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Joyful Uke
07-03-2017, 05:28 AM
Along with trying to keep the dogs from having a total melt-down over the 4th of July, (not a good time for noise sensitive dogs), I plan on trying to focus on working on tone while playing ukulele.

Aside from hitting the note cleanly, (with both left and right hands), what suggestions do you all have?

Choirguy
07-03-2017, 06:08 AM
I guess the question I would have is what tone you are looking for. There are a number of things you can try...without being an expert...that will impact tone. Some ideas:

1) where you strum or pluck on the neck
2) what fingers you use to strum...index, thumb, supported index, all fingers, rolled fingers, etc.
3) what part of the finger you use to strum (pad/nail)
4) playing with a fingernail (or if you don't have fingernails, with a pick)
5) The strength of the strum

And with all these, being aware of how you are playing, in a way that is most efficient.

In truth, I don't worry much about tone as I play...I just play, although various strumming patterns do change the feel of songs...and involve all of those above considerations.

coolkayaker1
07-03-2017, 06:19 AM
Don't hold the instrument any more tightly against your body than need be.

kypfer
07-03-2017, 06:41 AM
Don't hold the instrument any more tightly against your body than need be.

Absolutely!!

A strap can improve things no end, both by eliminating the need to grip the instrument thereby muffling it's natural resonances and also allows optimum positioning of the strumming/picking hand to get just the tone you want for any song :)

YMMV :music:

bratsche
07-03-2017, 07:02 AM
Aside from hitting the note cleanly, (with both left and right hands), what suggestions do you all have?

Letting it ring out - keep the note(s) fretted for as long as possible before moving them to the next note or chord.

I hate the 4th of July for the noise too - this neighborhood is full of fireworks jerks and it disturbs some of our cats a lot. It already started last night! :(

bratsche

Brad Bordessa
07-03-2017, 08:28 AM
My thoughts: https://liveukulele.com/lessons/tones/. Definitely a long-haul pursuit. But very worth it.

Tenor
07-03-2017, 10:27 AM
Brad's articles (link in above post) s on “Tone” and “Playing Clean On The Ukulele” are outstanding. Thank you!

igorthebarbarian
07-03-2017, 11:27 AM
Someone else on my facebook had posted a link for a Do-it-yourself ThunderShirt wrap for dogs. I thought that was a good idea.
I also saw an article about a town in Parma, Italy that is moving to sound-less fireworks. That would be perfect for dogs!

OhioBelle
07-03-2017, 11:33 AM
Brad's articles (link in above post) s on “Tone” and “Playing Clean On The Ukulele” are outstanding. Thank you!

:agree:

Great guidance here, folks! And coincides perfectly with my beginning work on Samantha Muir's campanella books. I've bookmarked for future reference.

acmespaceship
07-03-2017, 11:35 AM
What Brad said. Except sometimes you can change the sound of the room by changing your location in it. Alone at home, go sit in a corner where your uke's sound will reflect back at you. Then listen while you play.

Some of the best advice I ever got: work the full dynamic range of your instrument. Loud, soft, everywhere in-between. A lot of players get stuck playing everything at the same volume, whereas you can learn a whole lot in one afternoon just by playing outside your comfort zone. This uke goes up to 11... and down to almost zero. ;)

Please report back after the holiday and let us know what you tried and what you learned!

bacchettadavid
07-03-2017, 11:43 AM
What Brad said. Except sometimes you can change the sound of the room by changing your location in it. Alone at home, go sit in a corner where your uke's sound will reflect back at you. Then listen while you play.

Some of the best advice I ever got: work the full dynamic range of your instrument. Loud, soft, everywhere in-between. A lot of players get stuck playing everything at the same volume, whereas you can learn a whole lot in one afternoon just by playing outside your comfort zone. This uke goes up to 11... and down to almost zero. ;)

Please report back after the holiday and let us know what you tried and what you learned!

I second this. Emphatically.

Ziret
07-03-2017, 12:09 PM
What Brad said. Except sometimes you can change the sound of the room by changing your location in it. Alone at home, go sit in a corner where your uke's sound will reflect back at you. Then listen while you play.

Some of the best advice I ever got: work the full dynamic range of your instrument. Loud, soft, everywhere in-between. A lot of players get stuck playing everything at the same volume, whereas you can learn a whole lot in one afternoon just by playing outside your comfort zone. This uke goes up to 11... and down to almost zero. ;)

Please report back after the holiday and let us know what you tried and what you learned!

I agree. Group play seldom involves any notion of dynamics, and that's fine, but there's much more to music than just hitting the right note or chord.

Joyful Uke
07-03-2017, 12:29 PM
Someone else on my facebook had posted a link for a Do-it-yourself ThunderShirt wrap for dogs. I thought that was a good idea.
I also saw an article about a town in Parma, Italy that is moving to sound-less fireworks. That would be perfect for dogs!

Thanks for the suggestion. I do have a thundershirt, but it upsets her, rather than calms here, unfortunately.
I hate drugging dogs, but 2 out of 3 dogs will be taking medication tomorrow. The 3rd dog will be busy trying to calm everyone else.

To keep this on topic, maybe we'll have some ukulele music cranked up trying to drown out some of the noise. One dog is very picky about music, but she does like ukulele. :-)

Joyful Uke
07-03-2017, 12:31 PM
Letting it ring out - keep the note(s) fretted for as long as possible before moving them to the next note or chord.
bratsche

Yes, thanks. This is one thing I for sure need to work on.

Joyful Uke
07-03-2017, 12:32 PM
My thoughts: https://liveukulele.com/lessons/tones/. Definitely a long-haul pursuit. But very worth it.

This is great! I'll be reading it more carefully tonight, and starting to work on it. Thanks!

Joyful Uke
07-03-2017, 01:10 PM
Some of the best advice I ever got: work the full dynamic range of your instrument. Loud, soft, everywhere in-between. A lot of players get stuck playing everything at the same volume, whereas you can learn a whole lot in one afternoon just by playing outside your comfort zone. This uke goes up to 11... and down to almost zero. ;)

Another thing I need to work on. I tend to forget that the uke goes up to 11. :-) That will for sure be something I'll be working on. Thanks.

Joyful Uke
07-03-2017, 01:15 PM
I guess the question I would have is what tone you are looking for.

Not sure how to answer that, other than a vague response like the best tone I can get.

But your response did make me wonder if there are differences in how one might address the issue of tone with different styles of playing. Your post made me guess, (probably incorrectly), that you primarily strum. I didn't think to mention that I only fingerpick. I wonder if that makes a difference in how someone might respond?

stevepetergal
07-03-2017, 05:04 PM
It wasn't quite clear. Are you saying that you're going to dedicate your practice time over the weekend to tone production? I've been doing the same for a decade. Doesn't feel like I've even begun.
Follow Brad Bordessa's lesson. He's probably the best teacher you'll find here. And, as he says, it's a long-haul pursuit.

brimmer
07-04-2017, 07:58 PM
For strumming- super relaxed right hand and finger.
For picking- smooth nail edges with fine grit sandpaper.

kohanmike
07-04-2017, 08:36 PM
I was taught when I was 15 learning guitar that keeping the thumb of your neck hand on the back of the neck will improve tone because that's the best way to control the fingers holding down the strings. I was reprimanded whenever I stuck my thumb up over or wrapped it around to the fretboard. When I switched to ukulele four years, that way of playing served me well to quickly acclimate.