Click here for the Hungarian translation.

- For those, who don't know, who you are, could you introduce yourself in a few words?

- I was born and raised in Hawaii at a time when ukuleles were extremely popular and most houses had at least one of them. So it was quite easy for me to learn to play at an early age. I am a retired US Air Force pilot and spend my time now traveling the world doing ukulele workshops and concerts. Other than enjoying the wonderful sounds of ukulele, I love meeting people. Ukulele has made the world much smaller for me and I love that.

- How and when did you came across the 'ukulele?

- I started playing ukulele at the age of 5. Then, it was just as much a toy as it was an instrument so there was double fun to be had.

- The 'ukulele has been around for a century now, and is considered the Hawaiian instrument, but how common is it really on Hawaii?

- In 2015, the State of Hawaii made ukulele the state's official modern instrument, so that gives you an idea of how popular the instrument is here in Hawaii.

- Most ukulelists have many instruments. How about you, are you a collector?

- No, I am NOT a collector. I did try that a long time ago but quickly determined I didn't have the financial means to support that. So what I do now is search out QUALITY builders, buy their ukes, play them in concert to get to know them and also create presence in the ukulele community for quality work, then sell the uke to someone who appreciates the quality and repeat the process over and over. This methodology has also given me lots of opportunity to learn about quality ukes and I love sharing this information in the workshops I do. By the way, I LOVE doing workshops. They're always so much fun.

- What do you look for in an 'ukulele?

- I tell players to look for ukuleles that satisfy their individual tastes in three different dimensions ----- Looks, Playability and Sound. I believe there is no such thing as the ultimate ukulele so it's important that the player finds an ukulele that matches his/her own playing style.

- You have very a unique picking style, can you tell us, where it came from, and why do you prefer it?

- My style of play came out of how I learned, which was ALWAYS to accompany the melody with harmony. To me, it isn't as much a style as it is the way I like to play ukulele.

- You are the President of the Ukulele Guild of Hawaii, which was founded by local builders. What is your way to cooperate with luthiers?

- This is a great question. The primary thing I like doing with quality builders is continuing to collaborate with them not only to know and understand their work but also to share with them what I and other member players like in the design of their ukulele. Most ukulele builders do not play ukulele very well and several do not play at all. So they often look for feedback from players and also LOVE to hear their ukes played. It's a wonderful partnership I really enjoy.

- Have you ever considered mastering luthiery?

- No, I have no interest in learning to make ukuleles. I do love the creative partnerships that come with working with several quality builders as those with whom we work are the best in the world.

- Who are you inspired by as a musician?

- I am not inspired by any one person or musician. What inspires me most is good sound and that's what I LOVE about ukulele.

- What sort of things make your performances memorable for you?

- My favorite performances are the ones where I feel I played as close as I could to my potential. This shows off ukulele best.

- You perform at this years' Czech Ukulele Festival, as did you last year. What is your impression, how is the 'ukulele welcome in Europe?

- For me, last year's Czech Festival was the best ukulele event I've ever attended — because of the number of people from different countries I got to meet. It helped me to gain so much more appreciation for ukulele knowing that the reason why people around the world enjoy ukulele is simply to have fun.

- Any wise words to share?

- Words yes, but wise I'm not sure — Ukulele is ALL about having fun by simply being involved in the wonderful process of making music.

További olvasnivalók:

írta: Gáll Tamás

Kedves Ukulelések!

Néhány napja új szerelem költözött az életembe, ezért sem tudtam friss bejegyzéseket, videókat készíteni. Megszületett a kislányom, akinek sejtése si...

írta: Schäfer Zsolt

A blog olvasóinak már nem ismeretlen James Hill vagy az általa létrehozott, The Ukulele Way nevű oldal (amiről

írta: Gáll Tamás

A hétvégén a négy húrt nyolcvannyolc billentyűre cseréltem. A videó elején egy kis bemelegítés látható/hallható "szabad" akkordokon, azaz itt nem követtem pontosan a blues-kört. Ezt követi egy rövid b...

írta: Gáll Tamás

Szeretettel ajánlom a figyelmetekbe a bariton ukuleléről szóló első bejegyzést. Ha azt esetleg nem olvastátok, talán érdemes azzal kezdeni. Most folytatom az ott megkezdett gondolatokat, é...