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View Full Version : Does your uke stress you out, or calm you down?



SamJ1206
08-20-2012, 07:31 AM
It seems recently, me and my uke have such a love hate relationship.

One minute i couldnt imagine doing anything better than sitting in the sun with my ukulele.

Then 10 minutes later, have got so frustrated that my fingers just wont move fast enough, or in the right place that i end up in a Tiz all stressed. i tried to turn the frustration on its head today with this
http://youtu.be/KZ5qRRQdOK8

after a really annoying day of work, and so much todo i wasnt inthe mood to be stressed.

But seriously

Is this Common, or is it just me?!

Teek
08-20-2012, 07:50 AM
Nice video! Way to utilize the energy of frustration. :cool:

I can only speak for myself, but I have regular frustration because of my old and beat up hands, so I am pretty much grateful for days I can spend time with my ukes without having to take anti-inflammatories afterwords or before. I also have CRS so if I can remember most of the three songs I have been practicing for a year or two and a few chord progressions, I am pretty content with that. But I don't associate the frustration with the ukes themselves. I know that my fingers will only ever move so fast and am grateful they are still moving. You're young and still bullet-proof so I would say when you get frustrated, take a deep breath, take a minute to think of everything you can for which you are grateful, which always shifts frustrations for me, then come back to the uke with some patience with yourself. ;)

I actually sat on my patio yesterday with a uke, and I was grateful for the time, the patio, the weather, the soft breezes, the trees, the birds singing, the rescued rocker I was sitting in, my health, my house, my jobs, my family, my friends, my Poodle kid and my ukes.

RichM
08-20-2012, 07:52 AM
Some days you practice, some days you play. Practice is about challenging yourself to improve. Playing is about enjoying the instrument and enjoying music. Do both.

:)

PoiDog
08-20-2012, 08:04 AM
If your uke is stressing you out, something is seriously wrong.

But pretty cool video and good way to work it off :)

GinnyT11
08-20-2012, 08:05 AM
Some days you practice, some days you play. Practice is about challenging yourself to improve. Playing is about enjoying the instrument and enjoying music. Do both.

:)

Well said, RichM. And eventually a song that's been in the "practicing" category moves over to the "playing" category and you say, "Wow, how did that happen?"

SamJ1206
08-20-2012, 08:07 AM
If your uke is stressing you out, something is seriously wrong.

trying to do the same thing and failing over and over again does stress me. And i suppose its always easier to blame the uke than me ;)

Uncle Rod Higuchi
08-20-2012, 08:18 AM
I think it's great to be on the grow. However, if the process of growing becomes frustrating... stop.
Fortunately we can choose when and how we will 'grow' as ukulele players. I understand that we may
have internal and/or external pressures (like a competitive spirit or a deadline for a performance!), but
we still have choices and fighting against ourselves is NOT conducive to 'growth' or happiness :)

Make a deal with yourself to have fun even if a deadline is approaching or if your nemesis is there egging
you on with their level of skill, etc. We can choose to let go of the things that hassle us (but do keep
your promises and perform on time :) ).

I hope you make peace with your uke... and yourself and have a wonderful day, and LIFE! :)

meanwhile, keep uke'in',

jonyoon
08-20-2012, 08:25 AM
Generally I get calm when playing. But when trying to actually work on a project (e.g. figuring out how to transcribe a song to the uke, composing, etc) and it gets challenging, the frustration can be maddening sometimes. But all passions in life have to annoy you a little bit. It makes the good times all the better. :)

cantsing
08-20-2012, 08:49 AM
Some days you practice, some days you play. Practice is about challenging yourself to improve. Playing is about enjoying the instrument and enjoying music. Do both.

:)
Agreed!

I keep an ever-changing list of specific things to practice (chord transitions to smooth out, a song to memorize, and now some fingerpicking challenges) but I often just spend some time playing easy songs that make me happy. Also, I learned very early on not to compare my progress or my abilities to others--although I am making steady progress, I have accepted that most people are way better at this than I am!

SailingUke
08-20-2012, 08:52 AM
Playing/practicing is always relaxing and soothing.
Teaching is a joy, but having students who only pick up their ukulele when they come to class is frustrating.
If you are going to take time to go to a class or workshop, how about a little practice time.

mds725
08-20-2012, 09:02 AM
I've found it really helpful to have a few songs that were not difficult to master. When I would try something challenging and get frustrated, I would revert to playing one of the easy songs that that I could play without getting frustrated as a way of just enjoying playing my ukulele (and remembering that I once didn't know how to play those songs either and now I do). Over time, I've been able to increase the number and difficulty of the songs I can play without getting frustrated, and I find myself getting less frustrated with challenging stuff. If you think of improving as an ukulele player as a journey instead of a series of tests, you may be able to focus less on being frustrated and more on the joy of playing.

vanflynn
08-20-2012, 09:03 AM
the uke has helped reduce my blood pressure. If I get frustrated I just go back to a simple song that I know and love.

It's OK to challenge yourself but keep it fun.

v30
08-20-2012, 09:04 AM
When I get frustrated, its time to put it down or at least move on to something fun. On the up side, you also occasionally get those days where something you have been struggling with just clicks and you've finally got it. That's a good feeling.

dhoenisch
08-20-2012, 09:06 AM
I don't think my ukulele has ever added stress to my life. I have so many other things that do it. The ukulele is one of the very few things that brings a smile to my face. I am stressed out here at work right now, and unfortunately, I don't have a uke here, and wish I did so I could calm down. Being on this site helps a little because it makes me remember that I get to go home and play my uke, though I really shouldn't be doing anything personal on the internet while I'm at work :)

Dan

Pippin
08-20-2012, 09:08 AM
trying to do the same thing and failing over and over again does stress me. And i suppose its always easier to blame the uke than me ;)

Visualize yourself playing whatever piece you are trying to learn. After visualizing it all the way through several times, think about your visualization exercise and play along with it... you will be amazed at what you can achieve this way.

Freeda
08-20-2012, 09:14 AM
Some days you practice, some days you play. Practice is about challenging yourself to improve. Playing is about enjoying the instrument and enjoying music. Do both.

:)
That! In spades.

Mandarb
08-20-2012, 09:38 AM
Totally get what you are saying. I do get frustrated at times but never stressed. I realize that some things I am working on will take time but I will get them down eventually. If I need a day off here or there I take it. Ukulele is supposed to be fun. The journey of learning new stuff is all part of it.

ukuhippo
08-20-2012, 09:51 AM
Completely relaxed and zen, untill I try some of that stuff that Jake Whatshisname does on fretnumbers above 12. Big fat fingers.

SamJ1206
08-20-2012, 10:11 AM
Visualize yourself playing whatever piece you are trying to learn. After visualizing it all the way through several times, think about your visualization exercise and play along with it... you will be amazed at what you can achieve this way.



ill have to give that a go!

i think the best thing to do i suppose, is what i did today.

I was so annoyed and stressed with it all, so i stopped and did something that i really enjoyed.

except this time filmed it and shared it wit all you lovely folk.

and sure enough i was laughing minutes later

Louis0815
08-20-2012, 10:31 AM
Some days you practice, some days you play. Practice is about challenging yourself to improve. Playing is about enjoying the instrument and enjoying music. Do both.

:):agree:
As soon as the uke starts p*** me off, I put it down. As easy as that.

katysax
08-20-2012, 10:36 AM
Playing uke or practicing never stresses me out. If I get better that's good, but there will always be more to learn no matter what I know. I've always treated guitar and ukulele and purely for relaxation. The reason I now rarely play sax or clarinet is because I was in bands, and the whole experience was stressful.

SamJ1206
08-20-2012, 10:52 AM
Playing uke or practicing never stresses me out. If I get better that's good, but there will always be more to learn no matter what I know. I've always treated guitar and ukulele and purely for relaxation. The reason I now rarely play sax or clarinet is because I was in bands, and the whole experience was stressful.

I know so many people whos toes curl when i talk about instruments, because they were in bands or had pushy parents, who took the fun out of learning it.

My instruments are more or less myonly hobby which i do for fun, but still everyone must get to that point, where you feel like youve reached your plateau,

and no matter how hard your trying you just cant get to that next step?

TG&Y
08-20-2012, 10:55 AM
UAS stress me but not ukuleles

SamJ1206
08-20-2012, 11:02 AM
sorry me being slow but UAS?

SweetWaterBlue
08-20-2012, 11:48 AM
I feel the same way about golf, but fortunately it doesn't take all day to play the ukulele.

bodhran
08-20-2012, 12:41 PM
I don't think my ukulele either calms me down or stresses me out - it keeps me sane. Being confined to the house a lot of the time (disabled following a stroke) my ukulele provides me with something to occupy my mind and stops me from going stir crazy.

Hippie Dribble
08-20-2012, 12:44 PM
Never stressed, ever. Of course, like everyone I get frustrated trying to learn and arrange something but that's part of the journey...but stressed? Never. Actually the uke is better than valium to me.

ItsMrPitchy
08-20-2012, 01:15 PM
Kinda made a deal with myself that college is stressful enough so i must always keep music fun. Never found myself stressed so far and seems to always chill me out.

gitarzan
08-20-2012, 02:11 PM
sorry me being slow but UAS?


Ukulele Acquisition Syndrome

Lalz
08-20-2012, 03:10 PM
Right now ukes are one of the only things that don't stress me out lol

kvehe
08-20-2012, 03:20 PM
It stresses me out, definitely, no question, but that seems to be the way I like it. I have no idea why.

vanflynn
08-20-2012, 04:25 PM
It stresses me out, definitely, no question, but that seems to be the way I like it. I have no idea why.

Oh, my dear. Please step back, take a breath and remember why you started playing to begin with.

Find a good easy song you like and enjoy.

joeybug
08-20-2012, 04:35 PM
Like Teek, I have health problems that sometimes interfere when I'm playing. I usually find myself feeling grateful that today is a good day and a good day is a better day when it involves playing the Ukulele, so I'm definitely in the group of people who find it calms them down. I love nothing more than settling down in the sun with an Uke and some songs to learn. It's also true what RichM said about how sometimes you practise and sometimes you play, then one day you're not practising anymore, you're playing!

As others have said, if you find yourself getting stressed out, stop, take a break, practise/play something that you find simple, don't worry about deadlines or other people and their achievements, focus on yourself and then go back to it, if the Ukulele doesn't bring a smile to your face, then you're doing something wrong!

Enjoy playing, it's always fun!

mm stan
08-20-2012, 04:36 PM
There will be better days when everything comes together and even a spark on creativity that makes you try things that work and other days not....
I like to practice an hour after I wake up.....my mind is clear, uncluttered, and I am not tired...which helps with the memory, creavitiy and to focus.
give it a shot...

kvehe
08-20-2012, 11:20 PM
Oh, my dear. Please step back, take a breath and remember why you started playing to begin with.

Find a good easy song you like and enjoy.

Thank you for your kind words. If I practiced more, it would be easier. Funny how it works, isn't it?

Kathryn

SamJ1206
08-21-2012, 07:53 AM
There will be better days when everything comes together and even a spark on creativity that makes you try things that work and other days not....
I like to practice an hour after I wake up.....my mind is clear, uncluttered, and I am not tired...which helps with the memory, creavitiy and to focus.
give it a shot...

Its those days thats make all of the downsides worth it for me. When you sit there, and play something, and lean back and think, actually i am pretty damn good at this

frankiefirefox
08-21-2012, 09:34 AM
Oh, my dear. Please step back, take a breath and remember why you started playing to begin with.

Find a good easy song you like and enjoy.

This, in addition to earlier posts, is such good advice! There certainly are times that certain pieces of music completely frustrate me. However, I have learned to separate practice from playing. My job can be extremely stressful and I can't afford to lose my only effective stress relief!

SamJ1206
08-21-2012, 09:52 AM
I have learned to separate practice from playing. My job can be extremely stressful and I can't afford to lose my only effective stress relief!

Ive never differentiated the two, prehaps thats the reason i get so stressed, because like its been said, i suppose the two are VERY different

The Orange Mage
08-22-2012, 02:01 AM
I'm lucky in that although I work the night shift, I do so at a job where on half my nights nothing is happening between 1:00 AM and 3:30 AM, so on those nights I bring my Tenor and pass the time. I also usually play every day before I go to sleep somewhere around noon. :D I also play for my little niece who's almost a year old now. She's REALLY interested when she hears either of my ukes, but she seems to like the Gibson the best. Good ear! :D

peaceweaver3
10-03-2012, 05:20 PM
I think it's great to be on the grow. However, if the process of growing becomes frustrating... stop.
Fortunately we can choose when and how we will 'grow' as ukulele players. I understand that we may
have internal and/or external pressures (like a competitive spirit or a deadline for a performance!), but
we still have choices and fighting against ourselves is NOT conducive to 'growth' or happiness :)

Make a deal with yourself to have fun even if a deadline is approaching or if your nemesis is there egging
you on with their level of skill, etc. We can choose to let go of the things that hassle us (but do keep
your promises and perform on time :) ).

I hope you make peace with your uke... and yourself and have a wonderful day, and LIFE! :)

meanwhile, keep uke'in',
So well said Uncle Rod, especially the making peace with yourself part. Because only after the self-peace comes the uke-peace - or any other piece of peace you want.
As for me, no stress from uke, ever. And the reason is because I expect only good things. Really, if you do that long enough - "fake it till you make it" if you must - the good things come, you appreciate them, and stress, if even that, is a thing of the past.
To those of you still feeling stress though, [hug]

peaceweaver3
10-03-2012, 05:25 PM
Visualize yourself playing whatever piece you are trying to learn. After visualizing it all the way through several times, think about your visualization exercise and play along with it... you will be amazed at what you can achieve this way.
True. Works what you might call miracles. :)

pulelehua
10-03-2012, 06:44 PM
Only when I hit RECORD.

Mandalyn
10-03-2012, 07:00 PM
Ukulele is all about fun for me. If I am playing a song that is above my level, I bookmark it in my "Uke for Later" folder and move on. It is fun to check the list every few months and move songs from the list.


Playing uke or practicing never stresses me out. If I get better that's good, but there will always be more to learn no matter what I know. I've always treated guitar and ukulele and purely for relaxation. The reason I now rarely play sax or clarinet is because I was in bands, and the whole experience was stressful.

I completely understand this. I love playing trumpet, but there were times in high school and college that I was stressed from band.


Only when I hit RECORD.

Haha I get mad at myself recording. I just want to hear what I sound like and not share it. I still mess up.

UkuleleHan96
10-04-2012, 02:08 AM
ukulele is fun and relaxing but has to be a struggle sometimes as thats the only way you improve! :D great video!

TG&Y
10-04-2012, 02:24 AM
Only when I hit RECORD.

Truer words were never spoken