

      1. Glad that worked for you. It’s a good little song to do.

        And I’ll keep an eye out for you at the next Jam. I’m usually tucked away in the corner next to the bar.

  3. Hubs and my brother (who lives near us) are both big guitar players, so my brother got L a ukele for her 6th birthday a couple of years ago (a sponge bob one), but it has mostly been ignored, until this school year (Year 3) when she started having ukele lessons at school – instead of carrying on the recorder from last year, hallelujah! Now it remains to be seen whether she can actually play it….

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