Thursday, April 21, 2016


It’s been a long time since I wrote a post.  I’ve been distracted lately; distracted by work (not a good thing), distracted by spring break (a very good thing), and distracted by a man (a darn good thing).  My biggest distraction, however, has been a new hobby.

I started playing the ukulele in December.  When I bought my instrument at Sam Ash, the salesperson told me that a ukulele club met at the store on Tuesday evenings.  I joined the group of 20+ ukers and it has been lots of fun.  We play for about 2 hours from a song packet the group organizer prepares.  The songs range from country to folk to rock to ballads, but there is rarely anything more recent than 1970.  I’m not sure if that is a reflection of the age of our group organizer or his musical taste.  Either way, it’s excellent practice for me.

To give you an impression of the makeup of the group, during Christmas week one of the members showed up with a homemade hat.  It consisted of a yellow construction helmet with a toilet plunger glued to the top.  The plunger handle had been made into a small Christmas tree complete with lights that lit up. Extremely creative!

I have discovered some amazing ukulele players online.  My 2 favorites are Jake Shimabukuro and James Hall.  My son and I were fortunate enough to see Jake in concert a few months ago and it was inspiring. Click here to watch Jake's TED Talk where he plays Bohemian Rhapsody.  Here is a video clip of James Hall playing Michael Jackson's Billie Jean on the uke.
Jake Shimabukuro's concert at
City Winery in Chicago
I plan to keep practicing and continue trying to convince my friends to sing with me while I play (that’s difficult to accomplish, by the way). Technically, I have had my debut as a uke player.  My son and his girlfriend played at a charity event and they let me play with them for 1 song.  It was the end of the event and no one was paying any attention, so it was the perfect debut for me!  
My ukulele debut playing "Can't Help
Falling in Love" with the band Swellshark.