Grab a uke and play

Yes, the ukulele is thought of as a relatively obscure instrument, but in the hands of a master like Eddie Vedder (solo and w/Pearl Jam) or the late Hawaiian great Israel Kamakawiwo’ole, the music provides a unique sound perfect for harmony with gentle lyrics.

IZ & his uke

IZ & his uke

I just had no idea that the soothing experience of ukulele music extended to therapy for average joes like you and me.

But, indeed, NPR reports that “Even In Bleak Times, The Ukulele Thrives”.  Turns out that ukulele jams have gained in popularity and sales of the instrument are up considerably, despite the obvious decline in overall instrument sales.

“If you’ve had a rough day, whatever you’re doing, if you’re working or you have difficulties, you pick up the ukulele and strum it a few times,” says ukulele teacher (and jamming musician) John McAuliffe. “Then pick out a song you want to try, and all of a sudden, things are better.” 

McAuliffe is not alone.  For what it’s worth, the New York Times was already buzzing about the resurgence of the ukulele last summer.

I might actually give the uke a shot.  Although, I’m guessing that my playing would be better served for my ears only.  For public displays of ukulele strumming, I’ll stick to Pearl Jam encores or wait for my next trip to Hawaii.

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~ by acm213 on June 13, 2009.

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