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idxxoutoftheblue
11-14-2016, 10:39 AM
I'm trying to come up with a "schedule" for practicing everyday and would like to come up with some things to go over everyday.

I've downloaded the Jumping Flea Arpeggiator and Hanon for Ukulele. I also know of Uncle Rod's Boot Camp. And I've been doing Ukulele Mike's exercises for hand dexterity.

Would these be good to work into daily practice sessions?
And what else should I try to work in?

I also use The Ukulele Way and have books like Ukulele Aerobics, Ukulele for Dummies (not exercises), The Quiet American books, James Hills' Booster Uke and The Daily Ukulele.

I know basic chords but can't really figure out strumming patterns. And I'm having trouble barring and recently realized I'm not really holding my ukulele correctly (using left hand to support and having trouble correcting this).

Any advice is appreciated!

DownUpDave
11-14-2016, 01:12 PM
Well you certainty have a lot of material to choose from......I mean a lot. Maybe take a step back and figure out what type of songs or music you would like to play. I am guessing you are new to the uke as you are working on strumming patterns and barring techniques. That is ok because we are start at some point time......no one was born playing a musical instrument.

It is easy to get caught up in wanting to improve and trying to do it all at once. Start with simple songs that you like having 3 - 6 chords and a simple strum pattern. When you have that one down pat move on to the next with 1 or 2 more chords. Your dexterity will come from continual practice of these songs. Uncle Rods Boot Camp is excellent because if you can go from 4 strums pre change to 1 strum your dexterity has improved immensely. Now throw in a metronome and you are on your way to greatness.

No need to make is super complex or complicated with vast amounts of practice material when you are starting out. Walk.......then run.

If you want to make barring really easy then get a strap

CheeseSandwich
11-14-2016, 01:52 PM
Yes you do have a huge amount of material that will keep you very occupied for a long time. DownUpDave gave great advice; I really think that in addition to doing all that technical practice, you should learn songs. By learning songs you could learn a ton of strumming patterns and a lot of different chords which can advance your playing progressively.

But what is a good way to do that? Here on ukulele underground you can watch the aloha friday jams or go on youtube and join the aloha friday jam live every friday. Aldrine gives you the chords, strumming pattern, and sings along so you can keep time. But that's one suggestion to add to all your practice material. Do whatever is fun to you and keep getting better! :)

Chopped Liver
11-14-2016, 03:00 PM
I, like the OP, have downloaded so much material I don't know where to start, so THANKS for your answers. I am practicing songs and I need to dig out Uncle Rod's Boot Camp.

Croaky Keith
11-15-2016, 01:17 AM
I found what improved my 'playing' was to always have a uke out on a stand, & just pick it up & have a quick practice as you pass, it only needed to be a few minutes, but it worked for me.

I didn't do any 'courses', just learned as I went, 'playing' songs that I already knew. :)

What I did find that helped greatly, was joining in with the Seasons thread on here, it does take courage to post your first video, but they are such a friendly bunch, & you will improve just by doing. ;)

Rllink
11-15-2016, 03:22 AM
You are never going to get there if you don't know where you are going. I think that the most important thing is to determine where you want to go with your ukulele, and then head in that direction. Just accumulating a pile of resources and shoveling through it without any direction is not a good approach in my opinion.

idxxoutoftheblue
11-15-2016, 08:26 AM
My main resource/goal is to get through The Ukulele Way. The rest I think of a supplements. I want to work on technical skills so that's why I've brought in things like Ukulele Aerobics and the others. I don't feel like I have no direction though.


You are never going to get there if you don't know where you are going. I think that the most important thing is to determine where you want to go with your ukulele, and then head in that direction. Just accumulating a pile of resources and shoveling through it without any direction is not a good approach in my opinion.

jollyboy
11-15-2016, 10:27 AM
hi idxxoutoftheblue,

I think acknowledging that there is a learning curve is important, and that you really need to focus on basic skills before moving on to other things. That way you will have a solid foundation to build on in the future. Using The Ukulele Way as your starting point seems like a good idea - I'm sure the lessons must be structured in such a way as to allow beginners to progess at a reasonable pace. And if you get stuck you can use your other materials to help supplement your learning.

Boot camp is good for practicing chord changes and is definitely worth looking at.

For strumming patterns I would suggest learning a 'swiss-army knife' strum to start (e.g. ddu-udu) and then picking up new ones as and when needed.

Barring is hard, but it does get easier with practice (again, look at Boot Camp). You will probably find that your hand strength increases over time the more you play.

Getting a strap is good advice - it will help you support the instrument properly and makes lots of other things a little bit easier too :)

idxxoutoftheblue
11-15-2016, 01:08 PM
Thanks! I am able to pick up basic strums pretty easily, I just can't figure out which strum to use with a song on my own.
Do you have any recommendations for straps?



hi idxxoutoftheblue,

I think acknowledging that there is a learning curve is important, and that you really need to focus on basic skills before moving on to other things. That way you will have a solid foundation to build on in the future. Using The Ukulele Way as your starting point seems like a good idea - I'm sure the lessons must be structured in such a way as to allow beginners to progess at a reasonable pace. And if you get stuck you can use your other materials to help supplement your learning.

Boot camp is good for practicing chord changes and is definitely worth looking at.

For strumming patterns I would suggest learning a 'swiss-army knife' strum to start (e.g. ddu-udu) and then picking up new ones as and when needed.

Barring is hard, but it does get easier with practice (again, look at Boot Camp). You will probably find that your hand strength increases over time the more you play.

Getting a strap is good advice - it will help you support the instrument properly and makes lots of other things a little bit easier too :)

Rllink
11-15-2016, 02:31 PM
My main resource/goal is to get through The Ukulele Way. The rest I think of a supplements. I want to work on technical skills so that's why I've brought in things like Ukulele Aerobics and the others. I don't feel like I have no direction though.Cool, where do you see yourself next year this time?

jollyboy
11-15-2016, 11:20 PM
Thanks! I am able to pick up basic strums pretty easily, I just can't figure out which strum to use with a song on my own.
Do you have any recommendations for straps?

Learning to work out strumming patterns by ear is a another skill that will improve over time, with practice. Having a generic strum to fall back on is super-handy and you can always swap it out for something more interesting at a later date.

Straps is kind of a big topic all to itself. Here are a couple of recent-ish threads that should prove helpful...

Shoulder straps or neck straps? Pros? Cons? (http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?122734-Shoulder-straps-or-neck-straps-Pros-Cons&highlight=straps)

Straps! (http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?121125-Straps!&highlight=straps)

ukatee
11-16-2016, 12:00 AM
I like Lori's Uke Leash (http://www.ukeleash.com/). It gives all the support I want, freeing the fretting hand, but does not need strap buttons or risk any damage to the uke.

If you are not sure if it will work for you, you could try out the concept first by improvising something similar with a piece of string.

Detailed review of the Uke Leash here: http://www.gotaukulele.com/2010/11/uke-leash-review.html