I was not blessed with a good singing voice; I can carry a tune, but I have a limited range and no real power behind my voice. I’ve always been somewhat ashamed of it, and have restricted my singing to the car when driving alone, the shower with the sound of the water to drown me out, being home alone or when singing in a group trying to blend in so no one notices how I sound. I was in the choir in elementary school, but was told I sing flat, and when the chance came to learn to play an instrument, I eagerly took that opportunity because at least I could make some pleasant-sounding music THAT way, so I played the flute, rather well, for many years. I also played a bit of piano and guitar, with some saxophone and cello thrown in for awhile.
My sister, who has the good singing voice in the family, has been singing all her life and playing various folk stringed instruments, such as the autoharp and dulcimer, and a couple of years or so ago took up playing the ukulele. About a year ago, feeling I wanted to make some music again, I mentioned to her I was thinking of buying a used ukulele, and she kindly bought me a nice new one, which I immediately liked learning to play. I joined a couple of local ukulele groups and enjoyed those until my transportation issues made it hard for me to attend and I stopped playing as much for awhile, but I missed it and began playing again over the last several weeks.
My sister has made many music videos featuring her playing and singing and encouraged me to make some videos too, but I’d always refused. A few days ago I made a few short videos just for her to see, telling her this is why I don’t make videos. Turned out she liked them (because she’s my sister?) and her husband liked them as well, and they encouraged me to make more. I figured well, okay, what the heck, and started a new YouTube channel just for these videos, making sure I did only songs published before 1923 (so as not to run afoul of copyright laws) and original compositions (as yet unwritten). I use the name “Sleepy Bones Lee” because recently a Facebook friend posted a chart to “find your blues name” using the first letter of one’s first, middle and last names to come up with a “blues” combination, and that seems to be mine. Although I like to play many types of music, these older songs, though simple, are fun to work with and relatively easy to sing, and I like the jazz/blues songs from that period.
Still not wanting others to recognize me, I made these first videos showing only my hands and my ukulele, but I realize keeping that same view all the time is going to get old pretty quick. I also admitted to myself today that I’m tired of being ashamed and apologetic about something I like very much to do, even if I’m not very good at it. So I’m going out on a limb and posting my first video here today. If people don’t like it, they don’t have to listen. Here we go:
Again, this was fun to do, and I plan to make more and post as I feel like it. Do whatever you enjoy today, even if you feel you’re not very good at it!