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Thread: my ukulele progress

  1. #21
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Twin Cities Area, Minnesota
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    853

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    Please keep posting...but you should also start a blog with these thoughts, as they might also help other players (and easier to follow in one place or to subscribe to a blog with an RSS reader). Try Blogspot, Wordpress, or Weebly...and for your first posts, just cut and paste from here!
    Playing ukulele since January 2016.

  2. #22

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    Today was a mixed bag for me.

    I thought I had a revelation on dim7 moveable chords but the shape I concocted wasn't very conducive to chord changes. In retrospect it looked like some stupid Robert Schumann crap. I've done this before. I couldn't get A-shaped moveable chords to work, so I panicked and invented my own work-around. Then subsequently I just practiced, and the normal chord shape came around. I also did something similar with E major. When will I learn? Instead of some funky junk, if I would take fifteen minutes and do 100 reps of a chord, it will work.

    Aside from that I just did some speed work in the key of C. I like to go to random.org and generate 12 random sequences of [1...7]. Then I try to play those sequences. I suppose my goal would be to be able to play a new chord every metronome beat. Right now it is set at about larghetto pace and it rings every three quarter notes. I am doing that fine, but it is time to up the ante. Some of these random chord transitions are ludicrous, but it is better to be over-prepared than not. Another good thing about this practice technique is that it accustoms the ear to intervals. You play them so often that you learn what a IV to a ii sounds like.

    Still having some awkward interactions with my kamaka. It is like buying an exquisitely beautiful Russian mail-order bride: you bought her, she's yours, you can do what you want, she's ridiculously beautiful...but what do you do with her, what do you say to her at the dinner table? I have heard some of the elite ukulele players say that the ukulele has to get used to you and to learn what you want from it. I am very much in that camp and right now I am suffering through the awkward blind-date period with the kamaka. I am looking forward to the day that the two of us meld.

    I'm sure it'll happen. It happened with my 30T Cordoba. I absolutely adore that instrument. Even though it only cost 1/3 of the kamaka at 700 dollars it is my favorite. I wonder how I'll feel about having two instruments melded to my soul. I wonder if it is conflicting. I will always want to play them both. I suppose I will just have to give them turns. The cordoba is linear while the kamaka is re-entrant. So taking turns and devoting days to things fitted to that particular tuning makes sense. What doesn't make sense is getting other ukuleles. I mean, I understand being acquisitive, but I don't understand having ukuleles I wouldn't play. And if I got more tenor ukuleles I wouldn't play them because, as I said, I am highly chauvinistic and cling to my favorites.

  3. #23

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    start of a new week and I have some new random study topics. This week I'll be focusing on the key of G, the voicing of the maj7, and the dominant diminished scale (half-whole). The maj7 isn't as bad as I thought it was. I knew (or needed just a little reminding) most of the maj7's already except for Ab. Of course I'm not going to play that crazy ass F# chord around the second fret. I'm playing the barre on the sixth. I once saw a James Hill video in which he called the F maj7 the most difficult. I agree and the F# is the same thing just a fret lower.

    The chords in the key of G are not so hard. There's some I don't use too often--viz, B and E minor. It will be good to practice.

    However, when I saw G was my key of the week, I groaned. Another week of scales with open strings, my pet peeve. To make matters worse, I am going to have to play an altered pattern of the dominant diminished scale because it requires a B, one semi-tone beyond the C string. So instead of the pattern that I use for every other fret (index, middle, pinky; index, ring, pinky; index, middle, pinky), I am going to need to do (open, index, ring, pinky; index, middle; open, index, ring).

  4. #24

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    Today was a light and fluffy day. Today was carb day, so I had some huevos rancheros and then sat around the table and played, to the best of my memory, some travis picking in F, practiced my maj7 chords and progressed between them with a blues progression. Then I played around with a blues shuffle in A. That morphed into blues in Ab, but I substituted Ab maj7 for Ab which is genius because that chord shape is very similar to the IV and V chords: the Eb and C# dom7s. Then I did some practicing with the dominant diminished scale and for some reason that turned into harmonic aeolian scale improvisation. I finished with some renditions of my wife's least favorite, the eponymous track from the Scorpion's 1974 masterpiece, Fly to the Rainbow.

  5. #25

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    my Lanakai baritone arrived today. It was laminate koa, as I expected from the low price. I definitely do not like the wound strings. I had already ordered some Worth baritone strings and they should be here any day now. As I understand it, those strings are wound. I have never played metal strings and I don't prefer it. They don't bend and when they do they scratch the fretboard like nails on a chalkboard. I cannot say that I am a big fan of the tuna uke system either. I would be rather indifferent to it except that it messes with the action of the strings. I don't have precise measurement tools but on the first fret the action is imperceptibly above the fret. However, on the 12th fret the action is 1/8 of an inch due to the high profile of the bridge. Although I did play around with it during the day I will reserve any judgment until I get new strings on it.

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Skull Island
    Posts
    261

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    Quote Originally Posted by ripock View Post
    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.
    The videos with 20 minutes of endless down up down up drive me nuts, I can't click out fast enough!

  7. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnM2001 View Post
    The videos with 20 minutes of endless down up down up drive me nuts, I can't click out fast enough!
    Speaking of down up down up, what's the deal with people watching a video and then asking for strum patterns? Don't they have monitors? Just do what you've just seen. Alright. Enough negativity. I'm going to go play some maj7 chords. They always sound like a harp to me and that's kind of soothing in a kumbaya sort of way

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Indiana
    Posts
    220

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    Quote Originally Posted by ripock View Post
    Speaking of down up down up, what's the deal with people watching a video and then asking for strum patterns? Don't they have monitors? Just do what you've just seen.
    Gotcha on that. I'm not sure who they are teaching to, and if that audience actually needs to be slowed down that much. My preference for learning new songs is in real time, with a clear shot to the whole ukulele, so I can see what both hands are doing. Like this video...
    https://youtu.be/-wrcC2q_vLc
    Trent

  9. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rrgramps View Post
    Gotcha on that. I'm not sure who they are teaching to, and if that audience actually needs to be slowed down that much. My preference for learning new songs is in real time, with a clear shot to the whole ukulele, so I can see what both hands are doing. Like this video...
    https://youtu.be/-wrcC2q_vLc
    Did you see the top comment for this? It was

    A tab for this would be awesome!! Great job and God bless! 

    A bit funny. But I agree with you. It would be so much fun to watch that video closely and emulate, adjust, write little notes, research any chord you weren't familiar with. It is such a sense of accomplishment when it is done. Compare that with just receiving a pdf file from someone who has already done the work. The art of doing things is very much under fire nowadays. One of the things I am doing intermittently right now is playing by ear the second movement from Beethoven's second symphony. It is a fun exercise.

    Thanks for dropping by. I need to go and re-string my baritone with some brown Worths. Hey, that reminds me: now that I have a baritone I wonder if it would be easy to play Bach's 147th cantata on it.

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Indiana
    Posts
    220

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    Quote Originally Posted by ripock View Post
    Did you see the top comment for this? It was

    A tab for this would be awesome!! Great job and God bless! 

    A bit funny. But I agree with you. It would be so much fun to watch that video closely and emulate, adjust, write little notes, research any chord you weren't familiar with. It is such a sense of accomplishment when it is done. Compare that with just receiving a pdf file from someone who has already done the work.
    Nice song. "All of Me" was made popular by Willy Nelson, and written by Seymore Simons and Gerald Marks

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X1ZSZUSrXc8

    I've got the PDF for the chord progressions. Carlos is adding tasteful fill-in to those chords. It's not that hard to catch his riffs, (harder to memorize it) since his lead notes are finger picked around the chords. If you want, I can send you the lead sheet. It's on Page 83 of Jim's Ukulele Songbook 2016-V3 in "C." There are also two other keys in the preceding pages. I know, takes the fun out of transposing it. LOL. Willie plays it "G."
    Last edited by Rrgramps; 03-22-2017 at 05:11 PM.
    Trent

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