Saturday, February 5, 2011
Lest You Wonder How the Humble got into Humble Uker
I must first acknowledge Pete the percussionist whom I forgot on the YouTube comments when downloading this video.
This is a good time to explain why Humble Uker Ramblings was started. I had my father's 1950-ish Harmony ukulele in my hands about 5 years ago. It had sat in the kid's toy box for about 20 years. Kids are moving on and I started to doodle with the uke. My neighbor tells me about the Northern California Ukulele Festival which happens each year in the adjacent city of Hayward and is less than 5 miles from my home.
Going to that ukulele festival coincided with the end of years of watching and coaching 4 kids through baseball, softball, track and soccer. There was suddenly time for my own hobby. As you can tell by my performance above I am a humble musician but I have an extraordinary amount of fun and comraderie due to this little four-stringer. My voice is best suited for solos in the shower but I keep trying.
This blog is my "notebook", a history of learning and adventures, it tries to be open to a variety of genres, and it is not completely ukulele related. I have researched other instruments, tried a balalaika, a dulcimer, a recorder, and built a diddley bow. I have also been enamored with the baritone ukulele and have created a brother blog called Humble Baritonics.
The band above was started in Rhan Wilson's UkeU Class in Santa Cruz. We went by the name the Uklectics and got a chance to learn from Rhan, to learn from each other, and to get a bit of the garage band experience. At times we sounded really good but I think there's too much emphasis on performing by many people. There is so much gained by getting together with friends, proposing songs, singing loudly and moving past inhibitions. We were so lucky to have Jay Holiday (guitar), Judy Plicka (Bass & Uke), and Pete (Percussion) because they had many years of band experience and expanded us beyond just a group of unison strummers. The ukers were: Robbie Barbour, Sheila, Chuck, Bob, and myself (El Jeffe').
There is a website called The Top 50 Ukulele Sites. It has over 150 sites on it and I have been pleased that Humble Uker has been in the top 30 for several months now. It sits one place behind Ukulele Porn and two places behind Mike DaSilva's Ukemaker site. My Humble Baritonics blog has really surprised me and is just outside the real top 50 at 52.
Another fun thing about doing a blog is getting to know a little bit about people from around the world. If you read this I hope you can stop for a moment and leave a hello from wherever you are.
Thanks, HU / Jeff / or El Jeffe'
(Oh yeah, that's me on the left missing my cue -- but we practiced working thru mistakes!)