I’ve hit the age where I have become very forgetful of things that I used to be able to call up from my memory immediately: movie titles, actors’ names, books I’ve read, information from research that I’ve done, etc. It’s scary, and in a half-assed effort to keep my brain fresh, I decided to follow advice I’ve heard here and there and take up a new hobby. The idea being that it will keep my synapses firing and maybe delay my brain’s slow decline into decrepitude. Plus, I resent having to make lists.
So I bought a cheap but highly recommended ukulele and have been teaching myself how to play it by watching online videos and following a few lesson books. I may end up taking lessons from a real live person at some point, too. Who will have to break me of a thousand bad habits, I’m sure.
It’s sort of a cheat, because I took guitar lessons years ago, and there are some things that are similar, like the pain of playing with uncallused fingers. But more things are different, like completely different chord fingerings and the fact that the uke only has four strings to a guitar’s six. And probably many more that I’m too much of a newbie to point out here, so it’s new enough for my sad brain.
So far, my playlist includes:
- Somewhere Over the Rainbow (the Iz version)
- La Vie en Rose
- Build Me Up Buttercup
- Dream a Little Dream of Me
And also sad little bits of things here and there, like riffs from “Bad Reputation” and “White Room,” or “The Moon Song” from the movie “Her,” because it has some easy fingerpicking in it.
I don’t really plan on doing much with my uke other than just enjoying the challenge of learning it. I can’t sing, so it’s not like I can go on the concert circuit, but it would be nice to play with other people once in a while.
Funny how I took guitar lessons, at my parents’ expense, for a number of years as a teen and never practiced like I should have. I was more into being known as someone who played the guitar (in yet another failed attempt in being popular) vs. someone who worked at getting good at it. I’ve made a minimal investment with my ukulele and will probably go much further musically with it, and for better reasons. Of course, it’s another time suck from my writing, but it’s at least a productive time suck.
And speaking of easyish fingerpicking, I think I’ve found my theme song: