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JackLuis
11-04-2015, 10:26 PM
I've been playing around for about six months on my ukes. Practicing with my neighbor, who has a lot of music for guitar and we've been playing a couple of times a week.

One of my/our problems is speed. When I first learn a chord sequence it is slow and sloppy but as I learn to play it, I find myself playing it faster and faster until it's not even the same song I started out to play!

I got a metronome but it only helps when I use it. (funny how that works out) I have also noticed that I strum to the lyric rather than a 1-2-3-4 regular strum. I stay in time with the beat but not slavishly following the 1-2-3-4 or what ever.

Is that abnormal or is it a normal thing to have to master?

maxmax
11-05-2015, 01:12 AM
Strumming to the lyric instead of "slavishly following the 1-2-3-4" sounds like a good thing to me. I guess if you are accompanying a singer or another instrumentalist who is taking a solo, it is good to know how to step back and not clutter up what they are doing though.

Staying in time comes with practice. I'm a foot tapper, which helps me. Also, try to listen carefully to your guitar playing neighbour (or whoever you are playing with), and try to follow them, instead of just playing in your own bubble. Practising with a metronom is good, as is playing along with recordings.

Rllink
11-05-2015, 02:04 AM
You are in good company. I read a biography of Bob Dylan, and it said that there was always a problem for his back up band, because he had his own beat going on, and he just expected them to stay with him. I've since listened more carefully to some of my old Dylan records, and it does in fact seem that the band is trying to keep up with him. I think that everyone struggles with timing. I know that I do. At least for me, playing with others has helped a lot. My wife was a singer, I guess she still is, but she used to be a performer, and I have to really keep time when she is singing with me. I'm also a toe tapper, but my wife accuses me of tapping in time with my music, not playing my music in time with my tapping. I work on it. I don't get hung up on it. And it keeps getting a little better over time. Everything takes time, and nothing is easy. That is my approach to learning.

Jon Moody
11-05-2015, 02:50 AM
I got a metronome but it only helps when I use it. (funny how that works out)

I'm not sure anyone I've ever talked to LIKES using a metronome, but we all use it. It's a necessary evil, that is a continual practice regimen for a lot of the top tier players.

So yes, it's a normal thing to master, as well as strumming while singing.

CasanovaGuy
11-05-2015, 05:49 AM
It's good practice to stay with the beat. When you play more and more complex stuff, you're gonna wish for slow bpms haha

Idk if this is really relevant, but I play this music game called osu and I used to have the same problem keeping time. The way I got over that was by playing fast songs so often that the slow songs were hella easy to keep time in. I think the same thing applies to the uke. Play Crazy G or Crosscurrent and suddenly you'll find most of the songs are easy to stay in rhythm :D

PhilUSAFRet
11-05-2015, 09:48 AM
Playing with a metronome is needed by some who don't get to play with a group often or who don't have a strong sense of internal time. Playing "in time" is important when playing with others and is a skill worth nurturing. Nervousness generally causes me to play a little too fast during an open mic.

JackLuis
11-05-2015, 05:34 PM
Thanks folks. I am only now starting to sing, which is way, way worse than my Ukeing. I don't even like my voice, but it is a way to keep tempo.

I have tried to slow down the metronome to way slow like 40 BPM on the Tennessee Waltz, sort of like Bonnie Rait and Nora Jones's rendition but if I don't use the 'nome I can end up playing it at 90-100 bpm.

As for playing the lyric, is that better or bad? I think it sounds better, even though I don't single note. I have found that I often don't play all the strings all the time, particularly if the G string isn't required to complete the chord.

bunnyrawr
11-05-2015, 10:32 PM
I always play too fast and try to rush through learning new songs, instead of just slowing down and taking it one note at a time. My metronome has helped me improve so much, though :D

Brad Bordessa
11-06-2015, 07:45 AM
Go slow. Realize that there is nowhere to be. Try and keep the metronome tempo in your head even when you're not playing with it. If you are playing sloppy you are going too fast, regardless, period, end of story. The last thing you want to do is go faster from there. You will thank yourself later for putting in the effort now to learn to play slowly and on tempo.

Be intentional. Focus on your problems and fix them. Play it simple (and slow) so you can focus on the little things.

Learn to strum a steady 1+2+3+4+ instead of strumming to the lyrics. The whole point of strumming is to keep a steady rhythm for the lyrics to float on top of. (Sing! Even if you think you can't it will at least help your learning to hack out the words.) If you strum only when the words happen you might as well have the whole band bang out: TWIN!-KLE!, TWIN!-KLE! LIT!-TLE! STAR!

DownUpDave
11-06-2015, 09:58 AM
Go slow. Realize that there is nowhere to be. Try and keep the metronome tempo in your head even when you're not playing with it. If you are playing sloppy you are going too fast, regardless, period, end of story. The last thing you want to do is go faster from there. You will thank yourself later for putting in the effort now to learn to play slowly and on tempo.

Be intentional. Focus on your problems and fix them. Play it simple (and slow) so you can focus on the little things.

Learn to strum a steady 1+2+3+4+ instead of strumming to the lyrics. The whole point of strumming is to keep a steady rhythm for the lyrics to float on top of. (Sing! Even if you think you can't it will at least help your learning to hack out the words.) If you strum only when the words happen you might as well have the whole band bang out: TWIN!-KLE!, TWIN!-KLE! LIT!-TLE! STAR!


Brad, you are always so......right on. I love your answers, thanks for always offering meanful contributions.

TWIN!-KLE! TWIN-KLE!, just cracked me up :smileybounce: been there done that

JackLuis
11-06-2015, 08:07 PM
I tried something to slow down. I picked up my Sopranino and played a slow 4/4 song, John Denver's For Baby.
The little one is difficult to play fast as I really have to concentrate on finger placement. But the payoff is to hear her tiny little voice chiming. Then I picked up the Fat Girl, a concert Zebra wood and played it, slowly. Much easier to play slower as I listened to the Fat Girl belt out the lyric, which happens to be a full measure for each chord.

Now I'll play on my Ohana, a Blond, spruce top CK-22. Even in soto voice, the Blond is precise and full throated.

Next I will use the 'nome to pace me and see how well I'm sticking to a hard beat, wish me luck.