View Full Version : Stinky strummer

04-14-2013, 06:17 AM
I am a stinky strummer. I still thumb most of the time and consistently fall back to one simple strum. Uncle Rods boot camp has been a big help for me changing chords etc, I was wondering is there something similar for strumming practice. The videos are helpful but I invariably fall behind and on my own with out a video I'm a total screw up. I don't hate the rote practice stuff I like it. So..... ( sorry to be so wordy ) whats out there to help me be a better strummer? It seems that truly strumming is what makes a good Uke player.

04-14-2013, 06:28 AM
If you've watched the strumming videos here on the UU, all you need to do is continue to practice. As soon as you find yourself falling back into the old habit, you know you're going too fast. Speed up and your concentration diminishes.

I always recommend spending a little time practicing, as opposed to playing. Practice is always slow. Very slow (even the music you know well). You cannot learn any worthwhile skill at a fast tempo.

Cooper Black
04-14-2013, 06:59 AM
Playing dead simple rhythms in time will get you further faster than attempting to play more complex strumming than your current skill allows, perhaps because you don't wish to sound boring. Plain, but steady accompaniment is never boring, always tasteful.

04-14-2013, 07:35 AM
Try loosely covering all the strings with your fretting hand and practice strumming patterns that way. As mentioned before, simple strumming is fine. If you want to learn more complex patterns, practice,practice and be patient.

04-14-2013, 07:41 AM
I know this will sound a bit crazy, but buy one of those little plastic egg shakers. Hold it in your strumming hand while you listen to songs without a ukulele (I used to keep mine in the car and would do this as I drive for instance). As you listen, try to shake along with the song. The goal is to find a rhythm for that song that sounds good to you and matches the song. In essence, keep in time with the music. Some songs will be easier than others.

What you're doing is training your strumming hand to find and keep a rhythm by feel rather than by consciously willing your hand to move up-down-up-up-down.

04-14-2013, 08:13 AM
When you are learning a new strumming pattern slow your strumming down....way, way down until you are thinking about each thing your finger(s) are doing. Pay attention to the most simple of the mechanics and then begin to gradually increase your strumming speed but never past the point where you can clearly hear each part of the strum. Eventually you'll suddenly realize that particular strum has become automatic and you can do it at speed without thinking about it.

Also, be intentional about practicing. If you know you tend to fall back to a particular rhythm all the time - don't let yourself fall back to that rhythm. Just play slowly until the new rhythm gets planted firmly in your "muscle memory."


04-14-2013, 08:39 AM
Good thread. Good ideas.

04-14-2013, 10:37 AM
I want a little egg shaker, sounds right up my alley.... But I don't know what you mean? Also thanks to all for the thoughts! All new ideas for me.

04-14-2013, 10:53 AM
Great question Spud, I am standing right there with you as far strumming goes. And I too want to know what the heck an egg shaker is!

04-14-2013, 11:19 AM
Egg Shaker (http://elderly.com/new_instruments/items/CKS1.htm). It wouldn't take much to make one, or something like it.

04-14-2013, 12:26 PM
Well, whatta ya know. Just as advertised, an egg shaker. I had no idea, thanks! :D

04-14-2013, 01:17 PM
Yep, that's the kind of egg shaker I meant :)

04-14-2013, 01:40 PM
Pretty cool, thanks!!

04-15-2013, 02:05 AM
I've also seen ones that fit on your finger like a ring - may be easier whilst driving!

04-15-2013, 07:17 AM
I've also seen ones that fit on your finger like a ring - may be easier whilst driving!

Called a Rhythm Ring. Put it on your finger while strumming, you can hear your strum pattern better.