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beginnerukeman143
04-18-2012, 07:14 PM
I've been playing for about.... 8 months now, and I'm at the point where just playing the chords and singing is getting pretty old....

I want to continue to play, I just don't know what would be more challenging for me right now....

So does anyone have suggestions?


-Nathan

chris667
04-18-2012, 07:21 PM
Find harder and more interesting things to play. That way, you keep motivated.

zac987
04-18-2012, 07:24 PM
Learn fingerpicking techniques and songs.

itsme
04-18-2012, 07:29 PM
Work on learning to fingerpick? It's a lot of fun. I do mostly classical, but there are a lot of other styles out there. :)

Skrik
04-18-2012, 08:02 PM
Try this:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3loEokKEFtk

Tabs: http://ukuleledav.web.officelive.com/Documents/Music%20Box%20Waltz%20-%20Lightnin%20Wells.pdf

It's not as complicated as it might first appear.

bazmaz
04-18-2012, 08:13 PM
Find a group and play with others. The most sure fire way of improving. You can bounce ideas off each other, find songs they can play but challenge you. Consider performing too. Baptism of fire!

angusdegraosta
04-18-2012, 09:29 PM
Listen to every kind of music you can and love as much of it as you can.

Pete Beardsley
04-18-2012, 09:46 PM
Find a group and play with others. The most sure fire way of improving. You can bounce ideas off each other, find songs they can play but challenge you.........

I concur! Helps to renew enthusiasm as well.

PoiDog
04-19-2012, 04:40 AM
Along with all the other great suggestions already made, how about taking a small step back and re-assessing your situation.

I mean, if playing the uke gives you joy, then even simple songs and strumming should never get old. I think that somewhere along the way there was a small shift from having fun to work.

That isn't to say you shouldn't try to get as good as possible. Absolutely you should. And the ideas already here are great to help you along that path. Of course, as with anything, there seems to be a definite multiple sigmoid curve to learning the uke. At first, progress is a bit slow as you grow accustomed to the instrument and the basic mechanics of it. Then, there is a sharp increase in progress as the fingering for basic chords becomes easier and the transitions smoother. This is followed by yet another reduction in rate of progress as you incorporate more difficult chords and begin to work up the neck as well, only to again reach another rapid increase in progress as those click. It seems you've just finished that third stage of the curve are at the beginning of another flatter part.

But your post does really seem to me to have a level of frustration in it, which should never be associated with the 'ukulele. Get back to where you pick up a uke to primarily have a good time and I bet you soon find yourself acquiring more skills.

Just a thought.

csibona
04-19-2012, 05:25 AM
I am transitioning from basic chord strumming to chord/melody arrangements. To make this transition I use music books with chord and melody lines (lead sheets) (well, OK, some will tell you that they just figure out the melody note as they hear the song and incorporate the melody into the chord - but this isn't me...). Reasonably good arrangements can be found in tab form here:
Lyle Lite: 16 Easy Chord Solos Arranged by Ukulele Jazz Master (Jumpin' Jim's Ukulele Masters) but my goal is to pick up something like "The Real Book" and play chord/melody arrangements on the fly without tab.

Of course, as others have noted - your path depends on your interest - there are many place to go beyond basic strumming. Some options include clawhammer techniques, campanella, pull-ons and pull-offs, interesting strums, etc. I like the chord/melody option because, well, I can't sing, and playing a musical composition suddenly becomes a whole puzzle that must be solved...

austin1
04-19-2012, 05:29 AM
I've been playing for about.... 8 months now, and I'm at the point where just playing the chords and singing is getting pretty old....

I want to continue to play, I just don't know what would be more challenging for me right now....

So does anyone have suggestions?


-Nathan

mini jams, and I'm not just saying that because I miss you, although that IS 90% of it.

Kayak Jim
04-19-2012, 06:03 AM
I am transitioning from basic chord strumming to chord/melody arrangements.

Me too.

My first step beyond basic strumming was this chord melody http://www.ezfolk.com/uke/tabs1/amaz-ma/amaz-ez/amaz-ez.html

Then some of the easier stuff from this online http://ukulelehunt.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/11/solobuch.pdf

GX9901
04-19-2012, 07:33 AM
I suggest:

1. Seek out some intermediate to advanced ukulele technique videos (I recommend Roy Sakuma's videos) and learn new techniques.
2. Listen to a bunch of ukulele instrumental players such as Jake Shimabukuro, Kalei Gamiao, Brittny Paiva, etc. and decide what type of music you are most interested in learning.
3. Go to Dominator's website and pick out tabs you're interested in learning.

That's basically what I did. X number of months into taking up the ukulele, I got a little bored with simple strumming and singing and developed an intense desire to learn Jake Shimabukuro arrangements. With Dominator's help I got started learning instrumental and I've been hooked ever since.

coolkayaker1
04-19-2012, 08:16 AM
I suggest:

1. Seek out some intermediate to advanced ukulele technique videos (I recommend Roy Sakuma's videos) and learn new techniques.
2. Listen to a bunch of ukulele instrumental players such as Jake Shimabukuro, Kalei Gamiao, Brittny Paiva, etc. and decide what type of music you are most interested in learning.
3. Go to Dominator's website and pick out tabs you're interested in learning.

That's basically what I did. X number of months into taking up the ukulele, I got a little bored with simple strumming and singing and developed an intense desire to learn Jake Shimabukuro arrangements. With Dominator's help I got started learning instrumental and I've been hooked ever since.

And GX990 is now a solid and good player, much better than me or most, for that matter, so I think what he said must work.

On top of that, he has the most blingy upscale herd of custom ukuleles of anyone on UU. lol

Plainsong
04-19-2012, 09:20 AM
If you can find someone who used to play ... just about anything, get with that person. Sometimes you need a kick in the butt, so find someone else who wrote some words but needs a song. Now you both have a problem to solve, you have to work together to come up with this song. My husband never plays anymore, and when he does, it's certainly not guitar. So I came up with a rough sketch of some chords for some lyrics Joeybug wrote.. and we banged it out on uke and bass for a while, but it wasn't done yet. He HAD to pick up the guitar so that we both had something that made chords. About 30 minutes later, we had the song.

We'd been married over 10 years, and I can count on one hand the number of times we've played together. And when we do usually play, it can be frustrating because our styles of playing in a group are so different.

Not this time though, we had a problem to work through, and so we did. The big payoff was that big rush you get when you freaking nailed a song. That feeling that you just wrote a number 1... even if no one ever hears it and even if no one else agrees. :)

You don't have to write a song to get that big rush, but sometimes it's easy for other musicians to put it off or to not be motivated and it's easy to come up with all sorts of excused to not play. But if you have a problem to solve, maybe it's the motivation you need to plug in.

csibona
04-19-2012, 11:16 AM
I was also given the advice to play with others (perhaps in a "band") - and more than one person suggested that this was THE way to improve - because, according to these folks, nobody wants to be the person who doesn't know a song in a practice session (then again, they might be perfectionists...). I still don't know how valid it is to say THE way to improve is by playing in a group - there are plenty of musicians who play on their own. But I suppose it is a way to get together with those with more experience, or with less experience and work things out. I still mostly play on my own but I take group lessons. The lessons are more song-oriented than method/theory oriented so given my direction of chord/melody and ultimately improvisation I don't know how much the lessons help (maybe in some common musical vocabulary kind of way the lessons help)...

hedgehogsontoast
04-19-2012, 11:38 AM
i'd say fingerpicking is a good start if you want more interesting stuff to play - once you nail something the feeling is great!

philpot
04-19-2012, 12:01 PM
Get UU+ for one month. Those master workshops and theory lessons will kick you in the rear and get you going.

Freeda
04-19-2012, 12:32 PM
Get UU+ for one month. Those master workshops and theory lessons will kick you in the rear and get you going.

I just signed up for that I think. Vip? Or is it a different thing?

beginnerukeman143
04-19-2012, 12:54 PM
wow thank you for all of your quick responses guys :P

I think that part of the problem is maybe that all the songs i thought would sound great on the ukulele seem to have just gone away, like I've learned them all....

also when i said that just strumming chords is getting old, I meant that just strumming like, D, A, Bm, G, and (classic) C, G, Am, F for pretty much every single song is getting pretty old... I think if i do want some challenge it would be still strumming chords and singing, just more difficult and better sounding chords :)

also a lot of you suggested that I could join a band, and I wouldn't say I have joined one, but I have jammed with other people before, but even then I got extremely frustrated because they wouldn't tell me the chords to the songs we were playing XD

not to mention I'm only 14, and I'm home schooled so there is not a lot of opportunity for that sort of thing.


-Nathan

philpot
04-19-2012, 01:16 PM
wow thank you for all of your quick responses guys :P

I think that part of the problem is maybe that all the songs i thought would sound great on the ukulele seem to have just gone away, like I've learned them all....

also when i said that just strumming chords is getting old, I meant that just strumming like, D, A, Bm, G, and (classic) C, G, Am, F for pretty much every single song is getting pretty old... I think if i do want some challenge it would be still strumming chords and singing, just more difficult and better sounding chords :)

also a lot of you suggested that I could join a band, and I wouldn't say I have joined one, but I have jammed with other people before, but even then I got extremely frustrated because they wouldn't tell me the chords to the songs we were playing XD

not to mention I'm only 14, and I'm home schooled so there is not a lot of opportunity for that sort of thing.


-Nathan

Hey man, I'm homeschooled too! You just gotta branch out and find people who are interested. I got a couple of my friends into it! As far as things to do to change it up, go through Aldrine's lessons on the main site!!! Tears in Heaven is a GREAT song, it was really the first complex song I learned. Like I said, sign up for UU+. I've learned SOO much in just a couple months. There's so many ways to break out from the routine. For example, the UU+ Master lesson "bridging the gap" has some awesome fringerpicking drills and ways to fill out simple strumming to make it sound fuller and more complex. Go for it bro! Your only limit is your ambition and your imagination.

Kayak Jim
04-19-2012, 02:03 PM
Although I haven't tried it yet myself, there's also the online "mini jam". See the sticky at the top of this Uke Talk board.

guitarsnrotts
04-19-2012, 02:24 PM
I've been playing for about.... 8 months now, and I'm at the point where just playing the chords and singing is getting pretty old....

I want to continue to play, I just don't know what would be more challenging for me right now....

So does anyone have suggestions?


-Nathan

When I came to that point, I started working on chord soloing. My 1st ones were "Blues Ukulele: A Jumpin' Jim 's Ukulele Songbook (Book/CD) by Fred Sokolow" and "Blue Uke-Blues, Rags and Jazzy Dance Tunes Starring Del Rey (DVD)".

forgot "Mel Bay Ukulele Chord Solos in C Tuning by Neil Griffin "

Pondoro
04-19-2012, 03:32 PM
I second the suggestion that you go to Dominator's website and get some tabs, he has easy and hard ones. Also try fingerpicking, EZfolk (also already mentioned) has lessons. And try some jazzy songs (like Misty or Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire, they will have harder chords.

Plainsong
04-20-2012, 12:45 AM
Oh. Those people. Chords aren't state guarded secrets and I can't stand people who treat them as such. I know players like that, and we don't play together anymore.

Have you tried a big songbook like the Daily Ukulele? You might find lots of songs you don't know, but that sound nice. The arrangements I think come in easy form, but as you get to know a song you can add more to it yourself.



wow thank you for all of your quick responses guys :P

I think that part of the problem is maybe that all the songs i thought would sound great on the ukulele seem to have just gone away, like I've learned them all....

also when i said that just strumming chords is getting old, I meant that just strumming like, D, A, Bm, G, and (classic) C, G, Am, F for pretty much every single song is getting pretty old... I think if i do want some challenge it would be still strumming chords and singing, just more difficult and better sounding chords :)

also a lot of you suggested that I could join a band, and I wouldn't say I have joined one, but I have jammed with other people before, but even then I got extremely frustrated because they wouldn't tell me the chords to the songs we were playing XD

not to mention I'm only 14, and I'm home schooled so there is not a lot of opportunity for that sort of thing.


-Nathan

Lideruke
04-20-2012, 06:51 AM
I recently purchased the "Daily Ukulele" book. It has 365 songs of varying degrees of difficulty. It doesn't get too crazy in regards to chords (it won't have you jumping up and down the fretboard), but it incorporates a lot more than those you list. I'm trying to improve my playing as well, and also using it to learn more chords.

coolkayaker1
04-20-2012, 06:54 AM
Nathan, I think Brad Bordessa who runs www.liveukulele.com was also home schooled. I could be wrong. And he's the most fluid and wonderful "amateur" uke player online. See his website and his powerful instructions and videos--plenty of theory, and cool tunes ranging from Van Halen to Bob Marley. He's a young guy (22 yo?), and someone you can look to as a mentor. I'm an old guy, and I look to him as a mentor. lol

Seriously, he's hippieguy on UU ,and his website links his youtube videos, and I think you can learns a ton from him. I did, and still do.

www.liveukulele.com

peewee
04-20-2012, 07:09 AM
wow thank you for all of your quick responses guys :P

I think that part of the problem is maybe that all the songs i thought would sound great on the ukulele seem to have just gone away, like I've learned them all....

also when i said that just strumming chords is getting old, I meant that just strumming like, D, A, Bm, G, and (classic) C, G, Am, F for pretty much every single song is getting pretty old... I think if i do want some challenge it would be still strumming chords and singing, just more difficult and better sounding chords :)

Hi Nathan,
I don't want to sound condescending, but there is no shortage of songs with complex chord structures. The easiest way to find them is to look for pre-rock and roll songs. All those "standards" are way more complex than your typical modern pop song.
Check out some Frank Sinatra or Ella Fitzgerald or Dean Martin records. Learn the tunes, search out the chords.
tip: look here:
http://www.doctoruke.com/songs.html
You will be up to your armpits in flat fifths, diminisheds, augmenteds, major 7ths etc.
good luck

bigchiz
04-20-2012, 07:41 AM
Got my uke exactly a year ago and was at about the same point a few months ago. Decided to take on the challenge of playing the simple songs in new chord positions, getting out of the first position.

This book was recommended here in the UU forums and has been very helpful.

Treasury of ukulele chords (http://www.google.com/products/catalog?q=roy+sakuma+ukulele+chord+book&hl=en&client=safari&rls=en&prmd=imvnso&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_cp.r_qf.,cf.osb&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=shop&cid=1454097166718724732&sa=X&ei=jJ6RT-7AKcvy2gWs9qWVBQ&ved=0CFQQ8wIwAA#ps-sellers): the most comprehensive book of ukulele chords [Book] by Roy Sakuma in Books

bigchiz
04-20-2012, 07:47 AM
Along with what peewee says I started working on The Girl from Ipanema about two weeks ago. Very tasty chord changes and the song has been so overplayed that the melody is already ingrained. You might enjoy this selection too.

beginnerukeman143
04-20-2012, 02:12 PM
so many suggestions :P I don't know what to try first.....

Patrick Madsen
04-20-2012, 02:26 PM
Not sure if anyone mentioned Private lessons. The teacher can hone in where you are as far as skill and take it from there.