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mendel
02-01-2012, 01:49 PM
Hello Everyone!

I purchased a guitar a few weeks ago. I am having a great time with it, and I am also playing my uke every chance I get. My question is, what tips do you guys have for balancing my development on two instruments. I love playing both, for very different reasons. The Uke just makes me happy. I love it's feel, and it's sing-song sound. The guitar gives me the opportunity to develop some chops that carry over back to my Uke playing, and I also get to eventually learn some funky stuff and blues riffs that I am excited about. I like how those sound better on a guitar than I do on a Uke. Any advice on balancing my development on both?? Thank you, in advance, for any suggestions you may have!

-mendel

vanflynn
02-01-2012, 04:18 PM
No guitar for you. Ukulele and Dissertation only!

Just kidding. Relax anyway you can. Listen to yourself.

Spanalier
02-01-2012, 04:40 PM
I play guitar, banjo, bass, and the uke, and so far, I like to think I've done a pretty decent job at balancing all of them.

Basically, I try to practice all of them for at least 15 minutes a day, which isn't tons, but if I have a lot of schoolwork, it's really the only amount I can do without skipping them. Usually on weekends, it's 1-2 hours per instrument, more in some cases. Except on Wensdays, because I have a bass lesson so I don't really get home from school until 6:30 then there's homework and all that.

There are also different priorities I place on them. Uke is usually at the bottom of the list :/ I love love love to play it, but it's the one I'm best at, and usually has the least amount of kinks to be worked out. Bass is at the top, because lessons aren't cheap, and then banjo and guitar fall in the middle.

That being said, I do usually have the time to practice them all, and how it normally falls is bass 20-30min, guitar 1hr, banjo 1hr, ukulele 1/2 hour-45 min on weekdays.

But like, this is what has worked for me, but I don't know if it's the way one should go about things p:

itsscottwilder
02-01-2012, 07:53 PM
I think another easy way to find balance is to write out your goals.

Play this riff at this tempo by friday on uke

Play the intro to stairway to heaven on guitar by saturday on guitar.

Or whatever. Set goals that are attainable. Not pie in the sky. Set goals that you can reach in a reasonable amount of time.

Every time I hit a goal I find it motivates me to keep pushing on.

Since I play in a few bands, my goals tend to be learn this song on guitar by next rehearsal. Learn song b on mandolin by next month's rehearsal.

Stuff like that.

Hippie Dribble
02-01-2012, 09:56 PM
as a guitar player of 20+ years and a uker for only several, I've found that my ukulele playing has made me a better guitarist. More liberated if you will, more open to experiment, to try new things.

But, learning them in parrallel is perhaps a different story. I'd perhaps be inclined to learn the same song on each instrument conjointly and keep your ear out for the different tonal dynamics each instrument offers. Look out for how your style of playing is different and unique to each instrument.

For really they are totally different instruments requiring different playing technique. If it were me, I'd really hone in on the one instrument first and reach a good level of proficiency with that (probably the guitar) and then transfer and adapt those skills to the other at a later time

mr moonlight
02-02-2012, 04:17 AM
I agree a lot with what Mr. Eugene Ukulele is saying. There are a lot of similarities between the two. More if you're talking about a nylon string guitar.

At the beginning it will probably the easiest to go back and fourth. Fretting a few chords on a guitar and a uke are both pretty similar. The uke is just smaller with fewer strings. Once you learn a basic song with 3 or 4 chords on a guitar, you can easily just learn those chords on the uke and you'll be able to play the song on both instruments. Issues will start to come up when you start learning songs with more complex chords combined with various runs and muscle memory starts to kick in. It's that point where you can play a number of chords easily, but the difficulty level of the songs still makes it take a week or longer to learn. I figure this is the point where you will find your preference for one or the other. It may just because the particular song you are learning at the moment sounds better on one, but either way, at that point, I'd suggest mainly sticking with one as your main instrument and the other as something you just strum a few chords on until you get proficient. Nothing wrong with 2 instruments at once the whole time, but it will definitely slow down your progress as your are effectively learning 2 different instruments.

I've been playing guitar for over 20 years and am pretty proficient at it. So when I picked up a uke a year ago it came pretty easy. It took a few hours to get a few basic chords down, but I was up and running with it by the end of the day. Reading music with it is a bit more tricky, but I just use Tab for the uke. Really, the more proficient you are at with the one, the easier it will be to start playing the other.

So why do you want to learn both?

mendel
02-02-2012, 05:39 AM
Truer Words, and all that! I am actually happy to tell you that I received my committee approval last week. Right now, I am putting together my Committee Presentation. After I complete that task, my IRB packet will be submitted. I am really feeling like I am finally making some progress. While I know I still have a ways to go, I am feeling like there is an end in sight. I am hopeful/ confident that I can complete my research study and my Dissertation by the end of 2012!


No guitar for you. Ukulele and Dissertation only!

Just kidding. Relax anyway you can. Listen to yourself.

vanflynn
02-02-2012, 05:59 AM
Super. Keep up the good work.

Couloirman
02-02-2012, 07:07 AM
I go back and forth every day. Today is uke day, tomorrow guitar, etc..... I really like the balance that way.

zac987
02-02-2012, 07:18 AM
I play banjo, uke, and guitar. I find that they all reinforce each other. It also makes me a bit more willing to try new things on the instruments.

SuzukHammer
02-02-2012, 07:18 AM
I just purchased a electric piano, a bass and and electric guitar and I'm just noodling around on all of them playing scales and chords to hear the difference and get my fingers trained up on playing the different instruments.

I have no goals except to practice music theory on all the different instruments

stmace
02-02-2012, 08:02 AM
What is your diss topic?

Teek
02-02-2012, 08:05 AM
I just purchased a electric piano, a bass and and electric guitar and I'm just noodling around on all of them playing scales and chords to hear the difference and get my fingers trained up on playing the different instruments.

I have no goals except to practice music theory on all the different instruments


Me as well. I used to have guitars when younger but played them no better than I can a uke, but enjoy having a couple of short scales nevertheless, just for the ability to try to mess around with all the guitar tabs I found while looking for uke tabs. Studying music theory and practicing chords and simple songs and some licks is probably all I can do and ever will do for the forseeable future. That's fine by me, I just want to stretch my brain and enjoy the instruments as long as I can while I am still here.

mendel
02-02-2012, 10:56 AM
What is your diss topic?

I am studying the emotional intelligence of former elite level athletes in the workplace. I am getting the PhD in Industrial and Organizational Psychology.

stmace
02-02-2012, 02:12 PM
Good topic. You should get some publications and speaking engagements from that. Mine was noise exposure and noise-induced hearing loss among musicians. Uke players don't have much to worry about. Brass players? Watch out!

cb56
02-02-2012, 02:31 PM
Uke, banjo uke, 5 string banjo (frailing), bass and trombone. I just go with whatever I feel like that day. usually get a couple a day.
Ona good day I play 'em all.:D

SuzukHammer
02-02-2012, 05:02 PM
Me as well. I used to have guitars when younger but played them no better than I can a uke, but enjoy having a couple of short scales nevertheless, just for the ability to try to mess around with all the guitar tabs I found while looking for uke tabs. Studying music theory and practicing chords and simple songs and some licks is probably all I can do and ever will do for the forseeable future. That's fine by me, I just want to stretch my brain and enjoy the instruments as long as I can while I am still here.

yes, that's about it too for me. I have ended up with lots of guitar tab books in my search for music to play on the uke. ANd I picked up some piano music too.

I've never played bass before but was just ripping on some blues scale work with it - unplugged. It was fun.

Pippin
02-02-2012, 09:39 PM
I play lots of different instruments and I have no problem with any of them. It all comes down to this: I play the best instrument for the song when the mood strikes me.

kapahulu50
02-02-2012, 09:44 PM
I find going with my mood/what I feel like playing is the most constructive. I may go a week playing uke only, or play uke and bass equally for a couple weeks straight. If I try to force equal playing time or some sort of alternating schedule it pisses me off and I don't get nearly as much out of it.

mm stan
02-02-2012, 10:14 PM
I've noticed the uke does improve guitar skills in your Creativity....strumming and picking Styles as you transfer them over...

rasputinsghost
02-02-2012, 10:43 PM
The better you get at any instrument, that should help out your skills in music overall (YMMV, though). I found that some techniques like tremolo picking, Travis picking, or clawhammer really translate across some instruments and if you're good at one on 1 instrument, it'll be easier to do that technique on another.

buddhuu
02-02-2012, 10:59 PM
I play guitar, bass, 'ukulele, mandolin, mandola, banjo, fiddle, harmonica, bouzouki and tin whistle. Some better than others and none of them really, really well. Progress is very often simply the result of time spent practising. If I had to split my time between fewer instruments I would, no doubt, be better at playing that reduced number of things.

IMHO a hugely important thing is frequency of practice. For me, 30 mins every day works better than an hour every other day. If you can spare 30 mins a day for each of your instruments then you'll make progress. If you can manage 45 mins or an hour each per day then you'll do even better.

If you encounter a particularly challenging stage on one or the other instrument, then maybe adjust the practice time ratio - eg, from 50% guitar and 50% uke to 60% guitar and 40% uke for the duration of the difficult bit. This is kind of the way I work and it's good for me.

Because I am stupid and try to do too many instruments my progress on all is slower than I'd like. If you can resist getting involved with more than necessary I'd recommend that you do so. For my part I can't help it. Every time I see something new that looks like fun I have to try to learn to play one! A recipe for slow progress.

drbekken
02-03-2012, 01:06 AM
I have had piano training since age six, and played it professionally for about thirty years. It's my main instrument, and the one I played for my Master's degree in music. I also play the ukulele, a little accordion, tuba and some guitar. I can probably fake a blues solo on harmonica too. I sincerely believe that playing different instruments make you a better player of whatever instrument you consider your main thing. Sooner or later, you'll find that you spend more time with one than the other.

mendel
02-03-2012, 03:12 AM
I think I am spending more guitar time than Uke time now, but that is because of the novelty. At the end of the day, I love me some 4 string sounds... It is just so darn soothing!!!