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Rllink
07-16-2015, 10:09 AM
I've been strumming and singing a lot in the last month. That is my goal, to be a good strummer and singer, and there is a lot more to it than just strumming some chords. There are bridges, little bits to get started, and bits to end them, and all sorts of things you can throw in along the way. And I'm memorizing a lot of them as well, so there is that angle. Then, just to have a little more fun, I'm working on making them sound natural, not forced, and that is where I discovered that just slowing down a little makes a lot of difference. I've even gone to playing to a metronome, or playing along with the songs on my iPod, because I've discovered that my natural tenancy is to push it. I have to continually tell myself that I'm singing a song, and it isn't a race. Just something for others to think about on their journey.

DownUpDave
07-16-2015, 10:39 AM
One of our uke jam leaders who is a professional musician always talks about use of space or " space between notes". In other words "let the song play out and do not rush it". Kimmo Hussey has some great YouTube videos about just that. Thanks for the reminder as I can rush things as well.

fretie
07-16-2015, 06:18 PM
Yes, good reminder. I have a tendency to race along as if nervous of the spaces between thinking they might be interpreted as the approach of a 'poser'!

igorthebarbarian
07-16-2015, 06:20 PM
I fear that is the pace of life now in the modern age/internet age, where everything is available now-now-now.... "ugh, what do you mean my internet connection is down!!!!!"
Definitely a good idea to try to slow it down a little bit in general.

k0k0peli
07-16-2015, 07:07 PM
Just don't slow down when being chased by something hungry. But I digress. I've a lifetime weakness for playing much too fast. Yes, there's a metronome app on my tablet -- it's around here somewhere. ;)

I just came up with another solution. I mean, like today, like a few hours ago. I just bought a little clip-on metronome, somewhat smaller than my Snark. Hey, this Seiko DM50SE was cheap, US$15 marked down from $35. Such a deal!

And after I got home from the music store, I found why it was so cheap -- it's quiet and doesn't flash brightly. That's probably a battery-saving measure. I can just barely hear it over a 'uke if I don't play too loud. It's too quiet for a mandolin but it's OK with a soprano 'uke tuned in fifths. Anyway, I set the beats slow, and force myself to play at that rate, steady, relaxed, no stress. Maintain an even strain. Pick up the beat when I stop screwing up my fingerings. Discipline...

As for the world moving too fast -- wrong. Everything happens at exactly the correct rate. We merely need to adjust ourslves to reality. Gosh, reality is tiring sometimes.

Mxyzptik
07-17-2015, 02:53 AM
I've been strumming and singing a lot in the last month. That is my goal, to be a good strummer and singer, and there is a lot more to it than just strumming some chords. There are bridges, little bits to get started, and bits to end them, and all sorts of things you can throw in along the way. And I'm memorizing a lot of them as well, so there is that angle. Then, just to have a little more fun, I'm working on making them sound natural, not forced, and that is where I discovered that just slowing down a little makes a lot of difference. I've even gone to playing to a metronome, or playing along with the songs on my iPod, because I've discovered that my natural tenancy is to push it. I have to continually tell myself that I'm singing a song, and it isn't a race. Just something for others to think about on their journey.

I usually do ok when playing my ukulele but have a strong tendency to speed up when sitting at the piano. I even have taken a black sharpie and written in big bold letters across the top margin of some of my music " IT AIN'T A RACE ! ", just to try and slow myself down a bit.
With my ukulele I don't play with a metronome but do tap my foot which I expect helps prevent racing to some extent.

k0k0peli
07-17-2015, 04:52 AM
With my ukulele I don't play with a metronome but do tap my foot which I expect helps prevent racing to some extent. I've been trying to tap my toes whilst guitaristing for half a century now and I ain't got it down yet. I'm okay at a steady picking rhythm but as soon as I syncopate or play triplets etc, my toes try to synchronize with my fingers and they lose the beat. And when my fingers speed up, so do my toes; it's bye-bye metronome effect. Also, my feet get bored with tapping steadily. One foot can tap awhile, then it shuts down and switches over to the other, but with a slight rhythmic disruption. This just doesn't work for me. Ratz.

Rllink
07-17-2015, 05:54 AM
I've been trying to tap my toes whilst guitaristing for half a century now and I ain't got it down yet. I'm okay at a steady picking rhythm but as soon as I syncopate or play triplets etc, my toes try to synchronize with my fingers and they lose the beat. And when my fingers speed up, so do my toes; it's bye-bye metronome effect. Also, my feet get bored with tapping steadily. One foot can tap awhile, then it shuts down and switches over to the other, but with a slight rhythmic disruption. This just doesn't work for me. Ratz.That is me too. My toe tapping does not keep a steady beat.

Mxyzptik
07-17-2015, 10:01 AM
I've been trying to tap my toes whilst guitaristing for half a century now and I ain't got it down yet. I'm okay at a steady picking rhythm but as soon as I syncopate or play triplets etc, my toes try to synchronize with my fingers and they lose the beat. And when my fingers speed up, so do my toes; it's bye-bye metronome effect. Also, my feet get bored with tapping steadily. One foot can tap awhile, then it shuts down and switches over to the other, but with a slight rhythmic disruption. This just doesn't work for me. Ratz.

At first I had trouble singing and playing at the same time but extensive practice cured that, I also experienced the toe following instead of keeping time, practice again helped.

If you want to see something impressive look on utube for John Hartford playing Gentle on my mind on a banjo while singing and tap dancing on a mic'd piece of plywood all simultaneously. This guy has serious talent!

Uncle "Ule"
08-11-2015, 01:58 PM
I discovered playing melody along with backup cd's fingers will create fills especially if you listen to much live music. Listen for the fills, their there!

terrgy
08-12-2015, 03:01 AM
I'm guessing a "fill" is the same as a "bum ditty".

I play mountain dulcimer. At dulcimer jams, there is very little singing along. Most of the songs are played at break neck speed. It's discussed on dulcimer forums why singing along with your music seems to be a lost art. I'm just the opposite, I probably only play around 5 instrumentals, while I have around 100 songs or so in my memory bank to play and sing along.

While it's very understandable to me why a dulcimer is a good instrument for instrumentals, I find the ukulele to be a sing along instrument. As I just took up ukulele in May this year, perhaps I am off base, but I just see and feel it that way.

What I have discovered on ukulele is how much fun it is to just set around for a time and just make up songs as you go along, songs about anything. Just playing chord progressions (for me it's mostly C, C7, F, G7, Am. Fun fun fun. Yesterday I made up a song about Mickey Mantle, a baseball legend, from the fifties and sixties. Tears.

Anyways, so much of my playing now is slow, slow and slower. Trying to get it right, strums and music notation, and trying to chord properly. Buzz is a no no, and I get that with speed. I suspect speed will come with time. I think learning a song playing "slow" is my best friend presently.

This thread has made for some great "pondering & reflection matter", for me at least.

Best Regards