Sunday, September 21, 2008

Mastering the Ukelele

A very dear friend visited me last week here on our island paradise. Kim braved 12 hours in the air to come from New Jersey. Among the whirlwind of fun that follows the visits of friends was a trip to the free ukelele lessons at the Royal Hawaiian Cultural Center down in Waikiki. Deanna discovered that they have certain free activities every day. We've taken advantage of lei making lessons and hula lessons as well.

Although the ukelele (pronounced oo-ca-lay-lay) is much, much smaller than the guitar, I at least had the general idea already. However, it does seem clear to me that my fingers are much too long to comfortably master the instrument. I also had a very difficult time holding it properly. It seems that a larger-ish belly is very helpful as a sort of perch to keep it up where it needs to be. By the end of the lesson I felt (and probably looked) like a hunchback.

video

It was tons of fun, however, especially singing along with some of the songs. We (as at all the free cultural center activities) seemed to be the only Caucasians in a sea of Japanese tourists. I think at least by the end of the lesson our teacher had grown used to (and even fond of) the loud laughter and protestations drifting across the group from our back table. (We've been late to every activity there, thus the back row, the back table, and the last lei needles...)


Deanna and I loved it!

She even took photos of the songs. Don't look too closely at this one. It wasn't until after I'd finished belting out multiple times "...you do the Ami-Ami for the boys in the band..." that it struck me I wasn't sure what exactly the "Ami-Ami" was, and most probably wouldn't do it for the boys in the band.


Kim wasn't too sure about the whole thing. Especially B minor w/ a 7th.


It was tons of fun! If you come to Hawaii, I highly recommend the process of making fools of yourselves trying to play ukelele and dance the hula.

1 comment:

maeveyo said...

Hi, Amy!
I am a faithful reader of your blog as you may or may not know. I had a delightful surprise the other day after the remnants of Ike stormed by us here in Chicago, flooding out our K-Love radio station and forcing me to listen toMoody inthe car. They have this audio blog that they run in the afternoon drive and I am afraid I did not catch who the speaker was but he was holding forth on the amount of non-family friendly junk one was likely to find on the web and mentioned only 2 blogs that he would recommend and one was yours! I love hearinga friend's name on the radio! Did I ever tell you my mother wrote several radio plays back in the 70s-80s that were put on by a company in California. I got to listen to two of them and they conveyed my mother's sense of humor and able wordsmithing well but hearing them say that it was by Jean O'Brien was the best part!
Anyway, I m looking forward to hearing more of your adventures!
Maeve