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sandro
12-29-2007, 01:30 PM
Uhmm that's a difficult subject....I actually don't know where to start...I play the ukulele for about 1 year and I love playing it like the first day. But there's a big problem: I think I mostly play the same songs if I find time for playing...I just don't know how I should go on with practise. I have no idea how to start with a new song. That sound's if I would be not interessted in playing uke, but that's wrong. I think I stand on one point since a few weeks and I don't know how to go on.... I hope some of you were in the same situation... And I think Aldrine knows how to go on :-) and he could give me some great tips.

Sandro :-)

HungSolo
12-29-2007, 01:52 PM
This is a very common problem with musicians over time. I'm also new with the Uke, but I've gone through this on guitar many times over the years. It usually happens to me about once or twice a year for a few weeks to sometimes even months at a time.

Some things I've tried to get out of these slumps are:

1. Let go: stop playing for a couple weeks or even more. Find something else to occupy your time that maybe you haven't done before. I tried diving into listening/exploring some music that I haven't heard before, immersing in it a bit or skipping around a bunch of artists. I've also tried reading a bunch of new books. Sometimes either of these will work surprisingly - I'll pick up the guitar after a few weeks off and after a couple hours find some new refreshing things I hadn't thought of before. Sometimes directly influenced from the new stuff I explored during the hiatus, and sometimes just from forgetting about playing for a while.

2. Lessons: I've never been disciplined enough to take regular lessons on anything. But a few times during these ruts, I found taking 1 or 2 lessons from someone new or in a different style can perk up your imagination. I found this especially true if my rut has been longer than normal. A few little tips or techniques can sometime spur on a lot of ideas or new areas to explore.

3. Sludge: sometimes, you just gotta sludge - drag through the hard or boring times and just play. These are the worst times as you see yourself playing the same stuff over and over, but sometimes you just gotta keep going and eventually a strange chord or run will come out and you'll go "WHOA, what was that?"

4. Play with others: This is probably the best I've found to get out of ruts. Go jam with some friends or some new people you've never jammed with before. I have always learned something new and refreshing doing this.

5. Masterbate. A LOT. Just kidding. I dunno if this helps or not, I've never tested it. I just thought I needed 5 tips and ran aground... :)

tripl3thr33
12-30-2007, 09:15 AM
3. Sludge: sometimes, you just gotta sludge - drag through the hard or boring times and just play. These are the worst times as you see yourself playing the same stuff over and over, but sometimes you just gotta keep going and eventually a strange chord or run will come out and you'll go "WHOA, what was that?"

i find this happening to me a lot. sometimes im playing one song, and then i fool around with those chords and find a chord that can go with another song that i havent figured out.

uber_goober
12-31-2007, 06:33 AM
The overarching theme (as others have stated) is just do something different for a bit. I find a few things help to get out of the doldrums.

First if you play mostly original music (which I do), learn something from someone else. Pick a tune you really love, and learn it. Then go back and look at the pieces.

Are there some new chords in there that you could incorporate into your music? What about the phrasing, the timing. Maybe you can incorporate some of those ideas into your style. Look at the song and say "how would I have written/played this".

Since you know the song, change the style. If it's a nice ballad in 3/4, try something different and give it a driving Celtic feel. Or if it's a lively tune, slow it down, add in some accidentals and make something drifting and airy.

My second suggestion would be to explore a different style or tuning. You don't have to devote yourself to it, just see what it has to offer and what you can take with you for what you do. For example, try a low G tuning (you'll need new strings obviously). Or try playing around with open C (GCEG - just like you normally tune, except tune your 1st string to G instead of A).

It's worth a note that nylon strings don't generally like to be tuned differently than the pitch they are "accustomed" to. But for a short time, they'll stay in tune.

Overall, remember to just have fun. That's really the whole point.

-John

pakiboy949
12-31-2007, 12:25 PM
actually,

you can even continue to practice the same songs and give them different sounds. I've just recently noticed this and have probably grown better because i started adding different techniques to songs and just kept practicing these techniques.

I.E. muting with the pinky, different strums, different rhythm, speed, and picking the strings.

dannyboy
12-31-2007, 10:45 PM
if you get bored of the same songs think about learning your scales and learning your notes and different octaves on the uke that way you can start to improvise and make your own songs

Aldrine Guerrero
01-01-2008, 03:31 PM
Hmm... what really helped me out a lot when I was starting was to listen to a lot of CD's.

I would put a CD on and play it all the way through and just jam along the CD. Trying to figure out the chords and solos and what not. It greatly improved my ear and became aware of the different kinds of chord progressions there are in songs. A CD that I used to enjoy working on was the all the Ka'au Crater boys CD's. They had easy chord progressions that were simple enough to figure out but complicated and mellow solo's that kept me rewinding the CD over and over.

If not, then take the songs that you already know and play them in as many different keys as you can :D