By Max Greenberg
Never Played a Musical Instrument Before? Try a UkuleleUploaded: Oct 26, 2017
Ukulele-mania is sweeping the senior community. The simple, handy, 4-string uke is proving to be a relatively easy instrument for folks who have never played one to pick up rather quickly. There are uke jam groups formed and forming as we speak. I came across one that meets every Friday at a member’s house in the area for a couple of hours and it is great fun. I play the mandolin and was invited to join in (as look as I didn’t play too loud) and it’s working out swell. My particular jam group plays mostly from The Santa Cruz Ukulele Club which has hundreds of members (maybe thousands.) The Santa Cruz club meets every Sat morning at 10am to play together on the beach near The Crows Nest restaurant in Santa Cruz. They get about 150 members each time! Imagine that. But you don’t need to go all the way down to Santa Cruz to join in a ukulele lover’s group.
First thing if you’ve never played a uke before is to get one. You might go into the Gryphon Stringed Instruments store 211 Lambert Ave, Palo Alto and look at their selection. They are extremely knowledgeable about all kinds of stringed instruments and have a nice selection of ukes for all levels. You could try West Valley Music store on Castro Street in Mountain View. They have a few there as well. And then there is of course the big store in the sky, Amazon, that offers a huge selection. The downside there is you don’t get to try one out before you buy it.
IF you’ve never played before a few lessons would help get you started. Just learn 3-4 simple basic chords and a simple strumming style and you’ll be off and running playing your favorite songs. Youtube is full of easy to follow uke lessons for all levels including the brand new player.
Have fun with it. Playing music (and a uke) is one of the most enjoyable, therapeutic, social and fun things you can do, ESPECIALLY if you never played an instrument before and never thought you could. I firmly believe anyone can learn to play the ukulele. Give it a try.