Ukulele related comments that annoy me to bits

6 Sept 2010

Ukulele related comments that annoy me to bits

Thing about the uke is this, it's seen as rather quirky, and also probably quite rare when compared to, say guitars. But certain comments from people really get my goat. Here are a few of my favourites (or is that least favourites??) in no particular order.

1. "THAT'S A SMALL GUITAR" - no, it's not a guitar, it's a ukulele, four strings.... Usually followed by "well it looks like a guitar"...... Arrrgggghhh! No it doesn't!!!

2. "IS THAT A TOY?" - closely related to item 1 above

3. Said to me when playing my traditional soprano shaped uke, NOT my banjolele, "IS THAT A BANJO?" - it looks absolutely nothing like a banjo!!! Also closely related to 1 above..

4. When they enquired how much my mainland was, "HOW MUCH??????", erm, yes, its a real musical instrument... They do get much more expensive too...

5. "HAH YOU ARE JUST LIKE GEORGE FORMBY / TINY TIM" - now whilst I have no passion for Tiny Tim, I am quite fond of George, but really, there are plenty of other players, new and old, George Harrison, Paul McCartney, Joe Brown, Eddie Vedder, Loudon Wainwright, Rufus Wainwright, Billy Corgan, Joe Strummer, Amanda Palmer (the list goes on)... When this is mentioned they glaze over... This comment obviously goes hand in hand with the other favourite "CAN YOU PLAY WHEN I'M CLEANING WINDOWS?"

6. Said to me by a ukulele player "IT'S ONLY A UKE, YOU DON'T NEED TO TUNE IT IT'S JUST FOR RHYTHM" erm... Jake Shimabukuro anyone?

7. Said to me by a guitar player, "UKULELE? NAH, WASTE OF A GOOD PRACTICE SESSION".... no comment...!

I'm sure readers have many others and would be interested to hear them in the comments section.

On the plus side the above comments are outweighed by the usual smiles and general interest I find is shown to you when you get a uke out at a gig!


  1. #1 is a classic, how many times have I heard "Look at that small guitar!"
    Anyway, people are often curious about it, they ask me if they can try to play it, and I show them one or two chords, it's funny to see them smile as they realize they are actually making music.

  2. Bang on dude! Hope i wasn't being too negative and people saw funny side. As i sy in closing words my real positive in ukulele is seeing faces of those who quite so easily 'get it'..

  3. But it does look like a small guitar? Surely?

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  5. It's mainly those who say it IS a small guitar. It looks like a guitar in the way a violin looks like a cello. I've never called a violin a small cello


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