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Rllink
03-29-2015, 06:04 AM
I'm working my way through Fretboard roadmap. I gave up on Ukulele Aerobics a while ago, however, what I've learned in Fretboard Roadmap explains a lot of what was lost on in Ukulele Aerobics, so I look forward to going back. The thing is, I am struggling through Fretboard Roadmap, and a lot of my success is based on just plain luck, or I should say, being strong enough to make it to the surface often enough to get a breath of air before I go under again. I wish that there were videos of the exercises, especially those in Fretboard Roadmap, as it seems to actually have a direction we are headed in. First of all, the CDs are nice, but they are only an example of how it should sound, and doesn't really illustrate how to get there. A lot of people have offered up some help, trying to explain to me, and the rest of us, what is going on. Thanks so much for their well intentioned explanations, but understanding is not the issue. I understand perfectly well, what I am supposed to be doing, and why I'm doing it. The issue is putting that understanding into practice, and explaining it over and over and over is not helping, I need to see it.

Ukejenny
03-29-2015, 06:09 AM
You sound like me, a visual, hands-on learner. I agree. I've got both those books, and a YouTube series on each book would be incredible. I wonder if it would be possible to reach out to the authors?

Who knows Chad Johnson, Jim Beloff, or Fred Sokolow?

katysax
03-29-2015, 06:14 AM
I really don't care for the Fretboard Roadmap books. I've spent some time on the guitar and the ukulele book. It's too many words and not enough exercises. My supposition is that if you do the work to figure out what is written there and make your own exercises like he suggests you'll probably learn it really well. But that's a lot of work and not that helpful. Best way to learn fretboard patterns is to play and lot and best way to learn theory is study theory.

While I'm at it I don't like the Ukulele Aerobics book either. I worked my way through about a third of it. The way it is set up is inconsistent with what evidence shows are the ways in which people learn. I don't "get" the doing a different exercise every day. I just didn't find a lot of value in the approach. But everyone learns differently so maybe someone finds it valuable.

Down Up Dick
03-29-2015, 06:39 AM
Rollie, it seems to me that you'd be better off without all those books that you buy. Why don't you take some lessons? Either from a teacher or from a fellow Uker. Then you could see how your teacher plays the exercises and tunes. Have you ever watched Ukulele Mike or the lessons on the UU?

Also, do what I do to figure out problem areas. Think about what you wanna learn or fix, then find it on google or YouTube.

What's giving you problems? :old:

Rllink
03-29-2015, 06:48 AM
I really don't care for the Fretboard Roadmap books. I've spent some time on the guitar and the ukulele book. It's too many words and not enough exercises. My supposition is that if you do the work to figure out what is written there and make your own exercises like he suggests you'll probably learn it really well. But that's a lot of work and not that helpful. Best way to learn fretboard patterns is to play and lot and best way to learn theory is study theory.

While I'm at it I don't like the Ukulele Aerobics book either. I worked my way through about a third of it. The way it is set up is inconsistent with what evidence shows are the ways in which people learn. I don't "get" the doing a different exercise every day. I just didn't find a lot of value in the approach. But everyone learns differently so maybe someone finds it valuable.I agree with you. I'm trying to add some structure to my practicing, and I'm experiencing diminished returns for my efforts. Perhaps more structure is not the path I should be taking. As far as theory, I picked up a guitar book at the free book exchange, and as far as theory, it is very good. I even do some of the exercises, which are not hard to make into uke exercises. I mean a note is a note.

Rllink
03-29-2015, 07:04 AM
Rollie, it seems to me that you'd be better off without all those books that you buy. Why don't you take some lessons? Either from a teacher or from a fellow Uker. Then you could see how your teacher plays the exercises and tunes. Have you ever watched Ukulele Mike or the lessons on the UU?

Also, do what I do to figure out problem areas. Think about what you wanna learn or fix, then find it on google or YouTube.

What's giving you problems? :old:I agree with you on the books Dick. I'm spending way too much money on books, and not getting much out of them. I don't take lessons because there aren't many ukulele instructors around, and the few that I've talked to it seems, want me to convert to guitar as soon as I can. Also, there are other reasons, but those are the main ones. Problems, my problem is learning how to put it all together, something I can talk about all day long, but something that I really need to see.

CeeJay
03-29-2015, 07:20 AM
Just a suggestion .......Take two or three of your favourite tunes......make sure that you are comfortable with the chords.......the shapes and if possible the alternatives .....

So...for example .....C at 0003 then 5433 and at 0787 ......

F at 2010 then 5558 and possibly at 8766 (if concert or you can squeeze it in on a soprano)

G at 0232 then 77710...........(I only use these as examples and not as a rod of iron rule....)

The Hal Leonard Ukulele chord Finder book is brilliant for this ......it sets the chords out in three positions one under the other...


http://i1335.photobucket.com/albums/w664/cjarvis01/kklklk%20001_zpsq2xgheue.jpg (http://s1335.photobucket.com/user/cjarvis01/media/kklklk%20001_zpsq2xgheue.jpg.html)




Then just play them ...move the chord positions ....place your fingers ...lift them off...listen for the tune ..try and play the tune in the chord shape and note where you have to fret outside the chord shape ......... and work out what that fret is ... just note where it is and then work from the nut the scale of that string ...it will take a little while ....but you'll be amazed at how little a while if you stick at it ....and when you get fed up ....play something fun......

Rllink
03-29-2015, 07:37 AM
Just a suggestion .......Take two or three of your favourite tunes......make sure that you are comfortable with the chords.......the shapes and if possible the alternatives .....

So...for example .....C at 0003 then 5433 and at 0787 ......

F at 2010 then 5558 and possibly at 8766 (if concert or you can squeeze it in on a soprano)

G at 0232 then 77710...........(I only use these as examples and not as a rod of iron rule....)

The Hal Leonard Ukulele chord Finder book is brilliant for this ......it sets the chords out in three positions one under the otherI do that already. I've been doing that for quite awhile. I was hoping to actually do the lessons in the books, not find a substitute for them. The problem is not the chords, it is how you hit those notes between them, how you make the transitions from the notes to the chords, and from the chords to the notes, and when, if even there is a when, you abandon a chord to play the melody before you pick up the next one. I want to see how it all works together, not have someone explain it for the tenth time. I would just like to see that done, using the exercises in the book. The thing is, I like the Fretboard Roadmap book, and I think there is a lot to learn there, I just feel like it is close to my reach.

janeray1940
03-29-2015, 08:01 AM
The thing is, I am struggling through Fretboard Roadmap, and a lot of my success is based on just plain luck, or I should say, being strong enough to make it to the surface often enough to get a breath of air before I go under again.

Know what? To me this sounds perfectly NORMAL when it comes to this book. I started working through FR the first year I was playing and got completely lost and gave up. That was a long time ago and in the years since, it's the only ukulele book I've kept because I've come to see it as a reference book rather than a "complete system" for learning ukulele. When there's something I run into in my uke-playing life, i.e. improvising to a blues progression, I look it up in there and suddenly it all makes sense. But as a manual to work through systematically in lieu of an instructor? No way.


You sound like me, a visual, hands-on learner. I agree. I've got both those books, and a YouTube series on each book would be incredible. I wonder if it would be possible to reach out to the authors?

Who knows Chad Johnson, Jim Beloff, or Fred Sokolow?

I know Fred. He's held a class on his Guitar FR book periodically for years; the first year I was playing uke, I asked him to do one for Ukulele FR and he did. It was ongoing, once a week, and went on for quite a long time - three months, maybe, then at some point another session started up that I didn't attend. In the several months that I did attend, though, I had days where I was completely lost and days where I just "got it" but eventually I came to the conclusion that I was not going to learn by memorizing in the context of either a book or a class - I was going to learn by doing (i.e. my comments to Rlink's post above). FWIW, I'm a kinesthetic learner first followed by a visual learner. I need to DO it to get it, or see someone else doing it to get it. And sometimes I'm just not going to get it right away - it will happen when it happens.

All of that to say that no book or class or even a private instructor is a "magic bullet." All of this takes WORK; depending on the amount of work we each put into it and our own individual abilities that we are starting with, we're all going to "get it" in different ways in our own time. With my learning style, I've found that the only way I'm really going to learn is with a private instructor, which I've had for years; all of these books and videos out there just leave me feeling like a failure. Well, one exception - if Aaron Keim's books and videos (http://quietamericanmusic.com/storestore/) had been around when I was first starting out, I might have made it through those successfully on my own.

ETA: as for a YT series from Fred, he's done a bunch of instructional DVDs (https://www.sokolowmusic.com/instructional/other). Due to my slightly offbeat learning style, I haven't checked these out as I already know my patience when it comes to learning from video is less than zero. But if one is the kind of person who can learn from watching YT, these might be worth looking into.

Down Up Dick
03-29-2015, 08:43 AM
Rollie, if you buy a book and try to learn it, you're gonna learn a bunch of stuff that you don't need. I didn't know that you were fingerpicking. I thought you were a plunka, plunka, plunka guy.

So you wanna fingerpick with little runs and chord fills--right? I suppose the best way to learn that is to play scales and watch Ukers on YouTube. Ukulele for Dummies has some of that stuff too. Sometime one can find one at the Library. Noodling is good to learn fingerpicking too. One hasta learn where the notes are on the fretboard.

I don't understand what you don't understand . . . :old:

CeeJay
03-29-2015, 09:00 AM
I do that already. I've been doing that for quite awhile. I was hoping to actually do the lessons in the books, not find a substitute for them. The problem is not the chords, it is how you hit those notes between them, how you make the transitions from the notes to the chords, and from the chords to the notes, and when, if even there is a when, you abandon a chord to play the melody before you pick up the next one. I want to see how it all works together, not have someone explain it for the tenth time. I would just like to see that done, using the exercises in the book. The thing is, I like the Fretboard Roadmap book, and I think there is a lot to learn there, I just feel like it is close to my reach.


But that's what I'm saying ...sit with a fave tune ...on your own , somewhere nice ...with a beer ...and just play it .....play around with the neck ..make some mistakes , make some nice sounds ....but on your own without any books ...Noodle....and do it daily and do it to have fun and be curious ...what if I do this ?.......and then go back and have a look at the book ...and somewhen between the two it will click ........This will not happen overnight ...this will happen over the rest of your playing life.....I have been playing over 40 years....I am still learning new stuff ...and every now again have a "doh " moment or an epiphany......

Point > I am not familiar with either of the two books mentioned ..the above is how I have worked things out through the last 5 years ..I was just ( no insult intended I was this for many many moons and there is nowt wrong with it ) first position strummer who has a reasonable strum and had a limited Chord Vocabulary up until 2010 ... I picked up a Lazy Palm and a new chord book....

The book is :

The Hal Leonard Ukulele Chord Finder

ISBN 978 - 1 - 4234 - 0042 - 4

Should be around $4.99. It is also A5 size so will fit into a Concert and above sized Uke bag . NO connection to HL etc ...just that if were a famous player (which I am not )I would endorse this book ;)

And sat down and learned the neck doing what I have suggested......I do know some guitar stuff also learned the same way ...I have taken to 5 string banjer and accordion ...the same way....this is not a brag or a boast ....just hey ..you can do it ......a little time , some patience a little frustration . I have no illusions , I am not a great player ...but I have fun picking the buggers up and wailing on them.........no-one else does though....


.....and Janeray is right that someone showing or working together with you does help ...You need a UkeBuddy....

Rllink
03-29-2015, 11:25 AM
But that's what I'm saying ...sit with a fave tune ...on your own , somewhere nice ...with a beer ...and just play it .....play around with the neck ..make some mistakes , make some nice sounds ....but on your own without any books ...Noodle....and do it daily and do it to have fun and be curious ...what if I do this ?.......and then go back and have a look at the book ...and somewhen between the two it will click ........This will not happen overnight ...this will happen over the rest of your playing life.....I have been playing over 40 years....I am still learning new stuff ...and every now again have a "doh " moment or an epiphany......

Point > I am not familiar with either of the two books mentioned ..the above is how I have worked things out through the last 5 years ..I was just ( no insult intended I was this for many many moons and there is nowt wrong with it ) first position strummer who has a reasonable strum and had a limited Chord Vocabulary up until 2010 ... I picked up a Lazy Palm and a new chord book....

The book is :

The Hal Leonard Ukulele Chord Finder

ISBN 978 - 1 - 4234 - 0042 - 4

Should be around $4.99. It is also A5 size so will fit into a Concert and above sized Uke bag . NO connection to HL etc ...just that if were a famous player (which I am not )I would endorse this book ;)

And sat down and learned the neck doing what I have suggested......I do know some guitar stuff also learned the same way ...I have taken to 5 string banjer and accordion ...the same way....this is not a brag or a boast ....just hey ..you can do it ......a little time , some patience a little frustration . I have no illusions , I am not a great player ...but I have fun picking the buggers up and wailing on them.........no-one else does though....


.....and Janeray is right that someone showing or working together with you does help ...You need a UkeBuddy....It is all good. I took the uke down to the beach and played for a while. It isn't as big of a deal as it sounds. I'm not stressing, even if it sounds like I am. I would just like to learn what is in that book. Like you say, eventually I will get there.

actadh
03-29-2015, 11:53 AM
There is a Fretboard Roadmap group here in the Community tab. It is not active, but the archived comments may be helpful.

BTW, I think I am up to 7 books that I have only done a page or two, including the two you mention here.

Captain America
03-29-2015, 02:46 PM
I like CeeJay's advice.

Get the chord book; get used to playing up the neck. Practice different chords than you usually use.

I've got both the fretboard and aerobics book. The aerobics book didn't click for me. I just didn't learn much that was new. The fretboard book is a bit better, but I needed to really take it slow and make sure I was understanding what was going on. . . at times I felt a couple more sentences of explanation here and there would have REALLY helped.

Right now I'm planning to get into chord melody more, and will do some transcription. So the chord book I just bought should be useful.

GENERALLY, I find that when I get tab for songs, I just cannot remember it. I need the sheet in front of me to play it. . . which kind of deadens the fun.

DWUke
03-30-2015, 02:49 AM
I really don't care for the Fretboard Roadmap books. I've spent some time on the guitar and the ukulele book. It's too many words and not enough exercises. My supposition is that if you do the work to figure out what is written there and make your own exercises like he suggests you'll probably learn it really well. But that's a lot of work and not that helpful. Best way to learn fretboard patterns is to play and lot and best way to learn theory is study theory.

While I'm at it I don't like the Ukulele Aerobics book either. I worked my way through about a third of it. The way it is set up is inconsistent with what evidence shows are the ways in which people learn. I don't "get" the doing a different exercise every day. I just didn't find a lot of value in the approach. But everyone learns differently so maybe someone finds it valuable.

Jon Thyself wrote an interesting piece on practice

http://jonthysell.com/2013/07/22/how-i-make-the-most-out-of-my-ukulele-practice-sessions/

He suggests 5 min/day on a practice piece (e.g. lick, chord, song, etc.). I tried doing 5 min/day on each of Aerobic's "days". That's 35 minutes each day. I believe that by the end of each week my playing improved a bit. After the week is up, move on to the next week if you want. Or you could use Thysell's method and move some of the more challenging "days" to your practice list.

I've seen other writers suggest picking and choosing what you want from each week's aerobics - a scale, chords, whatever.

CeeJay
03-30-2015, 03:46 AM
Jon Thyself wrote an interesting piece on practice

http://jonthysell.com/2013/07/22/how-i-make-the-most-out-of-my-ukulele-practice-sessions/

He suggests 5 min/day on a practice piece (e.g. lick, chord, song, etc.). I tried doing 5 min/day on each of Aerobic's "days". That's 35 minutes each day. I believe that by the end of each week my playing improved a bit. After the week is up, move on to the next week if you want. Or you could use Thysell's method and move some of the more challenging "days" to your practice list.

I've seen other writers suggest picking and choosing what you want from each week's aerobics - a scale, chords, whatever.

The most important thing is to have an instrument immediately to hand .....I have a banjo uke by my right foot as I sit and type this ...and if I am "surfing" or playing a game or whatever everytime I can I pick up the uke and have a twang....

I 've looked at the Fretwork ....I'm sorry , I'll Type that again , Fretboard Roadmap ....honestly ..I find it confusing after a while ...and I know my way around a D tuned and a C tuned fretboard .

The problem is that often the author's do not pitch their jargon at the right level....no dis respect ..they can all play like divils , but that does not always mean that they get the transfer of knowledge right ... My opinion only FWIW .

Likewise , I can play some stuff and if you asked me how I did it I would not know where to start to tell you .....I could show you , but put it into words on a page ..no way......

I would cherry pick the parts of the book that make sense and use them ...then maybe some of the bits in between will become clearer or "click" farther along the mental flight path.....the most important thing for me is that you play , and play tunes and music.....learning riffs and licks in isolation is well and good ...but they are tools to be used in a tune ....

Simplest example I can come up with and how I started exploring the fretboard was playing a C chord at 0003 and every now and again as I strummed put my little finger on the 0007 thus strumming : 0003 / 0003 / 0003 / 0003 / 0007 / 0003 / 0007 /0003 ...and then maybe on the 0005 and then messing about with other chords doing similar ...G 0232 play the 5th of the E and the A strings as well seperately and together....etc....see ....I can't do it in writing ....;)

EddiePlaysBass
03-30-2015, 04:13 AM
I have been using the Uke Aerobics book for some weeks now. I am working through week 5 but no way in h*ll am I doing it at the pace the author wants me to: I tend to work through all 7 daily exercises at once and keep at them until I can do all of them relatively well. Then strum some chords from Uncle Rod's bootcamp files.

I'm probably different to the rest of you in that I have zero desire in learning actual songs right now. I am learning a bunch of chords and licks, and am having fun doing so. So in that respect, the Aerobics books works wonders for me. Some of the strums are interesting so far (you really need to listen to the CD to get what he means - otherwise it all looks the same) and the fingerpicking songs are my fave part so far :) Occasionally I will get stuck on a lick for a few days, but it's all good.

Doing these exercises makes me think about music, and how certain chords work together. This has led to a handful of "aha" moments when I am playing bass - which was my intent when I picked up the uke: to broaden my musical perspective.

Rllink
03-30-2015, 04:21 AM
The most important thing is to have an instrument immediately to hand .....I have a banjo uke by my right foot as I sit and type this ...and if I am "surfing" or playing a game or whatever everytime I can I pick up the uke and have a twang....

I 've looked at the Fretwork ....I'm sorry , I'll Type that again , Fretboard Roadmap ....honestly ..I find it confusing after a while ...and I know my way around a D tuned and a C tuned fretboard .

The problem is that often the author's do not pitch their jargon at the right level....no dis respect ..they can all play like divils , but that does not always mean that they get the transfer of knowledge right ... My opinion only FWIW .

Likewise , I can play some stuff and if you asked me how I did it I would not know where to start to tell you .....I could show you , but put it into words on a page ..no way......

I would cherry pick the parts of the book that make sense and use them ...then maybe some of the bits in between will become clearer or "click" farther along the mental flight path.....the most important thing for me is that you play , and play tunes and music.....learning riffs and licks in isolation is well and good ...but they are tools to be used in a tune ....

Simplest example I can come up with and how I started exploring the fretboard was playing a C chord at 0003 and every now and again as I strummed put my little finger on the 0007 thus strumming : 0003 / 0003 / 0003 / 0003 / 0007 / 0003 / 0007 /0003 ...and then maybe on the 0005 and then messing about with other chords doing similar ...G 0232 play the 5th of the E and the A strings as well seperately and together....etc....see ....I can't do it in writing ....;)I think that you nailed it, because I like what they are doing in both books, but there seems to be huge gaps in their methods that leave the learner wondering how to bridge them. That is why I would like to see them do it. I don't think that they can describe it in words, so they just leave it up to the learner to try to figure it out. Anyway, as I said before, I'm not all that worried about it, even though the thread has gone there, I'm not going to dwell on either book.

Down Up Dick
03-30-2015, 04:45 AM
I have been using the Uke Aerobics book for some weeks now. I am working through week 5 but no way in h*ll am I doing it at the pace the author wants me to: I tend to work through all 7 daily exercises at once and keep at them until I can do all of them relatively well. Then strum some chords from Uncle Rod's bootcamp files.

I'm probably different to the rest of you in that I have zero desire in learning actual songs right now. I am learning a bunch of chords and licks, and am having fun doing so. So in that respect, the Aerobics books works wonders for me. Some of the strums are interesting so far (you really need to listen to the CD to get what he means - otherwise it all looks the same) and the fingerpicking songs are my fave part so far :) Occasionally I will get stuck on a lick for a few days, but it's all good.

Doing these exercises makes me think about music, and how certain chords work together. This has led to a handful of "aha" moments when I am playing bass - which was my intent when I picked up the uke: to broaden my musical perspective.

Eddie, you and I agree on one thing. I prefer to study and learn about playing the Uke more than playing songs. I too enjoy those "aha" moments, and those times when I "ace" something. I really think I should play songs more, but I always end up playing scales or chord families or just noodling and trying something new.

If I could, I'd play everything by ear. Reading music slows me down. :old:

Rllink
03-30-2015, 04:49 AM
Jon Thyself wrote an interesting piece on practice

http://jonthysell.com/2013/07/22/how-i-make-the-most-out-of-my-ukulele-practice-sessions/

He suggests 5 min/day on a practice piece (e.g. lick, chord, song, etc.). I tried doing 5 min/day on each of Aerobic's "days". That's 35 minutes each day. I believe that by the end of each week my playing improved a bit. After the week is up, move on to the next week if you want. Or you could use Thysell's method and move some of the more challenging "days" to your practice list.

I've seen other writers suggest picking and choosing what you want from each week's aerobics - a scale, chords, whatever.I read that blog, and honestly, I don't want to practice to a watch. After reading it I saw the light. I have enough self discipline, and enough interest in playing the ukulele well, that I can put effort into my practices without putting a stop watch on it. I think what happened here is a good lesson for me. I started out having fun, playing my uke, learning new stuff, but then I started feeling guilty about not structuring my practice and not having a plan, setting goals, etc. I think frankly, that I read way too much UU. So I bought a bunch of books, and set down with them, following their lead. But I've been thinking about it this morning, my posts and all the responses to it, and I actually think that may have been a mistake. I think that I'm going to lighten back up. I don't need all that rigamarole, which is defined as a long, complicated, and annoying process. I remember someone telling me one day, that when it comes to religion, some people worship God, and some people worship the process, and to tell you the truth, the process is getting in the way right now. So, a new day dawns and the journey continues.

DWUke
03-30-2015, 11:31 AM
I'm working my way through Fretboard roadmap. I gave up on Ukulele Aerobics a while ago, however, what I've learned in Fretboard Roadmap explains a lot of what was lost on in Ukulele Aerobics, so I look forward to going back. The thing is, I am struggling through Fretboard Roadmap, and a lot of my success is based on just plain luck, or I should say, being strong enough to make it to the surface often enough to get a breath of air before I go under again. I wish that there were videos of the exercises, especially those in Fretboard Roadmap, as it seems to actually have a direction we are headed in. First of all, the CDs are nice, but they are only an example of how it should sound, and doesn't really illustrate how to get there. A lot of people have offered up some help, trying to explain to me, and the rest of us, what is going on. Thanks so much for their well intentioned explanations, but understanding is not the issue. I understand perfectly well, what I am supposed to be doing, and why I'm doing it. The issue is putting that understanding into practice, and explaining it over and over and over is not helping, I need to see it.

If you are aiming to learn chords and find your way around the fretboard, an interesting book is "Ukulele Breakthrough" by Calvin Chin.

See http://www.amazon.com/Ukulele-Breakthrough-strummer-life-party/dp/0595312586

Chin approaches learning chords by learning the chords based on a string. For example, the C, C7 and Cm based on the first (A) string. He goes through the other strings, and advances to more complicated chords. He includes some songs to experiment with, playing all the chords based on a particular string. Some have complained that they are unfamiliar with the songs. The are all old songs which are out of copyright.

Rllink
03-30-2015, 12:07 PM
If you are aiming to learn chords and find your way around the fretboard, an interesting book is "Ukulele Breakthrough" by Calvin Chin.

See http://www.amazon.com/Ukulele-Breakthrough-strummer-life-party/dp/0595312586

Chin approaches learning chords by learning the chords based on a string. For example, the C, C7 and Cm based on the first (A) string. He goes through the other strings, and advances to more complicated chords. He includes some songs to experiment with, playing all the chords based on a particular string. Some have complained that they are unfamiliar with the songs. The are all old songs which are out of copyright.Thanks, but I think that I've bought enough books. I don't need another.

Debby
03-30-2015, 12:24 PM
too many books? Is that possible?

CeeJay
03-30-2015, 12:35 PM
too many books? Is that possible?

Yes.......

Inksplosive AL
03-31-2015, 10:18 AM
I bought roadmaps better part of a year ago for the cost of shipping due to a previous Amazon mishap. I opened the book once or twice never touched the CD, it sits a few feet away aging. Ive had keyboard lessons as a child and a couple guitar lessons many years ago from a friend. I understand everything you are saying here and do much the same. Ive had a go to song for a year or more now and Ive played the crap out of it. Lately I noticed this one song is becoming most of two or three songs now not counting a few jazzy noodles I play with.

I fully under stand that one does not need to understand the math behind making music to make music but I was looking for a bit of structure myself. I started to make up finger exercises of my own to get my left hand moving and work on better technique. I mentioned elsewhere as a child most keyboard exercises are just walking up and down the keys getting your fingers to move. You progress by skipping a key then two etc. I'm doing much the same walking up and down the fretboard on each string for now treating each like its own little keyboard. I find going up very easy but coming back down at a steady pace without screwing up is very hard.

On my left hand I'm focusing on how my fingers hit the strings. My ring finger on my left hand tends to always overshoot the string slightly forcing me to pull back onto the string or roll onto it. My right hand finger picking/ strumming/ pluck,tweak, strum diddly gets worked on with my go to songs. Recently Ive added an easy version of dueling banjos that's doing wonders for my right hand. I cannot imaging what I would ask a teacher to show me so I dont think lessons will do much for me. I watch so many videos, there is so much offered free being created every day I need another 10 lifetimes to see it all.

One book too many.

BTW: This site shows 4 shapes for a C maj chord: http://www.ukulele.nl/chordfinder/ This site can be used to figure out what you are doing: http://ukebuddy.com/ukulele-chords/C-chord

~peace~

Kayak Jim
03-31-2015, 11:24 AM
I suspect we are all trying to find the holy grail of uke instruction books, the one that makes everything "click". Not sure how one finds the right book for their learning style but to try several. Horses for courses and all that.

Rllink
03-31-2015, 03:27 PM
It's not just about the various shapes for each chord, it's about their relations, both to each other and to other chords in the piece's key, and how various familiar, basic chords can be simply altered to get all of those other chords. There are simple relations that, once you "see" them, make it so much easier to play any chord you want in any region of the neck.

Similarly with melodies: most are based on scales, so if you understand the movable scale patterns, it's easier to play melodies with less hunting and pecking, and to improvise, whether for arrangements or real-time. You do a limited amount of generic rote learning instead of a mass of key/chord-specific rote learning, and you learn new ways to visualize, think about and interpret what's happening in songs. That's the value of books like Ukulele Fretboard Roadmaps (and of music theory in general). Why take the long, hard slog to where you want to go—one that probably leaves things challenging—instead of training to do things the way the pros do? They're pros because they discovered the easy ways, whether naturally on their own or (more likely) because they were taught in some manner by other pros. But this stuff isn't just for pros, it's for anyone playing any style of music, no matter how informally. It's unlikely you're the kind of whiz that can figure everything out by noodling; the harder books like UFR seem to you, the more likely it is you would profit by really studying them. Not only is that the quickest way to the real fun, the study of this stuff can be fun in itself—if you decide to make it fun. It's mostly a matter of attitude.

Above all, when you run into problems, ask specific questions. Don't just carp about how things weren't presented to you just right—they never will be. It's your responsibility as a learner to persist, adapt and pose the right questions, because no one can read your mind, and books that attempt to cater to all learning approaches end up being so light on content they seldom take you very far.

There are lots of knowledgeable folks here, a number of whom are generous with their time. If you can ask a specific question and mention that you'd like to see how something is done, maybe some folks will oblige with videos. That happened recently with an offshoot of a Seasonista blues themed week (Three Kings). Another possibility is to arrange a tête-à-tête via Skype or iChat. I've offered to do that for some folks, but so far they've backed out.

Asking the right questions can be an art. If the question or topic is too general, the task for the would-be tutor is too monumental, and the more frustrated you'll be with the answers that do come in. But sometimes, you have to ask a general question, in the hope that some of the attempted answers (shots in the dark) hit near the mark and allow you to ask more specific questions germane to your particular case and "make sense" according to your understanding and best modes of learning. A lot of the responses may be confusing or "too advanced"; that may indicate precisely an area you'd benefit learning about for things to fall into place. It also helps not just to ask a question but to briefly summarize what you do know—saves everyone a lot of bother.
You know what would be a lot more helpful than another big lecture, is if you would put your knowledge of music theory and your ukulele skills together and make some videos of you playing the exercises in UFR, that clearly illustrate some of the specific things that I addressed in post# 8. And then we could watch them, and we could see all those subtle chord changes and notes that bring it all together. That would be very helpful, and not only would you be helping us all understand what the author is trying to do, but it would showcase your talents, which would be both informational, and entertaining. What do you think?