View Full Version : The wicked third month - or my fault ? Frustrated !!!

04-02-2011, 03:07 PM
Hi UUers,

I'm a bit frustrated today...so perhaps I'd get some encouragement ?!?

I'm learning to play the uke for about three months now, and I managed to learn some chords (Am, A, Bm,C, D, Dm, Em, E7, F,Fm, G, G7), change them properly and find them blind on my uke.
I can play chunks and pinky mutes cleanly, and learned a few songs - and so far I had lots of fun...

BUT: I reached a point where I get frustrated, because I cannot manage to make a further progress...I cannot get the wicked Bb chord down, I cannot at all figure out strum patterns by myself, mostly I'm playing the good old DDUUDU (matches for many, many songs, but not for all...*grmpf*) I cannot get some picking down because my fingers just don't do what I want them to - and I think everything sounds somehow "flat" because there are no fancy parts in the songs just strumming chords...
I've begun to work my way through Uncle Rod's Bootcamp, but can't get the four finger chords down as well - it seems as if my Pinky doesn't belong to me....

Has anyone else reached this point, where you think you're just too stupid to learn more ???
I've got no Idea how to continue now - what should I concentrate on -more chords ? Picking (but how to begin) ? - how to make songs fancy ? Should I get more into music theory ?
I don't want to give up, but can't find my way either....

Sorry for whining around, but I just could slam that thing today... :-(

Any advice ??? Do I just expect too much from myself ???

Thanks alot

04-02-2011, 03:33 PM
My biggest problem is with my memory (I'm old). I learn 6 new chords, forget 3....slow progress. Have been using Uncle Rod's Ukulele Boot Camp. Lots of great video demos of techniques on UU and YouTube. will keep you busy for a while without having to buy so-so books. Folks on UU will guide you towards the better books and instruction that is not a waste of money or time. For many of us, learning to play is like cooking rice....just no way to hurry the process. Keep on coming here and ask questions, keep learning new chords, keep practicing, and it ill take as long as it takes. Search for a uke group in your area, the support is amazing. If there isn't one, try and form one. Info on this site on how to do that too. Good luck

04-02-2011, 03:42 PM
Uh, you're doing great for three months. It took me a lot longer to get where you are right now. The other stuff will come, just keep practicing. Keep learning the fretboard. The Bb will happen sooner that you think, too.

Good luck and have fun!

04-02-2011, 04:04 PM
hey there..
I have been playing for about 7 months now. I have hit that point more times than I can count! i write about it, pout about it, feel frustrated, get some support and move on!!
Each time I just change what I am working on and it seems I pass that point and have a breakthrough. Seems my learning comes in spurts instead of steady progress..
Don't give up.. maybe a lesson or two would help?

Do you have a uke group you can attend? Put the uke down when you are frustrated and walk away, read a theory book, or do something else, then come back to it..

If you are having fun and enjoying making music keep going you WILL learn more at your pace!

hang in there..

04-02-2011, 04:52 PM
I agree with Ukulelecowboy & Fitncrafty, it took me longer than 3 months to get where you are. I think you're doing fine.

Just keep playing new songs you really like, it will come. But learning is an individual thing. Maybe try an instructor in your area.

You might want to try a different size uke, to see if Bb and the other tough cords are any easier. Also a good reason to get a new uke. :D

04-02-2011, 06:54 PM

I know the feeling too. I am about the same level as you in my ukulele learning curve. Uncle Rod's Boot Camp is working for me to get my hands stronger. As for Bb... I have decided I can learn how to do it right later and use 4 fingers for now. It got me past that feeling that I wasn't going to progress. Same thing with the disconnected pinky feeling. Do some isometric exercise with your thumb and pinky during the day and you'll gain control of it in time.
I am in UUU's 'Ukulele 101 class. Aldrine has a nice easy pace that I can keep up with and with the the streaming recordings it's easier than traditional lessons.


04-02-2011, 07:01 PM
Just keep at it. Drill on going from F to Bb to C7 a few minutes every day, then move on to something else. Remember, you just have to bar the first 2 strings if that makes it easier for you. Gradually it will happen, trust me. Keep adding new songs to keep your practice sessions from getting stale. Sometimes, practicing other songs will actually carry over to help you on these problem areas.


mm stan
04-02-2011, 07:44 PM
Aloha BL,
Words of wisdom....Practice, Patience, Perserverence, and Passion....For motivation and inspiration, visit You Tube...Good Luck and Have fun and enjoy...Happy Strummings, and Keep strumming them strings..MM Stan

04-03-2011, 01:49 AM
I think you are doing better than you give yourself credit for. Just keep at it. I think we make progress even when we don't think we are making progress. Look at your playing ability now as compared to three months ago. In another three months look back and see the improvement. etc....

04-03-2011, 03:02 AM
i have been playing for two years now, I struggle with everything but you know when you look back a month or two months & see what you could of done back then & see where you are now, there is improvement ALWAYS if you practice. Sometimes I see a big jump, sometimes a flat line for short time but in the end- improvement comes. Be patient. Sometimes a diff. neck on uke makes a diff for reaching certain chords, KEEP STRUMMING, it will come. KEEP YOUR UKE OUT WHERE YOU CAN JUST GRAB IT AND DO A COUPLE CHORDS

04-03-2011, 08:19 AM
Thank you for your answers - I think I'm expecting too much, because I didn't think that I made a fast progress...

So I'll keep my way with unkle Rod's bootcamp and I'm thinking about taking lessons, just to find out if I'm doing anything wrong that keeps me from using my fingers as I should ;-)

Thank you so much for your encouragement - feel much better now, you're amazing !!!