The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #84223 Message #3651342
Posted By: GUEST,Stim
15-Aug-14 - 10:53 PM
Thread Name: Are ukuleles a real instrument?
Subject: RE: Are ukuleles a real instrument?
You are incredibly wrong about the uke's ability to produce tone, Rahere. It is a bright, crisp, and loud instrument.
Given that, a lot of people don't have their instruments tuned properly, which can be nearly fatal, given the instrument's register. And a lot of people try to play the uke like a little guitar, which isn't, while others try to play it like a little banjo, which it also isn't.
Some people claim that the name "ukulele" means something like "jumping flea", which I can neither affirm nor deny, however, it should pretty much sound like that. (or you could say popcorn which I prefer to fleas)
The key to playing the uke is learning to make it speak properly (same as with all instruments) and the fundamental is a simple down stroke with the index finger(called a one-stroke roll). A lot of people don't get it right unless someone shows them how, and most of those people don't know they don't get it right.
After that, people get tripped up by fretting. The ukulele is essentially a rhythm instrument, and you need to work out a fret and release movement that plays off the finger role. The old Hawaiian music was all drums, and the jumping fleas are playing drum rhythms.
The thing is, until you've got the instrument in tune, and you've got the downstroke and the fretting together, you won't get the full effect of the instrument.