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MGM
11-07-2009, 09:23 AM
I noticed the thread about someone complaining about watered down tabs or lessons and thought to myself man you guys have it too easy nowadays. Back when i was first learning guitar there was no such thing as interent videos and tabs. If you wanted to learn a song you did by your ear and maybe seeing the group live and watching the guitar players hands. Today you have the actual artist showing how to play that exact mind boggling riff on video and everything in the world is tabbed out. You can go to youtube and see a bunch of guys showing exactly how to play something.....What ever happened to hard work lol

Ukulele JJ
11-07-2009, 09:27 AM
Yup. I remember sitting on my piano bench with a tape deck, trying to figure out songs I taped off the radio.

If you asked someone for a tab back then, you got a diet soda.

JJ

MGM
11-07-2009, 09:30 AM
that reminds me there is even digital players that slow down stuff at correct pitch so that immposssible to figure run is like daaaah daaaah ddddaaah lllllllllllllllllllllooooooooooooooooooooollllllll lllllllllllllllllllllll

Ukulele JJ
11-07-2009, 09:33 AM
A rare group portrait of JJ and MGM:

:old: :old:


JJ

HaileISela
11-07-2009, 09:58 AM
A rare group portrait of JJ and MGM:

:old: :old:


JJ

LOL


but honestly, I think to get something right those tabs and stuff are a tool, but the hard work's still there. most of the time tabs (or chords, I do not really work with tabs...) aren't entirely correct and you gotta figure it out by yourself anyway.

and what happened to the really good old days, when you learned simple melodies from another bagpipe player by ear? oh wait, those are still there, it's called traditional folk (or "organic dancefloor"^^):D

ukuleG
11-07-2009, 10:00 AM
i think your lucky to have learned like that because when it comes to learning anything by ear I'm just lost.

SuperSecretBETA
11-07-2009, 10:02 AM
Hehehe

The easiest is when you get high def video and audio and slow it down. Even some of the most complicated and fastest songs can be figured out.

The technology is there, and I'm going to use it. Hey, if we didn't use newer technology, it would be a lot harder to buy from you, MGM. :D

If it weren't for easy access music, I still wouldn't have an ukulele.

uke5417
11-07-2009, 10:05 AM
A rare group portrait of JJ and MGM:

:old: :old:


JJ

lolz

I have to explain to many people my age (older) who like me tried but gave up on music when they were young that they should give it another go, how it's so much easier today. It really is.

Teek
11-07-2009, 10:16 AM
MGM, I know you have an excellent point and I absolutely agree with you 100%, but some perverse part of me still wants to ask how deep the snow was on the way to school when you were a lad! :rofl:

SSB has an excellent point, the same technology has made you our go to guy of UAS supply. Many of us browse your listings like this :drool: , and envy your mastery of the stringed instrument and cool confidence evident in your flying fingers in your sapmle videos! :D

You're certainly one of MY heroes! :bowdown:

And I really mean that, totally seriously.

bazmaz
11-07-2009, 10:20 AM
In my view (having played instruments through both "eras") - its just technology, and all it has done is helped to speed up some facets of learning.

In the past, you either played by ear, you took lessons, you got the chords from a mate or you bought a song book.

All the internet has done (like with a lot of things) is brought availability of the song knowledge much easier to get hold of - nothing, however, has changed when it comes to beginners trying to

a) get to understand fingering (strength, sore fingertips, chord changing at will etc)
b) learning the rhythms and the chords themselves.

So, in my view, no, not easier these days, possibly faster in getting the educational material, but from that point on it is surely exactly the same.

Pippin
11-07-2009, 01:45 PM
I play by ear, always have, always will. So, I did it the way that MGM said he did in the "old days". I remember figuring out the entire lead to "Man I'll Never Be" (Boston). I played it onstage with my Les Paul. I learned all the rhythm and leads I played that way... guess I still do.

seeso
11-07-2009, 02:02 PM
Figuring out songs by ear is fun!

...


Sorry, I'll go back to my nerd cave.

Uncle-Taco
11-07-2009, 02:05 PM
Yep.
When I started playing, you could find tablature once in a while in magazines, but that was usually just a lick or two and then grossly inaccurate.

I see these little kids now who can shred it up and I wonder what I'd be like now if I'd had the internet, digital tuners, a DWS, digital modeling amps, all these instructional videos, so on and so on instead of the little old lady with the worthless "oahu method" lessons and LPs slowed down to 16 rpm. :old:

Ahnko Honu
11-07-2009, 02:35 PM
I don't read tabs, I don't read music, only know how to play by ear. Always tuned by ear too and surprised to learn how many people don't know how to without their electronic digital tuners. 'Ukulele has gotten SO technical too with so many musical theories trying to figure out questions that nobody really cared to ask 30 to 40 year ago.
Quality 'ukuleles are more affordable than ever, and learning is easier than ever so more people play than ever before. I love looking for new Youtube artists and watch them grow, and giving them words of encouragement something that couldn't be done 10 years ago.

Mayercaster
11-07-2009, 02:43 PM
you guys are right we have it too easy now.
But also, having proper chops and musical sense is something that comes naturally imo.
Some people I know cannot jam along to a chord progression to save their life but can play these super fast and elaborate metal songs.

mailman
11-07-2009, 02:47 PM
I wish I could play by ear. I'd love to be able to strum along with my uke CDs....but I have no clue where to start. I can hear (and presumably approximate) the strum pattern, but I don't have a clue what chords they're using....:(

buddhuu
11-07-2009, 02:57 PM
I got my first guitar when I was 11. It was 1971.

I struggled for years trying to learn to play guitar and bass. In those days I wanted to be Eric Clapton or Jimmy Page. (Even age 11 I realised that Hendrix was a world of his own, and that there was no point aspiring to that!)

I just got good enough to play bass in a band by the time I was 18 (1978).

I was still crap. Not for want of hard work or practice, but because I have little natural talent.

With the advent of technological aids to learning - the last 10 years - I've made more progress than I did in the preceding 25 years of struggling. CDs, DVDs, the web, Youtube... This stuff is GREAT.

Just because we old guys didn't have it when we started learning doesn't make it bad. It doesn't mean we have to work less hard. It just means that learning more stuff is possible for more people.

Without this broad access I would not have been able to discover instruments that have worked for me far better than guitar ever did - mandolin, fiddle, ukulele etc.

As for the folk tradition... I know and can play scores of jigs, reels, hornpipes, polkas, slides, set dances, folk songs... Some of which were taught to me in the old way, some of which I learned by ear from the recordings of The Dubliners, Archie Fisher, Tannahill Weavers, Woody Guthrie, Planxty, Bothy Band - But far more that I have learned about from the Internet.

Learning music hasn't been made easy, it has been made easIER. Horizons have been opened up, repertoires expanded.

Tunes and songs that would have sunk into obscurity and been lost have found new audiences and have been preserved.

This stuff is a miracle for music.

itsme
11-07-2009, 03:17 PM
I don't read tabs, I don't read music, only know how to play by ear. Always tuned by ear too and surprised to learn how many people don't know how to without their electronic digital tuners.
As a classically trained guitarist, I read music. But with the different tuning and scale, I found it hard to relate and read as naturally. So, at the suggestion of someone here (Lori, I think it was) I learned to play uke reading tabs. I had always been rather anti-tab, but it allowed me to get up to snuff pretty quick. Luckily, there's a good amount of classical uke tabs out there these days, or at least enough to keep me plenty busy. :)

I really like things done in powertab that includes standard notation so I know what I'm trying to play and can visualize/hear it in my mind. I don't get that with plain text tabs. :(

As far as electronic tuners go, why not? It's not a badge of honor for me to say I tune by ear when I can tune with a clip-on in a fraction of the time.

Yes, there's a lot of resources on the net that weren't available to prior generations. Not the least of which is communities like UU, where you can meet others into your particular "niche" and get help, encouragement and feedback. Many of us are "lone ukers" who don't have anyone else we can share the passion with in real life.

wearymicrobe
11-07-2009, 03:52 PM
Some people I know cannot jam along to a chord progression to save their life but can play these super fast and elaborate metal songs.

This is totally me.

Now what I think is happening is more people are playing without the theory that the older people like me had crammed into their heads. So you an play but beyond that say sight reading off sheet music or transposing or even switching it to another instrument is just not going to happen.

Paisa
11-07-2009, 05:33 PM
Lol Mike I agree with you. I guess it's also because some people may be too used to have everything so at hand.

For example, there are absolutely no Uke shops in my country, thus no Ukes here, thus no teachers. So all I can do if I want to learn how to play the Uke is buy it off the internet (like I did indeed :D) and enjoy a community like this which is like a goldmine.

In the other hand, someone who has bunch of Uke teachers, communities, shops, and so on to choose from may "afford" being like that :P

Big_e
11-07-2009, 05:40 PM
I think playing ukulele is easy nowadays (Not that I'm complaining!). Make no mistake, the ukulele is a hard instrument but it is easy to start thanks to this forum. Taking up the uke and finding this forum has been an answer to prayer. Never did I think I'd find so much support for such a little known instrument. Alot of people in Dallas still don't know what a ukulele is!:eek:
Seems to me that just uke players have it so lucky. I haven't found so good a forum for guitar or bass. You can just about forget other ethnic instruments such as charango.
The only other forum group that is similar in good people but doesn't even come close to Ukulele Underground is Mandolin Cafe (http://www.mandolincafe.com/) .
Ernest

ChamorroDT
11-07-2009, 05:44 PM
I still learn songs by ear...it's the most beneficial way in my opinion - after hearing enough songs, you start to pick up certain chords faster. Pretty soon, you start to think to yourself "oh man, this sort of sounds like _______" and yeah. And to learn a song by ear now is still hard to me (depending on the song) and I've been playing the Uke for almost 8 years. With all these added instruments and what not in songs, sometimes hearing the chord can be very difficult.

dktoller
11-07-2009, 06:32 PM
Yeah, absolutely easier start learning to play nowdays. And cheaper too. And frankly with the wealth of song chords and online communities its a lot easier to stay interested and stick with it. There's never been an easier time to become a beginner uke player.

That's not a bad thing. More people playing music in the world can only be good. (Posting video of every song they've ever tried is a different story).

As for the notion that former generations of learners have somehow been cheated: I don't buy it. Learning by ear is essential for jamming and composing, and the noodling around lends a deeper understanding of your instrument and improves general musicianship. Mimicking your favorite video might be fun and impress your friends but it can only take you so far.

Dominator
11-07-2009, 08:25 PM
I can't tell you how many styluses I destroyed in the 70s and how many tape players that the rewind buttons disintegrated during the 80s from all the stuff I was figuring out by ear. It does take some effort but it pays huge dividends in the end.

When the tablature magazines started coming out in the mid 80s I found that it aloud me to cut the time spent learning a song in more than half. But the important thing is that I still depended on my ear at the same time.

There is no question that the Internet has made things much easier to get access to but to do anything with it still requires a certain amount of dedication.

Ahnko Honu
11-07-2009, 08:59 PM
Can an old dog (me) learn new tricks (tabs)? :old:

cocohonk
11-07-2009, 08:59 PM
Dominator has certainly helped me (and tons of fellow uke players, I'm sure) with his amazing tabs. (Even though I'm still struggling way too much with "Let's Dance" to make him a video...for now! I hope he is patient! :D)

Without people like him who writes tabs, I might have given up altogether on picking. I think reading tabs helped me get my foot in the door to try tabbing things out myself. I still suck at it, but it's not an impossible feat now.

And really, if it weren't for the internet (and youtube videos), I wouldn't even be playing a ukulele. So, technology is good. At least, until they won't open the pod bay doors for you.

Skrik
11-08-2009, 12:20 AM
You kids have it so easy. Back in my day, we used to beat on a rock with a stick. We had to improvise as there was no music notation of any kind back then. Performing for others was thrilling, as we could never tell beforehand if we would produce anything new, or simply repeat tired old rhythms heard since before the dawn of civilisation. Those were the days.

And then someone had to go out invent the hollowed out log. Man, that ruined everything. The new instrument drowned out our rocks. People couldn't hear us any more. So we had to fork out big time to get the very latest in tonewood hollowed out to the optimum thickness. Yeah, it gave us more sustain, and the tone was richer, more complex, but we had to improvise in ways we hadn't even thought of when all we had was a rock. We were forced to develop our style and our music.

Don't get me started about the invention of the gut string...

Sambient
11-08-2009, 02:08 AM
Yup. This 45 year old "kid" definitely has it easy. As a result, I feel like I'm in one of the happiest periods of my life.
In addition to having you guys and all the information that is out there, I finally get to do something with my musician husband.
i.e. I planted a seed by humming Mockingbird Hill while we were strolling with the dog in the afternoon. In the evening, when we both sat down together with ukulele, he started telling me chords he'd figured out. While I maintained the rhythm, he was able to elaborate on the one he was playing.

snowy_zoe
11-08-2009, 02:24 AM
I think it must be easier now, for me I have no one to one teacher, I'm learning all I know through the internet which means I can go at my own pace. I've also found a local ukulele group through the internet also which I'm going to visit. It's 15 miles away and I'm not sure I would found them if it had not been for the net.

I never thought I would start learning a musical insrtument at 30 I always had it in my head that if I hadn't learnt a musical instrument when I was younger then I had missed my chance. My ear for music is getting better but it's not brilliant I get frustrated when I have trouble figuring songs out so it's nice to have a break and look up a new strumming technique or someone elses version of a bob marley song.

so yeah it is easier but to be honest I don't think I'd be trying to learn it if it wasn't

RonS
11-08-2009, 03:07 AM
I remember picking up the needle on a record player and trying to place it back on the same spot of the record over and over again just to learn a song. Drove my parents crazy.

Tabs are so yesterday, I was just at GC and they have a tuner that shows you the chord that is being played. Sure wish I had that 46 years ago.

mikeeG7th
11-08-2009, 03:17 AM
I also learned to play the guitar by ear years ago and then went to a uke for the past year. I just found that this time with all the available resources, I am learning the uke much faster.. Maybe in part it's because I already play guitar when I picked up the uke. What internet did for me is that it helped introduce me to different playing styles -- some of which I would have never thought of. This is very helpful to loner ukers or anyone who doesn't have he luxury of jamming with people of the same interests. It also saves time and money during these hard times. Uke lessons are not exactly cheap where I am at. :(

Ukulele JJ
11-08-2009, 03:57 AM
Just to clarify my stance:

The availability of forums like this, and YouTube, etc., is a fantastic thing for someone looking to learn any instrument. But particularly "fringe" instruments like the uke. Twenty years ago, I wouldn't have been able to even buy a uke, much less learn anything about them. And of course, it's not like this town is crawling with ukulele instructors offering lessons.

Electronic tuners are just plain awesome too, especially those new(ish) clip-on jobs. When I first started guitar, I didn't even have a pitch pipe. I remember jamming a guitar pick into the keys of one of my synthesizers to get it to hold a note while I tuned to it. And without a reference tone nearby, you just did the old "tune to the next string" trick. :old: Needless to say, electronic tuners have made things a whole lot quicker!

But the experience I had back then of figuring stuff out by ear, piecing together basic theory on m own, tuning by ear, etc., have been invaluable to me. Wouldn't trade it for the world.

If there is any problem with all the technology, it's that it removes one of the reasons for people to develop their ears. Would you ever learn to do math if you always got to use a calculator in school, since day one?

So now that motivation has to come from you alone, and in the face of temptation to take the "easy way out". That's the big change, IMHO.

It's tough to keep banging your head against the wall trying to figure out just what the heck that chord or lick is, when you know you can just boot up your computer and find someone explaining it on YouTube, or find the tabs on Chordie. But keeping on banging is exactly what you must do to train the ol' ear muscles. :wallbash:

JJ

Ukulele JJ
11-08-2009, 04:07 AM
...now that I think about it, the funny thing is that back in our "old days", we probably had old-timers griping about our technology too!

I'd imagine it sounded a little something like this:


"Kids these days, with their LP record albums and cassette tape recorders and radios... they have it too easy! When I was a kid, all we had was the sheet music!

"Back then, you had no clue how the song was supposed to sound... you had to read it! Nowadays, you've got a bunch o' youngin's who can't play a darn thing unless they've heard how it goes first.

"If there was a difficult passage with a lot of syncopation or tricky ledger lines, well tough! You just had to keep banging your head against the wall until you figured it out. That's how you trained the ol' reading muscles!

:p

JJ

nohandles
11-08-2009, 04:22 AM
I would defiantly have to agree with this entire post that it is much easier than it used to be. When I started in the 60's you either could read music or were just musically gifted. Now days all you have to do it look on the internet and you will probably find what you want. I use the chordie sight a lot to find stuff I want to learn and all you have to do it click on button and you can have it changed from guitar to Ukulele C or D and you can go plus or minus 5 simi tones. It may not be entirely correct but it ill get you started. Fortunately my ear works real well so I here the note or chord I need when it's wrong.

RonS
11-08-2009, 04:24 AM
"Kids these days, with their LP record albums and cassette tape recorders and radios... they have it too easy! When I was a kid, all we had was the sheet music!


Back in the day there was a joke.

"How do you slow down a guitar player?"
"You put sheet music in front of him"

BB King was once asked, "Do you read music?"
and his answer was "Not enough to hurt my playing."

:D:D

HaileISela
11-08-2009, 05:01 AM
Tabs are so yesterday, I was just at GC and they have a tuner that shows you the chord that is being played. Sure wish I had that 46 years ago.

that's so yesterday, this is the future:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WetVXbYRfWk

freedive135
11-08-2009, 05:37 AM
Once more I get to sing the praises of UU and the folks here!!!

I joined a Guitar Forum and the folks there sound just like JJ's old timers "don't use tabs, listen to the songs and learn them by ear blah blah, put a stack of quarters on your records to slow them down blah blah...

It seems like those folks want learning to be hard, I thought the whole point of learning was to make something easier to do!!!

Back in the day I tried to learn Guitar...
I pick up a Zepplin song book got a used guitar and it was just to confusing so I gave up figuring no strings for me.
30 years later I got a Uke found UU and using what I learned here about tabs, theory and such on how to play my Uke I can now learn to play that Guitar.

Wish more sites were like UU...

RonS
11-08-2009, 06:38 AM
that's so yesterday, this is the future:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WetVXbYRfWk


OK, I want that too!

Does it come in an acoustic?

WS64
11-08-2009, 07:36 AM
I don't mind it being easier now, when I need lyrics to a cover song I profit very much of that too (especially as a non native English speaker this part does not always comes easy).

But what I really HATE on this is that now people don't stop bugging me for the tabs to my songs. I don't read tabs, and I don't write tabs. I never learned that, and I never will.
I play by ear (piano from sheet music too), and sometimes I double check a song on the net too to see if I got the chords right.
And if someone writes tabs to a song I play, good.

But I really don't understand why people now expect me to do so too...
I'm a musician, not a writer!

existence
11-08-2009, 07:42 AM
LOL


but honestly, I think to get something right those tabs and stuff are a tool, but the hard work's still there. most of the time tabs (or chords, I do not really work with tabs...) aren't entirely correct and you gotta figure it out by yourself anyway.

and what happened to the really good old days, when you learned simple melodies from another bagpipe player by ear? oh wait, those are still there, it's called traditional folk (or "organic dancefloor"^^):D

Agreed, I always see tabs as jumping off point, something to give you broad outlines. It's more fun that way anyways...I always end up tweaking any tunes I learn (sometimes just to make it easier!)

existence
11-08-2009, 07:44 AM
Once more I get to sing the praises of UU and the folks here!!!

I joined a Guitar Forum and the folks there sound just like JJ's old timers "don't use tabs, listen to the songs and learn them by ear blah blah, put a stack of quarters on your records to slow them down blah blah...

It seems like those folks want learning to be hard, I thought the whole point of learning was to make something easier to do!!!

Back in the day I tried to learn Guitar...
I pick up a Zepplin song book got a used guitar and it was just to confusing so I gave up figuring no strings for me.
30 years later I got a Uke found UU and using what I learned here about tabs, theory and such on how to play my Uke I can now learn to play that Guitar.

Wish more sites were like UU...

Yup, anything that makes music more accessible is good in my book.

DeG
11-08-2009, 07:52 AM
I don't mind it being easier now, when I need lyrics to a cover song I profit very much of that too (especially as a non native English speaker this part does not always comes easy).

But what I really HATE on this is that now people don't stop bugging me for the tabs to my songs. I don't read tabs, and I don't write tabs. I never learned that, and I never will.
I play by ear (piano from sheet music too), and sometimes I double check a song on the net too to see if I got the chords right.
And if someone writes tabs to a song I play, good.

But I really don't understand why people now expect me to do so too...
I'm a musician, not a writer!

Alot of folks, myself included, think your arrangements are simply fantastic. They want to play like you, but don't have your ability to learn songs by ear, so they are asking for your help. Just keep putting in the side bar some statement like "Sorry, I don't do tabs" and hopefully that will help keep the requests down.

But, don't get too upset, take it for the compliment that it is and keep on doing that stuff that you do so well.

RonS
11-08-2009, 07:56 AM
people don't stop bugging me for the tabs to my songs. I don't read tabs, and I don't write tabs. I never learned that, and I never will

:D

I hear you, given a choice, I would prefer sheet music to tabs any day.

What most people don't realize is how long it takes to write a tab.

Ukulele JJ
11-08-2009, 08:12 AM
What most people don't realize is how long it takes to write a tab.

Really? I though you just highlighted the MP3 file or YouTube URL and pressed "tab" on your keyboard.

I mean, isn't that what that key is for?

:p

JJ

HaileISela
11-08-2009, 08:17 AM
Really? I though you just highlighted the MP3 file or YouTube URL and pressed "tab" on your keyboard.

I mean, isn't that what that key is for?

:p

JJ

hmm, I don't know why, but I really enjoy your posts lately!

Harold O.
11-08-2009, 08:21 AM
Really? I though you just highlighted the MP3 file or YouTube URL and pressed "tab" on your keyboard.

"Where's the "ANY" key?" -- Homer Simpson

I posed this "too easy today" question to a photographer friend of mine one time. The new cameras, I said, have auto focus, auto color correction, auto light adjustment, auto everything. Where's the skill in that?

"A person still needs to know what to aim at," he told me.

RonS
11-08-2009, 08:33 AM
Really? I though you just highlighted the MP3 file or YouTube URL and pressed "tab" on your keyboard.

I mean, isn't that what that key is for?

:p

JJ


Wouldn't that be nice. :)

Did you ever wonder why you have to click on the Start button to turn off a PC running XP? :rolleyes:

Pippin
11-08-2009, 09:40 AM
"Where's the "ANY" key?" -- Homer Simpson

I posed this "too easy today" question to a photographer friend of mine one time. The new cameras, I said, have auto focus, auto color correction, auto light adjustment, auto everything. Where's the skill in that?

"A person still needs to know what to aim at," he told me.

I used to scoff at the automatic focus cameras and shot fully manual for ages. Then one day I find that my eyes are not what they used to be and my favorite manual SLR film camera does not have a diopter correction. My digital SLR does, however, and I can still use the old manual lenses, but, the auto-focus glass that I have these days is terrific. I also feel great that my digital SLR will tell me when my manually focused lenses are in sharp focus by a metering system built into the camera. So, I have thousands of dollars worth of old glass that I can still use.

uke5417
11-08-2009, 10:18 AM
"Hal?"
"Yes, Dave?"
"A song, please."
"Certainly, Dave. What sort of a song would you like to create?"
"Oh, I don't know. Something to wow the guys and woo the girls, you know, the standard stuff."
"OK, Dave; how's this?"
"Sounds great. What shall we call my new song, Hal?"
"How about 'I'm Yours,' Dave?"
"Sweet. What are the chords?"



(Where's Ukisociety when you need the appropriate sig pic?)




.

CoLmes
11-08-2009, 12:51 PM
I wouldn't be this far progressed if it wasn't for all these online sources at hand.

For the people, like me, who have come in with no musical background... we kind of owe a lot to all the free stuff we can find on the internet.

But i'm at the point that I think I need to stop relying on the easy stuff and have to start developing my ear and other abilities.

freedive135
11-08-2009, 04:09 PM
I wouldn't be this far progressed if it wasn't for all these online sources at hand.

For the people, like me, who have come in with no musical background... we kind of owe a lot to all the free stuff we can find on the internet.

But i'm at the point that I think I need to stop relying on the easy stuff and have to start developing my ear and other abilities.

Thats where I was in my Uke playing before I started taking Guitar lessons, I am kinda being forced to learn the stuff I should have been learning on the Uke but blew it off thinking it was to hard.
So now I am learning where the notes are on the fretboard... you know that C C# D D# E F etc, trying to transfer that to notes on sheet music, minor scales, blues scales and such.

It's making my Uke playing more fun than ever!!!!!!!

With UU I wouldn't even be as good a chord strumer.
It's nice how everything I have learned for the Uke works on Guitar and what I am learning on Guitar crosses over to my Uke playing.

Matt Clara
11-08-2009, 04:16 PM
I noticed the thread about someone complaining about watered down tabs or lessons and thought to myself man you guys have it too easy nowadays. Back when i was first learning guitar there was no such thing as interent videos and tabs. If you wanted to learn a song you did by your ear and maybe seeing the group live and watching the guitar players hands. Today you have the actual artist showing how to play that exact mind boggling riff on video and everything in the world is tabbed out. You can go to youtube and see a bunch of guys showing exactly how to play something.....What ever happened to hard work lol

I believe you're referring to your bread and butter.
;)

Mayercaster
11-08-2009, 04:21 PM
this whole thread was proved yesterday when I got a PDF of Jakes while my guitar gently weeps.
I learnt most of it and then used my knowledge of theory to improve on parts i found where 'watered down' or slightly off. Now today i can basically play the whole song flawlessly.
Without doing barely any work myself

Matt Clara
11-08-2009, 04:36 PM
this whole thread was proved yesterday when I got a PDF of Jakes while my guitar gently weeps.
I learnt most of it and then used my knowledge of theory to improve on parts i found where 'watered down' or slightly off. Now today i can basically play the whole song flawlessly.
Without doing barely any work myself

Unless you really can play by ear, i.e., you could play your uke having never played an instrument before, or received instruction of any kind, then what you say isn't precisely true--you've put tons of work into it, just not all last night. You say so yourself when you talk about your knowledge of theory. That didn't just spring into your head full-blown, did it?
Nope, you're selling yourself short, you sir, are a hard working son-of-a-gun.
Now please share your new and improved Jake tabs. Please.
;)

Professor Palmer
11-08-2009, 05:21 PM
I think there's a certain amount of hard work that goes into learning - just only for one person now, and that's the person that tabs it out.

But you guys are right though, they even have guitar pro and powertab now that play the entire midi song for you. I personally like still like to play by ear, but sometimes funky chords are just so tough to figure out.

Actually, I think this is the very reason why popular music sucks now days. Anyone can be a musician now, and it shows.

buddhuu
11-08-2009, 10:55 PM
this whole thread was proved yesterday when I got a PDF of Jakes while my guitar gently weeps.
I learnt most of it and then used my knowledge of theory to improve on parts i found where 'watered down' or slightly off. Now today i can basically play the whole song flawlessly.
Without doing barely any work myself

Wow. Well done.

I, on the other hand, have studied tabs and videos of Jake's WMGGW, and still can't play it properly.

Meh. Just goes to show that "too easy" still isn't easy enough for some of us.

Without all the new-fangled, too-easy stuff, such as the internet, people like me would still be picking out "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" with one finger. With the assistance of all the modern learning aids I'm getting somewhere.

Oh and I work at it, believe me. Not so much on uke, which is my fun instrument, but on mandolin and fiddle I practice for hours to get the tiny bit of progress that happens.

I'm just a slow learner where music is concerned. I'll take all the help I can get.

buddhuu
11-08-2009, 11:02 PM
Should add, I've been playing by ear for 35 years. I read music, but too slowly to actually play a song from standard notation.

Most songs I play I worked out the chords myself. Most times I get chords from Chordie etc I end up correcting them by ear because about 75% of the chords on tab sites are wrong.

But there is stuff I simply am not good enough to figure out by myself. My ear is trained, but it's not great. I need people like Dom who tab out the difficult stuff, or I'd just never get there.

There are varying levels of ability. I'm grateful for the for-dummies boost from the internet and DVDs that keeps me in the game.

Mayercaster
11-09-2009, 03:46 AM
Unless you really can play by ear, i.e., you could play your uke having never played an instrument before, or received instruction of any kind, then what you say isn't precisely true--you've put tons of work into it, just not all last night. You say so yourself when you talk about your knowledge of theory. That didn't just spring into your head full-blown, did it?
Nope, you're selling yourself short, you sir, are a hard working son-of-a-gun.
Now please share your new and improved Jake tabs. Please.
;)

well actually my knowledge of theory comes from playing piano, guitar and currently studying music at college.
If I am to confess I never properly started playing uke till last wednesday when i was given a new one for my birthday. I had a very cheap one that would not stay in tune for more than a minute so i couldn't play that but I still used it to practice a few chord shapes and songs in the past.
I've said before how my strongest point on guitar was learning new chord shapes and inversions and I have a way of remembering songs that involves a bit of theory. So I find it really easy to learn a song on the uke.
I'm sorry I didn't actually edit the tabs, I used the tabs to learn it myself than just messed around with it and remembered to play it the new way. I may tab it out eventually if i get the time.

haole
11-09-2009, 07:03 AM
The instruments themselves haven't gotten any easier to play. Most instrument companies (especially guitar makers) dump millions of dollars into research and development, and almost nothing they can come up with has had an impact on the instrument as a whole. You still have to know what notes to play and how to tune the strings, so it still takes at least some effort from the player in order to turn notes into music.

The vast array of resources on the internets and in books has definitely made it easier for folks to learn songs and techniques, though. I can only imagine what it was like before you could find out exactly what your favorite musicians were playing in that sweet solo, note-for-note. Now they even have tab books that contain just the intros to popular songs, so you can dazzle the uninitiated for about twenty seconds.

The availability of tabs hasn't necessarily created millions of fantastic players either, but it HAS changed the learning curve. Instead of practicing the C major scale over and over until it's mastered or focusing on clean technique, nearly anyone can start playing by learning the melody to a song they already know by looking at the tab. So a beginner's repertoire these days probably resembles actual music more so than it did 30 or 40 years ago. But it's a double-edged sword! Internet tabs have spawned millions of folks who miss out on some basic concepts and skip right to playing excerpts from songs, so all they can do is play a stiff, robotic rendition of the song based strictly on the fret numbers in the tabs. (With that said, there are a lot of incredible players who learned from tabs and managed to develop a good feel anyway! Don't think I'm bashing folks who look for tabs. The problem is when people depend on exactly what's written and never explore what else you can do, using the tab as a suggestion rather than gospel.) It's a big compromise. Had playing the instrument actually gotten easier, there'd be a lot more pro-quality players out there. But with the way it is now, it's a lot easier to create the illusion that you can play.

Did this make any sense, or was it just a TL;DR? I'm just a punk kid who hasn't had his third shot of espresso yet. ;)

buddhuu
11-09-2009, 09:22 AM
Makes good sense.

Tabs are great for those moments when you think "Wow, how did he do that?", but they're no substitute for exploration.

Dominator
11-09-2009, 09:49 AM
The problem is when people depend on exactly what's written and never explore what else you can do, using the tab as a suggestion rather than gospel.

This is exactly why I always tell people to use the tabs simply as a guideline. It is more about the flow and feel of the music as opposed to making sure you include a particular note or not that was indicated in a tab.

rogue_wave
11-09-2009, 10:07 AM
I noticed the thread about someone complaining about watered down tabs or lessons and thought to myself man you guys have it too easy nowadays. Back when i was first learning guitar there was no such thing as interent videos and tabs. If you wanted to learn a song you did by your ear and maybe seeing the group live and watching the guitar players hands. Today you have the actual artist showing how to play that exact mind boggling riff on video and everything in the world is tabbed out. You can go to youtube and see a bunch of guys showing exactly how to play something.....What ever happened to hard work lol

I propose that it is harder today! Back in the old days, we on the mainland would have only had to select from a couple of Harmony ukuleles. They would have come with a couple of simple songbooks that we would have either mastered or abandoned. End of story.

Today you have cruel people like Dominator creating new tabs and resources so fast one could get fully flummoxed just trying to pick what amazing thing to work on.

Today you have MGM making such an incredible selection of instruments available to everyone. What size? What wood? What strings? Argh!

Today you have Aldrine, Seeso, Jake, Facemeltinguke, and all of the rest of you who have shown what range is possible with this instrument.

Today you have so many lessons to pick from you realize you may just have to commit to learning this instrument for the rest of your life.

Today your teacher is the internet, who lets you spend quality practice time going through this forum reading, learning, laughing, instead of forcing you to practice scales.

Thanks to everyone on this forum for making it harder today. I am pushed everyday by you all.

haolejohn
11-09-2009, 10:11 AM
I noticed the thread about someone complaining about watered down tabs or lessons and thought to myself man you guys have it too easy nowadays. Back when i was first learning guitar there was no such thing as interent videos and tabs. If you wanted to learn a song you did by your ear and maybe seeing the group live and watching the guitar players hands. Today you have the actual artist showing how to play that exact mind boggling riff on video and everything in the world is tabbed out. You can go to youtube and see a bunch of guys showing exactly how to play something.....What ever happened to hard work lol

Mike, You have striked a nerve with me. People today really feel entitled. My students expect rewards for doing what is asked of them. Our society expects everything handed to them. It is scary to tell you the truth. I remember when i earned the title Marine. It was maybe the greatest day of my life other than the day I earned my wife's hand in marriage. hard work is beneficial. If only we could grasp that fact once again.

MGM
11-09-2009, 10:54 AM
anybody remember when taking a math test meant you had to put your caculators away...lol i see all these kids now doing math exams with calculators...My old teacher would throw a fit.

SuperSecretBETA
11-09-2009, 10:56 AM
anybody remember when taking a math test meant you had to put your caculators away...lol i see all these kids now doing math exams with calculators...My old teacher would throw a fit.

Ever thought of doing stand-up? :D

Mayercaster
11-09-2009, 11:02 AM
this counts with everything though.
Like say you need info on certain fish or plants or how to fix something, rather than go the library nowadays you can just go on the internet and find answers in seconds.
Its brilliant really, but I do think that the older generation probably get pissed watching how easy everything is.

Ronnie Aloha
11-09-2009, 11:38 AM
First off, thanks alot MGM. Thanks a dang lot. Here I am struggling to get back into the 'ukulele and now its supposed to be EASY???:mad:

Seriously, when I first picked up a uke in the 70's people weren't doing things with the uke that they are doing with it today. It was mostly straight strumming back then. People like Jake have opened up the possibilities of the instrument and playing the "modern" songs has become much more complex.

I'm sure there were some hell raisers on the uke back in the day but the Internet has made modern playing more widespread.

Just my 2 cents.

Ronnie Aloha
11-09-2009, 11:39 AM
anybody remember when taking a math test meant you had to put your caculators away...lol i see all these kids now doing math exams with calculators...My old teacher would throw a fit.

Yeah, lets seem them type 50 WPM on a MANUAL typewriter in typing class. Remember, "ring!" as you got to the end of the margin then "bam!" as you whacked the return arm?

buddhuu
11-09-2009, 12:02 PM
Yeah, lets seem them type 50 WPM on a MANUAL typewriter in typing class. Remember, "ring!" as you got to the end of the margin then "bam!" as you whacked the return arm?

When I submitted my first stories to magazines for publication, in the 1980s, I used an old manual typewriter. Torture. Absolute torture.

If I'm totally honest I have to admit that quite a few of my stories appeared in a form significantly inferior to how they would have been if revision hadn't meant all that re-typing. With the advent of the word processor, the quality of my stuff shot up. Not because I became a better writer, but because I could do several revised drafts more quickly and easily, and with less frustration. I sent off fifth or sixth revision pieces that I really felt were ready, rather than second-draft stuff that I thought might just squeak in past the editor...

Progress, in the same way that being able to drive 100 miles instead of walking is progress. What all this new stuff does above all is save us time. To me, time is immensely valuable - not in terms of money, but in terms of all the things I want to do.

In some ways I'm a nostalgic quasi-Luddite. In other ways I'm grateful for the time progress has given me.

Ukulele JJ
11-09-2009, 12:32 PM
When I submitted my first stories to magazines for publication, in the 1980s, I used an old manual typewriter. Torture. Absolute torture.

I used to write articles for a synthesizer newsletter (anyone remember Transoniq Hacker? No? Hmmm...). I would write out the first draft by hand. On paper.

Then I would go a local Kinkos and rent time on one of their Macs (didn't have a computer of my own at the time, like most people). I'd type the thing in. Make my edits. Then I'd save it to a floppy.

Then I'd mail the floppy.

Crazy, eh?

JJ

ChamorroDT
11-09-2009, 01:03 PM
anybody remember when taking a math test meant you had to put your caculators away...lol i see all these kids now doing math exams with calculators...My old teacher would throw a fit.

Man...when you're taking Calculus though, calculators don't even help...ha-ha-ha...-sigh-

mailman
11-09-2009, 01:20 PM
Is uke-centric information easier to come by? Sure. Are quality instruments more readily available? Yes (thanks, MGM). But is learning music really any easier? I'm not so sure.

Let's be honest. It takes more than just opposable thumbs to play the ukulele. There's also a requirement for aptitude....ability....talent....call it what you will. Some of us possess more of it than others. Some of us are more motivated than others.

I think in the long run that music is music is music. You've either got it, or you don't. Video might make it easIER. Tabs might make it easIER. Electronics might make it easIER. The internet might make it easIER, too. But it's still not easy, IMHO....

RonS
11-09-2009, 01:27 PM
When I submitted my first stories to magazines for publication, in the 1980s, I used an old manual typewriter. Torture. Absolute torture.


Remember the Commodore 64?
I used to write for that magazine back in the early 80s. The C64 had a very basic word processor where you had to embed codes into the text so the printer can do things like bold or italicize words.

Luckily the editor loved getting articles on a 5-1/4" floppy.
In those days it was faster sending things by mail then sending it over on a 300 baud modem.

MGM
11-09-2009, 04:35 PM
yes what a wonderful world of technology we live in. And its so neat that we can take a fallen down tree and some fishing line and make beautiful music......

wearymicrobe
11-09-2009, 04:42 PM
Then I'd mail the floppy.

Crazy, eh?

JJ


MMMM sneaker net, I still do this if the files are over 1 terabyte. Drop to drive then move the drive.


NOW GET OFF MY LAWN!!!

wfwhitson
11-09-2009, 05:17 PM
anybody remember when taking a math test meant you had to put your caculators away...lol i see all these kids now doing math exams with calculators...My old teacher would throw a fit.

Tough teacher, We at least got to use our slid ruler.

wfwhitson
11-09-2009, 05:24 PM
Rember those little plastic ukes you could get that had the crank on the side. On the inside was a rubber roll that when turned would play like a music box. Now that is what I need than I could play at least one song.

Hay I found on on e-bay: http://cgi.ebay.com/Vintage-Snoopy-Ukulele-Music-Box_W0QQitemZ200401869414QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_Def aultDomain_0?hash=item2ea8e1da66

Skrik
11-09-2009, 07:59 PM
anybody remember when taking a math test meant you had to put your caculators away...lol i see all these kids now doing math exams with calculators...My old teacher would throw a fit.

This maths teacher holds such low-technology tests, and you should hear the whining... It's great.

buddhuu
11-09-2009, 10:41 PM
yes what a wonderful world of technology we live in. And its so neat that we can take a fallen down tree and some fishing line and make beautiful music......

Yup, I can make even the finest instrument sound like a fallen down tree and a piece of fishing line!

You been listening to me practicing, Mike? :D

That beautiful music came from the next guy along...

Pippin
11-10-2009, 01:01 AM
This maths teacher holds such low-technology tests, and you should hear the whining... It's great.

calculators were not available when I was in elementary school.

ukantor
11-10-2009, 01:10 AM
We need to make a clear distinction between mental arithmetic and mathematics. They are not the same.

Ukantor.

buddhuu
11-10-2009, 01:57 AM
They are to me, John. I'm cr@p at both! :D ;)

spots
11-10-2009, 03:32 AM
... Today you have the actual artist showing how to play that exact mind boggling riff on video and everything in the world is tabbed out. You can go to youtube and see a bunch of guys showing exactly how to play something.....What ever happened to hard work lol

I don't think playing has gotten too easy. I think it has become much more fun, and much less isolated.

When you think about it, it really is amazing what all this technology allows us to do. Open Mic night spanning how many time zones? Even if the vids freeze, it's still amazing.

It is nice to remember that all the technology in the world will never replace practice.

When we see someone doing really well after a few months, or a year or ten, we still know they have spent time practicing and working to get it right. That's still admirable. And then for them to say they have only worked with the video's here on UU, etc... that's a real tribute to the skill, love, and generosity of the folks who have taken the time and effort to put the various items together and make them available.

I would have never heard of the wonderful uke sellers out there had it not been for this forum. A friend of mine on a tight budget contacted MGM and was able to get a well setup instrument. It's given him the ability to learn an instrument and spend family time singing with his young kids.

The free flow, exchange, and sharing of information, has helped me as I worked with a couple instruments. It's nice to be able to work up and share tabs and chords sheets as a small way to pay this back.

Programs such as PowerTab are wonderful. No more chicken scratches! Not only do you get tab, you also get sheet music, and a workable MIDI file of the tune. It's a great tool to help reinforce basic concepts of time signatures, notes per measure, etc.

I do not think playing has become easier, but the learning sure has. It has also become affordable. Music is a community activity, and sharing it freely helps preserve that spirit. The free flow of information is an awsome, and empowering, occurance in many ways.

:shaka:

Uncle-Taco
11-10-2009, 03:47 AM
I do not think playing has become easier, but the learning sure has. :shaka:

There ya go! :agree:
That's definitely true, and I celebrate that. I think the ability to make music has become more accessible to more people in a lot of great ways, and that is always a good thing.

flyingace
11-10-2009, 03:52 AM
I totally agree with both sides on this one. I'm happy that I grew up learning the way I did (guitar) but happy that I have the resources that I do now to learn more and faster.

Bad manners is another issue altogether and those that don't appreciate what has come before them, taken the time to contribute, not just use...well, I just don't really care about those sorts!

Thanks to UU, MGM and many others here that keep the bar raised high!

leftovermagic84
11-10-2009, 04:50 AM
I came into the uke with no real musical background, and learned the easy way, from you guys and your youtube channels. After about 6 months, I'm just about good enough to realize how much I missed by jumping in with tabs, and I'm sloooooowly starting to go back and wrap my head around the theory. If it wasn't for the tabs, I wouldn't have stuck with the uke, but now that I see how deep the rabbit hole goes, I'm not content to play on the surface.

E-Lo Roberts
11-10-2009, 06:15 AM
I remember in the 60's sitting in my room every day for hours upon hours, after school, in my teens with just a Vox Hurricane electric, a turntable, a Mel Bay chord book, and some Cream, Hendrix, Doors, Jefferson Airplane, Moby Grape, Poco, and Buffalo Springfield records. I'd turn on my el cheapo turntable and start spinning it at 16 rpms instead of the regular LP 33 rpms to get the song to play at half speed. I'd then have to move the needle back and forth hundreds of times so I could catch every note of every chord and every solo. The neighbor girls would throw rocks at my window and call me "stuck up" because I would not come outside. My Mom would bring my supper to my room. There was no time for other things, I had songs that were calling my name. It took me years to musically discover what is now readily available today on the web. Sure would have saved me some serious time back then... However, now-a-days I appreciate and take full advantage of the resources offered freely here on the web by great online teachers such like Aldrine, Dominator and so many others on youtube. Sure beats the turntable days. e.lo...

RonS
11-10-2009, 08:35 AM
I do not think playing has become easier, but the learning sure has. It has also become affordable. Music is a community activity, and sharing it freely helps preserve that spirit The free flow of information is an awesome, and empowering, occurrence in many ways.

:shaka:


I think you nailed it!

UkÚDan
11-10-2009, 09:40 AM
I totally agree with both sides on this one. I'm happy that I grew up learning the way I did (guitar) but happy that I have the resources that I do now to learn more and faster.

:agree:

Wow this thread is sure bringing back memories. I too spent countless hours with Keith Richards and friends on 33... I had a tape method called Metal Method where I learned a few licks and the famous pentatonic box..... but most of the time I learned by heart (used to play guitar) Oh yeah, also we used to write out lyrics by listening to the 33 or 45 over and over again. I still have a few of those transcriptions....

But I think I've learned more theory in the last three or so years, certainly for uke and bass...

Great thread. Thanks.:)

MGM
11-10-2009, 10:54 AM
Ohhh great Yes the lyrics...How funny you mention that I remember the band would get into big arguments as we were trying to figure the words some singers were saying......lol

mailman
11-10-2009, 11:05 AM
Ohhh great Yes the lyrics...How funny you mention that I remember the band would get into big arguments as we were trying to figure the words some singers were saying......lol

I about went nuts trying to figure out the lyrics to "Louie Louie" by the Kingsmen.... :D

RonS
11-11-2009, 04:29 AM
I used to change the words to Journey's "Open Arms"

♫ ♫ ♫
So now I come to you, with broken arms
Nothing to hide, believe what I say
So here I am with broken arms
Hoping you'll see what your love means to me
Broken arms
♫ ♫ ♫