Learning a new musical instrument- the ukulele!

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I bought a ukulele a couple days ago, on Wednesday, after almost a year’s contemplation! Probably was waaaaaaaaaaaaay ahead of myself when I told the sales staff at UM that I want to  eventually play jazz & bossa nova on the ukulele, but if they puked a little in their mouth, I had no inkling of it :p I tried out several ukuleles, took a long time choosing and settled on a Leho Tenor. Went home happy and raring to troll my family with the uke. I played a birthday song for my brother, in his sleep, and it wasn’t even his birthday!

SO. Anyway, after just 2 days of playing the same four chords, I thought There must be more to the uke than strumming! Thankfully, there is. Ukulele Movement is running one-off Beginner Workshops and Introduction to Fingerpicking classes these holidays. I attended one today and learnt eight fingerpicking patterns, and Silent Night two ways- just melody, and chord & melody. The hour went by really quickly!

The most disconcerting thing to me about the ukulele? strings going from high-low-higher- highest. It is unlike the guitar, which I play (after a fashion). Apart from that, I thought it was pretty easy, and Joe (the instructor) was really good at explaining things and also to point out the similarities and differences in guitar and ukulele playing.

We’ll see how it goes from here- although I am tempted to sign up for ukulele classes, I’m not sure whether my work and school schedules can accommodate one more commitment. On top of that, I have also been going for Pilates once a week- I know, I haven’t said anything about pilates on this blog, but I really wasn’t sure at first whether it’s something I will stick with. Will write about it another time.

What I am interested to learn from learning the ukulele is transference- I play the piano and some guitar, and I want to know how much of that I can transfer to ukulele playing. In school we learn that it’s easier to pick up second and third languages once you have just one language down to pat, and I expect picking up a musical instrument to be the same.

Stay tuned!

PS: If you’re thinking of buying a ukulele, I recommend Sarah’s entry on Buying a Ukulele in Singapore and Where to buy a Ukelele in Singapore. I bought mine at Ukulele Movement and the staff were friendly and approachable… mindful of my budget, too!


6 thoughts on “Learning a new musical instrument- the ukulele!

  1. Jeff Katzer says:

    Best of luck with your ukulele. I’m also a guitar player of many years, about 1 year ago I picked up a ukulele and now there are 3 or 4 very lonely guitars hanging around my house. I love my ukulele. It’s a Kala tenor. I’ll be watching for your first video uku blog. Kat

  2. webmasterpluc says:

    Good luck in learning the uke – it’s a fun instrument to play! I’ve been teaching myself for just over a year. Head over to our club website (details in my signature block) for some free tips, on-line resources & songbooks.
    Happy strumming!

    • Harlina says:

      Thanks for sharing, Jeanette! I love the idea of an inclusive club, and I don’t know if we have a similar uke club here in Singapore- it’s something to find out!

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