Has anybody else noticed this?

  1. 7 years ago

    Recently (as in the past few years) the ukulele has been getting more and more popular. This is great! I think everybody should play this wonderful instrument. But the problem is as more and more people are picking up ukes more and more people are viewing the ukulele as a joke, or even a toy. The culprits behind the perpetuation of this issue are the good uke players like us that walk by a junior high beiber impersonator and hear him playing his G, his C, his Am, and guess what!! his F.
    What I implore you to do is sit down, teach him an Em, a Db, or maybe even a Bdim. Keep the true spirit of the ukulele alive! Lets rebuild the reputation of the ukulele into its once magnificent glory! Lets create a new generation of players that will keep the spirit alive forever!
    Now, go forth and change the world.
    Hang loose

  2. I do think many people think of the uke as a joke or at the most an instrument you can "master" in a day. but Ive never cared much what people think of instruments. I know what I like and I try to learn to play it. Plus, most fads don't last that long anyway. So it wont take too long before people who actually bother to try and learn an instrument solely because others think its cool move on to the next thing. Thankfully, Ive never been the type to like things just cuz they're "underground". Mainstream or obscure, I like what I like.

    I know... I tend to ramble.

  3. Ahh, the "Ukulele Renaissance!" I hate to think that it is just a fad but my better judgement tells me that we will likely see a steady return to the underground for the uke. When I bought my first ukulele from a local music shop in 2005 they had not sold one in over 6 months. Now when I go back they have been selling at least 1 a month the last three years.

    I think a large reason for the emerging interest in the instrument is that mainstream music has been giving it a fair shake recently too with some big acts picking it up. If that continues, we could eventually see the day when the uke is considered as a 'B' Tier instrument.

  4. I agree that it is big names that are introducing the uke into their songs. The same can be said for banjos and mandolins. They use these instruments in a very basic way but add a very different sound, making people go, "Ooooo! That's cool! What is it!?"

    I push myself every time I practice. I'm getting there but I laugh about people who just pick it up and think it's easy. I then push them toward listening to uke-only music and challenge them to say the music is "easy" or "simplistic". The uke gaining respect on person at a time.

  5. One thing that I've noticed about these people who pick up ukes just because they heard it in a pop song is that they learn 2 or 3 chords, and then give up. I've seen so many youtube covers of songs with basic chords, because these people put no time and effort into it. Most of them get frustrated and then just stop. It just makes me mad because it makes the whole ukulele community look bad. But, this also that just paves the way for serious players because it makes them sound just so much better than the rest. Another thing that upsets me is that all of these casual (what should we call 'em? we need a name for these people) buy really expensive ukes that usually only the pros are advanced players use. I've seen a video of a kid showing off his uke he got for his birthday or something, and it was like a $300 uke. He just played a few basic chords and that was it. I don't mean to sound like mean old Mr.Grumpy, but these people are driving me crazy. Mabey I'm getting too worked up about it, I gotta cool down from this rant.

  6. I play hand-drums, and I have for years. I am mostly self-taught but quite serious about knowing how to play

    If you go to an average drum circle, you will find the same sort of disinterest in going to the next level that inspired this discussion about the ukulele. Some people even get offended when one tries to teach them something new.

    No doubt you would find out the same thing about piano players if the darn instruments were easier to lug around

    It's easy to see with the ukulele, but I think it is not specific to any one instrument

  7. "Joberst" Another thing that upsets me is that all of these casual (what should we call 'em? we need a name for these people) buy really expensive ukes that usually only the pros are advanced players use. I've seen a video of a kid showing off his uke he got for his birthday or something, and it was like a $300 uke. He just played a few basic chords and that was it. I don't mean to sound like mean old Mr.Grumpy, but these people are driving me crazy. Mabey I'm getting too worked up about it, I gotta cool down from this rant.

    Oh yeah, that does annoy me! I have to scrape my pennies together just to buy mid-grade instruments and when I see people with high-quality instruments that aren't even serious about playing or learning it just grates my nerves! Ive seen many videos where people have ukes worth hundreds and they ''don't really play, they just bang around on them''. I'm like, "THAT'S WHAT $40 UKES ARE FOR!!!!" Call it jealousy or whatever but that's how I feel.

    But I feel that way even when I see any talented musician smash or otherwise destroy their instrument. I know it looks cool and all, but I'm always thinking like, "Do you know how many people are dying to purchase and learn (whatever the ill-fated instrument is) but they cant afford it! And here you are trashing a great quality one!

  8. Yes you all have very valid points, but i think that the only thing that we can do to maintain the legitimacy of this beautiful instrument is through education. So keep doing what you're doing!
    Hang loose
    -J

  9. I have noticed this. And a lot of people take it like it's some sort of fad. Like everyone can play one. Although the ukulele is an easy instrument to learn, it does require skill and patience! I feel I've only begun even though I've been playing for quite some time. And a ukulele brings so much happiness to me! Maybe not to the people who abuse its pure AWESOMENESS.
    DFTBA

  10. Well I wouldn't call it a fad, but it is a boom, and like any boom it will eventually fall in popularity again. It last happened in the 40's when the uke was huge, then it fell out of favour.

    It's no biggie though as long as you keep playing. I started uke before the current boom and intend to continue playing after it.

  11. Not to sound mean or anything but have you noticed that nobody is talking about tiny Tim anymore the ukulele player that the general public thought was a little bit weird, I don't know but when I first bought my ukulele my dad was like oh tiny Tim and now he doesn't even mention him anymore thats why I think it's getting to be popular again but that's just me.

  12. "Jake1069h" Not to sound mean or anything but have you noticed that nobody is talking about tiny Tim anymore the ukulele player that the general public thought was a little bit weird, I don't know but when I first bought my ukulele my dad was like oh tiny Tim and now he doesn't even mention him anymore thats why I think it's getting to be popular again but that's just me.

    I don't remember anyone every talking about tiny tim much. I think all the hype now is about Jake Shimabukuro.

  13. Yeah, you guys are a tad young to hear too much about the albatross around the uke's neck, Tiny Tim.

    Even saying his name in the same breath as Jake Shimabukuro is well nigh sinfull

  14. Over in the UK we still get the "do you know George Formby songs" whenever anyone sees a ukulele. It's very annoying.

    For those who don't know who GF was - he was a film star and music hall chap from the 40's/50's - see below

  15. "bazmaz" Over in the UK we still get the "do you know George Formby songs" whenever anyone sees a ukulele. It's very annoying.

    Yeah, I definitely can't speak for other Americans, but, I even heard of GF until after I started playing the uke and that was only online. I've actually never had any person see my uke and reference GF.

  16. 3 years ago

    Just an FYI type of post - but I think I heard Paul McCartney mention (in an interview) that (the late) George Harrison was a member of the George Formby fan club...(I wonder if he had an autographed photo?)

  17. If people want to think of it as a toy or a lesser instrument then I guess they can continue in their narrowmindedness. I will play regardless of their opinion.

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