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Squid503
04-16-2011, 08:38 PM
This is my first post, i have had my ukulele since the 14th of this month and love it already. This is my first instrument, besides messing around on my friends guitar/bass. I play on it about 5-7 hrs each day and i plan on practicing at least 3 each day. I know most of the major/minor/7th chords, i know a couple different strum patterns and, i know a few major scales. What would be really good practice exercises and things to work on. By summer when im camping n just walking downtown, i would like to have a decent grove. Thanks for reading my post and thx for all the suggestions and guidance, your boy squid :)

antara21
04-17-2011, 12:01 AM
How bout some easy-going songs, like "I'm Yours" by Jason Mraz, or "Marry You" by Bruno Mars? Or go with the sweet sensation of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" and "Stand By Me". I performed I'm Yours and Soul Sister at school, and I guessed I've captured many hearts - the Headmaster, my colleagues and of course my pupils. Besides, those are among today's popular songs, so the crowd could sing along with you and groove in with smiles!

bunnyrawr
04-17-2011, 12:10 AM
As Antara said, I'm Yours is a great song to practise and the chord changes are very laid back :D
Also, you mentioned that you know a lot of chords so why not try some simple finger picking tunes, just for a change of pace and to give you something different. It'll improve your dexterity no end :)

mm stan
04-17-2011, 12:54 AM
Aloha Squid503,
Welcome to the UU and our forums and the ukulele...I see you have been bitten bad by the deadly ukulele bug...Have fun and enjoy...Try learn songs you really like and as many as possible and different techniques and styles..and keep expanding your ukulele horizon.....Happy Strummings, MM Stan....

ItsMrPitchy
04-17-2011, 01:44 AM
Learn songs you love and mess about with scales just picking out tunes. Also try some chord progressions they will make learning songs easier.

Kanaka916
04-17-2011, 03:13 AM
Here's a thread started by GrumpyCoyote . . . . hope this helps.

I saw this over on another board and had to immedietly steal it and repost. I couldn’t agree more with the list, unfortunatly it's hard for me to do them all.

Number 7 really jumps out at me, as does 9...

Originally from Wynton Marsalis (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wynton_Marsalis):

1. Seek out private instruction. It could take years to figure out what a good teacher could show you quickly.

2. Write/work out a regular practice schedule. Always include the fundamentals.

3. Set realistic goals. Chart your development.

4. Concentrate when practicing. Don't just "go through the motions".

5. Relax and practice slowly.

6. Practice what you can't play - the hard parts.

7. Always play with maximum expression. Play as if you are singing it.

8. Learn from your mistakes. Don't be too hard on yourself.

9. Don't show off. Expression, not tricks or gimmicks.

10. Think for yourself. Respect your teacher, but think things through for yourself.

11. Be optimistic. There is nothing worse than pessimism coming out of an instrument.

12. Look for connections between your music and other things. Try to find concepts or ideas that connect with each other.

Kanaka916
04-17-2011, 03:15 AM
And also from the same thread from TerryUkes . . .

Nice one, Grumpy. Thanks for sharing this.

Could I add some from Jake as related tips?
(It may have been posted before, though...)

It's available at: http://www.jklub.jp/page/index.php?mode=page_list&cate_id=C12

1. Change your strings at least once every 2 months.

2. File the finger nails of your strumming hand and use a buffer to really make them smooth. You'll get a better tone when you pick and strum!

3. Keep the nails on your other hand really short. It'll be easier to hold your chords.

4. Practice playing really soft/quite and be very gentle with the strings. This will help you with your control and dynamics.

5. Work on one hand at a time. For example, if you're learning a new chord progression, practice holding the chords first without strumming. Then once you get that down, then add the other hand.

6. Play songs that make you happy! That way you'll always be inspired to practice!

7. Make sure to take breaks during your practice sessions! Don't practice for more than an hour without taking a 10 minute break. Your muscles need time to rest. Also, if your fingers get too tired and you can't concentrate, you'll start developing bad habits.

8. Don't get frustrated. If you start feeling discouraged or angry because you can't play a song, just take a break and rest for a while. Remember, playing your instrument should be fun and relaxing.

9. If you're really having a difficult time learning a song, just break it down to the basics. Work on short segments. Just practice one measure over and over. Then add the second measure. Then later add the third. Keep going until you've got the whole song down.

10. Try to practice everyday. Even if you only have five minutes. As your finger muscles develop, you'll find yourself learning a lot quicker.

1. When strumming, position your right hand so that your finger makes contact with the strings between the 12th and 14th fret.

2. Always wipe your ukulele down after long practice sessions...especially the neck of the instrument.

3. Listen carefully to every note/sound that you make.

4. Practice everything really slow.

5. Play songs that make you feel good/happy!!


Cheers,
Terry
http://www.youtube.com/TerryUkes

Ukulele JJ
04-17-2011, 03:17 AM
Learn songs you love

My advice exactly.

At this stage, you should just be playing songs and having fun. That's what it's all about. Learn by doing, IMHO.

JJ

Squid503
04-17-2011, 02:41 PM
Thanks for all the great feedback. Now im starting to learn some songs and learning what choords are in which key.

itsme
04-17-2011, 03:54 PM
I know most of the major/minor/7th chords, i know a couple different strum patterns and, i know a few major scales. What would be really good practice exercises and things to work on.
You might want to work on some fingerpicking.

Wilfried Welti has a great free e-book with classical/folk/traditional tunes.

http://ukulelehunt.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/11/solobuch.pdf

ConspiracyUkeist
04-18-2011, 09:54 PM
By summer when im camping n just walking downtown, i would like to have a decent grove.

We have walnut groves here that are pretty decent. And olive groves ..... yummy! Just don't ever try eating an olive right off of the tree, GACK!

If it's a groove you're after, the two things I can think of that will help are #1, Uncle Rod's Ukulele Boot Camp which is mentioned in this section (uke beginners) and downloadable for free, and #2 and more advanced, the Fret Board Road Maps book, $15 at Guitar Center.

itsme
04-19-2011, 07:45 AM
... and #2 and more advanced, the Fret Board Road Maps book, $15 at Guitar Center.
Or $10.19 at Amazon with free shipping if you have prime. :p

Nickie
04-19-2011, 09:22 AM
One thing that has helped me, was to find a local group of ukulele players. You might not be as lucky as I, but we have over 200 members in our ukulele club here, and there is a lot of talent to draw from. The founder even gives lessons...

mitchchang
04-23-2011, 08:37 AM
Spend 95% of your ukulele time playing along with recordings of the songs you like and memorizing every last detail of them and playing along with them as best you can (assuming you know the chords). Just my two cents!

flea_bitten
04-24-2011, 08:03 PM
You could play along with Ukulele Mike on You Tube: http://www.youtube.com/user/MusicTeacher2010#p/u/2/aT6mCQO5hKk

Lots of fun :nana:

antara21
04-26-2011, 05:16 AM
speaking of practice... can someone help me with Aerosmith's Dream On? I found the chords http://www.ukulele-tabs.com/uke-songs/aerosmith/dream-on-chords-uke-tab-13943.html but I couldn't figure out the strum pattern. Anyone?

joep
04-26-2011, 05:39 AM
Another good place for songs is www.doctoruke.com. Most of his songs have a mp3 type player, so you can listen or play along.

freackykit
04-27-2011, 05:49 AM
Learn songs you love and mess about with scales just picking out tunes. Also try some chord progressions they will make learning songs easier.

That's the way I keep it fun,

Chris