Compiled by Ukulele Staff
Whether you’re looking for energy in the arena of teaching ukulele, learning the instrument, or just making music, these inspirational ukulele quotes from top players and teachers will help you feel the love for the ukulele.
The ukulele community has always been so warm and welcoming, happy to share insights, tips, and praise of the little instrument with the big impact. Here, we share ten choice quotes from the ten years of Ukulele magazine archives, one from each year.
“The most important thing is to have fun. Just enjoy every note that you play and every chord that you strum. Break things down when they get too hard. Sometimes it helps to look at one song as a hundred different songs played very close together. View every note as if it were its own song.”
“The ukulele is the perfect instrument for someone with a restless heart, because it travels easily through space. But it also travels through music easily and effortlessly. It slips through borders so fluidly. I’ve never had the heart to say no to the ukulele. When it feels like going somewhere, we just go there.”
“What I want more than anything is to encourage other people to play, to sing, to make music, to have music in their own lives, as a vital part of their lives. And you don’t have to be good for it to be vital. I stand for making music no matter how bad you suck.”
“[The third wave of ukulele popularity] is really important because it brings Hawaii to the front row. The ukulele has been an instrument played in families, and maybe now it’s making the whole world a family.”
“The power of music is one of the greatest of powers. The amount of time you are engaged with music—either listening, practicing, or playing it—you’re outside of time and outside of any troubles you may have. It’s like with this whole world of trouble and harm that we live in, you can escape it with music. It’s wonderful.”
“As I play the music, it comes naturally because for me it was not learning from the book. It was learning from the inside—watching and listening to the family play. The music they were playing was making us feel good and made us want to do it. That’s the way we learned. That’s why every time I play a song, it’s different. It always comes natural. It comes from the inside with a lot of feeling, not from a music sheet. You are always creating, always improvising.”
“Nothing beats your inner voice, your true instincts. Be open-minded and take time to think things through. With music, you don’t have to rush. Being creative, everyone works at a different pace.”
“Too many people limit the ukulele to cute love songs or happy songs, but I think one of funnest parts of the instrument is playing with what it can be depending on what you’re saying or what you’re feeling. It can complement dark words or dark lyrics so nicely, because it’s been kind of limited to happy songs.”
“Everyone can learn to play if you break down the steps small enough and you teach people to be patient with themselves. If you truly listen to your heart and nurture your soul, you will succeed. I also try to remember to stay present and go with the flow. Embrace the process, and enjoy the journey.”
“You can put as many notes as you want together, but if you don’t have a heart feeling behind each song and each note, the song feels kind of empty.”