Wednesday, April 24, 2013


A few years ago I read a book by Tom Hodgkinson called How to be Idle after reading about it on a blog somewhere.  I found it really interesting, determined that I should really try to incorporate some of the ideas into my life, put it on a shelf and that was about it.  A while later I realised that there was a second book, How to be Idle, got that, read it and found it interesting as well, put it on a shelf and that was it.  I think I didn't find the second one quite as gripping as the first because, to be honest, I didn't really need anyone to tell me how to be idle, I can do it all on my own and don't really suffer from thinking that I must always be doing something.  However I have never forgotten one of the things he suggested and have kept the idea in the back of my head since then.

It's in Chapter 2, Break the Bonds of Boredom, just after he talks about punk.

"Punk was about putting creativity back in the hands of the people; anyone can do it, they said and, to prove it, here are the three chords you need to write a song: E, A and B7.  Do it yourself.
Well, I can go one better than that.  Instead of the guitar, I urge you to take up the ukulele.  This four-stringed marvel is very cheap, very portable and very easy to play.  It is therefore even more punk than the guitar.  Here are the three chords you need to play most songs [there's an illustration here of C, G and F chords].
Get a uke and you will never be bored again.  You could even make some extra cash by busking.  The uke is freedom.  Indeed, the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain's first album is called Anarchy in the Ukulele, and aptly titled it is too.
Behind the attack on boredom is a radical desire to take control of our lives back from the giant organisations to whom we have more or less willingly entrusted ourselves.  This is an act of gross irresponsibility on our part.  But it is not too late.  We simply need to discover our own creativity.  The simple way to avoid boredom is to make stuff..."

I'm adding a ukulele to my budget for June and am just going to go for it.  If the above wasn't enough reason to want to learn it, the fact that Marilyn Monroe plays it in Some Like it Hot is an incentive too.  Maybe I could end up looking like this:


Kellie @ Delightfully Ludicrous said...

I bought myself a uke a little while back, a purple one! Once I realised you could play just about any song you wanted on it using only four chords, I just couldn't resist.

Anonymous said...

One of my son's friends took up the Ukelele in high school and picked up on it very quickly. According to him it is quite easy to get the hang of. I am not musical so for me it would not seem easy but with your musical background I bet you take to it quickly. Good luck!

Rob-bear said...

Ukulele. Right. So, where's Tiny Tim, tiptoeing through the tulips? How could you miss such an iconic figure? Yes, MM is grand, but when it comes to Ukes, not as grand as TT.

Blessings and Bear hugs!
Bears Noting

click clack gorilla said...

Oh yey for you, awesome. Marius keeps talking about how I should start playing banjo ukelele. I have a feeling I know waht I'll be getting for my birthday...