The story begins in July last year. I’ve always had an interest in music and used to play the piano (not very well) for a few years growing up. Every now and then, I still practise some songs, although not with any great frequency. More recently, a couple of years ago, my family gave me an acoustic guitar as a birthday present. Several friends had been playing for some time so I learnt the basics to be able to play with them on the odd occasion. Quite a lot of the music I listen to features the ukulele, a sound that never fails to lift the spirits, so with this in mind I thought I’d give it a try too.
Following a bit of impromptu research on the internet, I purchased a very reasonably priced Brunswick soprano along with the useful Ukulele for Dummies. After learning some chords, I printed out a few songs, ranging from classics by Buddy Holly, Bob Dylan and Simon & Garfunkel to newer stuff from Noah and the Whale, Radiohead and Beirut.
As well as its accessibility, another reason for taking up the uke was the community that exists around it and the fact that people get together to play in a way that isn’t always the case with other instruments. As a result, I googled the words ‘Lewisham’ and ‘ukulele’ more in hope than expectation and was delighted to stumble across PLUC.
I’ve been going on Tuesdays for about four months now and it’s honestly been one of the best things I’ve done. Everyone at the club was very welcoming and it’s fantastic to play with others, whilst getting some invaluable help and advice along the way. There are quite a few songs we’ve practised that I recognised and, equally, a large number I didn’t, which is another positive. Perhaps most importantly, it’s been hugely enjoyable and something I’d certainly recommend to other beginners, even if you haven’t played an instrument before.
Other PLUC Tales: More Benny Hill Than James Hill – Dave P; I Never Liked The Uke – Steve H; Long-Distance Strummer – Gail; New Uker! – Sheila; A Tale Of Two Ukuleles – Tina; The First Rule Of Uke Club… – Anthony; Ron’s Progress; Probably The Most Fun Instrument In The World… – Jos; It’s Been A Year – Part 2 – Jeanette; From Classical To PLUC – Andrew; A History Of The Ukulele – And Its Part In My Downfall – James; Santa Rides Again – Alan F; Steph’s Story; Ron’s Ukulele Acquisition Syndrome; Uncle Ron’s Legacy… – Wee Kheng; Five Years & Loving It – Simon; My Ukulele Origins… – Rufus; Why Ed Started Playing The Ukulele; Ron’s Song; It’s Been A Year… – Jeanette