For the last few years, playing music and singing with others has become an important source of joy and connectedness in my life. It might even be one reason this poor blog has had fewer and fewer entries as the virtual online world has taken a back seat to real life! This all started because Ellen decided to take up the ukulele to be able to accompany herself when she sings the thousands of songs to which she seems to know all of the lyrics. Ellen started having such a good time, finding several groups around town to sing with, and learning her instrument, that I was drawn into the scene. Music has always been important to me as well, but my outlet had been a rather solitary pursuit of the piano – with only moderate hard-fought success. Singing in a group with others provides a satisfaction that is hard to beat. So I too, took up the ukulele. Which, after all, has only four strings, the same as the number of fingers you have, so there was hope!
After a couple of years playing with our friends, the traveling paraphernalia seemed to keep growing and was becoming a burden. The various music groups have more than half a dozen music compilation books between them; there are music stands, instrument stands, instruments, music lights, capos, and tuners, and goodies to share with friends. The digital age came along and helped reduce the need for all of the music books with the advent of the tablet computer. Rather than a dozen books and music sheets, now everything could be placed on the tablet, easily accessed, and read without needing a music light at night. This appears to be standard practice with the pros these days as well. Everybody has a tablet! A few apps on the device complete the paraphernalia reduction. I’ve got a tuner, chord position charts, and notepad applications, eliminating the need for the physical equivalent of those items. We seemed to be making progress, but there was still too much stuff to haul, so it was time to break out the wood working equipment and solve the problem.
The Uke Case Music Stand was inspired by the fact that my new digital tablet just happened to fit nicely behind the instrument in the bottom of my very nice padded ukulele case. What was still needed was a compact music stand.
The hard instrument case provides half of the structure for the stand. A pair of “feet” on the bottom of the case provide enough lateral stability for when the third “tripod” leg is extended to establish the base of the stand. A wooden dovetail slide allows the music tablet to be positioned either for standing or sitting down. When set up, the instrument case itself functions as an instrument stand when you are taking a break. It is right in front of you and the case can open when the stand is up, so you can quickly put your instrument away before you go in search of refreshments.
Everything folds up into a small package that is easy to carry when it is time to go home.
Making music is a lot of fun – the music stand just adds to the satisfaction!