View Full Version : What are your practice habits?

01-27-2009, 03:48 PM
Hey guys, I just wanted to get an idea what your practice habits are?

What do you spend most of your time doing with the uke? Do you usually focus on just one song until you nail it or do you take a few songs and learn a bit of each at a time? OR do you just mess around and make up your own stuff most of the time? Haha a little of each? :rock:

I normally have been only playing what comes to me. Messing around, figuring out little riffs and writing out songs. I have a very low patient level for meticulously figuring out songs so my New Years resolution is to learn a new tab every few weeks. I think it will help me become a better player and allow my focus to increase on learning rather than creating.

At the moment I have been working on Dragon for a few hours every day since Thursday evening. I have the melody down, and the first verse down pat, but the solo and faster strumming is just tearing my brain apart. Haha my hand wants to strum a different way then the tab says. (It works, but I want to get the 'right' way) So I am debating whether or not I should begin another tab to work on and come back to Dragon in a few days or to just push it out and get the song done. :shaka:

01-27-2009, 04:14 PM
I work on 2-3 songs at a time. I perfect them a little at a time, and then play them many times to memorize.

01-27-2009, 04:17 PM
i work on 2 or 3 songs at a time too....otherwise i get bored doing 1 thing for too long

01-27-2009, 04:59 PM
I keep discovering "techniques". Like for the past week, I have been hunting for different finger picking styles. I built a library of links, videos and songs that I refer back to, take notes in a composition notebook on the bare-bones-basics, and then I bust out my uke and play each one on the various chord progressions and scales that I previously charted out. But I don't really practice songs. When ever a new song lesson comes out on UU, I watch it and try to learn a new technique based on the tutorial.

I also search for info on styles of music. Blues, reggae, old skool funk, whatever. Then I try to stylize some scales and progressions to get that flavor. Throw in some unrelated techniques and listen for something that works. If I like it, it goes in the notebook for future reference.

I suppose eventually I'll have some songs out of this, or just a LOT of fun. Either way, its good.

01-27-2009, 05:16 PM
Honestly I try on one song at a time till I can play the song flawlessly, but I play other stuff to keep up on previous songs. I too, try to learn as many new techniques as I can and get them as accurate as I can. Basically learn the new, perfect the new, review the old.

01-27-2009, 05:20 PM
I have no practice pattern. That is part of the problem, haha. I just play, not working on any specific technique, scale, nuthin'. I never learn a song that takes more than one sitting to learn and memorize. Just jamming with no structure.

Somedays I'll get a bug and learn something new, not usually a song, mostly just techniques. Once in a while I'll jam and like what I'm doing so much that a song comes out (the case in all of my originals). But most days, whatever's on my mind comes out of the sound hole for 30 mins to an hour, and it is great fun.

01-27-2009, 05:28 PM
Same as it has been for every instrument: I start by learning songs and techniques, and then the whole thing gets stale and I end up just noodling aimlessly until I find some new inspiration. :( It's about time I add some more songs to my repertoire; the whole "practicing" thing was going pretty well for a while.

01-27-2009, 06:50 PM
What are your guys thoughts on learning a new song? Make it all yours, learn it how it is supposed to be, or a little of each?

How I always learn a song is learn the basics and mess with it until I like it, even if sounds much different then the original. The only issue with this is I never learn the TRUE version of the song... :eek:

Captain Google
01-27-2009, 06:57 PM
I have no practice method. I just go where the music takes me. On occasion, I'll touch on something that reminds me of a song and try to flesh it out. Other times, I'll see someone post a cover in the Videos & Links forum and study it closely (I'm doing this with Dominator's cover of Wish on my Star). Still other times, I'll just find a song I think would sound good on a uke and ask for chords in the Song Help forum.

01-27-2009, 09:08 PM
I have played for over forty years, so, I don't actually practice. When I learn a song, it is the lyrics that I am learning. But then, when you have played forty years, you will probably do the same. So, my "practice" is not really practice. It is more about learning the lyrics of a song from memory. When I first started in the 1960s, I used to play, sort of practice, all day long.

Making a song "your own" is an interesting way of putting the idea of having an interpretation of a song or a "rendition" of one. I think that every player does that.

01-27-2009, 09:17 PM
yeah, i have no practice method.
currently learning 2 songs but always jumping from one to another. not getting anything done.
im not concentrating on learning new songs as i should be which isnt good.

01-27-2009, 11:35 PM
I usually practice my ukulele about 1-2 hours a day. I usually will practice the songs that my ukulele teacher gives me on the day of my lesson. I will then practice picking and strumming the song afterwards.

01-27-2009, 11:35 PM
every single time i pick up the uke... drop baby drop or waiting in vain comes out

also close to you, some dragon.

01-28-2009, 03:24 AM
If there's a song I'm interested in I'll get the chords and work on them until I feel like I've got a good handle on how to play the song and then print it out and put it into my ukulele binder.

So sometimes it's sitting on the bed with the Rodgers & Hart book in front of me and a chord chart handy. (and my Zune to listen to recordings of it) And sometimes it's at the computer with some online tab and me trying to fix what sounds off about it. Either way. When I feel comfortable with the material it goes into the binder.

Often I'll just grab the binder and flip through the pages and brush up on the material that I've got in there just to keep it fresh. (I'll forget how to play a Cm7b5 otherwise) And throwing into that some of the half dozen chord progressions that I've come up with on my own that may or may not get words someday. (the cat has her own theme music too)

Then the rest of the time I'm just sitting around with a uke in my lap fiddling around with bits of this and that watching TV and keeping my fingers moving without any clear direction. In general, if I'm not doing something in particular (like typing as I am now.) I'm playing a bit. (ie. strumming while reading UU posts and stopping only to scroll to the next bit of text.)

Also since it's cold and dry and winter, I've been keeping the humidifiers running and will open up all the cases and spread them out on the bed and will walk by, grab one and strum a little bit in passing

I mean, I get kind of fidgety when I'm away from home for any length of time. We went out the other night to get some Pho and I was sitting there waiting for our dinner while my hands twitched and I was still mentally playing.

Giant Jack
01-28-2009, 05:13 AM
well i picked up a ukulele after already have played the guitar for five years, with which i was already a fairly advanced player.. so i never needed to practice as i was already good at it! :P

i practice every night while writing songs tho. :}