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View Full Version : what do you when uve hit a wall..



ukuleG
08-08-2009, 01:26 PM
just curious as to what you do to get past those dreadful walls (when it comes to playing ukulele of course.)
i haven't hit one at the moment but it would be nice to have some advice out there for anyone who has or for the next time any of us do :).

Citrus
08-08-2009, 01:28 PM
heh, there was talk about this earlier, when you see a wall coming, SPEED UP.
My suggestion is to just listen to more music and try to mimic what you like from them, or you know come up with your own stuff, but I'm a huge copy cat.

Brewerpaul
08-08-2009, 02:08 PM
Put the instrument away for a week or so. Maybe try something entirely different (like a pennywhistle ;-))? When you pick the uke back up, you'll come to it fresh.
Sometimes when you work at one tough tune too hard, all you're really doing is practicing the same old mistakes again and again. Getting away for a while really helps.

Melissa82
08-08-2009, 04:10 PM
After a couple weeks, I had already hit a wall... so I didn't play for about a week (without even realizing it), went back to it and discovered I was able to make the shape for the E-chord. :D

UkuEroll
08-08-2009, 08:38 PM
I think the wall thing is very common, the learning curve is not so much a curve more a curve with little plateaus, go back a to some earlier stuff you played and you'll realise just how much you have progressed, try to keep playing and you'll be of the plateau and back on the curve in no time.

Brewerpaul
08-09-2009, 07:02 AM
One thing that I've also found helpful on pennywhistle is to try something a lot HARDER for a little while. When I went back to my previous difficulties, they did not seem all that difficult after all. This should work on uke too.

uke5417
08-09-2009, 08:29 AM
If I get bored with what I'm working on, I read. I have two fat music theory books, and lots of websites to explore. There is always something more to learn. Something different to play around with. Also, I tend not to hit walls because I almost never practice. I just play and try to incorporate whatever I'm trying to learn into a creating a new song. If it doesn't sound like music, I don't want to do it, lazy person that I am. (Don't take this as advice; it just seems to work for me.)

berylbite
08-09-2009, 07:42 PM
when I hit a wall, I cruise the forums... for days....

sukie
08-10-2009, 02:50 AM
I just keep going. Practice and practice some more. And then one day I will realize that I'm on an up curve.

UKISOCIETY
08-10-2009, 03:08 AM
I guess I used to hit a wall. But once I got passed it, I've never looked back. I'm always itching to play a uke - any uke all the time.

But, of course, I'm crazy. So consider that in the mix.

UkuLeLesReggAe
08-10-2009, 03:36 AM
im continuously hitting walls. i lose interestuntil something motivates me, again.

Melissa82
08-10-2009, 04:51 AM
I'm beginning to notice that there is a wall I hit about once a month for a little less than a week or so. :biglaugh::uhoh:

ed531
08-10-2009, 05:22 AM
Actually, I hit a wall yesterday. I got bored, so I went to a nearby music store to check out some acoustic guitars. I entered the store and saw four 70-80 year old men jamming to some ragtime blues. I turned around, walked out, and tried to figure out a song I can make my own on a uke.

thegentlesurprise
08-10-2009, 12:09 PM
I have a couple songbooks; I'll pull one out and learn a new tune if I'm feeling stuck. That used to mean pulling out the chord book too, but less so these days as I get better.

Lanark
08-10-2009, 12:17 PM
Just keep playing and playing. I also pull out songbooks and go through and play stuff I wouldn't normally try. Rinse repeat. try something harder.

Playing with other people is also always good. Learning to listen to other instruments besides yourself and fitting your playing into a larger context is something that will propel you forward quite fast as you have to adapt on the fly.

haole
08-10-2009, 12:19 PM
Take a break. Inspiration strikes when you least expect it. Only a few people are really good at forcing it.

My current "wall" right now is being unable to play because almost all my fingertips are shredded. :(

Teek
08-10-2009, 05:26 PM
Wall??? What wall??? :wallbash:


Seriously. I change ukes. Some days I suck all the mojo out of one (they get fed up with me I think) so I move to a different size. I figure at least playing the same chords will make me adjust my finger spacing and take some concentration and so will add some finesse, and hopefully some adaptability. Then on that uke maybe something good will happen. I couldn't play teh sopranos much for months, now I have one about 1 foot away and keep picking it up because I'm job hunting and stressing, and I'm doing great (for me) with it.

Some days I just suck, period. Then I enjoy the forums or go watch vids, or go do entirely other stuff for a week.

The shredded fingers, ouch! been there! Practice strums with the strings muted until they heal.

ihavenotea
08-10-2009, 07:38 PM
Put the instrument away for a week or so. Maybe try something entirely different (like a pennywhistle ;-))? When you pick the uke back up, you'll come to it fresh.
Sometimes when you work at one tough tune too hard, all you're really doing is practicing the same old mistakes again and again. Getting away for a while really helps.

I do find that switching instruments can be very helpful when I am frustrated or feeling discouraged with one. And most always I learn some general concept better by doing so.

(e.g., harmonica has improved my ability to pick out melodies ten fold, ukulele taught me how to play chords rhythmically on the piano)


I have a couple songbooks; I'll pull one out and learn a new tune if I'm feeling stuck. That used to mean pulling out the chord book too, but less so these days as I get better.

Yeah, flipping though songbooks is often a source of easy inspiration. Especially when you find something that you would love to play that is now within reach.

Uncle Rod Higuchi
08-10-2009, 08:21 PM
I second the suggestion about playing with others.

If you are fortunate to have a group of like-minded ukers available for
regular or irregular get-togethers, take advantage of that. They can
pull you out of your funk if you will simply be there with them. Their
enthusiasm can be contagious, as yours will be to them when they are
down, a self-pertetuating cycle of mutual inspiration and encouragement!

These UU conversations might also get you hungry again.
I might also suggest reviewing some youtube videos, not the ones that
make you feel worthless, but maybe someone who is just excited to share
their excitement with the rest of the world! Maybe something completely
UN-ukulele related.

It's good to have your own songbook made up of your favorites. I find myself
thumbing through old familiar songs that may not thrill me as before, but soon
I find one I just can't help smiling to. It's good therapy, a little dose at a time.

Ahnko Honu
08-10-2009, 09:25 PM
I go fishing which clears my mind and soul. :)

Link
08-10-2009, 09:59 PM
I put it down for a while. Continuing to do something when I'm growing weary or not feeling good about it any more is a sure way to make me hate it for life, at least for me. There's no shame in stepping away for a week or two. When coming back to it I notice I feel like the wall is gone and I'm better then when I left off.

mrUKETOBER
08-10-2009, 10:02 PM
i just really try to practice it over and over again until it finally sounds right ! and then when it does.... i do it some more ! lol i play EVERY day and try to get better ! even though it doesnt really pay off lol but thats my suggestion