Ukuleles: The Greatest Escape

I am no musician, and I certainly can’t sing, but about 18 months ago I bought a Ukulele… and I love it.

There’s something so simple about a four-stringed mini-guitar-shaped musical instrument that just makes you smile when you play it. My housemates might say something about the noise it and I make together, but I hope they’ll agree that after a year-and-a-half, it’s starting to sound palpable.

Back when we lived opposite a guitar shop, on one bored Monday afternoon, I took a spontaneous excursion across the road and bought myself a ukulele. I’m not quite sure what on earth compelled me, but I’ve always wanted to learn guitar, and a uke was much cheaper and looked far more within my abilities bracket. Within a couple of days I’d learnt a few basic chords (C, G, Am, F) and found a smile across my face that had been missing in recent weeks.

It’s no coincidence that the ukulele purchase came at a time in my life when everything seemed to be changing. I’d recently moved into a new place, started a new job and had lots of questions about where my life was going. The ukulele didn’t help figure any of that out, but it did give me an escape. Time to myself without any distractions to just let my mind wonder. And it still gives me an escape now. After a stressful day at work, or when there’s too much going on, just playing a few songs can slow you down and make you relax for a few minutes.

A posse of ukuleles (I'm sure that's the official term)
A posse of ukuleles (I’m sure that’s the official term)

I’ve started going to UkeJam, a collective of local ukulele players that meet bi-weekly in a local pub to play songs together on their ukuleles. I love it because I learn new songs to sing, and can play as loud as I like without annoying anyone :D

Ukulele playing in Richmond Park
Ukulele playing in Richmond Park

Turns out that there’s quite a few other people in the PhD offices that play ukuleles, so we’ve got quite a sweet little niche going on. Maybe I should start a ukulele society on campus…

There might not be a post next Thursday because I’ll be boating from Birmingham to Wales, but we can get in touch the following week :) x

Update: There will be a post next week, it will answer one of life’s greatest questions, “what the f*** is an arboretum?”