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CountryMouse
09-25-2009, 02:50 PM
Or else it's really some wires that get crossed in my brain.

I've been playing the ukulele for one month now. I still have trouble remembering (or my fingers have trouble remembering) the difference between G and G7. I don't hold my hand and wrist vertically for those two chords and a few others also. I just can't make the chords properly if I do.

I'm just feeling stuck and probably need to just practice, practice, practice. I want to play cool things, but instead I'm going to have to go back and start at the beginning and work on very very simple things until they become ingrained.

Also I'm still working on finding the best way to hold my soprano uke so that my left hand will be totally free to move around the fretboard and not feel it needs to support the neck in any way. I use a homemade strap, but I still don't feel confident that the uke isn't going to wiggle.

I guess I'm just feeling frustrated at being at a place where I can play somewhat, but knowing I'm really going to have to backtrack to get better.

Youse guys all play so wonderfully--I love watching your videos on YouTube, but I also wonder if I'll ever get anywhere near as good as any of you. Maybe my brain-finger connection will never get that good. I dunno.

You can see what I am doing or not doing right in the four most recent videos on my YouTube channel.

Any words of wisdom? Or encouragement?

CountryMouse

wfwhitson
09-25-2009, 03:04 PM
Don't feel bad I am still struggling with some chords, and my fingers don't want to rember anything either. Still trying to figer out how I am going to do a four finger chord, when I only have three fingers.

I have got to the point that I can play some slow songs, but still have no timing. I finley told myself that I will never play like Jake, so now I am happy to play what I can, and enjoy it.

CountryMouse
09-25-2009, 03:13 PM
Don't feel bad I am still struggling with some chords, and my fingers don't want to remember anything either. Still trying to figure out how I am going to do a four finger chord, when I only have three fingers.

I have got to the point that I can play some slow songs, but still have no timing. I finley told myself that I will never play like Jake, so now I am happy to play what I can, and enjoy it.

Hey, but you have a real physical reason for not being able to play like others. How long have you been playing the ukulele?

Maybe I have a mental excuse. Seriously, I've been on a beta blocker for my heart for years and years--I wonder if it's slowed my thinking processes down too. I have trouble with remembering what fingers go where sometimes when I'm playing medium bass (you use four fingers for that) in Rock Band 2. It's like a brain f*rt. It doesn't bother me quite as much if no one's watching; but I am a darn perfectionist and it's not going well. :-/

I hope I can get to where you are and just enjoy where I am at the moment. Maybe if I just enjoy what I'm doing/where I'm at right now and not try to impress anyone (including me)?

CountryMouse

wfwhitson
09-25-2009, 03:37 PM
Hey, but you have a real physical reason for not being able to play like others. How long have you been playing the ukulele?

Maybe I have a mental excuse. Seriously, I've been on a beta blocker for my heart for years and years--I wonder if it's slowed my thinking processes down too. I have trouble with remembering what fingers go where sometimes when I'm playing medium bass (you use four fingers for that) in Rock Band 2. It's like a brain f*rt. It doesn't bother me quite as much if no one's watching; but I am a darn perfectionist and it's not going well. :-/

I hope I can get to where you are and just enjoy where I am at the moment. Maybe if I just enjoy what I'm doing/where I'm at right now and not try to impress anyone (including me)?

CountryMouse

I know all about beta blockers have been on them and other med.s for years now. Have really bad aurtheritus (spelling) ,and like I say only three usable fingers on left hand. I really think it all comes down to will power, and practice. I have only been playing for about 4 months, and I can hear that I am getting better. Like I say my thing is timing, just can't get fingers to move fast enough. I just keep telling my self that with time I will get better. I have also found that I can play a song perfict at home, than I go to see a friend to jam with and can't hit a note right.

As for you last line in your post rember this. "You have no one to inpress, but youself."

CountryMouse
09-25-2009, 04:02 PM
I know all about beta blockers have been on them and other med.s for years now. Have really bad aurtheritus (spelling) ,and like I say only three usable fingers on left hand. I really think it all comes down to will power, and practice. I have only been playing for about 4 months, and I can hear that I am getting better. Like I say my thing is timing, just can't get fingers to move fast enough. I just keep telling my self that with time I will get better. I have also found that I can play a song perfict at home, than I go to see a friend to jam with and can't hit a note right.

As for you last line in your post rember this. "You have no one to inpress, but youself."

I've got to remember that: will power and practice! :)

And you're so right. I can sit down to just run through the chords of a song I like, and I'm fine. I get in front of my camera to make a video and I can never get through a song without messing up at least one chord.

I gotta stop comparing myself to anyone and just enjoy the music. :)

CountryMouse

wfwhitson
09-25-2009, 04:09 PM
I've got to remember that: will power and practice! :)

And you're so right. I can sit down to just run through the chords of a song I like, and I'm fine. I get in front of my camera to make a video and I can never get through a song without messing up at least one chord.

I gotta stop comparing myself to anyone and just enjoy the music. :)

CountryMouse

Now you got it:D

RevWill
09-25-2009, 04:20 PM
No willpower.

Guitarist David Wilcox once said in an interview that I heard on the radio: "Artists work. They create works of art. Musicians play."

Yes, it takes practice, but practice should be more fun than work. Relax and enjoy the ride.

wfwhitson
09-25-2009, 05:09 PM
When you life with pain everyday, it also takes alot of will power.

itsme
09-25-2009, 05:34 PM
I finley told myself that I will never play like Jake, so now I am happy to play what I can, and enjoy it.
Ya know what? I have carpal tunnel, tendinitis and arthritis, and that has virtually assured that I'll never be a great classical guitarist. :(

To top that off, several years ago I severed some tendons at the base of my left hand pinky. After surgery, therapy and a "remarkable recovery for someone your age" according to the therapist (talk about rubbing it in), I still lost a good amount of extension in the pinky.

I had a choice... play within my limitations or quit playing. Well, quitting was never an option for me.

There are some chords/stretches I can't reach. I just figure out what's easiest for me in terms of reach and make do. (Usually you're not there long enough to make one less note really noticeable anyway.)

Think about Django Reinhart or Phil Keaggy. They both made it with less than fully functional hands.

Playing music is an important part of my life, and I'm grateful for what I can still do with my hands and try not to dwell on what I can't.

wfwhitson
09-25-2009, 05:38 PM
Ya know what? I have carpal tunnel, tendinitis and arthritis, and that has virtually assured that I'll never be a great classical guitarist. :(

To top that off, several years ago I severed some tendons at the base of my left hand pinky. After surgery, therapy and a "remarkable recovery for someone your age" according to the therapist (talk about rubbing it in), I still lost a good amount of extension in the pinky.

I had a choice... play within my limitations or quit playing. Well, quitting was never an option for me.

There are some chords/stretches I can't reach. I just figure out what's easiest for me in terms of reach and make do. (Usually you're not there long enough to make one less note really noticeable anyway.)

Think about Django Reinhart or Phil Keaggy. They both made it with less than fully functional hands.

Playing music is an important part of my life, and I'm grateful for what I can still do with my hands and try not to dwell on what I can't.

Very well said.

etkre
09-25-2009, 05:47 PM
I was just about to mention Django Reinhardt. There's always ways around "limitations" if you want it bad enough.

Joe Beamish
09-25-2009, 05:50 PM
The two best pieces of advice about improving that I ever received:

-- Play a song (or a phrase) until you've "mastered" it (however you define that) before moving on to something else. Just break songs into small pieces that you can practice over and over, even it's just a simple chord change.

-- Once you're fairly competent on a piece, use a metronome (at least sometimes). This develops tempo, but also points out your weaker chord/note changes so you know what to work on. Plus it can be fun.

Anyway, these two basics have always helped me. I agree with you about the difficulty of holding a soprano steady. I actually shift mine around a lot, especially when moving between open and barre chords. The thumb has to move, and so does my arm, and that's just the way it goes.

A third piece of advice (less important at the moment perhaps, but still could be helpful) is to memorize the names of the notes on the first 5 frets, and to become aware (if you're not already) of the root note in each chord position. This you can actually practice away from the instrument, while you're doing other more mundane things. But it can help you differentiate between different chord shapes and help keep you oriented.

Whatever works for you is what's best! Enjoy!

eldaddy007
09-25-2009, 05:54 PM
Gee, after reading your post I thought you would be really bad. But I watched your videos and have to say I don't understand what you're talking about.

You've been playing for one month? Get outa here, you're doing great! Why are you so impatient? Nobody, NOBODY can master any instrument in a month. And only a few geniuses can do it in less than several years.

You're not one of those people that fishes for complements by putting themselves down, are you?;)

Lori
09-25-2009, 06:16 PM
Also I'm still working on finding the best way to hold my soprano uke so that my left hand will be totally free to move around the fretboard and not feel it needs to support the neck in any way. I use a homemade strap, but I still don't feel confident that the uke isn't going to wiggle.


CountryMouse

Have a strap button installed, and add a nice mandolin strap. The last thing you should have to worry about is dropping the uke. And it will give you the freedom to get the best hand positions for each chord. I like this one since it doesn't have any hardware that might scratch the uke.
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000XPPPXO/ref=ox_ya_oh_product
Levy's Leathers 1/2 Carving Leather Mandolin Strap
They come in many colors, and some of them have been on sale.

With practice you will get better. Just have fun. There are plenty of wonderful tones in that ukulele that are easy to get to.

–Lori

ichadwick
09-25-2009, 11:22 PM
Any words of wisdom? Or encouragement?

Practice. When you're done that, practice more. And then practice some more again. And just to be sure, practice a little more. And when you're done al that, start all over.

After 40+ years playing guitar and other instruments, I still make the musical equivalent of typos, especially when learning a song. Oops. that was G when I meant G7. But when I stop trying so hard, when I start playing for the sheer pleasure of the sound, for the fun of hearing myself, then I stop making so many mistakes.

upskydowncloud
09-25-2009, 11:58 PM
Practice. When you're done that, practice more. And then practice some more again. And just to be sure, practice a little more. And when you're done al that, start all over.

After 40+ years playing guitar and other instruments, I still make the musical equivalent of typos, especially when learning a song. Oops. that was G when I meant G7. But when I stop trying so hard, when I start playing for the sheer pleasure of the sound, for the fun of hearing myself, then I stop making so many mistakes.

I couldn't have said it better. Playing the uke is like any sort of physical skill, it takes a while to pick up. People like Aldrine and Jake have been playing since they were children, their muscles are used to all of this. I've been playing about 16 months now and it's taken me that long to get used to playing some chords.

You get better and better as you practice but as ichadwick said you have to keep going.

retrozombi
09-26-2009, 01:47 AM
It's taken me a couple years to get comfortable enough with fretting that I can get my pinky to do what I want. Most of the time. :)

And just this week I finally learned how to strum from watching Aldrine's lessons. What I'm saying is keep at it, have fun, and you'll keep having breakthroughs.

CountryMouse
09-26-2009, 05:05 AM
No willpower.

Guitarist David Wilcox once said in an interview that I heard on the radio: "Artists work. They create works of art. Musicians play."

Yes, it takes practice, but practice should be more fun than work. Relax and enjoy the ride.

Oh! Good thing to remember (about it being playing, not work).

CMouse

CountryMouse
09-26-2009, 05:09 AM
Ya know what? I have carpal tunnel, tendinitis and arthritis, and that has virtually assured that I'll never be a great classical guitarist. :(

To top that off, several years ago I severed some tendons at the base of my left hand pinky. After surgery, therapy and a "remarkable recovery for someone your age" according to the therapist (talk about rubbing it in), I still lost a good amount of extension in the pinky.

I had a choice... play within my limitations or quit playing. Well, quitting was never an option for me.

There are some chords/stretches I can't reach. I just figure out what's easiest for me in terms of reach and make do. (Usually you're not there long enough to make one less note really noticeable anyway.)

Think about Django Reinhart or Phil Keaggy. They both made it with less than fully functional hands.

Playing music is an important part of my life, and I'm grateful for what I can still do with my hands and try not to dwell on what I can't.

Wow, you are a strong-minded person!

I didn't know Phil Keaggy had any physical limitations. One heck of a guitarist, though!

CountryMouse

CountryMouse
09-26-2009, 05:12 AM
The two best pieces of advice about improving that I ever received:

-- Play a song (or a phrase) until you've "mastered" it (however you define that) before moving on to something else. Just break songs into small pieces that you can practice over and over, even it's just a simple chord change.

-- Once you're fairly competent on a piece, use a metronome (at least sometimes). This develops tempo, but also points out your weaker chord/note changes so you know what to work on. Plus it can be fun.

Anyway, these two basics have always helped me. I agree with you about the difficulty of holding a soprano steady. I actually shift mine around a lot, especially when moving between open and barre chords. The thumb has to move, and so does my arm, and that's just the way it goes.

A third piece of advice (less important at the moment perhaps, but still could be helpful) is to memorize the names of the notes on the first 5 frets, and to become aware (if you're not already) of the root note in each chord position. This you can actually practice away from the instrument, while you're doing other more mundane things. But it can help you differentiate between different chord shapes and help keep you oriented.

Whatever works for you is what's best! Enjoy!

That is so hard for me to do: just practice one song only. There are so many things I want to play, want to try.

I'll have to see how much metronomes cost. :p

Thanks for the advice!

CountryMouse

CountryMouse
09-26-2009, 05:20 AM
Gee, after reading your post I thought you would be really bad. But I watched your videos and have to say I don't understand what you're talking about.

You've been playing for one month? Get outa here, you're doing great! Why are you so impatient? Nobody, NOBODY can master any instrument in a month. And only a few geniuses can do it in less than several years.

You're not one of those people that fishes for complements by putting themselves down, are you?;)

Okay, here goes: I didn't know how far along I should be at this point. I am mostly learning from books and some videos. I thought I was being a "slow learner". I have experience in singing and music in general, but not in making chords with my own fingers! I think I am impatient with myself because I used to play autoharp, and I could learn a new song in a very short time.

Also, no, I am not looking for compliments. I seriously don't know if the medicines I have had to take over the years have impaired my brain functions sometimes. I know where my fingers are supposed to go, they just don't always GO there, even though I've done the song over and over. I should take heart that I thought I'd never get better playing bass in Rock Band 2, but now I've gone up a level to where I thought I'd never be able to play, so I guess my brain/finger functions must be working somehow. It just was feeling like I'd hit a wall or was going backwards on the uke.

I see all these folks with cool videos on YouTube--I have no idea how long they've been playing, but I keep thinking, "I should be able to do that! What's wrong with me?!".

CountryMouse

CountryMouse
09-26-2009, 05:27 AM
Have a strap button installed, and add a nice mandolin strap. The last thing you should have to worry about is dropping the uke. And it will give you the freedom to get the best hand positions for each chord. I like this one since it doesn't have any hardware that might scratch the uke.
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000XPPPXO/ref=ox_ya_oh_product
Levy's Leathers 1/2 Carving Leather Mandolin Strap
They come in many colors, and some of them have been on sale.

With practice you will get better. Just have fun. There are plenty of wonderful tones in that ukulele that are easy to get to.

–Lori

I am so nervous about having a button installed. I know I've read other threads on UU about that, where everyone is nervous about it beforehand but so happy about it afterwards. And I only have a cheap Makala. Well, money is hard to come by now, so it's not cheap to me. :p

Does MGM install buttons? I am thinking eventually of getting a Kala Kiwi like yours (next year probably) and wonder if he'd install a button (for extra) before shipping it to me. Or did you have it done by someone else? Do you have a button on the Kiwi?

Are there any other mandolin straps that don't have any hardware? Usually new leather has a smell, and I have a lot of allergies. Also: how can you adjust the length of a strap if there is no hardware?

Thanks!

CountryMouse

CountryMouse
09-26-2009, 05:29 AM
Practice. When you're done that, practice more. And then practice some more again. And just to be sure, practice a little more. And when you're done al that, start all over.

After 40+ years playing guitar and other instruments, I still make the musical equivalent of typos, especially when learning a song. Oops. that was G when I meant G7. But when I stop trying so hard, when I start playing for the sheer pleasure of the sound, for the fun of hearing myself, then I stop making so many mistakes.

Thank you. :) I had no frame of reference of how I should be doing at this point in time. I felt like I was going too slow or something.

And yes, that's what happens with me: when I'm playing just for me, just for fun, I do better. I "seize up" when I try doing a video. :p

CountryMouse

CountryMouse
09-26-2009, 05:32 AM
I couldn't have said it better. Playing the uke is like any sort of physical skill, it takes a while to pick up. People like Aldrine and Jake have been playing since they were children, their muscles are used to all of this. I've been playing about 16 months now and it's taken me that long to get used to playing some chords.

You get better and better as you practice but as ichadwick said you have to keep going.

You-all are helping me a lot, with giving me some idea of how you're doing and how long you've been playing. I had no idea how I should be doing at this point and thought I was being "slow".

Thanks!

CountryMouse

CountryMouse
09-26-2009, 05:38 AM
It's taken me a couple years to get comfortable enough with fretting that I can get my pinky to do what I want. Most of the time. :)

And just this week I finally learned how to strum from watching Aldrine's lessons. What I'm saying is keep at it, have fun, and you'll keep having breakthroughs.

Thank you--this is the kind of thing I needed to hear.

I remember it took me a while to get a particular synchopated strum down when playing autoharp. I read about it, I watched others in person do it, but it wasn't until I got back from a folk festival and was fooling around at home that I suddenly fell into the strum that had eluded me!

So maybe it will be that way for me with various things on the uke.

CountryMouse

Blrfl
09-26-2009, 06:11 AM
I'll have to see how much metronomes cost. :p

Freebie: http://www.metronomeonline.com

--Mark

uke5417
09-26-2009, 06:24 AM
When I first learned the G vs G7, I tried to think of them as two triangles, one pointing up, one down, to better remember things.

Uncle Rod Higuchi
09-26-2009, 09:10 AM
Are there any other mandolin straps that don't have any hardware? Usually new leather has a smell, and I have a lot of allergies. Also: how can you adjust the length of a strap if there is no hardware?



If you're a perfectionist you may not like this suggestion. :(

I make my own straps with webbing-like material (like on a fanny pack) and I create ends by simply tying a loop and sewing the ends in the fold-over from the strap.

as for adjusting, I try to get the length, for a particular uke, preset. Othewise, I simply tie a knot at one end of the strap, usually the butt end.

I also use key lanyard material since the uke is not very heavy.

CountryMouse
09-26-2009, 11:01 AM
Freebie: http://www.metronomeonline.com

--Mark

Thanks! :)

CountryMouse

CountryMouse
09-26-2009, 11:02 AM
When I first learned the G vs G7, I tried to think of them as two triangles, one pointing up, one down, to better remember things.

I'm still trying to get a mental picture of this, since I play those chords more "sideways"...

CountryMouse

CountryMouse
09-26-2009, 11:04 AM
If you're a perfectionist you may not like this suggestion. :(

I make my own straps with webbing-like material (like on a fanny pack) and I create ends by simply tying a loop and sewing the ends in the fold-over from the strap.

as for adjusting, I try to get the length, for a particular uke, preset. Othewise, I simply tie a knot at one end of the strap, usually the butt end.

I also use key lanyard material since the uke is not very heavy.

Do you have photos? You're using a strap button on the one end of the uke?

I'm soooo confused. :p

CountryMouse

KC8AFW
09-26-2009, 04:00 PM
Don't be so hard on your self, CM. You're doing great for only a month of playing a stringed instrument that you fret. It really is more about developing muscle-memory than it is the brain to finger connection. And muscle-memory is only developed by repetition (sorry...that means practice).

There have been a lot of great suggestions already...but I will go ahead and reaffirm what's already been said. I realize you don't want to play one song over and over...but maybe you could stick with songs that have the same chords as each other. I would maybe start with the key of C (C-G-Am-F) and find a bunch of songs you like with those chords. That way you are not overburdening yourself with trying to remember a bunch of different chords.

Next...try to play the chord pregression without looking at your fretting hand. This is real hard at first, but in order to develop the muscle memory...you need to get a "feel" for the chord shape. Sometimes you can impede your own progress because you are too focused on "this finger goes here, that finger goes there".

And remember...there is no one "right way" to form a particular chord. It's just what ever happens to work for you. Heck, I even throw the thumb over the top of the neck to finger some chords. Most importantly...have fun.

sukie
09-27-2009, 06:19 PM
Wait 'til you wake up one day and you go to play the "impossible" thing and -- boom -- it's not impossible anymore.:D It'll happen. You probably don't want to hear my spiel on practice, practice, practice do you? :D


P.S. you,my dear, seem a perfect candidate for a uke thong!

CountryMouse
09-29-2009, 06:50 AM
Don't be so hard on your self, CM. You're doing great for only a month of playing a stringed instrument that you fret. It really is more about developing muscle-memory than it is the brain to finger connection. And muscle-memory is only developed by repetition (sorry...that means practice).

There have been a lot of great suggestions already...but I will go ahead and reaffirm what's already been said. I realize you don't want to play one song over and over...but maybe you could stick with songs that have the same chords as each other. I would maybe start with the key of C (C-G-Am-F) and find a bunch of songs you like with those chords. That way you are not overburdening yourself with trying to remember a bunch of different chords.

Next...try to play the chord pregression without looking at your fretting hand. This is real hard at first, but in order to develop the muscle memory...you need to get a "feel" for the chord shape. Sometimes you can impede your own progress because you are too focused on "this finger goes here, that finger goes there".

And remember...there is no one "right way" to form a particular chord. It's just what ever happens to work for you. Heck, I even throw the thumb over the top of the neck to finger some chords. Most importantly...have fun.

Thank you so much for the good advice! I will be glad when my fingers act like an autoharp chord bar, when they just go down PLUNK on the strings, all at once. Heh.

Saving your post to a text file. :)

CountryMouse

CountryMouse
09-29-2009, 06:53 AM
Wait 'til you wake up one day and you go to play the "impossible" thing and -- boom -- it's not impossible anymore.:D It'll happen. You probably don't want to hear my spiel on practice, practice, practice do you? :D


P.S. you,my dear, seem a perfect candidate for a uke thong!

Thank you for telling me that anyway--about breakthroughs. :) It gives me hope!

I have a uke thong, and I'm warming up to it! I just am afraid of putting a button in my inexpensive Makala. I'm still gonna fool around with one other attempt at a homemade uke strap. Need to get the right kind of cord stoppers at JoAnn's.

CountryMouse

RevWill
09-29-2009, 07:05 AM
G7 is an arrow pointing at the headstock. G is an arrow pointing at the bridge.

CountryMouse
09-29-2009, 07:15 AM
G7 is an arrow pointing at the headstock. G is an arrow pointing at the bridge.

Ah okay, then my doing it sorta horizontally isn't too weird. :D

Now I'll just be glad when my fingers know the difference automatically!

Thanks!

CountryMouse

RevWill
09-29-2009, 07:18 AM
Ah okay, then my doing it sorta horizontally isn't too weird. :D

Now I'll just be glad when my fingers know the difference automatically!

Thanks!

CountryMouse

That's how I've always visualized it. Whether you think horizontally, vertically, or in terms of geometric shapes, etc. doesn't really matter. Use what works for you.

Ukulele JJ
09-29-2009, 07:37 AM
I have also found that I can play a song perfict at home, than I go to see a friend to jam with and can't hit a note right.


And you're so right. I can sit down to just run through the chords of a song I like, and I'm fine. I get in front of my camera to make a video and I can never get through a song without messing up at least one chord.

I always recommend the book The Inner Game of Music (http://www.amazon.com/dp/0385231261) for cases like that.

JJ

CountryMouse
09-29-2009, 09:06 AM
I always recommend the book The Inner Game of Music (http://www.amazon.com/dp/0385231261) for cases like that.

JJ

Thanks for the link! :)

CountryMouse

sukie
09-29-2009, 09:12 AM
Ukulele JJ always has good advice.

Are your fingers untangling yet?

CountryMouse
09-29-2009, 09:26 AM
Ukulele JJ always has good advice.

Are your fingers untangling yet?

I wonder when ^that^ is going to happen! heh! :D

CountryMouse

sukie
09-29-2009, 09:36 AM
I wonder when ^that^ is going to happen! heh! :D

CountryMouse

You should see me with a couple of fingerpicking chords. I hold a g chord but then have to lift up my ring finger. More often than not I lift off my middle finger instead. It sounds bad that way.:eek:

CountryMouse
09-29-2009, 10:40 AM
You should see me with a couple of fingerpicking chords. I hold a g chord but then have to lift up my ring finger. More often than not I lift off my middle finger instead. It sounds bad that way.:eek:

Fingerpicking--that's a looooong way in my future! LOL!

CountryMouse

anniekate76
09-29-2009, 11:57 AM
Where is your left thumb while you're playing? From your videos it looks like it might be too high. Try bracing the pad of your thumb against the bottom part of the neck's curve, so it's like your thumb is trying to push the neck of the uke up towards your face. Maybe that will help.

Yeah, you're doing great, though, stop worrying about being "slow", you're fine. Plus you have a lovely voice.

You should play whatever songs you want to play so you don't get bored, and then do the switching-between-two-chords-over-and-over rote practice while you're doing something else, like watching TV.

Have you discovered Chordie.com yet? It lets you transpose the chords of the song into a key that uses mostly chords you already know :) Pick the Ukulele (C tuning) from the instrument dropdown and then play with that transpose dropdown!

CountryMouse
09-29-2009, 01:14 PM
Where is your left thumb while you're playing? From your videos it looks like it might be too high. Try bracing the pad of your thumb against the bottom part of the neck's curve, so it's like your thumb is trying to push the neck of the uke up towards your face. Maybe that will help.

Yeah, you're doing great, though, stop worrying about being "slow", you're fine. Plus you have a lovely voice.

You should play whatever songs you want to play so you don't get bored, and then do the switching-between-two-chords-over-and-over rote practice while you're doing something else, like watching TV.

Have you discovered Chordie.com yet? It lets you transpose the chords of the song into a key that uses mostly chords you already know :) Pick the Ukulele (C tuning) from the instrument dropdown and then play with that transpose dropdown!

I have my thumb where the Mel Bay books say to put it: just at the very back of the neck, midway from the bottom and top of the frets. This always feels like I'm trying to push the neck away from me, though. I will try the way you say and see if that helps--thanks!

Okay, from what everyone is saying, I'll stop worrying about taking time to learn things. And thanks for the compliment on my voice.

I have a transposition chart that I think is the same as the Circle of Fifths I saw on someone's site (I forget who!). I got it from an autoharp book years ago and use that to transpose songs into keys I can play/sing in. It was really necessary when I was playing my 15-chord autoharp, since I was very limited in what keys I could play.

I went to Chordie.com, but it looks confusing and disorganized to me. I guess I'll have to give it another try at some point.

Thanks! :)

CountryMouse

anniekate76
09-29-2009, 01:33 PM
Well, here's the link to the list of Joan Baez songs on Chordie.

http://www.chordie.com/song.php/songartist/Baez,+Joan/index.html

So click one of the songs and it'll show you how many versions it has of the song and a preview of what chords it uses. Chordie just aggregates and re-formats guitar chords out there on the web in other places, so that's why there's many versions and you can't edit. Click through and you should see the lyrics with chords written in blue. Like so:

http://www.chordie.com/chord.pere/www.guitaretab.com/j/joan-baez/36481.html

Over on the right are the dropdowns -- under Tuning pick Ukulele (C-Tuning) and it changes the chord diagrams to uke instead of guitar. Handy. Now this song happens to be those nice easy chords, but it could still be the wrong key for you, so you can play with the Transpose dropdown and see all the chords change like magic.

(If it missed interpreting some of the chords as chord names, they won't be in blue and the transposer won't change them. The song I picked doesn't have that issue.)

When you've exhausted the Baez resources, you can go up to the place at the top of the page where it says Browse Artist: A B C D E etc and pick the letter for the artist you want to see next, then find them in the list.

CountryMouse
09-29-2009, 02:03 PM
Well, here's the link to the list of Joan Baez songs on Chordie.

http://www.chordie.com/song.php/songartist/Baez,+Joan/index.html

So click one of the songs and it'll show you how many versions it has of the song and a preview of what chords it uses. Chordie just aggregates and re-formats guitar chords out there on the web in other places, so that's why there's many versions and you can't edit. Click through and you should see the lyrics with chords written in blue. Like so:

http://www.chordie.com/chord.pere/www.guitaretab.com/j/joan-baez/36481.html

Over on the right are the dropdowns -- under Tuning pick Ukulele (C-Tuning) and it changes the chord diagrams to uke instead of guitar. Handy. Now this song happens to be those nice easy chords, but it could still be the wrong key for you, so you can play with the Transpose dropdown and see all the chords change like magic.

(If it missed interpreting some of the chords as chord names, they won't be in blue and the transposer won't change them. The song I picked doesn't have that issue.)

When you've exhausted the Baez resources, you can go up to the place at the top of the page where it says Browse Artist: A B C D E etc and pick the letter for the artist you want to see next, then find them in the list.

Wow, thanks for guiding me through this! I may not really need this for the Baez songs, since I have several of her songbooks, large and small, that I've collected over the years. I've just discovered Ingrid Michaelson, though! Nuts, they don't have "Everybody". However, listening through it, it sounds like there are only 3 or 4 chords to the entire song.

Once you get the song you've chosen in the key you want, can it be printed out?

Thanks!

CountryMouse

Ronnie Aloha
09-29-2009, 03:01 PM
Metronomes don't cost a dime!

http://www.metronomeonline.com/

CountryMouse
09-29-2009, 03:55 PM
Metronomes don't cost a dime!

http://www.metronomeonline.com/

Thanks! :)

CountryMouse

anniekate76
09-30-2009, 05:26 AM
Once you get the song you've chosen in the key you want, can it be printed out?

Yeah, it sure can. There should be a print link on the page, in the middle of the fourth section of that blue control panel box on the right hand side. It gives it to you all nicely formatted.

CountryMouse
09-30-2009, 02:44 PM
Yeah, it sure can. There should be a print link on the page, in the middle of the fourth section of that blue control panel box on the right hand side. It gives it to you all nicely formatted.

OMG, this is awesome! I want to do the one Modest Mouse song that I like: "Float On". Easy-peasy!

Thanks so much for all this help! :smileybounce:

CountryMouse