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Purdy Bear
07-25-2015, 10:18 PM
As I'm a complete beginner with the Ukulele, I thought it would be a good idea to do a thread where I put down my progress. Not just for me to see how far I've come, but also for others following afterwards.

Yesterday I had my first 30 minute lesson with a local guitar teacher, who runs a Ukulele group. He showed me the 3 first cords (C, F ,G7) and how to hold the Uke etc. The Ukulele I'm playing is a very cheap 14 model from Ebay called Sun Wolf with Aquila strings (its purple to go along with my womenly nature, and easy to spot).

Today is my first lesson with You Tube etc.

Lesson 1
The 5 effective strumming methods, on YT. I enjoyed this, but I found working out where the upstroke went was a little boggling. I need to write it down and follow it as his playing. The last two completely lost me, so lots to practice there.

I then went on to learning the C, and the F, going from one to the other and back again, making sure my fingers were in the right position on the neck, but also that I was using the pads of the fingers. I need to cut my nails right down on that hand. They are short, but not short enough.

The lesson is noted down on a spread sheet with problems, good bits and comments, so I can look back this afternoon or tomorrow to see where I need to work from.


On a side note, I've started to keep a small pocket notebook, so I can put all the bits I want in it, and travel with it, so I can learn in those lost times we all have (ie waiting for buses or the like).


Here's the video I used, just to make some noise:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gAScCO3Mb-w


NB I will repeat this lesson until it goes smoothly and then move on to the next. The reading matter is the book called 'Ukulele for Dummies' is for the off time when I want to do something but have sore fingers or the like.

Camsuke
07-25-2015, 10:36 PM
This is a great way to kick things off Purdy Bear, tackle the basics, learn a few chords and always assess your progress. It's a gradual building process and you are already doing some great stuff.
Congratulations on your efforts so far and good luck for the future! Please remember, help & advice is only a post away!

jollyboy
07-26-2015, 11:01 AM
Hi Purdy,

Your level of focus is truly impressive. I have found it helpful to play some songs along with doing exercises. I find it extends my attention span and I can go from 20-30 minutes of practicing chord changes and strum patterns to spending a couple of hours murdering a few simple tunes... and my neighbours love it too :p

Seriously though it does mean I spend more time with the instrument, and I find it very satisfying to play something all the way through, even if the end result isn't perfect.

There are quite a few lists of three-chord songs (for ukulele) out there on the web. Obviously personal taste comes into it. One song I enjoy playing that uses the chords you already know is Here Comes The Night (http://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/t/them/here_comes_the_night_ukulele_crd.htm) by Them/Lulu (you may need to click reset on the transpose feature on this page).

Anyway, we all have different ways of learning stuff, so this may or may not be helpful. Looking forward to your next 'report' :)

Purdy Bear
07-26-2015, 09:56 PM
Camsuke - Thanks for the support I will need it.

Jollyboy - I don't want to push it in the beginning, as I know from others that sore fingers can be a problem until the calluses build up. I'll start of at 10 minutes and build up to an hour per day, once the muscles and fingers can do it.

Today I just went over what I did yesterday. I have cut my left hand finger nails down to about 1 mm and it worked well, I'll go shorter if I need to. The strumming patterns were written down in my little book, and I found writing down the sequences were easier to understand:

ie 1 2 and 3 4 = down down up down down or 1 2 and and 4 = down down up up down

The two notes of C and F seem to be going well, they are much easier to play with the shorter nails. I did find changing mid strumming pattern hard, but I am sure that will come with time.


Oh for timings of the self lesson, I did meditation practices for years and you are taught to do the same time every day, with quiet, etc, so I'm using the same practice. After I've had breakfast and dog walk, I sit down listen to some good Ukulele music to inspire me, then do the lesson bit.

This afternoon I'm going to start doing a lesson in music theory, as I totally bombed at that when I played the flute. I've found a series of lessons by this chap that looks good:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6gHEIF0rT2w

autojoy
07-26-2015, 11:21 PM
Hello Purdy Bear! :) I'm also a real beginner (been at it for a few weeks now!) and it looks like you're off to a great start!! I feel like this forum is a great place for support for all levels and it is definitely inspiring me. I found strumming so hard to begin with - my finger kept on getting caught in the strings, haha :rolleyes: It seemed so easy when I saw other people doing it, I was shocked at how such a simple-looking thing was actually super hard!!! I still have problems with strumming "consistency" (sound, tone, etc.) but, it's definitely getting better and I know you'll improve really really quickly! :) Youtube has also been a really great help to me, too!

(I saw your other thread regarding stores - I'm also in the UK and hoping to visit the Southern Ukulele Store in a few weeks' time! I'm preeeetty excited!)

Purdy Bear
07-27-2015, 09:32 PM
Autojoy, I agree with you. I am so glad I found this forum, it's really helped me already in lots of ways. Enjoy your visit to SUS, I can't wait to go, but I do need to save up first.

Today I just went through this weeks lesson of tuning by ear, which is coming along nicely, strumming - I'm starting to pick up my mistakes, and lastly to add the G7 to the C and F. My left hand did feel a little stiff, so that is going to take a while to loosen up and muscles. I already had a good tone due to touch typing, but this is going to be taking it a little bit further.

I played my first song - yeepppppppyy, it was Blowing in the Wind. Nope it didn't sound much like it to me either but hey how, each to their own.

As a last bit, and a bit of fun, I tried to do some finger picking with the right hand. I do love the sound and resonance of the instrument. I can quiet understand deaf people being able to enjoy the instrument as well as others.

Mivo
07-27-2015, 11:13 PM
I recently started using a metronome (on my tablet) when practicing. It seems to really benefit my sense of rhythm, even though I'll hear it in my head for quite a while after finishing the practice.

Grats on playing your first song! Such a beautiful one, too!

Purdy Bear
07-28-2015, 12:15 AM
I totally agree about the Metronome. When I learnt the recorder 30 plus years ago we had a swing arm type at school and I found it very helpful to pace the notes, so yep I've got one of those. Now I'm starting to do more then 2 notes, I'll start using it on slow and then speed it up to get a better timing, manipulation etc.

Thanks for the song thing. We did do something very briefly in the Saturday 30 minute class, but it wasn't what I would call a play through like today.

I've checked my ear tuning with a machine, and it wasn't far off, so I'll keep doing that, to get my ear into the notes.

terrgy
07-28-2015, 04:13 AM
Hey Purdy Bear,
I am new too, and in fact just posted a topic today on my problems with strumming. And so I thank you for the link on the 5 strumming patterns.

Terry

Purdy Bear
07-28-2015, 04:50 AM
My pleasure!

ohmless
07-28-2015, 09:02 PM
welcome to the wonderful happy world of the ukulele and to this site. Good luck with your blog. I did a similar experiment where I tracked my daily progress/practice for my first month, but that was ages ago.

Purdy Bear
07-28-2015, 09:30 PM
Thanks. :)


Today I tried a new lesson by Justin Guitar on You Tube. It was just to compliment the first ones I had done so far:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Qh2JQwkhjk

I've found the sound board on my laptop isn't to brilliant to tune to, so I'm going to try doing it by ear and then recheck by electronic tuner. I think once my ear gets into what the strings should sound like it's going to be easier, but for now I just need to listen carefully to the different notes.

Today I learnt 2 more notes, so I now have 5 to practice with (C, F, G7, G, Am). I'm going to stick with those for a bit to make sure I can interchange properly and strum when changing to each note without hesitation.

My hands seem to be holding up well at the moment, they are sore but the 10 minutes twice a day is working out well.

For the theory yesterday I did the second class, today I'll do the third and slowly work through those. Most of it I know already or forgot I knew from playing the flute years ago.

terrgy
07-29-2015, 03:17 AM
Purdy Bear,

The notes you posted are very similar to mine, in this order: C, C7, F, Am, G7. These 5 came fairly easy to me, after much practice of course.

Now working on G & D7. For some reason G is difficult. Yesterday I began practicing moving from G to C to D7 and back to G. This practice is to learn a very simple song "Boil Them Cabbage Down". I find it difficult, but better today than yesterday.

I am also practicing the D note. After almost three months of playing, I can most of the time play C C7 F Am G7 with my eyes closed. However, I still need to work on clearer notes. Surely a work in progress.

Feeling okay about my progress. Very very satisfying and lots of fun.

Thanks for posting your progress. Nice to read about the progress of others.

Terry

Mivo
07-29-2015, 04:57 AM
G, I think, is challenging for many at first. Mine would often sound dull, because one of the fingers slipped onto the fret divider, or slightly off, because one finger was too far in the center of the fret. It also took practice to switch to it fast. I still need to practice it more for fast, smooth switching to it (I think it is mostly a matter of ring finger strength/independence). G7 was much easier for me.

k0k0peli
07-29-2015, 07:07 AM
C, C7, F, Am, G7, G, D7 -- these are chords, not notes. I'll suggest that we have two general approaches to learning fretboards: 1) notes & scales, and 2) open & closed chords. (1) is great for becoming an instrumentalist, and (2) is easier for accompanying vocals etc. I've taken the second approach for the last half-century -- which kind of limits me, but that's the path I chose. I tend to learn songs and airs by their chord forms & lyrics, then work out fingerings for melodies, descants, and drones. These two paths are NOT mutually exclusive. Melodic players also play chords, sure! But IMHO chord-thought is more suitable for self-accompanying singing, at least at first. So think about your goals on 'uke.

To integrate the approaches, I've taken (in practice sessions) to singing the names of the individual notes I'm fretting as well as the chords I strum. That's kind of a brain-twister for me on 'uke because I'm wired-in with decades of guitar playing -- same chord forms but a fifth off, so with different names! What we call a C on 'uke still looks like a G to me. ;) I find it easier to name the music while practicing on mandolin and mandola (tuned very different from guitars and 'ukes) than on 'ukes (too much like guitar). Familiarity breed sloppy thinking. Yow.

My wife is just now learning her tenor 'uke. She can sight-read to sing but we're taking the chord approach and working with FRETBOARD ROADMAPS: UKULELE for theory/basics and DAILY UKULELE for songs. Her goal is therapeutic, to help recover from carpal tunnel and tendonitis resulting from a software-engineering career -- many decades of intensive keyboarding. Sore fingertips are the least of her pains. Practice until her fretting hand starts to hurt, then stop.

Good luck with your continuing progress!

Rllink
07-29-2015, 07:54 AM
C, C7, F, Am, G7, G, D7 -- these are chords, not notes. I'll suggest that we have two general approaches to learning fretboards: 1) notes & scales, and 2) open & closed chords. (1) is great for becoming an instrumentalist, and (2) is easier for accompanying vocals etc. I've taken the second approach for the last half-century -- which kind of limits me, but that's the path I chose. I tend to learn songs and airs by their chord forms & lyrics, then work out fingerings for melodies, descants, and drones. These two paths are NOT mutually exclusive. Melodic players also play chords, sure! But IMHO chord-thought is more suitable for self-accompanying singing, at least at first. So think about your goals on 'uke.

To integrate the approaches, I've taken (in practice sessions) to singing the names of the individual notes I'm fretting as well as the chords I strum. That's kind of a brain-twister for me on 'uke because I'm wired-in with decades of guitar playing -- same chord forms but a fifth off, so with different names! What we call a C on 'uke still looks like a G to me. ;) I find it easier to name the music while practicing on mandolin and mandola (tuned very different from guitars and 'ukes) than on 'ukes (too much like guitar). Familiarity breed sloppy thinking. Yow.

My wife is just now learning her tenor 'uke. She can sight-read to sing but we're taking the chord approach and working with FRETBOARD ROADMAPS: UKULELE for theory/basics and DAILY UKULELE for songs. Her goal is therapeutic, to help recover from carpal tunnel and tendonitis resulting from a software-engineering career -- many decades of intensive keyboarding. Sore fingertips are the least of her pains. Practice until her fretting hand starts to hurt, then stop.

Good luck with your continuing progress!Pretty regularly you hear someone say, "if all you want to do is strum, that's ok, but,,,,,,", then they go into a lecture, and if not just outright, they at least insinuate, that real ukulele players don't just strum. So I've tried hard to learn scales, finger picking, and everything else, but when it gets right down to it, no matter how good I get at all that razzle dazzle, I am always going back to strumming' and singing. To me, that is what it is all about.

terrgy
07-29-2015, 01:08 PM
Me be a # 2. Gotta sing the music.

Nickie
07-29-2015, 01:31 PM
C, C7, F, Am, G7, G, D7 -- these are chords, not notes. I'll suggest that we have two general approaches to learning fretboards: 1) notes & scales, and 2) open & closed chords. (1) is great for becoming an instrumentalist, and (2) is easier for accompanying vocals etc. I've taken the second approach for the last half-century -- which kind of limits me, but that's the path I chose. I tend to learn songs and airs by their chord forms & lyrics, then work out fingerings for melodies, descants, and drones. These two paths are NOT mutually exclusive. Melodic players also play chords, sure! But IMHO chord-thought is more suitable for self-accompanying singing, at least at first. So think about your goals on 'uke.

To integrate the approaches, I've taken (in practice sessions) to singing the names of the individual notes I'm fretting as well as the chords I strum. That's kind of a brain-twister for me on 'uke because I'm wired-in with decades of guitar playing -- same chord forms but a fifth off, so with different names! What we call a C on 'uke still looks like a G to me. ;) I find it easier to name the music while practicing on mandolin and mandola (tuned very different from guitars and 'ukes) than on 'ukes (too much like guitar). Familiarity breed sloppy thinking. Yow.

My wife is just now learning her tenor 'uke. She can sight-read to sing but we're taking the chord approach and working with FRETBOARD ROADMAPS: UKULELE for theory/basics and DAILY UKULELE for songs. Her goal is therapeutic, to help recover from carpal tunnel and tendonitis resulting from a software-engineering career -- many decades of intensive keyboarding. Sore fingertips are the least of her pains. Practice until her fretting hand starts to hurt, then stop.

Good luck with your continuing progress!

1. Whats a descant, please?
2. Do you have a bari

k0k0peli
07-29-2015, 03:42 PM
Pretty regularly you hear someone say, "if all you want to do is strum, that's ok, but,,,,,,", then they go into a lecture, and if not just outright, they at least insinuate, that real ukulele players don't just strum. So I've tried hard to learn scales, finger picking, and everything else, but when it gets right down to it, no matter how good I get at all that razzle dazzle, I am always going back to strumming' and singing. To me, that is what it is all about. Getting all Chet Atkins on the frets can be very satisfying, but IMHO singing is key. One of the great mandolin virtuosos of late was Jethro Burns, who was very careful (as half of Homer & Jethro) not to let audiences know he was a whiz. He got rich by singing funny, not by playing fancy.


1. Whats a descant, please?
2. Do you have a bari 1) I was a little loose there. I should have said counter-melody, a mostly harmonic line that moves around the piece's melody without copying it. If you know the classic CHEAP THRILLS album (Big Brother and the Holding Company), think of the multi-guitar lines around Janis Joplin's singing SUMMERTIME. Those are what I mean by 'descant'.

2) Yes. My current Harmonia bari has a too-small voice; it's good for practicing *very* quietly. ;) I plan to get an inexpensive Washburn and string it as a Venezuelan cuatro (GceA). That should be a kick!

Purdy Bear
07-29-2015, 10:02 PM
Thanks for all the great hints and help. :)


Today I couldn't find my little notebook with all my bits in so had to work from the cheat sheets I'd made up, and the one the teacher on Saturday gave me. I've begun to recogise when a string is out of tune but still don't know why, I am sure that will come in time.

I did the strumming from the previous class with the metronome, and it's a bit harder to get it in sink with the ticking, it's the up stroke - I wasn't sure if that was a whole note or half, so played it the same as the down stroke.

Then I moved onto the chord sheet given to me by the teacher, and just tried my hand at the 30 chords/notes given there. The only thing that is confused me were some of the finger holds for instance in the Uncle Rods Ukulele Boot Camp booklet it says the G7 hold is 0212 and the Fm6 is 1213 - so how do you leap one string with the same finger? In the teachers chart is says to play G7 as 0213 which is easier of course.

For the theory I'm going to make up the flash/index cards with the stuff from lesson 1 and 2 so I can quizz myself. I wasn't sure whether to make up the cards for the chords/notes as well. I suppose it would be a good idea to do then I can go through them when I don't have the Ukulele with me. Oh and I've started shadow playing - ie fingering the notes in thin air - I truely believe in visualisation as a practice to learn, after all top sports people use it for prepping to race.



PPS: I know I'm guilty but I brought another Ukulele, I got an Octupus Soprano coming, so it's not expensive but more then my current one, plus the reviews were so great for them I just couldn't resist. I am going to behave though and not get any more for a while! It does mean that if my brother wants to play there is another available. He usually just takes stuff rather then asking, so it's always best to have an extra just in case.

Tootler
07-29-2015, 10:39 PM
There's a mistake in your teacher's chart. Uncle Rod's boot camp is right, G7 is 0212.

The G7 chord contains the notes GBDF and 0212 gives you (in the string order) GDFB which is the notes of a G7 chord. 0213 would give you GDFC. I don't know what chord that is but it will sound pretty dissonant.

I would suggest at this stage, you shouldn't be worrying about m6 chords. It's like learning to run before you can walk. Uncle Rod's boot camp gives you the basic chords you need at this stage. Start with learning to move between the chords in the key of C and G. Then, once you're confident with these you can move on to D and F. Chord charts are meant as a general reference so they will give you all the common and some less common chords based on each root note. They're meant as a reference not a learning tool. I once went to a workshop where the workshop leader gave out chord charts based on the chords in each key so I now do the same with my ukulele group. so for the key of C, you need C, F, G7 & Am and for the key of G you need G, C, D7 & Em. Get comfortable moving between those chords and you will have the chords for huge numbers of songs in all sorts of genres.

When I started, I found that most of the songs I sang, I could comfortably sing in C, G or D so I learnt to play the chords for those keys then gradually learnt other chords as and when I needed them.

autojoy
07-30-2015, 03:24 AM
I hope you enjoy your new Octopus Soprano! :) What colour did you get?

I'm really enjoying doing Uncle Rod's Bootcamp... I can see a clear difference week-to-week, with clarity of chords starting to really come through. It's great! :o

Also, may I ask how you're using the Flash Cards? I don't really know much about Flash Cards... is it like a test?

Purdy Bear
07-30-2015, 03:51 AM
Tootler - Thanks I'll scrap the teachers chart and go with Uncle Rod's booklet.

Autojoy - I've not received the Octopus yet, its the colbolt blue one, which is my favourite colour at the moment. My Sunwolf is purple, so I'm good with colour.

It looks like this one:
https://app.nventree.co.uk/media/img/779c03bc7cde4f438da26a3a9ca3ebb7/e437361182e34792ab76d9a13d756fb6/Custom800.jpg

The Americans call them flash cards, we call them index cards. You just get the usual cards you use for addresses. You usually have a question on one side and the answer on the other. I've used the system when I did my last English Exam, as well as a wipe board.

Here's a how to for the flash cards - for mine I cut the cards in half to get double the quantity:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WGvO98aAcU4

Here's a music based one:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G5XxaG8fCb0


PS I've checked a few websites, and it seems there is no firm school of thought on what fingers play which chords, some use one position while others use a different one. I did wonder how one was supposed to play two strings with one string in the middle of them (ie 2323, 1213 etc).

k0k0peli
07-30-2015, 08:03 AM
PS I've checked a few websites, and it seems there is no firm school of thought on what fingers play which chords, some use one position while others use a different one. That's because we variously-sized humans are handling variously-sized fretboards. (My 'ukes range between 32-38mm wide at the nut.) We can't all fit our variously-sized fingers into the same positions. So we learn adaptations, tricks, make-dos -- we hack the fingering as needed. Some of our fingers are fit for sopraninos and piccolos; others can only work on basses. We play what we can.


I did wonder how one was supposed to play two strings with one string in the middle of them (ie 2323, 1213 etc). 2323: Barre across fret 2 with first finger; at fret 3, put bird finger on the C string and ring finger on the A string. 1213: Similar position, barred at fret 1. And practice, practice, practice...

Purdy Bear
07-30-2015, 10:07 PM
K0K0peli - that explains a lot. I looked through the Dummies guide and it pretty much says the same. Multiple ways to play the same chord/note.

Today I've done a bit of everything, trying out new chords, practicing the old with the Metronome, doing the strumming practice. I did find this tutorial about the mechanics of the body with strumming in the other section. It's well worth a watch, as I've only been playing for 6 days I'm sure I could incorporate it in easily without having to relearn too much. From a psychological point of view it has been proven that it is 6 times as hard to relearn something you've done wrong then to learn it right the first time.


http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?108962-body-mechanics-and-strumming

Purdy Bear
07-31-2015, 10:27 PM
Today I've started to expand a little bit, by doing two new lessons.

The first was this one, which I really enjoyed and managed to do a reasonable effort of the tune a the end. It was so exciting to get a decent bit of music out of my Uke. I've litterally been playing for just 7 days - amazing, and not I've never picked up an string instrument before let alone played one.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y_qBwSr2WbY&index=1&list=PLvgviF5YwTE3le1bIlueZurH6YJt5RCF3


The second, was this one by Ukulele Mike on a warm up finger exercise. This I found really hard, but I'm sure I will progress. With this exercise I tried to make sure I used the correct strumming finger for the string being used (TIMR), this again I found to be hard.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pse641zHpP8&index=1&list=PLvgviF5YwTE3le1bIlueZurH6YJt5RCF3

I am really enjoying doing this lesson.


Oh and I tried out a neck strap to hold the Uke, but I do have a problem there, so it didn't work well. I'm going to have to look at some others and make it myself or buy another one. If anyone can recommend a strap that doesn't use the neck as a base I would love to know what it is?


Ps The dog lead strap method, this would work for me and yes I have lots of dog leads and do come in some great designs:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Hm27VyM96Y

Here's another one to guy, something like this would work for me, as the pressure isn't on the neck:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fymOgH148DA

A women specific strap configuration, for us ladies with a good sized bust:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x2KTgLe9G1M

PPS the last lady mentioned the UU thread on boobs in another one of her videos so here's the link to that:

http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?90328-Playing-with-Boobs&highlight=female+anatomy

Purdy Bear
08-01-2015, 10:39 PM
Today I increased the practice to 25 minutes, as my fingers were getting used to the 10 minute slot. I did the finger warm up exercise, and also did a bit of picking with the appropriate finger for the strings. Then I introduced Dm Bb and C7, and went through the Chilli Monster tune a few times, add the Metronome to the end to get the change overs smoother.

The only problem was working out how to do the thumb hold for the Bb which is a bit of a stretch.

I've got the paper design for a music bag with attached pocket for the Ukulele in paper format. I just need to make up the bag up and see how it goes from there.

Purdy Bear
08-02-2015, 10:42 PM
I went through the warm up for left hand, 5 strum patterns, Chilli Monsters tune, then Blowing in the Wind and Doe Rae Me a few times. Although I really don't like doing the later, it does show you where the hesitations are from, so I will continue to do it. I prefer to play the actual tune.

The problems I had were, hesitations between changing notes, some mix up with strumming patterns which was caused by saying them the wrong way (ie down up down, in stead of 1 and 2), soar fingers and some right arm pain from my neck problem which eased up once the muscles warmed up a bit.

As far as goodies brought, I've purchased some 25mm woven ribbon to make an easy shoulder strap, and the clips needed to do it.

Purdy Bear
08-03-2015, 11:09 PM
As yesterday but I added a few bits:

Exercise two of Ukulele Mikes left hand warm up:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fBitddC6uw0&list=PLyUCWWpmnSAW3zl2YE_pQUzPQ1rvMyNup

I also used the appropriate finger to pluck the string for the above.

Then using finger 1 with string 4 I slid it up each fret to make a good sounding note and not a dead sound. This I followed with finger 2 and string 3, finger 3 string 2 and finally finger 4 and string 1.

Lastlyl I did some strumming and noises on the body with hand slaps etc.


Oh and I've gone from using an A4 page to note down my daily lesson, to using an A5 book, as it's easier to use and I don't need to print a page out every few days. It's going to be nice to see the books on a shelf as well, and thus easy to find a class if I ever need to teach etc. but that later is year away. I just note down the date, instrument used, what I've done, any problems arisen and things I enjoyed, with comments if I need it. At the front I've listed the Ukulele I have, with the strings used. The journal also has the start date and the finish date will in when needed.

PS I've also started to dream that I'm playing really well, I wonder if any other beginners get that?

PPS I've just found this free printable song book, it has both types of descriptions (ie staffs and also chords/words)
http://satyacolombo.com/wp-content/uploads/HappyUkuleleSongbook_v2.pdf

Purdy Bear
08-04-2015, 02:14 AM
I just found this illustration that may help understand the relationship between notes on the fretboard and what you see on a staff:

http://www.traditionalmusic.co.uk/its-easy-to-make-music/make-music-0038.htm

I found another chart which shows the chord on the fret and also what it would look like on the staff:

http://marvelinthesky.com/

EDIT NB THE ABOVE FRET IS WRONG FOR A GCEA TUNE UKE. See post 32 for other charts covering that set up.

Purdy Bear
08-05-2015, 04:35 AM
Todays practices were based about getting to know the fret board, and what notes are where. I've drawn up my own chart and next I'm going to colour it all in to see the relationship between the notes.

Purdy Bear
08-05-2015, 09:28 PM
The practice today was for 25 minutes, and my fingers just began to get soar at the end, so the tips have started to toughen up. After the two warm up exercises I played a medley of some of the notes I knew, then tried to do C,F, G7 with my eyes closed. This was 90% successful. Then came finger picking practice with the correct right hand finger/thumb to string.

The fret knowledge came next, so I got my colour chart out, and practiced just finding individual notes and making a decent non-dead sound with the plucking. Then I began to work on what I will call the home keys (from my time touch typing). These are keys that you base your knowledge round, a bit like a road sign, thus they are those round the dots on the fret board ( dafc, ebgd, gda#/Bb E7). I really enjoyed doing this, as I actually got to play 3 Blind Mice.

Lastly I tried to remember, without looking, the chords I covered at the beginning of the lesson. The only ones I forgot were Bb and E7.

FRET BOARD NOTE : The previous fret board I posted is wrong, I don't know who wrote it up, or what Ukulele it was for but it had something like 14 frets. Here's a correct version of the 12 fret board, which I based my own chart on:

http://www.ukulelestrummers.com/Photos/fretboard5.jpg

and another few that confirms that the first one I gave a few posts back was wrong.
http://www.carlyjamison.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/uke-fretboard-465x1024.jpg

Purdy Bear
08-06-2015, 10:05 PM
The next in Chillie Monsters Lessons came today, so lesson 2:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8PyfUuTaxj8

Here's the website for the music sheet he mentions - scroll down the the Blitzkrieg Bob:
http://www.shroprock.co.uk/ChiliMonsterEasy1.html#blitz

I think it's going to take me a while to do this one, so maybe a good weeks work if not more.

Oh and my strings are staying in tune a bit better now, I don't have to adjust them so much, thus I think they are working in fine.

Purdy Bear
08-08-2015, 07:16 AM
Todays lesson was the same as above. I then went through some of the chords to see if I could find an easier hold, I found quite a few.

Purdy Bear
08-09-2015, 09:45 PM
I did the warm ups, playing the following with eyes closed: C G G7 F Am and Dm, with work begun on the Bb to memorize. I found galloping ahead wasn't working as I didn't remember the note, plus no muscle memory. Played through the Blitszkrieg Bop and Chilli Monsters lesson 1 tune.

ohmless
08-10-2015, 05:03 AM
sometimes I can break a rut and put more reinforcement in the muscle memory by practicing differently. Same material but practice twice a day for 20 minutes to a half an hour instead of a single 45-60 minute practice for example.

Purdy Bear
08-10-2015, 10:34 PM
Thanks Ohmless, I've reduced it back to 10 minutes twice a day, just until my hands get a bit more used to it.

Today I went through the norm and carried on practicing with my eyes closed, and working on Bb. The Blitzkrieg Bop is coming along nicely, although I found it difficult to get the up strum typing in sync with the metronome.

I found the Ukulele Nationwide Music Examination webpage, for those in the UK, to help me with my daily syllabus. I've done flute exams before and I know what it takes to pass one, so I'm not sure I will go down that road with a Uke, but I would still like to get to the levels to be able to do them.

http://www.nationwidemusicexams.co.uk/syllabus/ukulele/

On top of the above exams, you have to sit a theory exam at grade 5, and you can't progess to grade 5 onwards in the practical without it. I failed my last one, so if I did go down that road I would definitely need a lot of work on that.

Ps I worked out why my fingers are extra sore - I've been hand sewing a thick faux leather - says it all!

Purdy Bear
08-12-2015, 05:24 AM
Eye closed work today, so G G7 C F Am Dm Bb all with out seeing the fret or looking. I also did strumming practice to a very slow metronome, while playing the Blitzkrieg Bop.

Received Jake Shimabukuro Cd Dragon to inspire me to work harder.
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Dragon-Us-Import-Jake-Shimabukuro/dp/B000AY9P3E/ref=ntt_mus_ep_dpi_11

Snupple
08-12-2015, 04:48 PM
... From a psychological point of view it has been proven that it is 6 times as hard to relearn something you've done wrong then to learn it right the first time.

http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?108962-body-mechanics-and-strumming

I am also a absolute beginner, having my uke for only 3 days, so just doing some basic finger strengthening exercise and practising strumming also. Your statement is exactly what I am afraid of, I don't want to learn a particular way of playing only to find out there is a better/easier way later. I'm also watching a lot of youtube lesson videos and reading a lot of ebooks and doing 2 things. 1) finding the best set of lessons that I can understand and 2) Seeing what the most popular way of playing is.

I want to do the right way in the best order. the Dummies book for example says you can jump around the whole book and play different parts, whereas some books say to read them in order.

Having fun anyway, and thats the most important thing!

Purdy Bear
08-13-2015, 12:21 AM
I agree having fun is the best thing. One thing I've found is that there really is no wrong way unless your going to take the Music board exams, if your just going to play for yourself then why worry.

I've come down with a head cold, so just kept it to the basics. I did think about not practicing, but thought that might be detrimental. The metronome has been brilliant for practicing the chords, and findng hestitation points.

Oh and I've finished my first music bag. I wanted something large enough to put everything in, as well as the Ukulele on the outside. It's a huge messenger bag, with a flap at the front, a pocket on each side, a zip inner lining and a pouch for the Ukulele to sit on the side. It's very light weight, so if I ever get well enough to travel would make a great carry on for the plane or the like. I've made plenty of messenger/satchel bags before, just nothing for a specific use. It may well work for College when I get back to that if ever.

Purdy Bear
08-15-2015, 02:08 AM
I've just been doing the basic 10 minute practice at the moment, I've got a head cold, so not up to too much. I have noticed the strings are staying in key a bit better, and the sound I'm making is nicer (louder and more resonant). For 4 weeks starts today, so I'm pretty happy with my progress so far.

Purdy Bear
08-17-2015, 12:24 AM
I'm still dealing with a heavy cold, so I've just been doing the very basics.

Purdy Bear
08-17-2015, 11:07 PM
I felt a bit better today so ended up doing a 35 minute practice. I went through all the chords I knew so far, some finger picking with the proper fingers per string. What I really enjoyed was to do the 5 strumming patterns while doing the chords from memory, so making up my own tune. Lastly I tired to learn some of the fret board, plus finger stretches. I saw the later on a video but can't remember what, I think it was by Jake Shimabukuro. You place finger one on the 1st fret and then stretch out the other fingers along the fret board to stretch the muscles.

I really enjoyed it, and considering I'm only on 4th week of learning I'm amazed how far I've come. In parrellel on the flute I could just about get a noise out of the flute head, and just attached the two other piece so didn't know any notes at this stage - flutes don't play chords.

Purdy Bear
08-18-2015, 10:31 PM
Today I introduced a new finger warm up practice, as I was getting on fine with the first two I had been doing. This is a Mandolin finger practice so I just did the same on the Ukulele. I just attempted the first two:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-mb7LfqrAkE

Then I tackled the notes I'd learnt so far, then concentrated on the C chord family (C, Dm, Em, F, G7 and Am) from the teachers sheet. Followed by strumming practice while doing the C chord family gradually getting faster and faster, the interchange between Dm and Em seemed to be a probelm I need to practice. It was great fun, I loved it.

Purdy Bear
08-19-2015, 11:14 PM
I did a bit of everything today, the warm ups, strumming exercises and chord knowledge. At the end I went over the first two or three songs/tunes I had tried a few backs and found them all pretty easy, there was a little bit of hesitation and one note I forgot, other then that it went well. I could really see my progression in the last weeks.

NB My first ever month of playing the Uke is Saturday. I've only had one 30 minute lesson.


PS For Theory I learnt about the Circle of fifths - totally mind boggling but I'm sure it will come in handy when I start to write my own music:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qtSV1dsce5Q


PPSAlso how to make your own Uke/Guitar wall hangers:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ChGKT16mQWE

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LB2kxFjXoJA

PPPS and as inspiration I'm listening to Jake Shimabukuro's CD Dragon.

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

Purdy Bear
08-20-2015, 10:41 PM
Introduced myself to the song 'Here Comes the Sun'. Yes I could play all the notes, but those Tab sheets are mind boggling. I checked out the video on YT about it, but I am going to have to find the sheet music for it.

http://sanjoseukeclub.org/Song%20Book/Here%20Comes%20the%20Sun%20(chords%20and%20tabs).p df

I wonder if Tab sheets were made for those who couldn't read music, and I wonder how good they are in the long term, for those who want to play in an orchestra etc. Would it be better just to learn to read sheet music, fortunately for me I already can!

Part of the sheet music for the song
http://www.musicnotes.com/sheetmusic/mtd.asp?ppn=MN0130233

ohmless
08-20-2015, 11:25 PM
Here comes the sun is more advanced of a song IMO since you need to swap between fingerpicking and strumming. That is about the only tough part as the fingerpicking is pretty basic and so are the chord shapes. I have similar long term projects that have tricky chords that I don't have down solid yet. I have been strumming off and on for a couple years now and just started to learn to fingerpick. This was one of my first songs with the fingerpicking and I still get tripped up with it at times a couple months later.

I would recommend putting in the time bars on your PDF so you don't get lost when fingerpicking as to when to pick what. If the songsheet doesn't work for you here is another:

http://stewartgreenhill.com/ukulele/HereComesTheSun.html

I also found it helpful to strum with the thumb in songs that require swapping between picking and strumming. Have fun! This is a very rewarding song when you start to get it.

Purdy Bear
08-21-2015, 10:46 PM
Thanks for that, if it's for advanced then I better leave it for a few months before attempting it again. LOL!

Today's practice was the usual warm up, and chord knowledge, I then tried to find all the notes on the fret board. I'd printed out the board and notes on an A4 sheet, coloured them in, so I just needed to actually find them. Starting off with all the As, then all the Bs etc, just doing the whole notes, then each ABCDEFGs. Each was plucked with the approapriate finger 4 times just to begin to get my 'ear' into the notes.

PS I've just found this bonkers cartoon on how to learn the Ukulele fret board notes:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xw2ODwnNcc0

jollyboy
08-22-2015, 01:15 AM
Hi PB,

I also am just now starting out with Here Comes The Sun. I enjoy having projects that I can work on in stages - in this case I find the strumming pretty straightforward and something that I can get my head around in the short term whilst the finger-picking will definitely take some time (lots of time I suspect) and is something I can keep coming back too.

I have been looking for a suitable Beatles song for a while. I vaguely remember David Bowie saying in an interview that what he liked about Beatles songs was that there was always one weird chord. I think this maybe mostly true of McCartney songs - I find myself strumming along nicely and then I suddenly encounter some diminished-suspended-sixth-minor-sharp mutant monstrosity. Looking it up on the chart I quickly discover that I just wasn't born with that many fingers :P

Anyway, good luck with the song :)

Purdy Bear
08-22-2015, 01:27 AM
Thanks

I can remember watching a programme about the Beatles songs and how revolutionary they were in composer ship. Apparently they used a system of chords, notes or the way they wrote the music that had never been done before. I loved the Band since a small child, probably more so since my Mother absolutely hated them. I'm an Angel really!


On a slightly different note - I've ordered the Ukulele from the Beginning stage 1 and 2 books, so I've got a bit more structure to my practice. Coming from the Flautist background, I'm used to having a work book and structure, plus it's going to show my progression a bit better. Oh and I will be posting my Monthly over all notes today or tomorrow - this has gone so quickly it's unreal.

ohmless
08-22-2015, 02:08 AM
oh don't let me hold you back, the song is still very doable, will just take you time to get it all together. Still all together worthwhile. My long term projects are working on a couple songs that have Abm in it.

As for easier beatles songs, I could recommend either the melody or the chords for All My Loving, or Eight Days a Week(if you are ready for Bb chords). Both are in the Hal Leonard Easy Songs for Ukulele and in a great beginner book called 21 Easy Songs for Ukulele. I own both books and still reference them and learn from them. http://www.musicroom.com/se/id_no/01017926/details.html

Purdy Bear
08-22-2015, 02:30 AM
Thanks Ohm I will keep at it, and I've just ordered a copy of the book. It will keep me out of mischief for a little bit longer.


PS Here's the Monthly Round Up:

Studied for: 1 Month
Weeks studied for: 4
Time studied for: 12 hours 44 minutes
Notes covered: 19 of which about 5 I know well
Strumming patterns: 5
Songs attempted: 5 which I can play 2 well
Day missed: 1 due to a head cold.

The time is just for actual practice sessions, and doesn't include any other research like watching videos and theory.

Purdy Bear
08-23-2015, 01:44 AM
Today I went over all the bits I'd done so far, and added some TAB finger picking practice, as well as fret stuff.

Purdy Bear
08-24-2015, 02:25 AM
I did the usual today, and tried to do a strum which started on an upstroke, well that was really hard, my brain didn't like that one bit. This afternoons practice was cut short as my inconsiderate neighbour is playing teen music at full volume and I can hear the words through the walls. Considering they have very young children in there, including a baby one would think they would know how easy it is to damage a childs ear drums. Grrrrrrrrrrrr.

Plane Ignerints
08-24-2015, 02:30 AM
I like the idea of a progress blog. I may have to start one myself.

Purdy Bear
08-25-2015, 12:41 AM
Great idea Plane. I have the one on here, one I note my prograss (A5 book) and also a small A5 moleskin book to note down anything I learn. Lastly I have a binder to put in any print offs I need.

I tried these strumming methods today, while trying to find the buzz (see other thread):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J_dIPS9R8kU

Purdy Bear
08-26-2015, 01:10 AM
I did my usual practice today with no buzzing at all. The weather is very wet here, plus I'm really trying to get my left hand fingering correct to make the strings sing properly.

Do you think I need to put any atomospheric stuff in with the Ukulele - ie the opposite to a humidifer - living in the UK is predomenantly wet with temperatures rarely getting above 30 in the Summer and going as low as - 5 in the Winter during the day.

Purdy Bear
08-27-2015, 12:38 AM
Today I did a bit of work on chord changes. Instead of moving one finger at a time, I lifted them all up, repositioned then put them all down at the same time. I'm hoping this may make a quicker chord change eventually. Starting off slowly, eventually using the metronome as a time keeper, gradually getting faster.

I've received the Ukulele from the Beginning book 2, so I just need to get the book 1, which I've also ordered, to give my lessons a little bit more structure.

Purdy Bear
08-28-2015, 11:01 PM
I recieved the book 1 mentioned above, so I've tried a few tunes on there, as well as the usual practice. I am so much happier having sheet music. The only problme now is getting the right Ukulele note to match those on the staves (ie the low C and the middle C and high C). These notes are easy on the flute I used to play, I just need to find the equivalents on the Uke.

I've ordered a complete set of picks ( I needed them to play the Mandolin I just purchased), so made a lovely little felt book with pockets inside to hold them all. It's not finished yet, but I'll put in a picture when it is. The picks I can play with the strings to find the best one that suits each instrument, the Ukulele I will probably still use my fingers, but it will be nice to have another option.


Here's some examples of a needle book, which the pick book is based. Where in the needle book there is just one page, I'm making little pockets with a press stud/popper closure to keep the pick in place:

https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=needle+book&rlz=1C1CHFX_en-GBGB556GB556&es_sm=93&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0CCEQsARqFQoTCOb74qX3zccCFQK8FAodz4kPeQ&biw=1517&bih=732&dpr=0.9#imgrc=_

Purdy Bear
08-30-2015, 02:32 AM
I've just been working through the teachers sheet he gave me, a lot of strumming practice with the notes I know so far, trying not to have any hesitations. I've also managed to do up to page 14 on the Ukulele book for Beginners nos 1.

Purdy Bear
08-31-2015, 03:59 AM
I went through the notes I know so far, I think I'm finding it hard to remember a lot of them I may need to get the flash cards out to really get them in to my long term memory well. I'm sure the muscle memory is coming along fine.

I tried 2 more songs in the beginners book, but as I've never heard of the songs it was a bit hard to know how they should go.

Purdy Bear
09-01-2015, 04:04 AM
I just went over the notes, and strumming learnt so far today. Also I found a good tutorial on how to warm up the hands before playing, it was just bending the fingers in certain ways with a basic massage in the beginning.

The buzzing was back today, but I was giving the strings a good strong strum, so it may have been that. The heating was back on just to take the chill out of the air as it had turned a little chilly for me, so that could be another reason.

Purdy Bear
09-02-2015, 07:06 AM
I recieved the '21 Easy Songs for Ukulele' today. The way Ukulele Tabs is written is taking some far getting used to, it's becoming increasingly annoying. The book has all the words, the fret charts and even the strums, but does it actually have the notes for the singer to sing - nope. That's fine if you know the tune but if you don't your scuppered. Grrrrrrrrrr. It's not just the Ukulele stuff you get this with, it's also with the Mandolin as well.

Here's the frustration explained, with woodwind instruments, you start off learning the fingering and the corresponding stave note at the same time. You then practice these and gradually add more over time, expanding your knowledge. Thus you learn to read music as you learn to play the instrument. This doesn't look like it's done with the Ukulele, nor some of the Mandolin literature I've found. Luckily for the later I've just picked up a decent book which does teach the notes, fingering etc with the stave notes. Also a lot of the books concentrate on the chords and not the basic notes, thus you can get right to the back of the book before you even learn the basic ABCDEFG notes. It's all very frustrating!

ohmless
09-02-2015, 07:35 AM
after doing the chilimonster videos on youtube I continued my practice with that book. I chose three songs I was familiar with and practiced them every day for about 5 months. This was good practice to get better at rhythm and to learn to memorize the songs(I chose Everyday, Peggy Sue and All My Loving because they were most familiar). I focused more on picking melody lines when I graduated to another fine book called Jumpin' Jim's 60's Uke In because that book has melody lines included with the chords above them. That is more of an intermediate book I would say though.

Purdy Bear
09-04-2015, 06:51 AM
I like Chilli monsters lessons too.

I've been learning about chosed chords and open chords, as well as fret knowledge. I may need to visit the local music shop to see if I can pick up some beginners book, as well as arpeggio sheet music (unless I can convert my flute one) and introduce myself around a bit.

The buzz was back again then went again, so I'm thinking it could well be my fingering. I'm going to have to study a close up of some players to see how it is done properly, and make sure I'm not picking up any bad habits.

Purdy Bear
09-06-2015, 05:28 AM
I tried to trace the Buzz today, it's either the way I am playing with the left hand fingers, or it's coming from within the instrument itself. I may need change over to the Octupus now rather in October as planned. I really wanted to get the 'battering' of the first newbie attempts to be on the Sunwolf before I moved up. I've got to cut my nails again and see if the buzz continues. If it does and it is within the body I don't have a clue how to fix it!

I've found some scales and arpeggios to help concentrate my lessons. I'm getting more and more frustrated the way the Ukulele beginner books are layed out, so I'll just make my own with the stuff I need. It seems the books are either set out for the under 10 year olds, or just have fret boards and no staves. Grrrrrrrr! I may need to concentrate on video lessons rather then books and see how it goes.

Funnily enough, for the Mandolin I found a good book straight away and learning a lot faster then with the Ukulele. I've found the Uke to be very relaxing while the Mandolin is invigerating.

Purdy Bear
09-07-2015, 02:43 AM
As the Sunwolf has the Buzz, I've got the Octopus out to see if I still get a buzz with that, if I do I know it's my playing and not the Sunwolf.

I'm just going to concentrate on the notes and chords I know for now so I can get the muscle memory in, and also get the notes/chords into my long term memory.


PS I tried the Octopus and that was still buzzing so it's my playing and not the Sunwolf, so I'll go back to that. The horrid thing about the Octupus was it's constant slipping from key, and I mean within a minute it was off key. Grrrrr.

Chopped Liver
09-07-2015, 03:58 PM
I've found some scales and arpeggios to help concentrate my lessons.

Thanks for all the video links to the finger exercises. Where did you find the scales and arpeggios?

ohmless
09-07-2015, 04:18 PM
I am no master of music, but I make arpeggios by putting my fingers in a chord shape then pick in the right order when I figure the song out. I know how to find the scales but to be honest I stink at soloing. haha

For scales, they all are movable AFAIK.

Here is a video to the major scales.

http://youtu.be/gizvWMppqyY

here is the minor pentatonic scales
http://youtu.be/WSevRgWnBbY

Purdy Bear
09-08-2015, 02:46 AM
Thanks, I'll have to try that one out.

I tried the Octopus again today, and she behaved and stayed in tune. Things went a lot better today. I remembered the short term memory only holds 7 items at once before it chucks something out and you forget, so I've reduced the bits I need to learn to 5, in hope that they will go into and stay in.

Purdy Bear
09-10-2015, 04:13 AM
I can testify to the healing powers of the Ukulele, for today my arm was killing me, I have a trapped nerve in my neck so get pretty bad pain down the arm. Well I thought I'd just try to do my practice and well the pain is gone now. Kissing Ukulele as we speak. It does mean when I wake up a night with the pain, I may do some quick Uke notes and see if it shifts the pain. Phewwwwwwwwwwwwwww!

I'm just concentrating on learning the notes I have done so far, in groups of five. I really liked the above video and box method, so I'm definitely going to try that too.

Purdy Bear
09-12-2015, 04:40 AM
I only did a short practice today compared with the usual 20 minutes twice a day. For this one I decided to use a pick to see what it was like, and it was great, so I may well try and use one more.

Purdy Bear
09-15-2015, 02:07 AM
I had a mini break through today. I'd been getting very frustrated with the tutorial books out there, and I'm still waiting for a recommended buy to come from Amazon, but yesterday I found a thread which mentioned the PDF Minstrel. Well I went over there, and found some grade 1 sheet music, and tried them out today. I managed to work out the tabs, it's so frustratingly upside down as usual, but I actually got a decent tune going. It actually sounded like the music it should, instead of just clunking one chord for a whole line. It also had the notes so timing was easy to do, unlike some Uke music that doesn't include that, nor the song notes. I'm a lot happier now, and hopefully can progress quicker now.

Here's a comparison, with the Ukulele it's taken me nearly 2 months to do and find the sheet music which I could play for a solo piece. For the Mandolin which I've only been learning just under 2 weeks, I've already got 3 decent solo tunes out of it, simply because the book I have actually taught you to do so, instead of doing chord accompaniments.

My continued frustration is with how the Ukulele seems to be taught these days, not only through books, but on You Tube etc. Everything is based on getting people playing accompaniment chords to a singing voice which is carrying the tune and not the Ukulele. It also allows someone to play without knowing sheet music, timing etc. How then can a person with a serious wish to progress and finally play with others be expected to do so not having all the tools. How can anyone know what the tune is to play, the song lyrics, and timing of said piece without sheet music to do so. I just don't know how they do it, it would drive me completely potty doing it the new one.

My conclusions is that if you want to play in the back ground then do your chords, if you, like me prefer to be a soloist type player, then please get yourself a decent book which teaches you to read music and the base clef which is now called TABS in the Ukulele world.

Mivo
09-15-2015, 02:28 AM
Doesn't quite of your mandolin knowledge transfer to the ukulele?

Have you looked at Samantha Muir's free booklet for finger picking style? She also has several inexpensive song books with accompanying videos. Wilfried Welti's free Solobuch (http://ukulelehunt.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/11/solobuch1.pdf) has normal sheet music plus tabs (it's in German) and is beginner-friendly.

Purdy Bear
09-15-2015, 02:39 AM
Yes it does, not on the note chord point of view, but certainly for strumming, and just warming up/stretching the hands.

Thanks for the Welti link, and I've looked at the Muir website I'll take a lot at her books.

Snupple
09-15-2015, 08:25 PM
I had a mini break through today. I'd been getting very frustrated with the tutorial books out there, and I'm still waiting for a recommended buy to come from Amazon,

Hi Purdy,

Would you mind mentioning which tutorial books you did find useful now you have been playing for a while?

Cheers

Purdy Bear
09-15-2015, 09:24 PM
I have yet to find one. The best out of a bad lot is the Dummies guide, but I am looking for something specific. The woodwind instruments are taught by slowly teaching you notes - not chords - this is how the Mandolin book I have is designed. It basically teaches the main notes on the 4th string, then the 3rd, and so on. Thus you slowly start to learn the scales, which all music is based around. From this you then learn the arpeggios and form the muscle memory This is what I want from the Ukulele book, even if I have to make one up myself.

The ones I have - Ukulele for Beginners - takes you through the chords so you learn to be an accompaniment for a song, and not the main tune. Another is even worse which is the 21 songs for Ukulele, it is so basic it's ridiculous. If you just want to play chords and not a the main tune of a song the books are for you, but that isn't what I want. Yes I can sing well, but I still want to be able to play the Uke as main music and not the backing. I have one more ordered from Amazon, if that isn't what I require then I'm going to have to start visiting local music shops to see if they have anything, if all else fails I'll contact Chappells of Bond Street, now called Yamaha which is the top music store. That is where I got all my exam music for the Flute some years ago, so I'm hoping they would have the same for the Uke.

For making up the book myself, I will need to study a few more sheet music base clef tabs, to find the correct fingering for the entire scales, and then make up the pages from that. The hardest part would be finding the tunes which would build the muscle memory, but I guess the Mandolin book would be a good start for that.

Oh just incase there are any Mandolin players just starting out, the book is by Larry McCabe who is a Music Teacher in the USA and is called How to Play Mandolin and it comes with a CD.


PS Had a light bulb moment, I've just looked up McCabe and he does a Ukulele book, so I'm going to see if I can get a copy of that in hope it's layed out the same as the Mandolin one.

Chopped Liver
09-15-2015, 11:41 PM
I have yet to find one. The best out of a bad lot is the Dummies guide, but I am looking for something specific. The woodwind instruments are taught by slowly teaching you notes - not chords - this is how the Mandolin book I have is designed. It basically teaches the main notes on the 4th string, then the 3rd, and so on. Thus you slowly start to learn the scales, which all music is based around. From this you then learn the arpeggios and form the muscle memory This is what I want from the Ukulele book, even if I have to make one up myself.

The ones I have - Ukulele for Beginners - takes you through the chords so you learn to be an accompaniment for a song, and not the main tune. Another is even worse which is the 21 songs for Ukulele, it is so basic it's ridiculous. If you just want to play chords and not a the main tune of a song the books are for you, but that isn't what I want. Yes I can sing well, but I still want to be able to play the Uke as main music and not the backing. I have one more ordered from Amazon, if that isn't what I require then I'm going to have to start visiting local music shops to see if they have anything, if all else fails I'll contact Chappells of Bond Street, now called Yamaha which is the top music store. That is where I got all my exam music for the Flute some years ago, so I'm hoping they would have the same for the Uke.

For making up the book myself, I will need to study a few more sheet music base clef tabs, to find the correct fingering for the entire scales, and then make up the pages from that. The hardest part would be finding the tunes which would build the muscle memory, but I guess the Mandolin book would be a good start for that.

Oh just incase there are any Mandolin players just starting out, the book is by Larry McCabe who is a Music Teacher in the USA and is called How to Play Mandolin and it comes with a CD.


PS Had a light bulb moment, I've just looked up McCabe and he does a Ukulele book, so I'm going to see if I can get a copy of that in hope it's layed out the same as the Mandolin one.

Keep us posted on finding that book by McCabe. I'd be interested.

Also, thanks for the discussion. I want to know where the notes are on the uke so I can pick up a hymn book or any other book and play the songs even without tabs. You have made me realize that I need to go look up those sites that have the notes all listed on the fret board - it's all laid out for you.

Purdy Bear
09-16-2015, 02:15 AM
They do have the fret board, but not a lot of them have the full sheet music scale in relation to the fret board.

Chopped Liver
09-16-2015, 03:53 PM
They do have the fret board, but not a lot of them have the full sheet music scale in relation to the fret board.

http://liveukulele.com/tabs/scales/

Purdy Bear
09-17-2015, 02:21 AM
Thanks for the link, it does give scales so that's one thing to add to my file, not arpeggios which really build the muscle memory, but i guess I can work those out myself from the scales.

Chopped Liver
09-17-2015, 11:26 AM
How about this?
http://ukulelehunt.com/2013/04/24/ten-arpeggio-exercises-plus-a-song-to-improve-your-fingerpicking-on-ukulele/

http://ukulelesecrets.org/2012/04/15/ukulele-secret-12-the-campanella-arpeggio-workout/

Purdy Bear
09-18-2015, 09:29 AM
Thanks for the links I'm going to have to use them. The McCabe book came it's also set around learning chords, it doesn't cover learning sheet music at all, which is a hard one for those who have no experiences with it, luckily I have.

I'm going to have to make up my own book from the stuff I have so far, and what I can find on the next.

One good thing is that my teacher is starting up classes soon, so I can go along to those for a bit of inspiration etc. One reason I got the Ukulele was to get me out the house again for a bit of socialising.

Chopped Liver
09-18-2015, 11:18 AM
Thanks for the links I'm going to have to use them. The McCabe book came it's also set around learning chords, it doesn't cover learning sheet music at all, which is a hard one for those who have no experiences with it, luckily I have.

I'm going to have to make up my own book from the stuff I have so far, and what I can find on the next.

One good thing is that my teacher is starting up classes soon, so I can go along to those for a bit of inspiration etc. One reason I got the Ukulele was to get me out the house again for a bit of socialising.

If you make that book, I'd be interested.

I can read music and want to be able to pick up a hymn book or whatever and just play my uke without tabs. I think I have my work cut out for me.

I should look for a teacher. I need to get out and socialize, too . . . I'd rather stay home, though . . .

Purdy Bear
09-19-2015, 04:19 AM
It will be more of a set of print offs in a folder, but you get my drift. Here's what I am going to do so you can set up your own book:

1. You need to know the notes on the stave compared to the notes you play, so find sheet music with the Tab below, that way you can work out the correct position for each note.

2. You then find a copy of the major and minor scales to start with and marry the stave notes with the tab positions, and thus can play the scales.

3. Once you have the scales you then need to work out the arppegios to build up muscle memory, this will help you play as you wont need to look at the instrument to play the note instead look at the sheet music. This is where a LOT of tutorials come up a cropper as the sheet music gives you the note length of time to be played. You will need to learn music theory, but if you pick it up as you go along it wont be that hard.

4. Lastly, and the most difficult to find is the tunes to play to build up the muscle memory, this will be different depending on the instrument played. It's normally pretty fiddly stuff a bit like arpeggios. I do have my flute stuff so I may check with that, or see if I can find the internet version.

After all this is just getting the sheet music to play and just practice a lot. This website gives the music with the grade numbers beside it, grade 1 is for beginners working up to 8 for very advanced. The grades are based around the UK exam board music exams which are graded the same. I did up to 4 on the flute.

https://pdfminstrel.wordpress.com/2-standard-high-g-ukulele-pdfs/



I'm a lot happier now I'm doing fingerpicking, the songs actually sound like they should and I can hum along if I wish to. I've also found my first A major scale so tried that out today. I really feel I'm getting somewhere now, and my little Octupus is happier. It's my 2 month anniversary. :)

Chopped Liver
09-19-2015, 05:19 AM
Yeah, I really like the stuff on the pdfminstrel site.

Happy Anniversary!

Chopped Liver
09-19-2015, 05:51 AM
Found some free resources that might help some:
http://www.ukuleleintheclassroom.com/resources_C6.htm


ETA: ok, after looking through those, the only one that helps me is the Notes on the ukulele in home position diagram.

Purdy Bear
09-22-2015, 02:26 AM
Thanks for the best wishes, and also the link, I was able to find a basic scale.

I've typed out a new fret sheet with stave on Open Office Spreadsheet, so I can now make my own tutorial notes of my own. I want to put the note name, the position on the fret and the stave note position. This way what ever way the pupil wants to learn they have the reference, thus don't need to cross reference several places at once.

I received the book called Beginning Ukulele by Greg Horne and Shana Aisenberg - part of the Complete Ukulele Method Guides. It actually looks pretty good, it basically covers all the bases with both chords, tabs and sheet music covered. I'll see how I go with it, hopefully I can progress well with it. I really liked the DVD with it, as it discusses basic things like how to hold the instrument and where the left hand should be etc.

I'm playing tabs at level 1 now, I'm still having difficulty with the note length, but once I have my own guide done, I can concentrate with stave association to hand holds and thus wont need the tabs at all.

Dirty Paws
09-22-2015, 05:00 AM
I am using that book and have been able to progress relatively quickly so far. The DVD is also quite helpful - some things in the book are difficult to grasp until you see and hear them. Hope it works well for you too.

Purdy Bear
09-26-2015, 09:48 AM
Here's a little update.

I'm getting on well with the sheet music plus tabs, and I've got about half a full scale worked out. Eventually I hope to not use the tabs at all but just the music. I can now play 4 songs as a soloist, they need a bit of work but you can actually hear the songs they are supposed to be. The hardest is Beautiful Dreamer, in a about a week it should be perfect. I'm working on the old saying practice until you can't get it wrong.

JackLuis
09-26-2015, 06:37 PM
Purdy Bear:

I've been playing about six months, have no background in music at all. However I have purchased "Play Ukulele Today!" vol 2, as vol 1 was very basic, when I started playing. I haven't really stuck to it after lesson~14, but It taught me the rudiments of the Staff and tabs etc. My next door neighbor is a guitar player and he just bought a Uke, so we've been chording a few hours a week.

I've been picking up the crumbs from the thread and adding them to my USB reference. Great stuff and I hope to start playing notes soon. I need to work on my sight reading as I still have to stop and think about each note. I have the first position notes down to muscle memory now so I hope to tie that to my sight reading. Now if I can just get my NDN to play slower I might be making progress.

Anyway, keep up the blog thread. I find it interesting and the references are very helpful.

Jack

Purdy Bear
09-27-2015, 05:46 AM
Thanks.

Try using a metronome, I have a swinging arm type, it helps me anticipate when to play but also to play in time.


I dug out the music box from under the bed today to have a rummage for some manuscript paper (that's ones with pre drawn staves), but also found all my old Flute stuff including the Boosey and Hawkes (top flute manufacturer), Scales and Arpeggio book, I'm hoping if I can to transfer them over to the Ukulele. Obviously the flute can go higher but I should be able to get a decent skill level using them until I can find other ones. I also found all my theory work books etc, which I'm going to need to review. When I learnt the flute I didn't really know how to study, that was in my 20s, about 7 years ago I took 1 year off to actually learn the best ways to study and memorize, so I'm more confident in learning them.

I went to the Minstral Pdf website and got 4 more grade 1 songs to do for Tablature reading. I had a light bulb moment yesterday, if I learn it with the tabs then cover them over with sticky notes I can do them without and thus learn the stave music. I can't believe I didn't think of it before.

Oh lastly I found some cheapo manuscript notebooks, the soft backs, so I'm thinking either to stick them together with a bit of duck tape or undo them and then sew them together and put in a hard cover. I've done very basic book binding and it's not that hard. I'll have to think of something similar with the sheet music,. I'd like to put all the grade 1 stuff together and slowly work up to 8 if I can. The problem with plastic inserts is they give off a shine, I wonder if they do matt plastic inserts, I'll have to look the next time I'm at the Stationers.

Chopped Liver
09-27-2015, 10:18 AM
Thanks.

Try using a metronome, I have a swinging arm type, it helps me anticipate when to play but also to play in time.


I dug out the music box from under the bed today to have a rummage for some manuscript paper (that's ones with pre drawn staves), but also found all my old Flute stuff including the Boosey and Hawkes (top flute manufacturer), Scales and Arpeggio book, I'm hoping if I can to transfer them over to the Ukulele. Obviously the flute can go higher but I should be able to get a decent skill level using them until I can find other ones. I also found all my theory work books etc, which I'm going to need to review. When I learnt the flute I didn't really know how to study, that was in my 20s, about 7 years ago I took 1 year off to actually learn the best ways to study and memorize, so I'm more confident in learning them.

I went to the Minstral Pdf website and got 4 more grade 1 songs to do for Tablature reading. I had a light bulb moment yesterday, if I learn it with the tabs then cover them over with sticky notes I can do them without and thus learn the stave music. I can't believe I didn't think of it before.

Oh lastly I found some cheapo manuscript notebooks, the soft backs, so I'm thinking either to stick them together with a bit of duck tape or undo them and then sew them together and put in a hard cover. I've done very basic book binding and it's not that hard. I'll have to think of something similar with the sheet music,. I'd like to put all the grade 1 stuff together and slowly work up to 8 if I can. The problem with plastic inserts is they give off a shine, I wonder if they do matt plastic inserts, I'll have to look the next time I'm at the Stationers.

They do have matte plastic inserts. They help a lot but the ones I found have a textured surface and cause a little difficulty seeing clearly, I think.

GREAT idea about learning the song by tabs and then covering up the tabs once you learn it to learn the notes!

Chopped Liver
09-28-2015, 02:10 PM
Ooo, PB! Go here: http://ukeofcarl.com/ebooks/ I totally forgot I downloaded a free e-book from here. Hanon for Ukulele. It has scales and the notes on the staff. Might be helpful to you.

I'm gonna print it off and work on it.

Purdy Bear
10-03-2015, 05:01 AM
Thanks, the Hanon book looks like it's going to be a great help.

I had my second lesson today, in a group setting, and we all turned out to be of a similar age which is going to be a good thing. They covered what I had already done, but it was great to watch the excitement in peoples faces as they learnt how to strum their first notes.


PS the ebook prints off really well in booklet on the printer, I did mine A5 size so I just need to sew it together and I've got a pocket guide.

Chopped Liver
10-03-2015, 10:05 AM
Thanks, the Hanon book looks like it's going to be a great help.

I had my second lesson today, in a group setting, and we all turned out to be of a similar age which is going to be a good thing. They covered what I had already done, but it was great to watch the excitement in peoples faces as they learnt how to strum their first notes.


PS the ebook prints off really well in booklet on the printer, I did mine A5 size so I just need to sew it together and I've got a pocket guide.

I printed mine off in the 8.5x11 size for my aging eyes! I need to get busy on it! Glad it will be helpful!

I need to call and see about taking some lessons. I think that will be helpful.

Mahalo-man
11-25-2015, 12:59 PM
Hi Purdy Bear. I have just ordered a Sun Wolf uke from ebay for my grandson for Christmas. I was amazed that yours came with Aquilla strings.I also paid 14 but am expecting cheap nylon strings. I have a Mahalo tenor uke with Aquilla strings and I love it. Been playing for 2 years and learning from You tube videos. Totally inspired by Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain.