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09 July 2011 @ 07:47 pm
Don't judge me!  
Weekends are for ukulele buying!*

This time it was at the local musician's market (a well-run little private shop, not, alas, an actual market, which would be at night, and have harps* and mandolins, and be unutterably cool!) where the owner had told me he was expecting hard cases for tenor ukuleles any day now.

I popped in on spec, and while the cases were not in yet, he showed me the same type in a soprano size and I approved. But …

'Could I take a look at a soprano ukulele?' I asked. 'My little hands are finding it a stretch to manage some of the fingerings at the same time I am learning them, so a smaller one might be easier until I have learned more chords.'

'Good plan!' the owner replied, and started to show me through a few nice models.

Less than 15 minutes later I left with a lovely and teeny new ukulele, in its own rectangular case!

I had a mission of mercy to deliver hot chocolate to deensey , and then headed on home, crossing busy King St behind a couple who then headed down the same side street I was going to and got into their rather silly car. I had to duck around the passenger door that the chap had left open across the pavement and he only noticed after I was already ducking, but he sang out 'Sorry', so I smiled back.

When I went to cross the next street, their car was already in motion and coming in my direction. I waited, for I am polite. The car rolled to a stop in front of me and the man in the passenger seat rolled down his window. 'Excuse me?' he asked.

I was expecting to be asked for directions. Instead, he pointed at the case and said 'Is that a flute? Or a saxaphone?'

'It's a ukulele!' I said. 'A soprano ukulele.'

'We were both wrong!' he declared, laughing.

I grinned and waved at him and his girlfriend as they drove off, and walked home, smiling, happy that strangers see me as a natural arty musical type, and not the homicidal maniac my nearest and dearest do.

*I originally wrote that Saturday was for ukulele buying, and then realised that I have only had my tenor for six days, not seven, so my progress is not as dire as I had thought!
Keeper of the Superfluous Es!: AS/S/?themostepotente on July 9th, 2011 10:51 am (UTC)
I want to hear you play, Brammers. Make a YT video! *g*
blamebramptonblamebrampton on July 9th, 2011 11:00 am (UTC)
I will – though more likely a sound file – as soon as I can actually play something competently!
maevemistmaevemist on July 9th, 2011 11:14 am (UTC)
You and my son should get together and make beautful music together. 2 weeks ago he was given a 100 year old squeeze box accordian to 'have a play around with' because my uncle was currently out of antique violins and guitars.

He will taking up the trombone in the next couple of weeks as well.

I guess my point is that I really love seeing people teach themselves musical intruments and how much joy it brings to them. I have such a small amount of practical talent where music is concerned it is quite shameful, (after 10 years of music lessons I can play Joy to the world on the recorder and possible the clarinet and Mary had a little lamb on the piano from memory :() but I do love music a whole lot and got honours in my first 4 grades of musical theory as a child.

TL;DR - You are awesome and your posts make me smile so thank you. :)
blamebramptonblamebrampton on July 9th, 2011 11:29 am (UTC)
We're on the same continent, it could happen!

I have to confess that I have made it to 44 without being able to play a single instrument. Maybe a scale and a few basic things on the piano if schoolgirl lessons were to somehow leap to the front of my memory, same on the recorder ... it's shameful, especially because Dad could play many instruments, stringed and wind.

But he could not sing and I could, so he never taught me as he said I would not need an instrument, I'd be too busy singing. If he'd lived longer, I am sure I would have nagged him into helping me, at the least on the guitar or harp so I could accompany myself. But it's never too late! And the soprano uke IS easier for tricksy fingerings :-)

Your son sounds awesome, and so does your uncle, and I would love to pick your brain for musical theory once I have more of it in my own head. I will practise and we should see about getting together later in the year!
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blamebramptonblamebrampton on July 9th, 2011 02:44 pm (UTC)
Do not mock the Smeck, he is a legend! (Also, you know that I will buy a banjo-ukulele at some point ;-))

I actually can play the tambourine, but I'm not certain it counts as an instrument, more a device of cruelty ...
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blamebramptonblamebrampton on July 9th, 2011 03:02 pm (UTC)
I'm not sure you should count on it, it doesn't seem to have done the Salvation Army a world of good yet ...
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blamebramptonblamebrampton on July 9th, 2011 03:32 pm (UTC)
I do! Well-trained underlings will do most anything for a leader with good lingerie. Think of Victoria's Empire and all that whalebone!
jeknijekni on July 9th, 2011 02:38 pm (UTC)
I am trying to find a second hand alto saxophone for my eldest who is in the year 7 Beginner Band at high school. She did 2 years of clarinet in 5 & 6 and would be in the Intermediate Band if she would just practice more. But she finds lugging the instrument back and forth to school a bit difficult, hence trying to acquire another.

The younger one is in year 5 and doing clarinet, although she seems to want to stick with it and not go brass in HS. Guess I will have to get her one also. Which leaves me to learn to play the electronic keyboard they were given a few years back (DH plays guitar).
blamebramptonblamebrampton on July 9th, 2011 02:51 pm (UTC)
My woodwind friend recommends The Music Place in Sydney: www.musicplace.com.au, probably worth giving them a call and seeing what they have secondhand, it's always a bit more reliable than buying on ebay or gumtree, though you can find great bargains on both of those sites.

Can you rig backpack straps to her instrument case? I have a friend who plays the Viola de Gamba (I think that's what it's called) and she made a harness that lets her carry it on her back, which she vastly prefers to lugging under one arm.

I think that's one of the reasons I went with a Uke, SO portable!

Edited at 2011-07-09 02:51 pm (UTC)
Nennenenne on July 9th, 2011 08:02 pm (UTC)
Another? :D Enjoy!

Arty sounds much better that homicidal. *nods*
Jaeenchanted_jae on July 10th, 2011 12:40 am (UTC)
You and your ukulele. *grins and shakes head*