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a456bt
06-04-2017, 10:21 PM
Hey guys! First post so I'm happy to be here!

I have a fairly musical background, I've played piano for years, as well as guitar, trumpet and clarinet on the side. I'm mostly a drummer and that's what I'm best at, but Ukulele has always had a somewhat interesting relationship with me. I've "played" ukulele for years, but never really gotten good at it. I'm one of those people that can just play tabs of songs and strum, I really wouldn't consider myself good at the ukulele at all. I have a good rhythm hand (I'm a drummer!), I can palm mute, and I've learnt a finger picking song before, but other than that I'm pretty much useless on the ukulele. I have no idea where to go or where to learn this, but I want to progress and learn to play the uke better. Everywhere I go for information on playing the ukulele it's all the same beginner stuff - strumming, reading tabs and tuning. I want to learn to play better finger picking and incorporate that into playing chords as harmony. The kinds of things you'd expect to hear from somebody who actually knows what they're doing when they pick up the uke. How do I break past the barrier of just playing chords along to songs and begin to really understand how to make music on the uke? (never learned music theory, but I have a feeling part of the answer is music theory...)

dhbailey
06-04-2017, 11:37 PM
There are a number of books aimed at the advancing or intermediate player, although many of them start out with a few introductory lessons.
Here are a few to consider:
Ukulele Aerobics by Chad Johnson, published by Hal Leonard
20 Easy Fingerstyle Studies for Ukulele by Rob MacKillop, published by Mel Bay
20 Progressive Fingerstyle Studies for Uke by Rob MacKillop, published by Mel Bay
Ukulele Fretboard Maps by Fred Sokolow and Jim Beloff published by Hal Leonard
Jake Shimabukuro Teaches Ukulele Lessons published by Hal Leonard

I know that MelBay currently has a 10%-off sale on everything (including ebooks) just enter the code MB10 when you check out. And if you get over $40 of print books, you get free shipping.

Croaky Keith
06-05-2017, 12:07 AM
Learn the fretboard, download a fretboard map, & work from there to pick out melodies, then add in chords - simples. ;)

Seriously, start with a fretboard map. :)

jollyboy
06-05-2017, 12:22 AM
These are a couple of fingerstyle books (for the not-quite-beginner) that I have found useful:

Fingerstyle Ukulele - Aaron Keim (http://quietamericanmusic.com/storestore/fingerstyle-ukulele-instruction-book-1)

20 Easy Fingerstyle Studies for Ukulele - Rob MacKillop (https://www.amazon.co.uk/20-Easy-Fingerstyle-Studies-Ukulele-x/dp/0786687223)

IMO both these books include enjoyable and interesting material and provide a solid foundation in fingerstyle technique.

DownUpDave
06-05-2017, 01:30 AM
You have gotten great information above, lots of good books and material to learn from. If you what to do a more structured course check out The Ukulele Way by James Hill

Barrytone
06-05-2017, 02:18 AM
The best way to become a better musician is to play with others. EAsy to say, nor always easy to do. If you can find one or two like-minded folks to jam with and work at arranging tunes, this would be ideal. I'm in a similar position and find it hit and miss hooking up with others who share my musical taste and, dare I say, of a similar level. However, when I am lucky to share quality time playing with others and able to critique other players and have them make suggestions to me it has been of great benefit. Perhaps it might be a topic to explore through this site and have a list of players in respective areas to arrange get togethers.
I make these comments after many years pick bluegrass banjo where good practice technique and jamming have been invaluable in the learning process.

comments after many years learning 5string bluegrass picking where good practice and jamming has been invaluable. Arthritis has slowed me down now and that is why I play mainly Uke theses days.

andy2353
06-05-2017, 03:10 AM
There are many great courses available from the hosts of this site: Ukulele Underground. I have gone through 101, 102, 103 and Music Theory for Ukulele; all have been great. If you sign up for a month you don't have much to lose and you can go through as many classes as you want.

josheboy
06-05-2017, 04:44 AM
There are many great courses available from the hosts of this site: Ukulele Underground. I have gone through 101, 102, 103 and Music Theory for Ukulele; all have been great. If you sign up for a month you don't have much to lose and you can go through as many classes as you want.

This!

I am nearly done with the 102 and Music Theory vids. Also watching the Learn the Fretboard vids. Very handy. Looking forward to 103 and then hitting the more advanced vids.

player
06-05-2017, 06:19 AM
You could watch the uke masters play on videos and try to get impressions. Then look deeper into what you especially like.

Copy :cool:

Nickie
06-05-2017, 05:14 PM
Also, the Ukulele Site, maintained by Hawaii Music Supply, is loaded with videos of master players showing how it's done.

Booksniffer
06-06-2017, 10:26 PM
If you what to do a more structured course check out The Ukulele Way by James Hill

I would second this recommendation!
I had a bit of trouble in the first couple of lessons adapting to standard notation (he has since added tabs for most of the lessons, although I try to ignore those ;)), but if you push on it gets easier - and the course really is fantastic.