According to a May 2013 article on musicradar.com by Jason Sidwell, 2007 was the year when ukuleles started becoming more popular. For millennials, we all remember that horrendous recorder that we played back in elementary school. But slowly, schools started replacing the recorder with the much cheaper ukulele.
I’ve never been musically inclined, so when I picked up the ukulele for the first time I had no idea what to expect. What I discovered was that, when it comes to music, I may have to leave it alone unless I’m truly willing to put in the considerable amount of hours it takes to play it well.
Why was it so hard to learn? I have no idea. But a couple of the musicians that I spoke to gave me the answer: It is not something you pick up overnight, or even in a week.
Mandie Norton, a saxophone player for the band Criticull, had her first introduction to music through her music class at Arnprior District High School. But growing up, having accessibility to instruments proved difficult for her because of the cost to play.
“I chose the flute,” said Norton. “Because it was the smallest and cheapest of all the instruments offered in my school’s program.”
She dabbled through numerous instruments, including the tenor sax, the trumpet and the French horn.
When it comes to first-timers, not getting discouraged is something Norton says is a must when it comes to playing. Unfortunately, that was my biggest issue for the week, I couldn’t stand being bad at something.
“Don’t be afraid of sounding bad,” she explains. “Everyone, or at least most people, find learning to play musical instruments to not be a natural thing.”
Joey Karam, an Ottawa-based musician, doesn’t believe there are many tricks to learning. Because for him, it was all about gaining the experience.
“There are no tricks,” said Karam. “Practice makes perfect. If you don’t put in the time, you won’t be able to progress. Commitment and dedication are truly key.”
And time is something I did not have, and if you watch the video I made, you can tell that my progression was limited. Also, not being dedicated didn’t help me either.