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J-dawg5
10-14-2012, 11:06 AM
hey UUers i feel i have been at the same level for quite some time. id say im an intermediate-advance player, i feel i have been at levle for quite some time! its kinda discouraging. all i want is to become an EXPERT ukulele player. but i feel im stuck where im at now. has this happened to any of you? howd did you get over this rut?:(

Coleton33Music
10-14-2012, 11:21 AM
Hey J-dawg!

This happened to me not so long ago. What I did was research some music theory on how to write songs, and then I tinkered around a bit and wrote a few. (Just instrumentals) Then I started looking for new songs to play. Expanding your' repetoir is very important. It helps keep you playing sounding fresh and new. Then practice over techniques you may have already learned and learn some new ones. This took about a year or so. Just keep working at it!

-Coleton

J-dawg5
10-14-2012, 11:25 AM
ive writtin some instumentals, but i want to make them more complex. i guess ive progressed so much in such a little amount a time, i want to keep progessing at that pace. i guess i got to be pacient and just learning. thanks for the advice though coleton!!!

fitncrafty
10-14-2012, 12:03 PM
HI j-Dawg..
I have been playing uk for about 2 yrs now, maybe a bit longer. I can say I have felt stuck many times and recently for about 6 or more months... I have been focusing on learnig theory and understanding of why chords are formed the way they are and learning the fretboard.
I have also been pushing myself wtih more complex fingerpicking too.. There isn't a uke teacher close by so I started taking theory lessons with my boys guitar teacher. He has been able to help me a lot in that respect.
UU plus is good too.. they have some more advanced lessons...
My biggest issue is I want to play like people that have played music for many many years...I am behind in the learning curve.. Keep going and push yourself to move forward.. It will pass!
Good luck!

Eriquito
10-14-2012, 12:30 PM
My advice; (and remember, advice is the absolute worst vice out there) is to try to do something you normally never do with an ukulele. Like, if you're a primary finger picker-type, then try some advanced strumming tunes or vice versa...I find that when I really have to press myself to learn something new I always feel like I've leveled up. The downside is the frustration but the pay off is huge. Just my dos centavos....

pulelehua
10-14-2012, 01:47 PM
ive writtin some instumentals, but i want to make them more complex. i guess ive progressed so much in such a little amount a time, i want to keep progessing at that pace. i guess i got to be pacient and just learning. thanks for the advice though coleton!!!

My own experience is that you usually judge your own skill level based on what you've worked on, and what you're good at, where for most of us, there are things we don't do much, and for which we would be judged to be beginners. Tackle those things. Try to be more rounded in your playing. That will improve your skill more dramatically than you might think.

fabioponta
10-14-2012, 02:24 PM
Try to play some songs by Jake Shimabukuro with the youtube tutorials. It's easy to pratice. I feel better playing some Jake songs on my tenor.
Just my two cents...

J-dawg5
10-14-2012, 06:42 PM
All i want is to be good , but i want to be goood now!!!!!!!!!!! i guess its all in the patients!

consitter
10-14-2012, 06:52 PM
I have found that some people just don't have the talent to be a good ukulele player. I am one of those people. But, I enjoy playing around with it immensely. That is the key. Like what you're doing. The rest will come in time.

garyg
10-15-2012, 01:27 AM
I'm on one of those plateaus now and it has happened before, you've already had lots of good advice so I'm posting mainly to let you know that this is a common phenomenon and that you're not alone. onwards and upwards, g2

Linho
10-15-2012, 01:52 AM
I started playing ukulele one and a half year ago. After the half of this time I felt like getting stuck, too. For some time I kinda thought "the uke is not enough" :rolleyes:

My solution: I bought a harp ukulele. :cool: By getting used to this adorable instrument, I constantly improve my fingerpicking skills and it really feels great! ;)

kenikas
10-15-2012, 01:27 PM
Only whenever I pick up one of my ukes! But I agree with what's been said, try something different from what you usually play.

ukuleledaveey
10-15-2012, 01:32 PM
yep i have been playing a year and 3/4 no musical background or knowledge, i would say im a high level beginner or extremely low level intermediate, im also plateauing badly, even considering putting down the uke for good but thats just a dark dark thought lol but have considered it, i need to learn patience as well :)

Plainsong
10-15-2012, 03:56 PM
I'm limited by my own inability to deal with reading tabs. The Lil'Rev uke method book seems to teach using notation, I just haven't been able to find it at my usual uke shops.

katysax
10-15-2012, 04:10 PM
I'm surprised I forgot to mention this and no one else has. The most effective way to get better is get out and play with other people. You will get better much faster and by leaps and bounds if you play with other people - you'll learn from them, you'll see what you can do, you'll be forced to amp up your game.

Nickie
10-15-2012, 05:00 PM
Yep. All the damn time...

Trinimon
10-15-2012, 05:56 PM
I'm surprised I forgot to mention this and no one else has. The most effective way to get better is get out and play with other people. You will get better much faster and by leaps and bounds if you play with other people - you'll learn from them, you'll see what you can do, you'll be forced to amp up your game.

This is true. I don't know why that's never hit me until you mentioned it and looking back, you're right! When I was in Hawaii this past summer, every free moment, my nephew and I would sort of jam a bit (he's way better than me now!) but it got us learning more songs, finger picking and working out issues together. Now I'm back and my learning curve just went out the door. I've tried some more finger picking on my own but lots of frustrations to a point that I've only played my uke about 1-2x a week briefly in the last 2.5mts. I think I'm at rock bottom so I can only go up now me thinks. :p

fitncrafty
10-15-2012, 06:01 PM
I'm limited by my own inability to deal with reading tabs. The Lil'Rev uke method book seems to teach using notation, I just haven't been able to find it at my usual uke shops.

I am using the lil rev books and going through it a second time this time i am covering up the tabs and learning to read the music and learning the scales and where the notes are on the fret board, plus how to build a chord not just looking up on a chart...it is opening up a new world. I see a breakthrough coming sometime...

stevepetergal
10-15-2012, 07:10 PM
I always feel stuck. Somehow, though, I used to be stuck at a much lower level. Hmm.... How'd that happen?

Plainsong
10-15-2012, 09:24 PM
I am using the lil rev books and going through it a second time this time i am covering up the tabs and learning to read the music and learning the scales and where the notes are on the fret board, plus how to build a chord not just looking up on a chart...it is opening up a new world. I see a breakthrough coming sometime...

Yeah, for me it's a frustration as to speed. I trust my sight-reading, so I'm used to just picking up a piece and playing the sucker. But on uke, that goes painfully slowly. Like too slow to be fun. The only two other instruments I have on me that I can read music are clarinet and keyboard, which I'm miles better on clarinet (assuming one melody line and no chords, with chords, better to play an instrument for that obviously). I broke it out the other day out of frustration when I was learning a song, just to be able to play the thing (which then makes the song way too easy and no challenge at all). But I don't WANT to play clarinet, I want to play uke!

And if I was gonna play clarinet, I'd prefer alto or bass anyway, which is never going to happen, those suckers are expensive... or maybe flugelhorn, which the neighbors would enjoy, but so many ukes can be had for that price! Who else thinks of currency in terms of number of ukes?

kenikas
10-16-2012, 12:05 PM
but so many ukes can be had for that price! Who else thinks of currency in terms of number of ukes?
That really struck home! My wife is always bothered by my comparing the cost of things to how many nice ukes it would buy. Glad to hear I'm not the only one!

ukuleledaveey
10-16-2012, 12:56 PM
That really struck home! My wife is always bothered by my comparing the cost of things to how many nice ukes it would buy. Glad to hear I'm not the only one!

Guilty as charged your Honour :) yep i do it to, my wife actually refers to herself as a Ukulele Widow now ooops

Brad Bordessa
10-16-2012, 02:02 PM
Get a gig. Teach. Transcribe songs. Record.

If you can't move forward in one area, work on another. If you only want to be a good player you will suffer as an overall musician. Get "The Music Lesson" by Victor Wooten and if you like that, get his "Groove Workshop" DVD. Expose yourself to new stuff. Listen to guitar, cello, piano, classical music. At a certain point only you can teach yourself and the great lessons you may have tell you things you already know and just need to work on in new ways.

Work at other things and you will get better as a player regardless. The slump will pass and you'll see all kinds of stuff to practice.

papplehead
10-16-2012, 04:46 PM
I definitely know the feeling that you have. The key is to identify what defines being an expert is in your opinion. If that means being able so write awesome songs, write a song every day until every song is awesome. If that means having an awesome tonal quality to each note that you pluck, then experiment with the different ways to attack the string based on the genre or feel. If you want to be able to shred really quickly, learn those scales and work with a metronome until you can play at 200 bpm. I could go on, but I think you get the picture. The key to the whole thing is that it isn't going to be an quick process. Proficiency takes time to build up but with the right amount of focus, and directed practice, you can overcome that plateau.

CasanovaGuy
10-16-2012, 06:45 PM
The one thing that worked for me was to always challenge myself. If a song seemed impossible but hella fun, I learned it anyway. Eventually, you'll learn all that music theory and playing technique shizz that "experts" usually know. And when I get tired of playing those challenging songs, I just practiced the songs I knew or improvised random songs on the radio. The important thing is that you need dat mental drive, if ya know wat I'm sayin'

Tootler
10-16-2012, 09:46 PM
Firstly, plateauing like you describe is normal. You make progress for a while then you seem to stop. It's your body saying "Stop! I need to consolidate this stuff I've just learned" After a time you are ready to move on again. You seem to have reached that stage. Set yourself some challenges. Learn some songs that have chords you find difficult or need a different playing technique. I'm sure you can think of things that currently you find difficult but are achievable with a bit of effort and which will get you on the upward path again.