I got a ukulele for my birthday. Since then I’ve been spending more time trying to learn how to spell it than I have how to play it.
I’d never touched a ukulele before my birthday but the week before the big day, I went into a music shop and announced to the hipster guy behind the counter that I wanted to learn how to play one.
He led me over to the colourful toy ones.
’These are our starting ukuleles,’ he said.
’No. I want a proper ukulele,’ I said.
We walked over to where some were hanging on a wall and he took one down and handed it to me. I held it against my chest with one hand and held the neck of it with the other.
The guy looked at me.
I looked at him.
‘Yeah. No. That’s a nice ukulele,’ I said, handing it back.
Maybe I should I have watched a YouTube tutorial before I went in so that I could make a chord shape of some sort, any sort, somewhere on the neck and know how and where to strum. I know a few chords on the guitar but there are less strings on a ukulele and your fingers go in different shapes to make chords. That much I knew.
So the hipster played a little fancy thing on the uke* and hung it back up.
*I’m going to call it that from now on (1) because I just don’t like the way ukulele is spelled and (2) I keep getting it wrong every time I try.
He took another one down and handed it to me. I looked at the body of it and nodded, pressing my lips together.
‘Mmmm. That’s a nice instrument too,’ I said.
And I gave it back.
I’m sure he wanted to take me by the elbow back to the ones you see in toy boxes in every house. But when my friend and I were learning the guitar at uni, we decided that we needed an instrument that even we could make sound good. So we went to the Maton factory and my friend bought a brand new guitar. In much the same fashion as I bought the uke.
If you’re not into Maton and guitar brands, think about wanting to lose weight. So you buy a NutriBullet and sit it in your kitchen.
Anyway, YouTube has since become my friend and hipster guy would be pleased to see that I now know four chords. I’m also pleased to see that there are many, many songs made up of those four chords.
On the farm front, I took this photo of Anthony and the girls sowing our last paddock on the weekend. And with the rain we’ve had this week, we’re all still smiling like this.
Except when I’m playing the uke. Then I’m not sure that Anthony’s face looks like that.