Thursday, June 21, 2012

Catch up and Play my Uke!

My life moves so fast and I have so many interests and fun things in my life of exuberant daily celebrations that my blogging has been on hiatus. After spending time at the TBEX12 bloggers conference in Keystone, Colorado, last weekend I have a new resolve to "git er in gear"!  So forgive my dead air of the last few/many months and know I'm back in the saddle again. Actually I'd prefer to be back in the cockpit of the 45 foot sailboat our friends have...but that will be coming along in two weeks. Stay tuned.

Now that I've explained myself, I'll get on with what's on my mind. Tonight I am focused on playing my ukulele. About a year and a half ago my dear friend, Christy, and our husbands, sailed from Marina del Rey to Catalina Island. Christy and I found a store on the island that sold the prettiest ukuleles I had ever seen. With zero, absolute nada musical knowledge or expertise Christy and I decided to become ukulele players. After all, the uke is small,and  it only has four strings. What could be so hard about this? My first ukulele was hot pink with white flowers and I named her "Tahlula". I loved my little ukulele so much that I was determined I would learn to play her. With only a slight hesitation, I took Tahlula to my first Uke Song Circle in my town, Arvada, It was quite a shock in the first place to find there were other ukulele players right here in my own home town but I was delighted at how welcoming they were to a newbie like me. At my very first meeting, the leader looked at my pretty little uke and said I could "borrow" one of his for the evening. Later I found out Tahlula was considered more a toy than a serious musical instrument. However, I was hooked and determined to conquer this musical oddity I had tripped upon.  

In the pictures above you can see I have come down with the dreaded UAS disease.."Ukulele Acquisition Syndrome". My total includes Tahula, another Aloha soprano, a Mitchell Concert and a soprano Kala Travelling Uke.  I have also branched out into the delightful world of all things Uke. I have T-shirts, posters, tuners, music stands and notebooks full of song sheets and plenty of music books full of songs I hope to one day be able to play.

On one of our sailing trips, Christy and I found out that a favorite, awesome, ukulele player we had fallen in love with, Aldrine Guerrero, was going to be in California giving a workshop and concert at the same time we were in town. We delayed sailing a day to meet up again with Aldrine. We had met him at the Denver Uke Fest in 2011. 
Christy, Me and Aldrine at Uke Fest 2011 in Denver
While in this great ukulele store, Island Bazaar, in Huntington Beach, California, (below) Christy and I found matching soprano Kala travelling ukuleles. They even have a compass on them so we won't get lost.  
Me and Aldrine at Island Bazaar

Highlights of my uke adventures have been signing up as a VIP attendee at two Ukulele Festivals in Denver. This year I felt like a  groupie waiting to have my travelling ukulele (see story of it above) signed by the world famous Jake Shimabukuro 

See how we lovingly gaze into each other's eyes! Ahhhh

My travelling Kala uke getting signed by Jake Shimabukuro

Christy and her husband, David, are my faithful partners in fun. So far I haven't been able to convince my husband to play the uke. He's happy with his alto saxophone and clarinet.  At the Uke Fest this year, Christy and I were unexpectedly photographed by the Denver Post.  I found this picture on line of us in one of our workshops. You can see how hard we are concentrating. We really want to learn to play our matching Kala tavelling ukes.  

The Denver Ukulele Community. is my home base when I'm waiting for the next annual Uke Fest to roll around.  (You can find me in the red sweater on the changing pictures at the top of the web page.) This group is tons of fun and I can sing and play, as best as I can, until my heart is content at their monthly meetings. They welcome one and all and never lack in being "awesome" as our fearless leader, Doug Brown,   loudly proclaims. 

It's been quite an adventure since buying my first, pretty ukulele, Tahlula. I have come a long ways in learning chords and strums and even a few songs. Practice is mostly what I need and that will come between my blogs and full life of many other things. I'll keep you posted on my progress. 

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