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View Full Version : Changing chords without 'dropping' the neck



Uke-lahoma
12-04-2008, 03:54 PM
Hey, folks. I'm a newbie at the uke (less than one week), and I'm struggling with changing chords smoothly on my tenor uke. For example, I try to play the intro to 'Let It Snow', as Aldrine does in his video; as I switch from F to C7, the neck is momentarily unsupported, dropping and making it tough to get my hand in place for the C7. Ditto on going from C7 back to F.

I think I'm probably holding the neck wrong. The pad of my thumb is centered on the back of the neck, my palm is away from the neck, and my fingertips are arched over the fingerboard, fretting the appropriate strings. Should I be resting the neck somewhere between my index finger and thumb? Or, should I be doing something else?

BTWriter
12-04-2008, 04:35 PM
I had a similar problem, but solved it by getting a classical guitar strap. It holds it in place for me.

I am jealous of those who can pick up and play without one, though...

SinisterDom
12-04-2008, 05:47 PM
I've never had a problem like that....Sounds like you're taking your hand completely off the neck, you should just move your fingers.

UkeNinja
12-04-2008, 06:03 PM
I've never had a problem like that....Sounds like you're taking your hand completely off the neck, you should just move your fingers.
Good advice, concentrate on changing chords while leaving a finger on the fretboard, or by sliding across the fretboard.

Sometimes is helps to throw the neck up a bit before you change chords so you can catch it with the next. So if your strum would be

1-2 (change chord) 3-4

try

1-2- UP!!! (release chord and throw neck in the air, set fingers for next chord and catch) -3-4

Mind you, this is an unorthodox style of playing.

haole
12-04-2008, 06:37 PM
Rest the neck between your thumb and index finger. It will change your life! The uke won't go anywhere now. :D

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v34/brushfirefairytale/F-C7.jpg

UkEdman90
12-04-2008, 07:00 PM
Rest the neck between your thumb and index finger. It will change your life! The uke won't go anywhere now. :D

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v34/brushfirefairytale/F-C7.jpg

x2! thats what i do now! started off resting the neck on my thumb haha but thats weird man you should be dropping the neck like that! if ur holding the uke with ur right arm (assuming ur right handed) then that should be all the support u need!

BluesDrive
12-04-2008, 07:25 PM
Before I started using a strap, I had almost mastered when/how to put your thumb against the neck and on top of it.

Fred Miu
12-04-2008, 09:42 PM
its so uncomfortable to put my thumb on the top of the neck, i just have it on the back of the neck.

though now i am slowly trying to doing it.

i always use my thumb to kind of press against the back of the neck to hold to my next chord.

Uke-lahoma
12-05-2008, 03:39 AM
I have been 'pinching' the neck between my thumb pad (on the center of the neck back) and my fingertips, with no other part of my hand touching the neck. I'll try resting the neck between my index finger and thumb.

Thanks for the tips!

menehunenyc
12-05-2008, 03:49 AM
I just give a little squeeze with my strumming hand/arm, tilt the neck up a bit (almost like a classical guitar player would) and thats all I need to keep the uke balanced. I'm finding that if I keep my thumb behind the neck my hand gets fatigued after awhile (especially if I'm playing the same 2-3 chords over and over again). Intermittantly playing chords with my thumb on top allows my hand to relax. I thinks its good to learn both thumb placements, as each is better suited for certain chord shapes. Good luck!!

generem
12-05-2008, 05:04 AM
Im also a newbie and have this same problem and I want to be able to hold the neck between my thumb and index finger but I feel that my hands are way too big (just doesnt feel right) so I too am pressing my thumb in the back of the neck. It never really bothered me until I started to learn the chords from Officially Missing you and I am having a very hard time switching from Bm to Em smoothly because I am taking my hands off...

You big handed ukulele players out there, Any advice on training the hands...other than practice :)

deach
12-05-2008, 05:28 AM
I use double-sided tape and tape the uke to myself.

menehunenyc
12-05-2008, 07:21 AM
I use double-sided tape and tape the uke to myself.

You use double-sided tape to keep your pants up!!!!lol:rofl::biglaugh::biglaugh::biglaugh:

deach
12-05-2008, 08:24 AM
You use double-sided tape to keep your pants up!!!!lol:rofl:biglaugh:


pants? :confused:

menehunenyc
12-05-2008, 08:30 AM
pants? :confused:
Oh, thats right, you just wear double-sided tape. Period. Nothing else.
got it....

Kaneohe til the end
12-05-2008, 09:25 AM
for the chord change F to C7, try "dragging" your pointer finger from the E string first fret to the A string first fret and take off your middle finger and THROW IT UP!!!, nah jk.

alaaji
12-16-2008, 11:13 PM
Thanks for the advice to all who gave it. I'm a newbie (just started last month) and I had this exact same question. I'm going to try it out and see if I can strum now while changing chords.

If there's anymore advice out there, by all means give it.

MisoHappy
12-22-2008, 02:59 PM
I usually take my fingers of completely between chords to get a little of that Am7 in there, and then land on the next chord. I had the same problem, but all you can do is practice. Just try switching from the first chord to the second till you got it down, then move on. If you can't hold the neck with your thumb, it's okay to hold your thumb above the neck. (This is natural for some guitar players since the neck is bigger.) It usually prevents the neck from falling. Of course, this might not work for certain songs (there's always a flaw lol).