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Ukulele Psychologist

Freud2-1.jpg   Advice Column

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Ukaholic in Nevada

Dear Ukulele Psychologist,
My wife and I are going for a trip to the UK. As I was placing my “travel” soprano ukulele into my luggage, my wife says “No”. So I asked her if I should bring it on the plane. Her answer was a resounding “No ukuleles on the trip!”
What should I do?
Ukaholic in Nevada
,

Ukulele Psychologist

Dear Ukaholic,
You clearly suffer from Ukulele Acquisition Syndrome. It is important to feed the addiction. You must buy a ukulele as soon as you arrive at your destination. Maybe your wife feels a little left out, especially if she doesn’t play ukulele. Get her a set of small percussion instruments to accompany you, like shakers, or a small tambourine. A cowbell would certainly be appropriate. If your wife complains, simply buy another ukulele. She will eventually catch on and learn to avoid making negative comments about this wonderful little instrument.
Happy Strumming.

Rina in Rio

Dear Ukulele Psychologist,
I am so traumatized by your response to Ukaholic in Nevada, that I have to go out and buy myself a new ukulele just to recover.
Rina in Rio

Rhino

Dear Ukulele Psychologist,
I don’t play the ukulele, but a far superior instrument which also has 4 strings. They are tuned differently, however (to the ukulele, I mean, as well as to each other). I’m not willing to identify the instrument, in the interests of privacy, but I will say that it burns longer than a violin. I also tried the kazoo, but when I read the instruction manual I realized that it was too difficult. The reason I’m writing to you is to assuage my feelings of guilt in not wanting to play the ukulele, even though it is such an inferior instrument. Indeed, if you could recommend some mental exercises which could expunge all memories of the ukulele, this would surely assist me in playing in tune on my first love.
Many thanks in advance.
Rhino

Ukulele Psychologist

Dear Rhino,
I am truly sorry but you have one of the worst cases of musical snobbery I have ever seen. The close-mindedness of your letter suggests that you are a violist but your willingness to try the kazoo indicates that there is still some hope left for you. My advice is to listen to some of the great ukulele masters. You can easily find them on the internet. You might also visit a ukulele club. I am sure that the people there would be happy to give you some personal instruction. They will also encourage you to sing along with them. Practice singing and you will find that your kazoo skills will improve greatly. I know that you will find it difficult but try to keep an open mind.
Good luck.

Stifled in Manhattan

Dear Ukulele Psychologist,
I began playing the ukulele about two months ago and my wife can’t stand the instrument. I try to play songs that she likes and I even serenade her when she is in the bathroom. This upsets her even more and from the other side of the door she screams, “Stop that infernal racket.” The problem is that I love the ukulele. What should I do?
Stifled in Manhattan

Ukulele Psychologist

Dear Stifled,
I appreciate your enthusiasm but you are just a beginner after all. Perhaps you could give your wife some space. Practice in the basement or in another room of the house with the door closed, at least until you acquire more proficiency with the instrument. You might also want to join a ukulele club. You will be surprised at how much you’ll learn there and you’ll be playing well in no time. Acquire a bit more technique and your wife might even sing along with you. If all else fails, you might consider a divorce.

Hula Boy

He should also take up wearing a grass skirt and a coconut bra too. She will change her tune.

I Studied Psyshology Too.

Stifled should take up the viola or the bagpipes for awhile, then switch back to the ukulele as a “compromise”

Wynton Marsalis

He should buy a trumpet…practice at midnight…in the bedroom…

The Travaler

Stifled in Manhattan should tell his wife that the problem is the quality of the ukulele. He should tell her that he needs to go to Hawaii and to get the best instrument, He should ask her if she would would like to come along for 10 days and hang around The Turtle Bay Resort while he looks . But he should wait until January in Manhattan to mention it. By the way, “Stop that infernal racket” is mild compared to what I have heard.

Donald J. Trump

Yeah, a trip to Hawaii is a great idea and get her to pay for it.

Still a fiddler

He should wait until late at night. Sneak into the bathroom, lock the door and play his instrument quietly, so no one can hear. I learned this method as a kid.

Tina

Dear Ukulele Psychologist,

I had an argument with an abusive bone head who’s judgemental spirit has caused me much grief. He constantly criticizes my playing and as a result, I don’t have the confidence to play in front of him. Am I wasting my time with this instrument? I love playing the ukulele but every time this idiot shoots his mouth off, I just want to quit. I can’t seem to pick it up as quickly as some other people around me do. I love playing but his negativity is really getting me down. At least when I work on my cross-stitch, people don’t give me a hard time. Instead, they give me orders for the piece I’m working on. I need some advice because I love playing the ukulele
Thanks for listening,
Tina

Ukulele Psychologist

Dear Tina,
I think that you answered your own question when you said that you love playing the ukulele . We play the ukulele for fun and because we love the instrument. Everyone has a different level of skill. I can’t understand why you talk or listen to a person who exemplifies the opposite of everything the ukulele stands for. My advice is to keep playing, to enjoy practicing, and remember what I always say, “Happy Strumming”. Good luck!

P.S. I tried cross-stitch a few years ago. I used a beginner’s pattern of a cute owl. I messed up my count and ruined the whole thing, but my needle point wasn’t too bad.

Ben

Dear Ukulele Psychologist :
I am wondering if this is a real letter, or you are just stringing us along. I liked your advice regarding the Ukulele Abuser.
As a beginner, I never realized as I became acquainted with the Ukulele, that it could have such a profound impact on peoples lives.
So far I only know 2-3 chords, I can only imagine what can happen when I know 6.
Ben

Ukulele Psychologist

Hi Ben,
Yes these letters are real. If they weren’t Mrs. Zarnicky would never let me hear the end of it. (The names however, have been changed to protect the guilty.) I am glad to learn that you are progressing with your ukulele. Keep with it and you will be playing many more chords and many, many more songs in no time.
Best Wishes.