Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Google Torture and Ukuleles

So, this whole adsense thing is a load of crap. Its really difficult to get set up and there is apparently no room for mistakes. Google has messed up and I'm rather upset. I still can't get adsense to accept me for an account because apparently there isn't enough text here. And the rejection emails have started coming even more quickly, which just frustrates me. I can't even get my youtube account to fully monetize because of this. Like, it plays ads, but I don't get anything for it, which sucks.

But, in other news, I finally have 51 subscribers, which is crazy because I remember when
I was excited to only have 10! About once a week or so, I get an email saying that there is a new subscriber and it feels really nice to know that people like the content that I put up, at least to some extent. I just wish they would comment more. Don't get me wrong, I'm grateful for what I get, I just can't stand that lack of feedback and interaction. I want to know which videos people enjoy the most.

In other news, its April Fools day, which really just means that my youngest brother will probably yell something about it at me this evening and that I get to see the funny jokes that people pull on the internet. I've already seen the google one. And a chic-fil-a one.

I feel like if I spend multiple paragraphs talking about one subject, maybe google will accept my application.

I started playing the ukulele on a whim a little more than a year ago. My brother and I had both decided that we wanted to learn to play the unique instrument. My brothers and I are rather musical. We are always singing and dancing and listening to music. I was in choir in middle school and church, then theatre during high school. James (the middle child) did childrens choir in church but he didn't really like it. Instead, he started playing the trumpet for the school band during middle school and has continued through high school.

Anyway, we are always looking for new musical instruments to learn and be able to play in our day to day life. I took piano lessons when I was young, and I hated it, but both James and I can kinda play the piano. James plays the coronet, trumpet, piano, ukulele, and ocarina. He has a guitar, but he has yet to learn to play it. The ukulele was really the first instrument that I enjoyed playing.

We went to Canton, which is this huge flea market, in September or so of 2012 in search of ukuleles. The idea was originally James', but I was excited about it too. Because I was lacking in money at the time, James bought a real $40 ukulele and I bought a piece of crap uke for about $20. I tried and tried, practicing with the piece of junk uke for about two or three months. I learned the basic chords from youtube and websites on the internet. It was fun, but the tiny thing was unable to stay tuned, and it sounded super plinky and icky.

So, I started asking my parents for an actual ukulele of my own, and to prove that I really wanted it, I began playing on my brother's uke since he had been obsessed with the trumpet and the ocarina. True, James would get upset at me and we would fight a bit over who got to play it. We've never been great at sharing since we've had to share a lot of things through our lives, and we like to have things that we can claim as solely ours. But I managed to convince my mom that I was serious about the uke business.

On December 25th of 2012, I opened up a strangely shaped box to find a light pink Diamond Head soprano ukulele. And thus the process of getting better and practicing all the time began. I literally spent hours practicing to memorize new chords and songs. Every time I heard a song that I liked, I would write down the name and look up and print out the chords. I built up quite a collection, keeping them in a binder. and constantly playing my favourites.

In July of 2013, we went on vacation to Florida. We ended up going into an antique shop and I fell in love with a baritone ukulele that they had there. I had never seen one before, but I didn't buy it because I thought $150 for a really old instrument was ridiculous. On the way back, we stopped in New Orleans. My brother wanted to stop at a music shop to be able to say that he had gotten a trumpet mouthpiece in New Orleans. We ended up doing this on my birthday, which was unique. I spent a little while looking around and found a baritone ukulele there for the same price, but brand new, made by a company called Danville. So, after some deliberation, I decided to get it, and did my research to tune it on the way home.

I learned that baritone ukuleles actually can be tuned to the normal uke sound or to the bottom four strings of a guitar. I tuned mine like a guitar so that it would sound lower and would be more of a challenge to learn. This also makes the finger positions for the chords different than a typical soprano uke. But, this means that it looks and sounds more like a guitar than a uke, which I like.

Playing the ukulele is something that I really enjoy and that is something that is part of my everyday life. I play it in my free or when I'm bored. I actually brought my uke to school a couple of times and I bring it to church to sing songs with the little kids in the sunday school class that Sarah and I teach. I'm not the best uke player ever, but I really like it. I've been told many times that I'm really good and that my voice goes well with the sound of the instrument. I finally found the instrument that I like, and I'm sticking with it. My next goal is to buy a uke with a pickup so that I can play it on stage a church and stuff. That would be a lot better than putting a mic right in front of it as I've done before.


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