The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #84223   Message #3499072
Posted By: Johnny J
05-Apr-13 - 05:16 AM
Thread Name: Are ukuleles a real instrument?
Subject: RE: Are ukuleles a real instrument?
Yes, it's a real instrument but there aren't many *real players*.

However, the instrument does have a lot of scope and possibilities and is much more challenging than it first appears if you want to get beyond the "three chord" tricks.

Even for accompaniment, some of the rhythms can be quite complicated... more so than I would normally do on guitar.... but, while occasionally effective, don't always suit the songs or tunes IMHO. That's a matter of taste though.

I've also been learning "melodies" and "tunes" (Call them the same thing if you wish but I would differentiate. If you are used to playing guitar, this isn't too difficult but if you are a fidler or mandolin player you have to take into account the interval differences. However, even then, you are half way there.

I DO find interpreting other musicians' arrangements a little more challenging at times especially when it comes to the use of tablature versus written music or a combination of both.
It is possible, as you will know, to play the same notes at various different positions on a guitar, ukelele, and even to a certain extent on fiddle although most trad tunes tend to be played in the first position.
So, how I would play a tune myself by ear or from the standard dots is not necessarily the same as the arranger has shown on the tablature. There are many possibilities and the high "G" string is often used to produce a "Campanale" effect. So, there's a lot of string crossing involved when it would often be easier or more natural just to remain on the "E" string but play the "G" on the third fret.

However, no doubt I'll get used to it if I want to become a "real" player.