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View Full Version : Learning the Ukulele in 6 Months



Kyle23
07-19-2013, 01:25 AM
I posted this in Uke Talk, but I thought it would be suited for these boards also. I started playing january this year after wanting a ukulele for 2 years. Procrastination... Anyways, I've been on this forum since day 1 taking great advice from it's users and I thought I'd give some guidance like that of what was given to me. I remember just wanting to quit about a week in. I hit the "rookie wall". Hard. I got to a point where I didn't see myself improving. I recorded myself since day 1 so I could watch myself from a 3rd person perspective and hear/see my flaws. I was inspired by a video just this past week about a girl teaching herself to dance in 365 days and it gave me the idea to go back and put a few of my videos together to show my progress. Let me first say, I'm still not very great, but with a lot of work, you can see the improvement. I'd really like to help inspire people who are beginners at whatever it is they're starting to keep at it and the results will come. Thanks for reading and here's my little video of my progress over about 6 months.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_wN5Oyl7RpQ

Bao
07-19-2013, 06:08 AM
Great idea Kyle, the video really shows an improvement from the first days to most recently. I really hope other beginners do see this and get re-inspired.

Spud1$
07-19-2013, 06:21 AM
I'm coming to the end of my fourth month and I definitely feel discouraged. I appreciate your video and your inspiration. Thank you

Kyle23
07-19-2013, 06:26 AM
I'm coming to the end of my fourth month and I definitely feel discouraged. I appreciate your video and your inspiration. Thank you

I'm glad I could help. Just set realistic goals and keep on chuggin along.

cantsing
07-19-2013, 06:30 AM
Kyle, thanks for sharing. You have made amazing strides, and I agree that other beginners can surely be inspired by your progress. The idea of taping yourself so you can measure your progress seems like a great motivational tool for any beginner.

However, I want to gently encourage others not to measure their progress by comparing themselves directly to Kyle or to anybody else. We all learn at our own pace!

Kyle23
07-19-2013, 06:33 AM
Kyle, thanks for sharing. You have made amazing strides, and I agree that other beginners can surely be inspired by your progress. The idea of taping yourself so you can measure your progress seems like a great motivational tool for any beginner.

However, I want to gently encourage others not to measure their progress by comparing themselves directly to Kyle or to anybody else. We all learn at our own pace!

Ahhh good point on your last 2 sentences. Didn't even think of that. Thanks for adding it.

pootsie
07-19-2013, 06:40 AM
Good on you, Kyle. That is great progress and nice to see it documented like that.

I'm at 18 months in with no real musical background, and I have surprised myslef both with hitting walls and moving beyond them.

Amazingly enough, that whole "practice" thing really has helped ;)

It is fun to share this journey with you and the other members here.

Now, have you put an entry in the Seasons, yet? That has really helped push me along because it has deadlines. I am working on a song for Sunday's deadline that has really pushed me to do more than I could before and I am *almost* there. Plus, the Seasonistas are a fun and supportive bunch.

Kyle23
07-19-2013, 06:45 AM
Good on you, Kyle.

I'm at 18 months in with no real musical background, and I have surprised myslef both with hitting walls and moving beyond them.

Amazingly enough, that whole "practice" thing really has helped ;)

It is fun to share this journey with you and the other members here.

Now, have you put an entry in the Seasons, yet? That has really helped push me along because it has deadlines. I am working on a song for Sunday's deadline that has really pushed me to do more than I could before and I am *almost* there. Plus, the Seasonistas are a fun and supportive bunch.

It truly is amazing. If I showed myself this video before I started, I'd never believe it was actually me. I too came in blind with no background. ANd I've done one song for the Seasons of the uke only because no topics have come up that I have a song for. I'm guessing most people here see the subject and learn a song for it before that week ends, so I might have to try that.

pootsie
07-19-2013, 06:49 AM
It truly is amazing. If I showed myself this video before I started, I'd never believe it was actually me. I too came in blind with no background. ANd I've done one song for the Seasons of the uke only because no topics have come up that I have a song for. I'm guessing most people here see the subject and learn a song for it before that week ends, so I might have to try that.

I guess the "seasoned" players (pun? you bet!) have a repetoire of songs they can pull from.

Us nUUbs have to learn a song special for each one unless we just happen to have one that fits.

Actually, the song I am doing this week is a repeat from about a year ago, but I am doing it much differently.

Kyle23
07-19-2013, 07:01 AM
I guess the "seasoned" players (pun? you bet!) have a repetoire of songs they can pull from.

Us nUUbs have to learn a song special for each one unless we just happen to have one that fits.

Actually, the song I am doing this week is a repeat from about a year ago, but I am doing it much differently.

Haha I bet they do. I have about 30 or so songs and none of them ever get a topic! And I can't wait to see what you have for this weeks.

rubyrain
07-19-2013, 08:17 AM
Cool idea and great job!
I can only hope to have as much progress in 6 mos.....
I love my Luna too! :)

Kyle23
07-19-2013, 10:47 PM
Cool idea and great job!
I can only hope to have as much progress in 6 mos.....
I love my Luna too! :)
Appreciate it! What kind of Luna do you have?

wallyboy
07-19-2013, 11:57 PM
well done,
i have been trying to play since last october, with no musical background, what i do to keep motivated is pick out songs i really like to learn to play, then use them as practice for chord changes, then pick songs with new chords ie Bb as practice to try and nail the chord,
and to stretch myself enter seasons,

The Great Bedini
07-20-2013, 07:35 AM
Wonderful to hear you progress, your sense of timing and musicality just explodes across the months. and isn't this a great site to get feedback and encouragement? UU! Wooo!

Kyle23
07-20-2013, 05:57 PM
Wonderful to hear you progress, your sense of timing and musicality just explodes across the months. and isn't this a great site to get feedback and encouragement? UU! Wooo!

Thanks. And it really is. I've learned so much from here. Glad I found this site.

Alloalexandre
07-22-2013, 03:21 AM
Great job! I am at week 1 and and already feel I could hit the wall. There is so much info and I do not know where to start.

What was your best teaching tools?

Thanks!
Alex

pootsie
07-22-2013, 04:08 AM
Poop. I got sick last night (sinuses acting up) and did not get to record for the seasons.

But we can all keep improving together, anyway!

Kyle23
07-22-2013, 08:36 AM
Great job! I am at week 1 and and already feel I could hit the wall. There is so much info and I do not know where to start.

What was your best teaching tools?

Thanks!
Alex

I watched A LOT of youtube videos. That's basically how I learned.

rubyrain
07-22-2013, 09:30 AM
Appreciate it! What kind of Luna do you have?

I have the Luna Maluhia Concert. Love the design on it but they have a lot of cool ukes.
I tried a bunch of concert ukes and thought this one sounded better than even some more expensive ukes I tried. I wanted a little mellower sound and this one sounded perfect which I'm sure was partly due to being set up properly.

itsdegnan
07-26-2013, 11:52 AM
kyle23,

thanks so much for this post! i'm new to ukulele underground (been a member for about twenty minutes!) but i've been playing uke for about a year or two, and i totally get discouraged often.

i've been playing a lot more recently, and my improvement has shown. seems like the key to playing any instrument better is practice!

thanks again for the inspiring video :)

Ukeplayer2013
07-26-2013, 11:56 AM
I've been playing for 2 months and the songs I have learnt and scales and what not has been great!! Now onto go and buy a new uke!!! Hehe maybe do a video soon with a song lol!

Sorry after looking at my receipt it's been a month on the 20th of this month. So only a month.

Kyle23
07-27-2013, 01:17 AM
kyle23,

thanks so much for this post! i'm new to ukulele underground (been a member for about twenty minutes!) but i've been playing uke for about a year or two, and i totally get discouraged often.

i've been playing a lot more recently, and my improvement has shown. seems like the key to playing any instrument better is practice!

thanks again for the inspiring video :)

Thank you and I'm happy your first post is in my thread! I hope you continue to improve and when you get frustrated just know that the harder it is, the happier you'll be when you finally nail what you're working on.

hent
07-31-2013, 12:48 PM
By watching your day 1 video I think you were born to play the ukulele Kyle. Great job!

Kyle23
12-12-2013, 02:04 AM
Shameless bump for the new people of the past few months :p


By watching your day 1 video I think you were born to play the ukulele Kyle. Great job!

Sorry for not replying sooner! But thank you so much. I've progressed quite a bit and it feels great.

Menteerd
12-16-2013, 06:36 PM
Love the video, any thought on how to improve my strumming? I can't seem to get the hang of it

Kyle23
12-16-2013, 11:21 PM
Love the video, any thought on how to improve my strumming? I can't seem to get the hang of it

Just PMed you back and also answered this question. Thanks!

coolkayaker1
12-17-2013, 02:29 AM
Kyle, you are supremely skilled now. Very strong playing. Impressive speed of learning.

Maybe it's those blustery, snowy days, when the wind whips straight up I-90 (as it just did) dumping mounds of white up your way, and you can hunker and practice. More likely, it's the dedicated mind and still nimble hands of youth. Whatever it is, you rocked it, K. And big time!

PS. I slept overnight in my truck in the Walmart parking lot in Batavia, NY, just up the way from you, a few months ago when I drove out to New England to hike.

Kyle23
12-17-2013, 02:39 AM
Kyle, you are supremely skilled now. Very strong playing. Impressive speed of learning.

Maybe it's those blustery, snowy days, when the wind whips straight up I-90 (as it just did) dumping mounds of white up your way, and you can hunker and practice. More likely, it's the dedicated mind and still nimble hands of youth. Whatever it is, you rocked it, K. And big time!

PS. I slept overnight in my truck in the Walmart parking lot in Batavia, NY, just up the way from you, a few months ago when I drove out to New England to hike.

I really appreciate it, you have no idea. And yeah, I put in a lot of work, and I'm still doing so except a little less because I've been working a lot lately at my new job. It's so cliche, but hard work really does pay off and even though it was hard and frustrating it was all worth it. I'm still not happy where I'm at currently, but I'm still trying to get better especially with finger picking.

And that's so true haha, the weather really makes me not feel like crap for staying inside and practicing. If I would have bought my first uke in the summer, I wouldn't have much progress. I haven't been to Batavia in so long, how'd you like your stay there for the night haha. I went to Chicago a few years ago to see a friend. Pretty nice place!

Kyle23
03-12-2016, 04:24 AM
It's been a couple years which is crazy, not sure how I ended up back in this thread but it seemed like I inspired a lot of beginners back when I first posted this. I feel like it's annoying to bump this again, but I hope it can help a few people out by following a few of the steps that I took early on. So here's to the new wave of beginners!

natchez
03-12-2016, 05:39 AM
No reason not to bump it up. If your obvious progress in a relatively short time inspires a few folks, then only good karma can come of it :-).

ZappCatt
03-12-2016, 09:29 AM
Yep, bumps for valid posts is a good thing in my book.

Any chance you can put together a video of where your playing is now?


I am currently 3 months into the odysey

Kyle23
03-12-2016, 11:28 AM
Yep, bumps for valid posts is a good thing in my book.

Any chance you can put together a video of where your playing is now?


I am currently 3 months into the odysey

To be honest, I'm still basically just a strummer so the difference might not be as easy to see from then until now. But I did notice in the day 185 part that I wasn't very clean switching chords throughout which made me cringe a little watching it. Basically if I played the same song as I did in that, it would just sound smoother. Actually I played the same song in this sound sample a couple years ago, so these videos are from when I was a year in. Not sure if there's much of a difference

Here's the same song. Definitely much smoother

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=uz_zMzo4rIE

And here's a random one around the same time. I'm not much further along from these videos as of now, but I've kinda been playing sporadically over the past two years

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=5M4IUp8tj7E

How's your 3 months been? A lot of progress? Got any videos?

cosmic68
03-18-2016, 11:05 PM
Kyle that is fantastic. I'm at the 185 stage AND NO WHERE NEAR what you achieved lol. I'm much older then you-near 50-so not picking up things as quickly. My niece got a uke for her birthday two weeks ago (she's 14)-you should see the speed of her learning!
Anyway-the last video you posted above-what's the song?

Great thread. Keep us updated.

Kyle23
03-19-2016, 02:51 AM
Kyle that is fantastic. I'm at the 185 stage AND NO WHERE NEAR what you achieved lol. I'm much older then you-near 50-so not picking up things as quickly. My niece got a uke for her birthday two weeks ago (she's 14)-you should see the speed of her learning!
Anyway-the last video you posted above-what's the song?

Great thread. Keep us updated.

Uh oh, I'm about half way to 50 so I better learn as much as I can now!

Is she recording herself playing occasionally? I can't stress how much recording and watching myself play helped me. It really helped me catch my mistakes that I would miss while playing. I'm 3 years in now and I still record myself while learning a new song. Everything sounds good while playing it, but when you hear it back fully focused and not playing, the errors just pop right out at you.

As for the song, I watched a video on HMS a couple years ago and changed it up a lot and added different chords so I guess it's one that I made up. Maybe I should name it haha

Kyle23
08-09-2017, 07:24 PM
Recently remembered about this thread since I've been teaching my nephew how to play. The last post in here by cosmic86 made me think about how fast kids learn. It's crazy. My nephew picked it up so fast it was insane and all of the younger kids on youtube who just belt out brilliant playing really astounds me.

Again, I hope my thread/video has inspired a few people over the past few years and here is another quick video, but this time of my nephew on his first day.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=grecpjNbWok

Emily68
08-09-2017, 09:38 PM
Hi,Kyle--it is so inspired to see your sharing.
I think the insistance is the best thing for u--

cyber3d
08-09-2017, 11:50 PM
Beautiful. Bravo. I hope I can teach someone one day . . . when I really know how to play!

Kyle23
08-10-2017, 10:34 AM
Thank you both!


Beautiful. Bravo. I hope I can teach someone one day . . . when I really know how to play!

Honestly, if you can teach someone the basics and a few easy chords and let them freely learn on their own, I think it would be a decent way to start them off.

panda84
08-16-2017, 09:13 PM
It's a brilliant idea to keep track of your progress! I'd like to setup to record my playing also, just audio, no video tho...i'm trying to find way to setup just basic recording...

Croaky Keith
08-16-2017, 10:26 PM
It's a brilliant idea to keep track of your progress! I'd like to setup to record my playing also, just audio, no video tho...i'm trying to find way to setup just basic recording...

Computer, USB mic, & Audacity software, which is free. :)

panda84
08-17-2017, 01:07 AM
Computer, USB mic, & Audacity software, which is free. :)


Thank you! I'm searching for the Audacity alternatives for iPhone as my computer.. and do you have any recommendation for Usb mic? Something that can work with the phone? Thank you

Croaky Keith
08-17-2017, 01:47 AM
A lot of folks record straight into their iPhones, give it a try. :)

tinytaylor
08-24-2017, 11:41 AM
A lot of folks record straight into their iPhones, give it a try. :)

Can confirm, the boy and I are both musicians and we're constantly recording little snippets of inspiration on our phones! I also tape my practice so I can come back to it later and see what I did wrong :)

DownUpDave
08-26-2017, 09:07 AM
Can confirm, the boy and I are both musicians and we're constantly recording little snippets of inspiration on our phones! I also tape my practice so I can come back to it later and see what I did wrong :)

I whole heartly agree. Not until you hear yourself in playback can you identify the areas that need improvement. Many times it is just tempo and timing but that makes a world of difference. The free recording apps for phones are your best friends and do a suprisingly good job of capturing good quality audio.

AlohaKine
08-31-2017, 08:57 PM
That's good of you to post this, to help inspire others...

What song is that by the way, it sounds familiar?

It's pretty easy to see that you have natural talent.

There was a very small period, I'd say not even a months worth of trying to play other people's music, everything I do is just trying to make my own music, but still I wonder if I should learn others, but it makes me feel like I'll loose my own touch, by spending to much time trying to play someone's song... Hmm

Kyle23
09-09-2017, 04:09 PM
That's good of you to post this, to help inspire others...

What song is that by the way, it sounds familiar?

It's pretty easy to see that you have natural talent.

There was a very small period, I'd say not even a months worth of trying to play other people's music, everything I do is just trying to make my own music, but still I wonder if I should learn others, but it makes me feel like I'll loose my own touch, by spending to much time trying to play someone's song... Hmm

I took the chords from Beyond the Sea and played them in the same order, but with a bit different timing and strum. Thank you!

Help!
09-22-2017, 04:12 AM
hey, kyle I am new in this group and confused about buying a ukulele, which is best for the beginners? I have to choose between soprano and concert, I got this post and its written that concert is better should i go for that ?http://www.hownwhys.com/2017/09/soprano-vs-concert-ukulele.html

Croaky Keith
09-22-2017, 05:27 AM
I'll always advocate to start with a concert, unless you've played a stringed instrument before, in which case you will have a good idea of what you need/want. :)

Kyle23
10-23-2017, 01:52 PM
hey, kyle I am new in this group and confused about buying a ukulele, which is best for the beginners? I have to choose between soprano and concert, I got this post and its written that concert is better should i go for that ?http://www.hownwhys.com/2017/09/soprano-vs-concert-ukulele.html

I agree with uke1950 about a concert 100%. What did you end up going with? Hope you ended up buying a uke and are learning!