I want to learn to play the Ukulele

NorthernRedneck

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It'll come with practice. Strumming took me years to master. And I'm still learning 26 years after starting guitar.

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NorthernRedneck

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Saw this and thought of you right away. Lmao. You going to order it?
7c1f455eb85abeb01a5895ce867f3a56.jpg
 

Melensdad

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I'm still playing nursery rhymes and children's songs.
 

NorthernRedneck

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I'm still playing nursery rhymes and children's songs.
I remember those days. When I first started playing guitar it was kids songs playing single notes. Once I learned three chords I learned knocking on heaven's door. I played that over and over again for what seemed like a year.

Really though. If you can master 4 basic chords you can play a lot of songs that are popular nowdays. G D EM C. In that order usually. Throw in the odd Am and F chord and you have the basis of a lot of popular music.
 

Melensdad

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My problem is not the chords, its the strumming. I know 8 or 9 common chords ... but switching chords is sometimes a little too slow. Its getting faster, so its just a matter of practice. Still, the strumming patterns are what totally screw me up.

I have no natural rhythm (seriously) and that makes the strumming even worse.

I will never be a good player because my timing always speeds up or trails off, sometimes both in the same song! But I'm playing for ME and not to join a band. Its fun to play, despite the frustration.
 

NorthernRedneck

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That's the spirit. For years I just played for me. I kinda reached a level of playing where I could switch chords quickly and keep a steady strumming pattern. For the past 5 years or so I have been playing a lot more and working on my technique. Now my strumming is coming along nicely. I routinely alternate strumming while playing a song. For example. If a song has a chorus that plays over and over again towards the end, I'll start the chorus softly using my hand to mute the strings while strumming gently in downward strokes. Then I'll continue the chorus strumming harder using downstrokes and not muting it anymore with my hand. The final time around on the chorus I'll throw in upstrokes in a steady pattern to build momentum to the end of the song.

Clear as mud?
 

Melensdad

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No updates on this thread for quite a while but I have not given up.

It has been hard to practice during the holiday season, which is also the competitive fencing season, so I've not really had much time to do any real practicing. I have restrung one of my more frequently played ukuleles with a new set of strings. I've messed around a bit. But I need to get back to my daily practice sessions; something I hope to start up again next week.
 

Melensdad

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Well I guess there is an update. After posting the above 'non-update' early this morning I did find a bit of time a short while ago to pick up the Magic Fluke uke. Played "Dropkick Me Jesus" a couple of times. Badly. But I remembered the chords and managed the chord changes, albeit slowly.

I was pretty happy that I could sort-of/semi manage that little ditty of a song. Its a simple song but on my best day its about as much as I have been able to manage to properly play so the fact that I was able to actually stumble my way through it was heartening.
 

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Melensdad

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Still playing (badly) but I'm happy so that is what counts :clap:

I can do a reasonable rendition of Bobby Dare's Dropkick Me Jesus but I'm still horrific when I attempt to play fast songs. Songs in Waltz timing (3/4 time) seem to be my forte.

I'm absolutely loving my Romero Tiny Tenor, its an amazing instrument, way better than I can ever hope to be. And its a joy to play. That said, I'm looking at buying Ukulele #4.

I found a used Cordoba 32T, which is mid-quality level ukulele. Have NOT purchased it. But seriously considering it. IF I can get the price come to down.

Its an all solid tone wood instrument, rosewood back and sides, sitka spruce top. Designed by Pepe Romero Jr, same guy who designed my Tiny Tenor. The Cordoba 32T is a handmade instrument, in China. The brand reputation is only so-so in the Uke community but the "30" series instruments are considered very nice, very much better than the rest of the brand's ukes. The "30" series has Spanish heel construction, which is supposed to be lighter, stronger and more stable than traditional dovetail ukulele construction. Its also touted as allowing the ukulele to have more vibrant tones, resonate better and overall a lighter weight.

The 32T is a true Tenor size ukulele. My other instruments are smaller Concert size instruments. The "Tiny Tenor" is a hybrid, the scale is Tenor length but on a small body and overall a Concert size ukulele.
 

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Melensdad

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So I had out of town visitors here for the past week.

One of which used to be a pretty good guitar player, but life got in the way and he has not played with his guitars for the past few years. We got talking about the ukuleles and he plunked around with them but then noticed the guitar case sitting in the corner. Out came my daughter's Spanish style guitar and we struggled through a duet of AMAZING GRACE

First time I had played the ukulele with anyone else playing along side me.

Also first time I played the ukulele with an audience of more than my dogs. I don't even play when my wife is in the room, although she does hear me practice from time to time.

I struggled.

I got lost in the song on a couple attempts.

He got lost in the song at least once.

But we did manage to play a pretty bad version of the song.

And had a lot of fun doing it.
 

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Melensdad

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OH, for whatever it is worth, I did NOT buy the Cordoba ukulele. I was looking at it at Easter-time and that is when my wife gifted me the aNueNue ukulele so buying a Cordoba will have to be a future purchase.


... and how to keep the wine glasses from spilling too.

That is my 'superpower' :hammer:
 

Melensdad

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Well it all progresses and I'm slowly getting better.



It'll come with practice. Strumming took me years to master. And I'm still learning 26 years after starting guitar.

Seems like I sort of turned a corner recently on 'strumming patterns' and can now manage a few different strumming patterns ... those have been my bane and the cause of much frustration for me. Practice, Practice, PRACTICE seems to be the only reliable way to manage those.

My wife actually is now commenting that SOME of what I am playing actually sounds like real songs :yum:

Not sure how to SING and PLAY at the same time. With the piano you typically hit one key for each syllable of a word in a song. But with a ukulele its common to apply a 'strumming pattern' that repeats through all/much of a song, and a typical strumming pattern may have 4, 5, 6, 7 or 8 strums in the pattern while the song's words (syllable count) may have no correlation to the strums. Confusing to me. Probably pretty simple for an 8 year old :unsure::unsure:
 

Melensdad

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Oh by the way, if anyone wants to book entertainment for a children's birthday party I can officially announce that KISS THE GIRL from Disney's Little Mermaid is in my repertoire. I'm not demanding. A private jet for transport, a bowl full of all blue M&M in my dressing room, and an adoring audience is more than enough compensation for me!
 

Melensdad

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Still plucking away, slow but sure. Still bad, but get improving.

Want to play a Jimmy Buffett tune that is a favorite of mine. Of course I can't find any ukulele tutorials for that song. Found one chord diagram of the song in the key of D, which is tough for me to play so I transposed it to the key of C and that is much easier for me.

Found a youtube guitar tutorial for the song and think I have the strum pattern.

DUDUUDUUDU -and/or- 1+2++3++4+

The strum pattern seems pretty easy but its actually a lot harder to play than it seems like it should be. Then again I'm pretty much a 10 thumbs player as it is and care rarely get through any song error free. Oh sure, sometimes I manage, but I usually screw up a strum pattern somewhere. This one is definitely going to be a challenge.

There is a finger picking intro, have not started to even look into how to gift out the notes to play that on a ukulele yet.

This is the YouTube video I've found. Its where I got the strum pattern. Might be able to use it to figure out the finger picking part too?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h6h7YObr1Rs
 

Jim_S

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DUDUUDUUDU -and/or- 1+2++3++4+


Can’t understand a word you are saying.

My wife is an ESL teacher. I’ll get her to translate for me tonight. :yankchain:
 
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