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View Full Version : after essential chords improvement course, what next?



trsarah
09-05-2015, 04:56 PM
Hi everyone! Been at uke about 6 weeks and love it as well as UU. I will keep working on the Essential Chords Course to get faster at switching chords, but is there something sequential like that I can do next on UU? My strumming isn't very good but i can now pick up easy songs fairly quickly and sing to them as long as the strumming is simple. Where should I go next? Thank you!

Phluffy the Destroyer
09-06-2015, 01:53 AM
Personally, I'd suggest you keep working on your strumming. Perfect 5 or 6 strumming patterns. Work on playing increasingly difficult songs that force you to learn new chords and change chords more quickly and accurately. Practice key changes and syncopation.

Music is a road, not a destination (much like Tae Quan Leap). It's not a race. There is no finish line...

trsarah
09-06-2015, 04:03 AM
Thanks, I will do that! My strumming is definitely pretty bad. I have never been good at the whole, pat your head and rub your stomach thing, so I'll keep trying to get those strums down to muscle memory.

bunnyf
09-06-2015, 04:28 AM
I've been playing for five years and while my chord knowledge and fluidity has improved dramatically, I still find that I am struck in a strumming rut. If I were you, I'd work on this now, before you get entrenched in a particular strum pattern (for me it's d d u u d)....boring! It's my current goal to work on different strumming pattern more, so that they come more naturally and feel and sound less rigid and forced.

bird's eye view of my ukelele
09-08-2015, 04:07 PM
what about swinging by the seasons of the ukulele? weekly "contests"... uke parties really - each weekend someone puts up a theme, then everyone else has the rest of the week to find and work on songs that fit, and post a vid or two or ten! winners can be by random draw, so anyone can win not just super duper wonderful singers and players! other times the host picks their fave vids but again it's not all about naked or even clothed ;) talent, it's about how a performance and song moves you, really anyone can win, newbies and beginners have no reason to feel they can't leap in and join the fun. mostly people bring covers, but you can write originals too. you can bring 2-chord songs, short songs, songs you find easier, harder songs to challenge yourself - check it out for yourself, here is the season that has just finished, linda the host is as we speak probably trying to figure which one out of a gazillion fab and fun vids is gonna win!

http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?109938-Season-185-The-Family-Act

and here is the current season if you fancy joining in - it runs until midnight sunday hawaii time

http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?110161-Will-the-Circle-be-Unbroken-Season-186

before i started on the seasons, i mostly just wrote tiny punky songs for my own amusement - i still do that, and i sometimes even take them to the season! but thanks to the seasons i do lots of covers too, and that is a great way to learn about music and songs, sometimes a theme will be right up your street, the sort of music you'd play if left to your own devices, other times it's something outside your comfort zone, or some band or singer you've never heard of, and a great way to try new things and learn new things.

you don't need fancy recording equipment, if you can video yourself on your computer, or phone even, or use a camera to record and then transfer the video to your computer, even record straight onto youtube via youtube capture - uploading vids onto youtube is how we share stuff - but also sometimes people share audio-only recordings - blah i'll shut up now, come and check the seasons out for yourself, we have fun!

the bottom line is learning to play a new song every week, in a variety of different styles, determined by those changing themes, is a great way to practice and learn

OSUker
09-08-2015, 04:29 PM
Personally, I'd suggest you keep working on your strumming. Perfect 5 or 6 strumming patterns. Work on playing increasingly difficult songs that force you to learn new chords and change chords more quickly and accurately. Practice key changes and syncopation.

This...so much this. I would add, it's very easy to get into a rut of playing mellow 4/4 music - mix it up with 3/4 & 6/8, and play songs that are both slower and faster. The biggest leap in my playing came from playing with a guitarist who played much faster than I did (you'll stop watching your fretting hand real fast that way) - now I can play faster than him (in his defense, I'm 20+ years younger). Just make sure you keep making it fun...

SailorUke!
09-21-2015, 09:41 AM
As it sounds like you are a UU+ user (given the chord exercises), I personally went from there to the 28 day practices. They are great. They get you to remember that even though it is a micro exercise, playing music is much like a sport and your body needs to have warm ups and stretches. I had been out of music for many years, though I had been a music major, and had forgotten how much these things can help. Are they "fun"? Not so much, but they really help you.

Also, don't do just these by themselves, pic a few songs (great suggestion by OSUker to mix it up) and put the two together. It is really structured around an hour or so of practice with 30 minutes of the warm up/exercises and then song practice. As someone who did this stuff in college it is very familiar feeling. They cover picking and strumming patterns as well.

In 10 days my playing improved more than it did in the month previous just banging away at song tutorials.

EDIT: As a side note, this may not be it for everyone. I know someone that can not stand that type of structured class and would rather just try to learn everything by ear and trial and error. That is fun for them and what I am suggesting is fun for me because I make the progress I want. Just make sure you are having fun so that you don't stop. That is the only wrong answer.

Brian1
09-21-2015, 09:50 AM
I've been playing for five years and while my chord knowledge and fluidity has improved dramatically, I still find that I am struck in a strumming rut. If I were you, I'd work on this now, before you get entrenched in a particular strum pattern (for me it's d d u u d)....boring! It's my current goal to work on different strumming pattern more, so that they come more naturally and feel and sound less rigid and forced.

This post^ is worth reading again. It comes from someone with experience who points out their own flaws. (which match mine so close it is scary)