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AirCanuck
05-25-2013, 07:07 AM
I'm still new enough that I am struggling with those webpages that jot down chords and lyrics to songs. I'll put the original song on, try to follow with the chords, realize it doesn't sound remotely close to the song, try to practice through it, try different strumming patterns, then get extremely frustrated and go try something else. Someone saying "oh this song is simple, its just C, F, G7, F, C..etc" is a nightmare for me even though those chords are zero problems.

I do a lot better with being spoon fed tutorials. Though I feel like this is a great way to practice chord transitions and strumming patterns, eventually I'll run out of tutorials and my playing will decline.

I think its time for some more face to face lessons, but I just wondered if anyone else encountered this and how they got through it.

My best!

Neil

OldePhart
05-25-2013, 07:29 AM
Before you start playing a song, look at the chords in the song and how they fit together. Build a "map" in your mind of how you are going to move from chord to chord through the song. If you just try to play through the song without this "map" you'll keep getting "surprised" by chords and even though you know the chord well you won't move to it smoothly, so the rhythm suffers.

Second, pay attention to the rhythm. There are three basic parts to music; the melody, the harmony, and the rhythm. If any one of them is not correct the song is not recognizable. You can play all the chords to a song spotlessly but if you are doing a down, down, down, down 4/4 strum to a fast 6/8 song it will never sound like the song!

Third, it helps to play songs you know well, and sing the lyrics as you play (even if only singing "in your head"). This will help you spot problems with the rhythm.

Fourth - practice, practice, practice! ;)

John

Kanaka916
05-25-2013, 07:32 AM
A lot of the songs showing the chords along with lyrics are not necessarily the chords used in the recording. The folks who transcribe usually do so using the key they play it in. It's just a matter of transposing the key to meet your needs; for example the chords you mentioned (Key of C) C, F, G7, F, C would be F Bb C7 Bb F in the Key of F.

mm stan
05-25-2013, 02:55 PM
Yes either that or there are some poor arangements...not all are perfect....just because it's posted does not mean it's always right... :)

cantsing
05-25-2013, 03:16 PM
I'm still new enough that I am struggling with those webpages that jot down chords and lyrics to songs. I'll put the original song on, try to follow with the chords, realize it doesn't sound remotely close to the song, try to practice through it, try different strumming patterns, then get extremely frustrated and go try something else. I do a lot better with being spoon fed tutorials. Though I feel like this is a great way to practice chord transitions and strumming patterns, eventually I'll run out of tutorials and my playing will decline. I think its time for some more face to face lessons, but I just wondered if anyone else encountered this and how they got through it.

As Kanaka916 pointed out, the original recording is often not in the same key as a random chord sheet, which would make the chords sound "off" if you're singing along in the wrong key. In a video tutorial, the key of the song will always match the chords.

When you first start playing, it can be hard to hear the correct key of the song just by playing the chords on a chord sheet. Stick with it--I remember having this problem when I first started, but I don't have it any more. I'm not sure exactly when it went away or how I got over it, but it's gone.

To transition from video tutorials to chord sheets, try Dr. Uke (http://doctoruke.com/songs.html)'s site. He provides an audio recording with each song. You'll be able to hear the chord changes on the audio as you see them on the chord sheets and you'll get some experience playing from chord sheets and singing in the correct key.

If the song key isn't your problem, there are a couple of other possibilities: Sometimes on chord sheets, the indicated location of the chord doesn't exactly line up with the place where you need to change the chord. This is often true on pages where the chords are listed above the lyrics--the spacing can get messed up. And occasionally you'll run across a song where the listed chords just don't sound that great.

chrom
05-26-2013, 05:30 AM
I too have been struggling with this very same thing. What's even worse is you will find a nice tutorial "spoon feeding" you but only to discover its a portion of the song. So then I will take the spoon fed portion and tabs and try to make the rest to no avail. Very frustrating. I have started back at basics and begin researching lessons both online or face to face. I realize that I have to learn the basics of music theory and how to read tabs/music better in order to progress any further. I am actually doing this for the guitar because there is a lot more resources out there to learn the basics and I am hoping I can translate that over...

As a side note I checked out that Dr. Uke's site and it was great..thanks for the link.

Shane

Harold O.
05-26-2013, 06:25 AM
Also keep in mind that the ukulele has limited range and can only do so much by itself.

Once you get familiar enough with a given song, you will notice that some parts you play better than others or can sing better than others. That's the point where you are beginning to make music as opposed to simply mimicking. The song becomes "your own" when you find yourself playing/singing through without looking at the sheet.

Relax, you'll never be this bad at it again. ;)

lakesideglenn
05-26-2013, 07:14 AM
Search this site for Uncle Rods Ukulele Boot Camp. It will teach you chord patterns and relationships in multiple keys that will make it lots easier to learn hundreds of songs, as well as getting your timing up to speed.

paullchter
05-26-2013, 07:18 AM
Search this site for Uncle Rods Ukulele Boot Camp. It will teach you chord patterns and relationships in multiple keys that will make it lots easier to learn hundreds of songs, as well as getting your timing up to speed.

Try Ukulele Mike Lynch's website. He has great instructional videos and show how to integrate strumming, chords, etc.

He's great!

paulo

Newportlocal
05-26-2013, 08:11 AM
Yes either that or there are some poor arangements...not all are perfect....just because it's posted does not mean it's always right... :)

This almost stopped me from playing about seven years ago when I started. I was using alligator boogaloo. Lots of good stuff there not knocking the site, but there were a lot of songs there that didn't sound right. At that time it was hard to recognize whether it was me or the song. I have had much better luck at Scorpex,Dominator,and Muffin NZ with songs that sound right. I saw the mention of the Mike Lynch you tube videos as well. I had good luck with those. And of course you can't go wrong with uke minutes by Aldrine.

Macbrayne
05-26-2013, 07:04 PM
AirCanuck,

I'm glad I'm not alone with the issue of chords above the lyrics not lining up. And also how many strums for each etc. My solution is to get good youtube clips where you can see the players fingers, watch them play and note on the sheet the chord and the strum pattern. The best for me
is Ukulele Mike, he explains the chords and you can see him play clearly. You may need to use the stop/rewind button a lot while you count strums and where to change, but I now have several songs where I have noted all of the above and can play them to my basic satisfaction.

I also enjoyed ALdrine's Let It Be but frustratingly he tells us the strum pattern to start on but doesn't run through the whole song so I don't know if that pattern is used all the way through or just at the beginning.

If you get the chance go to a ukue club and watch and listen. It WILL get better.

7warriorlion
05-26-2013, 07:54 PM
http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?46337-How-to-speed-up-chord-changes

Tootler
05-27-2013, 02:06 PM
When I learn a song, I learn to sing it without the uke first so I get the tune firmly established in my mind. That way you are not dependant on either the chord charts or a recording, though if you learn by singing along with a recording, you will be pitching it nearer the key used in the recording.

Once I am confident about singing the song, I can then look at the chord chart and see whether the chords are pitched too high or too low for me. Once you are satisfied you have a key comfortable for your voice (no. 1 priority), then you can try it out with chord changes and with practice, you start to hear where the chords should change so you can make adjustments.

It's important to realise that you don't have to sing a song either in the key of the chord chart or the key in which it was recorded. Change the key to suit your voice. Several of the chord sites have something in them that allows you to change the key so that you can get the right chords for the key that suits you.

Johnny GDS
05-27-2013, 02:40 PM
You might consider getting a few lessons. Having someone sit down with you and show you how to take a chord sheet and work through the process of learning a song could probably make a huge difference. I would go talk to some uke teachers and explain to them the problems you are having and what you would like to learn, and then have them structure a few lessons around that goal. Bring in a few chord sheets with the mp3s and have them coach you through the process and point out exactly where and why you are getting off track. I bet that would make a huge difference.

Sometimes getting some insight into the thought process that goes into learning a song can really change your perspective for the better. I would say this is especially true if you don't have problems "playing the chords", but still can't get songs to sound "right". Just some thoughts!

ichadwick
05-28-2013, 02:02 AM
Once you have a bit more experience, you will be able to alter arrangements yourself and make the songs sound like you expect them. It's not that difficult but you need to have a fairly good knowledge of chords and the fretboard.

In the meantime: Practice.

Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice.