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allUkedup
06-29-2011, 11:32 AM
I got my uke back on my birthday in January and I was pumped. I learned as much as I could then I kind of plateaued. I'm not sure what to do next?

I learned some chords and I bought a chord finder chart that has tons of chords in it for when I don't know what a specific chord is.

I watch videos and see some people play and I get so discouraged because I don't see how I could ever get as good as some stuff I've seen. Any suggestions to get out of the rut? I've been trying to get back into the mood of playing because I haven't played in a while. Picking seems impossible, I don't see how I could ever pick fast enough to play some of the songs I've seen played.


quick question not related to the above.

is the chord Am7 the same as Amaj7?

ItsAMeCasey
06-29-2011, 11:43 AM
I know exactly what rut you're in right now, I've honestly been there. My advice to you is to just keep pushing through. One day you'll be playing and you'll realize that you developed enough skill to play harder songs. Just don't lose motivation and keep practicing.

haolejohn
06-29-2011, 11:45 AM
I got my uke back on my birthday in January and I was pumped. I learned as much as I could then I kind of plateaued. I'm not sure what to do next?

I learned some chords and I bought a chord finder chart that has tons of chords in it for when I don't know what a specific chord is.

I watch videos and see some people play and I get so discouraged because I don't see how I could ever get as good as some stuff I've seen. Any suggestions to get out of the rut? I've been trying to get back into the mood of playing because I haven't played in a while. Picking seems impossible, I don't see how I could ever pick fast enough to play some of the songs I've seen played.


quick question not related to the above.

is the chord Am7 the same as Amaj7?

I don't think the two chords are the same b/c one is a major and one is a minor.

If you want to feel better about your playing watch my videos.

But as a crappy player I had to realize I play for enjoyment

deadpool
06-29-2011, 11:51 AM
First of all you need to know that in learning music every one goes through what you are. It is depressing to a degree, but it is normal too. I have deep background in guitar and mandolin, so the chords are coming really easy for me, but I think if this were my first instrument I would be struggling mightily(sic). You just have to keep plugging away at it then you will jump to the next plateau. You may also consider some one on one lessons to help make that jump.

Am7 and Amaj7 are not the same chords-I won't bore you with the theory of it, but here is a link to a chord chart. If this is the kind of thing you want to figure out for yourself you may want to get a copy of "Music Theory for Dummies" it is really easy to understand and takes the mystery out of theory.

http://www.ukalady.com/Images/UkeChart.pdf

Hope this helps

allUkedup
06-29-2011, 11:53 AM
wow, thanks for the encouragement! I'll keep plugging away and practicing. hopefully one day I'll get somewhere.

Lori
06-29-2011, 11:54 AM
Hi allUkedup
Welcome to UU. Maybe you should see if there are any Uke Groups meeting in your area. It is a lot of fun to play together in a group, and it introduces you to songs you haven't considered yet.
Choose something you would like to learn, that isn't too hard, and practice, practice, practice. If there is a uke fest in your area, go to it and see if you can attend a workshop. All you really need now is someone to show you a few tricks. What seems impossible is really just a string of well practiced tricks strung together.

Am7: A-minor-7th is the open chord 0000
Amaj7: A-major-7th is tab 2444

–Lori

allUkedup
06-29-2011, 11:57 AM
oh yeah, I found the Am7 and Amaj7 in my chord finder book, so they're different, but the Am7 shows one strum with all 4 strings open. Is that really Am7?

allUkedup
06-29-2011, 11:57 AM
Hi allUkedup
Welcome to UU. Maybe you should see if there are any Uke Groups meeting in your area. It is a lot of fun to play together in a group, and it introduces you to songs you haven't considered yet.
Choose something you would like to learn, that isn't too hard, and practice, practice, practice. If there is a uke fest in your area, go to it and see if you can attend a workshop. All you really need now is someone to show you a few tricks. What seems impossible is really just a string of well practiced tricks strung together.

Am7: A-minor-7th is the open chord 0000
Amaj7: A-major-7th is tab 2444

–Lori
oh ok, haha, you beat me to it while I was typing the message. I just wanted to make sure I was reading that properly. thanks for the info!

uke4ia
06-29-2011, 12:54 PM
First off, Am7 is A minor 7. It has a minor 3rd and a flatted 7th, so it's A C E G.
Amaj7 has a major 3rd and a major 7th, so it's A C# E G#. While Am7 would be 0000, Amaj7 would be 1100.


When I was starting out, I'd learn by picking a song I liked that I wanted to learn, and learning the chords and rhythm so I could play that song. These days there are sites like ultimate-guitar.com that make it a lot easier to find the chords for songs. Don't worry about what you see someone else playing in a video. Unless you already play guitar, you're not going to be doing a lot of picking lead lines early on. Find a song you like that would be fun for you to play, that you will enjoy continuing to play it once you've learned it. And every once in a while try a song that you think would be too hard for you, and give it an honest effort -- it'll help you improve, like when athletes go up against a better player.

DAPuke
06-29-2011, 01:10 PM
Hi allukedup,
You mentioned picking seems impossible. I am struggling with that issue also. I'm actually scared to dig into the tab stuff for fear of failure. Although I have been working on a couple of picking "patterns". It has added a cool dimension to my playing. I don't just strum all songs, some I use a picking pattern.
Here's where I got it: http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?46821-20-diferent-finger-pickings-styles-with-tabs The OP's link is awesome I only know one pattern so I posted the link, my post is #9.
Good luck, let us know how you're doing.
Don

cb56
06-29-2011, 01:28 PM
You know they say there are no rules in ukulele, but I think there should be two rules.
Rule #1: Have fun! If you are not enjoying what you are doing IMO it's not worth the time. Do you enjoy playing your uke even if all you can do is play one chord over and over? If yes, then you have what it takes to become a uke player. Learn a one chord song, then learn a two chord song then three etc... Then get into some finger picking or fancy strums or whatever. Also do Uncle Rod's bootcamp and you'll see rapid improvement.
Rule #2: Don't compare yourself to others. Sure listen to the great players and try to learn or at least appreciate what they do. Let it motivate you to be the best YOU can. If we all got discouraged and quit when we heard someone better than us, we'd all listen to Jake Shimabukuro one time, burn our ukes and go play some video games. But that's not what it's all about. It's not a competition.
Ok, pep talk over, now go practice.

PhilUSAFRet
06-29-2011, 01:32 PM
Count me in too. I am nearly 70 and have to struggle with my short term memory on top of everything else (including an arthritic thumb) Just keep practicing, practicing, practicing. I am starting some fingerpicking and I started very simply here:
http://www.ukeschool.com/school/levels.html. I was making the mistake to jump ahead too quickly once I developed a new skill somewhat. I started with just thumb picking the 4, 3, then strumming 1,2, and sometimes 3, or plucking 1,4 with thumb and forefinger and picking 2 and 3....simple stuff. I also just practiced finger picking scales. I with I could play like some folks, but all I can do is the best I can do. As long as I get better, that's ok. Don't try and play peices that are too complicated until you have somewhat mastered the basics required to play that number. Find simpler versions of a song, then gradually add to it as your skill progresses. Good luck, we're all rootin for you.

Susie A
06-29-2011, 01:55 PM
wow, thanks for the encouragement! I'll keep plugging away and practicing. hopefully one day I'll get somewhere.

Practice ... practice .. practice and then ... practice some more. I won't ever be as good as Eller, but I too play for enjoyment and find the more I practice, the better I get. Is it leaps and bounds at a time? Nope. But it is improvement. So .. keep it up :)

fitncrafty
06-29-2011, 03:21 PM
sign up for some UUplus on the main page, It is inexpensive and the lessons are wonderful Aldrine, teaches slow paced and is very easy to understand. You can move at your pace and watch the videos over and over again..

On another note, learning takes time and patience. I have gone through many plateau's and I push through... Don't stop and keep having fun!

OldePhart
06-29-2011, 03:25 PM
Above all, remember to keep it fun! Unless you need to make a living at it, relax and enjoy it, progress at your own pace and don't sweat 'cause you can't play like Jake, or Aldrine or... Those guys have been dedicated to playing for many, many years. I'll never be as good as them and I have no problem with that - if I worked as hard as they did in their early years I probably would burn out!

Also, everybody hits plateaus now and again. The best way to work through them is to switch to something completely different. If you feel like you aren't progressing with your picking, spend a couple of days doing nothing but rhythm, practicing triplets or what have you. Two amazing things happen. First, when you go back to picking you discover that the break actually helped you improve. Second, the next time you go back and try the triplets again you'll discover you're also doing those better than when you last practiced them. It's wierd the way the brain works, I think it needs a little rest to really assimilate the stuff we're working on. :)

John

TheOnlyUkeThatMatters
06-29-2011, 03:29 PM
I've been on those plateaus lots of times. If it gets depressing, I forget about improvement for awhile and just play songs I know and love. That way if I'm not improving, I'm at least having fun.

haolejohn
06-29-2011, 03:30 PM
Practice ... practice .. practice and then ... practice some more. I won't ever be as good as Eller, but I too play for enjoyment and find the more I practice, the better I get. Is it leaps and bounds at a time? Nope. But it is improvement. So .. keep it up :)

this is because you will not regress:) There are times I can play decently and times I suck. It all depends on what I am doing.

Everyone has mentioned it. practise and practise and practise. I do not do formal practising. I let my playing be my practise time. it is more enjoyable for me that way:)

veejayblox
06-29-2011, 05:35 PM
You know they say there are no rules in ukulele, but I think there should be two rules.
Rule #1: Have fun!
Rule #2: Don't compare yourself to others. those are good rules.

we all, or almost all of us, get into ruts when it comes to practice and playing. we also get into grooves, i don't think you can have one without the other. anyway i play my ukulele each day every day, almost without exception. even if it's just some simple chord changes or some transition bits.

marymac
06-29-2011, 08:30 PM
Join a uke group if you can - I was seriously in the doldrums on the uke and now that I have people to play with occasionally I'm zooming along again. Not just on the stuff that I'm playing with the group but all kinds of stuff. Playing with others is tons of fun!

bornagainjeeper
06-30-2011, 07:26 PM
I dont' think i saw it mentioned... it is confusing the way chords are written (and sometimes written differently) just remember capitol M is always major and lowercase m is minor...so AM7 is not Am7...as for getting frustrated it happens...If i get stressed out on my uke, i know i'm doing something wrong, so i put it down and wait til i'm in the right mind to pick it up again...after a few days of break i'm always itching to get back to it...You don't always need to challenge yourself to learn, either. As a cyclist i used to ride 3 reallllly hard days a week...but leave one day set aside to just cruise around with family friends or slowly on my race bike...The same thing works with uke...Take a break from my guitar gentle weeps to play labamba a hundred times instead...just going through the motions of something you know very well will help connect your brain to your fingers better than struggling through something you'd rather swear at that play
Keep at it all

allUkedup
07-10-2011, 04:09 PM
awesome! yeah, I have been watching quite a few of Mike's videos. I think he's a really good teacher. I really like that travis pick, it looks fairly simple and looks capable of putting out some very beautiful music. I can't wait to give it a try.

uke_rob
07-11-2011, 07:23 AM
I'd recommend getting a few lessons booked. At least that way someone will help push you, and if you do struggle with any new techniques or chords someone is there to guide you

allanr
07-11-2011, 09:31 AM
My typical practice session always begins and ends with something that I already know how to play. That way I always begin and end with "success". In between the happy bookends, I try to learn something new. Chords, strums, or work on my personal nemesis - keeping up a steady strum pattern while accompanying myself singing.