PDA

View Full Version : So I just had my first uke lesson...



upskydowncloud
08-08-2008, 07:27 AM
...and it was really good fun! I learned a few traditional Hawaiian songs and also learned just how little I know. Learning on my own I'd picked up a lot of bad habits which are going to take a while to correct including strumming and grip (quite important...).

It's the sort of stuff you don't notice till someone who knows that they're doing points it out.

Can't wait for more!

sukie
08-08-2008, 07:50 AM
Good luck with the lessons.

remy
08-08-2008, 09:15 AM
I would love to take a lesson! So what was wrong with your grip and strumming? I bet I have all of those bad habits too!

upskydowncloud
08-09-2008, 03:16 AM
Good luck with the lessons.

Thank you!


I would love to take a lesson! So what was wrong with your grip and strumming? I bet I have all of those bad habits too!

I was holding the uke completely wrong! Apparently I was playing it too much like guitar. My teacher told me to hold the uke so that it was roughly 45 degrees from the ground, then told me to use my thumb to support the uke (at the base of the neck not near the top, this also helps with fretting notes which I already knew). He also showed me that I should rest my arm on the uke somewhere between my elbow and wrist with the base of the uke by my hip. I hope that makes sense!

Also my strumming was way off and again more guitar like!

sukie
08-09-2008, 05:02 AM
Nice stuff to know. I keep waiting for my teacher to pick on my bad habits and she never says a thing. At least I do learn something new each time I have a lesson, but I think it's important to stop the bad habits as soon as possible.

upskydowncloud
08-09-2008, 05:07 AM
Nice stuff to know. I keep waiting for my teacher to pick on my bad habits and she never says a thing. At least I do learn something new each time I have a lesson, but I think it's important to stop the bad habits as soon as possible.

You're totally right. It's difficult for me to get out of them but it will help for future playing so in the long run it's definitely worth it.

Tulip
08-09-2008, 12:51 PM
oh, how lucky! i just learning the ukulele too, but on my own. so i'm pretty sure i'm doing everything wrong :-/ i'm making bunches of strum marks(scratches) and loads of fingernail marks all over the fretting board. :-( hmm....maybe i should invest in a dvd or book that teaches how to play a ukulele. i can't play without supporting it on my leg, hihi.

freedive135
08-09-2008, 01:00 PM
Get Lil' Rev's Ukulele method book it comes with a CD to play along to.

If your getting fingernail marks on the uke body your playing to low on the uke, you should be strumming at the base of the neck where it meets the body.

Watch Aldrine's vid's on this site for how to hold the uke and for good pointers.

remy
08-09-2008, 02:28 PM
My teacher told me to hold the uke so that it was roughly 45 degrees from the ground, then told me to use my thumb to support the uke (at the base of the neck not near the top, this also helps with fretting notes


I am definitely doing this wrong, which explains my issues with fretting! So, wait... you were told to use the thumb of your fretting hand to support the uke? I'm confused, because the thumb is on top, so how do you support the uke with it? Like it reaches around the back and kind of grips the neck?

Hehe, pretty soon I'm going to have to start paying YOU for lessons!

upskydowncloud
08-09-2008, 04:39 PM
I am definitely doing this wrong, which explains my issues with fretting! So, wait... you were told to use the thumb of your fretting hand to support the uke? I'm confused, because the thumb is on top, so how do you support the uke with it? Like it reaches around the back and kind of grips the neck?

Hehe, pretty soon I'm going to have to start paying YOU for lessons!

Haha I hope not! I should have explained myself a bit better. The thumb supports the fretting hand to allow you to hold the uke at the 45 degree angle (roughly) I mentioned.

When fretting according to my instructor the thumb should never be at the top of the neck like you see some guitar players doing but should be between the bottom half and middle of the neck. I think I'll take a photo and show you, it's easier to describe, I'm not doing a good job of it and it's really not that difficult at all! Its 240am here so I'll take a picture first thing tomorrow.

John

Tulip
08-09-2008, 07:04 PM
Get Lil' Rev's Ukulele method book it comes with a CD to play along to.

If your getting fingernail marks on the uke body your playing to low on the uke, you should be strumming at the base of the neck where it meets the body.

Watch Aldrine's vid's on this site for how to hold the uke and for good pointers.Thanks! I've checked out Aldrine's video instructions, but I only looked at his methods and song instructions. They were a bit advanced for me. I'll search for the one how to hold the uke. :)

remy
08-09-2008, 07:11 PM
Its 240am here so I'll take a picture first thing tomorrow.

John

Oh thanks, Upsky! I'd love that! I must be a visual learner! :D

I am really suspicious that I'm doing something wrong because I've been having some irritating aches in my fretting hand, particularly on my pointer finger. I gotta take care of myself, geez! I wonder if this grip that you describe might be part of the issue.

hawaiianmusiclover06
08-10-2008, 02:39 AM
Good luck with your lessons. I am also learning how to play the 'ukulele too and I am just a beginner. I also take lessons also. Maybe we can share what we learn on here.

upskydowncloud
08-10-2008, 02:30 PM
Right here are some photos, you'll have to excuse their poor quality, I forgot to bring my camera so had to use the one in my laptop which was hard as I had to try and hold the uke properly at the same time as using the keyboard to take the pic!

Anyway the first pic shows the thumb at the top which is incorrect, the second one shows it further down which is where it's supposed to be. Apparently it should be placed opposite the second finger to help with fretting.

http://www.jgr-design.com/u/bad.jpg

http://www.jgr-design.com/u/good.jpg

Another thing I was doing was slouching when playing! Something I hadn't even thought of...

upskydowncloud
08-10-2008, 02:31 PM
Oh yeah as you can see I'm supporting the whole uke with the thumb there.

remy
08-11-2008, 08:08 AM
Ah, thanks so much upsky!!!:) that's remarkably helpful!

At first, I just looked at the pictures without reading what you'd written, and I was like... oh, I do hold it like that though! Then I saw that the first picture was the *wrong* way to do it. Ok, good. So this might be part of my problem.

So basically the thumb is kind of supporting the uke through gravity at the A string, right? That never occurred to me.

Here's a question for you though- do you ever reach around and grab the G string with your thumb? I bet that's very bad...

remy
08-11-2008, 08:10 AM
I definitely slouch too! No one ever noticed my posture until I cut my hair short (I guess long hair hides that a little), and now I get that comment all the time. oops!

upskydowncloud
08-11-2008, 08:52 AM
No you definitely don't do that with the G string, I know people do that for the guitar but it's never necessary on a uke! Good work with the posture

sukie
08-11-2008, 09:34 AM
Tip from my uke teacher --you don't use your thumb to form chords.

I know, I know -- whatever works for you.....But, you don't use your thumb...

freedive135
08-11-2008, 09:39 AM
I wasnt refering to a video lesson about holding the uke I just ment watch how he holds it when he plays. Or watch Jake on the youtube.

Kanaka916
08-11-2008, 10:19 AM
...and it was really good fun! I learned a few traditional Hawaiian songs and also learned just how little I know. Learning on my own I'd picked up a lot of bad habits which are going to take a while to correct including strumming and grip (quite important...).

It's the sort of stuff you don't notice till someone who knows that they're doing points it out.

Can't wait for more!
Just curious, what traditional Hawaiian songs were you taught?

upskydowncloud
08-11-2008, 01:14 PM
Just curious, what traditional Hawaiian songs were you taught?

I may have been a bit liberal with the words traditional and Hawaiian sorry! I learned two simple songs, one was an Hawaiian war chant and another was the Fijian folksong Isa Lei.

Waterguy
08-11-2008, 02:16 PM
"Learning on my own I'd picked up a lot of bad habits which are going to take a while to correct including strumming and grip "

When I read that, I thought to myself that I may well resemble that remark. I checked the net out a bit and found that there is a Uke instructer less than a ten minute drive from where I live. Who knew? I found him in the http://www.fleamarketmusic.com/directory/default.asp. I've scheduled my first lesson and am really looking forward to it.

So I just wanted to say thanks to Upskydowncloud for this thread because it gave me a little nudge in a good direction.

upskydowncloud
08-11-2008, 02:52 PM
Waterguy, no need to thank me! I'm really pleased you found a teacher though, it's a really good help and should correct any problems you have. Good luck with it!

Tulip
08-12-2008, 09:19 PM
I wasnt refering to a video lesson about holding the uke I just ment watch how he holds it when he plays. Or watch Jake on the youtube.oh, hihi....i see. thanks again for the tip.

upsidedowncloud: thanks for the pix! i've been holding the uke wrong all this time :uhoh: no wonder my wrist hurts after playing a while. i adjusted my thumb and found out that i dont have to try as hard to really press the strings down to get a rounder sound. (does that make sense? :p)