Known Ukulele Artists

Ukulele in the Garden

Ia ora na Christophe and Maxime! Can you introduce yourself ?

Hello I'm'call Christophe, I'am 49 years old and I am a photographer in the Côtes-d'Armor in Brittany.

Hello I'm'call Maxime, almost 42 years old, I work as a'psychiatric nurse and j'lives in Normandy.

How long have you been playing the ukulele?

Maxime: The first time I'touched a ukulele it was in 2011, a ukulele that I didn't'couldn't tune because of the tuners that were spinning when I'I was trying in vain to get him to get the right notes out and then we'offered one (an Aloha 20 soprano) in 2012 which m'allowed me to get started.

Christopher: J.'started the ukulele in 2013 thanks to Maxime who'transmitted the virus. At the time I was looking for an instrument allowing me to play alone and acoustically because playing the bass alone was getting tired of me. Max arrived home one day with his uke and it was a revelation for me! The next day I ordered my first ukulele (a Flea Tiki surf that is still in use) and from there, we s'is said that'we could form a duo for fun.

Why did you choose to'learn the ukulele?

Maxime discovered the ukulele in 2009 after a trip to Polynesia and the'influenced because he liked the sound and he returned in 2012 knowing how to play. Otherwise, we haven't really learned and we'is put on the job there but like everyone'between us was already playing d'an instrument, the uke seemed to us to be a fairly accessible instrument. Even if he'learning does'ain't done in a day, we don't'it didn't take long before we put our first covers online!

Why this instrument rather than'another ?

Maxime: I played the guitar a bit and the ukulele seemed easier to me, there was also the'interest it brought to others. This instrument came out of the'ordinary and then we liked its size. Even as beginners, we'is said that'we could play in the bathrooms of friends or people because we don't need a lot of space and also in the gardens of'where our name Ukulele in the Garden.

Christophe: I join Maxime and I'I would even add why this instrument among the others? Coming from the bass, I stayed on 4 strings and I'loved its fun and joyful side, the fact of being able to take everything back to the ukulele m'immediately convinced. It's still a really user-friendly instrument that puts a smile on people's faces as soon as'we get the first chord. The ukes'take everywhere, it remains financially affordable which is d'elsewhere its biggest problem because when'we buy one, we want 20! Joking aside and since 2012, we have been combining different ukulele models ranging from sopranino to tenor through electric and Polynesian ukes. We can thus choose the uke corresponding to the musical style that we wish to use.

How did you learn to play it?

Maxime: On the job and mainly by watching tutorials on Youtube but with the basics of'string instruments.

Christophe: Like Max, on the job, thanks to tutorials and especially the'hear. First take back pieces that the'we know also helps a lot.

Have you taken music education lessons and if not, do you think'can we learn the ukulele without music theory?

Maxim: J'I learned alone and without music theory but you have to realize that the lessons allow you to progress more quickly by having a good foundation and allowing you to manage time or read tablature easily. That said, Christophe and I take part in Master Classes at the St-Denis ukulele festival in'Anjou which allow us to correct certain bad habits. But that doesn't'is not essential if you already have a foundation in music (well, I think).

Christopher: I don't'I've never taken lessons and I don't know music theory, just the Master Classes with Maxime. In fact I'have always played'ear'is not necessarily the best option but it'has always served. The courses still allow a better mastery of the'instrument, to know its tablature and play in the right tempo. After C'is by feeling, you want to take lessons, do it and if you don't, it doesn't'will not prevent play.

What are your favorite songs to play on the ukulele?

Oh so there at the beginning it was clearly to make offbeat songs, songs that'we knew how to sing and gradually, everyone brought their own musical influences. Max likes French punk and rock that I don't'I don't necessarily listen and on my side, I'm more of an Anglo-Saxon and folk indie rock that Max is discovering. In short, we can say that when'we do a cover, there is always either'one be l'another who discovers the piece. VS'is D'moreover great to discover titles of this kind and especially to reinterpret them in our own way. In short, we can say that'we remain open, it can go from'a cover of Radiohead passing through Ludwig Von 88 or Dinosaur Jr and ending with a cartoon song but still in s'amusing. We like to invite friends to sing with us.

Are there any artists who inspire you?

Maxime: Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain, a revelation in the quirky style that will have marked us! After they n'have no'direct influence on our way of playing even if we keep the offbeat side. That said, we don't'does not necessarily inspire that group playing the ukulele, and c'is the starting point of what'we do today'today. We go more to music from'Oldelaf and especially Les Petites Bourrettes that the'we cover very often for their quite funny texts and which musically stick well to the ukulele. Anyway, we can take everything back to the ukulele!

Christophe: In the middle of the ukulele, c'is unquestionably the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain!! We saw the band on stage at the St-Denis Ukulele Festival in'Anjou, we were also able to chat with them and do Master Classes with George Hinchliffe. This group plays everything with a lot of'humor and c'this is surely what influenced us the most. I agree with Max on our inspirations and the fact of being able to take everything back to the uke. Even though I'likes to listen to artists like Ukulele clan Band, James Hill, Zoé Bestel, j'likes to cover Cure, Pixies, Nick Cave or Sufjan Stevens.

Do you think it is difficult to'learn the ukulele? Why ?

Maxime: This n'is not necessarily difficult to'learn the ukulele when you already have the basics and having given lessons to beginners n'having never held'instruments of their life, we get there but it'is a much tougher apprenticeship. Finger placement is more complicated but they get there fairly quickly with routines and within a few months they are relatively comfortable.'comfortable to hold a piece.

Christophe: I agree with Maxime on this point, having already held a much larger neck with my bass, I don't'didn't have too much trouble positioning my fingers but it will still have hours of play for me'do there. After C'is like everything, by dint of walking your fingers over the frets, you end up having more flexibility and holding the pieces.

Do you have any advice for someone?'one who would like to'put there?

Treat yourself, the ukulele even if it's not'is not very well played, this n'is not a big deal!! It happens that the notes jump and well continue the piece with a smile, it will go better the next times. The ukulele community is really open, you can always get help and support because it will allow you to evolve much more easily.

Finally, where can we find you on the networks and do you have future projects related to the ukulele?

You can find us on Instagram (, Facebook ( ) and Youtube ( ).

For future projects, already see each other again because between the pandemic and the distance that separates us, we haven't been able to make new duos but we will make sure to'bring some new things in addition to'old songs that we would like to play at the end of October.

Then the main project is to seriously work on a set and do some open scenes.

Thank you Upa Upa Tahiti for devoting this interview to us.

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