I'm so ashamed. I finally admitted to myself the other day that it had been months (many months) since I had even had my ukulele out of its case, much less actually sat down and played for awhile. When it's out and near at hand, it's much easier to pick it up often. But, it normally resides in its hard case, safely strapped to the overhead in the v-berth. Well out of harm's way but also a little difficult to grab for just a couple of minutes of noodling.
Anyway, a couple days ago I finally pulled it out. Don't remember exactly what the impetus was but I think it had something to do with the Kindle. At any rate, I downloaded 2 music books to the Kindle from Amazon. One is a complete Beatles songbook and the other is acollection of a whole bunch of ukulele chords for reference. When we lived in The Shire (for those that don't know, that's what we called our 5 acres in the woods above Silverton, OR, what with us being a couple of hobbits and all) we had quite a collection of songbooks. Mostly they were guitar books but it was easy enough to change the chords to ukulele chords. We also had a small collection of Jumpin' Jim ukulele songbooks as well as songs I'd downloaded off the internet. There was plenty of fodder to keep one going until your fingertips were screamin' or you looked at the clock and realized that you'd been screwing around for over 2 hours. Alas, there just wasn't enough room on the boat for all those books. Maybe the Kindle will be the answer. At any rate, we did bring 2 books: the songbook from the Ukulele Club of Santa Cruz and the one from the club we were part of, the Salem Ukulele Strummers' Association (SUSA). Oh yeah, and a small songbook put together by my best friend from high school, Nick Lange, for the occasion of a get-together we had back in 2000 or maybe 2001. Mostly these are enough to keep me occupied for quite awhile. But I was kind of missing my Beatles Fake Book. Used to entertain myself for hours working my way through Fab Four songs. I think the songbook I downloaded to the Kindle will do nicely, though.
So, anyway, armed with songbooks, chord charts, etc., I finally pulled the ol' uke out of her case, tuned her up and started strumming.
After such a long hiatus, I might be excused for forgetting most of the chord shapes. But, after a dozen songs from the Santa Cruz book, which shows the fingering on the same page, they began to come back to me. That first night I was quickly back to my old tricks. Sitting at the settee strummin' my way through the songbooks while Lulu sat on the other side of the table playing Scrabble on her Kindle and occasionally singing along when I managed to get the song right. Just like old times, we found ourselves still awake at 12:30 AM wondering where the time had gone.
My New Year's resolution is to try to play my uke every day.
And, if any of our friends from SUSA are reading this, drop us a line.