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jnicholes
05-08-2019, 02:43 PM
Hello,

So, it took me a while to realize that my ukulele was slightly flat. By this, I mean all the strings were slightly flat. I discovered this when I compared the notes to my piano that I recently got in tune. So, I tuned the ukulele. Then, I decided to try out a song, and see how it sounded.

I was going through songs, just having a jam session by myself. Eventually, I got to the point where I thought to myself, "I know all the chords I need to know. I can play any song with practice."

Then, as I was reading the sheet music and playing, I came across a cord I did not know. My reaction was priceless. I thought I knew all the cords I need to know, but apparently I was mistaken. I laughed pretty hard.

Well, it looks like I am still learning!

Jared

ukantor
05-08-2019, 03:04 PM
The problem with the ukulele, is that you can only play a maximum of four notes - although I view it as a boon, not a disadvantage. Many chords should properly include more than our four notes. Fortunately, it is usually possible to make a good fist of any chord, provided you select the best four from those required.

John Colter.

Bill Sheehan
05-08-2019, 05:22 PM
I'll second that, John. And having just four strings to work with is the reason that I strive to avoid chord fingerings which include the same exact note twice-- the classic example being the common "G" chord (in re-entrant tuning), fingered 0232. For one thing, it's hard to make the second and fourth strings (unison) sound precisely in tune with each other; and beyond that, I just feel like "Hey, you've only got four notes to work with; why waste one by having it be the same as one of the others?" Now, I do realize that others may see this differently, but that's my take... :D (So, in lieu of the common fingering for that "G", I'll use 2232.)

ukantor
05-08-2019, 08:31 PM
Ah! A fellow traveler! Yes, Bill, I often use the full form of the first position 'G' chord. Perversely, though, I prefer the sound the full 'C' chord - 5433, as against the regular 0003.

John Colter.

Sven-Uke
05-08-2019, 09:50 PM
It is a nice thing indeed to play around with chord voicings on only four strings.
A guitarist friend of mine once gave me a hint to leave out the prime for some chords.
On the right place in a song it can sound great.

Bill Sheehan
05-09-2019, 04:47 AM
Good observations, guys, and on songs that involve a vocal part, there can often be spots where you can decide to let the "sung" note occupy one component of the spectrum, while choosing four independent notes for the strummed chord on the uke, so that you're actually hearing five separate notes (all different from each other, and all different from the sung note) at that moment.

jnicholes
05-09-2019, 04:55 AM
Before I say what I want to say, please keep in mind that I am not mad or upset whatsoever. All I'm trying to do is exercise something that my therapist told me to do.

So, when I started this thread, my intention was to share a story about me and my ukulele that I thought was funny. As much as I enjoy reading the things you guys have said, I feel my story was ignored.

I know this is not the case, though. I suffer from mental and emotional difficulties, and that's mostly why I feel this way.

My therapist recommended that I exercise facing the problem right away, rather than hold on to it for years. That's exactly what I'm trying to do.

Anyway, back on the subject, I see what you guys are saying. The ukulele is only capable of playing a maximum of four notes. I actually don't see this as a downside. Each instrument has its own unique way of playing, the ukulele with its four strings for example. This may sound cheesy, but that's what makes each instrument special in its own way.

Again, I'm not mad at all. I hope you guys understand what I said.

Jared

Bill Sheehan
05-09-2019, 05:05 AM
Apologies, Jared! We truly didn't intend to ignore your original story! It seems that, often, one story can spin off into another, and before we know it we're talking about something not directly related to the original topic! But your original point is definitely well-taken-- in our musical journey, be it with the uke or otherwise, we'll often be coasting along thinking we're pretty well on top of things, only to realize that there is still so much to be learned! The journey can last a lifetime; I know we all treasure it !!

jnicholes
05-09-2019, 05:06 AM
Actually, it's all right. There's no need to apologize. Believe it or not, you actually helped me out by giving me an opportunity to practice what my therapist said.

Thanks for understanding though!

bobhost
05-09-2019, 05:26 AM
Well, it looks like I am still learning!

Jared
Hopefully that will never end.
Strum patterns.
Tabs and finger picking.
Multiple player interaction.
On and on...

YogiTom
05-09-2019, 05:43 AM
... I was going through songs, just having a jam session by myself. Eventually, I got to the point where I thought to myself, "I know all the chords I need to know. I can play any song with practice."

Then, as I was reading the sheet music and playing, I came across a cord I did not know. My reaction was priceless. I thought I knew all the cords I need to know, but apparently I was mistaken. I laughed pretty hard.

I feel like the same thing happens to me any time I flip through my go-to song collections. Sometimes even on songs I’ve played before!

*Totally off-topic from OP*
And fwiw, therapy is great, and good on ya’ for exercising those mental/emotional muscles. Having benefited from therapy myself, I really think our society has done little to encourage those of us who may need it to actually go seek it out. So thank you, Jared; in even a small way, your candid share is helping to de-stigmatize mental health care for those who may still be suffering without help.

ukantor
05-09-2019, 06:33 AM
Hi Jared,

I'm sorry I missed the point of your original post. I seem to have nudged the conversation down a completely different path from the one you intended.

On the subject of mental health, I had an episode about forty years ago which derailed me for a few months. I remember my doctor advising me not to discuss my "breakdown" with anybody, except for clinicians working with me. He warned that people react unfavourably to the mention of mental health issues, and it was best to avoid the possibility of being stigmatized. I'm glad that there is now a more open and understanding approach the the subject.

Back to ukuleles:- when I first took up the uke, I spent a lot of time and effort learning how to play lots of chords. I mostly play chord sequences and sing. I now realise that you need only a basic knowledge of chords, and I should have paid more attention to the strumming, or rhythmical aspect of playing.

Having said that, you will always come across chords you haven't met before. That's when I'm delighted that the uke only has four strings!

Carry on strumming, and enjoy the journey,

John Colter.

jnicholes
05-09-2019, 08:01 AM
@ukantor, it's all right. As I said before, I'm not mad whatsoever. It's just the fact that I sometimes struggle with understanding certain things with my mental and emotional health. That's all.

Jared

Bill Sheehan
05-09-2019, 08:39 AM
Actually, it's all right. There's no need to apologize. Believe it or not, you actually helped me out by giving me an opportunity to practice what my therapist said.

Thanks for understanding though!

You are welcome! Have a good afternoon and evening!

Kenn2018
05-09-2019, 08:48 AM
Yep, there have been times where I too think I'm getting on top of things and beginning to play pretty good and a friend shows me some different way to do the same thing and blpfftttttt. I realize there is a whole lot more to learn.

It's not disheartening or deflating. The journey's just starting and I look forward to getting more competent as I go.

Kyle23
05-09-2019, 10:05 AM
May I ask which chord it was that you didn't know? I find it amazing that you thought you knew all the chords you needed to know lol I've been playing 6 years and when it comes to knowing all the chords I need to know, there is no way.

plunker
05-09-2019, 10:53 AM
The problem with the ukulele, is that you can only play a maximum of four notes - although I view it as a boon, not a disadvantage. Many chords should properly include more than our four notes. Fortunately, it is usually possible to make a good fist of any chord, provided you select the best four from those required.

John Colter.

It's tough playing uke. Guitar players get six strings but uke players have to make do with only four. Sometime you run across a chord and the music says it is one thing but you learned it as a different chord. I remember that happening but can;t pull one up an example right now.

jnicholes
05-09-2019, 11:39 AM
@Kyle23, the chord was A#dim. I was just playing the piece, then I suddenly stopped when I saw the chord I didn't know. I then argued with myself. It went like this:

"A#dim? What's A#dim?" I turned my head as if talking to someone.

"YOU DIDN'T TELL ME I NEEDED TO KNOW A#dim!"

It was a hilarious argument with myself. Sometimes I talk to myself to work through things.

I then looked up the chord on the internet, then learned it.

When I said, " I know all the chords," I meant to say, "I know all the chords used in my songbook."

@plunker, I know what you mean. Some sources when I learn music say to do the E chord one way, but the way I learned it is another way. It happens.

Happy playing,

Jared

ukantor
05-09-2019, 12:44 PM
Hi Jared,

I've never attempted to remember the diminished chords. There is only one shape to remember, and it occurs in three positions, then the sequence repeats as you go all the way up the fret board. I probably haven't explained that well, but any diminished chord will be one of three in the first position.

If I see I'm going to be required to play a dim chord, before I start, I find out by trial and error which one of the three it is. Two will sound wrong, one will "fit" the context.

There are some good tutorial vids. on line specifically on dim chords.

Hope this helps.

John Colter.

Bill Sheehan
05-09-2019, 05:13 PM
Yep, there have been times where I too think I'm getting on top of things and beginning to play pretty good and a friend shows me some different way to do the same thing and blpfftttttt. I realize there is a whole lot more to learn.

It's not disheartening or deflating. The journey's just starting and I look forward to getting more competent as I go.

Kenn, since it's difficult to appreciate, in printed form, exactly what sound is produced by the word "blpfftttttt", I think we're going to need a quick video clip of you actually saying the word! :)