I have always said that I was — at best — an adequate guitarist. I used to fight with Big Dread (my Hooooge acoustic dreadought whom I sold earlier this year) for space in front of the music stand, I used to wrestle with it for a clear sounding ‘F’ chord…
It wasn’t pretty. Doable, mediocre. Definitely not smooth, polished, or — heaven help me — professional.
When I discovered, the ukulele, I felt like I’d found a long-time friend. Ukulele suited me fine — it was small enough to not shove me off my own stool if I fidgeted, it happily produced any chord I wanted, even going so far as to chirp out little melodies with hammer-ons and pull-offs around the chords if I wished. It fit my hand, fit the strength of my fingers. I picked up advanced strumming and chording techniques without even seeming to work for them. Even though it didn’t have enough of the bass tones I tend to crave in my music, the ukulele was a ready music-making partner, and that meant a lot.
Of course, it being a 3/4 size (a Luna Safari Muse, if you’re interested) certainly helps — like my beloved Lanikai ukulele, it doesn’t try to shove me off my stool or fight me over a simple ‘F’ chord.
But the neatest thing? I do believe playing the ukulele for the last (almost) year has strengthened my fretted instrument skills. Handling this sweet little guitar, I no longer have the sick sense that I’m bumbling over the strings.
I feel a little like Goldilocks. ๐