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JackLuis
08-29-2017, 06:22 PM
I've only been playing since March of '15 and really enjoy it. I am fortunate to have a neighbor who is an old rhythm guitar player.:music::old:

When I got my first Uke, I showed it to him and he said he had some music that he'd share with me. Since then he's gotten 'some Ukuleles' including a baritone and I have 'some ukuleles' too, including a baritone and now we are practicing a couple of times a week and sharing lead sheets. He got me to go with him to his gym and so we go 3x a week to the gym and keep up each others momentum. We're both retired, or just plain tired, it's hard to tell.

However, Gary plays so he can sing, so for a couple of years he would sing and we'd play mostly his "cowboy" music, just strumming chords and him singing. He also plays guitar and sings in a gig band at rest homes and the like a few times a month so it gives him a chance to break in new material and keeps me from going stale on the same old music. I'd probably end up playing things I could already play without Gary around.:p

I contribute to him by introducing him to music he wouldn't ordinarily play, Lenard Cohen, Beatles, Paul Simon... But about 9 months ago he convinced me to start singing. It was pretty brutal, I needed two five gallon buckets to carry off Red River Valley or Tennessee Waltz. I have improved however and joined the Seasons of the Ukulele off and on again. I got Gary hooked on the Seasons too and he's more motivated or probably less self conscious than I am. My singing has gotten a lot better but still is less than good. :D

I started out just wanting to learn to play an instrument well enough to motivate my daughter and granddaughter to learn about music. Since then I've increased my aspirations to learning to sing too!

Today Gary gave me 4-5 new songs he wants to break in and I gave him Pachebel's "Cannon in D" with staff and tabs for baritone and "Imagine" in staff only so we can work on reading the staff, learning the fret board and picking notes to broaden our playing.

Even though I enjoy singing, I actually prefer instrumental music, but Gary plays so he can sing.

How about you?

janeray1940
08-29-2017, 06:24 PM
I'm strictly instrumental only - no singing. And my neighbors thank me for that :)

Booli
08-29-2017, 06:55 PM
I sing only when required, e.g. for the Seasons.

I do not think there should be any artificially imposed mandate on the expression of music, singing or not, it's what YOU want to do with it, and how it makes YOU feel when doing it.

Do you do it for yourself, or to win the favor and fandom of other folks?

For private meditation or to seek fame and glory?

Or just for FUN? Shouldn't 'just for fun' be enough? :)

TaoCat
08-29-2017, 07:55 PM
I'm strictly instrumental only - no singing. And my neighbors thank me for that :)

Mine too. I have a pretty good ear, and it tells me to keep my singing to the shower.

kohanmike
08-29-2017, 08:04 PM
I used to be very self conscious about singing and didn't sing in front of anyone, but after four years of playing twice a week with a group, my singing is so much better that I now sing along.

ukantor
08-29-2017, 09:32 PM
Both my parents were classically trained singers - strictly amateur, but they took their singing very seriously. As a child I never sang. I felt intimidated by my folks' strict approach to music. I'm not complaining, they were wonderful parents, but they had no time for 'popular' music.

In my late fifties, I moved to a village where the local pub was kept by a guitar playing fan of country & western, and rock. There was always a guitar kept handy, and everyone was encouraged to join in.

I tried to learn a few chords on guitar, but found it to be too huge. Having small, rather weak hands didn't help. Then I found an old ukulele among the accumulation of junk in the roof space of the house. In no time at all, I was strumming a few chords and singing along. At last, I could join in!

I found I enjoyed singing, and the uke provided the perfect way to strum along. It took a couple of years before I gathered enough self confidence to perform at an open mic. That was about twenty years ago. I've never got past the strumming and singing stage, but greatly admire anyone who can get more out of the uke than just playing a sequence of chords.

I wonder what my parents would think of my attempts at singing? Not much, I fear, but it gives me a lot of pleasure.

TopDog
08-29-2017, 09:59 PM
I have always used the ukulele as accompaniment to singing,
as I am primarily a singer,and was a 'rhythm guitarist' in a few
amateur bands;hence the accompaniment feels like the natural
thing to do, for me!
But many want to play like Jake or (insert name of your favourite
player) and that is fine, so long as they realise that it takes a
whole lot of practice,unless they/you are especially gifted!
Whatever is good for YOU should be what it's all about!

Croaky Keith
08-29-2017, 10:13 PM
I generally play the melody line of songs, & occasionally I will croak along to a few chords in the Seasons Challenges, (but I started out doing instrumentals).

I prefer to play tunes, rather than sing, the uke is good for both, my other instruments that I'm learning to play don't allow for singing, (unless I stop playing), so it's instrumental melody lines all the way. :)

PlastikUke
08-29-2017, 11:42 PM
When I bought my first uke, I thought I'd be more interested in playing instrumental pieces, but around the same time I also startet going to a singing group (not a choir, it was just for fun, no performances) and found out that I really enjoy singing, too, and am even able to get better at it with practice. (Plus, singing in a group or, very ocasionally, even in front of that group, is a pretty big step for someone as shy/introverted/socially anxious as me.) So, by now, playing and singing are equally important to me and I practice singing (for a choir I joined a few months ago), instrumental pieces (for a uke group) and strummming and singing (for myself or the seasons).

DownUpDave
08-30-2017, 12:00 AM
I starting out playing the uke to accompany myself singing. I have always enjoyed singing, doesn't mean I am any good at it. As a progressed into chord melodies and finger picking pieces I sang less and less. As another person pointed out these arrangments take a lot of practice. Because of this I sing very infrequently now and my singing voice has really become worse. I still work a full time job so I have only so much time in the day to play......or sing and play. But whatever I do on the uke makes me feel good and that is the hook that has kept me going.

mikelz777
08-30-2017, 01:56 AM
I play to accompany my singing and I find doing both to be a lot of fun. I have no interest in playing instrumentals. I'm a realist and know that I'm not good enough and would not practice enough to be able to play instrumentals to the level that they would be interesting to me or others. Just strumming through the chord changes of a song without singing would just be boring and bleak to me and I couldn't do that. The time and effort necessary to pluck out melody lines to where they are smooth and flowing are unlikely to ever happen for me so I'll just keep on singing and strumming!

Rllink
08-30-2017, 02:40 AM
I'm a singer. For me the uke is accompaniment. I'm all about sharing my music. I'm not a real fan of instrumental music anyway.

greenie44
08-30-2017, 02:49 AM
I pretty play uke to accompany my singing, which has improved significantly over the time I have played uke, mainly through the increased knowledge of and confidence in my voice. But I find myself trying to stretch into more interesting arrangements, which has pushed my playing too. This started about 5 years in and continues to where I seek songs to extend my playing rather than my singing primarily at this point.

Uncle Rod Higuchi
08-30-2017, 11:24 AM
Hey Greenie, et al :) I'm a singer/strummer... mostly.
I first learned to play the uke in 6th grade in Mrs Wong's class at Ali'iolani elem in HNL.
that was back in '59-'60, so it's been a few years :)

anyway, we (the entire class) learned to play the uke to accompany ourselves singing
for other classes as set up by Mrs Wong.

Since then, I've been playing the uke to accompany myself singing. That's how I learned
about Transposing since i listened to the radio, learned the lyrics, then had to figure out
the chord progressions from the recorded music then transpose it into a key that was
more within my vocal range. That's what I was doing... all the time... during my Middle
School years ( it was called Intermediate School back then ).

I played for my church group, esp when caroling during the Holidays, and took a uke to
college. I had to choose between a Martin and a Kamaka. I couldn't afford the Martin
so I bought the Kamaka and brought it to the Mainland - Chicago, Il. {BTW the Martin
cost $35 and the Kamaka was only $28!!!!) I should have bought them both and every
other Martin in that store! (Harry's Music in Kaimuki)

Played my Kamaka all the time in college and accompanied a lot of impromptu singing
with my classmates. Took it to summer camps and played for the staff and campers.

I got a Martin Tenor in Chicago as a senior ($145 including hard case!), back in 1969.
finally heard a virtuoso ukulele player (Yellow Bird) and decided I needed to learn how to
pick out melodies while accompanying myself - chorded melodies?

I eventually heard Gordon Mark and knew that was the style I wanted to emulate. But I
was returning to the Mainland the next weekend for Grad school. I spoke with Gordon and
he taught me the 2-finger technique he uses (see Gordon Mark ukulele, YouTube, 2;27
minute lesson)

I had a recording of Gordon and practiced as much as I could by listening to the tape and
trying to remember how he was forming his chords. Oh well, ....

That was the early 70's and since then, while dabbling with fingerpicking, I've settled more
on strumming to accompany myself and others while singing.

2003 - joined SUPA (Seattle Ukulele Player's Association) and eventually helped them create
their 2007 and 2010 Songbooks.

2012 (?) helped to create STRUM (Seattle's Totally-Relaxed Ukulele Musicians) and helped
create their first songbook.

I was helping SUPA as a song leader for several years for their monthly song circle gatherings.
STRUM met weekly, so I eventually, stopped going to SUPA in favor of STRUM events as, besides
our weekly song circle, we were also doing weekend gigs.

OK 2017, I'm with STRUM. Most of book 2 was created by other members so I lead the songs from
book 1 and others lead songs from book 2. Book 1 has popular songs from the 40's and 50' while
book 2 has more 'contemporary' songs - 60's, 70's,+.

that said, I enjoy picking out a melody now and again, but I'm more into figuring out chord progressions
to accompany myself (and others) singing songs that appeal to me.

We need both singers/strummers and fingerpickers in our wonderful ukulele community.
whichever you are,

keep uke'in', :)

bratsche
08-30-2017, 06:50 PM
Even though I often accompany others' singing, as a member of both an opera orchestra and a worship leading ensemble at church, I'm an instrumentalist. And that had better be enough, because even if I may envy those who can play and sing, I have a mental block whereby I can only do those things separately, but never simultaneously. It is so severe, in fact, that even attempting to speak a few words to someone while playing an instrument throws my playing completely off, even if I've only managed to grunt unintelligibly. It's always been like this, since I was very young. I must stop playing in order to speak, sing or vocalize in any way. I've taken a lot of ribbing over this, and spent time trying to overcome it, but to no avail. :(

bratsche

Croaky Keith
08-30-2017, 09:28 PM
I know what you mean, I couldn't even talk whilst strumming a simple chord at first, but eventually I could get a few words in.
I'm still not good at it, but I have fun now & again trying in the Seasons threads, where they tolerate my efforts. ;)

Barrytone
08-30-2017, 10:57 PM
My local Uke group are learning canon in D. I am hoping to arrange a "full blown" orchestration of Canon, which will be the first purely instrumental piece we play.

Croaky Keith
08-31-2017, 12:04 AM
Don't forget to record it & post it up on here somewhere - probably loads of people would like to hear it. :)

Jarmo_S
08-31-2017, 12:41 AM
I am not some good singer, but surprisingly i feel actually being supported with my ukulele index finger strumming more than making it difficult. Basically first when I see a song I decide whether I strum it 4 beats or 2 beats a measure in 4/4 or 2/4, or 3 beats in 3/4, sometimes just one is enough if a song is a hymn like. Then later maybe some variations.

At least for now, i only pick with my thumb, despite my classical guitar playing background.

Uke is almost totally to accompany my singing, lots of fun with it.

JackLuis
08-31-2017, 05:49 AM
My local Uke group are learning canon in D. I am hoping to arrange a "full blown" orchestration of Canon, which will be the first purely instrumental piece we play.

Yeah record it, even if it's 'not good', I'd like to hear it played to have an example of it being played. I was trying playing the first two line yesterday and had to decide whether to use a finger on each string or strum the ~chords? I'm such a newby. Come to think of it I think Mike Lynch had a you tube of it. Off to goggle!

Here is Mike playing Canon in D, but in C on a C tuned Uke. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ffaSIbchupY

My arrangement is for baritone in D so it'll be different but it was a good clue to how it is suppose to sound.

Croaky Keith
08-31-2017, 07:16 AM
Here's another one for you. :)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mmWIB3zPx9U

acmespaceship
08-31-2017, 10:32 AM
Jack, it sounds like you and your neighbor are perfect partners! It's so much easier to make progress (and have fun doing it) when you've got a buddy for mutual support.

For many years I played recorder and mountain dulcimer (the latter mostly old-time noter/drone style with some chord/melody). I could sing, but obviously not while playing recorder. I had the darndest time getting my brain to simultaneously process singing while playing melody on the dulcimer. Let alone playing harmony while I sang (we all wish we could be Jean Ritchie, but good luck with that!) When I got a uke, the revelation was that I had no trouble strumming chords while singing. YMMV.

I happen to think of the ukulele, first and foremost, as a License To Sing. If you go sit on a park bench and sing a cappella, people think you're crazy. If you do the same thing while strumming a few simple chords on a uke, people throw money. Or not, but at least they think you're a musician (however incompetent) and not a looney.

When I teach beginner workshops on uke, the motivation for most attendees is that they would like to be able to sing a song. Even when there's not a guitar player around ;-)

None of this is meant to discount the beauty of instrumental music on ukulele. It's glorious, and good on ya for playing it if that's where your heart leads you. I've been learning some fills and lead lines and I hope someday to be able to play instrumentals. But all I really needed from uke was three chords and the truth.

Steedy
08-31-2017, 11:00 AM
There's just something about a ukulele that makes you want to sing while playing. :)

Pueo
08-31-2017, 12:31 PM
Even though I often accompany others' singing, as a member of both an opera orchestra and a worship leading ensemble at church, I'm an instrumentalist. And that had better be enough, because even if I may envy those who can play and sing, I have a mental block whereby I can only do those things separately, but never simultaneously. It is so severe, in fact, that even attempting to speak a few words to someone while playing an instrument throws my playing completely off, even if I've only managed to grunt unintelligibly. It's always been like this, since I was very young. I must stop playing in order to speak, sing or vocalize in any way. I've taken a lot of ribbing over this, and spent time trying to overcome it, but to no avail. :(

bratsche

YOU CAN DO IT!
I was exactly the same way.
I learned how to play guitar in 4th grade, took private lessons, learned to read music, I could play pretty well. Every year my guitar teacher had recitals and everyone must participate.
I would usually choose a piece to push myself and it was great fun. One year I chose a piece and my teacher said, "If you choose this, you must sing too." I explained I CAN'T. I tried.
I tried harder. I just could not do it. I resigned myself to being someone who could never sing and play at the same time. I love to sing, I have fun doing karaoke, etc.
Anyway fast forward many years. I no longer play guitar that much. I met my (Hawaiian) wife. Her sisters all dance hula. We would go over to their homes and there would be music and dancing and what I heard was pretty simple so I brought my guitar over and joined in. That led me to buying my first ukulele about 11 years ago.
Mind you, I still could not sing and play at the same time. I was DETERMINED to crack it. So here is what I did and how it worked for me. I chose a song I had learned to play on ukulele that I could play well. A song that I also happened to enjoy singing and knew all the lyrics by heart. For me, that song was Imagine by John Lennon.

I just brute force started playing that and singing it at the same time. Measure by measure.
It took me about three weeks of concerted effort, working on it every day, SO FRUSTRATING, and then, all of a sudden, like a light switch - CLICK!
I can do it! It's easy!
Not only could I sing and play Imagine, but I was able to drag out any of my old music and guess what? I CAN SING AND PLAY AT THE SAME TIME.
Any song I know how it goes, I can look at the sheet and just play it.

You just have to get over whatever block you think you have and it will set you free.

You got this!

Oh, but I still can't carry on a conversation while playing. Yet. :D

Nickie
08-31-2017, 02:57 PM
I had a voice lesson today, after taking a 7 month hiatus from them. It was very enlightening. I was quickly shown my mistakes, and received some nods when I did things right. I'm getting rid of some nasty habits. I can't say enough for having a voice coach.
I never sang much till I started learning chords on my 1st uke.
I love to fingerpick, too. It really comes in handy when I have the occasional bought of laryngitis, in which I lose my entire voice.
Chord melodies are so nice, I envy people who can sing and fingerpick something fancy in the same song.
A year ago, after signing on as a Director of TBUS, I asked for at least one workshop during TBUG (our festival) to be lead by an instrumentalist. I was told "No, they have to sing."
This year, I have asked again, and now am not being told no. Not a "yes" yet, but I feel "maybe" in the air.
As per Samantha Muir, as players improve, groups are more likely to accept a picker in the mix with all the strummer/singers. She recently did workshops at a festival which used to use only strummer/singer instructors.
I'm still in awe of Bluegrass Music picker/singers.

JackLuis
08-31-2017, 06:24 PM
Jack, it sounds like you and your neighbor are perfect partners! It's so much easier to make progress (and have fun doing it) when you've got a buddy for mutual support.

For many years I played recorder and mountain dulcimer (the latter mostly old-time noter/drone style with some chord/melody). I could sing, but obviously not while playing recorder. I had the darndest time getting my brain to simultaneously process singing while playing melody on the dulcimer. Let alone playing harmony while I sang (we all wish we could be Jean Ritchie, but good luck with that!) When I got a uke, the revelation was that I had no trouble strumming chords while singing. YMMV.

I happen to think of the ukulele, first and foremost, as a License To Sing. If you go sit on a park bench and sing a cappella, people think you're crazy. If you do the same thing while strumming a few simple chords on a uke, people throw money. Or not, but at least they think you're a musician (however incompetent) and not a looney.

When I teach beginner workshops on uke, the motivation for most attendees is that they would like to be able to sing a song. Even when there's not a guitar player around ;-)

None of this is meant to discount the beauty of instrumental music on ukulele. It's glorious, and good on ya for playing it if that's where your heart leads you. I've been learning some fills and lead lines and I hope someday to be able to play instrumentals. But all I really needed from uke was three chords and the truth.

I know Gary has been a big help to me. I do enjoy singing but want to learn to be a better player, but I'm a slow learner, however I did start my arpeggio and finger picking exercises today. Hopefully tomorrow won't be so hot and I'll be able to play outside in the morning for a couple of hours. I get too distracted by the computer if I'm inside.

Tomorrow is supposed to be a NUD for Gary, he broke down and bought a Concert, so we'll probably switch to C tuned Uke tomorrow. We've been playing G tuned Bari for a while now.

I found the music and tabs for Cannon in D arranged for the C tuned Uke but in the Key of D that uses the neck down to the ~ 10 fret! It should give us both a boost in using inversions and more of the neck/notes.

rubykey
08-31-2017, 06:24 PM
The only reason I started to play ukulele was to accompanying my singing. I never intended for it to be a serious habit and certainly never thought it would be a big part of my identity. What Joy those four strings have brought me. I play almost every morning before I even get out of bed.

About 3 years ago a friend of mine used to invite me to music jams and I would say " I don't want to sit around watching other people play their instruments and sing." She encouraged me to play my ukulele. She said you have more power when you play an instrument. She was right. At first I would flounder but there was always some instrumentalists who can take up the slack. I was always grateful when that happened. I'm still grateful when that happens because I'm still just a Strummer. I spend more time learning songs, finding the right key, transposing and memorizing chord progressions. I do work on music. I can now play second and third position chords. I can play rudimentary Swing and Jazz, I can play with musicians who are way more accomplished than me. They say I can hold Rhythm and that's what counts. I have an ear for an interesting song and I sing a lot. That's my passion. And that's my point --follow your passion and stretch yourself a little. I'm starting to pick out melodies but only with myself. I also want to teach and I have taught easy swing songs for ukulele at a few festivals. Honestly I felt like a poser at first because I don't play lead and I don't even have an interesting right hand. I always choose the easiest chords that require only two fingers, maybe three. The other thing I stress is teaching songs while not looking at paper. I never thought I could play without looking at paper when I started.

I can sing, and also lead singing. For that I choose songs that have a chorus or repeated refrain and I often repeat the refrain just because. It's a wonderful feeling to see people singing in response to my leading. And when I have musicians who are lead players in the group I always let them have a chance at improvising and then bring the group back into sing. So there's room for all of it -- singers, strummers, pickers, instrumentalists and listeners.

My next project is to lead a one-hour workshop at a festival I'm involved with. I decided to call it "Intro to Ukulele Joy." So even though I started playing because of singing, I got hooked on the ukulele. I want to encourage other people to find joy with the ukulele. Singing isn't required.

Ukulele Underground has had a great influence on my growth. Love the thoughtful discussions that go on here.

Rllink
09-01-2017, 02:57 AM
From my experience interacting and playing with other musicians, it seems to me that there are three aspects. One is the message that comes from the song. The next is the accompaniment, which is the vehicle that carries the message. The last is presence. It is the emotion that one puts into the music that gives it life, and gives it a soul. One can be mediocre in all three, and still engage others. But when you eliminate one aspect you have to compensate with the others. I would use Jake as an example of someone who uses his instrumental showmanship and his stage presence to overcome his lack of message. One might even say that his message is, "look what I can do." He is a musical acrobat, and a good one at that. But I personally get tired of that sort of act after a while, as it is the same tricks over and over. As a listener I find the message more engaging.

Now if a musician sequesters themselves somewhere and does not wish to share their music, that all goes out the window. I really can not speak to that, as I can not even imagine myself in those circumstances. Anyway, from before the first day I picked up a ukulele, my desire was to share music, so I need all the help that I can get. I work on all three.

brUKEman
09-01-2017, 04:08 AM
When I first started I played stuff like "Five Ft. Two" and other sing-alongs. What would happen is that I would sing the first couple of lines with the audience and then they would stop as they didn't know all the words. So I learned the words so I can carry at least a couple of verses of the songs. I also started playing the melody on my harmonica for songs that I didn't feel I had the range to sing.

Most people learn a song in one key and then try to sing it in that key even if it is wrong for them. I learned to try a song in different keys until I found the key that was more comfortable for my voice range. I at least have a reasonable chance of the song sounding decent.

I also learned a little chord and melody so that I can give the songs a decent intro/ending and even maybe an instrumental verse in the middle. I have also made up little books with the words in them and pass them out to people when I play senior centers. If they have the words, all I have to do is start them off and strum. Try it all and just do what works best.

bratsche
09-01-2017, 05:49 PM
YOU CAN DO IT!
I was exactly the same way.
----
I was DETERMINED to crack it. So here is what I did and how it worked for me. I chose a song I had learned to play on ukulele that I could play well. A song that I also happened to enjoy singing and knew all the lyrics by heart. For me, that song was Imagine by John Lennon.

I just brute force started playing that and singing it at the same time. Measure by measure.
It took me about three weeks of concerted effort, working on it every day, SO FRUSTRATING, and then, all of a sudden, like a light switch - CLICK!
I can do it! It's easy!
Not only could I sing and play Imagine, but I was able to drag out any of my old music and guess what? I CAN SING AND PLAY AT THE SAME TIME.
Any song I know how it goes, I can look at the sheet and just play it.

You just have to get over whatever block you think you have and it will set you free.

You got this!

Oh, but I still can't carry on a conversation while playing. Yet. :D

Well, I'm glad for you that you were able to "crack it", but you mention that it took you 3 weeks of concerted daily effort, by brute force, measure by measure... and that would only work for me if I lived alone, or, at very least, if my husband ever went anywhere (he's retired, and a homebody). There's unfortunately no place for me to go and do the kind of regimen you describe, with the necessary solitude I'd need. He's not a musician, and I just couldn't do it with him in the house. He'd probably tell me I should give it up after the first 15 minutes, if not much sooner. LOL

bratsche

Nickie
09-01-2017, 06:54 PM
"He'd probably tell me I should give it up after the first 15 minutes, if not much sooner. LOL"

Not to mention what the cats would say....

JackLuis
09-01-2017, 10:56 PM
When I told my wife I was going to try to sing with Gary, she said, "You'll have to do it outside."

But after six months or so, she doesn't seem to mind my singing.

bratsche , buy your husband some good earphones and convince him he could hear the TV better that way. Then while he's watching an action shoot'em up. practice your singing/playing in the bathroom.

RafterGirl
09-02-2017, 03:49 PM
I used to be very self conscious about singing and didn't sing in front of anyone, but after four years of playing twice a week with a group, my singing is so much better that I now sing along.
I'm hoping that the ukulele will help me to be less self conscious about singing in public. I think my voice stinks, but when I sing something that's in a key that "fits" my voice, others tell me that I sound just fine. Sometimes I hear half decent stuff come out of my mouth, and I'm shocked......like "where did that come from?" Perhaps with more playing time, and finding my comfortable key, I'll feel less shy about singing.

quiltingshirley
09-02-2017, 04:16 PM
I learned to play so that I could be part of the fun groups we have around here. I've Never sung before but I could strum soft and sing even softer and it worked out well till we joined a group that went around in a circle and on your turn you're supposed to choose a song and lead it. Huh? Well, I wasn't good enough to play an instrumental, those songs are hard and folks listen to you rather than play and sing with you. Sooo, I started singing. I'm an awful singer but it's been a couple of years and it's gotten easier and more fun. Hubby (bass) and I even sing duets sometimes and he's not a good singer either. Instrumentals still panic me too much to enjoy.

Iza
09-06-2017, 03:10 PM
I like both. I'm trying to learn instrumental pieces (I'm very drawn to early music) but I also like to fingerpick simple patterns and sing at the same time, or strum. Depends on the mood, really. But I didn't pick up the ukulele specifically to accompany singing, I don't have a great voice. :p

Prattism@gmail.com
09-07-2017, 02:24 PM
I've always done both (for 45 years now) while doing neither well. However, there have always been a few songs that for some reason I was able to sing well. So at every family gathering, I was called out to do 'my' song.

Not too long ago, I decided to change that. First by improving my playing by actually working at it, not just learning new songs to strum along to. For me, that was working the Ukulele Underground Plus course along with their reviews, live lesssons, play alongs and open mics. I'm seeing good progress and am very happy with the Ukulele playing part.

The voice was another problem altogether. So as Nickie has suggested, I got a voice coach. 30 minutes a week personal instruction. I did have to buy a keyboard to do some of the work and exercises. After two months I'm just starting to see progress. Good progress. I'm not expecting miracles but I'm gonna give it at least six months.

My goal is to be able to play and sing a couple of dozen songs well, from memory. Play intros, some tasty riffs, better strumming patterns, melody lines, and know all the verses and choruses to keep the sing-along crowd on point. Once I have my basic arsenal, I'd like to build a nice little songbook to play from to expand my repertoire significantly.