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Literally Everybody (Especially Audiophiles) Should Learn to Play the Ukulele


I’m an audiophile. This means, among other things, that I appreciate music. It’s a big part of my life. I come from a family of musicians, though I was never very good at making music myself. I always felt my family background gave me a greater appreciation for the art, but when I first started playing the ukulele that appreciation really blossomed.

When our oldest daughter was in 5th grade, she was invited to join the ukulele club at her school. It was a club that was put together by the art teacher, who everyone affectionately called “Art Dude.” She asked her mom and me for permission to join, which meant that she needed to buy an ukulele. It was an easy decision; we told her she could.

Gavin and family play the ukulele for the grandparents.

A few nights later, we were at the local strum store looking at ukulele options and decided on one that wasn’t quite the lowest-end instrument they carried. A few weeks later, our daughter was able to play from a repertoire of about ten songs.

We found, as time went on, that after the kids were in bed, my wife and I would argue over who got to play on the ukulele. So, we purchased one more. Then another. Then another. Before we knew it, each member of our family had their own ukulele and each of us had a growing list of songs we could play. Before long, Art Dude had invited our two youngest children to join ukulele club, which really lit the fire that continues to burn to this day.

Gavin plays the ukulele along with his 90-year-old grandmother.

Ukulele is an instrument that has a contagiously happy sound. It’s impossible to play it without a smile. In my life, it has helped me grow closer to my wife and our children, has given me opportunities to perform in parks, on stages, and at retirement homes, and has just brought a joy into our lives that we wouldn’t have otherwise had. It has even helped me to make friends out of people I never would have otherwise.

Gavin plays the ukulele with his kiddos at a retirement home on Easter Sunday.

There are easy ways to learn the ukulele. You could join an ukulele club, binge watch YouTube videos (personally, I love Ukulele Mike Lynch), or buy a cheap video tutorial. And don’t worry about owning the most beautiful or expensive instrument! You can get a great little ukulele for less than fifty bucks. I should warn you, though, that once you start down this rabbit hole, you may end up owning more than one instrument. At the time of this writing, I own seven.

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