The struggle with time….random thoughts and present ideas.

There have been times at our store that I will see an old friend and ask if they have been “finding the time to play”. Often I hear something like, ” not too much, I’ve been too busy”.  I can relate with them. I get wrapped up with work or a home project and go quite a while without playing.
The problem with not having time to play is that the more you play, the better you get, which makes it all the more fun as you gain the freedom to “play”(express yourself musically). The difference between your playing and the person you want to sound like is practice. So with that in mind, how can you “find the time”? I was considering this issue and ended up doing a little math in my head (hope it’s not wrong).

If you work a really busy schedule, say 56 hours a week, and sleep 8 hours a night, you still have 56 hours FREE and AWAKE!  Just as many hours as your crazy 56 hour a week job. Now granted there are more responsibilities at home, family, etc..,but the point is that even really busy people have extra time. Which makes me wonder if it is a lack of time or just a struggle with time? Like money, how we spend our time requires thoughtful consideration. Our habits of release and relaxation can be things that promote health and happiness, or they can be things that slowly deteriorate our body and mind. The attempt to master a musical instrument can lead you towards soul satisfaction that money never will. It has been well documented that money does not equate happiness. I know personally, our best sales days are not usually my happiest days. If I get time to enjoy playing music it makes a huge difference on how “settled” I feel. Just having the time is not enough, time can be used to worry about the future, or reflect negatively on the past. And you could spend all day being entertained with TV’s and computers but that leaves your creative mind dormant. Working on a piece of music, improvising, or even strumming and singing a tune brings you right here, now.

YOU can soon be enjoying the present tense with the sounds of a beautiful ukulele! Not because it’s gonna make you money, or because it will help “attract the ladies”.  Haha, well maybe it could? But the point is, we play music because it is fun. We get better at it and that gives us a personal satisfaction.

For those of you disappointed that this article did not have tips on your musical timing, you probably know to practice with a metronome or drum machine, but working with a looper pedal or even better – recording yourself can help you gain that natural concentration and meter……Oh, and speaking of time! Christmas will be here before you know it! As you walk through the isles of Wal-Mart, look at how many gifts will either be broken or outdated within a few years.  In contrast, a good ukulele can be passed down for generations and enjoyed all along the way, even loved. I can’t think of a better gift.

Here are some pics of a few of the many package deals we offer , some especially for the holidays. There are many other ukes to see and hear at our new website. –

Leolani Koa Tenor VT  Holiday Special!

w/ Case and shipping~  $249

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Cedar Top/Willow back and sides

Gotoh Tuners – Bone nut and saddle – Aquilla strings – UkeCrazy Hardcase – Oahu Chromatic Tuner           Package with Shipping ~ $199 till 2011

NOW ONLY $99.99!!

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Comments 6

  1. I always find time to play, one of my best friends was a local boy and played in a band. He use to play for me with his uk or slack key guitar.He left us years ago, but his memory still stays with me. I am learning to play the uk and have learned to read music on my own. My wife said that when I play the uk, it is so relaxing that it helps her go to sleep. I am now teaching my oldest daughter how to play. What an impression my Hawaiian friend and his family has made on me. I was stationed at TAMC in 1984-88. Mele kalikimaka from North Carolina.

  2. I agree with your comments about practicing, Andrew. Ironically, my ‘ukulele practice time has been severely limited in recent months by a music theory class I’ve been taking at night school in order to better understand what I’m playing. That point aside, I’d like to see commentary on HOW to practice in order to improve and make the most of our practice time. Most of us aren’t lucky enough to live in Hawaii and be surrounded by talented ‘ukulele players. If we’re lucky, we get one or two Hawaiian artists, like Derick Sebastian or Herb Ohta Jr., come through the area for a clinic each year but otherwise we’re on our own. I belong to the local ‘ukulele meetup group and those gatherings are always fun but we usually play songs at a level that allows everyone to participate so I don’t usually learn a lot. I’m fascinated by the abilities of the guys you work with and have on your videos and I’d love to be able to play like that one day. Given the circumstances most of us are in, how do you suggest we practice to improve our playing rather than getting stuck in the rut of playing the same things over and over?

    1. Hi Paul, I was never the most motivated for practice, and now that I have the drive to get better, my life is packed full of responsibility. So the article is more about realizing that there IS time and that it IS important. One thing I mentioned was playing with a looper. This works on timing and creating melodies over chords. Practicing scales is boring and can create boring music, but with a looper you can strum a few chords, loop it, and spend as much time as you like working within the parameters of a scale to make melodies . You will never find a friend that will sit there and strum for you while you expirement for hours. This practice tool is also fun because you are not “practicing”, you are creating. The RC-2 is really easy to use and has alot of beats in different styles you can have fun with. Also getting into a simple recording setup can keep you inspired and growing. You hear yourself differently when you are just listening and not playing. If you dont want to get into all that technology side, try getting a Real Book and the Hal Leonard Uke Chord Finder and translate songs never played on the uke, ukulele fretboard roadmaps is a good book. We have been super busy ( opened a new store last month, new website etc.) but we will be putting out more lessons soon. Thanks for the support, Aloha!

  3. Aloha Andrew,
    Your article is really a ‘god-send’ for me. In the last couple of days I have been STRUGGLING with EXACTLY what your article addresses. I am currently playing in a ‘fusion’ Bluegrass group( two ukuleles and two guitars and one mandolin). I am finding it’s a big challenge to play my pa’ani (break, solo)without many mistakes. And, honestly, I attribute it to not creating enough practice time because I am so busy with demands of life. So, mahalo nui for writing this article in the ‘nick of time’ to give me inspiration that there is enough time in life, especally for music, which I am SO passionate about! Aloha, Malama pono, a hui hou!!

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