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Playing the ukulele makes Amie Nugent VN of Kilmore Veterinary Practice in Victoria feel happy, inspired and uplifted.
“Over the past five or 10 years, the ukulele has become really popular. I think that’s because it’s such an easy, uplifting instrument to play. You can do a lot of things on a ukulele.
“I started playing guitar when I was 12 and got my first ukulele when I was 16. I thought it would be great to explore another instrument and soon discovered it was really fun to play. It only has four strings and the tuning is different to a guitar but it’s easy and quick to learn. I figured it out without lessons. I’m a self-taught ukulele player.
“Some people get obsessed with ukuleles and end up owning dozens of them. I just own one fairly decent instrument and it still sounds great after years of playing. I play purely for pleasure in my downtime. It’s definitely a good way to destress after a difficult day. I don’t have any real desire to perform though I did motivate my sister to start playing. I really enjoyed our duo.
“You can play anything on a ukulele but I do have a few favourites. I love The Beatles and Here Comes the Sun is really enjoyable to play. These days my taste is pretty wide and I’ll play anything from Taylor Swift to the Eagles.
“One of the great things about the ukulele is that anyone can play it. There’s no secret and you can perform a song after a single lesson. If you really love the instrument and dedicate yourself to a bit of learning, you can become proficient very quickly. I don’t have a favourite ukulele player but there are many YouTube videos of people doing nice covers of songs that are very inspirational.
“Even though I love playing the ukulele, I still like taking my guitar for a run. I also enjoy writing songs on the ukulele, making up chord progressions and discovering how it sounds. I don’t have any lyrics and I’m not a singer but it’s still fun. Maybe I’ll find a singer and an open mic night and see what happens!
“I love the uplifting vibe of the ukulele. It’s fun to play and fun to listen to. They’re relatively cheap to buy. I’m not an overly serious musician but I’m a pretty good, confident player. Without fail, a session on the ukulele lifts my mood. You simply can’t play a sad song on a ukulele.”