I took up the 5-string banjo at age 34.
Little did I know that my dreams of being the next Earl Scruggs were to be dashed by the humble ukulele.
At age 44 after ten years of trying to memorize banjo tab and then play it back, my wife’s grandmother gave me a 70 year old Columbia Hawaiian soprano ukulele that had been in her closet for more than 50 years. To please grandma, I took the uke and bought an instruction book. But I was tired of memorizing music out of books!
That approach did not turn me into a musician on the banjo and I doubted that I would have a different outcome on the ukulele. So I just practiced chord progressions and inversions and listening to the sounds I was making. I found I was developing an emotional relationship with the chords I was playing and realized why songwriters choose specific chords to garner a certain emotional response from the listener. My mission then was to teach other adult beginners the fundamentals of music from an ear-based approach, Play Ukulele By Ear.