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peatstackron
10-30-2011, 09:35 PM
OK I,ve only been learning for 3 weeks,got my Dummies book and all tuned up. The first few chords in the book have all gone great and I think the sound of my soprano uke is really lovely.However I am having trouble with some of the other chords. D just for an example but there are many others. I try to cram my fingers in the small spaces suggested in the book but getting frustrated because I can't manage to articulate my fingers to allow a true chord or I am touching other strings. The soprano fret board is small do the others like the concert or tenor have bigger boards or do different makes have different sizes.Just to start I learning I only bought a cheep uke from ebay called a Vintage nobody else has mentioned them so I am assuming that they are at the bottom end. However with Aquila strings it sounds prety good. Can any body advise me on wether getting a concert or a tenor would be any easier?
Wow sorry for the long thread but I have not found any body to advise me yet out here in the Atlantic (Outer Hebrides).

Cheery,
Peatstack.
ps when I get faster it will be peatstack lightning YEH!:D

Steiner
10-30-2011, 10:00 PM
Been there. It gets much easier. Tenor fingerboards are bigger though. I also remember ukulele Mike playing an extra wide fingerboard tenor from Ohana I think.

Steiner
10-30-2011, 10:07 PM
Here's a clip with extra wide.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NR8aZi02zbQ&feature=related

peatstackron
10-31-2011, 12:07 AM
Thanks Stiener, do you know if you can buy the wider neck versions off the shelf or are they specially made to order? The guy in the video has similar fingers to mine so there is hope out there.
We had a music shop in Stornoway called "Ceol" (Gaelic for music of course) sadly closed now. Do you have any connection with Gaelic?

ma sin leat, (bye for now)

peatstack.

Tor
10-31-2011, 12:34 AM
The ukulele in the video is an Oscar Schmidt OU6W tenor ukulele, the 'W' is for extra-wide fingerboard. They don't seem to be only made to order, you can find them by searching on the net.

-Tor

Pukulele Pete
10-31-2011, 04:39 AM
I think the answer is more practice. Practice,practice,practice. I have what I consider big fingers and play soprano. There are chords I thought I could never master and now they are easy.
Practice is the answer . I play D chord with my first finger fretting three strings , you can do it , it just takes practice. Did I say "practice" enough ?

vanflynn
10-31-2011, 04:49 AM
I play D chord with my first finger fretting three strings , you can do it , it just takes practice. Did I say "practice" enough ?

I agree. With my sausage fingers (northern climate, no banana trees here) I've tried non-conventinal fingering for some chords which seems to work better for me. Experiment, experiment experiment (!)

peatstackron
10-31-2011, 05:46 AM
I get the message boys I will keep on trying but now that Oscar Schmidt's been planted in my head I think I'm a ukuholic with no 12 step recovery.

Peatstack

PoiDog
10-31-2011, 05:47 AM
I am having trouble with some of the other chords. D just for an example

Oh boy! Just wait til you get a hold of the E!

ukuleledaveey
10-31-2011, 06:03 AM
:) i have trouble with D more than E or Bb, i panic when i see tunes with D in :) but practicing really does help ( I hope) but i have party sausage fingers and the other embarrising thing is my pinky sticks out when i play certsin chords , like im drinking tea out of a cup and saucer :)

Tor
10-31-2011, 06:06 AM
It's possible to adjust to play on a narrow fretboard even if your fingers are wide, but there's nothing wrong IMO in getting an instrument with a wide fretboard as well. It can't possibly hurt, it just widens what you can do if your hands are not small enough to play everything on a narrow neck.

My hands aren't small, but they're not big either, just normal men's hands. But when I can fret the sixth string with my thumb while holding a first-position F or D chord on the 52mm fretboard of my classical guitar I can't see how a fretboard on a ukulele could possibly get too wide to be a problem for me. So I think I'll get myself one of those W-models. I can still continue to play my Kala pocket ukulele but there are chords I can't make there. And there are chords that are too cramped even on the tenor (and I don't have double-jointed fingers so I can't do those half-bars. Never could do them on guitar either - there's no change in my ability since I started playing guitar nearly forty years ago, even though everything else has become easy).

-Tor

Shastastan
10-31-2011, 06:52 AM
Thanks Stiener, do you know if you can buy the wider neck versions off the shelf or are they specially made to order? The guy in the video has similar fingers to mine so there is hope out there.
We had a music shop in Stornoway called "Ceol" (Gaelic for music of course) sadly closed now. Do you have any connection with Gaelic?

ma sin leat, (bye for now)

peatstack.

Mike does have larger hands. He has lots of Youtubes that you might want to watch to see how he does some alternate fingerings. I also think that age has something to do with it. I'm a 72 year old beginner. The tenor necks work better for me. I tried a Makai concert neck and thought it too small. While I can't deny the comments about practice, I have to ask myself, why should I try to struggle with a smaller neck when I can just get a tenor neck. In other words, one less thing to confront while learning. I just got a Flea with a tenor neck. It was not custom made. I really like the sound and the neck size. It's easier to play than my Mainland because the strings are close to the frets....and I've had my Mainland adjusted, too. Partial bar chords are hard for me, but I think they'll come with practice.

OldePhart
10-31-2011, 01:06 PM
I think it's just a matter of needing more practice - and...thinking outside the box. The problem with learning from a book or instructional CD is they tend to show you just one way of fingering a chord. The first postion D can be fingered at least three different ways and I use all of them depending on what size uke I'm playing and what chords precede and follow the D. Most of the time I'll finger it using two fingers to cover the three strings at the second fret. But, if there is an Em then I'll play it as a barre at the second fret with my third finger or pinky (depending on scale) at the fifth fret.

Just give it time. All the chords will come, even the E. :)

John

Biff
11-01-2011, 11:14 AM
Hi, Peatstack.

I've only been playing for a couple of months and I've already got a severe case of UAS(*) and bought my second Uke: a Blue Moon Tenor. My advice would be to wait and practice with what you've got, the go for a Concert (Brunswick have some at a reasonable price). You can get a Tenor later!

I've found that Ukulele playing takes 3 P's: Practice, Persistence and Pain (fretting finger tips!!). Keep at it.

Cheers,

Biff

(*) Ukulele Acquisition Syndrome: there is no known cure. :)

peatstackron
11-01-2011, 08:46 PM
Thanks again every one,
Biff your advice came too late I have already committed myself to buying one of them there Oscar Schmidt tenors off e-bay. On its way from the US. My fretting fingertips have also gone very numb and tingly, do they eventually get their normal feeling back? Practicing several times every day,we have long dark winter days up here. Will let you all know how the new OS ou7T settles in its new home.
Bye for now,

Peatstack

keonepax
11-01-2011, 11:23 PM
I used to be able to play the D with one finger covering three strings, but as I've gotten older, my fingers can't bend so easily without it hurting. I now use one finger per string, with the index finger on the G string, the middle finger on the C string, and the ring finger on the E string. By the way, when you place your fingers on the fret, the three finger tips don't have to be lined up perfectly perpendicular to the fret wire. The larger frets on the tenor fretboard should give you room to find a comfortable position. Besides that, it's like others have said... just practice a lot.

By the way, I've seen people reach over with their thumb to cover three strings to form the D chord. You can use this technique in a pinch, but in the long run, it's better to get adept at playing the D chord in a more conventional way.

Tor
11-02-2011, 02:40 AM
My fretting fingertips have also gone very numb and tingly, do they eventually get their normal feeling back?
In my experience, yes. I've played steel string acoustic (quite heavy "medium" strings) for many decades and even if I'm away from the instrument for half a year or more (as has happened due to travels) it only takes a day or so for the initial 'soft' feel to go away - I don't feel any pain there and the tips of the fingers of the left hand are pretty hard all the time, even after long pauses from playing. I don't even have big callouses there anymore (not because I've started playing more ukulelele - I never stopped playing guitar. The callouses disappeared a long time ago, after enough playing).

But they're not numb, and definitely not tingly. From what I can tell the fingertips of my left hand are nearly as sensitive as the fingertips of my right hand when it comes to feeling 'texture' of surfaces.. and the hard part is small, just the very tip of the fingers (that was also different in the beginning). I won't know for sure but it definitely feels as I could learn to read Braille with my left hand fingers. Or, if I can't, then the right hand fingers won't have much of an advantage then either.

-Tor