The Ukulele

When played right, the ukulele can lift even my darkest moods.

I woke up in a bad mood on Saturday, all depressed and stuff.  One of those days where I hate everybody, especially myself.  I tried to play my ukulele and then some computer games to feel better.  Failed.  I ended up going to Guitar Center to get some strings.  Then I figured, well, as long as I’m here, I may as well look at guitars and amps and things.

While I was looking at some used Marshall amps and wondering if I needed them and no doubt scowling deeply and looking strange in my sweatpants and Doctor Who “Time Lord” hoodie, a young lady came up to me in the store and sweetly said she was on a scavenger hunt and one of the items was to be “serenaded by somebody”.

At first I couldn’t process what she’d said or what she wanted, due to the black mood I was in.  I stared at her and didn’t speak. She showed me her scavenger hunt sheet where it clearly said “be serenaded by somebody”.  After an awkward moment, I got it and I said “okay”.  Quickly, I found myself surrounded by teenagers and their families.  I grabbed a close-to-in-tune ukulele off the rack and played a couple of bars of white sandy beach for them and they took a picture.

And my bad mood was magically fixed.

Ukuleles almost always have this effect but especially have this effect when played for people. I’ll always be thankful for this experience and am looking forward to being scavenger hunt treasure again someday.

Photo credit: Todd Mauldin, used with permission

About Todd Mauldin

Todd Mauldin (@mrtavo) is a musician, writer and artist living in Reno, NV. He blogs at


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