In November 2018 I received a message from one of my friends asking for help to learn the Ukulele. Bobby knew me as we’d performed in musicals together over a number of years with Eldorado. He explained he had this bright idea to play his fiancee’s favourite song on the ukulele at the wedding. The wedding was in 4 weeks and he’d played the guitar for a show once but had never played the ukulele!
I suggested he had a lesson so I could assess his ability and see how I could help him achieve his dream. I didn’t know the song “Someone to Lava” from Disney, but YouTube is a fantastic tool!! I found the music, fell in love with the song and transposed it into an easy key with simple chords.
Bobby was very excited at our lesson, although I think the cloak and dagger approach to surprising his loved one helped a little with that! In the excitement, I forgot to check whether he was left-handed or right-handed. I had taught my nephew who is left-handed but he was only young so learnt on a right-handed ukulele.
I was faced with an immediate problem – a left-handed ukulele player who didn’t have his own ukulele! A left-handed uke player ideally should have the ukulele restrung and have the highest sting swapped to the position of the lowest string. However, there was no time to do this for Bobby and if he borrowed a ukulele the likelihood of it being left handed was remote.
So I took the brave decision to teach him playing left-handed on a right-handed uke…. Essentially, playing the instrument up-side-down! It wasn’t conventional but I did have a limited amount of time for Bobby to be practising in order for the big day.
Bobby is a singer in 3’s Company so is very musical. He diligently learnt the chords and performance was second nature to him. I am pleased to say at the end of our lesson, Bobby was playing on his own and the chord changes were smooth. I was very confident that if he practised, he would pull this off in an amazing fashion and his new wife would understand the commitment he’d gone to – to learn an instrument to play her favourite song. I was like a proud parent when I saw the footage of him playing at the wedding. He’d roped in another friend to give him some support as it is hard playing and singing at the same time…. Especially when you’ve only been playing for 4 weeks!
It was such a success and all down to Bobby’s hard work and determination. I just provided the music and the knowledge of where to put your fingers and some strumming techniques. I pride myself on ensuring my lessons meet your requirements and focus on what you want to achieve. It was such a joy to see his achievement and to hear him say he wants to learn more about playing the ukulele, although if he does continue to play, I might have to sort out this playing up-side-down malarkey!!!
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