My ukulele-playing fingers don’t bend like that

On assignment at the Liverpool Public Library.

On assignment at the Liverpool Public Library.

My Saturday assignment at the Liverpool Public Library fit neatly into my bucket list.

I took photographs and shot videos at the monthly Ukulele for Beginners workshop led by Pat Doherty.

Earlier this year, my dear wife Karen surprised me with the gift of a ukulele because I’d told her I’d like to learn to play.

It’s sat on my shelf waiting for me to open the accompanying work book.

Two birds with one stone.

Pat Doherty and students.

Pat Doherty and students.

I did better at the photos and videos than learning my finger placement for the chords. My stubby little fingers had a hard time bending to fit the fret placements. Wow, that was tough.

I really am a true beginner. But I took notes. And I have that book. It includes two DVDs. I am inspired.

For Central New York ukulele lovers, the Saturday workshops at the library take a break until September. But Doherty says she and some players meet at 1 p.m. every Saturday during the summer at Onondaga Lake Park for an informal playing circle. Everybody is welcome, down the block from the LPL and Federal Espresso.

More photos and a video can be found at the library’s social media accounts, through

What lessons may you have taken lately? What would you like to take? What’s your favorite ukulele song?

25 thoughts on “My ukulele-playing fingers don’t bend like that

  1. Sounds fun, Mark! I’d love to learn to play the one I have in the attic, again. I was like 16 last time I played it. (I got it when I lived in Hawaii.) I have always wanted to learn to tap dance, too ๐Ÿ™‚


    • Hawaii! Now you’re talking, Sadie. Did you get rock fever? I loved the eight glorious days Karen and I vacationed three.

      Tap dancing sounds fun! You made me digress with thoughts of paradise and ukulele playing where it ought to be.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I actually have an antique ukulele, but I don’t much play it. I had lessons for piano, recorder, flute, and cello. I remain unable to properly play any instrument. I can do stuff, but not anything interesting. I’m sure you’ll do better than I! Keep at it, because even if you never master it, you’ll learn a lot about yourself ๐Ÿ™‚


  3. Mark,
    I work with Pat at a medical laboratory. Long hours and lots of stress! Pat is a classically trained pianist who just loves the ukulele. Just talking about it brings her joy! On Christmas Eve I asked her to bring it in and we sang Christmas songs. It just made everybody smile. Some of our quietest people were singing along. So glad you joined her class. Good luck with playing!


    • I can tell how much she enjoys it, Michelle. You are lucky to have her working with you. That must have been much fun on Christmas Eve. Thanks for sharing that story here. ๐Ÿ™‚


  4. Like Paul, I can only think of Tiny Tim.โ˜บ Mandolin has surfaced often, and I fell in love with the balalaika (Dr. Zhivago). Give those fingers some time, Mark. You’ll get there.


  5. I always associate ukuleles with Tiny Tim. he was very good – and honestly, I don’t know any other contemporary artists who play the instrument (I’m sure there are – I just am not aware).

    When you mentioned fat fingers, I had to laugh. I too have fat fingers and have a hard time with forms and such that require very small writing. I had a boss once who loved to produce new forms for the office. Inevitably they impacted my department so he would give me drafts to check before he had them produced en mass. i always changed the spacing of any areas to be filled in so there was more space per line. He would mutter about my fat fingers. Ha!


  6. Hey, Mark! Two weeks ago I picked up the guitar again for the first time in decades. This time, it’s a baby guitar. It’s still tough on the fingers; I’m typing with new calluses now.


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