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  #41  
Old 02-12-2017, 10:43 PM
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Default Re: I want to learn to play the Ukulele

As far as most songs go not many use a B chord at least with guitar. Most songs are either in the key of G D C or A. If it's in G, there will most likely be a combination G D C EM. If its in the key of D most songs will go D A G with the occasional BM.
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  #42  
Old 02-23-2017, 06:16 PM
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Default Re: I want to learn to play the Ukulele

So I'm still practicing but today I hit a serious snag in my playing.

Been learning everything (as per the lesson plan I follow) in Quarter Time. Today the lesson shifted to Eight Time. Totally screwed me up. Somehow I can't strum to Eight Time.

So far we've been stemming down only, 4 beats (is that the right term?); down/DOWN/down/DOWN. The 'DOWN' is accented, while the 'down' is strummed lighter.

In Eight Time the strumming is down/up/DOWN/up/down/up/DOWN/up. Somehow I lose count, and I accent the on the odd 'down' instead of the even 'DOWN' and then it falls apart from that point.

To make matters even worse, the DVD lesson illustrated 2 different ways to do it, and the preferred method, which is what they were trying to teach, just didn't happen at all. So I was trying the simple method, and couldn't get that.

Disheartened? Yup.
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Old 02-23-2017, 06:19 PM
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Default Re: I want to learn to play the Ukulele

Don't let it beat you down. The strumming will come in time as you become more comfortable. A baby doesn't start off running. The have to crawl first then walk. Lol. Takes time.
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Old 02-23-2017, 06:40 PM
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Default Re: I want to learn to play the Ukulele

Quote:
Originally Posted by NorthernRedneck View Post
Don't let it beat you down. The strumming will come in time as you become more comfortable. A baby doesn't start off running. The have to crawl first then walk. Lol. Takes time.
Thanks, I think its just a bad day. My daughter interrupted my first attempt at practice with some silly issues that she seemed to think were real problems. Then later when I came back to it the dogs decided to interrupt me, along with a couple text messages

Figured it was just better to walk away and try again tomorrow.
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  #45  
Old 02-24-2017, 09:10 AM
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Default Re: I want to learn to play the Ukulele

I could never get 6/8 time on the trumpet.
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  #46  
Old 02-24-2017, 11:56 AM
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Default Re: I want to learn to play the Ukulele

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Originally Posted by zekeusa View Post
I could never get 6/8 time on the trumpet.
The whole rhythm thing is a problem for me
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  #47  
Old 02-26-2017, 01:40 PM
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Default Re: I want to learn to play the Ukulele

Maybe the best thing I did was skip forward to the next lesson, then skip backwards to the prior lesson.

First off, the "swinging 8ths" that they are trying to teach me in the lesson I described above just isn't working. So I decided to move forward to see what comes next. Best thing I did. The next lesson more clearly describes the 8th notes, something the problem lesson did not do. So skipping took me to a simple tutorial lesson that helped me understand what I was supposed to be doing before showing me how to do it. I found this very helpful. Then it showed me, then had me play along (very very slowly) and now I actually understand the 8th notes. Not saying I can keep up with a song and chord changes at normal speeds but at least I understand it. So now I can practice it.

After doing that lesson, and practicing it, I then skipped backwards over the problem lesson to the lesson before the problem lesson. It played Itsy Bitsy Spider in quarter time and I found it easy and that boosted my confidence ... which clearly was shattered by the "swinging 8ths" lesson.

Now I still can't do the "swinging 8ths" technique but at least I can do the simple 8ths and I clearly now understand it so maybe with practice/repetition I'll actually make progress again.



Oh, and for those of you who have been playing any instrument ... do you look forward to buying another ... and another ... and another? Because I can't even play a real song but I'm looking for my next 5 or 10 Ukes already
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  #48  
Old 02-27-2017, 04:07 PM
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Default Re: I want to learn to play the Ukulele

Still NOT working on the "swinging 8ths" but I'm now getting somewhat better at doing "straight 8th" notes. I need to do some serious work on my chord changes. Every time a new cord is introduced I have a difficult time going from the new chord to one of the older chords. But I'm starting to get ever-so-slightly better at changing chords in close to time!
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  #49  
Old 02-27-2017, 06:13 PM
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Default Re: I want to learn to play the Ukulele

Lol. Yes. I totally understand about wanting another and another etc. In the past year I've bought 3 guitars. Not because I need them. But because I want them. I did good this month though. I decided I NEED a Taylor acoustic. But told myself I'm going to downsize. So I've sold my acoustic bass and both my main home and church guitars so I can justify spending that kind of money on the Taylor.
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Old 02-27-2017, 06:31 PM
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Default Re: I want to learn to play the Ukulele

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Lol. Yes. I totally understand about wanting another and another etc. In the past year I've bought 3 guitars. Not because I need them. But because I want them. I did good this month though. I decided I NEED a Taylor acoustic. But told myself I'm going to downsize. So I've sold my acoustic bass and both my main home and church guitars so I can justify spending that kind of money on the Taylor.
I think I need a Pineapple shaped one next I've found that most are cheap toys, and most are in the small Soprano size and roughly $49.

There are a few in the concert (alto) size that I've found, which would be my choice because my Uke is a concert size. So for the piss poor playing I can barely manage, it seems logical to stick with 1 size.

I like this Ohana. Its all solid, so not a toy. Spruce top. Mahogany sides and back. Chinese, so not outrageous in price, MSRP is $479 but I've found it online for $309. I have found a few others. Clearly I need to learn how to play before expanding my collection
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  #51  
Old 02-27-2017, 09:54 PM
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Default Re: I want to learn to play the Ukulele

It looks nice anyway
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  #52  
Old 03-03-2017, 04:58 PM
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Default Re: I want to learn to play the Ukulele

Well I've got The Itsy Bitsy Spider memorized, I can play it in 2 different keys.

And, while it is hard to believe, it actually sounds like it is supposed to sound

I started moving ahead on the lessons. My lesson chart says do a lesson, then go back and redo and older lesson, then redo another older lesson, then move forward. And I've been doing that. But then I decided to just go forward without past reviews. So today I went back and started the reviews. Can't believe that the lessons I struggled with a week or so ago are now pretty easy for me. So apparently I'm actually learning.

My arthritis is a constant problem. My left wrist is in constant pain. Its aggravated by the way I am supposed to hold the neck of the Uke. But its manageable.

I also have a very difficult time strumming with my index finger, which is the finger I am supposed to be using for strumming. So I switched to using my thumb. It sounds a little different because instead of using my index finger nail I end up using the 'meat' of my thumb, so the sound is warmer, but it seems to be working for me. Since I have no concert/performance ambitions, if I get a slightly warmer sound out of the Uke than might be traditional I'm OK with that. I'd rather have a warmer sound the NO SOUND AT ALL
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  #53  
Old 03-03-2017, 05:02 PM
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Default Re: I want to learn to play the Ukulele

That's great. Keep it up.

I'm going to head to the border to pick up my new guitar tonight. Then put it to the test on stage tomorrow night.
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  #54  
Old 03-04-2017, 06:52 PM
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Default Re: I want to learn to play the Ukulele

I think in about 30% of my posts inside this thread about learning the ukulele I've mentioned that I have arthritis and that it causes me some issues. And in most of those I've mentioned its manageable.

But one problem I have, that sometimes is a big issue, is that the Uke slips and my left hand has a hard time holding while I try to play due to the arthritis pain. The arthritis in my left wrist is the joint on my body where it is the worst. Today has been a big problem for wrist pain. I typically have fairly short practice sessions. Earlier I got in about 5 minutes because the pain became a problem. Later today I got closer to 20 minutes of practice.

So this afternoon I ordered a few things from Amazon that I'm hoping will help solve that problem.

#1 a strap
#2 a plug that fits into the electronic output jack on the base of my Uke
#3 a strap connector that fits around the head of my Uke that connects to the strap

I did NOT want to screw in any strap buttons in my Uke for fear that I'd screw it up, damage it, and basically just because I didn't want to do so. So digging around I found a strap connector that plugs into the output jack. Since I don't connect up to an electric amp the output jack in my Uke simply goes unused, seems like a good alternative mounting point and it doesn't require me to screw anything into my nice wood Uke.

The strap connector on the other end that wraps around the head, under the strings is another solution that then holds up the other end. There were straps with strings on them that you tie around the head but that seemed slightly less desirable because you'd have to leave it tied on or keep tying/untying. So this seems like a good option.

And then there is the obligatory TIKI design Uke strap
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Old 03-04-2017, 07:47 PM
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Default Re: I want to learn to play the Ukulele

Yes. A strap is a MUST. Even when sitting I use a strap so I don't have to fight with it to hold it up. Even my little merlin has a strap. I've had to screw in strap pegs in the past. Usually at the base of the neck where it joins the body. I had to install this one. Just predrill the hole no deeper than the length of the screw. A good trick I use is to measure the screw length against the drill bit then mark the bit with tape. Make sure the drill bit is just a few curly ones smaller than the thread of the screw as well so the screw bites good into the wood.

Personally I prefer my strap mounted at the base of the neck rather than around the headstock under the strings as I find it muffles the strings and can put them out of tune easier.
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Old 03-04-2017, 08:57 PM
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Default Re: I want to learn to play the Ukulele

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Originally Posted by NorthernRedneck View Post
Yes. A strap is a MUST.
...
Personally I prefer my strap mounted at the base of the neck rather than around the headstock under the strings as I find it muffles the strings and can put them out of tune easier.
Seems that with Ukes, as they are small and lightweight, its actually not that common to use a strap.

Most Ukes don't come with any strap buttons installed. There are Uke straps that clip into the sound hole; straps with only 1 point of connection, etc.
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  #57  
Old 03-10-2017, 07:22 PM
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Default Re: I want to learn to play the Ukulele

Well so far, so good. At least until I got to today.

Lesson today is to do an 8th note strum to the song Achy Breaky Heart.

Uh, no.

I have a hard enough time doing the strum. And the song was a bit too fast, well maybe way too fast, given that I have a heck of a time with strumming 8ths. Replayed the video several times. I think its time for a drink, well I know it is, but I gave up bourbon for the Lenten season

I'll have to come back to this one. Probably 10 times


But I really like the addition of the strap, that helps a lot. Except for today. By the time I was done I was ready to hang myself with the strap.
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  #58  
Old 03-16-2017, 06:42 PM
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Default Re: I want to learn to play the Ukulele

Well I'm pretty much an idiot but I'm having fun.

I have Itsy Bitsy Spider memorized (actually I can play it in a couple different keys) and I started to learn Amazing Grace and a couple other songs. I can't keep up to fast tempos and falter on medium tempo, but I'm getting better.

So to reward myself I bought another Uke.

USED ... picked it up at 1/2 retail off of Ebay.

This one is from a company called MagicFluke, which makes a couple different modle ABS plastic body Ukes. They are actually considered real instruments, not toys. Their Ukes get very good reviews. Of course nothing like a solid tone wood, custom made, Hawaiian Koa Uke but the reviews are very good for their price point, and very good compared to many traditional style Ukes. They are generally considered to be among the best of the "knock around" type Ukes that can be taken to the beach, campfire sing-along, etc. Oh, and they are American made... if you consider Massachusetts to be America.

The face is always some sort of wood, but its typically plywood; this one has a custom walnut finish with a lighter, decorated rosette. Standard models come with a hole, this one has a fancy hole The fretboards are also ABS plastic over a wood neck. Seller even tossed in a free padded case.

Figured WTF, I'm just spending Melen's Law School tuition $$$, so nothing important
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  #59  
Old 03-16-2017, 10:52 PM
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Default Re: I want to learn to play the Ukulele

It looks just like wood
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Old 03-17-2017, 12:25 AM
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Default Re: I want to learn to play the Ukulele

I like!

I may have to look into one. As for the lessons, amazing Grace is one I teach to my guitar students when they are first learning. Who doesn't know it? Right? Easy song with only two chords.
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