View Full Version : Criticisms wanted!

06-12-2012, 12:01 PM
Hey y'all :)
Well, I've been playing for 3 whole days now, and I'd love some feedback. I don't know anyone in my area who plays, and there are no uke stores here, so I'm hoping y'all can help a beginner out...
I must preface this by saying - I know I am playing the wrong chords for this uke...it's a baritone uke, and I'm playing the chords for "Hallelujah" as posted on ukukelehunt.com. However, I'm waiting for my concert uke to arrive (Friday, I hope!), so I'm making do!
I really have only been playing for about 2.5 hours total, and I don't play other instruments, so I'm a rank beginner, so I know I'm making lots and lots of mistakes, I stop a lot, and I play slowly. However, I'd love advice on simple things like:
Am I holding it correctly?
Are my hands in the right places?
Does my strumming technique look generally okay?
Any other advice is appreciated as well.
Thanks all!
Here's hoping this doesn't become a viral worst-uke-playing-ever video! ;)

06-12-2012, 12:10 PM
Great beginnings.... You obviously need practice changing chords, but the fluidity you will acquire is just down to lots of practice. After that, like riding a bike, you'll never forget it. Your strumming hand seemed to need a little loosening up IMHO, but that might just be you getting stiff due to being nervous about videoing these first steps for public consumption and the above mentioned unfamiliarity with chord changes (plus I'm guessing you keep looking up to remind yourself which chord comes next, huh? ).

All in all, I think you're well on the way. Enjoy playing, that's the main advice I'd give. I'm no old hand myself on the Uke, but I am loving playing this versatile little instrument that is so close to, but yet so different from the guitar I have played for many years..

06-12-2012, 12:15 PM
If at three days in we can recognize the tune, I would breathe a sigh of relief and say Hallelujah...
You are not going to be the worst Uke player ever :)
Now when you have hit that chord progression a million times it will be smooth as glass- nice work!
As for your questions, that is kinda the beauty of it- there really is no right or wrong. I can tell you a few things that will make life easier in the long run though. First- force your thumb on your fret hand back onto the neck. Don't watch my videos because I hold my uke like I am going to club someone with it...which has made some chords (especially closed chords- all four fingers on the fretboard) really hard. Keep that thumb back and it will be easier on you in the long run.
Strumming technique and hand position looks fine. Be sure and experiment with where you strum (away from the sound hole will give you a more muted sound- toward the bridge more twang.
Last bit, experiment with attack. Again, don't do as I do because I normally just knock the tar out of my strings, but slower more deliberate strums will ring out separate notes and add something.
OK- last bit for real...Way to go with the moxy! A video within three hours is stupendous. Be sure and check out the NUUB challenges in the Uke talk section and welcome to our little place on the internet- have fun with it!

06-12-2012, 12:18 PM
What a great start! For someone with no experience and only a couple of hours of playing time, that was wonderful! I can offer no criticism; I saw nothing that you were doing that I'd call wrong. You hold the uke correctly, you place your hands correctly, you fret your chords correctly, you strum correctly....

Basically, I'd say you are a natural!! Keep up the good work, and practice, practice, practice....

06-12-2012, 12:26 PM
Sounded pretty good to me, your chording wasn't fast but it was really clean and you have a good strum.
you'll be an expert in no time!

06-12-2012, 12:26 PM
Hey, thanks y'all! This is really helpful. I'd hate to get a year down the road and then have to unlearn bad habits, so I'm trying to start off right. I've tried over the years to learn several different instruments (french horn, piano, guitar, violin), but none ever stuck, and the guitar was particularly painful. I think I made it through a couple of lessons (and didn't practice at all). My damn tiny hands just won't get all the way around a guitar. :( I'm really enjoying this uke though. I've got a 6 month old, and NO time to myself, so being able to hand off the baby to my husband, lock myself in my office, and play for 45 minutes or so is blissful. :)
I love to sing, too, so I'm hoping that soon I'll be able to play and sing at the same time!
And to answer a previous question, yes, I keep looking up because I have the song pulled up on my computer screen. Thankfully I don't have to remind myself which chord is which (most of the time), but I do have to remind myself which chord comes next!
Thanks so much for all the feedback! :)

Uncle Rod Higuchi
06-12-2012, 12:31 PM
Please feel free to click on the Boot Camp link below my signature.

The song is recognizable! One suggestion, write out the chords to the song
in the 'Practice Sheet' format (also see FREE Songbook link) and try to
wean yourself from looking at your chord-forming hand so that you are only
looking at the chord sheet. You'll get there. Muscle memory is a wonderful

If this is just after 2.5 hours... Wow! Way to go. Before you know it
things will smooth out and chord changing will greatly improve!

keep uke'in',

06-12-2012, 07:01 PM
You are a lot better than where I was after three days. I couldn't do an upstrum until I had been playing three months!

Uncle Rod's Boot Camp helped me a lot with getting chord changes down when I was starting out, so I would highly recommend it.

Also, a concert is going to be a bit smaller, but you'll get used to it. I play soprano, and whenever I play a concert, it takes me a few seconds to get my bearings, but it's fine.

Good luck!