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pixiepurls
03-07-2014, 02:29 PM
I got the 21 songs in 6 days. I found most of the songs REALLY boring. My 4 and 6yo disliked them all except Hush Little Baby which I still don't really like playing. So I'm done with that one.

I got the Jumping Jim's fake book. I still struggle trying to figure out the rhythms, I know like, 4 beats in a measure and I know what that means but that doesn't mean I know how to then play it. I've tried a lot of songs and found failure. I wanted to play Frozen's "Do you wanna build a snowman" but had difficulty with it, because they don't have the words on the site (I know why they don't) but its too hard because I don't remember the words to read it and play it.

I've had most of my success with the intro to "come as you are" by nirvana the fingerpicking part. Once I got that I stopped.

Then I worked on the intro to Stairway to Heaven, I really like that but the picking got complicated so I stalled out on that how-to video.

I worked from the fake book again tonight on California Dreaming and I REALLY want to be able to play it but its hard to read that and figure out the Rhythm and timing.

I don't think I understand how to figure out a melody. I need to hear something played first.

I think I need a video that explains melody and rhythm, kinda like a video I watched that taught me some different strums. I can do the "down, down up, up down up" confidently.

I would like to learn how to play California dreaming, that one has a nice speed and has enough chord changes not to be boring.

My fingers hurt from the fret board. SOME chords I need to press really hard and others I can press really light. I actually want to play more often then I am allowing myself because I don't want man hands :) frustrating! been putting lotion and stuff on my fingertips as much as possible when not playing.

della-belle
03-10-2014, 02:11 AM
My advice would be to slow down, and go back to all of the things you've so far quit or 'stalled on' and complete them, especially any you were having difficulty with. It's natural to be frustrated and bored, but working through that is the way to progress. I'd also say stick to one or two songs at a time and keep practicing them until you can play each flawlessly, then move onto new things. It kind of sounds like you're a bit all over the place, and you'll do far better if you focus your efforts on specific tasks and maybe make yourself a practice schedule. If you're struggling with rhythm, get yourself a metronome and look for some cool strumming patterns on youtube and practice, practice practice :)

PhilUSAFRet
03-10-2014, 03:11 AM
:agree: Della is right. Sorry, no shortcuts. Some folks just need a metronome (how the brain is wired) Lots of demos on YouTube. Just search ukulele, how to....... and fill in the blank. One of the biggest mistakes beginners make is trying to progress too quickly, trying to learn too many things at one time (lyrics, timing, chords, strums, etc. On top of that, they play faster than their skill level permits resulting in many errors. Slow down, master each skill slowly. The speed is the natural result of mastering the task.

sukie
03-10-2014, 04:18 AM
I would suggest taking a look at Aldrine's videos. I know he has some play-along videos. They may not be songs you necessarily want to learn, but you will develop skills through learning them.

UkuleleUnderground has a lot of material to learn from. That's why they put it up. He's a great teacher.

OldePhart
03-10-2014, 05:14 AM
If you succeed in learning to play from tab and books alone songs that you don't know well enough to "feel" you might be the first!

Seriously, pick songs that you know very, very well. The bottom line, if you can't hum it you probably won't be able to play it with the correct rhythm and phrasing. This is one of the reasons that so many beginner's books have well-known children's songs (the other reason is that many of them are public domain).

Make sure that you really, really, really know the chords and can transition cleanly between them. It is one thing to play chords as isolated exercises where hesitations and fumbles don't show up and quite another to play all the chord transitions smoothly at the full pace of the song. It only takes one hesitation to throw you off the timing and "feel" of an entire phrase. In fact, when I was beginning guitar many years ago if I fumbled a single chord change I sometimes couldn't get back onto the right rhythm for the rest of the song.

Lastly, you can separate the chord changes from the rhythm by "scrubbing" your way through the entire song. I.e. just mute the strings and then all you hear is the rhythm as you strum them. If you can "scrub" your way through the entire song, then try to scrub and hum. If you can scrub and hum the song all the way through but still cannot play it then I can pretty much guarantee that you don't know the chord transitions as well as you think you do and that is what is throwing you.

Good luck,
John

sukie
03-10-2014, 06:56 AM
Baby steps, Pixie. It sucks, but it works.

Bill Mc
03-10-2014, 07:22 AM
Check out Ukulele Mike Lynch's tutorials on youtube. Pick out a song you like and follow his instructions which are clear and illustrated nicely. Take your time and keep it fun.

peaceweaver3
03-10-2014, 07:51 AM
I agree with what has already been said: one skill at a time and tons of practice, and I especially agree with John. Being a beginner doesn't have to be boring, and the humming really works. You don't think it will, but it does. If you can't hear it in your head, you can't hum/sing it. And if you can't hum/sing it, you definitely can't play it. Eventually you won't need to hum. But right now it will help a lot.

Check out www.playukulelebyear.com, in particular the 3-chord club. Instructor Jim D'Ville teaches the hear/hum/play method with song and video examples here.

kwall
03-10-2014, 02:40 PM
patience...it takes forever. and do you want to build a snowman for example if u listen to it is more complicated than just simple chords so that will take awhile. this site isnt bad for some songs and its free (or the free parts are great ) http://www.ukuleletricks.com/. The site you are talking about it avoiding copyright that why it ex's out the lyrics. That site is great learn the chords and all the stuff first, perfect that... than you can start to add the words to it. start with simple like 3 or four chorded songs. free falling, helpless, knocking on heavens door are all pretty decent to learn. Also if your are having issues as to strumming first just do it to the down so you can understand the chords, then figure out the strumming pattern by listening

pixiepurls
03-10-2014, 02:48 PM
I really wanted to play California dreaming but the video just races through all the chords so I would need it slowed down to learn it.. I think... was hoping that could be my first "song" I would not mind practicing the same song 100000 times if felt like I was on the right track. I have NO idea what am doing and then half the time I want to practice my two left fingers hurt a lot! I have tried pressing lighter but it doesn't work.

Free falling sounds cool, I like that song.

I will try humming I had not thought to do that.

Lesson #17 has me con fuzzed but the scale thing is something I've never learned about before.

itsme
03-10-2014, 03:14 PM
I really wanted to play California dreaming but the video just races through all the chords so I would need it slowed down to learn it.. I think... was hoping that could be my first "song" I would not mind practicing the same song 100000 times if felt like I was on the right track. I have NO idea what am doing and then half the time I want to practice my two left fingers hurt a lot! I have tried pressing lighter but it doesn't work.
As far as the fingers on your fretting hand hurting, it takes time to build up calluses on the fingertips as well as strength in your fingers and hand.

If you want to learn "California Dreaming" then print out a chord/lyric sheet and play it at your own pace (SLOWLY) until you are able to make all the chord transitions smoothly and without hesitation. Only then can you work on bringing it up to tempo.

If you think you can just sit down and play along with a video at tempo before you've done your homework in learning the chords and transitions, you're only fooling yourself.

Honestly, it sounds to me like you're trying to do too much, too soon, without building the foundation you really need.

OldePhart
03-10-2014, 03:27 PM
California Dreaming is a beautiful song and it probably sounds simple to a beginner. In fact, I play that song (not necessarily well) and it is a lot more complex than it first seems unless you know more than one variation of a couple of the chords. I can give you a chord sheet for it...but be advised that you will need to work your own "road map" in your head of what makes sense to get through the chord progressions smoothly.

It is also deceptive in that it uses a couple of different right hand rhythms - if you just "saw" through it it will never sound right no matter how well you know the chords!

Most songs with feeling are that way - much of the feeling often comes from changes in tempo or rhythm so you really need to be comfortable with both the right and left hand to get it right.

It's why you won't see that song often in a beginner's book - most beginners will quickly get discouraged and quit if presented with too many challenges at once.

John

BlueSockMonkey
03-10-2014, 03:46 PM
[respectfully snipped]
Honestly, it sounds to me like you're trying to do too much, too soon, without building the foundation you really need.

This, a thousand times.

I got impatient with the learning curve in the very beginning, too, so I know where you're coming from, pixiepurls. I reminded myself that if I wanted an instrument that could be learned instantly, a kazoo is a much better option. :)

I think the publishers of instruction books and videos promising that you can learn to play the ukulele almost overnight do a terrible disservice to aspiring players. While it is easier to play than piano or guitar, the uke requires devoted practice dealing separately with each element of song--melody, harmony, rhythm, and lyrics. And, yes, that does mean getting bored occasionally, and putting up with sore fingers, and maybe needing to bribe cranky family and neighbors. The magic will only happen if you prove you want it enough.

But if you stick with it, the rewards can be immense. Good luck!

sukie
03-10-2014, 05:42 PM
Sounds like you would like Audacity. It's a free download. You can plop a song in and slow it down to a speed you can work with. And speed it up, too.

OldePhart
03-11-2014, 11:21 AM
Re: California Dreaming - I hadn't played it in about a year so I looked up the lead sheet again. Definitely not a beginner's song! Seven chords in the verse, two of which are chords that are sometimes difficult for beginners, and then an eighth somewhat difficult chord in the finale that really is critical to the feel; half-measure turns at the end of every phrase; and if you really want to play it the way the Mamas and Papas did you'll also need to be able to pull off a smooth triplet and a full stop followed by a picked arpeggiation.

After not playing it for a year it took me probably a half dozen tries to get through the verse with anything close to the correct rhythm - and none of the chords are difficult for me!

So, you might make that your long term goal and work on the baby steps needed to get there.

BTW, you've mentioned a couple of times how sore your fingertips are. As long as your fingers are sore I can pretty much guarantee that you're not ready to tackle something like California Dreaming. As you practice your fingers will toughen up to the point that you can play for hours without really feeling any discomfort (especially since you have the advantage of youth working for you). All that practice pays off in that you also will find that your library of chords - and alternate fingerings of chords - will have grown immensely as will have your sense of rhythm and so forth.

Just keep on chooglin' - good things come to them that work their butts off! :)

John

pixiepurls
03-11-2014, 11:53 AM
Sounds like you would like Audacity. It's a free download. You can plop a song in and slow it down to a speed you can work with. And speed it up, too.



sweet thank you!


Re: California Dreaming - I hadn't played it in about a year so I looked up the lead sheet again. Definitely not a beginner's song! Seven chords in the verse, two of which are chords that are sometimes difficult for beginners, and then an eighth somewhat difficult chord in the finale that really is critical to the feel; half-measure turns at the end of every phrase; and if you really want to play it the way the Mamas and Papas did you'll also need to be able to pull off a smooth triplet and a full stop followed by a picked arpeggiation.

John

Thanks okay I just liked how it sounded. I like a few elvis songs. I guess I am trying to find the perfect "first song" to really bite into that is easy enough for a beginner but not too boring. Something I can play and impress myself even if it isn't actually too impressive but just sounds it lol. But I want to LIKE the song :) I think its important when learning to learn with songs you actually like!

REM and U2 are great. I am not sure if stairway has actual strumming but I like that song too. My dad had an old record I would listen to when I was little. I which I could find it, it has the lyrics in calligraphy on the back on brown paper that the record set in. I could go back to that tutorial but it may also be beyond me.

I think i would feel better if I had a song, but it sounds like I'm not ready for a real song :)

sukie
03-11-2014, 12:30 PM
You are ready for a real song.

Just try to pick a song you already know that has some basic chords. When I started playing (6 years ago), there wasn't tons of stuff on the internet. Now there are a bazillion songs. Just google away until you find something you know and like. It's there. You just gotta find it.

Somebody mentioned little kid songs. They really are a good way to start. Keep it simple for a little bit until you can do the techniques correctly. It won't take all at long. Really.

itsme
03-11-2014, 12:36 PM
I got the Jumping Jim's fake book.
I presume you're talking about the first "Daily Uke" book? Because that's the one that has "California Dreamin'" in it.


I guess I am trying to find the perfect "first song" to really bite into that is easy enough for a beginner but not too boring.
Just start looking thru your book for songs with fewer/easier chords until you find one you like.

Just glancing thru, here are a few simpler possibilities that aren't too hokey:

Brown Eyed Girl (C F G7 Am)
Don't Worry, Be Happy (C Dm F)
Fields of Gold (Am F C G)
Hound Dog (G C7 D7)

OldePhart
03-11-2014, 12:47 PM
You are ready for a real song.

Just try to pick a song you already know that has some basic chords...

:agree: - Definitely - @pixie I didn't mean to imply that you shouldn't learn songs - in fact I'm a big advocate of learning songs as soon as you have learned the first few chords because otherwise if you're just doing chord exercises you'll get bored pretty quick!

If you check YouTube you'll find that there are a lot of really simple three- or four-chord pop songs that, if played in the key of C, are dead easy on the uke. Once you've learned C F, G, G7, & Am there are thousands of songs you can play. Some would say that most pop music can be played with four chords or less. :)

John

pixiepurls
03-11-2014, 01:17 PM
Just glancing thru, here are a few simpler possibilities that aren't too hokey:

Brown Eyed Girl (C F G7 Am)
Don't Worry, Be Happy (C Dm F)
Fields of Gold (Am F C G)
Hound Dog (G C7 D7)

Yes thats the book I have, is Fields of Gold the sting song? I like that one, and Hound Dog I like too!

pixiepurls
03-11-2014, 01:19 PM
:agree: - Definitely - @pixie I didn't mean to imply that you shouldn't learn songs - in fact I'm a big advocate of learning songs as soon as you have learned the first few chords because otherwise if you're just doing chord exercises you'll get bored pretty quick!

If you check YouTube you'll find that there are a lot of really simple three- or four-chord pop songs that, if played in the key of C, are dead easy on the uke. Once you've learned C F, G, G7, & Am there are thousands of songs you can play. Some would say that most pop music can be played with four chords or less. :)

John


Yeah and that chord progression was in that tutorial I did last night that some people pointed me towards and I've been practicing it all day. It was C - F - G - C, I am pretty sure that was it anyway.

4stringjonty
03-13-2014, 10:16 AM
I've been using Bert Casey's how to book/dvd. ukulele primer. it has helped me alot.

OldePhart
03-13-2014, 11:20 AM
Yeah and that chord progression was in that tutorial I did last night that some people pointed me towards and I've been practicing it all day. It was C - F - G - C, I am pretty sure that was it anyway.

Yep, now, mix it up a little. Play C - G - Am - F that's the "I V vi IV" chord progression in the key of C. That chord progression is the foundation of probably thousands of pop songs. We even had a week of the "Seasons" over in the contest forum where the theme was to play a song with that chord progression - we did not suffer for lack of possibilities to play... :)

UoGB often end their show with a medley of pop tunes all sung at the same time over the same chord progression...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2P1-UvqdD7o

OldePhart
03-13-2014, 11:25 AM
Ohh...and they've got a new one (not really new but I hadn't seen it and I thought I'd seen all their vids).

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