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View Full Version : Fret hand positioning out of whack on open chords



SuzukHammer
04-20-2011, 03:58 PM
I am about 10 months along and I'm returning to the basics again. Scales, technique, scales, scales scales.

I am also trying to learn 2nd, third and 4th position chords.

One thing I have found is that my open chords throw my left hand out of position on certain chords. My thumb comes out of its hiding place behind the fretboard and exposes itself (and embarasses me) and these open scales also cause problems with timing as once my hand gets out of position, I'm behind half a beat and that frustrates me.

Is this normal?

I'm thinking barred chords away from the nut is the best way to go.

2nd position seems best for maintaining timing

3rd and 4 th position seems like I need lots of practice (and maybe a tenor ) for those types of songs.

Are Baritone players nothing but frustrated soprano players?

SuzukHammer
04-20-2011, 05:20 PM
As I practice, I do find ways to stop from getting out of position after reading the front parts of books and remembering posts about Bb and E.

You gotta watch out for D too.

mangorockfish
04-20-2011, 08:45 PM
I'm sorry, but I don't have a clue for sure what 2nd, 3rd, and 4th position chordes are. Where does each one start, which fret?

Squid503
04-20-2011, 08:54 PM
I'm sorry, but I don't have a clue for sure what 2nd, 3rd, and 4th position chordes are. Where does each one start, which fret?
you can play a C chord with just holding down the a string 3rd fret. However you can move your hands down the fretboard and go 3345 with your fingers and you just played a higher C. Farther down the fretboard will be another C that is even higher. And i have only been playing a week but with you, once the left thumb leaves the neck i have problems to. i play a lanikai Lu-21 soprano

mm stan
04-21-2011, 05:45 AM
http://www.ukulelestrummers.com/

ukulelecowboy
04-21-2011, 06:07 AM
I am about 10 months along and I'm returning to the basics again. Scales, technique, scales, scales scales.

I am also trying to learn 2nd, third and 4th position chords.

One thing I have found is that my open scales throw my left hand out of position on certain chords. My thumb comes out of its hiding place behind the fretboard and exposes itself (and embarasses me) and these open scales also cause problems with timing as once my hand gets out of position, I'm behind half a beat and that frustrates me.

Is this normal?

I'm thinking barred chords away from the nut is the best way to go.

2nd position seems best for maintaining timing

3rd and 4 th position seems like I need lots of practice (and maybe a tenor ) for those types of songs.

Are Baritone players nothing but frustrated soprano players?

Hi,
I guess I'm not sure what you are struggling with. When you say "open scales" do you mean "open chords?" As you move up the fretboard to play 2nd, 3rd, etc, position chords, your thumb will shift from behind the neck. Barre-ing is essential when you are playing the upper position chords because the barre takes the place of the nut.

Are you playing a baritone? Overall, barre chords and finger positioning will be more rigorous than the smaller scale ukuleles.

And this?


Are Baritone players nothing but frustrated soprano players?

Please, I won't even comment! :biglaugh::biglaugh::biglaugh:

itsme
04-21-2011, 07:25 AM
Are you using a strap? Sounds like your positioning issues might be due to a lack of stability which a strap would add. If you don't have an end pin or don't want to add one, you could try the Uke Leash that member Lori here makes.

ConspiracyUkeist
04-21-2011, 07:44 AM
And inspiration is a British classical guitar player, Julian Bream I'm thinking? You can watch him on YouTube and not only does he sound WONDERFUL, but his technique is right out of the book. He looks like he's teaching beginners!

A strap may help you. Mandolin straps work well, and there are many sold by people on here.

Huna
04-21-2011, 11:58 AM
what would you recommend for a good book for learning scales? I only know the C scale in first position.

SuzukHammer
04-21-2011, 02:04 PM
Thanks for all the input and recommendations.

I changed my reference about scales because I am indeed talking about the chords, not the scales in open position.

MM stan gives a very useful link to what the different positions refer to. just finding the same chord up the neck.

Basically my problems stem from
1) short stubby fingers with prove to be uneven ( which makes barre chords difficult) and
2) my inclination to find anyway to make the difficult chords work. meaning, I did anything, including turning my hand or moving my hand out of ordinary position to get those Bb or E chords to work.

So, now I want better timing and I want to go back to the basics and learn things right so I can be smoother and I'm finding I want to keep my left hand (my fretting hand) in better position and some of those open chords are peskily still difficult.

I will try the straps. Hell, why not!!. I will try turning the fretboard and playing with the Jedi force if that means better hand positioning. I will slow down and work on technique for better sound (proper fretting) and I will recommit to practice work on those omnipresent changes like A to E7 , F to Bb, G to D (D7).

I checked out Julian Bream but he doesn't play ukulele and he has long fingers. I learned long ago that I can't use the typical golf swing because I don't have the same body that gifted people have. So, as much as I'd like to follow Julian Bream, my fingers are not long enough to emulate him.

uker62
04-22-2011, 05:06 PM
I'll tell you how I did it. Take a sheet of adding machine paper and draw a fret board on it. Put all the notes on each string in position. Notice that to play the D scale, use the C scale fingering pattern but start at the second fret. For E start at the 4th, F at the 5th, G at the 7th and so on. When you're ready you can learn the patterns for the modes and other scales by refering to your fretboard diagram.

Ukulele JJ
04-23-2011, 03:38 AM
My fretting technique is abysmal, so I'm not so sure anyone should be taking advice from me, but...

For me the key is simply strumming the chord when it's time for the chord to be strummed, left hand fingers be damned! If I don't have the chord completely and perfectly fretted, then too bad. Better luck next strum.

The show must go on, and it must go on in tempo. That's the most important thing, IMHO. Eventually, the left hand will learn to keep up, more or less, but you can't mollycoddle it by making the right hand wait for it.

JJ

SuzukHammer
04-23-2011, 05:36 AM
My fretting technique is abysmal, so I'm not so sure anyone should be taking advice from me, but...

For me the key is simply strumming the chord when it's time for the chord to be strummed, left hand fingers be damned! If I don't have the chord completely and perfectly fretted, then too bad. Better luck next strum.

The show must go on, and it must go on in tempo. That's the most important thing, IMHO. Eventually, the left hand will learn to keep up, more or less, but you can't mollycoddle it by making the right hand wait for it.

JJ

Your experience speaks volumes and you are correct. Music is just a continuum.

itsme
04-23-2011, 08:56 AM
The show must go on, and it must go on in tempo. That's the most important thing, IMHO.
I agree with that. :)

When I first took up mandolin and asked if I could come watch a mandolin orchestra rehearsal, the director said yes, but only if I brought my mandolin with me. I said I couldn't play it yet. He said it doesn't matter, bring it anyway. Then he made me sit in with them. Again, I told him I couldn't play it yet! He said just play what you can, I don't care if that's just one note per measure.

So that's what I did. 4/4 and I was able to hit the first note on 1, then look ahead to the next measure and try to find the first note before the rest of the players got there. Then I worked my way to the first note on beats 1 and 3, and so on. Eventually the 8th and 16th notes started to fall into place.

All while staying in tempo and only hitting the right notes, even if that meant I wasn't hitting anywhere near all of them at first. :p

Nickie
04-23-2011, 12:02 PM
Both of my hands mollycoddle each other!

SuzukHammer
04-23-2011, 03:24 PM
Both of my hands mollycoddle each other!

You are lucky they don't lollygag like mine.