Almost three months ago, I walked into a music store and bought a ukulele. I didn’t even know the frets on the ukulele (or guitar, for that matter) were raised; I thought they were just lines painted on the neck used as guidelines for finger positions. Ever since, it’s filled a void in me. A void I didn’t even know existed until I found myself feeling empty when I didn’t get a chance to play.
Famous Blue Raincoat is one of my favourite Leonard Cohen songs. I wish I could write letters like this.
I haven’t quite figured out what kind of style or genre I want to apply to the ukulele, but I think my singing ability (or lack thereof) will limit me to the soft Sam Beam folk sound unless I started taking singing lessons. Borrowed in my interpretation is a variation of the picking pattern Cohen uses in a lot of his earlier songs, such as Hey That’s No Way To Say Goodbye, adapted for the soprano ukulele.
While my brain picks out the mistakes and details I need to work on when I see myself play, I try to keep in mind the words of my Tai Chi teacher, “We’re never as bad as we fear nor as good as we would like”. I don’t think I’ll ever be satisfied with my musical ability unless I could commit a lot more time to it. Unfortunately, that would mean less time for another hobby, so I have to accept that this will probably be close to the limit of my ability. Hopefully, I’ll be able to clean things up in another few years. Patience will come from learning to be satisfied from the act of playing itself, and not the mastery of it. For now, this’ll serve as record of my progress.