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Thread: my ukulele progress

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
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    213

    Default my ukulele progress

    I am not actually hawking anything; I just want a space to annotate what I'm doing with my ukuleles for my future reference. In a sense I am self-promoting because I am putting forth a thread devoted only to me. That's why I chose this little corner for my thread to myself.

    As of 2/27/17 here are my goals

    long-term: develop a ukulele sound that only utilizes chords stacked four-high. I.e., I want to be able to play something jazzy with dom9, 11, or 13 chords or variations thereof. Long-term finger style goals are the clawhammer for my reentrant tuned ukulele and travis picking for my linear tuned ukulele

    middle-term: I want to get a lot more fluid with chord changes and have a greater mastery of the fretboard. It bothers me to no end that I don't know what notes I am playing. I come from a lifetime of playing flute where you have to know what you're going to play before you play it...otherwise you cannot finger the note.

    short-term: this week I am focusing on the key of c#, the mode of the week is Lokrian, and the voicing of the week is the sus4.

    I will update my progress as I go.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    NorCal/East Bay, CA
    Posts
    61

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ripock View Post
    I am not actually hawking anything; I just want a space to annotate what I'm doing with my ukuleles for my future reference. In a sense I am self-promoting because I am putting forth a thread devoted only to me. That's why I chose this little corner for my thread to myself.

    As of 2/27/17 here are my goals

    long-term: develop a ukulele sound that only utilizes chords stacked four-high. I.e., I want to be able to play something jazzy with dom9, 11, or 13 chords or variations thereof. Long-term finger style goals are the clawhammer for my reentrant tuned ukulele and travis picking for my linear tuned ukulele

    middle-term: I want to get a lot more fluid with chord changes and have a greater mastery of the fretboard. It bothers me to no end that I don't know what notes I am playing. I come from a lifetime of playing flute where you have to know what you're going to play before you play it...otherwise you cannot finger the note.

    short-term: this week I am focusing on the key of c#, the mode of the week is Lokrian, and the voicing of the week is the sus4.

    I will update my progress as I go.
    Thank you for sharing. I also am trying to learn the fretboard to know which notes to play over the chord changes. BTW I think "Voicing of the Week is the sus4" should be made into a bumpersticker.
    Last edited by MainlandGal510; 02-27-2017 at 10:14 AM. Reason: (spelling error)

    Pono ACD - FOR SALE!
    Mainland Mahogany Tenor w/Misi
    Kala KA-STG w/Misi.
    Makala Dolphin
    Kamaka HF-3 w/L.R. Baggs - 100th Anniversary. That's it. I'm done.
    Epiphone Masterbilt AJ-45me...
    1989 Amer. Fender Strat. - My open G slack key experiment
    Epiphone ES-335 Pro

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
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    213

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MainlandGal510 View Post
    Thank you for sharing. I also am trying to learn the fretboard to know which notes to play over the chord changes. BTW I think "Voicing of the Week is the sus4" should be made into a bumpersticker.
    Thanks for dropping by. I know what you mean about notes over chord changes. The biggest frustration since I've joined the ukulele community is the fact that relatively few people use standard notation and notes. It seems like there is a lot of "put your finger here" or "put your finger on the third fret," but I am the freak for wanting to know what I'm playing. It almost seems like people are saying "don't worry your little head about that; just put your finger here and shut up." And it isn't just ukuleles. Guitar videos do the same thing. Sometimes I watch a guitar video because I like the music and would like to learn to play it. If the video would say play an A, then play a F#, then go to G....I could do that. Our ukes have those things. But the video invariably says put your finger here, but I don't have a "here"; my uke's "here" isn't the same as a guitar's. I just wish people would go back to standardization and go away from specialized tabs. Then it wouldn't matter if the instrument was a tuba, a guitar, or a ukulele; I could play anything...with a little transposing, of course. Alright. Enough grousing.

  4. #4
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    Feb 2017
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    Oh, I just noticed in your sig line that you have an HF-3. I just bought a 100th anniversary HF-3 long neck tenor with spruce top. It has been sitting on the floor of my library and I haven't been able to play it because I bought it with a stipulation from my wife: I couldn't play it until I lost some weight. I have 10 more pounds to lose. Now I am going to not go eat and skip rope for twenty minutes.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
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    If I had to lose 10 pounds before I could play that uke, I'd consider cutting a leg off.

  6. #6
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    Feb 2017
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    Addendum:

    I forgot my other long-term goal. I have to reform my muscle memory thoroughly. I knew--I absolutely knew--what not to do, but I did it anyway. I started playing the uke with it turned slightly upwards to see what I was doing. Now that's the first thing they caution you when you're 12 and going to the Guitar Center to learn to play. It is bad for obvious reasons: it is ergonomically horrible.

    I bought some really nice leather straps and my ukes now hang properly but the angles are now totally different. I have a lot of trouble playing with a slide or fretting scales because my fingers don't stay in the frets because the wrist is situated differently. I am re-learning everything. It isn't so bad because intellectually I know what to do. I merely need to get my fingers to do it automatically again.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    NorCal/East Bay, CA
    Posts
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    Thanks! I just got the Kamaka today! Check out my NUD post.
    Good on you to have the discipline to not play it till you reach your goal!

    My goal was to finish folding laundry & walk the dogs today before I played it... 1 out of 2 ain't bad. hehheh

    Pono ACD - FOR SALE!
    Mainland Mahogany Tenor w/Misi
    Kala KA-STG w/Misi.
    Makala Dolphin
    Kamaka HF-3 w/L.R. Baggs - 100th Anniversary. That's it. I'm done.
    Epiphone Masterbilt AJ-45me...
    1989 Amer. Fender Strat. - My open G slack key experiment
    Epiphone ES-335 Pro

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
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    213

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    Feb. 28.

    I am having some issues with my c# major chord. Specifically the E string gets muted. More specifically it seems to have something to do with the pinky on the A string. When I barre the first fret, everything is fine, but when I extend my pinky to the 4th fret, that's when I lose the E string note. I remember this sort of thing happening with E major and A-shaped chords. A bit of practice will iron out the wrinkles. Everything else was fine. The rehabilitation of my muscle memory is still ongoing. Tonight I will probably have to refill my kamaka's humidifier, which is always a melancholy enterprise. When I open the case and see that spruce top nestled in blue velvet I always think of dead Ophelia floating in her Danish river.

    I fixed the C# problem the old fashioned way. I tuned my Oscar Schmidt mango tenor with a pre-amp to open C, and every time I hovered over that 1st fret with my slide a perfect C# came out! Then I fixed it like any 14 year boy would: turned up the gain, overdrive, and distortion and played blues progressions in c# and Ab. Sounded fine. Tomorrow I will approach the problem like an adult and fix it by repetitions.
    Last edited by ripock; 02-28-2017 at 04:34 PM.

  9. #9
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    Feb 2017
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    March 1

    I spent some time with my c# major and it kept on evading me. Towards the end of practice I came to a realization. I can play F minor perfectly well. I use the fingering of 1013 (sorry for not using the traditional backwards order of ukulele notation; native English speakers read left to right and the G string is on the left unless you hold the ukulele upside down). If I flatten my index finger 1013 becomes 1113. Then if I scoot the pinky down a tad 1113 becomes 1114, the C# major. This sort of thing isn't unprecedented. I usually play an E minor by playing a G major with my pinky swung around and fretting the C string. Similar transformation, at least in my mind.

    Also, when I was practicing sus4 chords, I found the Esus4 to be very discordant. I am going to go online to a few resources and double-check that my chord book isn't misprinting the chord.

    Well...that was time well spent. I was playing the chord on the wrong frets. However I went to ukuchords and found a chord I like better. It has two root notes and I like that sound better than what I had been playing...even when I was playing it correctly.
    Last edited by ripock; 03-01-2017 at 07:02 PM.

  10. #10
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    Feb 2017
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    March 2

    continued practicing the new, for me, c# major. It is still taking some getting acquainted with. As I watched 3 cop cars surrounding my neighbor's house for a probation check or something I was distracted and just played some easy blues progressions in c and g. Once that was over I started working on a finger-style version of Bach's 134th cantata. It is in G major so I decided on using the G on the 7th fret to give me plenty of room for notes below and above the 7th fret. Obviously the goal here is to get it down, then work on a chord melody and finally work on an electric slide version in open C.

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