In anticipation of Peace Corps, as well as simply because I have wanted to for a while, I have purchased a ukulele! I have been wanting to learn a new instrument for a while. For some time I considered guitar, but I decided that ukulele would be a better beginning instrument for many reasons. One, it's cheaper than a guitar and more affordable for me. Two, it's smaller. That allows me to travel with it easier (i.e. Peace Corps) as well as easier to learn on with my tiny hands. Three, it's just super adorable! I may sound like a stupid little girl, but my uke is seriously adorable. Four, it only has four stings rather than 6 and that makes it easier to start learning.
I got myself a concert ukulele. I decided on that size because it is small enough to travel with easily, but large enough that I don't feel my fingers are overly cramped or that it is too high pitched. I think it's a great size to learn on, though I would love to play around on a soprano or a tenor sometime. Maybe once I actually know how to play... haha!
I now have a lot of respect for people that play string instruments. My left hand fingers seriously HURT. I am working on trying to build those calluses up on my fingers, but until then, ouch! You have to press so hard with your left hand to make the notes sound right, and its a bit painful after playing for a while. Then there is the whole strumming and changing chords. My first day of playing around, I was HORRIBLE. I'm still not great, but I'm getting a bit more comfortable with changing chords and strumming the right rhythm. I've got a few books on the way of songs and techniques to try and teach myself. I'm super excited!
And then there is trying to sing as well. Oh lord. Now THAT is funny with me! I try to sing and my strumming goes all crazy and i speed up and slow down all over the place. Let's just say that's a work in progress.
I have only been playing for a grand total of 10 days, and I haven't played every day of those 10, so I'm not too frustrated. Hopefully by the time I head to Honduras, I'll know lots of little songs on my uke and I can use it for cultural exchange with people in my community! They do say that music is a universal language!