The song that inspired me to play the ukulele


Yep, this was the song that made me pick up the ukulele. I remember watching and listening to Bruno Mars perform Count on Me on The Ellen Show from 2005.  It seemed a very down-to-earth performance with Bruno with only his ukulele and only one other band member to sing some harmony. Something about the simple performance (plus his great singing voice) struck a chord with me.

I have been a self-taught hobbyist guitarist. Self-proclaimed ‘hobbyist’ because I read chord diagrams, strum, watch YouTube videos and lessons and learn popular songs. I had picked up a cheap ukulele (though not bad sounding) in a street in Shanghai that sold many guitars, ukuleles. It was about 400 kuai (local word that has the equivalent meaning of ‘bucks’ in North America or ‘quid’ in the United Kingdom).

I picked it up, played, learned some chords (pretty easy if you can play chords on the guitar) and started jamming. And Bruno Mar’s Count on Me was one of the first songs I learned to play while singing. Watch Bruno as he performs this song with the ukulele and listen to how he just gets the beat. I couldn’t find a good quality of the performance he did in 2005 on Ellen though it’s just as good. Enjoy!


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