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Jordan Neary
07-13-2017, 01:26 AM
Hi. I've been learning the Uku for a couple of months and loving it. Been going at my own pace just playing with it now wanting to learn a song. Started with 'Over the rainbow' off of youtube.

I'm struggling a bit with the Island strum, I'm very comfortable with it but after watching the lesson I think I have the chord change at a wrong point in the strum.

It's supposed to be D-D-U-U-D-U (I think) and for this one you substitute the first down stroke for a G string pluck.

My problem is I shift the sequence to D-U-U-D-U-D with the last down stroke being a g string pluck.

It was just the way I learned it without realising it was wrong and it's very tricky for me to change chords before I pluck G now, as G was the last note before I changed chords.

My question is:

Is my understanding of this (What I think I've gotten wrong and the correct way I should be doing it) correct? And how important is it that I correct this issue before I continue or is it fine this way?

Thanks! If clarification is needed or a recording just shout.

UkingViking
07-13-2017, 09:55 AM
The first question is why you pluck the g string on the "1" beat.
What note is it fretted at?
Is it part of the melody as in a chord melody arrangement, or just to mix up the strumming?

If you are just mixing it up as part of a repetitive strum/pluck pattern, I would suggest changing chords before plucking it. You can argue that if it sounds ok to you, then it is just your way of playing, but I believe that it would be a bad habit that will give you trouble in other contexts.

If it is part of the melody, then you are of course supposed to play that note, though the timing is confusing. It is likely that you can find the same note on some of the other strings the way you fret them in the new chord, so you can change chords at the usual time and still play the right note. Often the melody notes are within the chords. But sometimes they are not.

Ziret
07-14-2017, 05:18 AM
I'm not sure I understand the question, but I'll try an answer anyway. If you like how it sounds, there's no law that says you have to play the island strum. But you can't change the fact that you're not playing the island strum, which is fundamental and simple. So at some point you're going to have to learn it, and probably sooner rather than later. If I were you, and I realize I'm not, I'd just figure out how to do it right and keep your own method in your arsenal as well. But if it's a misery to do so, carry on and learn it later.

Rllink
07-14-2017, 07:43 AM
I learned a strum pattern something like that. I did not know it was called an island strum. I think that I picked it up from a guitar player. But it does not work for me on every song. Some times it does, and sometimes it just doesn't.

UkingViking
07-14-2017, 08:27 AM
I learned a strum pattern something like that. I did not know it was called an island strum. I think that I picked it up from a guitar player. But it does not work for me on every song. Some times it does, and sometimes it just doesn't.

I assume that island strum means something similar to calypso strum?
Like |d-du-udu|? Or is there more to it?

I often modify it to |d-xu-udu|, and I tend to use it way too often in stead of being creative.

WestyShane
07-20-2017, 11:10 AM
I think I understand what the OP is saying as I only recently learned how much nicer SOTR sounds when "plucking the G string" on the first down stroke, as opposed to just playing the whole chord. My guess is that he's focusing so hard on "plucking" a string that it throws his timing off a bit. Unfortunately I don't know how to explain a remedy other than, "keep trying". And perhaps this;

Quit thinking of it as "plucking" the string. Instead, just play DDUUDU like you had been doing but instead of trying to pluck anything, change your angle of attack so that your finger only hits the G string when you strum that first downstroke - intentionally screwing up strumming all the notes of the chord. You'll probably also hit the C and even E string every now and then but with practice it gets pretty easy to make the G string chime on its own before the subsequent strums play the chord.

Try it kinda slowly at first.

crisson
07-20-2017, 02:29 PM
The way I learned it is the way WestyShane explained it. You simply (or not so simply ;) ) replace the first down strum with a pick of the g string. So it becomes Pick g - DU -UDU. Someone said that was how Iz did it. I also agree with keeping it slow at first.