Tuesday, April 5, 2011

How Painting Helps with Ukulele Lessons

Update 4-11-11, after some folks asked if they could download it... go ahead, it's free!

Now, a little (video) musical entertainment:

I was talking with my ukulele teacher the other evening, sitting out on his porch during a nice stormy warm front with a coffeecup full of bourbon (heaven!), about how I probably couldn't have learned an instrument before now. I mean, I might be a little long in the tooth to be taking up such an endeavor, but I'm optimistic about how it's going to turn out. I'm a much more apt music student now, because I learned to paint. Here's why:

  1. Humility. I know it will take a long time. The best way to get there is to put my head down and do the basic stuff - C scale about 4000 times, for instance. I know that mastering fundamentals is a totally unavoidable chore, and pays off in the end.
  2. Patience. Savoring the slow deliberation of premixing a palette has shown me that patient application of learned knowledge is a time-saver, eventually.
  3. Economy. I know now that I really learned painting the wrong way, by doing it on my own. It would have been smarter, faster, and more thorough to have a master guide me. So I went out and got me one
  4. Focus. Eventually I realised that I was not a focused painter - didn't really have a master plan. As a beginner musician, I tried to figure out my specific goal, and I'll work singlemindedly toward it.
  5. Pragmatism. My goal is: "Not looking stupid on stage." That seems attainable. Not too grandiose. Enough ukulele to sing fun songs and entertain people. Maybe get invited to gigs. My goal in painting I didn't figure out for NINE YEARS. Isn't that silly?
Being a hobby musician fits in nicely with being a painter I think. Much better than being an escrow officer for a title company did. :-)

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  1. Are these your own songs? They are GREAT! And you are going to be a pretty good entertainer, too, if you can keep what you are doing now together in front of a crowd. Keep it up! :)

  2. Fantastic, I think you have a double career in you, Lisa!

  3. Thanks a bunch! Your encouragement will probably be rewarded with more songs. So sorry. :-)

  4. Can I suggest another point?

    I´m learning to play to ukulele too, and I´m very conscious that being a painter helps me on this task. Mainly because now I believe that artistic activities are crafts that can be learned. Depending on your aptitudes it will take you x amount of effort, but eventually if you apply yourself to it you will get there.

    One myth less means one huge mental block less.