View Full Version : The blues got me out of the doldrums

11-25-2015, 08:53 AM
I’ve been learning for about two years. I love to strum and sing but I’m not much on fingerpicking. My singing is pretty good but my strumming is , er, well, I thought it was decent till I recorded myself, and then I was horrified. Although I’ve been making a steady kind of progress, I felt a little bit stale in my approach. Recently a couple of new ideas made a revolution in my playing.

The first was Danno Sullivan’s “Strum like a Drummer” video which I caught on one of his “Free Friday” lessons a couple months back. I’m not sure how much better my strumming is but I’m having a hell of a lot more fun with it.

The second was a few weeks ago when my teacher taught me the blues scale on the uke. It was galvanizing! I love how the notes are all close together and the same pattern just moves up and down the neck for different keys. It’s great finger exercise – stay in the pattern and every finger gets a chance. I never considered myself a blues fan at all (just because of unfamiliarity) but when I found out how fun and comparatively easy it was, I began to enjoy blues improvisation. My cable TV setup gets music channels, and if I select the Blues channel, I can find myself improvising with the likes of BB King and Muddy Waters. All I have to do is find a couple of notes in the key being played, and then the pattern shows me the rest of the key. It’s doing wonders for my technique beyond strumming.

So I just wanted to say, I had no clue about playing blues but now I totally love it!! I thought I would recommend it especially to those who’ve never thought about it.

I don’t have a link because it was from a live lesson, but I bet you can easily find online instructions for the blues scale on the uke.

11-25-2015, 10:45 AM
Glad you are getting in the groove. I figured out early on to get some strumming patterns from not only the drummer, but in some cases, the bass player as well. I think blues is great. Lots of blues lessons on youtube as well as blues lessons on DVD and CD with books. A thread on the subject just started a day or so ago. You likely already saw it, but just in case, here it is: http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?116947-Blues-Ukulele-Book

11-25-2015, 12:01 PM
Blues are the best , five note patterns and countless variations. Music's panacea for what ails you.
Fast ,minor,major , slow....gottsta lurve dem blues.


12-06-2015, 05:00 PM
yeah we are big blues uke fans in my house. Even my six year old little girl can rip out some improv. Keep at it.

Phluffy the Destroyer
12-06-2015, 06:31 PM
I'm not a fan of the blues. However, if you are, that's whats important, lol... It's awesome that you found a niche that appeals to you. Now, get yer *** down to the crossroads and start posting amazing vids on SotU!