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VermontUke
08-08-2008, 10:03 AM
Hey Gang,

I have been playing now for alittle under a year and a half. Recently i have been much more serious about it, i try and play for atleast 20 minutes a day, and when i am watching tv i am usually always practicing chords and such (sometimes to my girlfreinds dismay) and having fun with it.

I am finding myself hitting alittle bit of a learning wall, i have decided to stop playing the chords i know and only playing ones i dont know to try and figuer out what sounds good together, i have a pretty good chord chart, and that is how i have been teaching myself. anybody else have any other ideas what i can do to progress.

Also i have found my strumming to be alittle to similar ( i have written a few songs so far) and info on diversifying my strumming would be great too, i have been watching some videos on here but i havent really had too much time to devote to playing along just yet.

i guess i am just looking for advice on how to progess on this awesome instrument

hope i didnt ramble too much
Adam

salukulady
08-08-2008, 12:27 PM
Find a group of like minded uke players to jam with. That has made me progress more than anything. Also, teach someone else to play, it's amazing how good you appear to be to a newbie.

Waterguy
08-08-2008, 03:25 PM
Salukulady is right on the teach someone else idea, but not just cause it makes you look good in that someone elses eyes. Teaching someone something you know makes you rethink what you are doing.

It is one thing to do something, it is another to show someone how you did what you just did. Teaching someone else to do what you know how to do brings a higer level of understanding of what you know how to do to yourself....well at least the first or second time you teach it.

Mind you, I am speaking from my personal experiences teaching. YMMV. But every time I have taught something I knew to someone else, I have come away from the experience with a higher understanding of the subject I was teaching.

ichadwick
08-10-2008, 01:54 AM
Jamming is always good to hone skills like timing and harmony.

One of the things I do to try and stretch my abilities is to pick up my older guitar songbooks and work out a song I like in uke form, transposing chords, using different chord structures, finding ways to make fingerpicking that worked on a guitar work on a uke.

Howlin Hobbit
08-10-2008, 06:09 AM
Also i have found my strumming to be alittle to similar ( i have written a few songs so far) and info on diversifying my strumming would be great too

With regard to strumming, I tend to think of the ukulele as a percussion instrument. Rather than "learning new strums" and then slavishly sticking to them through a given song I tend to do a lot of mixing up strum patterns and a lot of the "chunk" stuff where you mute the strings and strum.

The idea is if you were to remove all the notes and just tap out my strumming on a drum you'd still end up with a good rhythm to play with the song.

It's kind of hard to put into words but I'm pretty sure I do at least some of that in my YouTube vids.

VermontUke
08-10-2008, 03:31 PM
thanks for the input everybody, I am going to show my friend Sarah how to play tomorrow. and howling hobbit, that is a great idea, i will get on the bongos tomorrow and see what i can come up with

experimentjon
08-10-2008, 04:05 PM
With regard to strumming, I tend to think of the ukulele as a percussion instrument. Rather than "learning new strums" and then slavishly sticking to them through a given song I tend to do a lot of mixing up strum patterns and a lot of the "chunk" stuff where you mute the strings and strum.

The idea is if you were to remove all the notes and just tap out my strumming on a drum you'd still end up with a good rhythm to play with the song.

It's kind of hard to put into words but I'm pretty sure I do at least some of that in my YouTube vids.

Interesting. I just bought a pair of bongos off Craigslist today, some rather old Toca ones. Looks like the last owner used the heads as a coaster for her drinks...which seemed to consist of a lot off coffee. It had at least 5 years worth of dust on it, and several critters living under the heads when I bought them, but I've cleaned them as best as I could, and they still sound amazing after I tuned them.

I'll see if playing some beats on the bonga helps me with my uke skills, although I've been a bit lacking on the original rhythms side. I guess I should try playing along with songs that I know.

Howlin Hobbit
08-10-2008, 05:22 PM
Hmmm... what I meant was, if you take the strum patterns I do and tap them out on a drum they'd work well with the song, not, take some drum patterns and try to strum them.

But, you know? I think that might work well too. Anyone who gives it a try should report their results to all the rest of us.