PDA

View Full Version : Uncle Rods Bootcamp



Normagal
11-02-2012, 05:32 PM
I keep seeing people mention this as a good place to start. It kind of scares me off, though, as there are so many chords to learn. Then I see other posts that say you only need to learn a few chords to play many songs. How does one memorize all those chords?

Bob Bledsoe
11-02-2012, 06:18 PM
Learn C, G, Am, F. You can play a ton of songs with just that chord progression... If you decide you like the ukulele enough to really learn it, doing the bootcamp is a great start. You memorize just by doing. It's not hard. You just have to make the commitment and spend a bit of time on it each day.

kaizersoza
11-03-2012, 12:31 AM
as Bob stated the first 4 chords in the C key will enable you to play hundreds of songs, the way it is structured and if you follow the instructions you will have loads of chords in different keys under your fingers in no time, I used to use it as my warm up before practice and still do a couple of times a week, I am hoping Uncle Rod decides to bring an intermediate version out so we can all move up a step, now that would be excellent!!!!!

Normagal
11-03-2012, 02:44 AM
I know about 10 or 12 chords. Now being able to switch to them all seamlessly... Haven't mastered that yet. Like Em ...I know how to do it, but have a hard time getting my fingers there quickly. And the chords don't always sound good either...I'm sure the answer is practice,practice,practice.

ukuhippo
11-03-2012, 02:50 AM
I know about 10 or 12 chords. Now being able to switch to them all seamlessly... Haven't mastered that yet. Like Em ...I know how to do it, but have a hard time getting my fingers there quickly. And the chords don't always sound good either...I'm sure the answer is practice,practice,practice.

For EM just make a G (when you've astered that) and add your pinky on the c-string 4th fret. No need to remove your indexfinger. i always play an Em like that.

gyosh
11-03-2012, 04:14 AM
I know about 10 or 12 chords. Now being able to switch to them all seamlessly... Haven't mastered that yet. Like Em ...I know how to do it, but have a hard time getting my fingers there quickly. And the chords don't always sound good either...I'm sure the answer is practice,practice,practice.

Switching easily from chord to chord is precisely what practicing a chord progression does for you. It will also build stamina. Start slowly and play each chord a couple times through and as you get more proficient speed up the tempo and you're there.

So yeah, practice, practice, practice :)

cb56
11-03-2012, 05:01 AM
I keep seeing people mention this as a good place to start. It kind of scares me off, though, as there are so many chords to learn. Then I see other posts that say you only need to learn a few chords to play many songs. How does one memorize all those chords?

GO SLOW! and accept that you won't be perfect at first. But keep at it.
Here's what I did. Play page one for a week. I set the metronome at a very slow 40bpm.
Play line one 4 times.
First time through 4 strums(beats) per chord.
second time 3 strums per chord
third time 2 strums per chord
fourth time 1 strum per chord
Then repeat for line two, three and four, the same routine.
After one week turn to page two and follow the same routine.
Continue through all 5 pages (One per week) then repeat.

I did this for my warm up routine for months just about every day before practicing or playing songs.
After you feel like you can handle this without alot of mistake (and there will be alot, just do your best) increase the speed on the metronome.

Also find a uke group to jam with. This will help alot.

bnolsen
11-03-2012, 08:49 AM
uncle rods boot camp also helps tremendously with sight reading. I have a celtic fake book and having played through the C & G sheets I didn't have to spend time fumbling around looking for fingering on most of the songs. Practicing A&D should get me most of the rest for that book.

ukuLily Mars
11-03-2012, 01:57 PM
I agree -- practice SLOWLY. A metronome, set to a ridiculously slow tempo, is a great idea. Practicing up to tempo and then slowing down or stopping to change chords, even just a few chords per song, will be counterproductive and could create bad habits.

I sit with my 'uke while I watch TV with my husband and practice chord changes over and over (without strumming, of course). For very tricky chord transitions, I will practice the same one over and over. And over. And over. Really, really slooooooowly. I'm sure it would be very annoying to anyone, but I never let anyone hear. :eek: It does work.

And yes, I'm a big fan of Uncle Rod. His idea of "boot camp" is not very military; you can work on as much of it as you want at one time. As someone posted earlier, I used to use it as a warmup. I still do sometimes. It is not necessary to learn all the chords. Uncle Rod suggests saying the name of the chord each time you change to it, either aloud or just to yourself, to help connect the name to the action, and I find that helpful.

It will get easier! If you find yourself getting bored or frustrated stop with the drills and play something you feel like playing and have some fun. The 'ukulele should never be scary! Well, almost never.

Jimmy Ukulele
11-04-2012, 06:17 AM
GO SLOW! and accept that you won't be perfect at first. But keep at it.
Here's what I did. Play page one for a week. I set the metronome at a very slow 40bpm.
Play line one 4 times.
First time through 4 strums(beats) per chord.
second time 3 strums per chord
third time 2 strums per chord
fourth time 1 strum per chord
Then repeat for line two, three and four, the same routine.
After one week turn to page two and follow the same routine.
Continue through all 5 pages (One per week) then repeat.

I did this for my warm up routine for months just about every day before practicing or playing songs.
After you feel like you can handle this without alot of mistake (and there will be alot, just do your best) increase the speed on the metronome.

Also find a uke group to jam with. This will help alot.


Scrolled down to see if anybody mentions something like this. This is how you do it, if you are too scared of too many chords in the beginning!

ogg
11-04-2012, 08:40 AM
There's magic in the bootcamp and it will work for you if you let it. Stick with it! :D

Ben_H
11-04-2012, 10:09 AM
I did something similar though I just concentrated on the C chords for about a week. Particularly tricky lines - eg 2nd line of C chords I would just repeat over and over again in 4 time, never mind, 3,2 or 1 beats. Strangely that chord progression crops up in one of our uke group songs (Bye Bye Blackbird, I think) but having said that Uncle Rod wouldn't throw it in if it wasn't lurking out there somewhere.
Still, bootcamp will not work for everyone. I've passed on copies to friends and some loved it and some were put off by it as they didn't seem to be able to break it down into bite sized chunks. That for me is the key.

Uncle Rod Higuchi
11-05-2012, 07:46 AM
Aloha UUers! Uncle Rod here :)

cb56, thank you so much for clarifying your use of the Boot Camp. That's what I had in mind when I sent it out.

I'm currently teaching a 9-week beginner course for a local hula studio and sure enough, the first 5 lessons
are directly from the Boot Camp. I understand that you may NOT encounter several-many of the chords in
the Practice Sheets very often, but as you progress you will want to know and use them as they add so much
to enhance the background accompaniment as you play and sing. They will add the 'flourish' that you enjoy when
other ukulele players solo/perform. Learn them so you can hear/recognize them, then experiment with adding
them into your playing. :)

As for an Intermediate Boot Camp, perhaps someone else will take up the mantle and go for it.

keep uke'in, and thanks for the good words :)

stephensmith
11-07-2012, 05:25 AM
I was unfamiliar with Uncle Rod's Bootcamp -- going to check it out now.

When I was starting out just 4 years ago (and with no experience on any other instrument), I despaired of ever learning more than the few basic chords. I remember flipping through some uke books full of songs that seemed to be crammed with dozens of "impossible" chords -- even if I could form my fingers correctly, it seemed like changing from one to another quickly just would never happen. Now I go back through those same books and wonder why I ever found them so daunting! Muscle memory is an amazing thing. And, even if I come across a chord that I've never used before, just taking a look at the diagram and playing it through a few times makes it possible to play the song -- even if I don't actually "absorb" that particular chord.

- Steve

Danno
04-15-2013, 09:15 AM
Thanks for bringing up the Bootcamp here.

I showed it to some folks in my class and they loved it. Based on their feedback, I featured it in this article on smoothing out ukulele chord changes: http://www.bostonuke.com/1015/?/how-to-change-chords-smoothly-ukulele/

I don't know Uncle Rod personally, so a public "thanks" to him, too!

Kanaka916
04-15-2013, 09:22 AM
Send him a PM.

etf
04-15-2013, 10:09 AM
As someone stated, practice slow but also as you form each chord Say its name to yourself. That way after time you remember the shape and name of the chord without thinking.

Kayak Jim
04-15-2013, 10:57 AM
More than a year after starting on Bootcamp I still start almost every practice session running through all the chords at least once. So I've probably played those five practice sheets a few hundred times or more. What's that expression, you have to do something 10,000 times to be truly proficient? So only 9,547 to go!

wallyboy
04-15-2013, 11:15 AM
there are chords you will struggle, what i did with such chords ie Bb..Em..G7...was find songs with one of these chords in then, then put song as a practice with other songs with chords i know, that way it wont be such a chore to learn,
with Em i would learn it as it is it will pay later if you use pinky to make it with G it will be a harder transition,
keep at it you will get there in the end,

PereBourik
04-15-2013, 11:43 AM
Okay. What exactly is Uncle Rod's Bootcamp and how does one access it?

etf
04-15-2013, 12:00 PM
Okay. What exactly is Uncle Rod's Bootcamp and how does one access it?

Scroll back up to Uncle Rods comment, then click on his Bootcamp link at the bottom.

PereBourik
04-16-2013, 05:32 PM
On board with Uncle Rod, now. There's a madness to this method. I look forward to making my way (slowly) through the exercises.

igorthebarbarian
04-16-2013, 07:46 PM
I have to agree with everyone that Uncle Rod's Bootcamp is a truly awesome tool. It's a really good starting point for someone brand new to the uke. I had zero musical background when I took it up a year ago and still practice through it every few days.

The groupings in the Keys of the chords are great. I imagine they'd be great if you were writing songs too... grab one of these chords, then one of those, and voila (if only it were that simple, but you get the idea). You'll be surprised how frequent you see the groups of chords together in any song listing/fake books.

To be honest, I usually skip the diminished chords (Cdim 2323 for example) since I almost never see those chords in the songs that I like to practice (I know, I know, bad me).

It is cool to see the creator Uncle Rod here on the board. A big THANK YOU for providing such a valuable resource!

BlueLatitude
04-17-2013, 03:14 AM
\).
To be honest, I usually skip the diminished chords (Cdim 2323 for example) since I almost never see those chords in the songs that I like to practice (I know, I know, bad me).

I haven't come across them in anything I play yet either, but I like the sound of them, so I play them when I'm doing the excercises.

Spud1$
04-17-2013, 04:03 AM
I often skip the easier chords and practice the progressions with the hardest chords in them. Even though none of those chords are in the easy songs I practice I feel like it makes my hands more limber. I also hope that someday I will play more difficult tunes and then I should recognize those chords.i have a rule for myself also, mainly because my strumming is often uneven, if I don't switch to the harder chords in time to the strum I have to keep that chord until I get it right!

Ladyluke
04-17-2013, 09:48 AM
in What a wonderful world in F.

NG

Ben_H
04-17-2013, 07:49 PM
I haven't come across them in anything I play yet either, but I like the sound of them, so I play them when I'm doing the excercises.

Try playing Bye Bye Blackbird. http://bedfordukulelegroup.co.uk/Bye%20Bye%20Blackbird.pdf Lovely song, includes the Cdim (Eb dim) -D min 7 chord change from the second line of the C sheet.

focsle
04-18-2013, 06:39 AM
+1 for Uncle Rod's Boot Camp.

Uncle Rod Higuchi
04-18-2013, 07:34 AM
I'm Baaack :)

Thank you everyone for such nice words re: the Boot Camp method.

Just like our beloved instrument, the Boot Camp Practice Sheets are NOT to be mastered all at once.
Thanks to those who shared the "How" of what they do with the Practice Sheets. Go slow and take
them one at a time, or whenever you come across a song in one of those keys and you want to practice
becoming familiar with some of the chords you may have to play.

Also, if you haven't checked out the FREE Songbook link, there you will find the Boot Camp Method applied to
learning specific songs... again by creating Practice Sheets. My suggestion is that you work on the chord
progressions without reference to the melody... even if you know it well. I feel it's most important to
your sense of enjoyment and satisfaction to be able to play the song through, eventually, at a good tempo
without stopping to change chords along the way.

That being said, I enjoyed the video about 'Forcing Changes' [Danno, post #15]. As we all know, once a song begins, especially in a song circle, the tempo doesn't stop until the end of the song. Also, if anything, it tends to speed up! :)
I particularly liked what the video said about NOT training your rhythm/strumming hand to stop as you make
the chord changes. "Practice makes Permanent" so it behooves us to practice only the correct things, the things
that will enhance our playing of our ukes and not detract from it.

OK, 'nuf said for now :)

keep uke'in',

Kanaka916
04-18-2013, 07:55 AM
Whea you went? vacation or hiatus?

hibiscus
04-18-2013, 09:03 AM
Thank you, Uncle Rod!!!

SeattleSean
04-19-2013, 05:01 PM
Uncle Rod is cooler than the other side of the pillow! Proud to have such a great ukulele ambassador from my hometown!