Fringe Magazine

MUSIC

Ukulele, discovered…

Wanna learn a musical instrument the fun way? Picking up ukulele is a good option.

Growing up, Andrew George quit the piano four times, quit the guitar two times, and also quit the drums and violin.

“Music was more like forced labor than anything else,” he said to Fringe Magazine. “‘Fun’ was the last word that came to mind.”

When he turned 16, “all of this changed for me when I attended a musical performance put on by two ukulele players and their sidekick bass player. Their music was simple, but these guys had fun!”

It left such an impression on Andrew that when he went home that night, he ordered his first ukulele.

“I discovered that learning ukulele chords was very easy, allowing me to quickly play the songs that I WANTED to play (as opposed to the piano songs that I was TOLD to play). I was actually having fun with music.”

After years of enjoying the simplicity of the ukulele, he wanted to show people who had given up on learning an instrument (like he had) how easy and fun it can be. And so he established Four Chord Simple, which eyes to simplify ukulele learning.

Fringe Magazine had a quick chat with Andrew.

Why did you choose this instrument in particular?
When I attended an energetic and upbeat musical performance put on by two ukulele players and their sidekick bass player, I just fell in love. These guys showed me how much fun music is supposed to be.

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Many people think learning ukulele is difficult. In your experience, is this true or not?
“Ukulele may be difficult if you are coming at it with zero musical experience. Even if this is the case for you, it will just take a few weeks of practicing 10 minutes per day to get used to transitioning between the four main chords. After that, you should feel comfortable playing the hundreds of songs on my channel.”

For you, what have been the challenges encountered when you first started learning uke? How did you face these challenges?
“One of the main challenges was finding songs containing the chords I already knew. It was also hard to find accurate chords/lyrics online. This is why I’ve gone to the trouble of creating a comprehensive songbook with hundreds of songs that can be played with just four chords. Students are extremely grateful for this because they no longer need to endlessly search Google for the easy, popular songs.”

You have a lesson using only four chords to play hundreds of songs. How did you come about this? Why did you develop this?
“A couple years ago, my wife decided that she wanted to learn to play the ukulele too, so I started teaching her. I figured if she just knew the chords C, Am, F, and G that she’d be able to play tons of songs, so I started by just teaching her those simple chords. She ran into the same trouble I had with being able to find songs she could play with just those four chords, so we started digging for them. We realized that there are tons out there, but they are just hard to find on your own. So, I decided to create a program that provided students with hundreds of songs that can be played with just four simple chords all in one place.”

For those who still have apprehensions about playing ukulele, any suggestions/tips?
“I’d recommend jumping right in. Commit to practice just 10 minutes a day for a few weeks, and you’ll be playing your favorite songs in no time.”

To get started, head to FourChordSimple.com.

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We believe that just because one is popular, doesn't mean it merits that popularity. There are many at the fringes also meriting attention, though do not have the means to means/know-how to be so. And so here we are, celebrating everything... artistic life from the fringes.

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