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View Full Version : Learning Melodies - not just chording- ears



Huna
07-09-2011, 02:12 AM
I remembered watching a youtube of JDARKS who makes a lot of Grateful Dead Tabs and he can play a bit like Jerry Garcia and wondered what it was that made Jerry special.

Well according to JDarks it was that he had a song in his heart. A song is a melody.

So I was looking at that Gotaukulele site and realized... these nursery rhymes do pretty much suck for chording and I would never want to learn uke playing " Mary Had a little lamb"... but then realized... right, the chords are way easy anyways... for me now anyway... but what is it that distinguishes and how to you really let the instrument become your voice?

Well I figured the nursery rhymes would be good to learn for the melodies. Just learning to play them without reading... and then learning the melodies of all sorts of songs. I think this would somehow make the instrument more my voice.

Don't know if this has become a topic at all. Anyone have any insight into this or find it makes sense?

rem50
07-09-2011, 04:42 AM
I saw the the same thing. One that really seems to make it his own is Eugene Ukulele. He recommended (when I asked) that I learn "side by side". I can play chords, I can strum, I can sing it but I don't own it, he does. Watch the vid. Maybe someday I will get "in tune" with the uke. Practice is definitely the word of the day for me.

Raygf
07-09-2011, 05:45 AM
I remembered watching a youtube of JDARKS who makes a lot of Grateful Dead Tabs and he can play a bit like Jerry Garcia and wondered what it was that made Jerry special.

Well according to JDarks it was that he had a song in his heart. A song is a melody.

Jerry was special and as I am sure you know he had decades of listening/playing, listening/playing and more listening and playing and more playing ........


So I was looking at that Gotaukulele site and realized... these nursery rhymes do pretty much suck for chording and I would never want to learn uke playing " Mary Had a little lamb"... but then realized... right, the chords are way easy anyways... for me now anyway... but what is it that distinguishes and how to you really let the instrument become your voice?

Great question. I think it involves years of listening and playing for and with others, which is very difficult when we also have to work for a living.


Well I figured the nursery rhymes would be good to learn for the melodies. Just learning to play them without reading... and then learning the melodies of all sorts of songs. I think this would somehow make the instrument more my voice.
Don't know if this has become a topic at all. Anyone have any insight into this or find it makes sense?

I use nursery rhymes and other folk tunes for beginners because lots of people know them (not as much any more these days) and you are more likely to know when you have made a mistake because the tunes are so ingrained. The tunes also follow simple patterns and have catchy melodies that help the learning, memorizing and recall. There is lots of room for improvising in a simple I/V7, I/IV/V tunes. Jerry sure loved his mixolydian, but so did B.B King.Talk about a voice.
Your voice does need to come from the song in your heart and our lives and culture today don't give us much/any time (or we don't take the time) to stop and get in touch with that core.
Great topic. I look forward to reading others thoughts and insights. Hey, how's the surgery recovery going? Wishing you a speedy and thorough one.

Huna
07-09-2011, 06:15 AM
oh the hip is gettting better slowly. I think the banjo baritone is going back to amazon. I just don't connect with baritones. I have tons of sopranos around here to play and seem to prefer them. Was an impulse buy on the low price... 150 with a hardcase... but I just don't relate to the baritone and its way heavy! Maybe a flea banjo might be better for me. I did open up the case of the Hamano today, started playing it and and am reconnecting with that uke. It plays very easily comparitevely speaking.... nice and small and a great tone. Thanks for asking about the hip! swelling and tightness came down some but needs way more ! thanks!

Raygf
07-09-2011, 06:33 AM
oh the hip is gettting better slowly. I think the banjo baritone is going back to amazon. I just don't connect with baritones. I have tons of sopranos around here to play and seem to prefer them. Was an impulse buy on the low price... 150 with a hardcase... but I just don't relate to the baritone and its way heavy! Maybe a flea banjo might be better for me. I did open up the case of the Hamano today, started playing it and and am reconnecting with that uke. It plays very easily comparitevely speaking.... nice and small and a great tone. Thanks for asking about the hip! swelling and tightness came down some but needs way more ! thanks!

One month, three months, six months and one year were milestones in my recovery. Mine is 12 years old now. It has been wonderful. Nothing like freedom from chronic pain. The Firefly is on my list, but I just heard a custom soprano with 10 years of playing and that crisp bell tone quality has me researching options for one now, plus I just ordered my second baritone in less than a month, a Koloa solid mahogany. Picked up a Lanikai Curly Koa baritone from the marketplace for a good price. I like baritone for fingerstyle playing. I am working up different repertoire from my gcea/adf#b uke repertoire. Sorry, this is way off topic. I sure hope others chime in on the original post.

mm stan
07-09-2011, 07:28 AM
Aloha Huna,
I also believe the Nursery rhymes is the foundation of learning music..you learn the rhythm, timing and melodies... because they are basic and we all grew up from them and knows them well.. it is a
very good platform for learning and should not be skipped....some may say it's boring...but it is part of the fundamental learning process.. never take the basic things for granted, there may be
big lessons in there... Happy Strummings..MM Stan

itsme
07-09-2011, 07:50 AM
Jerry was special and as I am sure you know he had decades of listening/playing, listening/playing and more listening and playing and more playing ........
And let's not forget the copious amounts of drugs. :p

70sSanO
07-09-2011, 07:51 AM
Glad to hear your hip is getting better.

One thing to remember is the melodies are in the chords.

As you move up the neck with the melody you just build the chord around it.

One last trick... certain keys are better for semi-open chords to be played up the neck.

John

Raygf
07-09-2011, 08:22 AM
And let's not forget the copious amounts of drugs. :p

Ha! Yeah, I didn't want to go there. If you have ever seen the Grateful Dawg movie there are times when Jerry looks great and then there are those other times when the copious amounts of drugs had him looking like death warmed over. Aside from the drug use, Jerry was someone who obviously loved making music, was connected with his core (can't make music like that without it and I'm not saying everything he did was genius, but most has a connected feel) and he knew the roots of American music very well. Makes his drug problem and untimely death that much more tragic to me.