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fisher00
02-01-2015, 07:02 PM
OK. I've now been 'playing' the uke for 2 and a bit years. I tell people I'm not very good 'cos I'm starting to learn the uke. In my mind, after 2 years of learning I should be pretty good by now. I'm not. I am better than when I started, but still very much a learner. So just how long can we hide behind poor playing with the "I'm learning the uke" tag?

Brian1
02-01-2015, 07:06 PM
I am in the same boat and hoping it lasts at least a couple more years. My original plan was to not tell people until I was good enough to tell them, but friends of friends saw me at a uke club meeting and put a damper on that idea.

Down Up Dick
02-01-2015, 07:38 PM
I'm in the same boat too. I've been playing for about a year and a half, and I think I should be much farther along than I am. I keep telling myself that it's my old age that's slowing me down, but I dunno. The ukulele is much different than the other instruments that I play. I don't think it took so long to learn them, but they were all wind instruments. The ukulele is with the fingers, and I didn't do all that well with the piano either.

I guess we'll just have to learn to be more patient. :old:

Mivo
02-01-2015, 08:25 PM
Who you are comparing yourself to, though?

Are there people who are much better than you? Of course. Are there players who progress much faster than you? Absolutely! And are there people who have given up long before they got to the point where you're at now? Yes, and there are many, many more of those than there are people who are better than you!

If you enjoy yourself and you notice that you improve (or even if you stagnate and still have fun), that's all that (should) matters. Presumably, all of us here are too old and clumsy to ever become an Ukulele star, so the only thing that matters is that you're having a good time making noise! Expectations can be poisonous, and comparisons to others are even worse -- at least that it's how it is for me. It doesn't feel good, so I avoid doing it. :) You're better today than you were a month ago!

kohanmike
02-01-2015, 09:03 PM
After 18 months of playing, I'm pretty happy with how I'm doing (I've played guitar for 50 years). I'm 99.9% strum, with the idea that some day I'll learn involved finger picking of specific songs. I'm a member of a strum and sing senior group and playing along with them has made me improve a lot, some are better than me, many are not. It helps keep me in perspective.

I was a member of an advanced instrumental group (that also did some vocals), but I would get so stressed out trying to keep up that ultimately realized I bit off more than I could chew and dropped out. I'm much happier strumming along with the other group.

fisher00
02-01-2015, 09:44 PM
Cheers! I appreciate the responses - its all good. Another lesson tomorrow night will hopefully 'flick the switch!' :)

DownUpDave
02-02-2015, 12:09 AM
You might not be as good as you think you should be or as good as you want to be but you are better than you use to be. Progress can be so slow that we forgot how incompetent we were at the beginning. We must not be in a race, that only leads to disaster. I am guessing non of us are getting as good as we would like as fast as we would like. We are all "learners" and will always remain that way.

Olarte
02-02-2015, 12:40 AM
To be an artist a musician you have realize you are one despite or because of your abilities.

Instruments and artist tools are just that. Tools so you can express what you feel see and hear.

It is said that to become a master of any skill you need an average of 10,000 hours of practice.

After seriously studying classical guitar for over 6 years Ive come to realize the points above are totally valid

But to sum it up here is a quote I came up with that I try to live by: "Instead of anticipating the goal, learn to enjoy the Journey for this is where we spend 99.9% of our time.
The Journey is the reward..."

Practice consistently, don't be too hard to yourself, and enjoy the journey.
You might want to video yourself from time to time and it will be easier to see your progress over time.

Last of all you don't need to explain youself or make excuses for your playing to others. Others see you as a musician you need to see that too and just play.

One difference between the people that play and the ones we admire on stage is that a good performer does make mistakes but he or she does NOT stumble over them they simply keep going and make it part of the fabric of music.

I invite you to visit my YouTube channel in my signature below. When I recorded many of the early videos all I could focus was on doing a perfect take and see the mistAkes. I now record with less than 5 takes and am much more comfortable mistakes and all. And now I appreciate and enjoy more seeing my early attempts.

I took the time to write all this because we all go through this. Yes even the pros.

While I know I'm far from where I wish I were in my music journey I know I will never stop learning but appreciate my humble efforts along the way.

Best of luck on your journey
Ivan

hammer40
02-02-2015, 01:00 AM
It's not a race and it's not a competition. No matter where you are at in your skill level there will always be something to learn, and something to get better at. We will always be students in that regard. So just keep having fun, which it sounds like you are already doing.

SteveZ
02-02-2015, 02:56 AM
The question is not how good you are, but how much enjoyment are you getting out of playing the instrument.

"Good" is a subjective rating, and we all have personal definitions of what "good" is - and it's a floating standard.

Enjoyment is what keeps the amateur going, and that too is a personal thing.

So, if playing the instrument brings a smile to your face and some joy overall, who cares what others think?

HBolte
02-02-2015, 03:04 AM
The question is not how good you are, but how much enjoyment are you getting out of playing the instrument.



:agree: Well said!

Mxyzptik
02-02-2015, 03:12 AM
My Ukulele was a gift from the company I worked for and I have hardly put it down since it arrived. After spending a Saturday playing all day I wrote him an email and passed on this . Never has a present brought so much joy to one man.

Smaltzy maybe....but it doesn't matter how good you are or how good you get. Does it bring you joy is the question to ask yourself.

PS. practice lots and the joy increases...

Rllink
02-02-2015, 03:25 AM
I don't know how good I am. I don't impress myself with my ukulele playing abilities. I certainly don't consider myself a master of the instrument in any way. But when I'm jamming with other players, and not just ukulele players, but guitar players, plena, whatever, I feel like I'm holding my own. I don't feel like I'm a stand out, but I feel like I can hang in there. People seem to enjoy it when I play for them. So I don't know if that makes me good, or not.

I think that a lot of people set their sights too high. Sometimes so high that they probably are never going to satisfy themselves. I think that a lot of people who think they aren't good ukulele players are actually pretty good ukulele players, they just have their expectations up there at the Jake level. You have to be realistic about yourself. I'm never going to be a great and famous ukulele player, but I play one heck of a good Margaritaville and actually my drinking buddies can't get enough of Margaritaville.

I remember my first painting class, an introduction to watercolors. The instructor had us all tell the class where we wanted to go with our art, and what our expectations for the class were. When it came to me, I said that I wanted to go wherever my art took me, and that I had no expectations for the class, other than that I was there to experience painting with watercolors. He just smiled and said, "you are sure to succeed then." I try to put the same expectations on the uke, and frankly, I'm pretty good when it gets right down to it. Anyway, I prefer to think I'm pretty good.

Kayak Jim
02-02-2015, 03:25 AM
My Ukulele was a gift from the company I worked for and I have hardly put it down since it arrived. After spending a Saturday playing all day I wrote him an email and passed on this . Never has a present brought so much joy to one man.

Smaltzy maybe....but it doesn't matter how good you are or how good you get. Does it bring you joy is the question to ask yourself.

PS. practice lots and the joy increases...

Well said.

rappsy
02-02-2015, 03:34 AM
This thread is one of the most inspiring writings I have read when it comes to personal progress. It can be used for anything we try to accomplish.

I say to myself many times that if I spent as much time playing as I spend contributing and learning on this forum, I would be up there with Jake, but in reality, the forum is a big part of the fun for me and I am having a blast, thoroughly enjoying my time here and meeting people that I will be in contact with one way or another for quite a long time, and that's what it's all about....

Wicked
02-02-2015, 03:42 AM
I can pretty much guarantee that others perceive you as a much better player than you perceive yourself to be. It's just the nature of making music. You know what sound you desire to come out, and sometimes you come up short... But your audience has no preconception, and are able to enjoy your playing for exactly what it is rather than what it is "supposed" to be.

It is your genetic birthright to make music. Keep striving to improve, but don't let that stand in the way of the music you can make now.

bunnyf
02-02-2015, 04:14 AM
Such interesting thoughts. I have caught myself saying the same thing "I'm just a beginner" and wondered when am I going to stop saying this and stop apologizing for my skill level. It seemed justified when I was playing for only a year or so, but four years in it seems wrong to preface my playing with excuses. I do practice a lot and have improved a great deal, but I am still no great shakes...but I enjoy playing emmensely, and to me that's what really counts. Others enjoy my music too, but probably because they are friendly and uncritical and just enjoying hearing a tune they like and an opportunity to sing along, and that's fine. When I'm playing with my Uke friends I find that I am less apologetic, as many are true beginners and only some are more advanced. When I jam in public, with guitarists (and who are for the most part faaaaaarrrrrr more proficient than me), I find myself wanting to make excuses, but I have learned to stop apologizing and just play. We don't have to be the best singer or best musician for others to enjoy our music and for us to enjoy ourselves.

Wicked
02-02-2015, 05:04 AM
I don't want to wander to far from the OP's intent, but...

I think that today's relative lack of live music, and abundance of slickly produced studio recordings has skewed people's expectations on how a musician sounds in the real world. Even "The Greats" make mistakes... but unless you are physically there, you never hear it. Even recordings of live performances are heavily edited and produced.

janeray1940
02-02-2015, 05:28 AM
I can pretty much guarantee that others perceive you as a much better player than you perceive yourself to be. It's just the nature of making music. You know what sound you desire to come out, and sometimes you come up short... But your audience has no preconception, and are able to enjoy your playing for exactly what it is rather than what it is "supposed" to be.

It is your genetic birthright to make music. Keep striving to improve, but don't let that stand in the way of the music you can make now.

Yep. This.

I've been playing seriously for almost 6 years now - weekly lessons, participation in uke groups, working on a trio project - and I still consider myself a learner, and I still don't consider myself "good." I don't think I'm naturally gifted. When I was a kid taking music lessons, one teacher said about me that what I lacked in ability, I made up for in enthusiasm - and I'd say that still rings true today. I don't think it's a bad thing - it's just what is.

Preacher
02-02-2015, 07:35 AM
I DID set a specific goal as to when I'll reach what I'm aiming for. When I can play in front of people with confidence and without embarrassing myself, I will have reached that goal.

I currently engage in public speaking every week as part of my "job" so being in front of a group is not really an issue. I've sung in front of a group as well. I fully expect that I'll know when I've hit the level of "not embarrassing myself" when it comes to the ukulele. I'm not there yet. Still a good ways to go in fact. But I feel pretty good about the idea that I'll get there one of these days.

(And no, I'm not ready for the stage at UWC yet either!)

So, to the OP's question, I'm still learning, and am a bit further than outright "beginner," but not near "intermediate" yet. When things get more automatic, then I'll consider myself as having progressed to the next level.

hendulele
02-02-2015, 07:43 AM
When I was a kid taking music lessons, one teacher said about me that what I lacked in ability, I made up for in enthusiasm - and I'd say that still rings true today.

This X 1,000.

We tend to be our own most severe critics.

I have found a few tools that have given me more confidence, if nothing else:

Attending jams when possible. Playing with others, even in the background, is invigorating.

Taking lessons or online tutorials to improve your technique. The series by Craig Chee on UU+ is fantastic.

Posting videos on the Seasons. Even if you're not very happy with your performance (and you acknowledge you're not very good), learning a song from start to finish is a joy.

peewee
02-02-2015, 08:49 AM
Very good points here, especially that about recorded music and what our expectation of "good" is. I find when I am noodling around and a child hears me, they are often momentarily mesmerized. Not by my stellar playing I'm sure, I like to think that it is just the realization that music comes from a person playing an instrument, not from a media box. Also they may not have seen anyone play a ukulele before. Live music is magical, and it doesn't have to be super slick or in a formal setting. I'm happy to be a mediocre student player on the outskirts of musicianship.

My 8 y.o. daughter and I were on the way back from her violin lesson and attended an old time fiddle music jam in a park recently. We spent the entire afternoon there among the 15 or 20 fiddles, banjos, guitars and mandolins. She playing rhythm notes on her fiddle (imperfectly) and I watching the guitars and trying to uke-strum the I IV V accompaniment (very imperfectly). It was one of the more fulfilling musical experiences I can remember. You don't have to be "good" to feel the pull of it. That's what matters, not what excuse you might use.

(Personally, I like the "I'm not that good because I suck" excuse. It takes the pressure off.)

sukie
02-02-2015, 09:22 AM
It'll be 7 years for me in a couple weeks. I still say I'm an okay player. I have so much to learn.

katysax
02-02-2015, 10:19 AM
Good is oh so relative. As you get better the measuring stick gets longer. Some of us come to uke having learned musical instruments as a child, maybe having played guitar a number of years, or violin. I got my first uke in 1998 - coming from guitar and having a lot of music training - I just started transposing from the guitar right off the bat and could play all the commonly used chords and fingerpick a half dozen songs the first day I got the uke. But 16 years later I don't know that I'm all that much better.

fisher00
02-02-2015, 10:48 AM
Thanks for your input everyone -excellent stuff there! cheers

peterbright
02-02-2015, 04:14 PM
I came over on the Mayflower and never run out of excuses.

IamNoMan
02-02-2015, 05:25 PM
I don't want to wander to far from the OP's intent, but...

I think that today's relative lack of live music, and abundance of slickly produced studio recordings has skewed people's expectations on how a musician sounds in the real world. Even "The Greats" make mistakes... but unless you are physically there, you never hear it. Even recordings of live performances are heavily edited and produced.There is a huge gulf between live music and canned music. You and I make live music. Live music includes the rough spots. Its real. It has intrinsic value in and of itself. Its vibrant and full of life. A recording is dead. Kaput. All the energy and inspiration and sweat that went into producing it is gone. So you're just beginning to make music. That's wonderful. Keep at it!

Rllink
02-03-2015, 01:50 AM
It'll be 7 years for me in a couple weeks. I still say I'm an okay player. I have so much to learn.I'm hoping that I'm always learning something on the ukulele.

Django
02-03-2015, 01:58 AM
Enjoy the journey. After 30+ years of playing guitar I have picked up the Ukulele and I love the starting over. I thought that it would be an easy transition for me, (the 5 string banjo was), but I have found that the small Soprano size likes to move around and the finger style technique is quite different from my firmly embedded habits used with the guitar.

For me, the enjoyment comes from the interaction and intimacy with the instrument and the magic of that interaction that results in music, sometimes better than others.

I am progressing much better since I have found a few ways to get the Ukulele to stay still. The Kiwaya soundhole strap works well, especially with the lower bout on my right thigh. The best thing that I have found is to take a bath towel and fold it 3 or 4 times lengthwise, then roll it up and place it in my lap. This allows the lower bout to sit on my thigh, the upper bout sits on the towel and with my right arm against the top of the lower bout, my left hand is free to do it's job without working to stabilize the instrument. I also play with my thumb behind the neck, never over the top. It is better for the tendons and helps with fingering of the 1st and 2nd strings.

I am new to the ukulele, so take my advice with a grain of salt and just remember that this is fun, not a race. The achievements along the way are part of the joy.

fitncrafty
02-03-2015, 03:24 AM
I have been playing (on and off) for more than 4 yrs and I still consider myself a beginner.

stevepetergal
02-03-2015, 04:07 AM
I used this excuse for almost fifty years at the piano.

spookelele
02-03-2015, 06:17 AM
The Japanese have 2 concepts, that at first may appear to be at odds, but are not.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kaizen

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wabi-sabi

In Kaizen, the goal is constant improvement. Small steps, or big ones. The goal is to be better than yesterday.

In Wabi-sabi, the concept is to accept and appreciate things for their imperfections.

These things may seem to be at odds. But if you think about life, they're not really.
We can't live our lives perfectly, we can't be perfect humans, we can't play everything perfectly, etc.
But if we don't try, don't play, or don't share in the human experience because we are afraid we are not good enough, we live our lives the poorer for it.

mikelz777
02-03-2015, 06:42 AM
At the end of this month I'll have been playing ukulele for 3 years. I've just been enjoying strumming and accompanying my singing and being in the moment. I haven't even bothered to memorize songs, I just enjoy playing from the song book that I've been putting together. It would be nice some day to learn some finger picking but I haven't made it a big goal to where I feel I'm a failure or that I'm not making progress because I haven't done it yet. It's hard to put a label on where I think my skill level is. It's frustrating when someone says they're not very good and then they go on to play at a level I could only hope to achieve. Then there are others who have been playing for a year or more and they are still only using single down strums. Comparing myself to one, I'm a failure and comparing myself to the other, I'm a success story. Maybe I'm an advanced beginner. In any event, I'm having a lot of fun and enjoying myself strumming and playing on those top 4 frets. I'll probably get past this stage somewhere down the line but even if I don't, I'm still enjoying myself! No excuses here!

Ramart
02-03-2015, 07:25 AM
Beethoven: "To play a wrong note is insignificant; to play without passion is inexcusable."

Uncle Rod Higuchi
02-03-2015, 07:53 AM
Time for a 'Test' to see if you're really still a Beginner

The above is an older thread for you to use to 'test' your 'Beginner-ness'
against an arbitrary 'standard'... enjoy.

I believe the middle link in my signature below will take you to the Boot Camp
and the Self-Examination Tool should be there for you to use :)

keep uke'in',

mikelz777
02-03-2015, 09:14 AM
I'll have to give the beginner test a go. Maybe I'm a novice intermediate! :cool:

Freeda
02-03-2015, 09:40 AM
Time for a 'Test' to see if you're really still a Beginner

The above is an older thread for you to use to 'test' your 'Beginner-ness'
against an arbitrary 'standard'... enjoy.

I believe the middle link in my signature below will take you to the Boot Camp
and the Self-Examination Tool should be there for you to use :)

keep uke'in',

That's fun. :D

Brian1
02-03-2015, 11:51 AM
Time for a 'Test' to see if you're really still a Beginner

The above is an older thread for you to use to 'test' your 'Beginner-ness'
against an arbitrary 'standard'... enjoy.

I believe the middle link in my signature below will take you to the Boot Camp
and the Self-Examination Tool should be there for you to use :)

keep uke'in',

I don't see the link to the "above". Is it the first in your signature line ?

Uncle Rod Higuchi
02-03-2015, 12:02 PM
it's the 'middle' link in my signature - Uncle Rod's Ukulele Boot Camp :)

#2 of 3.

keep uke'in',

Redeyejedi
02-03-2015, 03:21 PM
Who you are comparing yourself to, though?

Are there people who are much better than you? Of course. Are there players who progress much faster than you? Absolutely! And are there people who have given up long before they got to the point where you're at now? Yes, and there are many, many more of those than there are people who are better than you!

If you enjoy yourself and you notice that you improve (or even if you stagnate and still have fun), that's all that (should) matters. Presumably, all of us here are too old and clumsy to ever become an Ukulele star, so the only thing that matters is that you're having a good time making noise! Expectations can be poisonous, and comparisons to others are even worse -- at least that it's how it is for me. It doesn't feel good, so I avoid doing it. :) You're better today than you were a month ago!

great there, thanks for that.




To be an artist a musician you have realize you are one despite or because of your abilities.

Instruments and artist tools are just that. Tools so you can express what you feel see and hear.

It is said that to become a master of any skill you need an average of 10,000 hours of practice.

After seriously studying classical guitar for over 6 years Ive come to realize the points above are totally valid

But to sum it up here is a quote I came up with that I try to live by: "Instead of anticipating the goal, learn to enjoy the Journey for this is where we spend 99.9% of our time.
The Journey is the reward..."

Practice consistently, don't be too hard to yourself, and enjoy the journey.
You might want to video yourself from time to time and it will be easier to see your progress over time.

Last of all you don't need to explain youself or make excuses for your playing to others. Others see you as a musician you need to see that too and just play.

One difference between the people that play and the ones we admire on stage is that a good performer does make mistakes but he or she does NOT stumble over them they simply keep going and make it part of the fabric of music.

I invite you to visit my YouTube channel in my signature below. When I recorded many of the early videos all I could focus was on doing a perfect take and see the mistAkes. I now record with less than 5 takes and am much more comfortable mistakes and all. And now I appreciate and enjoy more seeing my early attempts.

I took the time to write all this because we all go through this. Yes even the pros.

While I know I'm far from where I wish I were in my music journey I know I will never stop learning but appreciate my humble efforts along the way.

Best of luck on your journey
Ivan
and this too

Booli
02-04-2015, 04:25 AM
OK. I've now been 'playing' the uke for 2 and a bit years. I tell people I'm not very good 'cos I'm starting to learn the uke. In my mind, after 2 years of learning I should be pretty good by now. I'm not. I am better than when I started, but still very much a learner. So just how long can we hide behind poor playing with the "I'm learning the uke" tag?

I intend to persist with the description, and insist that *I* am 'still a beginner' or 'still learning' if anyone asks, no matter how long I play.

Partly because, it is true. There is still so much to learn, that I WANT to learn, and to improve my technique enough that I can actually PLAY the music I have in my head when I am writing a song.

Partly because, if someone happens to say 'wow, you're really good', or 'I'm impressed' and I present myself a beginner, I feel it more, and I know that it's not artificial praise. Every once in a while my ego needs a bit of nurturing to keep me motivated. I try to be careful not to let that ego swell into a chip on my shoulder, and I strive for humility.

Partly because, if when (and I hope never) I tire of learning and pushing myself to obtain greater satisfaction from ukulele, I will be able to recognize this as a plateau, and be self-aware enough to recognize it and redirect myself in such a way to seek new inspirations, and use them as fuel to keep moving forwards.

I have two goals, to feel satisfaction from playing, and to feel that, even in my own head, that I am getting 'better', and both add up to the joy that comes from playing. When you add this to the feeling I get from the sound, and realizing, 'hey, I just DID that, and I like it', there is NO equal, and no critic can EVER take that away from you.

Rllink
02-04-2015, 04:40 AM
Actually, very few people ask me how long I've been playing, and I don't usually bring up the subject myself. So I just let it be what it is. Maybe a few times someone has asked, and I don't tell them I'm just a beginner, I just tell them a "little less than a year". But beyond that, no one seems to care.

As to what level I consider myself, I don't. I don't measure myself. I don't take online tests, or don't try to compare myself to other people, I just play the best that I can, and it is what it is. I kind of think sometimes that people like to understate themselves so that there are not a lot of expectations or pressure placed on them. But I don't worry about that. I've never had anyone tell me that I wasn't good, even when I was first starting out.

Down Up Dick
02-04-2015, 05:06 AM
Actually, very few people ask me how long I've been playing, and I don't usually bring up the subject myself. So I just let it be what it is. Maybe a few times someone has asked, and I don't tell them I'm just a beginner, I just tell them a "little less than a year". But beyond that, no one seems to care.

As to what level I consider myself, I don't. I don't measure myself. I don't take online tests, or don't try to compare myself to other people, I just play the best that I can, and it is what it is. I kind of think sometimes that people like to understate themselves so that there are not a lot of expectations or pressure placed on them. But I don't worry about that. I've never had anyone tell me that I wasn't good, even when I was first starting out.

I agree with you, and I think one of the things that's bringing some of us down is the word "beginner". A beginner is someone just starting out, a newby. But there must be a better word such as "struggler or fumbler or even whacker!" We are a people of catchy words and phrases. Surely we can come up with a better word than beginner or intermediate. And I think we should even stop thinking in those terms.

Just say "I'm a ukeist, and I'm still whacking away at it--wanna sing with me?" :cheers: :old:

brUKEman
02-04-2015, 05:13 AM
I'm better than I was yesterday, but not as good as I'll be tomorrow...!

bubbly193
02-05-2015, 01:34 PM
It took me many years to progress on the Uke, and I'm still learning. I had the issue of trying to play it like a guitar. One thing that still gets me, not helped by the fact guitar was (and still is) my main instrument, is the smaller size of the instrument, and the many things that go along with it (including string tension).

IamNoMan
02-05-2015, 02:13 PM
Why should it be some stigma to be a Beginner?

I am a beginner on the Ukulele not because of what I know, - a considerable amount; but because of what I don't know; - a much greater amount. There is a certain joy and wonder in being able to approach something from a new perspective. As long as I maintain that sense of wonder and that feeling of joy I will remain a beginner and revel in that knowledge.

Down Up Dick
02-05-2015, 02:48 PM
One is a beginner when he/she BEGINS. After he/she has begun and has moved on to greater things, he/she is something else. I like plinker or plunker, ubulele, but not very much. How about tyro or student? Or, if one is a new ukeist, he/she is a Newby--not bad.

Heck, I sorta like Whacker as in one who whacks away at his Uke. :old:

peanuts56
02-05-2015, 03:26 PM
Learning any instrument is a life long process. The best musicians are still trying to improve. I majored in music as a trumpeter, I don't really play any more. I do go out to hear any great trumpeter who may be playing in my area.
One story stands out in my mind. Trumpeter Doc Severinsen was scheduled to do a clinic and performance at a high school not too far from me. He showed up at the school about 3 hours before the clinic. He asked if they had a practice room he could use, he proceeded to practice for about 2.5 hours. He did the clinic with the high school band and then a 2 plus hour concert in the evening. My guess is he probably used their weight room to work out, he's very fit. Doc was 83 years old at the time. He sounded marvelous. He played another show at the same school two years later and sounded even better at 85. This man still looks to improve at a time when most people his age are in rocking chairs.
Enjoy the journey and just keep practicing and playing. You never completely master any instrument, in the end the instrument always wins.

Brian1
02-05-2015, 03:49 PM
Breaking away from the warmhearted encouragement for just a moment I've been thinking about this for more than just the few days this thread has been up.

For me I think this resonates, because like everyone here I was told playing the ukulele was easy, for me it was at some point between first seeing Sungha Jung and James Hill play the ukulele and first trying to play one myself.

That makes one set the bar for his initial goals pretty high. Goals are good, and for some of us changing goals before we meet them is difficult. Yes, in a way playing the ukulele is easy. The chords C, F, G7 will get you a long way. None of those 3 chords are very hard. And if you have the patience to strum down four times and up twice in a bar you are a ukulele player. And that is pretty easy. Its harder to tell yourself (especially when you don't know it to be the case) that is what people meant by saying playing the ukulele was easy. Then to add insult to injury, at some point you will go to the uke club a friendly new guy or gal will show up and mention s/he has been playing for two weeks, and neglect to tell you about their 15 years or so playing the guitar or other strummed instruments. Meanwhile, you feel like the idiot who has to re-learn how to count to 4.

So after two years, it is okay to change your goals if you have not reached them, in my opinion. Keep in mind you really didn't know what goals to set at the beginning, and now you know what you are capable of in a week so start there, and you also know you won't be Sungha Jung in two more years so don't set that goal either. :)

FlyBoyJim
02-05-2015, 04:11 PM
I was a "Beginner" when I began (not all that long ago)..........................now I prefer to think of myself as a "student of the ukulele".

Jim

Booli
02-05-2015, 04:21 PM
Breaking away from the warmhearted encouragement for just a moment I've been thinking about this for more than just the few days this thread has been up.

For me I think this resonates, because like everyone here I was told playing the ukulele was easy, for me it was at some point between first seeing Sungha Jung and James Hill play the ukulele and first trying to play one myself.

That makes one set the bar for his initial goals pretty high. Goals are good, and for some of us changing goals before we meet them is difficult. Yes, in a way playing the ukulele is easy. The chords C, F, G7 will get you a long way. None of those 3 chords are very hard. And if you have the patience to strum down four times and up twice in a bar you are a ukulele player. And that is pretty easy. Its harder to tell yourself (especially when you don't know it to be the case) that is what people meant by saying playing the ukulele was easy. Then to add insult to injury, at some point you will go to the uke club a friendly new guy or gal will show up and mention s/he has been playing for two weeks, and neglect to tell you about their 15 years or so playing the guitar or other strummed instruments. Meanwhile, you feel like the idiot who has to re-learn how to count to 4.

So after two years, it is okay to change your goals if you have not reached them, in my opinion. Keep in mind you really didn't know what goals to set at the beginning, and now you know what you are capable of in a week so start there, and you also know you won't be Sungha Jung in two more years so don't set that goal either. :)

There's some great wisdom in this post.

I would add though that without seeing Jake, Sungha Jung or James Hill, that I would not really know what was POSSIBLE with the uke, and (unfortunately in my own mind) might have been too easily satisfied with the D-U-D-U strumming of 3-chord songs (at last at first).

I will admit that 35 yrs of experience playing guitar and other instruments has helped me significantly in terms of the mechanics of handling the ukulele, but has also been a hindrance in that for the first few months I was approaching the instrument 'as a guitar player' instead of being 'new to ukulele'. I had lots of mental trouble trying to transpose on the fly to make use of my guitar fetboard knowledge and experience, until I just let it all go, and become uke-focused, and then after about 2 months later, it all seemed to fall together for me, and my previous guitar experience became even more useful to understaning the nuances of the ukulele. Even if still somewhat relative to the guitar.

I still struggle with trying to wrap my brain (and fingers) around clawhammer, as well as chord-melody style playing, but those are realistic goals I think, and I have seen many 'newbies' (mostly in the Seasons videos) and witnessed their progress over the past year, and those that have evolved only serve to inspire me in that 'Hey, I could do that too...' (in time)

No, I don't want to be a copy of some other player that has mastered all kinds of flourishes and fancy techniques, partly because that's not genuine, it's not my OWN, but I do use what others have shown me as inspiration, and that keeps me motivated, keeps me playing and practicing, moreso on a daily basis than I EVER did with guitar.

Yea, in 35 yrs of 'playing' guitar I'm not even close to Tommy Emmanual, Django Reinhardt, or Bucky Pizarelli, nor do I strive for that now, but with the ukulele, I feel that it IS possible to attain a very high level of technical proficiency. It all depends upon your own criteria for what satisfies your experience of playing the instrument. In the end, it's all good. :)

Brian1
02-05-2015, 06:36 PM
True Booli. I saw James and saw a normal guy in a plaid shirt, in front of intimate crowds, I saw Sungha, and saw a kid on a couch in his living room. Both different styles and thought "wow ukulele, how versitile if that is easy count me in! " not these might be two of the the top 10 players in the world. :) Then I saw ideos of kids like the one you posted the other day of kids playing Jake songs...

I can see the small difficulties you'd have in the transition from guitar, when you said the transition took you two months to feel comfortable I could not help but think it took me over 6 months to realize that people are not expected to be able to tell what song you are playing without singing when the only chords in it are C, G, and F ... I could hear it... sort of. :)

Booli
02-05-2015, 08:48 PM
True Booli. I saw James and saw a normal guy in a plaid shirt, in front of intimate crowds, I saw Sungha, and saw a kid on a couch in his living room. Both different styles and thought "wow ukulele, how versitile if that is easy count me in! " not these might be two of the the top 10 players in the world. :) Then I saw ideos of kids like the one you posted the other day of kids playing Jake songs...

Slight topic drift from the OP, but I hope others wont mind:

I met James Hill at UkeFest New Jersey 2 yrs ago when I saw him perform. He was gracious enough to speak with me for like 5 whole minutes, and since he is one of my musical heroes (ukulele or otherwise) it was difficult not to act like a school girl on the Ed Sullivan show during the first Beatles USA tv appearance, but he was just the nicest, coolest, most humble and down-to-earth person given his worldwide stature and 'celebrity' if you will as a musician. I had a kind of brain freeze and was only able to intelligently ask him how he keeps his nails and what he does to maintain them (as I was considering growing mine out, and have since then to good effect). He told me he has to put on the fake nails since he plays/practices for himself (songwriting) as well as workshops all day long at least 4-5 days per week, and does concert performances typically 3-4 nights per week, about 300 days per year, and that his natural nails just do not hold up. When I saw his right hand close up, I was almost shocked, it was NOT pretty.

Just prior to the concert, I had seen a youtube video interview with him where he was talking about the school system in Canada and the music program with J. Chalmers Doane, and the ukulele as the focus of the music program all across the country (Canada), he basically was given this musical discipline every single day, right next to the 3 R's.

So for someone who learned from such and early age with ukulele as part of his musical education, unless you have a parallel experience, I think it's unfair for us to compare ourselves to him. This april will be 2 yrs for me, and while I've come a long way, at least half of what I've mastered is all inside my brain (music theory, patterns, music in my head as songs I want to write) and will never be visible to others who might see me play 'Aint She Sweet' or 'Aloha 'Oe'.

Also, with regard to Sungha - I remember seeing videos of him like 6-7 yrs ago, and thinking wow, what a prodigy! I have also known quite a few asian people and had a few very close friends whose parents grew up in China or Japan but they (my friends) were born here in the US, and not to foster a stereotype but the parents were VERY strict and the children in these families had a hard discpline to follow, lots of activities the American kids would participate in, and the asian kids were not allowed. They were home studying. TV was limited to very little if any during the weekend and sometimes none at all during the week. Going for a bike ride was a rare event with one of these friends when we were kids, that is if they were even allowed to have a bicycle. I know this may sound like a stereotype and please forgive me because I do not intend to offend anyone, I am only recounting what I experienced.

So how this possibly relates to Sungha - maybe his parents realized that he had an exceptional ability for music when he was very young, or they 'decided' that his life was going to be about music, and they imposed and nurtured his music as much as possible, maybe even at the expense of other things that the 'other' less gifted kids were doing. I saw an interview with Sungha where he said that at 10 yrs old, he practices at least 5-6 hrs per day, and has both guitar and ukulele lessons twice a week for each instrument.

With such focus, dedication, enourmous investment in both instruction and investment in practice time, even sometimes at the expense of a proper social life, it's no surprise that we can see just what amazing musicians James Hill and Sungha Jung are.

the youngling playing Jakes arrangement, in the Jake Weeps thread over in the Links and Videos section probably is some kind of musical savant, and is probably subject to a strict regimen of instruction and practice. No doubt in my mind we will see him again in 5-10 yrs as 'the next big thing' and if UU is still around, we can talk about his influence on keeping the Ukulele Revival going as part of 'generation XYZ' or whatever it ends up being called...

The point I'm trying to make is that I think it's unfair to yourself, to compare yourself to the likes of these other musicians right now.

Set those thoughts aside, and after 100 and then again at 1,000 hrs of practice maybe take a peek looking back at where you started and then see how you feel about it. The again, after 10,000 hrs of practice, take another look back at the 1,000 hr milestone, and at your starting point. I think that if you obsessively measure yourself too often and keep checking against these players and then feel discouraged that you can't yet play 'Flight Of the Bumble Bee' at 350 beats-per-minute, that this thinking is a fools task.

Milestones are important, but from a crawl, you have to learn to walk before you can run, and you have to condition yourself before you can run a marathon, and all of this takes TIME.


I can see the small difficulties you'd have in the transition from guitar, when you said the transition took you two months to feel comfortable I could not help but think it took me over 6 months to realize that people are not expected to be able to tell what song you are playing without singing when the only chords in it are C, G, and F ... I could hear it... sort of. :)

My problems transitioning from a guitar were related partly to, for example playing a C chord in first position on the uke, and seeing the chord pictogram for a uke C chord, but I could not help feeling a sense of loss and also like I was cheating. First of all, it's been drilled into me since I was 9 yrs old that this SHOULD be a G chord, and secondly, where the hell are the other 2 strings and the 2 'bass' notes for these 2 fingers that I dont know what to do with now...

What freed me was partly realizing that, hey four strings, four fingers, it just 'works', and then realizing that all those fancy minor, 7th, Maj 7th, and Min 7th, diminished, augmented, 9ths and 6ths chords that I found impossible to play on guitar with all those darn extra strings and contorted fingerings, on the uke it's so much simpler (but difficult in a new way). Simpler because there are ONLY 4 strings and 4 notes to worry about on your fretting hand, and doing fingerpicking, if I adhere to the idea of one finger per string, and try to maintain that as an independant function for each finger, I can FINALLY almost forget about the right hand, and whatever arpeggio or picking pattern that I've got going, just keep it going (with little chance of hitting a wrong string) and then now focus on the fretting hand to move the notes around...

It was kind of an epiphany. I'd had piano lessons as a child and never was able to get both sides of my brain, and both hands to operate independently, but now some 37 yrs later, on the ukulele, I was able to have each hand operate sort of automatically, doing it's OWN thing, and OMG, not have to think about it so much...

As far as folks being able to tell what you are playing. I've not been exposed to this as I've played ukulele in public very little up to now. But having spent time as a mobile DJ, working every single weekend for almost 15 yrs, and loving all kinds of music except for rap and hip-hop, and a distaste most recently for top-40, and being a big fan of classical, jazz and Big Band (and the Great American Songbook type stuff) for years and actively and deeply 'studied' on my own the music of The Rat Pack members (Sinatra, Dino and Sammy), and their cohorts, I can recognize a lot of music when played typically in the first 4-8 bars of a song.

None of my friends ever want to play 'Name That Tune' because even if I dont really try, I always win and they hate it when that happens.

I would not worry about your audience recognizing the song, you can just tell them at the start, or even at the end.

Whom are you playing for that this is a problem?

Maybe find another audience?

Even, MAYBE, join the Seasons here on UU !!!

Brian1
02-05-2015, 09:09 PM
The point I'm trying to make is that I think it's unfair to yourself, to compare yourself to the likes of these other musicians right now.

Well I know that NOW :) as someone who bought a $35 ukulele I didn't know they were two of the best in the world. Had I known that at the time I probably would be playing video games right now. I thought they were just guys having fun. THe reason I mention that is to suggest that people learn for a few months before they determine their goals.

Just as a side note, I've heard of parents that push their kids into learning an instrument. I don't think it really works, you can make some good musicians that way, but the ones that were great, if the stories are true, from what I hear ala Hendrix, Jake, Sungha all were drawn to playing more than having it forced on them .

Brian1
02-05-2015, 10:42 PM
I disagree. I'm thankful my parents pushed us all into playing piano early on (as my mother's parents pushed them into piano and violin) because it spurred in us all a life-long love of music—of all types, not just the modern pop pablum. Forty to fifty years on, we all continue to play at least one instrument recreationally, and so do a number of our cousins, at least those who were brought up the same way. It's not about becoming pros, it's about human development and enrichment.

I am glad you enjoyed your experience. My mother forced us into piano for at least a year before we could quit in the 4th grade, two of five of us stayed with it one turned into an "okay" piano player. I didn't get passed the C scale or all the way thru the level one book in the year I took it. We all needed to take at least one year in band at school (6th grade) two of us including the piano player did okay there but not me, I did about as well on the saxophone as I did on the piano. And we also needed to take at least one year of choir in high school. (which kept my GPA up if the teacher liked you, you got an "A" if he didn't you got a "B". (Guess which one I got) I still won't sing even when alone in the house today. My experience is entirely different, and leads me to believe that if you are exposed to it or if it is forced upon you, you still must be drawn to it to "strike a chord". Fortunately only my middle sister was emotionally scared for life from the piano lessons.

Ukejenny
02-06-2015, 03:54 AM
It is all in how you look at it. I've been playing clarinet for almost 35 years and I'm still learning. Even got a degree in music education and taught band, but I am still very much a learner. I'm going to a clarinet symposium later this month and I hope to learn some new tricks there. For me, music is a journey, not a destination. Keep going. You are improving and growing. I bet you sound better than you think.



OK. I've now been 'playing' the uke for 2 and a bit years. I tell people I'm not very good 'cos I'm starting to learn the uke. In my mind, after 2 years of learning I should be pretty good by now. I'm not. I am better than when I started, but still very much a learner. So just how long can we hide behind poor playing with the "I'm learning the uke" tag?

Down Up Dick
02-06-2015, 05:03 AM
It is all in how you look at it. I've been playing clarinet for almost 35 years and I'm still learning. Even got a degree in music education and taught band, but I am still very much a learner. I'm going to a clarinet symposium later this month and I hope to learn some new tricks there. For me, music is a journey, not a destination. Keep going. You are improving and growing. I bet you sound better than you think.

Yes, your comment is clear, and I agree. But you are not a "beginner". A learner is okay, but we were looking for a better word to describe ourselves.

Words, words, words. :old:

Booli
02-06-2015, 06:29 AM
Well I know that NOW :) as someone who bought a $35 ukulele I didn't know they were two of the best in the world. Had I known that at the time I probably would be playing video games right now. I thought they were just guys having fun. THe reason I mention that is to suggest that people learn for a few months before they determine their goals.

aha. Ok. I would offer that spending $35 (or probably more now) for C.O.D. or Assasin's Creed (or similar games if you're into that genre), while being a form of 'entertainment' and providing hours of fun AND also frustration, is not a long-term INVESTMENT?

I mean, once you 'finish' the game (some are more open to repeat play than others) and are bored with it, what then?

With ukulele, there is ALWAYS something new to learn, or at least learn about and/or appreciate, that might inspire you to do amazing things with that $35 ukulele.

Not necessarily being an amazing player (to others who could be watching), but amazing to YOURSELF, in that you realize, 'hey, *I* did that, and *I* like it'

Video games do not offer the near-infinite possibilities of how to use your time, when compared to an instrument, specifically ukulele.

(BTW-Nothing wrong with video games, I'm an old-school RPG player myself, i.e., Wolf3D, Doom, Hexen, Heretic, Unreal, DukeNukem)


Just as a side note, I've heard of parents that push their kids into learning an instrument. I don't think it really works, you can make some good musicians that way, but the ones that were great, if the stories are true, from what I hear ala Hendrix, Jake, Sungha all were drawn to playing more than having it forced on them .

My sisters and I had 'forced' piano lessons for 1 yr when I was 7 yrs old.

At the time I hated it and did everything possible to try and quit. I was an evil little brat and made the sorry teacher miserable and never want to come back. When I look back on it now I have several regrets. Had I stuck with it, my musical understanding would be much farther along than it is.

At that age, all I cared about was candy, and STAR WARS. Oh, man I was obsessed with STAR WARS.

It was not until I was 10 yrs old that I wanted to play guitar, and from then on, could never get enough, and progressed to several other instruments, all self-taught since then. So the ukulele kind of just falls in place since 'I've been down this way before'....

Wish I could apologize and make amends to that piano teacher though. :(

Booli
02-06-2015, 06:43 AM
It's not about becoming pros, it's about human development and enrichment.

:agree: This ties in with how you define your goals. If it as per you said here, then it's only upside, if however the goal is to be a better player/performer/humanitarian than Jake Shimabukuro, than you might as well reach for the moon. Many will try any way, many will fail but SOME will succeed.

That's what dreams are made of.:)


I am glad you enjoyed your experience. My mother forced us into piano for at least a year before we could quit in the 4th grade, two of five of us stayed with it one turned into an "okay" piano player. I didn't get passed the C scale or all the way thru the level one book in the year I took it. We all needed to take at least one year in band at school (6th grade) two of us including the piano player did okay there but not me, I did about as well on the saxophone as I did on the piano. And we also needed to take at least one year of choir in high school. (which kept my GPA up if the teacher liked you, you got an "A" if he didn't you got a "B". (Guess which one I got) I still won't sing even when alone in the house today. My experience is entirely different, and leads me to believe that if you are exposed to it or if it is forced upon you, you still must be drawn to it to "strike a chord". Fortunately only my middle sister was emotionally scared for life from the piano lessons.

See my other post for some parallels in our lives. However, one of the things that drove me towards music was a similar experience to what you described but substitute SPORTS for music, and you get the idea. Despite having played ice hockey and later american football for yrs in the local town and school leagues, I was never any good at either, and it became just a grind that I did to appease my father. I was always last string, did not get much play time and was constantly ridiculed and bullied for being clumsy and incompetent. This put me off sports for life.

Instead, music I could do both by myself, as well as with other like-minded nice people. Computers and electronics also became something I was drawn to, and they filled the rest of the void for me. I still have no love for sports, but do not hate them either. That's what 'other' people do.

Booli
02-06-2015, 06:49 AM
It is all in how you look at it.... music is a journey, not a destination. Keep going. You are improving and growing. I bet you sound better than you think.

This ^ exactly, is VERY important to developing a confidence level.

Do NOT give up. Keep TRYING. In the end, the critics do NOT matter. Naysayers are usually just jealous because they lack the courage to even TRY.

Ignore them, and please yourself.

niwenomian
02-06-2015, 07:15 AM
I agree with you, and I think one of the things that's bringing some of us down is the word "beginner".

It shouldn't bring anyone down. There's great power in the frame of reference of a beginner.

One book I enjoyed reading some years ago was Zen Guitar, by Philip Toshio Sudo. The book is composed of very short ideas on the philosopy of making music. Intention, tone, presence and so on. There are many quotes from famous musician interwoven. It really has as much to do with ukulele or any other instrument as it does guitar...

Back to the present discussion. One idea in the book is the value in maintaining "beginner's mind" throughout your musical journey. When we begin something, we are an empty cup into which many ideas can be poured. As we move away from the state of beginning, our cup may fill so to speak, to the point where we no longer accept or absorb ideas because we have an idea that we have achieved a certain status or proficiency.

Others have pointed out that it is the journey moreso than the destination. The example given in the book is of how one truly becomes a black belt in an art. One starts out with a white belt, which day by day picks up smudges and stains (experience). The belt becomes discolored, over time deeper and deeper, until it reaches a state where it could be described as black. This is not the end of the journey of the belt, though, over more time it frays and becomes tattered and approaches white. The wearer can be said to be a master and a beginner. The belt changes over time, but the wearer always has the same approach.

This particular way of viewing the uke journey may not be useful for everyone, but it has been for me. As long as you are better than you were and you are focused on the here and now in your playing rather than what you are or what you are not, I think you will find happiness in your playing.

I do recommend Zen Guitar for those who are interested in a music book about music but without a single note in it. It's the kind of book that can be read in a day, but you could easily read a page and take a week or more to really work the ideas in to your musical life.

Nick

Down Up Dick
02-06-2015, 07:19 AM
I give up! :old:

niwenomian
02-06-2015, 08:04 AM
Why is it so important to have a word which describes where you are in your musical journey? Is it to convey to others that you did not just start this process yesterday, but you can't be expected to be as proficient as that Jake guy they may have heard about? Is it let yourself off the hook for not being better than you think you should be? When you pick up the uke, do you play? Then you are a player.

If you feel that you are past what might be described as the beginning stage, and you have not arrived at a stage that you recognize as "intermediate" or "advanced", then I think just "player" suffices. Someone who picks up the ukulele and plays is a player. Why describe the experience level rather than the action?

If, instead of helping, this furthers your desire to give up, then just call yourself a "duffer" and we'll all just move along.:)

Nick

Down Up Dick
02-06-2015, 08:44 AM
Why is it so important to have a word which describes where you are in your musical journey? Is it to convey to others that you did not just start this process yesterday, but you can't be expected to be as proficient as that Jake guy they may have heard about? Is it let yourself off the hook for not being better than you think you should be? When you pick up the uke, do you play? Then you are a player.

If you feel that you are past what might be described as the beginning stage, and you have not arrived at a stage that you recognize as "intermediate" or "advanced", then I think just "player" suffices. Someone who picks up the ukulele and plays is a player. Why describe the experience level rather than the action?

If, instead of helping, this furthers your desire to give up, then just call yourself a "duffer" and we'll all just move along.:)

Nick

No, it is because I am an English Major, and words mean a lot to me. "Player" is okay I guess, but I was having a good time chattering about the subject. I enjoy word-play. I don't really care what one calls me or thinks about my playing level. Call me a megealigizer if you like.

Heck, "Call me Ishmael . . ." :old:

Inksplosive AL
02-06-2015, 02:24 PM
I noodled for a few months before finding Uncle Rods UBC and watching this kid play.

Its all about having fun.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ErMWX--UJZ4

Brian1
02-06-2015, 03:25 PM
I noodled for a few months before finding Uncle Rods UBC and watching this kid play.

Its all about having fun.


I always liked him playing this one better :
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SmSl49bTI1A#t=95

I can't get away with playing the his arrangements though :)

Hippie Dribble
02-06-2015, 08:31 PM
I am in a perpetual state of beginning and learning. Each time the sun comes up I begin again and each time I pick up an instrument I hope to learn more. I will maintain that perspective until I die. When you feel you need to make excuses to folks - for any reason - you're coming from the wrong place.

Booli
02-06-2015, 09:08 PM
I am in a perpetual state of beginning and learning. Each time the sun comes up I begin again and each time I pick up an instrument I hope to learn more. I will maintain that perspective until I die. When you feel you need to make excuses to folks - for any reason - you're coming from the wrong place.

These are words of pure wisdom, Jon...

They remind me of a latin phrase l once learned:

"Finimus pariter, renovamusque labores."

loosely translated, it means: 'As soon as we finish old work, we being again, anew.'

Down Up Dick
02-07-2015, 07:21 AM
Everyone on the forum is probably trying to learn and improve, but that's not what we were talking about. This thread started with some of us saying that we thought we weren't improving fast enough. But the thread changed to what to call ourselves rather than "beginner".

If one started playing two or three years ago, he/she is hardly a beginner. We were playing with words, but some took the whole thing very seriously. So, if they like to be beginners every morning that's fine I guess and good luck with it.

And now, back to the thread. I must be way older than some here, but I am a man still "striving for excellence". That's the way I learned growing up, and I'm too old to change now. One played sports to win, and he felt very bad when he lost. One had to stand up for himself, or he got beaten up. One strove to sit in first chair, and I always did no matter what I played. I'm an intelligent person, and I have a good amount of talent. BUT, I'm not improving with the ukulele as much as I'd like, and it brings me down sometimes. It's probably because of my age and some physical changes, but it still brings me down.

Try harder you say? It doesn't seem to work. I'll probably have set my sights lower. For one thing, I'll probably have to read music even though I'd rather play from memory. And it's amazing how much trouble I was having trying to get usta Tabs. I am better now but still fumble. Learning to do new things is a trial, and I still think I should be farther along, but I am not a beginner!

I'm just an old fumbler whose maybe bitten off more than he can chew comfortably. :old:

Hippie Dribble
02-07-2015, 01:11 PM
I think we're all in the same boat mate. The learning curve when you start playing uke is real fast - doesn't take long at all to become proficient on a basic level. After that it is a long, slow process with only incrememental and sometimes imperceptible improvement. I feel like I've plateaued for years but every now and then, something will happen or someone notices something and you realise the improvement has been happening - however small - all the time.

kkimura
02-08-2015, 03:45 AM
I, for one, plan to use the excuse for as long as it takes.

;)

a11sus
02-17-2015, 02:54 PM
The learning curve when you start playing uke is real fast - doesn't take long at all to become proficient on a basic level.

Yes, that is what I found, I got 'good enough' to be chuffed with myself pretty quickly then got stuck. Am here now to get a bit of a jump start on the next stage ;)

EddiePlaysBass
02-18-2015, 03:05 AM
I got a t-shirt saying: "World's okayest bass player" and it's kind of how I feel. I've been playing electric bass for close to 12 or 13 years. Taught myself everything I know, including playing upright bass (which IS different) and some rudimentary reading skills. At times I still feel like an absolute beginner. And that's fine by me: I do it to enjoy myself and I understand that there will always be someone else who is better than me, be they younger or older.

As for the uke, I am in my second or third week so imagine how novice I feel :D My "goal" is to play some nice fingerpicked melodies at some point, and be able to record backing tracks for myself to play bass over. Or, if I ever go back to teaching someone else how to play bass, be able to accompany them on the uke while they play what I teach them.

My main goal, with both bass and uke, is this: to have fun.