Ukulele Admonishments

It’s finally happened: I’ve descended to the absolute depths of self-absorbed geekdom, and I’m about to write a narcissistic little blog post in which I admonish myself for my own, personal ukulele issues … that is … my bad ukulele habits. Here we go (assuming you are so bored with your own life that you want to read these!) …

Admonishment 1. Don’t slouch!

Yawn! As if this is news. Besides, why even own a ukulele if you aren’t planning to play it sprawled out in a hammock somewhere spectaculous? Fair enough, but a lot of the time, I’m not anywhere spectaculous—I’m just planted on my very non-spectaculous couch. Slouching. And when I’ve been slouching around on said couch for fifteen minutes or more, my left wrist begins to hurt. I also notice that I can’t easily put my fingers into complicated positions that I ought to be able to reach with relative ease because my hand and arm are coming at the neck of my uke from an odd angle. Sitting up straight, I play better, and my wrist is protected. True, if boring.

Admonishment 2. Don’t clench!

When I play, I position my right hand over the strings and rest the inside of my right forearm on my uke. The position seems pretty natural, but now, the faster I play, the harder I push with my arm against the uke. I’ve found myself cutting off the circulation in my hand, and so now it’s my right hand and wrist that slow down and begin to hurt! Relaxing makes me play better.

When I notice the tension building up in my arm, I stop and breathe for a minute or two. A little less actually boring than the first admonishment, perhaps.

Admonishment 3. Practice!

Gees! What is this one even about? I love the ukulele. When we get home from a gig, even if we’ve been playing for two or three hours, what I feel like doing most is … playing the ukulele. But somehow, I let other things slip between my uke and my slouching, clenching self. Besides the obvious joyful, healthful, growthful reasons to sit and play every day, if I don’t allow myself the chance to play more, my bad habits will most likely never subside! I can write more later about the things I’m doing to encourage daily practice, but for now, I’ll say that this daily practice will eventually allow me to trade these boring bad habits for … a set of more interesting bad habits. I wonder what those will be!