I can play for an hour or so now before it starts to ache, so it IS healing. It's just taking longer than it should because my other passion, sailing, has been putting a strain on it every time it starts to get better.
So here's a product endorsement and story to tide you over...
In June, I was at the Beaches Arts & Crafts festival with my wife. Tired of the usual hand-made rugs, toys, and paintings, I leaped when I saw a small tent packed with ukuleles and banjos.
I ran over, talked to the luthier, and started plucking away on his wares. I fell in love instantly, and came home $200 lighter with an amazing handmade Tenor Resonator Ukulele from Rosbilt*.
I've spent the summer playing it and getting used to the size and chords - ukes are new to me, but I'm a solid fan now. If you're curious, check this guy out - Ross Stuart. He makes some incredible instruments! Mine has perfect intonation, sounds metallic yet strangely fragile and soft, it's a bit louder than standard wood ukuleles, and even after daily playing it only needs a minor tuning adjustment maybe once a week.
Sitting on the couch one weekend morning watching TV, I started plucking away absentmindedly on the uke. An interesting melody came out, and my focus instantly changed to the instrument. I rushed down to my studio and powered everything up.
I didn't want to bother setting up a microphone for the ukulele, so I decided to play it on an electric guitar. Just get the damn thing recorded before it's forgotten! 30 minutes later I had a basic drum track programmed and a full song arranged. Still, I wasn't ready to leave it alone.
While listening over and over to the song, I reached for the harmonica I had sitting on the mixing desk. Virtually instantly a counter-melody came out of the instrument that, again, I had to get down on tape before it disappeared. Again, no mic. So I set up a synthesizer and played it on the keys.
And listened to it over and over and over.
The song was too good to leave alone, so I finally set up the mic and sang whatever came to mind.
Less than 3 hours from when I first plucked that melody from the uke, I had a full song written: drums, bass, guitar/uke, harmonica/synth, and vocals. Just wild...
I love the song, it's one of my strongest. And it'll wait in line for the project after the one currently in production, to give it a little time to "mature." One of the things I love about it is that it was written on 2 instruments I'm not particularly adept with, ukulele and harmonica, but built itself into beauty. And yes, the uke will be on the record, it's just too cool to omit.
God, sometimes I just love music.
*and for the record, I have no professional interest in Rosbilt. Ross (can I call him that?) has no idea that I'm writing this, and likely doesn't remember me at all. But CHEERS to him!